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I admit this could be harsh but my concern is the failure to change…
at 17:20 15 Jan 2022

… the direction of the match. The story was set, our weaknesses laid bare. When Wycombe started to get a foot in in McKenna’s first game we were swift and clear with changes to formation, and it worked. This time it felt like we waited too long - bar the first ten minutes it was poor - and we’re dreadful whatever we did.

One of those days but, considering the quality of the squad, we’ve had far too many of them this season.
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Gary Waldhorn (David in Vicar of Dibley) has died
at 16:09 11 Jan 2022

https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/gary-waldhorn-dead-vicar-dibley-2591

Think that means Dawn French and James Fleet are the only two original main cast members still alive?

Rest in Peace.
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Interesting comment from Clive Tyldsley at Millwall v Palace
at 13:58 8 Jan 2022

With replays being scrapped for the FA Cup third and fourth rounds it's possible they'll decide to scrap them altogether moving forward. If so, we'll be one of the clubs involved in the last ever FA Cup replay.

Shame we played so badly in it.
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Morsy's been left out of the Egypt sqauad for African Nations
at 17:22 29 Dec 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/africa/59818147

Good news for us and perhaps no surprise considering he hasn't seemingly been favoured for a little while.
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The matches behind the downfall...
at 00:06 19 Dec 2021

Having a bit of time and being bored I've had a thought of our slide down the leagues over 20 years, and matches which are landmarks for our decline. I'm sure further games may spring to mind for others but for myself...

09/02/2002 - Liverpool (H) Premier League, L0-6
For me, the match that in hindsight defines the start of the downfall. Heading into the game we had dropped just three points out of the previous 24, a run which had taken us from bottom of the table up to 12th. But a dismal performance against the Anfield side, leading into a near month long break afterwards (we wouldn't play against until 2nd March) seemed to eat away at us. Having our backsides served to us on a platter, we would pick up just six points from the next 36.

08/10/2002 - Grimsby Town (A) Division One, L0-3
I guess no record of our decline would be complete without the departure of our most successful manager since Sir Bobby Robson. After starting the season with a comfotable win at Walsall and a thrashing of Leicester, the wheels then started to come off. Six points from 21 points increased pressure heading into a rearranged match at Blundell Park, previously postponed from early September due to international call ups, but a Steve Kabba inspired Grimsby ended Burley's time here in brutal fashion.

18/05/2005 - West Ham United (H) Division One Play Off Second Leg, L0-2
It's amazing looking back that Joe Royle only had three full seasons at the club; it feels like longer. This was his second and a real sliding doors moment. Having already lost to West Ham in the play offs in 03/04, a revenge match was lined up, this time with Town finishing higher in the table. It looked like catastrophe was going to strike when the Blues fell 2-0 down at Upton Park when Marlon Harewood and Bobby Zamora put the Hammers 2-0 up within the first 15 minute but a Jimmy Walker own goal and Shefi Kuqi levelled the tie heading back to Portman Road. And then, two goals in just over ten second half minutes from Zamora crushed all hope and saw the London side not only make the play off final but claim promotion over Preston. As for the Blues, defeat saw the departure of the deadly trio Bent, Miller and Kuqi, who would not be replaced adequately for nearly a decade.

11/04/2009 - Doncaster Rovers (H) Championship, L1-3
With the arrival of moneyman Marcus Evans taking over the club, the 2008/2009 season was supposed to mark the start of Ipswich's return to the Premier League. Instead, it was a year riddled with inconsistency with too many draws and a failure to sustain a winning run; prior to April we failed to win more than two matches in a row. Does all of this sound familiar? By the time Doncaster visited the knives were being sharpened towards Jim Magilton and they were being metaphorically thrown after a limp defeat to a midtable side we considered, squad wise, our lessers. Jim would be given the Bristol City match 48 hours later and a derby day win over League One bound Norwich the following week, where Town fans would wave money at their Norfolk counterparts. That certainly didn't come back to haunt us.

10/12/2011 - Barnsley (A) Championship, W5-3
Unusual to have a win on a downfall thread but anyone who can think back this far can remember how it felt like Paul Jewell's era was about to end after Barnsley had taken a 2-0 early lead in a television match; the Blues had lost their previous seven league matches heading into Oakwell clash. However, somehow, with backs completely to the wall we somehow managed to turn it around, winning the second half 5-1 and giving Jewell a stay of execution which would stay in place for over ten months. Who would we have got in if Jewell had left after this game? McCarthy was still in charge of Wolves at this point.

10/01/2015 - Derby County (H) Championship, L0-1
Town were on a role going into the new year of 2015, picking up 26 points out of 30 through November and December, including a superb performance at home to Middlesbrough and a 4-2 win at Brentford. A testing trip to Premier League in Southampton ended up as a creditable draw, with a replay set after a home game against promotion rivals Derby in the league. Despite having the upper hand in the match, a Tommy Smith mistake led to a John Eustace winner and a team that had lost only once in 21 games in all competitions suddenly seemed to lose confidence. A tepid defeat to the Saints followed, along with eight defeats out of the remaining 21 league games saw Town slip from top two challengers to sneaking into the play offs in sixth.

16/05/2015 - Norwich City (H) Championship Play Off Second Leg, L1-3
And we all know what happened in the Play Offs. In fairness, Town performed well against a resurgent Norwich who had doubled us in the league (a reminder that the 3-2 win under Jim is still the last time we defeated them). After a 1-1 draw at Portman Road, the return leg was a tight affair until Christophe Berra was red carded for handball, with Wes Hoolhan converting the subsequent penalty. Tommy Smith would score an equaliser ten minutes later but the number discrepancy would prove too much, with City scoring two goals within the next twenty minutes. We have yet to return to the top six of any division.

17/01/2017 - Lincoln City (A) FA Cup Third Round Replay, L0-1
Nathan Arnold's last minute winner is still etched on my memory. Pressure was already building on Mick McCarthy with a dismal season unfolding without lead man Daryl Murphy, who had departed for Newcastle the previous summer. After finishing sixth and seventh in the previous two years, Town were sitting 14th, eleven points off the play offs and a weak performance at against the non-League Imps at Portman Road hardly helped matters. This was nothing in comparison to what the nation witnessed on primetime BBC One from Sincil Bank, where Lincoln had twice the number of shots and put the two whole division gap between the clubs to one side. The beginning of the end for Mick? If it hadn't started already.

13/03/2018 - Hull City (H) Championship, L0-3
By this point, a play off bid was drifting for the Blues, who sat twelfth, nine points off the top six and rapidly running out of games to play. The atmosphere had become toxic for some time with McCarthy coming up increasing pressure, and responding by doubling down on his backing of the players which felt like a them and us battle to the death. However, after two away wins had raised distant hopes of a late run, no one could expect the capitulation at home to a Hull side trying to scrabble away from the relegation zone under new boss Nigel Pearson. The Tigers were 2-0 up at half time, scored a third just after the break and the die was cast. Mick famously gathered the players together on the pitch under a barrage of boos and, after the following loss at Bristol City, announced his intention to leave at the end of the season. That was not enough to satisfy the fans and the pressure grew, including unsavoury reports of incidents after a 1-0 reverse at Brentford; Mick would then quit following a 1-0 win over League One bound Barnsley.

11/08/2018 - Rotherham United (A) Championship, L0-1
To this day I do not know how Town failed to win this match and perhaps it laid bare our issues for the season under Hurst and Lambert - struggling to convert chances combined with lapses at the back. This game has been selected as something of a sliding doors moment - what would have happened had we won as we deserved? Would Hurst have relaxed, instead of doubling down on him and the fans against the players which seemed to take over his short spell at the club, most memorably the defeat to Exeter in the League Cup which followed this defeat? Probably not, but after putting in a good performance, I do wonder whether Hurst's approach would have changed had we been victorious here. We had more across the season, most notably the 1-1 draw against ten man Preston, who had a midfielder in goal, in Lambert's first game and the 3-2 defeat to Bristol City where we led twice in November. The truth is, though, we were nowhere near good enough.

13/04/2019 - Birmingham City (H) Championship, D1-1
Not really a sliding doors moment or a result which changed momentum, or led to debilitating squad changes; it's just simply the one which finally relegated us. Don't worry about a thing, because every little thing will be alright.

20/10/2019 - Accrington Stanley (A), League One L0-2
Town had dropped just six points from a possible 33 and where making League One look like the diversion we needed to find momentum when, after an international break, we took a television trip to our recent beneficiaries, Accrington Stanley. I think we paid for their new club house, paying for their players in the summer of 2018 and I'm not sure if we have learned our lesson yet. Anyway, the stats make it look like an even match but, from memory, it was a miserable performance which saw Armado Dobra sent off, when already trailling 2-0 down, for a clash with Ross Sykes. Town would then lose 2-0 at home to Rotherham in a pitiful performance where they were dominated by the Millers (again, sound familiar?), see a short bounce with victories over Southend and Rochdale, before the rot set in - just four wins (one, ironically, against Accrington) in 21 games (there's that number again) before Covid drew the season to a premature close.

20/10/2020 - Doncaster Rovers (A) League One, L1-4
The second time Doncaster appear on this list. I never realised it was exactly a year to the day after the Accrington loss as, in a weird quirk of fate, the 20th October would lead to Ipswich's first league defeat of the season in 20/21 after another strong start of 16 points out of 18. And what a defeat it was; despite taking the lead via an own goal, Town capitulated, conceding two goals in ten minutes of the first half and two in two in the second. Another similarity between the two matches? Nsiala gave away a penalty in both. The Blues have only one more than two games in a row once since this loss - the run of Hull, Doncaster (again, the irony) and Accrington around the time of Lambert's dismissal. At least he started seasons well, I suppose.

04/12/2021 - Barrow (H) FA Cup 2nd Round, D0-0
I could pick quite a few games overseen by Paul Cook and pick them out as being turning points and if only's. It feels like his impact off the pitch almost carries as much, if not more, weight as what happened on it. So, despite the number of games where we threw away leads which may have offered some momentum, I'll leap to the limp, insipid, flat display against League Two opposition (not for the first time this season) which was to be his swansong. A highly paid squad had struggled to find any consistency from the start of the season and this was the nadir, the point of no return, for the previously successful Scouser; he'd be sacked later that day.

07/12/2021 - Charlton Athletic (A) League One, L0-2
The dreadful performance was one thing; a decent start falling apart the moment Charlton opened the scoring, with no side of the Blues getting back into the match, but what happened afterwards was something out of the end days of McCarthy, with fans openly hostile and abusive, this time towards the players rather than the manager. Nsiala (popping up on this list for the third time) tried to placate some of them after the final whistle, only to be abused further. Keeper Christian Walton went over to try and pull him away, only to be pushed over by a spectator. The club was falling apart at the seams.

15/12/2021 - Barrow (A) FA Cup Second Round Replay, L0-2
A creditable draw at Wigan followed the mess at Charlton, possibly raising hopes of a win at League Two Barrow in the FA Cup replay, especially as Town had managed victory over fellow bottom dwellers Oldham in the previous round. Oh ye of too much hope. Like the Lincoln debacle of nearly five years previously, the humiliating first half display was aired on national television, with legend Terry Butcher joining England international Lee Dixon and former Norwich striker Grant Holt in, quite correctly, tearing into the side. The second half saw a minor improvement but Barrow managed the game superbly and, other than the first few minutes of the second half, Town never looked like getting back into the match. A respectable performance at home to Sunderland followed but can we reliably say, with the arrival of Kieran McKenna, that the decline is finally over? Fingers crossed there will not be too many more games to add to this list.

I hope this hasn't depressed you too much on an early Sunday morning.
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One question about Covid hospitalisations
at 11:05 18 Dec 2021

Are the figures based on the number of people who are in hospital because of Covid or include those who have gone in for other reasons but have tested positive after admission?
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Was just able to order a pack of LFTs for home delivery from the official site
at 17:55 15 Dec 2021

Just in case people wish to do so.
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Would you be happy with Anthony Barry as the new Town manager?
at 16:16 15 Dec 2021

Would you be happy with Anthony Barry as the new Town manager?


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Harris or McInnes for manager?
at 17:03 14 Dec 2021

Going off their success rates in the English Football League, Harris has to be our preference?
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Man Utd have a Covid outbreak
at 17:14 12 Dec 2021

For the second week in a row Norwich play someone and then they report a subsequent outbreak.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/59625399

Not saying Norwich are behind it, as it's far too soon, but they'll be lucky to get away with it at this rate.

Hope everyone is ok.
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Neil Harris as new Town manager - would you be happy with his appointment?
at 12:01 12 Dec 2021

Neil Harris as new Town manager - would you be happy with his appointment?


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Just names - reasonable possibilities only - who’d you have as Town manager?
at 11:47 11 Dec 2021

Karl Robinson
From those out of a job: Neil Warnock
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So trying to read behind the lines of Phil's article, who does that leave?
at 18:36 10 Dec 2021

Tony Mowbray - No (not interested)
Frank Lampard - No (not interested)
Alex Neil - No (not sure whether it's down to him not being interested or the club)
Neil Lennon - No (club not interested)
Michael Appleton - No (club not intrested)
Lee Johnson - No (club not interested)
Liam Manning - No (club not interested)
Frank Yallop - No (club not interested)
Marc Bircham - No (club not interested)
EDIT: John Terry - No (club not interested)

Which means no comment made towards the following who have been linked/reasonably suggested:
Nigel Adkins
Neil Harris
Shefki Kuqi
John McGreal
Nigel Pearson
Karl Robinson
Wayne Rooney
Neil Warnock
[Post edited 10 Dec 2021 19:09]
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