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We Ipswich supporters have a right to be cautious…
at 12:06 21 Jun 2021

Although I am sure we will get 11 first team players in before the new season starts I do think we Ipswich supporters have a right to be cautious about this level of change. I have seem some upset at those who are asking the question whether or not all this change is right and I thought I’d offer some balance to the discussion.

The reason the concern is justified is the last two men to really tear apart squads in such a revolutionary way were Roy Keane and Paul Hurst, both of which are arguably our worse managers ever. In both cases we saw squads torn up, and players released we were told were no good go onto to do better things and that memory still lives with most of us. Clearing out the “deadwood” is all very good when you can afford to replace it with better, under Evans this was never the case that’s for sure and we watched many decent players get the elbow from terrible managers to be replaced by worse on freebies and loans most of the time which is why we are where we are. Mick was able to recover the club in some way by finding a core of players to work around, and who were reliable and that did work for him, Lambert largely did the same thing but with less success in a poorer league so being conservative can also bite you in the backside.

On top of that if you look at the Dozzell sale, which I personally do think is best for him and us, you look at his age and you do think that had he been kept maybe Cook could have got something out of him with the right coaching because he was by no means a bad player at this level. You can see why some may be concerned at the sale of Dozzell and the potential sales of Wolfie and Downes because lets face it, over the past 2 seasons they were all decent enough for us in this league under Lambert and you have to wonder who we can realistically bring in who’d be better. I think it’s a fair concern to have.

As for Chambers, Skuse, Sears, Judge and Ward I think we have fewer complaints about them moving on because of their age, although I think out of those Chambers and Judge, although that might be an unpopular opinion, may feel a bit hard done by in this case because again they weren’t terrible over the past 2 seasons.

My personal thought on all of this is, we’ve been stuck in decline for so long we have to try something to shake it all up. It seems Alan Lee confirmed what many of us either assumed or knew through the grapevine anyway, in that Marcus Evans was a disastrous owner who played the fiddle as the club burned down around him. I am happy the new owners have imposed a structure, we have experienced football people in the top positions at the club in our new Chairman and CEO, we have a full staff again so for me that’s all a step forward. We had to change, we have to take a risk to save this club. I also am not expecting promotion immediately. I will accept a top 6 finish next season, along with a decent showing in all three cups where we are competitive even if we don’t win them and actually take some pride in ourselves and what we do. It’s going to be a tough league, it may take a season or two to find the right players and make it work and I certainly don’t want to see managers change every season just because the success isn’t instant.

Anyhow, I renewed and whatever happens I will be there.
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So.. we've missed out on Rhodes and Sonny Bradley
at 16:18 21 May 2021

According to the local press. I think the Sonny Bradley is a bit of a blow as that would have been a real statement of intent by Cook and the new owners, but I just don't think we can compete with Championship clubs on wages. We know a lot of good players won't step down for less money these days, so we'll probably have to recruit smarter from this league if we can't attract people from the Championship.

I just hope the clear out won't bite us in the arse like it did with Keane and Hurst.
[Post edited 21 May 16:27]
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Player dedication and Ipswich Town
at 10:12 21 May 2021

We all remember when Shane Supple retired and let slip some players weren't interested in having success here, and were dreading the thought of playing in the Playoffs as it would interrupt their holiday plans.

The reasons I bring this up is I have seen the images and banter doing the rounds on social media of a number of our first team squad already on holiday with each other, some of which are the released (or soon to be sold) players. Now while I have no issue with people taking a holiday after a hard years work and what not, the 2020-21 season is not even over at this stage, I was wondering with Covid and what not doing the rounds how early would the guys have to have booked these trips in advance?

I know we haven't looked like reaching the Playoffs for months but still, if they did book these trips when we were still technically within a shout of getting Playoffs and promotion, that may at least explain some of the lack of urgency in the play towards the end of the season.

If that were the case then Paul Cook coming in and ripping up that culture is definitely a good thing. I could be wrong and they all booked last minute flights to Portugal (which is where I think they are) but I don't know if you can actually do that right now.
[Post edited 21 May 10:14]
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I have renewed my Season Ticket from 2019-20
at 19:11 18 May 2021

How many more lapsed fans and boycotters are coming back then? Saw some big talk from the anti-Evans mob about how they'd never come back under Evans, so I am hoping they put their money where their mouth is and buy a new Season Ticket. There are literally no excuses now unless you are skint. Reasonable price, can pay by direct debit, new owners with a vision, new manager and he's finally cleared out they demanded to see happen.

Hoping to see a good number of Season Tickets sold, I am not expecting to see as many come back instantly that we lost from 2007 onwards under Evans but a chunk should be coming back.

If you can afford it and can make the games, then why not?
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I know I am not entirely innocent of this..
at 21:13 12 May 2021

I had some reservations about Cook but have wiped the slate clean ahead of the new season but are some people just hoping Cook fails? I really don't think it's going to be a miracle turnaround and I suspect I am in the few that doesn't expect promotion next season and I am happy with that as there are no miracle cures and a change as radical as we are seeing will take time.

There just seems to be this itch to jump on Cook.

Although I don't agree with what Jeffers did in the past, Cook obviously sees something in him as a coach and his work at Everton to think he's good enough for a job here. The same with Gary Roberts but we're getting a jobs for the boys response. Our staff last year were either ex Ipswich players in Klug, Dyer, Nash, Atay, Butcher and Pullen or ex Norwich such as Gill and so on, surely that was more jobs for the boys then this?

We won't become a Championship outfit over night, and we wont be spending millions upon millions either. We need to see what Cook can do over a season or two before jumping all over it.
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Shocked to see Nash get sacked
at 18:24 11 May 2021

Out of everyone, next to Klug I thought he would be pretty safe, as pretty much everyone said what a great job he'd done at every thing he'd been appointed to since becoming a coach here. I bet even James Pullen is worrying at this rate!
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Paul Cook is utterly shaming our players today.
at 11:27 29 Apr 2021

“If I was to carry on with the group of people I have here, I have no doubt they will get me sacked quite quickly.

“So the reality of my conversation is that I will not put up with that group of people and the changes will come very quickly. So if we could just clear that up.”

Utterly damning of the people we have recruited. It's refreshing to hear after years of being told how good we are, if it only wasn't for injuries we'd be fine and so on. Hurst alluded to this, Lambert's biggest mistake was to go with it and try and work with them rather than challenge the culture of failure here, until the last few weeks of his management.
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Paul Cook - The first team aren't very good.
at 09:49 29 Apr 2021

“The reality is that our U18s are doing terrifically well, our U23s are doing terrifically well and the first team aren’t very good."

I wonder if he'd have been allowed to communicate in this way had Evans stayed, especially around the time of Season Ticket renewals when Evans was always good at promoting a "better next season" narrative.

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The gamble of keeping Paul Cook
at 21:24 20 Apr 2021

I have been a big supporter of Paul Cook coming here and he's had 100% of my backing since he arrived but like others (and even more moderate posters) have suggested the team morale and overall performance, shape, instruction have dipped to so many new lows since his arrival I am also getting genuinely concerned.

I understand the players have downed tools, but why aren't we trying out more of the squad? Why aren't we using a system that suits what we have, if we are just going to use what we have? What I will say is it's clear the players do not rate Cook and have taken to him as warmly as they did to Paul Hurst and that is worrying for me. I am not someone who over rates this squad by any means, but we should have enough in us to beat Rochdale, Wimbledon, Wigan, Northampton and so on. We beat the piss poor teams last season in most cases without even breaking a sweat and we were a mid-table side then. So what has happened?

So I am going to say we're in a weird position of taking a gamble of continuing on with Paul Cook next season. I know many are calling for a complete squad over haul but that approach rarely works either. If we go too radical like we did under Hurst we could end up getting relegated. Cook is trading off his reputation with Pompey and Wigan here, which is the only reason we should keep him because what we've seen from him so far is a lot of shouting, animation but a complete regression in footballing terms. Paul Lambert would have done better had he stayed on, not saying he should have, but hew knew the squad and its limitations and they were poorer than what most supporters believed they were. Cook took none of what Lambert did on board, or even Gill who was there and has pushed to adopt his own system as quickly as possible, also likely on the assumption that Lambert was the sole issue.

The idea that he's going to recruit 15 odd players in the summer from this league and lower and suddenly walk this league is not realistic. Yeah, some of the old guard have to go, some of the injury prone and that lot have to go but players like your Nydhams, Kenlocks, Bishops, Downes, Wolfies and even to some extent Edwards and even dare I say it... Judge should easily be able to manage football in this league with some good recruitment around them. All of the strikers have been bad, except Norwood when he is fit but he's a liability for the club in other ways that we can probably do better there.

I just don't know if it's just the players after this many games. We have been absolutely awful. We've been told it will be better next season so many times before when the writings been on the wall that it has to be stupid to ignore what we have seen.

Cook out? I don't know. My heart says no, but my head is telling me that maybe it is a risk to keep him on after the end of this season.
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The Music Room Ipswich - For gig-goers
at 10:52 20 Apr 2021

Ipswich Star piece: https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/business/the-music-room-in-ipswich-funding-du

A music venue in Ipswich needs to raise about another £600 to re-open next month. It opened just before Covid-19 and thus has struggled throughout the pandemic. They are hoping to re-open next month and start operating again so are looking to raise an extra grand to cover costs.

Donation link here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-re-open-the-music-room-in-ipswich?fbclid=IwAR
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If it's a choice between Paul Cool and Mark Ashton as CEO
at 01:52 11 Apr 2021

We must stick with Paul Cook. If the issue is a CEO who wants to have a big hand in transfers and the playing squad as we're told Ashton will want, and a manager who has a great reputation in this league and chose this club over Championship clubs he wanted to work here that badly, then we simply must stick with Paul Cook.

Ashton's reputation at Bristol and Watford is terrible. Cooks reputation at Wigan, Pompey and Chesterfield is superb. Cook has got teams on limited budgets playing decent football and promoted from this league.

We need to back Cook and give him the time to do the job. If Cook is uncomfortable with Ashton coming in, then our owners must put the manager first and look for someone else to be our CEO. If Cook wants to lead of transfers and player sales, then Cook must be allowed to get on with it. If we have an upset manager, we will never get anywhere. We need Cook to be positive, excited and up for the challenge, not feeling like he's not going to have a handle on this project and just be expected to pick a team recruited (and sold) by someone who frankly isn't a football person.

Cook probably feels it's going to be like Wigan all over again and took this job under the impression that he'll be running the football side of the club. We should let him do just that.
[Post edited 11 Apr 3:22]
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Cook recons we had it hard because we were playing..
at 16:11 10 Apr 2021

near relegated sides fighting for their lives in recent weeks. Today we're seeing two mid-table teams looking for the end of the season break and their holidays. I feel embarrassed given our new owners are probably watching with some hope and excitement and then seeing something more akin to walking football then a passionate team fighting for promotion.

They are not interested. New manager and new owners and it's exactly the same old sh1t as before with this lot.

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So I owe a charity of your choice £100
at 14:43 7 Apr 2021

For me dismissing the takeover as half-term hilarity and Twitter-fake news. I am genuinely shocked Evans got £40mil for the club though, if only he had negotiated some of our transfer dealings along those lines... anyway...

Drop some suggests below, names/links - I will then take the lot and put a poll up and at the end of the month drop £100 sobs to the TWTD charity of choice.
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Currently in a work meeting over Zoom
at 11:15 7 Apr 2021

Trying to fight back the tears of joy, WhatsApping mates, some who haven't been for years, about renewing ST's.

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I know I said this last season...
at 15:55 1 Apr 2021

I still feel odd saying it, but one of the blessings of not being promoted either this season or last is the fact if it does happen we'll likely actually be able to attend something and actually celebrate.
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Should we help the club out - who are the best players in League One?
at 10:06 1 Apr 2021

If we were to sign 5 or 6 players from this division, based on the "data" who would you sign? Anyone from League Two you would recommend? Championship?

Jonson Clarke-Harris has scored 50+ goals over the past 3 seasons at this level. It's a shame we didn't go in for him in the summer when he was available.
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For those who cancelled their 2019/20 Season Ticket
at 14:31 31 Mar 2021

I have just been informed by the club the 5 game credit (should been 6 as they have not counted Bury!) I was given as a result of me cancelling the ST will not be rolled over to next season. I have asked them to review this as I think it is a touch unfair given we haven't been able to legally watch football since my cancellation!

If you, like me, cancelled and ask for the match credit, then it may be worth getting in touch with the ticket office to try and get it rolled over to when we're allowed back into the ground. I didn't think this would be that complicated to be honest! I thought rolling over the games to the next season would have been straightforward.
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Controversial Opinion - This is not Paul Lamberts Squad
at 13:25 24 Mar 2021

We keep reading about how this is Lambert's squad and therefore that’s one of the main reasons we’re now not able to make the playoffs this season or underperforming. In percentage terms that is incorrect, the majority of players were signed before Lambert's arrival. Of the 29 players on our books (not loans) presently just 9 of those were signed by Lambert. The majority of the squad was signed by Mick McCarthy (14).

If we’re looking at Lambert signings vs other managers, 69% of the current permanent playing squad we’re brought through by other managers. Looking at the list what is interesting is that the bulk of players we have were not only signed by a manager three appointments ago, you can see our policy of relying on relatively low fees, free transfers, and our youth system has had a long term and largely negative impact on the club's performance and status in the game. That’s of course not even looking at the many loans we currently have on the books (and have had under all of the managers here) which have further compounded our situation.

McCarthy has been somewhat vindicated since leaving here having success with Ireland and Cardiff however if you consider that he brought in the majority of these players who are largely failing to deliver in the third tier now, it doesn’t reflect particularly well on his legacy either. Hurst seems to have had a chunk more funding than Lambert got, however, we know that Hurst's signings were largely funded by the club offloading McGoldrick, Hyam, Bru, and through selling Webster, Waghorn, Garner, and Moore. Hurst rightly gets a lot of the blame for the situation we are in for targeting players well below the standard required for the Championship and spending frankly silly amounts of money on those players, but still relatively small beans by today's standards.

Signed by Lambert (31%)

1. Holy (Free Transfer)
2. Ward (Free Transfer)
3. Wilson (Free Transfer)
4. Norwood (Free Transfer)
5. Judge (Undisclosed Fee)
6. Vincent-Young (Undisclosed Fee)
7. Cornell (Free)
8. Hawkins (Free)
9. El Mizouni (Youth)

Signed by Hurst (17%)

1. Edwards (£700,000)
2. Jackson (£1million)
3. Nolan (£1million)
4. Nsiala (£1million)
5. Donacien (Undisclosed)

Signed by McCarthy (48%)

1. Wolfenden (Youth)
2. Skuse (Free Transfer)
3. Wright (Youth)
4. Lankester (Youth)
5. Bishop (Youth)
6. Nydham (Youth)
7. Sears (£100,000)
8. Downes (Youth)
9. Dozzell (Youth)
10. Drinnan (Free)
11. Kenlock (Youth)
12. Dobra (Youth)
13. Huws (Undisclosed)
14. Ndaba (Youth)

Signed by Jewell (3%)

1. Chambers (Free Transfer)

Looking at that it’s not exactly Lambert's squad and aside from having the second-largest wage budget over the last two seasons, we’ve hardly splashed out on additions either, instead of using our resources to fatten the squad with much of the same, probably due to our ongoing injury crisis and of course loans.

So reflecting on that, Cooks priority has to be to freshen up the bulk of the squad, cutting down on a lot of the bloat and bringing in quality over quantity. Given our strength in the financial department over our rivals, we should be more than able to afford 11 of the best players at this level, and 15-20 players overall good enough to win this league. To do this we need to fix our recruitment, and do away with the policy to rely on too many youth players and loans. The whole youth thing is a romantic hangover from the Robson days which really isn’t working because frankly, our academy is not producing. If that is the case we have to look elsewhere to bring in players good enough to get the club promoted and worry more about the youth system once we are back in the Championship and can realistically upgrade the academy.

Cook needs our support we cannot be in this position in a years’ time where we are placing all of the blame on the managers door again, we have done that far too many times in recent years. The problems at the club run far deeper than that, and if we really want it to change we really need to back Cook first and foremost to allow him the time and freedom to make it happen.
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It doesn't get said enough...
at 22:15 16 Mar 2021

Evans Out.

Just because it really is his fault, all of this. I know we cannot force him to sell, but that doesn't change the fact we can't progress a jot until he either changes or we find new owners. I hope I am wrong but I can't see Cook working miracles here.

As much as Pompey and Wigan were hardly well run clubs when Cook at least they'd both won the FA Cup in the last 20 years and played in the top flight as clubs, there was some ambition, something we've not even threatened really in that same period!
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Unpopular Opinion - This Town side can only barely beat...
at 21:58 16 Mar 2021

The worse sides in this division. Anyone who plays a bit of anything at all, and we're not even able to get into the game. The fact that it was Lambert, and Lambert alone who's been responsible for now two full seasons of dreadful third division football is the biggest myth spun by many out there. We can however beat teams who either are middle of the road in most cases and less interested than we are or truly bad sides, and even sometimes we fail to do that.

It's time to bust the myth that this squad is more than good enough to win this league. 2 seasons prove they are not. They were average League One and Two players when we signed them, and they are still average League One and Two players 2 or 3 years on for some. Of course the root of that lies with Evans and it looks like we're stuck with that for the immediate although I suspect when we finish 7th and don't go up that will open up the talks again at a value someone's actually willing to pay for the club in it's current state.

We cannot turn on Cook or keep blaming the managers now, the players aren't doing it. Evans is going to have to seriously look at recruitment going forward and spending more on less but aim for better players (like Coventry and Peterborough have) than a relative lot for lots of average players in this league. The whole club needs digging up and starting again or we may as well just pull the chord and remember the good times because watching Ipswich Town in this absolute state is getting more painful by the week. As for Evans being a decent bloke and owner... well... that's absolute nonsense as well. He's to blame entirely for this decline.
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