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Evans: We Need to Be a Footballing Team
Friday, 10th Jan 2020 07:38

Owner Marcus Evans has outlined his reasons for giving boss Paul Lambert a new long-term deal in an an article written for Saturday’s match programme with a footballing philosophy at the heart of it.

Lambert, 50, signed a new four-year extension to his contract on New Year’s Day, taking his deal to the summer of 2025.

“I believe we will have a really exciting footballing team over the next five years,” Evans writes. “I mention the term ‘footballing team’ as I indicated 18 months ago that to get to where we all eventually want to be, we need to be a footballing team.

“In my first years as an owner, I believed a more physical, direct approach was the way to move forward. Football has changed though. Clubs in the Championship and definitely in the Premier League are playing a much more technical game now.

“I feel there is also a duty to the supporters that we play in an entertaining manner. I want to enjoy watching the team play. I’m sure the fans do.

“I have spoken to Paul and Lee O’Neill, our general manager football operations, in great length about this over the last year. They know it’s the way I want us to play and we all agree this is the right way forward for the club. It’s a philosophy that we have right through from the first-team down to the academy levels.

“The stakes are highest at first-team level of course and there will always be a plan B, plan C on how to win a football match but the foundations of how Ipswich Town will play - while I’m owner - will be around the technical approach - and that desire to play a brand of football that entertains supporters.

“I think we have played that way for much of the time Paul has been here. Perhaps we have dropped off a bit over the last month or so and this league is more physical in style than the Championship but having been party to the different approaches I can see that a more technical playing style is more complex than developing a direct approach. It needs more time for everyone in the squad to feed off each other.

“Time becomes an even more important requirement when there is a deep squad with many challenging for first-team places and therefore less games when the same group play together.

“Much has been said of our rotation policy and I want to address this point. A key part of our strategy is to develop 22 players all challenging for every position on the pitch – no comfort zones.

“Yes, this means the squad takes longer to evolve into a cohesive unit where everyone just slots into place but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right long term plan.

“When it all clicks, a more technical approach with a deep squad will take us to higher places as opposed to a direct style which will only take us so far.

“If we give it time and support the process through the inevitable ups and downs and understand why we are working towards perfecting a style which is difficult to attain  - and the fans are behind the approach, which is vital – I firmly believe we will have a club which gets to where we want to be in the long term.

“Some will ask why I entered into a long-term contract with the management team when we are experiencing a difficult run and I hope the above explains my reasoning as I believe Paul and his team have all of the attributes needed to take us forward.

“We have a fantastic manager and group of coaches who are passionate about the club, its fans and the prospects ahead. They, like anyone, need the security of knowing they will be given the time to effect a plan which is both complex and always evolving.

“If I had wanted for the next phase of the club to follow a plan for a more direct footballing approach, there would have been many other options but for the reasons I have stated above I am following a strategy which is aimed at the long term.

“It has a higher degree of difficulty and we started afresh not long ago but if we are to be anything other than an also-ran in the new football world, we have to take the time to evolve in the way I have described.

“It’s quicker and easier to build a basic engine than a complex one but in the long term the complex one, if perfected, will achieve higher degrees of success.”

The article in full will address further investment in the academy, what’s described as a makeover for Portman Road, transfer speculation and “the four factors in building this season’s squad”.

Photo: TWTD

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blueinscotland added 07:50 - Jan 10
“When it all clicks, a more technical approach with a deep squad will take us to higher places as opposed to a direct style which will only take us so far.

What does this even mean? All the fans want is to see us winning games, Marcus. This interview smacks of someone talking about something they don’t actually know that much about. The regression of this club under his ownership is shocking and you have to question someone who gives a 5 year contract to a manager that actually hasn’t really shown any signs that things have improved on the pitch.

BryanPlug added 07:52 - Jan 10
Why didn’t PL say this when asked about the rotation rather than getting all defensive and threatening to quit? His lack of verbal communication skills is a problem. Hopefully the approach outlined by ME will eventually pay off. We’ll see.

Bluearmy_81 added 07:53 - Jan 10
Worst decision in the history of the club. Unfathomable. Just shows how clueless you are, you've been a disaster. Just go.

BangaloreBlues added 07:58 - Jan 10
He's right that we need stability.
When fans are screaming for the manager's head, that passes on to the players and affects their performance. Too many clubs sack managers on regular basis and do not allow the time needed to build a team.
Fans need to understand, we are not ITFC UEFA Cup Winners 1981, or Play Off Champions 2000. We are ITFC in League One, technically the worst we've been since 1957.
Therefore we need time to rebuild, to start from the bottom and build upwards from here. That may take time. We might be in League One for a season or two, and fans cannot expect us to be promoted at the first attempt.
It's time to let reality sink in and get behind the team.
There aren't many better managers than PL to get us out of this league.
Now he's been given the contract, it's up to us to give him and the players all the support they need to get where we need to be.
So please, enough of this moaning, anger, and hatred. Time to move on.
The time is now, not in the past.

bobbyramsey added 07:59 - Jan 10
No "big lump up front" coming in then...?

tractorboybig added 08:04 - Jan 10
does anyone take any notice of this ticket tout.

Suffolkboy added 08:06 - Jan 10
Fully support Bangalor Etc !

grow_our_own added 08:06 - Jan 10
Can't play technical, entertaining football on a farmyard pitch. Mr Evans, why do we have no grow lighting system for the pitch? Norwich have one. In our glory era, when we regularly played opponents off Fortress Portman Road through total football, we had a bowling green pitch. Such things five year plans are made of.

Cakeman added 08:10 - Jan 10
Unfortunately our owner whilst speaking many wise words clearly doesn’t really understand how to move us forward. His philosophy changes quite regularly and to put it in a nutshell he is making a simple game far more complicated than it is or should be.
The bottom line is that if you have good players with technical ability you will have a good team. That costs money which we do not appear to have enough of.
Therefore it doesn’t matter if you play direct, long ball, short passes etc.

BryanPlug added 08:17 - Jan 10
I’m not against the idea of creating a footballing culture, but I’m not sure now is the time to be doing it. Wycombe have been wining games by simply limping the ball to Akimfenwa all day long and feeding off the scraps.

BlueandTruesince82 added 08:18 - Jan 10
All the fans want to see is the team winning? That never bore out under MM even when we were winning!


Gilesy added 08:22 - Jan 10
Like it or loathe it, it's his club. He can do what he wants! All these new projects are starting to wear a little thin but I bet Bury fans would accept this.

J45 added 08:25 - Jan 10
Firstly I am against Evans and think he does more damage than good but aren’t Ipswich fans funny?

‘Get Mick out he’s a dinosaur that plays boring football, don’t care if we compete or not just want us to play good football.’

Fast forward 18 months:

‘We don’t care about the way we play we just want to see us winning games.’



pennblue added 08:27 - Jan 10
I think, possibly for the first time, I agree entirely with what Evans is saying. For me, he is bang on 100% correct, and I believe if he sticks with this vision, we will build in a sustainable fashion.

afcfee added 08:38 - Jan 10
Why give a manager who has no tactics a new contract then. Full blown p**s take.

HighgateBlue added 08:40 - Jan 10
I'm not sure I can agree about the "inevitable ups". Not after the last two months...

Benficablue added 08:45 - Jan 10
Grow our own, the club does have pitch light systems to assist the turf.

MoscowBlueMule added 08:51 - Jan 10

Direct / physical approach: free transfers and journeymen
Footballing team; millions and millions.

Over to you Marcus.............

ArnieM added 09:08 - Jan 10
Grow our own: you’ve clearly never been to PR on non match days to the shop and seen from the window that very system being used on the pitch !!!

BeattiesBackPocket added 09:16 - Jan 10
Another five year plan! It’s almost laughable let’s just change it each year and keep bullshi!!ing the fans because they lap it up

TrumptonBlue added 09:19 - Jan 10
Disgraceful, Marcus - it's *fewer* games.

Cloddyseedbed added 09:22 - Jan 10
I think it will be harder to play good attractive football in this league and get promoted, but I hope I'm wrong. Getting the right players in to play that way in this league paying little or no transfer fees and having a huge rotated squad, I can't see that working either, but as we know........we are in the hands of the experts!

ThaiBlue added 09:25 - Jan 10
Well we might have got what you were after then mr evans but that will not happen for a few years now will it! 5 years contract do me a favour.

BlueForYou added 09:26 - Jan 10
“It’s quicker and easier to build a basic engine than a complex one but in the long term the complex one, if perfected, will achieve higher degrees of success.”

Not sure football fans ever seem to get that one!

PavlovsCat added 09:32 - Jan 10
Errrm, ‘grow our own’. We DO have a grow lighting system.

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