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Speculation on Town's Available Players Gets Under Way
Thursday, 13th May 2021 10:34

Speculation regarding the Town players made available by manager Paul Cook this summer has got under way with a report questioning whether Norwich City could revive their interest in midfielder Andre Dozzell.

On Monday, TWTD reported that in addition to releasing several of those who are out of contract, Cook had told a large number of his squad whose contracts still have time to run that they can move on.

One source told TWTD following the Monday meetings that Cook had told essentially the whole squad they could move on should offers come in, including those whose one-year options had been taken.

The players told to find new clubs are many that fans might have expected to the Blues boss to keep, including Dozzell, Teddy Bishop, Flynn Downes, Luke Woolfenden and Armando Dobra, all of whom have featured since Cook took over. Striker James Norwood, who has worn the captain’s armband in recent games, is also among those told he can depart.

Now the Norwich Pink ‘Un is speculating whether the Canaries could come back in for Dozzell, 22, who they were close to signing in the summer of 2019. The Norfolk club, recently promoted to the Premier League, offered around £3 million with the Blues having put a price of £5 million on his head.

TWTD has previously reported that Blackburn are keen on Dozzell having had an offer rejected in January 2020. Former Blues skipper and coach Tony Mowbray has continued to monitor the former England U20 product and his assistant Mark Venus’s name was on the scouts list for a recent Blues away game. QPR have also monitored his progress this season.

Other clubs which could revive previous interest for members of the squad are Crystal Palace, who offered £1.6 million for Downes last summer, while Dobra was a target of Brighton in January 2020, while other clubs at home and abroad, including Southampton, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta and Dynamo Kyiv, have subsequently shown interest in the Albanian U21 international.

Woolfenden was linked with Sheffield United in 2019/20 but the Blades opted not to progress their interest further, while QPR and Crystal Palace were also keeping tabs on him at around the same time.

Norwood is likely to have plenty of suitors in League One, although how many would be able to meet Town’s price-tag or match his wages remains to be seen.

The Blues might also struggle to get fees for players such as Jack Lankester, who has featured little this season following a long spell out with injury.

A clearing of the decks this summer had been expected with Cook having made little secret that he was unimpressed with the squad he had inherited.

It seems likely that he is anticipating a number of those available departing, but presumably not all, with no one considered indispensible as he looks to assemble a new smaller but stronger squad over the summer.

Photo: Matchday Images

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naa added 12:36 - May 13
BurleysGloryDays: there might well be an issue within the club at the moment, as evidenced by the gradual decline over the years but Keane inherited a squad not far off the play-offs who had been assembled pretty cheaply and was given money.

I would say that not just the application but also the initial identification that there was an inherent problem was completely wrong!

As for Hurst, again McCarthy had done wonders with the minus £8m he spent in his time here (I was happy he went too I should clarify) and I would argue that the decline wasn't an ingrained attitude at the club but just basic problems caused when you can't spend any money.

Hurst gutted all the good players and bought in league 2 players who had never acheived much (Jackson, for example, was 25, hadn't played about league 2 and had a best ever goals record of 14, he was never going to be a world beater!).

In deciding he needs a completely new squad Cook has given himself the problem of having to sell before he can buy because of FFP rules. If he just tweaked 4 or 5 he would find life much easier surely.

Anyway, this is all conjecture, let's hope it works out!

Skip73 added 12:38 - May 13
Sorry Marinersnose, I didn't mean to down vote, stupid fat fingers on my phone.

Paddy39 added 12:49 - May 13
Come to ITFC's player Super Sale. Buy one get one free. WTGTG hurrah w@nkers. Good clear out PC, much needed.

TimmyH added 13:08 - May 13
If Norwich was interested in Dozzell and gave us a respectable offer then let him go...very underwhelming player in my opinion, in fact any decent offers for the rest and feel the same, keep KVY, Downes, Dobra and maybe Norwood.

Bazza8564 added 13:10 - May 13
When the quotes are attributable to Cookie, ill believe them. Until then, speculation is simply somebody writing stuff to fill column inches with no football going on. The things we do know about are what comes from PC, the club statements and nothing else.
Backroom team shaping up well, new owners with money to spend, but facts and fiction/speculation are often miles apart so lets wait and see.....

BeattiesBackPocket added 13:10 - May 13
Dobra is the only one I’d be gutted about leaving. I’d like Downes to stay but if he wants to go then let him we’ve had too many players playing here and taking it easy.

bluelodgeblue added 13:12 - May 13
Spot on BurleysGD this is a stake in the ground to the players i.e. get properly fit, perform and do it my way or your history!

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 13:16 - May 13
Cook must have a strategy here. I would suspect it's something like, "If you want to stay, show me you're worth it." It doesn't seem very motivating, though. Will any player put in the effort when they know they are on the list? I hope Cook knows what he's doing because the alternative of finding and putting together a completely new team over the summer looks pretty impractical. And what message does this send to our up-and-coming youngsters whom we have just been so pleased with? Bumpy times ahead, I fear, with the outcome very uncertain: major success or major failure. I'd bet 50-50 at the moment.

itfcserbia added 13:23 - May 13
Well this seems like over the top conclusion. To tell players "you can move on" certainly is not the same as "we will listen to offers for any of you". Quite hard to believe any football professional would tell 30 players "you lot can all move on". What, I'll find new 20 players in 6 weeks?
Key word: speculation.

budgieplucker added 13:35 - May 13
I believe the press have stretched this but when do they not stretch things to produce a more interesting story to be read.

I am in the camp where I believe the manager has probably laid out his stall to everyone that standards for this club are just not good enough and everyone collectively including every individual player has to take responsibility for that. If they are not prepared to take that responsibility seriously and accept that and that the manager has also probably said that he he is looking to bring in new players for most positions , and told them that many of them could be starting the new season as bench warmers.

With stark honesty if they cannot accept the challenge to say I am good enough and I am prepared to prove it consistently week in week out then they should be considering that Ipswich Town is no longer the club for them and accept that it is time to move on.

I am a massive Bishop and Dozzell fan and What I have seen is two players who have turned a corner this year. Both in my mind have the ability to play at the highest level, when the ex assistant manager of Real Madrid waxed lyrically about Teddy Bishop in a Championship game - saying he was the best player on the pitch by a distance, that talent hasn’t disappeared. I don’t buy that these players are not committed or some how lazy they may have just struggled to be the spark to lift the rest. However, despite my feelings about these two players I whilst I personally don’t want to see them leave, I have to accept that their effectiveness in this “bog” of a Division has been very limited. They both do not contribute enough goals, same with Flynn Downes they are not Cook type warriors and he is right in saying our flare players have to produce. Cook’s main objective next year is to build a tough, robust and consistent team to get us out of league 1. He will no doubt have players lined up for the most positions but probably his anchor area will be the two in front of the back four and will be looking at players like, Lee Evans, Sam Morsey, Callum Connolly, Max Power. It wouldn’t surprise me if he appoints a new captain in this position from one of his new recruits.

There are few players likely to attract a fee so it is highly likely that Downes, Dozzell, Woolfeden Dobra and maybe Bishop would add something to the war chest and fees could be much lighter than before but with a significant sell on clause.

Our whole system has tended to produce players more of a timid nature which I sense Cook has picked up on across the club, although more pleasing the U18’s last night and recently showed a greater desire than I have seen from many sides in recent years to demonstrate a much higher energy performance than several of the teams at other levels within our setup.

Kitman added 13:40 - May 13
So the clear out begins. No real surprise I guess. I just hope there have been some frantic drum beats on the bush telegraph recently by PC for who's coming in.. Dearly love to know who the replacements are and new team will be........?.

ThaiBlue added 13:43 - May 13
We wanted wholsale changes and we look like we are going to get them as most people wanted,now people are not sure,no pleasing some let cook get on with the job in hand and see how things go for gods sake.

Cheshire_Blue added 13:48 - May 13
Dozzell in the Premier League ? He has hardly been outstanding in League 1 and his major contribution seems to be shirt pulling and giving away free kicks. No great loss.

Nobbysnuts added 13:51 - May 13
No longer can Mr dozzell get in the team because of his name...cook has found him out...he's a lazy overrated waste of space who couldn't even cut it in league one. So if another club is stupid enough to pay 3 or 4 million for him I would bite their arm off.

Bert added 13:52 - May 13
Like many others I am dubious about the truth of this. I would want to know the source for a start. The reality is that at any given time, offers will come in regardless of whether they are welcome or not. Cook knows who he wants to keep and who he will let go so it is quite possible that the source could be an aggrieved player or member of staff making mischief. Perhaps Phil could and should ask the question direct of the club, "is this true ?" In the meantime I will take everything with a pinch of salt until there is an official statement. TWTD is right to keep digging but I would hope that it isn't simply to get us lot all worked up !

blueboy1981 added 13:52 - May 13
Agree with this totally, this is the only way we shake of the ‘Cosy Club’ image which has seen us fall from grace over the years.
A WINNING mentality must be installed in the Club again, both in Employees, and Supporters.
I’ve said many times, some Supporters would be content as long as a Ball is kicked at Portman Road, and I make no apology for saying it again, because we still have some.
The Bar has to be raised - for everyone - and this is all linked to that.
If they want to go elsewhere, and the price is right, let them go - some may be in for a shock as players !!

KernewekBlue added 14:29 - May 13
A sensible position to take by the manager... every player has his price and if that price is met by another club, they should move on and free up the space to bring in better talent.

We've all watched this current squad stumble and flail about on the pitch, bringing little skill and even less excitement into games. A new broom is definitely warranted, to sweep away the dross of the last several years.

naa posted above: -

"In deciding he needs a completely new squad Cook has given himself the problem of having to sell before he can buy because of FFP rules. If he just tweaked 4 or 5 he would find life much easier surely."

Not with our fans he wouldn't! Cook is going to have a tough job here, no doubt about it.

With a fanbase who have been starved of hope, entertainment and decent results for seasons on end, he'll need to hit the ground running next term, otherwise he'll soon find himself in the same boat as Hurst and Lambert... with plenty of voices baying for him to paddle off to pastures new.

If he doesn't cull the current squad, and results don't improve, he'll be castigated for not doing enough, yet, if he moves on the dead wood and fails to bring in enough quality players who can turn around our fortunes very quickly, he'll be pilloried for tinkering too much.

There's very little breathing room for a Cook success story at this club. He's going to be living his life here on a knife-edge.

Personally, I'd like KVY, Dobra, Downes and Woolfenden to stay. I think, in the right team, they could do a job for us. Perhaps a few of the other young players like Dozzell, Bishop and Lankester might flourish in a better/different team too, so maybe worth taking more time to decide on their futures.

We have a few decent academy products to add into the mix over the next couple of seasons too, so with a few well thought out acquisitions before the new season kicks off, we ought to see significant improvement in the team and on-field results.

Other than that, I wouldn't be unhappy at offloading anyone else. We NEED investment and change to be able to progress.

atty added 14:57 - May 13
Dog - certainly with regards to Downes,Wolfenden, Dobra and Bishop. Not sure about Dozzell. Nydam should at least have been given the chance to prove himself,after that horrible injury. That he hasn’t stinks IMO.

TractorRoyNo1 added 15:08 - May 13
£5m dream on! we will be lucky to get £1m upfront, a further £2m after 40 appearances and 25% sell on clause.

forevertown added 15:11 - May 13
Yes dozzel has under performed but with his skill set being mostly about vision and passing is it any wonder he hasn't shone in a team that doesn't make any threatening runs creating angles for him... or under Lambert he was playing too deep for it to be affective.

Linkboy13 added 15:16 - May 13
True these players might come back to bite us. But the facts are they have not performed for us over a period of time under different managers. Paul Cook's record in management is very good at a higher level than league one .

rdibble added 15:18 - May 13
They wouldn't want him

spanishblue added 15:46 - May 13
No place for sentiment in football,the only player with enough talent to stay is KVY but how fit is he, we don’t have one midfielder who can dictate play,we have no defenders who scare forwards, and free scoring forwards who move oh dear,Mr Shankly & Cloughie both said football is an easy game pass & move, and couldn’t we do with someone who can take a free kick, I’d say the coffee lady can stay

BurleysGloryDays added 16:14 - May 13
Budgieplucker - agree about Bish and your right-player-for-the-type-of league analysis.

Naa - I'd argue it was relative to Keane's position; he'd come from high success environments where it is an obssession - and took on a Town team that had been languishing in the Championship and was a big brand not doing itself justice. He identified a club behind the brand that he felt wasn't structurally setup to be a winning machine, and he wanted to change it. He just didn't know how - and it went wrong. Poor application.

KernewickBlue - agree the margins for Cook are narrow. Town is truly a fascinating club. If we think about our successful periods, historically they always came from a position of humility - but a steely pride and hopeful belief in good things coming to those who deserve it. We always dreamed, rather than expected, and it had taken us to the highest highs of European football.

But there was never a ruthlessness about our teams, club or fanbase, just a pluckiness and core positivity, and belief.

When the likes of Sheepshanks talk about coming together, he's referring to the phenomenon of how everyone got on board a journey and backed the team, through the bitter disappointments likes years of playoff hurt and through years of beating big teams but losing to the bottom of the league teams.

In some ways, we're like England fans. For so many years, "we still believed". Then we all kinda stopped believing and got angry or switched off instead.

Nowadays, there is a little ruthlessness, a fair bit of expectation, and a good chunk of anger - none of those things are in our history of success. Few clubs have that as an ingredient base for success.

I'm behind Cook - I too think we don't have a choice, and as stated he has the vision, resource and I hope the application. I too think this rout approach is unfamiliar to Town fans, despite the mood music and reality on the pitch calling for it.

Finally - thank heavens for our history; as it has seen us survive as a club by earning investment. Thank goodness for small blessings like Ed Sheeran, amazingly, being an incredible global ambassador and now sponsor.

We have amazing things going for us in spite of it all. If we can change the matchday experience to a better cultural experience again, make the stadium an entertainment hub for all ages and fan types (I am still bowled by going to Stamford Bridge a few years ago and seeing hundreds of kids crowded around tens of playstations at half time, playing as chelsea against oppo - having a real great night out, whatever the score), making Portman road somewhere we all want to be for a day out - all these things come together to make the whole.

ButchersBrokenNose added 16:29 - May 13
Whatever Cook's motivation is, I would've liked to have been a fly on the wall when he, "told essentially the whole squad they could move on should offers come in." I bet they didn't see that coming!

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