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Could Millwall have taken the p*** any more?
at 09:42 4 Aug 2019

First they wriggle out of paying £900K for Bart after his medical but then take him on loan. In his joining interview, Bart said he had his agent on the phone every day to make the move happen. The loan fee, if any, is unknown but it's pretty safe to assume Evans has been burned (as usual) by Millwall as they knew he was desperate to get Bart's wages off the books. Then they have the cheek to send us someone so crocked we don't even bother giving him a medical...

Alan Nixon
MILLWALL'S Tom Elliott had one of the strangest transfer turnarounds having been set to join Ipswich.

The striker, 28, went for a medical but arrived with a bad shoulder and hamstring strain — so was sent away without any checks.
Telegraph: ITFC fans ready to 'embrace League One' as historic relegation looms
at 13:37 12 Apr 2019

Ipswich fans ready to 'embrace League One' as historic relegation looms
By Lewis Steele

Martin Dale has seen almost everything at Ipswich Town – glorious European nights under the guidance of Bobby Robson, league title challenges and FA Cup wins beneath Wembley's twin towers. But now he is about to witness something new: relegation to English football's third tier.

Ipswich will tumble into League One for the first time since 1957 on Saturday if they fail to beat Birmingham City at Portman Road. Their fate has looked inevitable for months – they are 14 points adrift of safety, with just four wins to their name all season – but that will not stop Dale, 64, shedding a tear when the worst is finally confirmed.

“Whenever the relegation happens of course I will have a tear in my eye," he told Telegraph Sport, just before the latest of Ipswich's 22 defeats this term – 2-0 at Brentford on Wednesday. "Even though I've known it was coming for months it'll still hit me.

“I've seen us competing at Wembley in FA Cup finals. Now our best hope is the Football League Trophy."

Wednesday represented Ipswich's season in microcosm – moments of competence interspersed with horrendous defensive mistakes that ultimately sealed the side's fate. There were still over 1,600 travelling fans there to see it – a remarkable tally for a side marooned at the bottom of the table – and they were in good voice, despite events on the field. At one stage, fans sang about "going to Shrews-bu-ry" to the tune of Que sera sera.

Paul Lambert, the Ipswich manager, is also looking ahead to next year. He used four academy graduates in his midfield at Griffin Park – with Teddy Bishop, Flynn Downes andAndre Dozzell, in particular, impressing – and the blooding of young talent, traditionally one of Ipswich's strengths, has provided a sliver of light amid the gloom.

“They will need streetwise players with them but you can’t stress enough their development,” Lambert said. “It’s really going to help them. They will learn from it and get better and better at it. They will become a really good side.

“There’s a lot of good things at the club. We've got some great players.”

It is not difficult to find sympathy for Lambert, who also experienced relegation with Stoke last season, and who has won just three of his 26 games in charge of Ipswich since taking over from Paul Hurst in November.

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Hurst arrived as one of English football's bright young coaching minds, and was supposed to be the antidote to the more prosaic football offered up by his predecessor Mick McCarthy. That football was enough to keep Ipswich safe but fans had turned long before his departure; surprisingly, few now consider that to be a mistake.

“Despite going down the atmosphere at the ground is the best it’s been in years," said another fan, Tash Arculeo. "I went when McCarthy was there and it was toxic.”

There are no guarantees that Ipswich will find League One much easier – as Sunderland will testify – but fans are relishing the prospect of watching some victories, at least.

“People are looking forward to it, weirdly," added Dale. "They may see us win a few games, and it’ll do us all some good in the long run."

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Tash's father, Mark, agreed. "I was angry until Christmas about the performances. Now I’m embracing League One. Most clubs do come back up but some go the other way. I don’t think we will be one of those. We may not win the league, we have to be realistic, but Ipswichshould be back in no time."

Lambert seems to have time, at least, and it was notable that there was no ire aimed at the Scot from the away contingent at Brentford. Instead, those fans preferred to focus their frustrations on the owner, Marcus Evans.

“We can’t rely on loan signings again – the owner pumps some money into the club," Dale added. "I just hope he sees what Ipswich means to us."

Metro: how has club owned by UK's 167th richest man been allowed to decline?
at 13:36 12 Apr 2019

Good Evans, Ipswich are in a state of real decline
The Payne game EFL

IPSWICH are likely to drop out of the top two divisions for the first time in 52 years tomorrow, and the most damning part of it is nobody should be surprised.

Tractor Boys fans were being warned to be careful what they wished for when they hounded out Mick McCarthy a year ago this week with the club firmly in mid-table.

Centre-back Adam Webster and strikers Martyn Waghorn, David McGoldrick and Joe Garner also left in the summer, leaving gaping holes in a squad already light on quality.

McCarthy's successor Paul Hurst has got much of the blame. Like the manager himself, much of Ipswich's summer recruitment came from the lower divisions.

It should also be pointed out the experienced Jon Walters suffered an Achilles injury in his second game and that, with ten points from just 15 games before getting sacked, Hurst's record is no worse than what has followed.

The biggest ripple caused by replacement Paul Lambert was his red card against Norwich, which somehow felt contrived.

Getting in a pointless scrap with staff from his former club may have earned brownie points with Ipswich fans but three wins from 26 games so far tells its own story.

The real puzzle about Ipswich is how a club owned by the 167th richest man in the UK have been allowed to languish in such a way.

Marcus Evans may not want to throw good money after bad but making a healthy transfermarket profit has left his club with the poorest squad in the Championship. Now they are heading for League One.
Sun on Evans-If you didn't know otherwise you would think it deliberate sabotage
at 09:09 12 Apr 2019

Evans knows you're miserable now
Neil Ashton
THE glory days are long gone.

Outside the ageing main stand at Portman Road, ground staff are sweeping away another season of misery.

Chip papers float like kites, plastic cups rattle along the gutters and rainsoaked ticket stubs remember visits from Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and local rivals Norwich City.

It will be a good while before Ipswich Town fans hurry excitedly down Sir Alf Ramsey Way for another Old Farm game.

Years of decay, neglect and dreadful decision-making means the Tractor Boys, beaten 2-0 at Brentford in the week, could be relegated from the Championship at home to Birmingham tomorrow.

This is the death of another great club, with Ipswich steeled for their first spell in the third tier since 1957. Back in those days it was called Division Three (South) and when they left they never thought they would be back.

In 1992, with John Wark sent for the first photoshoot in his tassled Umbro shirt, Ipswich were founding members of the FA Premier League.

The decline has been sharp. Fans trade on memories, relying on parents to pass down stories about Bobby Robson's Uefa Cupwinning team of Terry Butcher, Arnold Muhren andFrans Thijssen in 1981.

The 2000 play-off final, when George Burley's progressive side beat Barnsley 4-2 to reach the Premier League, is cherished by another generation of Suffolk folk.

What has happened since is a chronic story of club mis-management, skewered by the catastrophic ownership of Marcus Evans.

If you didn't know otherwise, you would think it was deliberate sabotage.

Beyond the vanity appointment of Roy Keane, Evans has tried all different types. Paul Jewell was given a go because of his CV at Wigan, Mick McCarthy's success in the Championship was another attraction, and people were saying all the right things when Paul Hurst was at Shrewsbury.

Hurst, who won a single game, was fired after 149 days.

McCarthy, a decent and respectable chap, did his best under testing financial circumstances. The fans could not stomach the football but McCarthy finished 14th, ninth, sixth, seventh, 16th and 12th without spending a cent.

Evans (left), caving in to fan fury at the end of last season, has been regretting the decision to get shot of him ever since.

He eventually turned to Paul Lambert, still getting jobs even though he has won 19 games in three years.

Ipswich are heading down because they are anchored to the foot of the Championship on just 27 points.

Next season, just like Sunderland, Portsmouth, Leicester, Norwich, Forest and Leeds before them, they will have to press reset.

Some in the Ipswich dressing room have shown little or no aptitude for a relegation scrap at a club with fine football principles and history.

It brings to mind the famous dressing-room line from defender Rufus Brevett when West Ham were condemned in 2005.

He said: "You'll care about it when the fixture list comes out next season."

For Ipswich, winners of the old First Division in 1962 and the FA Cup in 1978, that means some pretty grim trips.

League One football means visits to Burton, Fleetwood, Gillingham, Oxford, Shrewsbury andAccrington.

They will also enter the Checkatrade Trophy for the first time, with group games sorted out after a mid-June draw that can be easily missed.

First they have to get Birmingham out of the way.

The die-hards will turn out in force, with another 15,000 expecting another 90 minutes of torment.

This club's decline is staggering because 62 years of history will be wiped out when relegation is eventually confirmed this season.

With apologies to their long-suffering fans it means that John Cobbold's famous quote gets yet another airing.

Cobbold, chairman when Ipswich had decent teams under Ramsey and Sir Bobby, joked: "The only crisis at Ipswich is when we run out of red wine in the boardroom."

If only.

Martyn Waghorn interview today: Mick the best manager I've played for
at 22:06 26 Mar 2019

Martyn Waghorn interview today with Sunderland fanzine Roker Report:

RR: You’ve played under some huge names. Roy Keane, Sven-Goran Eriksson and now Frank Lampard but who was the best and worst manager you’ve played under and why?

MW: I wouldn’t say ‘worst manager’ but my season under Sven was difficult and I didn’t really enjoy it. I had a difficult injury and was in and out of form. A lot of things went wrong, we had a big squad and I was in and out of it. So under Sven was my worst time.

The best is difficult, because I’ve had so many good managers for so many good reasons. The gaffer now [Frank Lampard} - what he had achieved in his time as a player and the experience he brings is invaluable at this stage in my career, he’s helping my progress and get better. I’m loving my football under him at the moment.

Roy gave me my chance and knew what I was about and knew what I wanted to do. Unfortunately I didn’t play under him enough because I went on loan and when I came back he had left. But that season where he got us out of the Championship shows you how good he was. He dragged the club from the bottom and turned the entire club around. When I played under him, and where I played under him was brilliant.

I would have the say the best is Mick McCarthy for what he did for me last year though, to be honest. He gave me the chance to play back in the Championship, he got me out of Rangers when I was told I could leave. I had the best year of my career under him. He put his arm around my shoulder, supported me, gave me the opportunity and the platform to go and do my stuff. He was brilliant for me and the squad was full of good lads which had been build by Mick and his team.

It just felt like we had loads in common. He knew what I brought and who I was as a player and brought the best out in me.

at 08:54 8 Jan 2019


ANOTHER thrilling weekend for Ipswich. Having driven out Mick McCarthy last season on the grounds his football wasn't exciting enough, the adventures just keep coming.

On Saturday, Ipswich succumbed to a thrilling 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Accrington Stanley. The club is already on its second manager of the season, is 10 points shy of safety, bottom of the Championship and has won two League games all season. Owner Marcus Evans is so excited by it all, he wants to sell.

The fact is, McCarthy was doing a very creditable job in trying circumstances, as he has through much of his career. When he left Millwall in 1995-96 they were 14 points off relegation, and ended up going down. He departed Wolves in 2012 when they had just entered the relegation zone in 18th place on goal difference, but had the same points total as Queens Park Rangers in 16th. They went down too, bottom of the league, 12 points plus goal difference adrift of safety.

As for Ipswich, they were 12th when McCarthy left last season and have won three games since. There are a lot of managers out there who make poorly run clubs seem good, and never get the credit for it. McCarthy's detractors at Ipswich craved excitement. Now, it would seem, they have more than they can handle.
Points per game
at 14:17 27 Dec 2018

2012/13: McCarthy: 1.6 points per game

2013/14: McCarthy: 1.5

2014/15: McCarthy 1.7

2015/16: McCarthy 1.5

2016/17: McCarthy 1.2

2017/18: McCarthy 1.3

2018: Hurst 0.6; Lambert 0.6


W1 D6 L7 F11 A22 - 9 points from 14 games, 0.6 points per game


W1 D3 L6 F8 A17 - 6 points from 10 games, 0.6 points per game

On average, 47 points required for Championship survival.

ITFC would require 32 points from 22 remaining games, 1.5 points per game
Spare £10 ticket if anyone needs one
at 10:40 20 Oct 2018

Spare £10 ticket if anyone needs one, posh seats block Y Co-op under Press box, usually £40 on a matchday. Drop me an email and collect outside ground. Ta, Tim
Spare £10 ticket, block Y Britannia
at 10:36 20 Oct 2018

Spare £10 ticket if anyone needs one, posh seats block Y Britannia, usually £40 on a matchday. Drop me an email and collect outside ground. Ta, Tim
Martin Samuel: McCarthy could be the first man to win Manager of the Year
at 09:44 21 Sep 2018

Martin Samuel today:

Point two: Ipswich – fascinating this season, so I’m told.


Martin’s comments about Ipswich are typical of people who never actually visited Portman Road to watch the turgid non-football that Mick McCarthy’s team played week after week. Thousands of fans had voted with their feet, me included. I returned this season and have seen two entertaining games. Yes, the new manager is inexperienced at this level, but so were our most successful managers when they were appointed. Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson did rather well given time, so most fans are happy to give Paul Hurst our full support. John Freezer, Stowmarket.


Ramsey and Robson were a different era. Your new, inexperienced, manager is operating under Marcus Evans. What McCarthy did under this constraint really was remarkable. Tyrone Mings bought for £10,000, sold for around £8m. Aaron Cresswell before him, £240,000 paid, sold for £3.75m plus add-ons. Huge profits on your best players, having to scrape lower and lower down the barrel to replace. McCarthy had you in the play-offs, and just outside the following season, it was hardly poor form. You should direct your anger towards Evans, not McCarthy. Krissyfer, Liverpool.


Looking at the timing of his post, I’m guessing the two matches that John had witnessed the season at that point were the 2-2 opening day draw to Blackburn, and the 1-1 with Aston Villa on August 18. It wouldn’t have looked too bad back then. Since when there have been a further two 1-1 home draws, with Norwich and Brentford, so I hope he enjoys repetition: four draws, three with the same scoreline. He doesn’t mention going away to watch, but that’s now four straight defeats, seven goals conceded to one scored. Oh, and a EFL Cup exit at Exeter. I’ve got to admit, it all sounds fascinating and highly entertaining, what with the thrill of being bottom after eight games, and all the resulting tension. I am certainly feeling chastened for saying that McCarthy was doing an excellent job in reduced circumstances, given the meagre levels of investment, and that the quality of football was more a reflection of that than his personal preferences. Anyway, enjoy the thrills of this season, John, and the heady anticipation of that first win. At this rate, McCarthy could be the first man to win Manager of the Year, 12 months after terminating his employment.
Where are all the stayaway fans who promised to return when Mick went?
at 22:56 19 Sep 2018

14,444 ITFC fans in the ground last night (attendance 14,897, 453 away fans).

Last season 14,575 ITFC fans (attendance 15,348, 773 away fans) there for the same fixture.

This season was a Tues rather than a Sat and there is now the Sky red button. But last night's turn-out was presumably boosted by some attending to pay tribute to the Beat.

All we heard last season was people promising to return to Portman Road in their droves when Mick left.

So where are they?

Maybe they've realised that watching a team regularly fail to win football matches isn't any more entertaining?
Where are all the stayaway fans who promised to return when Mick went?
at 22:53 19 Sep 2018

14,444 ITFC fans in the ground last night (attendance 14,879, 453 away fans).

Last season 14,575 ITFC fans (attendance 15,348, 773 away fans) there for the same fixture.

This season was a Tues rather than a Sat and there is now the Sky red button. But last night's turn-out was presumably boosted by some attending to pay tribute to the Beat.

All we heard last season was people promising to return to Portman Road in their droves when Mick left.

So where are they?

Maybe they've realised that watching a team regularly fail to win football matches isn't any more entertaining?
Martin Samuel: 'McCarthy was doing a highly creditable job...Ipswich now bottom'
at 09:51 28 Aug 2018

Who's laughing now? Mick's gone and Ipswich are bottom

MICK McCARTHY spent the last season at Ipswich being pilloried: negative football, players out of position, the criticism became a maddening drone. Having said he would stand down at the end of the season, he quit with four games to go, following a 1-0 win over Barnsley. A substitution after 56 minutes got the bird. 'I won't have to listen to that again — I'm out of here,' said McCarthy, and quit. Ipswich were 12th at the time, top of a rump of teams that were not in the mix of the play-offs, yet in no danger of going down. Considering the club were 19th in the Championship for wages, and transfer funds were close to non-existent, McCarthy was doing a highly creditable job. Still, freed from his negative football and baffling decisions, Ipswich are now able to realise their full potential. They're bottom.
My Blue Heaven, New Wolsey Theatre tonight, four spare tickets
at 12:59 5 May 2018

Looks like I'm going to have four spare £10 tickets for My Blue Heaven at the Wolsey tonight 7.45, row A. Anyone interested who could collect from me at the theatre drop me a text on 07932745508. Thanks, Tim
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