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Chambers: It's a Catch-22 Situation
Monday, 12th Mar 2018 17:41

Luke Chambers has addressed the subject of the thin line between results and entertainment, which is at the core of the current discontent among supporters convinced Town would benefit from a change of manager.

The vast majority of fans who last season surrendered their season tickets, as well as those thinking of following suit this summer, have cited the lack of entertainment on offer at Portman Road as the main reason for their dissatisfaction.

Club captain Chambers said: “Yes, entertainment is an issue in football, but I remember when MK Dons came up to the Championship and played good football. They went straight back down.

“We’re playing games where we’re getting results but at the end of the day people are paying their money to come along and be entertained – and if they’re not being entertained they’re not going to come.

“It’s a Catch-22 situation and I haven’t got all the answers. I’m sure the [owner] and the manager will discuss what the plans are moving forward and, as players, all we can do is what we have always done – try to give absolutely everything on the pitch.

“Yes, I think we can take more responsibility and possibly do more in terms of scoring goals, creating chances and defending.”

The counter-argument to MK Dons and, say, Charlton Athletic going down playing good football is that Swansea and Bournemouth went up to the Premier League playing good football. It can happen, can’t it?

Chambers added: “It can but I’m not sure what their budgets are. You hear a lot of talk about money but these aren’t things that I can comment on.

“I would love to play like Swansea and Bournemouth played but we’re still punching above where we should be, although that can’t always be the answer, can it? I don’t really know what else to say to you.”

Asked if something has to change for the club to move forward, Chambers replied: “It’s a difficult question. How many teams have gone down and never gone back up to the Premier League?”

But the experienced defender is clearly not blind to his own team’s shortcomings, adding: “The lads have got to take a bit more responsibility and put their foot on the ball when the chance occurs, take responsibility and offer angles for each other a bit more.

“I feel we can work more for each other, and definitely more as a team, with the ball. We work very, very hard without it, which is one of our strengths.

“You can be given all the instructions in the world but you have to make the decision on the pitch whether to control it and pass it short or play it long.

“Yes, we play to our strengths at times, but it can have the same effect if you have the ball in your bottom right-hand corner and you hit a diagonal pass to your team-mate that puts you in the attacking third in one pass as opposed to 50 passes round the back. You’re still getting there and it’s the same result.

“It might not be as pleasing on the eye but we play to our strengths and we’ve signed players to play that way. But people do have to relax a little bit more and not get sucked into the environment we are playing in at the moment.”

Chambers was happy to address the issue of the Portman Road pitch, once recognised as providing one of the best playing surfaces in the country, but criticised by both managers following Town’s goalless draw with Sheffield United on Saturday.

He said: “The pitch is an issue and we’re talking about a pitch in the Championship. I can’t understand how it can be the way it is. That is a frustration for me.

“Even Sheffield United came down here and didn’t really pass the ball around. They’re supposed to be one of the passing teams in the league.

“It’s difficult to play at home at the moment with everything else going on as well as people being frustrated with what’s happening from top to bottom at the club.

“You can obviously feel it as a player when you’re getting booed off at half-time if it’s 0-0.

“It’s difficult to play in that atmosphere but at the end of the day people are coming in, paying a lot of money to be entertained, and we have to take the responsibility and be a bit braver.

“Make the right decision when the ball is up in the air, if you can bring it down to then make a couple of passes to break the lines and hopefully get in behind the opposition.

“In the Cardiff game we put in a good performance and all the boys seemed to be playing with a bit more freedom. If I could put my finger on why it doesn’t happen game in, game out, I’d probably be working as a manager somewhere.

“We want to win games and if it’s not the way that people want us to win games then you can’t really win. But if you are successful by winning games people will come and watch, regardless of whether it’s any good or not.”

The skipper repeated his desire to be a manager in the future but insisted he would not be interested in a role as player-manager, something McCarthy did when he became a boss for the first time at Millwall in 1992, just weeks after his 33rd birthday.

“But Chambers, who will be 33 in September, added: “I’ll never be a player-manager. I don’t think you can do that, not really. I’ve still got lots of time to continue playing, so that’s not something to talk about.”

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ntoms97 added 17:52 - Mar 12
MK Dons came up and played good football then went down.

Got one word for you Chambo- Bournemouth!

ronnyd added 18:02 - Mar 12
You,ve got to admit that he did mention them too. Still want a change though.

Mark added 18:13 - Mar 12
You could say Burton too - they play really nice passing football but could be going down. They have a tiny budget compared to us though and staying up last year was a good achievement for them. If Nigel Clough came to Ipswich could he spend our budget well and get us passing?

I would support MM's tactics away from home, where results are pretty good. At home though...people are bored and walking away, and the club cannot sustain that.

Cakeman added 18:21 - Mar 12
It’s not a Catch22 situation. We want to enjoy football again....end of!

heathen66 added 18:26 - Mar 12
A very open and honest assessment, and has gone up in my opinion however has let out a few home truths, that the players need to take more responsibility, move more pass more, however someone also needs to point out to him that there is a difference between a 50 yard pass and an aimless hoof.
Football is an easy game of pass an move, and not pass and point for someone else to hoof .
It is about taking responsibilities and as the captain you should be driving this for the team. Unless of course the manager instructs you otherwise of course.

nineteenseventyeight added 18:26 - Mar 12
Chambo....when did you last get to fist pump the North stand?......theres the answer for you

jas0999 added 18:27 - Mar 12
Is everyone at the club deluded? Folk are turning pig their backs and leaving in their droves. Season ticket holders can’t be bothered to turn up. Most now dread going. There is no entertainment and another season of watching Chambers et al hoof the ball is frankly making me dread going even more. In fact if MM stays, I won’t go.

Portman51 added 18:31 - Mar 12
It wasn't a catch-22 against Sheffield Utd. A point was worthless in our current situation and a defeat would have been irrelevant, but three from an attacking, entertaining performance coupled with a win tomorrow might just have kickstarted a late run. Longer term, if midtable Championship and an appalling, negative brand of football is all there is on offer, then what's the point?

PortmanTerrorist added 18:42 - Mar 12
Amazing. I always respected chambers and generally gives his all but does the lack of ambition at the club really run this deep.

BrandonsBlues added 07:06 - Mar 13
I quote "but we’re still punching above where we should be"

So even Chambo thinks we are rubbish

therein61 added 07:38 - Mar 13
Why worry about taking responsibility when you know that come hell or high water you play every week

SamWhiteUK added 09:17 - Mar 13
“Yes, I think we can take more responsibility and possibly do more in terms of scoring goals, creating chances and defending.”

So, the entire game of football then?

Also, Chambers seems to have a funny definition of catch 22.

"We’re playing games where we’re getting results but at the end of the day people are paying their money to come along and be entertained – and if they’re not being entertained they’re not going to come."

No entertainment = no fans, entertainment = fans. Not much of a catch 22, is it? The only way it would be a catch 22 is if playing entertaining football depended on the presence of fans, which is obviously not true - it's dependent on those on the pitch and the clueless lout giving them the orders

PortmanTerrorist added 09:38 - Mar 13
Poor Chambo. Obviously not read Heller's masterpiece nor understands the premise of a Catch 22 situation.

You actually can play attractive football, on the front foot, and win games.....i would argue WITH the personnel we have. It is NOT a Catch 22, it is just a process of self preservation for those holding positions of authority which now include our 'Captain'.

blue75 added 18:23 - Mar 13
There was once this team called Ipswich in 2000 they made it to the promised land the only player signed that season for a fee was an Icelandic bloke called Herman and a few freebies. That team went up playing football once up they played some really good football. Against Arsenal at home it took a Bergkamp wonder goal for them to get a draw after town had played them off the park. Many compliments were paid from pundits and managers and that team qualified for Europe and they deserved it. So all in all Mr Chambers you know nothing about how to play the Ipswich way but next time you bump into a player like Terry Butcher I’m sure his opinion to the state of town will mirror the 74% of town fans!!

witchdoctor added 18:34 - Mar 13
he’d like to play for Bournmouth....nahhhhh...they don’t like hoof merchants in their team....

naa added 11:20 - Mar 14
His insistence that people will come and watch if we're winning, even if it isn't entertaining is just wrong.

I'm sure crowds would go up a bit but if it wasn't entertaining you'll still get discontent. Why else are people upset now. We're overacheiving considering our budget but it isn't enough. Ipswich fans expect some entertainment - especially for some of the highest season ticket prices in the division.

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