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|Let us at least hope that today’s scenario stops people trying to credit Evans|
at 01:06 8 Aug 2020
with playing a long game as they did when we were in the Championship, where the plan appeared to be wait for FFP to be applied properly and swingeingly.
O’Neill’s comments about the cap limiting Evans’s ability to put money into the playing squad are laugh out loud funny. It’s a bit late for all that now. It wasn’t a few years ago, but it is now.
|You can just picture Brenner Woolley down in the tunnel with Lambert at Rochdale|
at 16:36 11 Jul 2020
In late October 2020.
BW: Well, Paul that’s 6 defeats in the first 7 games now, where do you think things are going wrong?
PL: it’s nae normal for the body to play football, and we’ve felt that all along. When I came here, the mood was on the floor and the players were playing on all fours. We’ve tried to get them playing standing upright and if somebody judges that’s not good enough, I’m big enough to take it. I’ve played in big games.
|Lee O’Neill on Sports Science|
at 14:43 11 Jul 2020
Is he essentially saying that it is a great tool but injuries happen in football and you have to accept that.
And this was essentially what we were going to build our glorious post McCarthy future on irrespective of things like styles of play, man management, player development and consistency of selection.
They really are utterly clueless at the top of this club. I won’t hold my breath over the review. Not because I don’t think it’ll raise the correct conclusions, but I have no confidence in the management team’s ability not to contradict themselves and repeat the mistakes again.
|All it needed was 11 more points from the 7 games we laid down and died in|
at 15:17 9 Jun 2020
over January-March and we would be a point ahead of Rotherham and going back up.
Feck Evans - Who has promoted a culture of mediocrity and ennui ever since 2015.
Feck Lambert - an utter fraud of a manager who will always be Scum based on his performance since he arrived here.
Feck the players- who battled back to the top of the table after one mid season wobble and promptly downed tools. Utter failure and mediocrity stamped through all of them. No skill, no heart, no desire, no courage, no leadership, no good. Struggling to cope with expectations? Well, you just signed your own death warrants in terms of your careers. How would you cope in the Premier League or Championship? Oh sorry, we already know. You’re either over the hill and sliding into irrelevance whereby the middle of League One is just perfect for you to see out your career or you’re flops struggling at this exalted level and determined to drag our club down until you can piss off to the National League outposts where you can play the big man.
We’re fecked as a club aren’t we and under the present leadership in boardroom and dugout, it will only get worse.
|20 years ago - The redemption of Bam Bam (Long Read)|
at 23:41 28 May 2020
F***KING USELESS T**T! OF COURSE HE’D BLOW IT, WOULDN’T HE? STRIKER? DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH! HE’S ALWAYS BEEN S**T. HE SHOULD NEVER PLAY FOR US AGAIN!
This was the rant I launched into as I was watching the end of the recording of the first leg of the playoff semi final between Ipswich and Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on 16 May 1999. My rant was the bursting of a dam which had been swelling to flood out from the moment Town’s chances of getting automatic promotion had been taken out of their hands after they had suffered a late loss to Crewe with two games left to play. I was convinced that it would all be OK. I was sure that Bradford would falter and when they drew 0-0 with Oxford the following weekend, I thought I would be proven right. I continued to laugh in fate’s mocking face as Town went to Birmingham the following day and James Scowcroft twice had headers cleared off the line before Birmingham scored the only goal of the game. “No, we’ve got this,” I said trying to remain upbeat, “There’s still a twist to come”. Bradford had to travel to play a Wolves side who were coming with a late run to try and break into the play-offs while we were at home to a Sheffield United side with nothing to play for. We did our job, the game was over by half-time, but although Wolves did their best, Bradford won through 3-2, with a little help from one of the Molineux goalposts. It would not be the first time that Paul Jewell would inflict a harmful blow on Ipswich Town. But I was still positive and wanted to say to the tearful Kieron Dyer and that Town fan whose footage gets used whenever Sky do a package about “Ipswich wanting to avoid any more play-off pain”, that it was still going to be OK. No-one loses three times in the play-offs and neither would we. “Wembley, here we come” said George Burley on Ceefax in the immediate aftermath of the Sheffield United game, and I was sure he was right.
Watching that first leg match the following weekend, I felt the rictus grin of optimism that I had worn over the preceding three weekends start to buckle and strain as the ball repeatedly fail to fall for Town when they were in attacking positions and when Mark Halsey turned down penalty appeals when David Johnson was brought down by, was it Mark Fish? Let’s say it was given that Town were hampered in 1998-99 by people like Fish and Jewell who subsequently worked for us and whose contributions to the positive well-being of our club can be measured out with a teaspoon. Anyway, with the score goalless and the 70 minute mark passed, suddenly Richard Naylor was through one-on-one. This was the moment, surely! But no... as he went into the box, he trod on the ball and by the time he had got it out of his feet, Steve Banks was able to dive on the loose ball. And that was when I lost it. To be fair, I think the rant was encompassing disgust at the whole squad for how they had bottled the last few weeks of the season, but nevertheless, it was Bam Bam who took the brunt of my stored up angst when history seemed to beckon and he tripped over his own bootlaces. There was a further explosion of invective when Michael Johansen scored the only goal of the game but with it also came a certain serenity, as for the first time in weeks I accepted that we would fail. The second leg was titanic but I was in a state of neutrality throughout. I couldn’t believe promotion would simply happen anymore; it either would or wouldn’t and thanks to away goal rules, it didn’t. What did the future hold? I hadn’t a clue, but if I’d been George Burley then it’s probable that Richard Naylor would have been sold.
But he wasn’t and at the beginning of the following season, he was an automatic pick and was scoring goals. Or he was until injury inevitably sidelined him to the substitutes’ bench again. By the time he was fit, he was fourth choice in any line-up behind Johnson, Scowcroft and new signing Marcus Stewart. And yet on the day of the 2000 play-off final, with a mere 20 minutes played and an outplayed Town a goal down to Barnsley, the man who I had excoriated so viciously a year before was getting ready to come on to replace the injured Johnson. On the bench behind him, dressed in a suit rather than his kit was Scowcroft, ruled out before the game. For myself, I hoped that the Naylor who had played those early games of the 99-00 season would be coming on and that maybe Stewart could snaffle a chance or perhaps we could work something from a set-piece. If we were to do this, Naylor would be crucial to it with his physicality and never-say-die spirit.
What no-one counted on, least of all me, was that on this day, Bam Bam would not only bring into the game all the things that we knew he could do, but a whole load of things that we never knew he had in him. Touch, control, passing, thought, finesse. Through him, the Town performance improved by around 20% and every time he got the ball, something looked like it would happen. Barnsley simply could not cope with him. He looked lethal, he looked focussed. He looked like he knew...Here on the biggest stage in British football and in a fixture that had taunted us like a mirage for four years, our fourth choice striker was having the fabled Game Of His Life. A goal to put us ahead, a takedown from a long ball by Mark Venus which led to the ball being crossed in for Stewart to make it 3-1; Ron Atkinson when summarising that takedown on the ITV highlights mentioned Richard Naylor in the same sentence as Stanley Matthews and Ferenc Puskas - never as great a player as either of them, but on this day, he played just like them, just when we needed him to. And finally, at the end, the characteristic Bam Bam fight to dig out the loose ball in a centre circle scrimmage and set up “Reuser....PREMIERSHIP!”
Tony Mowbray won the Man of the Match award but it should have gone to Bam Bam. He bent that game to his will and decisively stamped his authority on it in a way which galvanised his team-mates. It was also a decisive moment for him too. He had finally arrived as a footballer, 4 years after his debut although he would continue to find himself queuing behind others as a striker. It would take a move to central defence before he truly established longevity at Ipswich, but his place in a line-up was now a symbol of a truly “good” player turning out for us. And my 1999 rant turned to ashes in my memory. As the injuries settled down, he had a career to look back on with some satisfaction. 10 years later, he would be on the winning side against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup with Leeds United, the photos of him running alongside Wayne Rooney still make me smile. In assessing Richard Naylor’s career, one is tempted to use that well worn phrase, “He got the very maximum out of his ability”, but at the 2000 play-off final, he went beyond the limits of his ability in a way he never had before or subsequently. And for that he earned the undying gratitude of every Ipswich Town supporter.
[Post edited 28 May 23:47]
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