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Bialkowski on Hurst: From the Beginning There Was No Communication
Sunday, 4th Aug 2019 11:18

On-loan Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski has lifted the lid on life at Portman Road under former boss Paul Hurst.

Bialkowski, 32, who made his debut for loan club Millwall yesterday as a 43rd minute sub in their 1-0 home victory over Preston, confirms much of the rumour which circulated during Hurst’s 149-day spell in charge of Town.

Speaking to Polish website in a lengthy interview, Bialkowski says that from the start all was not well between the new management team and the squad.

"He's a strange character, very strange. It's true, I didn't hide the fact that we didn't get along. And it wasn't just me," he said.

"From the very beginning, there was a lack of communication between the coaching staff and the players. Hurst kept saying that the door to his office is always open and he's always ready to talk.

"But when you'd pass by his office and see him sitting in the chair with his feet up on his desk, any thought of an honest talk would be gone instantly."

Bialkowski says Hurst was harsh on the older players, claiming they were more interested in money than giving their all for the club.

"After a defeat, he would often focus on us, more experienced players, and point out the fact that we earn more and, supposedly, we only care about money," he continued.

"It was obviously a nonsense. How a man, who's only been in the club for a month, could say things like that?

"Of course, money is important, but if you want to keep being paid the same, you have to give 100 per cent all the time, otherwise you'll sit on the bench tomorrow and some time later you'll be gone from playing seriously. Football can be brutal.

"Some players had been in the club for five or six years and felt a strong connection with it, the atmosphere was great. And such words hurt a lot, it was completely out of line."

Regarding his infamous dropping ahead of the Norwich match, Bialkowski again cites a lack of communication.

"It doesn't matter if I deserved it or not. There was no communication between us," he said.

"I was waiting for the Norwich match, the most important game of the season. The day before, we had a tactical briefing and I was in the starting line-up.

"The next day, I am in the dressing room, an hour and a half before the kick-off, the manager reads out the starting XI and I'm not there.

"That hurt the most, such a disrespectful attitude. If he was going to put me on the bench, I wouldn't be happy, obviously, but if he informed me about it face to face, there would be no problem. But instead, he went for some weird mind games."

The Poland international says no one was upset when Hurst, now manager of Scunthorpe, departed last October: "No, definitely not, everyone felt better deep inside. I can tell from the look on the lads' faces that they felt a relief too."

Bialkowski, who describes Paul Lambert as “a very good coach”, says otherwise he has had great relationships with managers in England.

"I am not a confrontational person and I've always had great relationships with my managers," he added. "But Hurst turned out to be the only man I couldn't get along with at all."

The keeper also hints that his time at Town may not necessarily be over with his move to the Lions only a loan and with no provision for a permanent switch included in the deal.

“I left for an annual loan, maybe in the case of promotion there I will come back. Nothing can be ruled out,” he added.

He also confirmed that Millwall’s concerns regarding his knee, which led to the breakdown of the intended permanent switch last month, related to the ACL operation he had in 2006 when with Southampton.

“I did not have any health problems. It's known that 13 years ago I tore the ligaments in my knee. It will never be in perfect condition during tests, but basically since then I have not felt any discomfort in it," he continued.

“Millwall, however, were afraid to take a chance, every club treats things differently. They would have to spend a lot of money for me and hesitated.”

He says he’s fine and has no problem having played regularly throughout his five years with the Blues and before that with Nottis County, adding: “For me, the main determinant is simply that I feel physically good and after the operation the knee has never bothered me anymore.

“It is known that in 13 years something in it might rub off. I suspect, however, that after an accurate x-ray you would find some imperfections in every professional footballer.”

Elsewhere, it’s reported that striker Tom Elliott’s aborted loan move to the Blues from Millwall last week didn’t even get as far as a medical due to the 28-year-old’s current lack of fitness.

According to The Sun, Elliott had a shoulder problem in addition to the hamstring injury which it was known he suffered in pre-season.

Elliott's move was initially said to be 'on hold', however, speaking about it on Friday Blues boss Lambert said the move is off: “It's not going to happen.”

Photo: Pagepix

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BlueSwede added 11:25 - Aug 4
I will never ever forgive Hurst for what he did to our club. To think what PL could do with all the millions and millions of pound that Hurst was given and squandered ...

Tractorboy1985 added 11:25 - Aug 4
Worst ITFC manager in history... FACT!!! Pathetic little weasel! Another mistake to add to a long list for Marcus Evans tenure! Onwards and upwards! COYB

PositivelyPortman added 11:29 - Aug 4
Nothing new here. Move on.
I sit in my office with my feet on the desk.

northwales_blue added 11:37 - Aug 4
Interesting read. I also glean from this that Bart’s heart may not be at Millwall and if we were promoted he’d jump at the chance of coming back. I think he still very much likes the club. As for Hurst he’s off to a bad start already...

Bluearmy_81 added 11:38 - Aug 4
BlueSwede, Hurst messed up yes but compared to the negative effect Evans has had over 12 years it pales into insignificance. If we still had Waghorn etc we would still be in the championship now. They wanted to leave understandable as we are a club without ambition

Suffolkboy added 11:38 - Aug 4
Are we , is anyone surprised to learn yet more of this desperately inadequate character who was never up to the job at this level .Why or how our owner became so transfixed with the appointment we shall only be left to speculate : it’s not the only one he got wrong ,however and I hope he’ll pull up his bootstraps and change his approach and dedication or we shall find ourselves short of a manager again .
If PH displayed all too soon and all too readily why he wasn’t up to the job, then as always when things go wrong ,it’s very important to look right to the TOP.
A blame culture is reprehensible ,but supporters and paying customers do have a right to question why and how progress has stalled ,to know if timing issues or logistical matters have intervened ,but the ever secretive Mr E still apparently needs lots of education in these matters : and one ‘begins ‘ to suspect that ‘ leaving his Managers to get on with the job’ disguises many personal inadequacies ,or worse .
Plainly he’s a business instinct and drive, but we need to see rather more than we do at ITFC .
PLEASE M.E, do & say things to show you care — right now many remain in limbo or worse still certain doubt !

peteswindon added 11:59 - Aug 4
Always the Ipswich way give money to a rubbish manager. Then starve the good ones of cash.

TimmyH added 12:04 - Aug 4
Blame the man that employed him and was equally at fault in the ridiculous 'try something new' plan last summer that was one big gamble from the offset and that is Evans, yes Hurst picked out the players he wanted in (mostly inexperienced) but Evans was 100% behind this...

Have to say a lot of people on this site were behind Hurst and the young upcoming manager ethos...I wasn't one of them.

DaGremloid added 12:15 - Aug 4
This comes as no surprise to me. I have to say, however, and I genuinely don't wish to offend anyone about this, but there were an awful lot of people on here clamouring for PH's appointment at the time. I definitely wasn't one of them because I could not see what he had achieved that justified him as a candidate for a club like ours. If people had bothered to scratch the surface, as I and several others did, then it would have become clear that not all the stories about PH were positive. Unfortunately, the person who should have been doing most of the scratching was ME and he made a very poor appointment. I agreed that MM's time was up but we are now where we are because of ME's lack of football nous. Having said that, a successful season in a lower league this season will boost morale no end - you can't beat winning, no matter what league you're in and that is something we've not been doing for ages. COYB.

Linkboy13 added 12:23 - Aug 4
Think the job was too big for him looked like a little boy lost and a beaten man after only a few weeks in the job hope things turn out better for him in the future.

Dolphinblue added 12:26 - Aug 4
Confirms what we all know already....Hurst is a .........🐬

jas0999 added 12:53 - Aug 4
Hurst was a disaster but was aided and abetted by Evans who was more than happy to support player sales of high earners. It was also Evans who appointed Hurst. Didn’t seem to have any other candidates.

RobITFC added 13:01 - Aug 4
See Hurst's first game at Scunthorpe ended in 2.0 defeat :D Wonder how long he will last there or if he has learnt his lesson on man-management?

meekreech added 13:04 - Aug 4
Adds substance to the reasons waghorn , garner and Webster all wanted to leave ! With his lack of experience in the higher levels of football he was always going to be a wrong appointment and he , unfortunately, proved it all too quickly and easily!

ThatMuhrenCross added 13:12 - Aug 4
I remember we interviewed Frank Lampard last season, and surprise surprise, Evans went for the cheap option. Lampard is now managing in the Champions League, Hurst is joint bottom of League Two and we’re competing in the third tier for the first time in half a century. Of course I blame Hurst, but I also attach a lot of blame to Evans for starving this club of the funding it needs.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 13:27 - Aug 4
No reason to disbelieve Bart , who seems a very honest professional, so good job we got rid.
Whatever your views on Chambers , Skuse and Bart , ejonim guessing are some of the involved, one thing you can't say is they don't give 100%.
See some people still can't stop turning a post about Hurst into an anti Evans one.

Cakeman added 13:28 - Aug 4
Initially I was looking forward to it when Hurst was appointed as we definitely needed a new approach. How wrong was I? because I never realised it would be possible for an individual to cause so much unrest in such a short space of time.
Thankfully the cause of the problem has been removed and we now have a good and respectful management team in place.
Bart certainly confirmed what what I would imagine most of us feared.
Onwards and upwards now.

midastouch added 14:11 - Aug 4
We jumped out of the frying pan into the fire going from Mick to Hurst! Would of preferred Burley or even Klug (but Klug didn't seem to fancy it on a permanent basis). Remember we won 4 nil away to Reading with Klug. But now we've got Lambert and he's certainly grown on me. Results haven't been great under Lambert (although no complaints after our winning start yesterday) but I fear his biggest battles in the weeks ahead might well be off the field rather than on it and that's always very concerning.

rkl added 14:28 - Aug 4
Interesting to read the comments after Hurst was appointed. Glad I wasn’t one of his fans.

londontractorboy57 added 14:31 - Aug 4
Ah Well perhaps MICKMA wasnt as bad as you all thought.

TimmyH added 15:11 - Aug 4
@rkj - interesting read going back to May last year when Hurst was appointed, you can see the posters who weren't interested in him or had reservations! (and there were not that many) the way I wonder where Blueboy1981 is? haven't heard from him for some time.

Bluearmy_81 added 16:10 - Aug 4
See some people still can't stop turning a post about Hurst into an anti Evans one.

Equally, some people just can't quite bring themselves to condemn totally and absolutely the damage Evans has done this club in the face of mountains of evidence...

ITFCsince73 added 17:08 - Aug 4
Could have done with Bart keeping stum about all this.
There’s enough issues coming out the club at this time.
We don’t need to be going over or hearing about what may or may not have happened 12 months ago. It took the clubs senior players a long time to get over MM leaving and having it to easy for so long. Picking up 5 figures every week, and under performing every week.
Personally I don’t think Hurst was hard enough on them.
By the time PL came in the damage was done, PH was sacked.
And the underperforming senior players carried on underperforming.
Hence L1 here we are.

1psw1ch added 17:16 - Aug 4
thank God Hurst is gone out of this club,,,absolutely destroyed us,,,sitting down with is feet up and then saying players are there only for the money,,,what a clown,,,onwards and upwards now with pl

midastouch added 18:36 - Aug 4
@ TimmyH I've been wondering about Blueboy1981 too. Oh and his nemesis Swn98. Hope they're both ok. Oh and Seasider, haven't seen any posts from him in a while either.

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