I think there are big futures for Downes, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Lankester and probably Nydam and Dozzell too. I also think Emmanuel would be more than adequate in League One.
However, I simply do not rate Kenlock. I don't think he's anything more than a lower League One defender at best. He just has so many areas he is poor at. Positioning is all over the place, his passing is poor, his awareness is poor. I think he is comfortably the worst of the group of 'our own' that has featured regularly.
I really hope he goes on to prove me wrong, but I have seen enough to believe that in a few years he'll be nowhere near the Championship / top end of League One.
A responsible person. A careful one. A sensible parent. An intelligent human being. Someone with a grasp of right or wrong and someone who can spot injustice.
But I'm sorry. The suggestion by Lambert that he'd happily knock out a Norwich coach amuses me.
Yes it's tinpot and childish and silly. But after having a manager who wanted to continually pick at old scabs with the fans and reopen cans of worms, there's something quite warming about having a manager who deeply dislikes the scum..
He scored 14 goals last season in League One in an average side. If we assume that Town will aspire to be in the top 6 or thereabouts, he could feasibly get 20 goals.
Whether he can ever step up to Championship level remains a doubt but bare in mind he's been thrown into one of the worst teams at this level ever. We create nothing and he's not had a proper run of games. It's no wonder he hasn't clicked.
If you'd have stuck him in the Leeds, Norwich, Derby, Sheffield United sides then I'm pretty sure he'd have done more than okay.
He works tirelessly, can hold the ball up, can win headers and can finish. He's not a great Championship striker but he looks every bit a great League One striker and we are going to need one to have any chance of bouncing back in the next couple of years.
We are nowhere near good enough and deserve to be relegated.
We have had some completely incompetent referees, more so than any other season I can remember. Even in lieu of that we would still have been relegated.
But bloody hell, the lack of luck we have had is preposterous.
Woolfenden ends up coming on first game of the season, looked decent and gets injured.
Walters comes in to potentially change our season and is immediately done.
Lankester looks like the next big thing and within a few games is done.
Sears is the only real goal threat we've had all season and now he is done.
You could even argue that the likes of Nydam, Emmanuel, Morris and so on that have gone out on loan and (let's be honest whether they are good enough for us or not) should be good enough to get into the St Johnstone, Shrewsbury and Forest Green sides, may have even been a bit unlucky that they've not managed to benefit from their loan spells (although of course they may have been the largest factor themselves in not doing so).
Even Collins, Huws, Adeyemi etc that we expected could have issues have had an we've had no luck with those.
We could easily have won at Rotherham in the second week and we somehow lost. Going back to referees we could easily have seen Edun and Nsiala not sent off in crucial matches. At the same time we had that ridiculous assault (was it Preston at home?) when someone kicked and punched Chalobah at the same time and didn't go off.
We got a pathetic penalty given against us at Villa then were denied a clear one.
The challenge on Gerken that allowed Millwall to get a third was arguably out of control and keepers normally get free kicks if anyone farts in their proximity.
Even (clutching at straws) in the final third there have been potentially season changing moments that just didn't happen, for example Walters chance to win the derby when it just wouldn't quite fall for him.
Story of our season. We deserve nothing but relegation and it's not the fault of injuries or referees but my oh my have we literally had every bad bit of luck go against us that is possible.
26,000 at Portman Road earlier in the season to watch Ipswich, without a win all season and without a win against Norwich in 9 years.
Only slightly more, 27,000 at Carrow Road to watch a Norwich team who are top of the league, playing the best football they've likely seen, against their neighbours who are rock bottom, whilst expecting a cricket score.
I know which support looks a million miles better to me.
It was the last day of the season and Portman Road was packed to the rafters. Evans had given free entry for the Leeds match as we were already relegated.
Leeds, Sheffield United, West Brom and Norwich were all level on points and news came through that the other three were winning with us drawing 0-0 with Leeds.
Norwich were heading up in second on goal difference even after Leeds scored to make it 1-0. As news came through Norwich were 2-0 up, Chambo hammered the ball into his own net and laughed. Bart laughed.
We all laughed. Norwich scored again. So Chambers did again. Leeds fans were singing. We were signing. Then there was a massive pitch invasion.
For some weird reason the scoreboard said Ipswich 3 Leeds 9 at the end even though I only remember a few goals but we were literally punting it into our net to keep Norwich in third.
Fair play imagination. I genuinely laughed as I woke up. I was a little gutted I didn't stay asleep long enough to check WOTB!
I have had a look at our historical record against every team that we would currently face in League One next year and determined the result by the most frequent outcome between the teams historically.
The stats I found are clearly up to a few years ago, so I have guessed the Burton one from memory.
TEAM Home Away Reading W L Bolton W D Sunderland W L Charlton W L Peterborough D L Doncaster W D Blackpool W/D W Wycombe D* D* Fleetwood D* D* Coventry W L Southend W L Burton W W/D Scunthorpe W D Accrington D* D* Plymouth W L Walsall W W Rochdale D* D* Gillingham W/D D Bristol Rovers W L Lincoln D* D* Mansfield W W/L Bury W W Forest Green D* D*
*We have not played in the league (during the years I checked) so have assumed draws at home and away.
I have awarded 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a defeat as you’d expect.
Where the most frequent outcome as W or D I have awarded a draw to be negative and where it was W or L, I have given this a draw also.
This gives the following record:
HOME P 23 W 14 D 9 L 0 Pts 51 AWAY P 23 W 3 D 12 L 8 Pts 21 TOTAL P 46 W 17 D 21 L 8 Pts 72
That would put us 5th last year, 7th the year before that, 8th the year before that, 5th the year before that and 7th the year before that.
40% chance of the playoffs and about a 12.5% chance of us getting through to Wembley from there, given our dismal record of 1 progression in 8 at the semi-final stage!
So basically, we are going to have a decent season, might sneak in the playoffs, Portman Road will be a fortress and don't bother going away! Lol
We are going down and there's a lot of valid, major concerns about the state of the club, whether we ever get back to even being a top Championship club and how many light years behind Norwich we will be.
But let's list all the things to look forward to.
- Possibility of winning football - Possibility of entertaining football - Possibility of a promotion campaign - Possibility of trips to Wembley - Being one of the biggest clubs at our level - Likeliness of seeing plenty of academy products involved - Going to grounds we've never been to - Playing teams in the early rounds of the FA Cup that we may never have played before - Slim chance of interesting (slightly embarrassing) FA Cup matches against the likes of Needham or Leiston - Possible runs in the cups - Increased chance of becoming more of a family / community club than we have been through necessity - We have won 9 matches in a row against Walsall, so that should be at least 2 wins next season! ;)
30 games 3 wins 18 points 10% win ratio 0.6 points per game
This current Town team we know is the worst in terms of talent that we have had for 60 years.
But to put it properly into context, the gutless shower that lost to Manchester United 9-0 in the most humiliating of seasons had a win rate of almost double this side, despite being in the Premier League.
We also have a worse points per game ratio than that side.
We are actually a worse Championship side than that team was a Premier League team in terms of wins and points.
This is statistically the worst ITFC side ever if we continue the season in the exact same manner. EVER!
I am struggling to recall seeing a worse Championship team at Portman Road in the last 18 years than us.
Even the horrible Rotherham side that hadn't picked up an away point until they nearly took all 3 before McGoldrick got a late equaliser, passed the ball with intent and created chances.
Even the Crewe and Burton teams that were whipping boys passed the ball around with purpose and had a clear identity.
I suppose only teams like Sunderland last year, the Luton team we beat 5-0 and a couple of others have genuinely been as bad as we have seen from Town, which is incredibly worrying.
I still think we'll be okay next season and in or around the playoffs, but what upsets me the most is not the lack of quality, we know that, or the lack of cohesion, which is understandable.
It's the lack of fight. We are playing like a team in 12th with 6 games to go who can't go up or down. We are not remotely fighting for our lives, which makes no point from the players for a pride point of view, professional point of view or financial point of view.
Who is putting in crunching tackles? Who is arguing? Who is shouting their heads off? It's so bizarre that the players are doing their absolute best impressions of people that couldn't care when surely they must absolutely care.
We would shift an enormous amount off the wage bill with Bart, Chambers, Skuse and Knudsen being the high earners and no doubt recover a little bit by way of fees for the likes of Bart.
We could move on any of the youngsters that should have made an impact now and have been overtaken - the likes of Drinan and Cotter and this would leave us with a very young squad, free of any major earners, with the likes of Huws and Sears likely to be the biggest earners.
A few of the above may well need to be moved out and I would imagine that if Collins left we would need to bring in an experienced old war horse. The parting with Chambers in my mind is purely because, as great a captain as he has been, he epitomises the old regime, from which we need a break. The comfortable, cosy regime.
I would like to see a lower league marksman come in like James Collins of Luton (I know he will pass us by in the other direction) or Charlie Wyke (likewise), someone of that ilk, but when you actually look at that side, it's an extremely competitive side on paper for League One that should certainly be in or around the top six.
Kenlock for me is the one big call in there of players who I don't actually think is going to be good enough, so I would go with this. Danny Rowe is the one I may have included as keeping and seeing given the lack of out and out wingers.
SUBS from - Wright, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Huws (if fit), Dozzell, Edwards, Nolan, Ward Harrison
RESERVES from - Ndaba, Crowe, Nydam, Folami, Morris.
This is without the addition of any other players. Compare that side to Luton, Portsmouth and so on and it's pretty decent.
There are plenty of players like Judge, Lankester, Bishop, Nolan, Huws and Dozzell that should be able to create.
Harrison can score goals at that level, Sears certainly can, Jackson I think could. We have a lot of decent players in the middle but wide midfield and full backs would be a concern but we know Emmanuel was good enough for a promotion winning team two years ago.
I don't rate Gerken at this level but he'd be one of the better keepers in League One.
When you look at all this though it is an absolute mess of a sorting job. I could make a case for needing to improve 2 or 3 positions at least within that 11 as well.
I'm pretty sure I have fixed politics. If anyone has any reason to disagree with any of the below do let me know.
The current political system is not fit for purpose. It's an outdated system from years gone by that quite simply no longer works in the current climate.
There are three main issues with the politicians in this country stopping them from doing a proper job for the people
1) Salary 2) Mitigation of Impact 3) Conflict of Interest
MP's are paid an extremely significant amount of money, in some cases three or four times above the national wage. They do an important job, however they are not working for a private company as a Chief Executive or Marketing Manager. They are working for and on behalf of us - the taxpayer.
There is a reason why people bang on about nurses being underpaid. They do a bloody amazing job in difficult conditions for not a lot of money. Do you know why people do these jobs? These amazing jobs for not much money? BECAUSE THEY CARE. Because they are genuinely amazing people who actually care about helping other people. That's why. Not the status. Not the money. But because they care.
If you capped MP salaries at say £40,000 or £50,000, this would still be a very good salary, capable of attracting some very intelligent, decent people, but not enough to only attract those that are only in it for the money. You will get a balance between people that want to make a difference and people that are clever enough to make a difference. Perfect.
MITIGATION OF IMPACT
A lot of MP's come from privileged backgrounds. Of course, we now have some working class politicians that grew up on council estates, but by definition of becoming an MP and earning the salary an MP does, they are no longer a 'normal person' that identifies with the common man or woman. They are deemed to be well off and as a result of that, the impact of their decisions has far less power to alter the course of their lives.
MP's will not end up homeless, needing food banks, struggling for child care. That is that what 90% of the population could face based on the outcomes of the decisions or mistakes made by Government. But we have people running the country who can make decisions which will not have any bearing on them. That in itself is madness. There is little accountability for anything that goes wrong, because there is no fear of getting it wrong. Incredible.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
18 months on from the horrors of Grenfell there are still flats using the same lethal materials that have not been replaced. There are MP's that own companies, own property, own businesses all of which can be positively or negatively altered by decisions made by the Government. If you were due to pay £1m out of your own pocket to update the cladding on the property you own as a result of new legislation would you actually vote fairly on this?
Anyone acting as MP should have no involvement in any other business, nor should they be related to anyone that may have an impact and if this situation changes it should be declared (not forgotten as they usually claim to have been the case). All decisions taken should be based on what is actually best for your constituents. Is it any surprise so many MP's are now against Brexit when the implications on their own companies and wealth is being threatened. Absurd.
In summary, we have a group of ego maniacs on a power trip, past vast sums of money to not rock the boat and keep their cushy deal and many of those who entered politics for the right reasons probably never make it far. Those prepared to simply climb on the gravy train do.
These people will never be effected by the decisions they make, often done for their own personal, financial reasons of what works best for them, not for me or you or anyone else.
It is farcical and it's depressing that Brexit still rumbles on. A clusterf*ck of power plays by maniacs with their own interests in mind. My solution instead has perfectly capable people, earning a decent amount and wanting to do their best to keep their jobs, but not so much that they are immune to feeling the impact of any errors that they do make. Whilst making decisions on our behalf because they actually care and are one of us to all intents and purposes.
If we were a League One club and signed Keane, Quaner, Dawkins and Elder then it would be pretty underwhelming wouldn't it?
Yet these are the players we have turned to gather promotion form to potentially stay in the division.
Absolutely no question that Evans has decided we are almost certainly down but these (Quaner aside who I think would be very decent in League One) would not even be players I'd be thrilled about a division lower.
I would be amazed if Lambert is here come August. I simply cannot see it.