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End or a era
at 12:16 10 May 2021

Before Mick McCarthy - we were very unstable. Year after year we would have completely new squads, with a mass exodus of loans leaving or new signings. We would have new managers in with new ideas and never had anything to build on. We never had any spine to build around or any stability. It was one thing i hated - it never felt like we were building.

Then McCarthy came in and gave us that consistency - that longer term plan and we had players that would be her longer term and that built a great team to be proud of. Chambers and Skuse were a massive part of that and we have to be thankful to them. The last few years have been awful - but they never shied away and were always there. I for one will be sad when/if they depart this summer. I understand that they do have to leave - but it will be said to see players who have given their all for so long go. Especially to no crowd - definitely feel they deserve a testimonial. But feel it would not go down well with alot of supporters.

Chambers has been a great captain - maybe performances have been inconsistent and he has been at fault. But my God does he care and he has gone far and beyond what a captain should do. Housing our younger players? What a guy! And then his infamous fist pumps at the end of a win - he really has been a great asset to this club. And a great captain.

Skuse is/was a tidy midfielder and has been very loyal to us and been a ever present since his arrival. He didn't get the headlines - but a important part to our stay in the championship and in getting to the play offs.

I will be sad to see the back of them - a new era is needed and they will need to go. But i hope we don't go backwards and we get players with their passion and pride who will stay longer term to build for future seasons and not just to get out of league 1.
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ITFC Sticker album swaps
at 09:44 2 Feb 2021

Finished the album now - have loads of spares.

So if you need any - let me know what you need and i'll be happy to arrange to send them over... if i have them of course!
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ITFC Sticker album swaps
at 17:32 14 Dec 2020

I have lots of swaps and needs for the album - so if you want to do a swap send a private message.

Swaps:
4, 5, 10, 12, 18, 24, 25, 2, 34, 36, 40, 44, 45, 48, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 62, 63, 72, 75, 76, 77, 80, 82, 83, 86, 87, 89, 90, 95, 99, 100, 101, 107, 111, 113, 114, 116, 126, 128, 131, 136, 137, 138, 141, 147, 148, 149, 151, 155, 159, 166, 169, 173, 176, 181, 183, 184, 194, 196, 199, 200, 201, 213, 216, 221, 225, 226, 229, 234, 237, 240, 244, 246, 249

Need:
1, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 23, 33, 37, 38, 39, 41, 46, 61, 68, 73, 85, 88, 96, 98, 102, 112, 121, 122, 123, 124, 127, 130, 133, 135, 140, 142, 144, 152, 157, 165, 174, 175, 178, 179, 182, 185, 186, 187, 192, 204, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 212, 223, 232, 235, 236, 241, 247
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Midfielders dont want the ball
at 12:30 4 Mar 2020

Nolan was rubbish yesterday - and i watched him closely. He never wants the ball, and when he gets it, he just passes it so he doesnt have it. It's never a pass forward, or looking forward to see if he can travel forwards - its always sideways and backwards. He is just a pointless midfielder.

We just need to get midefielders on the ball and pass it through them. Dozell had an kay game - few good passes and looked positive. Sometimes he didnt chase back and lacked urgency - but some of his passes were more positive than anything the others did. Judge, very similar small flashes - but just feel he needs better players around him on the same wave length - which he had with Dozzell on a few instances.

I really like Bishop - only positve midfielder we have and needs to start. Play him deeper and get his to take the ball off the defenders/goalkeeper and let him take it forward. Same with Huws - positive midfielder.

I dont want to see Skuse or Nolan play anymore - pointless midfielders who arent positive. We dont need midfielders whos only job is t keep the ball moving - because that others nothing. We need midfielders to be positive and look forward!!
[Post edited 4 Mar 2020 12:36]
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Who's fault is it?
at 09:51 4 Mar 2020

Large sections of the crowd last night chanted "Marcus Evans get out of our club" - and while i agree the club needs better investment... with the predicement we are in, he is not the person who should be targeted.

Paul Lambert has not taken this team any further - he interhited a diabolical squad - Paul Hurst really has screwed us. But as a "Manager" you would hope he would have done something with the squad and seen a direction of where he is taking it. After last night - i have to admit i think his time is up. There was nothing there to tell me he has a handle on this squad, has any idea how we sghould play, know our strengths or that he has any tatical prowess.

Once the players go on the pitch it is on them - but what is the game plan they are told to exectue? Because either there is none, the players arent doing it properly or Lambert really did want us to lump it up to Keane every chance we get. Either way, it is embaressing. We need a new manager to come in and actually coach this side and have a distinct style of play that we can stick too and at least enjoy!
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This is definitely a Lambert issue not a ME one ...
at 17:00 24 Feb 2020

Right, I think we all know we have a very decent squad for League 1. It came down from the Championship and we only lost a few players that came down. The lac of investment is not the issue - i believe a bette manager would be able to utilise the squad we have.

Looking at it - we have an abundance on midfielders. Bishop, Downes, Huws, Dozell, Nolan and Skuse. With such an array of midfielders it baffles me that we hardly see anything of them. A better manager would coach these pplayers to play to a style or a game plan - there is no style of play from Lambert and he doesnt play the ball through midfield at all. We dont play attractive football, and we dont play with any style or intent to play a certain way. The ammount of times me hoof the ball only for Keane and Jackson to loose the 50/50 challenges is staggering... and yet we cntinue to try it. Over and over and over again.

The managers job is the construct the team and lead them in to a way to play and coach them in the way he wants them to play. And Lambert clearly is not doing this. I cant understand why and how our players belive it is a good idea to hoof the ball long. I just don't get it.

A good cach wouldnt need to invest in the squad we have to get promoted and i am jealous of some of the so called smaller teams we have played. Oxford being one of them. We do have a good enough squad - we dont have a good enough manager to utlisie it.
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What is Paul Lamberts plan?
at 10:33 5 Feb 2020

My biggest issue right now, as it has been for the whole season, has been the playing style. Whilst it has kept us in the top 6 for the season up until now - it hasn't been the the best to watch. When Mick McCarthy left i thought there would be more emphasis on a better playing style and that hasn't been the case. We try and play it on the floor across the defence a bit more, before the likes of Wilson or Chambers get scared and hoof it long. We are simply not using our midfield enough and i just dont get why.

Our current game plan is hopelessly hoofing it long and hoping eith Jackson can get in behind or Keane/Norwood win the battle for a header .... both of which rarely ever happen. I don't get what Lambert does with his players during the week ... what does he teach them and what is he telling the players to do for the games. We have had some good periods of exciting fotball and we have been a great watch at times - but against the bigger more physical sides we just don't play. Are we to scared to try and play football or do we just get bullied? Either way - we arent convincing, even when we win. This side is not ready to be promoted, if we go up we would need investment to keep us up and that isnt likely to happen. Playing the style we are now isnt going to help us - we need get our midfield working and playing through it and playing balls through to Jackson and Norwod instead of hopeless 50/50 balls in the air and over the top.

We need to put more faith in the midfield and allow them to get the ball and use it rather than launch it from the back.
[Post edited 5 Feb 2020 10:34]
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The racist chant issue
at 16:13 23 Oct 2019

The latest version of a long line of "Kick it out" campaigns is a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate what we as a society perceive to be racist. Where the recent "Toto chant" is an excellent opportunity to do so and properly look at what we think racism actually is. The whole point of the campaign is to educate those on what it is to be racist – and the recent debate which has been in there forums is a perfect example of how we as a society have differing views on what it is to be racist. If we are not all singing off the same hymn sheet – then we can’t say we are or ever will be free of racism.

We know what stereotype the chant is referring to - and we know that it is associated to a specific race. As such, those singing are singling out Toto and using that stereotype to do so. Whilst many perceive that to misguided banter and just the immature voices of a minority of fans - it is at its heart, racist. There should be no leeway with this - I'm not suggesting those singing the chant are trying to insult Toto with the intention of being racist. But unfortunately, they are singing something inspired by a racist idea.

The link below illustrates this perfectly:
https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/sep/19/manchester-united-racial-s

Whilst I don’t want these fans to be punished for what I’m sure is just ignorance - a word I’m not trying to use as an insult, instead for them just to stop singing it and understand why others have condemned them singing it. But it is a perfect opportunity to evaluate what we believe it is to be racist. We are allowing fans to single out a player based on his race. Now I want to contest that idea, and say it is racist, because I believe it to be so. There will be those who disagree - but I can't believe that there is a reasoned defence against that idea. And would happily contest anyone who believes they have one.

We saw and heard the small minority of condemned Bulgarian fans that singled out our Black players and referred to them as monkeys with their monkey chants – which is another stereotype. While many of you will say there is no comparison here and it is over the top to compare the two situations. But at the end of the day, both actions are inspired by a racist idea. Yes, one was meant to be malicious whereas the chant is not meant to be. But the chant is still at its core racist and is the reason why many of those who have been asked to give their opinion on the subject mention that England is not innocent, and our society is still ravaged by racist ideas. If we had a single idea of what it is to be racist – then we would condemn both chants for their racist connotations 0 regardless if they are meant to be malicious.

For what it's worth - I am a 27-year-old white male, who likes to believe he has sound set of morals. But we still have racism in this county, as we still have sexism and homophobia which are both heavily used by football fans as light-hearted banter to insult one another and those on the pitch as well. The fact remains, if they are used in the stands at a football match - then they are in society and not just confined to football.

The fact that we think this is okay is the problem - because of many of us aren’t insulted should not be the reasoning of why it isn’t racist. It is still a form of racism, maybe not malicious, but that way of thinking is dangerous and means racism can’t be eradicated if those kinds of thoughts are allowed to exist and be classed as banter. I just hope it means those who sing it stop – and hope my fellow fans will support anyone who stands up and tells them to stop.
[Post edited 23 Oct 2019 16:33]
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Killed because of a "inadequate warning sign" ........ wtf?!
at 15:00 16 Oct 2019

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-50067073

How is it that a warning sign is needed for you not to stick your head out of a moving train?! 😂
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Team for rest of the season - place for loanees?
at 15:52 12 Feb 2019

Is there any point still using loanees for the rest of the season now? I don't want us to appear to have given up - but shouldn't we now focus on the squad that will be here next season to try and create some cohesion for the next campaign. I just cant believe the loanees have given performances to show they are better or more deserving of a place in the team.

I know we have paid for them and ME would want to see his money well spent, rather than wasting in the stands - but I just don't see the point in playing Chalobah when we have Downes, Dozzell and Bishop on the bench who are more likely to be with us next season.

Seeing Harrison come on against Norwich showed us what he can do - sure it wasn't an outstanding performance - but he outshone Keane and showed us something more and thought we looked better when he came on instead of Sears. But I think the loanees just aren't making us better and focus should be on the future than the short term fixes that haven't worked.

So my team for the rest of the season would look like:

Bart

Emanuel Chambo Nsiala Kenlock/Knudsen

Skuse/Downes Bishop

Edwards Judge/Dozzell Jackson

Harrison
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Newcastle Game
at 15:07 24 Mar 2017

Any season ticket holder willing to help and get me 3 adult tickets for the Newcastle game for me, my brother and my dad in the Upper Sir Bob? Would be eternally grateful.
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Emyr Huws
at 16:43 2 Mar 2017

An absolute must signing this summer.

What a difference he has made to our style of play.
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Selling Chambers would be stupid
at 15:37 31 Jan 2017

Everyone who joins this club talks about the great team spirit and how close the team are. With many, Mick included, saying that Chambers is the main reason for this - the man is the best captain we've had since Matt Holland and he shows pride and passion when wearing the shirt. He is the obvious captain, and would be a captain at any team. We should not get rid of him, or risk loosing our great team spirit we pride ourselves on.

Also the famous fist bump is without doubt the best thing any captain does with the fans - and i just love him as our captain. Please dont go!
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Leon Best's Contact
at 15:11 26 Jan 2017

So if he wont be selected for the first team till the end of the season and we have him till the end of the season ........ why is he still under contract?
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My Views on Mick
at 11:13 20 Jan 2017

As a man and a manager, he is top notch. Since he came in, he has made me proud to watch my team again, with hard working players and a real underdog spirit. He handles himself with the press very well and comes across as the boss - its his way or the high way. And he was exactly what we needed after Keane and Jewell - someone to build us back together and build a team from scratch again. Since then he has took us forward and turned us to promotion contenders.

Mick was lauded for creating a team that got in to the play offs in his second full season, with freebies and the £90k & £200k we spent on Mings and Sears. Not many people could achieve this, and Mick was the sole reason behind this rise. That team and that season basically worked of Murphy to spearhead our play, where he would chase everything and bring others in to play - aswell as his amazing goal scoring. We based our whole game around him. And we did the same last season, albeit finishing one place off of the playoffs.

This season has been a different story. After watching Fulham and Lincoln, it has proven to me there no game plan, or If there is it simply does not work. Whilst it might not have been pretty to watch (but wins masked this poor football style) we used Murphy as the target man, we bypassed the midfield by launching the ball to Murphy who bring others in to play with his hold up play or he would chase every ball. Without him, we are still playing the same game plan, but Murphy was the reason it worked. Against Fulham and Lincoln we were launching it to Pitman and Best and this does not suit either of their styles. Pitman is a much better player when the ball is at his feet, not chasing loose balls or headers. Best is also in a different mould, a player who is best with his back to players - with the power to hold off players and bringing others in to play. So basically we need to adapt to life without Murphy by playing a style which will better suit our current strikers - something McCarthy has yet to do or figure out.

I really like Mick - for everything he has done for us, which is even more impressive given his budget. Something I cant believe many other managers would be able to do, and create such a great team spirit and team ethic. I love how he handles himself and how he handles the media and just makes he believe that he knows what hes doing - and has that air of confidence and arrogance that makes him a manager that other teams fear.

The only problem is his football style is ancient. But i still believe that with a starting line up which includes Lawrence, Williams, Bishope and McGoldrick he would play a different more attractive style. We, or he, has been incredibly unlucky with the injuries we have had. He has played more defensive and negative due to the quality of players we are missing. I honestly believe this - and I hope this is true, as this is the only thing which has made me keep the faith with Mick. I still remember how well Bishop did 2 seasons ago, he really was a bright light, as well as McGoldrick and WIlliams - they are exciting players which can light up Portman Road when they are back. Its just a case of getting them fit and injury free for a period of time.

The budget we have and the injuries we have had, have tied one of Micks arms behind his back. He is still a great championship manager, but he really has had some bad luck and a poor budget. Rest assured - he would get another job in the championship. He deserves better support from his club, where he has been restricted.

I just believe he is still the manager we need. This season hasn't been great, but under our specific circumstances - the lack of budget and injuries - he has done well. Remember where we are financially with other clubs, he has got us up there for the last 2 seasons where we have no right to be - he has done very very well for us. Yes the style has been poor, that NEEDS to change, but I still believe in him to put it right.
[Post edited 20 Jan 2017 12:35]
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