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Cook: At All My Clubs Apart From Ipswich I Felt I Was in Control of My Own Destiny
Thursday, 6th Jan 2022 13:14

Former Blues boss Paul Cook says he never felt in control of his own destiny at Town, citing the approach to pre-season training and the lack of a recruitment room.

Cook was relieved of his duties at Portman Road following the 0-0 FA Cup second-round draw with Barrow a month ago having only been appointed at the start of March.

Yesterday, the 54-year-old insisted he should have been given longer with the Blues while suggesting working with the performance department brought in by the club over the summer led to “challenges”.

Speaking to the Legends of the Spire podcast, the one-time Chesterfield boss was asked whether the job of manager has changed in the 15 years since he took charge of his first club, Southport.

“It just has changed,” he reflected. “From my last job now where I went into a club, and there’s no criticism here towards people, it was different, we went in with a performance department, I never took training during the pre-season. There was no boxing gym cultures, there was no making players feel hardship.

“And somewhere now along the way we’ve created the term head coach. I think in the modern-day game what they’re trying to do with the head coach is to take a lot of the pressures away from them. Yet we still sack the head coach and everyone else stays.

“I think as a manager you want to be in control of your own destiny. At all my clubs apart from Ipswich I felt I was in control of my own destiny.

“I look back at Ipswich. For example, no recruitment room in the summer. No problem with that. When I left two weeks ago, still no recruitment room in place. How can Ipswich Town not have a recruitment room when we’re signing a lot of players? Come on.

“As I go back to all my other clubs, I’ve had my own recruitment people. I had my own fitness guys. I’ve implemented my culture and my habits and I think the change in football now [is] where people want to see a modern-day young coach playing football.

“We actually just want to see a good manager, who has got good values and good principles. That’s what we want to see.

“And at the football club, that managers should be allowed to make sure that he’s the one setting the culture. He’s the one that’s ingraining the habits into the players and he’s the one that creates the trust amongst everyone.

“It’s something I’ve had at three out of my four clubs but unfortunately it’s something that has seen me sacked at Ipswich when I didn’t have it, that’s the saddest thing for me.

“And I wish Ipswich Town every success, every, every success because they’ve got an amazing support base, an amazing football club and they’re just a little bit starved of success and hopefully time will bring that success for everyone at that club.”

Cook has no doubt that he wants to get straight back on the bike following his Portman Road departure.

“Right back in to management,” he said when quizzed on his plans. “I love football. As you can see from the podcast, I breathe it, I live it. I watch Liverpool whenever I can’t, I’m getting tired of watching Liverpool, I’ve watched three games in the last week.

“I’ve had enough of my mates, I’ve had enough of Christmas and I want to be back in football as soon as possible, hopefully at a club that allows me to create trust, culture and habits.”

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Mediocre_Quick added 13:21 - Jan 6
Thing is, he says what all the Bristol City fans warned us would happen, and that would be Ashton would be in control, but the blame would be at the managers feet when it all went wrong...

itfcserbia added 13:26 - Jan 6
Just like Real Madrid fans would say for Florentino Perez or basically every football club in the world. That's the hierarchy and they all know it.

Bottom line is PC failed miserably with two different sets of players and there is no excuse for his results. He was very much in control of his own destiny, if he knew how to adapt.

trncbluearmy added 13:40 - Jan 6
Actually have no idea what he is talking about,didn't take pre-season training!?
What is a recruitment room

Complete gibberish,

quite like him though, he loves his football, hope he finds a new club,but this time, appoint a decent coaching team Paul

hossblue added 13:41 - Jan 6
So who really was the demolition man?

Suffolkboy added 13:45 - Jan 6
Just like his after match interviews it’s a bit of a ramble without the sort of analytical characteristics which would help us completely understand !
It reads as if he simply hasn’t ,or hasn’t been willing to adapt to the natural progression in professional sport and football ; one presumes he was totally aware of the up- coming changes when he took the job .
Confirms the impression of an affable enthusiast ,a chatty man and football ‘maniac’ but gives little impression that he is willing to recognise the deficiencies and weaknesses which were in evidence at ITFC ; belatedly recognises the self inflicted challenges of ejecting so many and failing to ‘ meld, gel or integrate ‘ the incoming horde !
Mostly on your shoukders, PC !

OliveR16 added 13:49 - Jan 6
It's hard to buy into the idea he was not in much control when he effectively sacked the previous manager's whole squad and brought in a bunch of players he's had links with.
And is he saying that the club insisted he kept using the same formation when it wasn't working? I think he lacks adaptability all round; on the field and off it.

Mac2812 added 13:53 - Jan 6
Football has changed. If you don't like it, get another job. This is modern football

Bert added 13:56 - Jan 6
Well, blow me down, the club hasn’t got a recruitment room. So, that’s why Cook failed ? I employed over 400 people and I didn’t have one either but I did know how to get the best out of people. Yesterday I was giving Cook the benefit of the doubt but after this interview he resembles a man who has lost his way in the football world and uses bluster to hide his own shortcomings. I still wish him well and I hope he soon finds a club with a recruitment room presumably big enough for a shed load of signings.

blueoxford added 13:57 - Jan 6
I like Paul Cook but can’t take him seriously if he is on Zoom with that wall decoration immediately behind his head

jdtractor96 added 13:58 - Jan 6
I never liked him from day 1. Now beginning to dislike him quite a lot. Cook was given the squad overhaul and new players he wanted. Cook brought the backroom staff he wanted (bar Richardson who now appears to be the brains). Cook failed. I certainly don’t miss him saying he’s best mates with pretty much every manager in the league either. Yes the football was entertaining, but there are a lot of attacking minded managers out there, some who can even train a team to hold a lead, hopefully we have one now. We are in much better hands with McKenna guys.

ArnieM added 14:10 - Jan 6
It’s the Ashton effect isn’t it …. He might be very good at his job, but my concerns are his far his duties extend . At what point is the manager in control or is the manager/ coach just a puppet for Ashton to control. A young rookie manager will fit Ashtons overall plans to a T won’t he . An older more established manager was never going to be given the job.

I’m happy to see the infrastructure built because we’ve needed it , but I’d Ashton the messiah or despot ?

pegasus added 14:31 - Jan 6
To repeat the comment that I made about Cook's Sky interview yesterday - 'First rule when being Interviewed - 'Don't whinge'.

ringwoodblue added 14:31 - Jan 6
The term ‘Square peg and round hole’ comes to mind.

jayceee added 14:37 - Jan 6
Well Paul... "That's football" and "It is what it is." Your words.

vanmunt added 14:49 - Jan 6
I like the guy and am as disappointed as others things didn’t work out. It was always going to be the last guys man with a whole new regime. However, some of his substitutions were baffling constantly changing like for like and no change in tactics when things were going wrong.

Ho hum, maybe KM will be the all round better fit with the way things are.

Tufty added 15:03 - Jan 6
So the players were no good
The replacements didn’t gel because we don’t have a recruitment room
Nothing to do with fixed predictable out of date tactics then.

stormypetrel added 15:08 - Jan 6
What has a recruitment room and Ashton, and indeed anyone else got to do with the appalling performances at Barrow, Arsenal U21, etc etc…your tactics chap!!!….sorry Paul it didn’t work out I absolutely wanted it to but you executed your plan badly…indeed possibly woefully…and these two interviews do little to change points of view except negatively ….as a final point Ashton will need things to work well with McKenna because the Americans won’t have too much fuse left if it doesn’t…

Jesney_Havoc added 15:11 - Jan 6
He always came across as a bit manic and an eccentric with a short attention span. Tends to flit around topics and says 20 words, when 2 will do. Never doubted his enthusiasm, but I think that's all he had.

MickMillsTash added 15:30 - Jan 6
Comments that makes him look like a small club manager ?
Football in 2022 is more scientific
You have to move with the times - if your way of team bonding is getting everyone to run 5 miles with a tractor tyre under each arm you might have to find a different way.
Having said that the players have not looked fit this year and the late goals conceded in games might be evidence


Ipswichbusiness added 15:54 - Jan 6
We had quite a cast; Mike O’Leary, Mark Ashton, Paul Cook, Peter Reid and 101 others (so it seemed). I was never quite clear what the chain of command was or the division of responsibilities. What we lacked was an assistant manager and experienced coaches.

Paul Cook has now gone (presumably taking Peter Reid with him).

In his place we have a manager who seems to be a decent coach, but is in his first managerial job, plus an assistant. It looks like Mark Ashton will assume more responsibility/power, especially, perhaps, with transfers as this is not something that KM will have done before.

KM is in a strong position as he is very much Mark Ashton’s choice, so to fire him quickly would rebound on him.

JewellintheTown added 15:57 - Jan 6
"“We actually just want to see a good manager, who has got good values and good principles. That’s what we want to see."

We actually want to see a good manager with a great win ratio that gets us promoted & provides entertaining football on the way, not the Vicar of Dibley. That's what we want to see.

Cheshire_Blue added 16:13 - Jan 6
Looking for excuses again. Never any good without his No.2 and has now been found out.

atty added 16:20 - Jan 6
Not in control. Rubbish. He publicly humiliated the squad he inherited and most of them were shipped out.He was the one that initiated that, and Ashton supported him and had to do the dirty work. Cook highly praised Ashton for the job he did in getting in the players that Cook wanted.

Orraman added 16:27 - Jan 6
Bitter or what?? Still spouting total gibberish. Not long before he went he was blaming PR pitch and now it’s lack of a recruitment room. I have followed football for 60 years and this is the first time I have ever heard of a recruitment room

SpiritOfJohn added 16:36 - Jan 6
Is this the same bloke who wasn't going to make excuses? Everyone's fault but his and now he is bemoaning the lack of a room that few (if any) have previously heard of.

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