Seen suggestions of how improved our squad is vs. last summer, and on balance I would agree, especially in key areas. I'm not sure we're anything close to the finished article at this stage though, given we're so light in numbers and proven quality in certain areas. Still a fair bit of work still to do I would suggest.
It's funny isn't it, last summer we were relishing the prospect of a squad with huge depth, I remember some putting up their preferred lineups on here and Dozzell only making the 3rd side. Could we see a reinvigorated Downes, and we all know how good a player he is. A newly fit again Bishop, lots of hope for Dobra and El Miz, Dozzell pulling the strings, the prospect of Huws finding anything close to his old form, Nolan, Skuse's experience. Hopes that Norwood would find some level of fitness after a stop start first season, which had shown promise and a decent return all things considered, coming in having banged them in at Tranmere. Jackson's pace. Sears. A 'surely too good for league 1' Alan Judge. Chambers, Ward dropping down from the Championship, Woolfenden, Vincent-Young.
The hope and expectation was only heightened with Bishop's cringy 'yeet' opener against Wigan. HMS P1ss the League and #announce100points equally cringing their way through the Twitter TL. Fingers in the ears from our captain to block out the boo boys, as if a promising opening month in L1 had gone anyway to proving anything after years of decline.
There were lots of reasons to believe, but ultimately we were let down through a palpable vacuum in leadership both on and off the pitch. A gaffer who looked disengaged and uninterested from the word go, mismanaging us spectacularly through the season. We looked bereft of energy and ideas relative to those around us, and utterly toothless and rudderless for the most part. Some of those performances will live long in my memory for all the wrong reasons, sat in front of iFollow just wondering where we were heading under Evans and Lambert. Lee O'Neill rolled out in front of the camera to spill out more platitudes and buzz words. It was so f**king bleak, and seemed to so appropriately mirror what was going on in the world around us both politically and socially with the uncertainty, mismanagement, and general boredom and misery.
Times are hopefully a-changing now, at the club at least. Perhaps Gamechanger can be our gamechanger. Our vaccine. After all, hope is being able to see that there is light, despite all of the darkness.
A new owner, largely new squad, new manager and seemingly a fresh culture and expectation has buoyed the spirits of supporters, but the cynic in me can't get too excited yet. It's funny how we work as supporters isn't it, had Hladky and Penney signed for Pompey I don't suppose we would be losing too much sleep, but once they're in the door here we expect it all of them. If you're really cynical as we sit here today we still have 3/4 of a back 4 that Cook inherited, and that assumes KVY can get fit. We don't have much out wide, and we're putting a lot of faith in Harper who is still young. I think we're a few short as it stands, but encouragingly I think those in charge know it too.
Still, win, lose or draw it's so good to have the prospect of going to watch live football at Portman Road. Have a couple of beers and catch up with friends & family. It's never about the destination and always about the journey for me, so I just hope we can play some exciting football this season and take the game to our opponents, we've been too submissive for far too long.
I remember one of Lamberts later interviews, on the rare occasion he bothered to show up, he said something along the lines of 'I guess we'll find out if they're good players'. Struck a chord with me at the time, does anyone know which interview it was and if he elaborated at all?
Forgive me if this is stoopid, I've never had to consider it before. I moved out of a London flat in 2020 where my borders were clearly defined and easy to interpret. Now I'm in the sticks, all I have to go off is a site plan that was purchased as part of the conveyancing work, and shows a red line that isn't particularly precise. It doesn't detail any trees at the back of my plot, so I'm not sure if they're mine or not. If they're not, then they're public I guess as I back on to a public space. Anyone know where to start in determining this?
Looking likely to be one of Germany, Portugal or France. I'm thinking France, as I can see them drawing tonight and Germany winning. What's your starting XI then, assuming all fit and nobody isolating?
Pickford Walker Maguire Stones Shaw
You've got your partnerships there (City x 2, United x 2). All comfortable on the ball and unchanged from a clean sheet. I really like that as a back 4.
Rice Mount Grealish
Rice holding, Mount in for Phillips doing more of a defensive role than he's been asked to previously. Grealish in the #10, I think he has to start.
Sterling Kane Foden
Sterling has to start on form. Kane is a no brainer despite being quiet thus far and as well as Saka did, I'm going for Foden for his set pieces. Saka an option off the bench.
For me that's a great side. Puts a lot on Mount to be that all energy man in the middle but I think he brings a bit more than Phillips on the ball against higher quality opposition.
Have a 14:00 - 16:00 in my diary. It's sunny, we all know full well that nobody on this call wants it to happen. The organiser hasn't started the meeting yet, is it acceptable if I sack it off at 14:10?
Omid Djalili was the guest, saying he's recently moved to Ipswich. Speaking highly of the proximity to countryside and the docks area of town, despite starting with 'it's not that glamorous, I've moved to Ipswich' when asked about his recent move to the countryside.
He also said as a big footie fan he likes seeing the Ipswich players of yesteryear in and around the town. Wonder if we'll see him at PR next season.