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Colby Bishop
at 20:29 9 May 2021

I know that 'throw everybody's names around as possible summer signings season' is now starting so I thought I'd add Colby Bishop to the list. Accrington Stanley striker - Was really impressed by him against Pompey today, a very street wise centre forward who is good in the air and dangerous when given a chance on goal. May recall him scoring twice against us for Accrington in the sky game in the 19/20 season. Only 24, could be a really good foil for Norwood/ another striker if we sign one. We need more physicality up front for sure.
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General ramblings
at 09:15 11 Apr 2021

We do not know what the reasons were for PC avoiding the media Friday and yesterday, but either way it's reasonable to speculate as it's an unusual way to behave immediately after a takeover.

Recent performances have pretty much mirrored eachother exactly and thus his post match press comments could have pretty much been copy/ paste jobs. Has he simply given Gill more media time this week as he doesn't want to be seen as repeating the same message over and over again? In terms of Friday, there have been several player releases this week which will likely have taken up a fair bit of his time, plus meeting MOL and at some point concentrating on yesterday's game. On a practical level when broken down, skipping those 2 media opportunities is understandable.

As people have eluded to already, PC may not have ended up at Bristol City because he didn't like the structure that Ashton heads there, and if the structure here is going to be similar/ PC really was that unaware about the takeover, it's an interesting development. The problem for PC is that the route we might (potentially) be going is not uncommon and is fast becoming the norm in the modern game, so the jobs that tick all of his boxes are dwindling by the season. I've always been a believer in managers needing to have a final say on recruitment regardless of structure, but we also have to get an edge on other clubs where we can and improving our scouting networks/ recruitment methods is an important step in that.

If there is a situation developing, there is now a difficult balance to strike. If the hierarchy really are indeed set (or have been set from the off) on Ashton as a CEO, you would have to trust that they are absolutely certain that it can work and they probably need to be decisive on that. If PC walks as a result of that though, it is not a good image especially at the very start of a new ownership given that PC is highly respected all around the EFL/ we would do well in this current climate to get a similar standard of manager to come in and manage us in L1. That said, you would hope the new ownership could sell the club very well with the long term vision.

Amongst it all, it has been a pretty underwhelming start to the PC era and we are still right to have expected more from these first few games. There will be many who will not be perhaps as concerned about him walking away now as they would have been after 3 or 4 games, but clearly this is a very poor group of players that severely lacks in quality.
[Post edited 11 Apr 9:19]
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Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
at 23:47 13 Mar 2021

Still playing, in the SPL for Livingston. Scored a cheeky one today, worth seeing.

Always felt that JET had an enormous amount of talent and has not come close to fulfilling the potential he had. I remember Wenger talking highly of him a year or so before he ended up with us.
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'Going down to 10 men cost us the game'
at 08:03 27 Jan 2021

Were the tables to have been flipped and Sunderland had a player sent off instead of us, do people really think we would have beaten 10 men based on how things are going?

It obviously made things a lot lot harder for us without question, but it's an easy line to take after a defeat. I can think of several times watching ITFC when we've been unable to break down 10 men.

For what it matters, we probably wouldn't have won that game with 11 men anyway. Sunderland managed the game/ ball well and realistically they could have gone up a gear if they really needed to. We also didn't have to precede to play without a striker for 50 mins.
[Post edited 27 Jan 8:09]
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Who would people want to see appointed when Lambert goes?
at 21:43 24 Nov 2020

Surely a matter of when at this point, given the context/ importance of this season and the manner of last season's fall away.

Cook for me, although I have serious doubts whether he'd really want to come here.
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Carlos Edwards still going strong
at 23:10 8 Sep 2020

I saw him playing for Bury Town at Needham Market tonight. He appears to be getting deployed as a defensive midfielder nowadays. A blast from the past.
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Yesterday's belated assessment
at 11:55 6 Sep 2020

Really good yesterday - Great to see Sears looking more like the 2015 Sears, a wide forward role definitely suits him and always has (I could see Jackson, if he stays, being deployed in a similar way on the opposite side with Norwood or Hawkins in the middle as a straight CF. That could certainly be effective if the service up to them is as good as it was yesterday).

The midfield looked sharp, positive and very composed in possession. We rarely gave the ball away cheaply. Bishop in particular looked really good. Excellent assist for Sears' second and general decision making was really good. Dozzell looked very comfortable in possession in that deeper role. There was a moment in the first half where Bristol Rovers cut us open very easily and Dozzell was nowhere to be seen, aside from that it was a very comfortable afternoon for him in that deeper midfield role. Clearly when we play the tougher more attack minded teams and are under more pressure in our own third, naturally Huws/ Skuse would be more suitable.

Ward and Chambers both looked excellent when going forward at full back. Woolfenden and Nsiala looked fine too albeit they weren't troubled hugely. The bottom line is that the defence will naturally look better when we keep the ball better and are not putting them under extra pressure/ vice versa.

I suspect Drinan will be Jordan Roberts 2.0, in the sense that most of his game time will come in the cups. I thought he made the ball stick up top, brought others into play, played well and really should have scored. Hawkins showed a few moments when he came on to suggest he will be a very useful foil for others.

Good afternoon all round, albeit Bristol Rovers did look really poor. Without the goals of Clarke-Harris this year, it could be a long season for them.
[Post edited 6 Sep 2020 11:57]
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Another angle on today
at 19:47 29 Aug 2020

Multiple fringe players have done themselves no favours today - Not just in terms of getting into the team for the start of the season, but also in terms of the bigger picture. With such a big squad (particularly with midfielders), it is obvious that players will need to leave before more can come in. The timing of today's poor performances from those already on the fringes of the first team further affirms who we need to look to move them on/ move forward with.

In a strange way, a win of any sorts today would have given Lambert something to cling onto with certainly 3 or 4 of them going into the new season. Instead there's a sense of same old same old after today, which perhaps makes deciding who to go forward with in the long run a bit clearer.

The strength in depth we perhaps believed we had for this level 12 months ago has since shown itself to be weaker than we thought. The squad undoubtedly has some quality within it, but also clearly some that could do well elsewhere but have done little more than flatter to deceive whilst being here (Judge/ Nolan are 2 that immediately spring to mind).
[Post edited 29 Aug 2020 19:57]
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Kieran Dowell/ Nodge
at 19:54 30 Jul 2020

"with the history of the club, I think it (Norwich) is a really good fit for me"

The kid obviously has no interest in winning any trophies.

Which entry on the honours list will have impressed him the most though?
[Post edited 30 Jul 2020 20:01]
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Middlesbrough
at 14:59 24 Nov 2019

Their decision to ditch Pulis for Woodgate is looking like a masterstroke, I have to say. Play offs and 7th under Pulis, 4th bottom under Woodgate. That team should not be doing so poorly.

Speaking for our situation with he who shall not be named by the end, I can understand the Pulis out part. However, I'm surprised Boro fans aren't getting told they should have been careful what they wished for every 10 minutes like we were 12 months ago. Unlike us last season, them being in the lower end of the table is inexcusable considered their last 2 finishes and the financial backing. I recall their fans also forced out Monk (before Pulis) after 3/4 months in charge rather harshly on the face of it.
[Post edited 24 Nov 2019 15:08]
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Reflecting on the game
at 00:15 18 Aug 2019

Undoubtedly we had an escape today.

Very positive/ fast start in the first 15-20 minutes, playing on the front foot and earning the right to dictate play. Winning the ball in the centre of the pitch and getting the ball out to Edwards/ Rowe was proving simple but effective. Edwards & Rowe were also constantly closing down and busy, and quick balls up to Norwood/ Jackson kept the Peterborough defence stretched and hesitant to play a higher line. Our goal was very fortunate and very much a poacher's goal (something we have not had for a long time).

We lost our way after the good start, and annoying old tendancies quickly resurfaced as the afternoon went on. Inviting pressure by needlessly conceding possession, unpressured errors and silly fouls to concede free kicks in dangerous crossing areas. Having got away with it 3 or 4 times from various threat levels, we allowed one of the most talented wingers in the division to cross the ball into a poorly marked Toney to head in. An ugly reminder that our habit of inviting crosses with cheap fouls and not being able to deal with the subsequent set pieces has not gone away.

Kenlock and Donacien were very poor and often caught in possession, giving the ball away cheaply/ lazily and often getting caught out of position (Holy bailed out Donacien in particular early in the second half with the save when the player was completely open). Another poor goal for the opposition came as the result of another individual mistake in the centre of defence where a poor attempted clearance from a simple diagonal ball into the box somehow led to a one on one opportunity.

Going forward, we failed to create much by way of clear cut opportunities for most of the afternoon. Too often we resorted to long aimless punts up the pitch which mostly led to nothing. On the occasions we did get to the final third, passing was laboured and generally broke down into multiple short passes in the corner of the pitch followed by a hopeful punt into the box to nobody. Jackson and Norwood had little by way of convincing service to feet/ head all afternoon, with many of their best openings coming from chasing down quick balls down the channels or simply anticipating possible mistakes. Service into them needs to improve. Although Skuse and Downes were excellent today, there is not enough creativity in the centre of midfield. In the end, late pressure, an excellent El Mizouni delivery and an excellent Chambers header earned us a late reprieve, despite those final 20 minutes of watching Peterborough sit deep with relative comfort as we toiled and laboured with very little threat being made on their goal (again a theme from last season in particular). Judge was again ineffective, too often electing to shoot from unlikely distances when using a team mate was a more sensible option.

Despite our obvious weaknesses and shortcomings, Peterborough did not trouble us hugely either over the course of the game and arguably should have. Holy could do little on the goals (both self inflicted by ourselves) and otherwise made an excellent save at 1-1 and a routine save from a Toney header straight at him at 1-0. It was not a hugely busy afternoon for him despite our issues. Downes and Skuse in particular were assured and comfortable for much of the afternoon without offering much going forward, Rowe and Edwards played well too. Jackson was excellent, winning the penalty in the second half (albeit a dubious call) but generally getting himself in good positions often through his work rate and desire rather than good service being given to him. Norwood had a mixed afternoon, to get off the mark was an important moment for him today but remains to be seen how he will react to the missed penalty in the second half. It was a poor penalty, and I'm sure he'll be the first to admit that. Ultimately, if we want to get the best we can out of Norwood, he will need better service.

All and all, 5 points from the first 3 games and being unbeaten is a good outcome, particularly given that the result felt like a bit of an anti climax despite the late drama. In the same way that Sunderland hung in a game that they were very very poor in a week ago, we did exactly the same this week and that is what the better teams in any division do. We will be in the upper levels of the division come May, but talk of top 2 has to be tempered currently. We have some good players returning from injury in the coming weeks and hopefully you would expect they will add to what we have currently and make a big difference. Without doubt, we need to get a winning habit going though. Big week coming up, Wimbledon will shape our mindsets hugely. 8 points from the first four would be great, fail to win and suddenly it's three games without a win/ no win since the opening day, and question marks will naturally creep in. A big week for sure, and a lot to work on. Vincent Young will hopefully be an excellent addition, but a further winger and striker are also required. Our style today was crying out for a Daryl Murphy up front.
[Post edited 18 Aug 2019 0:21]
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Sunderland fans
at 23:24 5 Aug 2019

Just been on their forums to gage the mood up there ahead of Saturday, and it ain't good.

The general consensus is that they think they look like a really poor side and don't think are good enough to get promoted. Predictions for Saturday are currently largely in favour of a win for us. The pressure has cranked up a notch on Jack Ross after Saturday, with the majority having lost patience with him and claiming the football is too negative and lacking cohesion. They were booed off on Saturday against Oxford.

Hopefully we get at them from the off and get an early goal like we did on Saturday. Even at this early point in the season, it strikes as being a really big game for them (and Ross in particular).
[Post edited 5 Aug 2019 23:24]
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Simon Jordan
at 20:16 9 Apr 2019

My first reaction to the story was that this is not the first time Jordan has made digs at Evans. He had previously criticised him about the Elite Player Performance System, claiming that Town voted in favour of it rather than against it, which was a complete lie.

Reading his comments today, he's not saying anything that is particularly far from the truth. We are obviously in decline as we are about to get relegated (!) and his comments on Evans' 'involvement' are pretty relatable to many fans. As much as it annoys some people, it is natural that people outside of the club will also go back to the M word for the start of the decline. In fairness, he also refers to Ipswich being a really good club that is in decline for no particular reason other than how the club is run.

However, clearly Evans has clearly done something to annoy him at some point. It is clear that although he knows Evans, they do not speak as he has spoken out against him multiple times now.
[Post edited 9 Apr 2019 20:20]
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Lambert
at 01:16 3 Mar 2019

Talks a good game (I'm sure I'm not the only person to notice he loves a good Borussia Dortmund reference in almost every story), but has there really been any evidence that he can manage a good game whilst he has been here?

Yesterday for example, in a game that he himself dubbed as a must win game at home against a team who were 4th from bottom in the table, why was he playing 5 defenders and 1 man up front?

Injuries have obviously left us short in the striker department, but we still had Kayden Jackson on the bench (who never made it on) and instead we opted for Quaner on his own. Not to say he has looked terrible, but I am still none the wiser as to exactly what position Quaner is really best suited to playing. He is not an out and out centre forward and would say he has looked marginally best suited to playing as a wide forward, to play him as a lone striker seemed pretty bizarre. The plan to have 5 defenders was essentially to allow Bree and Kenlock to get forward. Both were poor, and too often Nolan and Judge were drifting out wide (despite them being primarily central midfielders). With our lack of aerial presence and lack of numbers making runs into the box, why was the primary plan to get the ball out wide and stick it in the box from there? It was painfully ineffective all afternoon, with the exception of Edwards' goal which was moreso down to the persistence of Skuse and a fortunate deflection.

Most weeks have often panned out the same way. Tactics and systems have not been suited for the personel we have. Results are not too dissimilar to what Hurst's were, and I've seen little if any improvement in the football under Lambert so far (even if there has been a bit more fight shown).

The reality is that Lambert has played the fans so far and bought himself extra time through consistently good PR, rather than noticeable improvement to the football. Has there really genuinely been a great improvement? Has he really shown proof that he can manage games effectively? 2 wins in 20 suggests not.

There was never going to be a silver bullet with the squad he inherited, but that doesn't make him the right man going forward and the jury should very much still be out. I have several concerns, more so after yesterday. The set up for the game looked completely wrong from minute one.

So far, Lambert seems to have built up a good rapport with fans because:
- He got sent off at Norwich
- He wrote an open letter to fans
- Has met some fans and ex players for a coffee
- Paid for a coach load of fans for an away game

I want to like Lambert because we are winning games or at least playing good football that makes sense. So far, I've not been able to. It will be a big summer for him, without question. There will be a lot of personel changes and he will get a great opportunity to build his own team to something resembling how he wants it to look. I'm not convinced from what I've seen so far that he will get it right, but we can only hope there's a plan.
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3 Best/ Worst ITFC loan signings?
at 00:21 5 Jan 2019

With all this talk of loans recently, who are your 3 best and worst loan signings?

My 3 best would be:
Dos Santos (only for a month or so, but was easily one of the most talented footballers we've had at the club for some time)
Bullard (class when we had him on loan in 2010/2011)
Reuser in 2000 (Don't need to explain)

My 3 worst would be:
Mark Fish (Hauled off at half time on his debut, and never seen again)
Zeki Fryers (Utterly horrendous performance at Huddersfield a few years back, not seen again after)
Jordan Graham (2 loans spells, impressively ineffective both times)
[Post edited 5 Jan 2019 0:22]
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Expectations of Paul Lambert's Ipswich
at 08:34 26 Oct 2018

I, my brother and my father have gone to watch Ipswich for a decent stretch of time between now, albeit not as long as many of you. My first game was back in 1998, as a 1-0 home defeat as Bolton and Bob Taylor stunned us in injury time.
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Post game thoughts, with a dose of parody
at 17:11 18 Feb 2018

Very deflated by the nasty sting in the tail at the end there. To be undone at the end by what started out as a hopeless long ball somehow turned into a goal, with the help of some inexplicably poor individual errors from us, is an extremely annoying way to concede what would have been a massive win.

On the balance of play though, a draw was a fair result. We were much better than them in the first half, but Norwich will also point to Bart's saves and their second half display and feel aggrieved that they did not take advantage. Town defended doggedly, were organised throughout and deserved at least a point.

Going to Carrow Road, as always, is like travelling back in time to a far away planet. The sellout 27,000 crowd raised to loudly and proudly acclaim three "heroes" from their 1993 UEFA Cup "run" to the third round. The tannoy announcer then attempted to drum up awareness for their Norwich legends vs Inter Milan legends game, to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of their momentous achievement. These are the same fans who are salty the moment that any references are made to our UEFA Cup and FA Cup wins not many years before their "run", when suddenly "history is irrelevant".

Norwich fans continue to be completely obsessed with us. They followed through with their 16th minute applause to sarcastically celebrate our 16 successive seasons in the championship. They clearly need reminding that they have spent 14 of the last 20 seasons in the same division too, and of course been in league one during that time. However, they promptly fell silent as we responded with "You've never won f*** all". It took the noisy teenage contingent in the Barclay well over 10 minutes before braving any of their three songs (all anti Ipswich) again.

On 85 minutes, the vast majority of the Norfolk contingent continued to show their class as they sat in silence as a minute's applause broke out from the away end to commemorate what would have been one of England's most successful managers and one of football's most beloved characters' 85th birthday.

The scenes at full time could have been mistaken for coming behind from 3 goals down to win a champions league final, rather than scraping a draw at home to your bitterest rivals (who they are still below in the table), although they could be forgiven since their club has never really achieved any proper quantifiable success in it's existence. As we left the stadium, the usual soundbites of "we beat the scum 9-2" (since when have aggregate scores from league fixtures been relevant?) reverberated from a group of city fans in tracksuits stood nearby.

All and all, a good day and a good performance. Town have little reason to fear our neighbours anymore. Their annoying habit of taking points off us despite playing poorly masks the reality that we remain above them in the table (albeit on goal difference) and that over the course of the season, they have largely struggled to show evidence of any feasible dominance in class. We will have them next season (we hope!).
[Post edited 18 Feb 2018 17:12]
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Scummers having (another) meltdown
at 12:59 16 Jul 2017

Because Klose and Pritchard got injured during their pre season friendly yesterday. Apparently tackling in pre season, rather than letting the opposition turn up and win comfortably, is "aggressive" and has "no place in pre season". Sensitive souls.
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