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Kenlock v Knudsen...
at 11:37 16 Apr 2017

The problem I have with this is that we spent £300k on Knudsen, which may be a relatively small amount, but it happens to be the third highest transfer fee we have paid out in 5 years.
I dont think anyone can really argue that he didnt make a particularly great impression last season and that, given his age, he was perhaps one for the future who needed time to settle.
But at the same time, we had a player in our own academy who, to my admittedly untrained eye, looked to have more potential in his fleeting appearances than Knudsen did in the 40+ starts he was afforded.

What we needed last year was a stop gap- a player who could come in immediately and perform at a strong level for two years whilst our own development player was slowly fed into the team. Rather than another player, at a reasonable fee, who also needed developing at the same time, at the detriment of the first team.

It strikes me that we should have just stuck with Parr for 2 seasons, as a relatively cheap but capable left back.
The poor form stretches back some distance...
at 20:56 4 Dec 2016

its not just on recent form, or form this season. In the calendar year 2016, we have won 13 out of 41 games.
Weve scored 36 goals and conceded 40 in those 41 games.

At the 41 game mark in 2015/16, Rotherham had also won 13 games and sat 20th in the league. MK Dons were the only team to have scored fewer than 36 goals.

9 of those 13 wins were by 1 goal.
4 were the result of very late winners- MK Dons, Leeds, Reading and Wednesday.
2 were at the end of last season against sides whos season was already decided.

You could even take it further back. The last 17 games of 2015, going back to late September, contained 7 wins in which that club-record threatening 5 successive away wins helped mask some poor home form.
Yet, 4 of those 5 away wins were all against sides that ultimately finished in the bottom 5 (2 of them were relegated).
Meanwhile, we won just 2 out of 9 home games in that time, one of which was against Bolton, the remaining one of those bottom 5 sides, whilst the other was the last minute winner against QPR.

Of course, this is presenting facts in a way that paint a picture. But its hard to dispute that we have been very low goalscorers for all of 2016, whilst we have been expert at claiming the wins when we really need to and by a narrow margin.
And getting low scoring wins against the poorest sides to keep our heads above water seems like a perfect description of Mick McCarthys Ipswich over the last 18 months..
Excellent phonecall from the club (not the club)...
at 13:15 2 Oct 2015

"Hi how are you today? Are you going to the match tomorrow?"
"No, Im not, Ive been the last couple of years and its a long journey and we dont play particularly well there so Im giving it a miss"
"Oh, so you arent going every week now?"
"Are you not going to all the games anymore like in the past?"
"I go to all the home games, with the season ticket, but I dont go to all the games"
"Well, tomorrow is a home game though"
"No it isnt, its an away game"
"Its definitely a home game"
"Im pretty certain its an away game"
"No, its home, Saturday 3rd October v Barnsley"
"So, let me get this right, you are telling me that Ipswich Town have a home game against Barnsley tomorrow?"
"Yes, 3rd October, home to Barnsley"
"Youre wrong. Im 100% certain about that"
"No, its definitely correct...oh wait, I can see what Ive done here. Ive made a mistake. The thing is, Im selling on behalf of Doncaster Rovers aswell, on behalf of another company"
"Yes, I thought that might be the case, but you were quite adamant and youd think Im likely to know when the games are more than you. So what are you selling, because the answer is going to be no, but lets just get the end..."

Anyway, thats what happens when you employ a 3rd party to make calls on your behalf to sell the blues foundation.
at 11:07 16 Jul 2015

“It goes to a single judge and he decides we can’t play him and yet he could have come and worked in Tesco or another supermarket for minimum wage at 17 and it would have been OK, and yet FIFA stop him playing football. Sadly for him he missed six months of his career.”

I can understand why Mick is annoyed about not having a player available for a year, but Im not sure his point is quite right.

If a 17 year old is presented with the option to earn minimum wage in Tescos or to continue with an education programme, then somebody can put together a pretty strong argument to persuade them that they need to think about some continued education too.

If a 17 year old is offered what I imagine to be an above minimum wage salary to go and play professional football, Id doubt its going to be anywhere near as easy to remind them they need to think about education too.

Id imagine that, like most pro clubs, the education programme that was being put forward was probably pretty lightweight. McDonnell might turn out to be a really top player, but theres also a fair chance that in a years time hes going to be back in Ireland playing semi-pro and wishing he hadnt ignored his education whilst Ipswich Town were offering him the world.
New home kit...
at 11:22 13 Jul 2015

that collar looks daft, far too big. Its big enough that some fan will be able to wear a tie under it and will wear it to a wedding.
Its strange that there are probably only two retro shirts pre-1990 that fans would want them to do- the pinstripe 80s one and the white sleeved championship one- and the club have never yet managed to do a straight up copy. The current striped shirt should just have a blue v-neck and everyone would be happy (anyone whos seen Middlesbroughs new shirt would see thats a better shirt with stripes).
Whenever we have done white sleeves, its never had the white v-neck that would make it genuinely retro either.
Gold Card Popularity...
at 13:31 23 Jun 2015

Am amazed that 66% of Gold Card members think the Gold Card is Good or Very Good and that this is up 16% on last season.

This is despite the fact that, having actually had two games that might have justified a Gold Card for once (Norwich x 2), in both cases a Season Ticket had the same status as a Gold Card holder to purchase them.

I struggle to understand why such a high percentage think it is offering any value at all, let alone such good value.....?
The Hunt Brothers...
at 13:52 21 May 2015

Interesting reading both of their independent thoughts on their time at Ipswich. Both endorse what seems apparent from the outside- that the chemistry and environment around the club is very very good and perhaps the thing that has allowed us to match opponents who have an advantage financially.

Mick of course knows what hes doing to nurture and build on that, maintain that atmosphere at the club, rooting out anyone who doesnt buy in to that ethos. But as much as ability on the pitch, I wonder that some characters add hugely to the squad because of their personality off the pitch. Ive always got the impression from Micks comments that Stephen Hunts personality adds hugely to the environment. Recalling Chambers famous "swearing" speech, it was fantastic to hear the captain talk about how well Noel Hunt had bought into the atmosphere and shown great attitude too.
The bond the two brothers have, the way they reacted to each others successes, appears to be another ingredient in what is going on and for that I think at least one of them ought to be kept on.
[Post edited 21 May 2015 13:54]
One other thing from Saturday...
at 14:59 19 May 2015

was that the Norwich PA Announcer was still shouting and screaming after the game had kicked off. Poor form at the least, but I think there is actually history for clubs being fined for PA announcements of that sort during the game.
Perhaps we can get the result overturned....
That game at Crawley...
at 19:50 18 Mar 2015

earlier this season has turned out to be a pretty decisive night for the futures of many of those given an opportunity.

The lack of impact from Nouble, Wordsworth, Marriott, Hewitt and Bajner ended their careers at ITFC (harsh for Bajner, but he barely touched the first team afterwards and jury is out on Hewitt).

Taylor was in the shop window and never played again.

Whilst the performances of Bru, Bishop and Clarke, who all did really well, have seen them both become regulars in the first team squad.

Pretty decisive in hindsight even if it was a rubbish experience.
Just to rub things in a bit...
at 14:05 2 Mar 2015

The Swiss Ramble blogger has done something on Norwichs finances which he published today.

It makes painful reading, both in terms of Norwichs financial position now and also because its a perfect highlight of just how skewed finances are between the Championship and Premier League.

The same guy wrote a report on Norwichs finances for 2010 and it was effectively that, without selling land to the local housing authority, they were on the brink of administration having broke covenents on debt repayments (sounds familiar). The land sale bought them some time and, in the meantime, Paul Lambert got them back into the Championship.

Fast forward 4 years and a promotion and 3 PL years have seen their turnover increase from £23m to £98m last year and they have written off all their external debt, whilst making a £9m profit.

In any other business, their turnaround in financial fortunes would have been miraculous. But instead, all it really came down to was getting the right manager at the right time when they were about to go under.

Next year, the bottom placed PL team are going to earn a further £30m. When a team gets relegated, the parachute payments are doing nothing more than encourage the club to keep spending, because the PL want promoted teams with strong competitive squads so that their league remains marketable. Norwich apparently have 40% relegation release clauses in their contracts so, along with sales of players like Fer and Snodgrass, they dont even need a parachute payment.

Yesterday, Norwich brought on a £6m striker for the last 5 minutes to kill time. He was third in line to start the game. We brought on Luke Varney a player who cant even get a game at his parent championship club and will be released in the summer.

Yesterday for me was as much about losing a derby as releasing just how ridiculously far behind Norwich we are financially, simply because of 2 excellent seasons on the pitch that changed their fortunes dramatically.

We have to win promotion, its the only way to resolve it. Yet, each year we get closer to the point where its going to become financially impossible. Money isnt everything, but its almost impossible for it not to become the only factor in the next 10 years.

All of which makes this year start to appear even more critical.
Saw a half and half scarf yesterday....
at 11:55 2 Mar 2015 half yellow, one half blue.

I was nearly sick. Then I saw that the blue half was Chelsea and I actually was.

What kind of sickos do Norwich have?
Policing etc...
at 21:47 1 Mar 2015

For various reasons, was south of norwich before the game.
Walked to the stadium with zero aggression, but barely any other itfc fans around. Walked into stadium without issue. Stood practically next to the Norwich fans and hardly any aggression there either- one great moment when an ITFC fan leaned over the barrier and offered his pack of cigs to a norwich fan he had been shouting at all game. Norwich fan took one and put it behind his ear.
Walked out of stadium, asked police if we could go the other way, they just said wait until the crowd had passed and we did, then walked back again.
Chatted to some old Norwich fan on the way out who confessed finds it all a bit too stressful, hopes we dont meet in play-offs etc.

From all of that, the game was as mild as going to any other ground in the country. No different.

And yet all I read now is about fans who were mistreated by police etc and the way our fans were handled. There are obviously going to be fans who want to go to the derby to "give it the big un", but it does seem to demonstrate that whilst there was carnage trying to herd fans en masse to the station, everyone else got by without issue. I dont think Id ever get the train to Norwich again, because the policing of it seems to be as heavy handed as always. Yet, if you dont go by that route, it was no different to any other game.
Micks thoughts on our squad...
at 13:46 24 Feb 2015

“I’ve got a squad of 18 for the 14 games which are left so there’s always that conundrum of whether to do it or not. We’ve got Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday. It’s a fairly hectic schedule.”

Weve named a squad of 19 for tonight and we have 5 players our injured. I think our squad is a little bigger than 18 now.
Its amazing how much of the media feel they can predict...
at 13:45 16 Feb 2015

with any confidence how the championship will pan out.

On Football Weekly last week, they were previewing Boro at Arsenal and were complimentary about Boro (justified), yet it was summarised with "they will probably be in the premier league next year".

Im not sure I could say "probably" about any of the teams at this stage, not least Boro. Their last 10 league games involve playing 6 of the current top 8. They have a run of games in late March where they play us at home, followed by Bournemouth and Derby away in consecutive fixtures. If they win all 3 of them, they would surely be big favourites, but I would be surprised if they dont drop points in at least two of those games.

Away at Norwich is hardly going to be easy for them either.

For me, Derby look like they have the best squad and the experience of last year chasing promotion. But Bournemouths squad has promotion experience too.
From the always excellent "Loft for Words"...
at 19:58 3 Feb 2015

Probably not much else to add to this, although its worth mentioning that the context of this is even more relevant when he quit just two weeks later.....

"Here’s Redknapp before the Man Utd home game:

“I go home Saturday night from Burnley and I can’t talk to my wife. I can’t talk to anybody. I get so low. It’s scary. It’s not right really, but that’s how it gets you. When I stop feeling like that is probably the time I should retire. When I go home and think, 'Oh, it doesn’t matter – what’s for dinner, darling?’ Have some fish and a nice glass of wine. I go home now and just sit up watching television, watching football until about 05.00 on Sunday morning in a room on my own. It’s wrong. It’s a silly way to live your life, but if you care, you care. You can’t change the way you are.''

And here’s Redknapp after the Man Utd home game:

''Do I look like I feel under pressure? When I get home I'll take my wife for a nice meal somewhere, have a nice bottle of wine, then in the morning wake up and take my dogs for a walk. My life's very good.” "
The drummer...
at 22:29 1 Feb 2015

There is always value in games like yesterday. If the game is rubbish, its the time you notice stuff like "oh, that floodlight still hasnt been fixed" or "they really need to clean the roof".
Amongst other things, I noticed the drummer and once again, how it doesnt work. Think of almost any Ipswich song thats been sung down the years, the classics, and then try to imagine drumming a beat to them. It doesnt work, the pace is different.
So, a drummer ends up dictating the songs based on the ones that actually work with the drum beat he wants to play. And so it changes the atmosphere. Its exactly why the England band doesnt work- "The Great Escape" might work really well for a band to play, but it creates a totally different atmosphere. The drummer played "Ipswich Ole" over and over and over on saturday.
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