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Twitter story about Di Canio
at 14:05 18 Feb 2020

You can imagine every word is true.

I’ve played with a few lads who took 5 a side far too seriously but they’re all blokes who never made it. I can only imagine the rage PDC mustered up etc.
Rent Free / On strings/ Other Twitter cliches etc
at 19:07 17 Feb 2020

Without looking it up, surely Warne's record against us is patchy to say the least? I'm genuinely baffled as to how their fanbase works. They fawning over Klopp after he beat them FFS.
This was ill timed then?
at 13:34 16 Feb 2020

Not really sure what the intention of these ever are beyond garnering support for those involved.
Goals today
at 15:32 15 Feb 2020



Hoof or Keane assist?
[Post edited 15 Feb 15:49]
The TEAM News
at 13:58 15 Feb 2020

Or just them teasing us and he's the man to miss out?

Nope he starts!
[Post edited 15 Feb 14:01]
I wish Lambert would be like that in the dugout
at 16:55 14 Feb 2020

As much as the scum game he put on a distraction to take a light off how sh1t we were, we saw more fight trying to put Phil away this morning than we have in months combined.

We really could do with coming out flying tomorrow and getting into Burton trying to unsettle them. All this talk of home games, makes me think we need to be more Rotherham and Wycombe.
Evans is there
at 19:36 11 Feb 2020

Team News - Earl is wombling free
at 18:46 11 Feb 2020

Makes sense to rest Keane albeit Jackson was pretty awful last time, likewise Kenlock deteriorated when he came under pressure in the second half.

Should really beat these at a canter I'd have thought, so a nervy draw it is.
[Post edited 11 Feb 18:48]
Long drive each way allowed for lots of podcasts
at 08:31 9 Feb 2020

Lots of discussion with Snr, lots of dissection.

Andy Warren's interview with Bart compared to Watson's with Lee O'Neil tells us so much. Both men stopped themselves from saying too much, you could hear them hold back, but every Town fan should listen to them. The self-inflicted damage that got Hurst in was really painful to hear again.

Bart's treatment and how he touches on not being alone within the squad, was widely shared on here at the time and dismissed. Even when it became too loud and from too many places to ignore. Some people clearly still target Chambers and Skuse as they are the last remnants of an era that causes so much embarrassment to them now. But yesterday both did more good than bad even when they are clearly on their last proper seasons. That's very worrying.

Lee O'Neil talks in complete candy floss. It's well presented, but utterly doesn't tell us a single thing. I'm not expecting the minutes of the meetings, but mentioning them and then telling us everything is in hand only makes me think the opposite.

Bart on the other hand clearly shows how hurt he still is, the "you only care about money" gambit by Hurst after only a couple of games is stunning and the toxic culture Evans let sweep through the club is frankly unforgivable.

O'Neil insists Evans offered Mick everything in January 15, Bart suggests the opposite. We have all these great young players but they only exist in theory. How long since we had players like Nydam or Kenlock being blooded? They're now injured alongside so many others or look totally shot and out of contention even at this level.

On the way home the Athletic have a podcast called something like "Going up, going down" they did 5 minutes previewing the game. Listening to it afterwards was painful. They pretty much predicted how the game would go. Pointing out how wasteful we have been with the opportunity to go back up etc.

It feels like the outside world has once again caught on to how bad things are at the club and maybe the fans will be more in line or more receptive to that.

There was a telling comparison with Blackpool who are really struggling under a manager who you'd trust to do better in Grayson. They got the Oystons out, got the fans back and have a saviour like owner in a local boy done good, but it's not working out. They brought in 20 odd players and gone nowhere.

I think we could be in danger of doing similar in the next few years. This league sucks teams in and doesn't let them go easily. Yesterday felt like we have tipped into just not keeping enough pace with the pack to go up, it'll be luck if at all now most likely. Getting Evans out might help, it might even feel good, but it also leaves us open to so many external factors while we lose ground on the rest of the football league all getting richer and further away from us than ever.

Even going up puts us in a position of begging for scraps and hoping to survive with a manager that just can't make the best of what he's got. Bleak to say the least.
Luck could change
at 21:32 8 Feb 2020

With a storm threatening this evening, saw Town return to the Stadium of Light this afternoon under a cloud of high pressure. The biggest and most “premiership” of stadia we’ll see this season, was alight with two thousand Blues, amongst the tens of thousands on Wearside filing in for the game to decide which big club was gonna fade away from contention this year.

Ipswich’s unfathomable dalliance with the top of the table was as distant as their fans, looking down upon a near perfect pitch only obscured by pigeons. Below them silent witnesses watched a much-changed side challenge theirs. Holy was back by popular demand, ahead of him a flat three unchanged. Donacien and Kenlock as wingbacks and Skuse behind Downes and Nolan, with Norwood and Keane the attack.

It took Sunderland barely ten minutes to put the ball in the net. Wyke stabbing past Holy and despite the home fans’ jubilation it was clear from the nosebleeds, he was all on his own because he was miles offside.

With the notable absence of Norris, Judge and Garbutt there was a new dimension to this side. Flipping the midfield triangle so that Skuse was the single pivot and the red and yellow streaks of his midfield colleagues joining Keane in the space that the Irishman would usually occupy meant a new shape and feel to our attacking play.

It was the wingbacks who could really push forward, and this created the bulk of several good chances. Kenlock was picked out by Keane and with the keeper covering back towards the post, it was hard to know if the left back intended to cross or shoot as the ball ended up behind for a corner.

Now this area of the pitch where Town looked to excel would prove fertile ground. A superbly placed ball in for Norwood via good building and link up play down the left put the strike clean through. What looked a certain lead was yanked away from us by an excellent stop.

Lambert’s side may have been weakened by suspension and injury, but seemed immune to the baying of a set of home fans who sat silently until they felt an official could be corrupted. Their players in the main, looked flexible in all of the thirds mainly due to Town’s success in stretching them.

A rare sight flashed past the post or onto the barricade of McLoughlin’s reactions. The return of Nolan shooting from distance and from instinct was a welcome addition to Ipswich’s new look attack. The void between the Black Cat’s rear relaxed just enough to slip him and his mates in time and again.

Keane was enjoying having runners and when he did make space to shoot, the block was nodded over by a cavalry charge from someone following in. He looked better finding those on the shoulder than being that guy. Norwood took a sumptuous lay off and curved a fierce effort the wrong side of the post. It was looking like not even Kes could swoop or strike with such speed in the maelstrom of wind and intent bearing down towards a vocal away end.

Sunderland were clearly not as well versed in the lore of Jeremy Simpson, but when Wilson was felled in needless and dangerous fashion on the line it was clear a yellow was inevitable, despite their yowls. Downes would later yap his way into a two-game break after a clean challenge from Skuse produced some amateur gymnastics. The decision was wrong, but definitely not a hill to die on for the ill-disciplined Flynn.

Ipswich had recently employed overlapping centre backs much to the glee of amateur tacticians across the third tier. There little more than sheer guts to Chambers’ run past Donaicen to make a tackle on the home team’s goal line to try and keep possession.

However, it signified that somehow, he and his mates wanted it today even if they couldn’t always find the punchline or timing to laugh away the doubt hanging over them.
Sunderland rarely threatened and when they did, it seems their own haste led to waste as shots went well wide or were snuffed out like a candle in, well, the wind. Holy making acquaintance with the halfway line during one moment of madness was a sight that will live long in the memory, perhaps trying to show he can do all that is rival for the shirt has promised to do so often.

The first half saw Ipswich walk off looking good but having little to show for it. Our season in miniature as big players tried to put their mark on the game, but merely put to bed the aberration of the last couple of matches instead.

Under Lambert Ipswich had felt the weight of history like a millstone around their necks. As we eulogised Sir Bobby and lingered on the rose-tinted blinders of the Allezs, it became clear that the good half, was about to be proceeded by the bad one.

Sunderland did as we had and tore into the bottom left hand corner. Pushing the ball about and forcing Donacien into the first of a few last gasp crashing blocks at the back post, via deflected crosses and patient passes.

Much has been made of the rotation this season, but neither full back would finish the game fresh or fit. Kenlock in fact was beaten and so were the three players rushing to his aid all too easily. A crashing shot off the post left the goal wide open, before a striker let the rebound bounce kindly to the arms of our Czech. It was a warning far more serious than the belated drop-balls and lectures of the referee that jarred amidst some of this season’s freer play.

Chambers was next to be beaten. Momentarily by the bounce and recovered to win the ball. Egged on by the home crowd who must have had their one eye closed, he was cautioned for doing his job, as Simpson must have agreed he got a bit of the man. Apart from his soul and dignity, it was unfathomable which bit though.

Holy was getting more than a good feel of the ball, tipping like an American on holiday as Sunderland utilised the conditions and belief it brought up in them. Denying the hosts several chances to turn in a cross or teasing ball, as they found space by pulling defenders with them or beating them on the channels.

However, when Town did remember that the reason they had been so shot-shy and tumbling down the league of late was a lack of service, Sunderland nearly handed us the game on a plate. A routine move forward saw the defender lay it off to the keeper, who like us had an excellent first half and terrible second. Picking the ball up to the collective amazement of the whole stadium.

By the time everyone had remembered what happens in moments like these, and Town took their indirect free kick, they like the set piece, were just a tad off centre as the final touch cannoned of a Blue shin and out for a goal kick. It was our first opportunity and Town merely took another knock.

The imperious nature of the first half had taken its toll on the visitors and Norwood and Nolan were put back on the bench, their natural habitat of late. It shouldn’t have changed the nature of Town’s brighter aspects, but Huws and Jackson didn’t have the impact intended.

In fact, the already booked McLoughlin won a free kick minutes after flattening Huws and completely missing the ball. The penalty for such an indiscretion? A free kick taken miles away after Town were shaping up to shoot. It was as baffling as our decline after the break.

With the added pressure of recent events coming into the game, combining with that of Sunderland’s ability to press forward a goal was somehow inevitable despite the best efforts of the woodwork and a ramrod straight Holy, who seemed to make a save with his ribcage at one point.

When Sunderland did break the deadlock it was just as we had promised to. A sloppy error from Chambers as he took his eye off the ball and evaded his studs. A throw and quick move of chicanery ended with a first time hit that flew the right side of the post and nestled in the net. Having sacrificed width for directness, they squeezed us out of the game all too predictably.

Ipswich were forced to remove Donacien who had stopped to stretch his calf more than once between tackles and set pieces being taken. The second centre back to play on the right became Woolfenden as Earl made his bow in surgical mask and pragmatic patching up of an already breached defence.

Wilson was rescued after a clumsy slip as the last man. Cole made himself into a human cue to poke away the ball in a moment defensive billiards that could so easily have been another boll0ck dropped.

The Preston loanee looked the part, but his simply lay offs and takes merely gave rise to a sense of frustration as he could only offload to midfielders level with him and barracked to get it forward. Town did so and sent away Jackson whose runs were previously as misplaced as they were rapid. With only the goalkeeper to stop him his feet slowed, and mind raced, as the ball got away from him in a moment when his leg didn’t trail long enough to catch the covering defender and earn a certain spot kick.

When the full-time whistle came, so did the predictable shrugs, shuffling and boos. A big away end greeting yet another anti-climax with the mixed responses befitting of this season. On paper this was as weak as any side Lambert could put out aside from the EFL trophy, but it had mustered one of the better halves for a while. Tellingly, the only consistent identifying trait was that they followed it with one of utter collapse and listlessness.

In a week where upstairs have brought back a Butcher to the club, this third defeat on the bounce may call for more bloodletting and dismemberment than today warranted. Had Ipswich taken the points they may well feel that promotion is back on the menu. As it is we sit 7th, and there’s cold comfort in that position.
Do we forgive a system change this weekend?
at 18:02 6 Feb 2020

With those missing and the need to arrest this losing mentality that has led the club here, would we be better with a flat back four and crowding the midfield?

We seem overstocked there and yet it’s been the area which Lambert has never really cracked. Would this actually be a game where Skuse could drop back when we attack and push the full backs up, and step into his usual role when we want to stifle them?

It’s been a crap week of football and just stealing a result might be enough to raise the confidence of players who have stunk recently. Personally I don’t think I can face losing this weekend when Wimbledon is a good chance to build a run and it’s been a crap week for me anyway.

There are a number of players who owe us a bit of heart of fight let alone the shirt they’ve been lucky to wear at times.
Sunderland Echo has us finishing 7th
at 17:06 4 Feb 2020

Not sure how scientific they’ve done this to be honest.
Dobra to save Lambert's career?
at 09:47 2 Feb 2020

While it didn't work out for him at Stanley, he was the only threat we had all game. With the Prem interest and retaining him surely he has to start getting time on the pitch? Judge clearly doesn't do enough week in week out, Bishop will also be a bit part player for the foreseeable.

How many games could be turned by bringing on Dobra to run in behind the strikers? When we've hurt teams this season it's been from direct running and making them commit, between Jackson, Dobra, Sears and Bishop we should have enough to do this most weeks and change the face of our attack.

As much as I'm unconvinced by elements of Jackson and Norwood's games they've not had enough help or service to be effective.
Mass walk out at 4-0
at 16:45 1 Feb 2020

How have we fallen so far and produced such utter sh1t so quickly? The day Hurst waked in it began, but how can we remain so gutless and disorganised for so long?

Lambert clearly hasn't got the tactical acumen of previous managers, but he's operating at a much lower standard with a much bigger budget. If he doesn't turn this around after an already disastrous 2 month period, he may well overtake Hurst at the bottom of the pile.

4 and bit more years of this is untenable. How is it he can't make these players believe in themselves or change a game every so often to secure points?
Norris error here
at 15:37 1 Feb 2020

Lambert likes his keepers to use their feet, but fcuk me. What an appalling error this is out of nothing.

It's our fault people are homeless apparently
at 17:02 31 Jan 2020

This is almost as baffling as the Hopkins rant, and just as repulsive in a subtler more outrageous way. He's not in the pub, dribbling this down himself to anyone in earshot. He's in Parliament. The seat of power, slagging off the public and the underclass as he sees them.
Billy Kee's retirement
at 20:27 29 Jan 2020

Maybe not all that surprising given the way this season panned out for him and Stanley, but does he get support from bodies like the PFA?

I can't help but admire him for it in one weird way as it takes amazing nuts to walk away from a job most of us would kill for, even if he probably has little choice.

Hopefully it has a big enough ripple to push away more stigma within the game. Football still has a long way to go in many arenas, but the reaction has been encouraging. I don't know if they had a heads up or it's timing but local brand Trickett did these socks in his honour and release them Friday.

at 20:38 28 Jan 2020

That's what it looks like, cos that's what it is all too often. Absolutely baffled by the tactics again. We've got our most footballing lineup out there and we're trying to beat Rotherham at their own game after they dicked us with it earlier in the season.

What Garbutt was doing to get us caught for that corner that they scored off, Christ knows. Wilson had just turned into Rivaldo and he follows it by smashing it off Edwards to give them a breakaway.

The lack of service for a side like ours is mystifying tonight. At least when Woolfenden picked up that flat goal kick early doors in mid air with his instep, there was some class before he lumped it.
Team News
at 18:46 28 Jan 2020

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