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If offered would you take 4 points from the first 4 games right now? (n/t)
at 09:55 18 Jun 2024

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Wow what a tournament! The intensity of most teams is incredible
at 20:40 17 Jun 2024

Real athleticism - both Austria and France absolutely going for it here.

England need to realise they need to start treating these games like those big Premier League games. Where it’s relentless tempo.

We know players do this regularly for their clubs.

The eventual winner of the tournament will be the one who can maintain that intensity and energy.

German and Spain show in spades. And France tonight have such a desire to keep the ball moving and in play.

Goal for them now just from being relentless.
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Euro teams by FIFA ranking… where are Serbia.. lagging measure
at 09:44 17 Jun 2024

People saying Serbia worse than Scotland, and a weak opponent.. made me seek out how each Euro 24 stands by FIFA ranking.

FIFA ranking is a bit of a lagging measure, in that Germany and Spain have some young stars coming through who are only now making their impact.

https://www.sportingnews.com/uk/football/news/fifa-rankings-euro-2024-teams-socc

So Serbia have 8 teams worse than them in a 24 team tournament. And in Vlahovic and others some real quality. And Scotland below them.

But key is that frankly any team that makes the final has some quality - errrrr Scotland performance not adding weight to my argument!! - but I thought both Slovenia and Albania have good accounts of themselves at times.

Beating Serbia is an achievement, yes we didn’t blow them away like Germany did Scotland. But the Serbs didn’t fold.

But the real concern is some of the quality at the top of those rankings. It’s a really strong field for me with Portugal, France and Spain.

And I think we’ll really see what England can do against Denmark. Slovenia proved the point of this post. But I think Denmark showed some real quality at times, that will be a step up from Serbia.
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These Euro games so far are showing the value of great officials
at 15:13 16 Jun 2024

Games are flowing so well, physicality is being allowed, diving discouraged.

The players just react as per previous tournaments. And the games are much the better for it.

You tend to get this in the later stages of the Champions League.

Premier League and English footy need better refs.

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Switzerland the better side here (n/t)
at 14:06 15 Jun 2024

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Talking about ‘doing a Liverpool’ when rebuilding the Cobbold
at 07:04 12 Jun 2024

Seen discussions of whether much of the rebuilding of the Cobbold could be completed whilst keeping much of the existing capacity intact for a period to to avoid the 3 sided atmosphere issues that caused Town problems in rebuilding the end stands.

Much like the Anfield Road stand at Liverpool where the 7000 lower tier get going as the upper tier was replaced with a whopping 9000 capacity:



Well I stumbled across this photo from the rebuild of the Pioneer back in there day, where it seems we followed a similar tactic:



I’m sure much of the surrounding works could be completed whilst the Cobbold still functions, but not sure its tier configuration quite lends itself to ‘doing a Liverpool’.

Any historians out there remember if the old west stand/pioneer was out of action for portions of a season? Before my time.
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Reading Ball and Burgess, it’s not lip service, the dressing room culture/bond
at 07:32 10 Jun 2024

… is genuine and unique. The camaraderie between the players themselves, their manager and the wider club staff has been a huge factor in our results and back to back promotions.

Ball: “I’ve never been a part of a dressing room with the bond we have and I doubt I ever will again”

Culture culture culture, as McKenna will state.

And it’s by player selection design under McKenna and with some good character players brought in from previous managers having given a foundation of dressing room harmony.

It’s also accelerated the reconnection of the club to the community and fan base. I think Burleys promotion team was likeable. But McKennas boys are more accessible - in part through social media - easier to connect with, and to get fans bought into the programme, the project.

The trick now, and a huge factor in our Premiership survival and fortunes, is can the dressing room culture and team bond be sustained? Be further enhanced? Or will the necessity for more quality, perhaps some ‘individuals’, mean the positive connection between so many players will be lost. What will perhaps the novel introduction of foreign imports lose something.

This current/outgoing team is a a bunch of nice guys. But will some struggle with moving to a part time supporting role, rather than a starter?

The Burley second season choices of Sereni and George, and other individuals, surely a negative change. Albeit surely Herman would enhance any dressing room.

It’s going to be fascinating the type of player incoming. And indeed I think the player group has the capacity of team spirit to be able to accommodate some different types, I think they already have done.

I still think around 8 new players are necessary. But I’d still like to see us start in August with a good spine and majority of legacy promotion characters in that first 11. To ease the transition and support the continuation of the culture.

Hladky, Axel, Burgess, Davis, Morsy, Burns, Broadhead, Hirst. Or at least 6 or 7 front that group.

Just another fascinating aspect to what is going to be an exciting summer and pre-season. Can’t wait, and just thank the Lord and our ownership group, that McKenna will be overseeing this dressing room change, could there be a better pair of hands on the cultural tiller?! No feckin way.

COYB

[Post edited 10 Jun 7:49]
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The Man City ‘law suit’ sounds terrible for English football… but it seems
at 09:17 6 Jun 2024

… clubs are backing them - according to papers this morning. Chelsea, Villa and unsurprisingly Newcastle.

It’s not really a law suit more arbitration, but could go to the courts.

The original ‘Associated Party Transaction’ rules were rushed in around the Newcastle Saudi takeover. But it seems it’s the sponsorship funding element they are trying to overturn.

Most Premier League clubs are against it, and by its nature and with rumours it may effect the latest EFl deal (not sure how) then all other English football clubs.

Bringing essentially anti-competition / anti-business sentiment to football doesn’t stack up. The pyramid needs flattening, the sports live on variety and the excitement of not knowing who might win a game or league. Take the NFL and the draft pick.

To suggest that it’s good that a US or Middle Eastern mega owner can inflate sponsorship contributions by being the main sponsor (or an affiliate) is perverse.

I’m not exactly clear how it affect FFP??? Does it blow FFP out of the water.

It’s like if Ed Sheeran decided to put his entire wealth into a two year deal for lowly Ipswich. We’d suddenly be a top six club.

Go on Ed - DO IT
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Slow news day - how old is our squad?
at 09:13 3 Jun 2024

I was watching with joy the piece on Town TV showing all Chaplin’s goals from last season - lots of crackers and important goals. Made me think will he be such a key player next season, and also how old is he?! With our ageing central midfield another consideration. Well I thought I’d list out - against a nominal squad for next season - our players ages, and see how it’s looking. (Note: this suggest 8 new players (7,8 or 9 I reckon), and a 26 man squad, I expect Baggot goes on loan).

My conclusion, firstly as Hutchison showed if you’re good enough you’re old enough. But not everyone has his prodigious talent. And some need that experience plus physical prime. Overall I’d say the squad is in its prime - 24-28 perhaps a sweet spot?? And the majority of our squad is in that range. And I’m sure that’s by design!

Any surprises - didn’t realise Luongo was younger than Morsy. Burns and Taylor slightly older than I thought. Burns is 30 in November! But in my mind his pace is evergreen! Sarmiento is younger than Ali!

Really expecting the likes of Broadhead, Burgess, Hirst and Axel to kick-on in the Premier League. And I’m sure many of the incoming players will come in under 25, barring a couple of old stager loans.

Of note Ratcliffe and his Ineos team have set a transfer blueprint at Man U that no one over the age of 25 will be targeted.

Here you go:

GK
1. Hladky - 33 years (14 November 1990)
2. Walton - 28 years (9 November 1995)
3. Slicker - 21 years (15 September 2002)

RB
4. Axel - 26 years (14 November 1997)
5. Clarke - 23 years (2 March 2001)

RCB
6. New player
7. Wolf - 25 years (21 October 1998)
8. Edmundson - 26 years (15 August 1997)

LCB
9. Burgess - 28 years (21 October 1995)
10. New player


LB
11. Davis - 24 years (31 December 1999)
12. New player

RCM
13. Morsy - 32 years (10 September 1991)
14. New player

LCM
15. New player
16. Taylor - 25 years (23 June 1998)
17. Luongo - 31 years (25 September 1992)

RAM
18. Burns - 29 years (23 November 1994)
19. New player

No.10
20. New player
21. Chaplin - 27 years (16 February 1997)

LAM

22. Broadhead - 26 years (5 April 1998)
23. Sarmiento - 21 years (16 June 2002)

Striker

24. New player
25. Hirst - 25 years (15 February 1999)
26. Ali - 22 years (1 March 2002)
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Do you remember the large hospitality marquee on the practic pitch last time
at 12:35 2 Jun 2024

... we were in the Premier League?

Pretty similar location to FanZone bar marquee.

It was large and you got seats in the Upper Pioneer.

It was quite well done, goodish food, nice table layouts, some speeches and free programme obvs.

I had a season ticket for both seasons. But on occasion where more family or clients were coming, we'd book some spaces there.

I remember the boxing day 2-2 against Chelsea.

This was increased hospitality capacity beyond the Sir Bobby Robson suite in the Churchmans. And the Cobbold areas. To meet demand.

I wonder if they'll do something similar given the draw of the Premier League? its such a product. I know last season they started doing some off-site meals with tickets promotions. Obviously expect Fanzone space to remain unchanged. Something for the Staples site?
[Post edited 2 Jun 12:49]
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8 new signings; £90m kitty; £6m a year manager; £140m Sky revenue
at 19:08 31 May 2024

£140m Sky revenue;
£6m estimated annual pay for our manager;
£90m transfer kitty expected, transfer record to be smashed
8 new signings expected;
New state of the art pitch;
New training ground incoming, new gym on current facility in progress;
Master plan agreed with Ipswich council for next stage of development around Portman Road;
New memorial garden;
Large stadia screen installed with new pitch access and pitch plant;
New flood light system installation to significantly boost power;
Old staples site behind Churchmans purchases interim parking prior to major project;
New OT are on Staples land;
Preliminary designs for a new Cobbold Stand;
Completion of executive boxes, new sky studios, VAR installation;
40 TV camera position permanently wired installation;
20,000 season ticket holders, and waiting list system incoming;
15,000 members trying to secure 7000 matchday sales, general sale and matchday tickets a distant memory;
60,000 replica shirt sales last season;
End of season dinner 600 people, televised, professional;
TV channel launched with professional presenters;
55,000 fans at promotion celebration;
Ed Sheeran shirt sponsorship renewed for Premier League, at significant increase.

We are a different club at a different level. Now let's ramp up the quality and nature of our support.. TIFO madness
[Post edited 1 Jun 19:33]
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Town TV interview with Ashton and McKenna is spot on… messaging / vibe perfect
at 08:41 31 May 2024

A professional and expertly delivered piece and message

Matt Holland is an asset to the club and Town TV, his delivery and style is top half of the Premiership. We benchmark so well now against the likes of Spurs.

I thought Keiran said what he had to say with the passion that was needed, and Ashton cemented what we needed to hear:

- success and Keiran’s quality means interest is inevitable
- it was real and needed countering
- the backing of the club, ownership and playing/staff group were key
- Ed Schwartz flying over and the amdition of the club pivotal
- it’s put to bed now and we can look forward to a summer of building for the major challenge
- the media noise doesn’t fully portray the reality and state of the process
- let’s go and attack the Premier League and get recruiting but also preparing the existing squad

Could not be happier, pleased for Keiran to get rewarded and Ashton to secure the key reason for our success.

We would have been completely f@cked if he had gone. And I really hope the fans now step up their support to the manager and the project.
[Post edited 31 May 8:43]
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Sky just reported Maresca was appointed for 3 reasons:
at 23:09 27 May 2024

1. Through the process Maresca showed in-depth research into the Chelsea squad, including youth players and loanees

2. He has a very fixed way of playing that he is committed to, with high possession and dominating the ball key attributed (I think Leicester called it one dimensional and no plan B!!)

3. He is a head coach only, not a manager, he can lock into another emerging 'modern high performance' footballing structure, and not speak out of turn, toe the line
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With McKenna set to stay… four things to consider:
at 16:59 27 May 2024

1. We’re now playing in a very different media playground, far larger scale, far greater appetite for content, client journalists connected to clubs and contacts. ‘We understand…’ ‘McKennas representatives are..’ can mean quite different things to what people interpret. However, some of the journalists running ‘the story’ were reputable, and there was clearly communication, there was scenarios presented. But maybe people considered the situation more advanced than it was.

2. It’s an agents job to progress McKenna's career as quickly as possible, to generate money from those moves, and to hold conversations and to progres situations often without McKennas direct involvement or approval. McKenna’s involvement and direct contact with suitor clubs may have been limited, or even nonexistent. But he has a right to know what’s going on and play out in his mind possible career paths. He clearly has a deep affinity with Manchester United and they won’t always coming looking. And in the agent led discussions a Man U future has been raised and warm noises provided, but as a future opportunity, once Ineos have fully embedded.

3. Chelsea and Manchester United did have McKenna on a short list I am sure, but whether he got to the top of it is a whole different thing, and I doubt he did. His lack of experience has helped Ipswich and the fans. We know how good he is, we know how high he’s going to go. And we have the golden ticket of another one or two seasons. Let’s ride on his coat tails, let’s celebrate what he has done already at Town and what he is going to do. WE’VE GOT SUPER KEIRAN MCKENNA. Any dissent towards him is completely misplaced. He’s ambitious, he wanted to plan is path, check his options. He’s definitely chosen us over Brighton. I’d be disappointed if he hadn’t strategised his future.

4. We may now get McKenna longer and within a stronger club.. Ashton and the owners know McKenna is that close to transitioning to a top six club, his value is confirmed. He’ll now have the wages and perhaps commitments on recruitment and off field structures that the club needs to push on with him. And with Chelsea and Man U putting in managers for perhaps 2 years, McKenna can hone his craft further with us - with perhaps a Man U exit clause meaning the path is clearer to our owners.

Now let’s craft the largest TIFO in the history of the Premier League to celebrate our glorious leader. Rejoice - the king remains!!
[Post edited 27 May 17:33]
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Couple of interesting and relevant points on Ineos and Man U sporting structure
at 23:28 26 May 2024

Been watching some YouTube and reading some articles on the new Man United sporting structure now Ineos are officially running the sporting side of the organisation.

Firstly it’s a big organisation and multi-tiered hierarchy.

3 to 4 layers above Ten Hag or his successor to reach Ratcliffe himself.

Dan Ashworth is the preferred and planned sporting director. Formerly of Brighton, then poached by Newcastle, who joined them after taking gardening leave.

Omar Berrada is the new CEO and effectively secured Ashworth in Feb. BUT Berrada is himself on gardening leave till mid-July.

Now the Dan Ashworth move is in a real state. With Newcastle taking Man United to the court of arbitration. So this is significantly delayed.

They’ve also been looking to bring in a head of recruitment but have failed to get preferred man Paul Mitchell.

So some key takeaways - the INEOS hierarchy is complex and multi-tiered, as you’d expect at a club of this scale… but effectively you will have Brailsford advising Ratcliffe at the top on performance, then CEO Berrada, then Sporing Director Ashworth, perhaps with a number 2 running recruitment (those two decide on players), then the coach. This is significantly different to when Ole was manager and McKenna was his number two (that role is currently Steve Maclaren)

Secondly, the new hierarchy isn’t at Old Trafford yet. That’s why Brailsford and INEOS cycling cohorts have been running the review (which has been underway for some time, but is stated as just starting?!?! Confusing). Indeed if McKenna moved next week, his boss would not be in place, nor his boss’ boss (the CEO).

In reality this is the structure Man U have been missing for some time. But a lot of risk to it being in place and working anytime soon.
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Turn around in support for Ten Hag in United fan base, BUT the majority
at 13:19 26 May 2024

… still want change

A poll on a leading Man U fan forum with 1700 votes asked the following question:

Should ETH be kept on or fired by INEOS?

43% keep him and see what he can in the new environment

57% fire him, I’ve seen enough

https://www.redcafe.net/threads/erik-ten-hag-manchester-united-manager-awaiting-

Still want him out in the main, but support for ETH has rocketed since the trophy win and BBC interview


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Strongly recommend the BlueMonday latest ‘What Next for McKenna’ podcast
at 13:35 25 May 2024

The BlueMonday crew playing a blinder in how they have curated all the views, news streams and permutations around our beloved leader’s future.

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/blue-monday-podcast-ipswich-town/id1133145

Really useful to listen to this consolidated conversation - and 700 live consumers on YouTube, impressive.

And thanks for the closing comments… therapeutic
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Wes and Broady training; Hirst and Leif living the high life
at 10:22 25 May 2024

Wes doing some sprints at what looks like the training ground, and been down the barbers

Broady is in Mykonos at a sport performance centre - still think his fitness is not quite there

Hirst is is on a glamourous holiday with his girlfriend (NOTE: I originally used the word ‘unattractive’ in an attempt at humorous sarcasm, which seems to have confused some people!)

Lunongo has finally stepped away from his barista obsession and is on a palm beach somewhere

Leif is living it up in a Nobu Marbella

No McKenna melt down observed

Your Unstable Insta Update is delivered.. here to cyber stalk
[Post edited 25 May 10:38]
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McKenna appreciation thread #1 - you know, just to mix it up a bit…
at 22:02 23 May 2024

We’re at McKenna leaving Armageddon (with smatterings of negativity towards McKenna) post number 3,456… let’s change the mood music

IF Keiran goes, I’ll be gutted and concerned for the season ahead.

But I’ll also recognise the hugely positive impact he’s had on our club and that riding on his talented coat tales we’ve moved from League One obscurity to the wealthy wunderland of the Premier League, and enjoyed two of the most exciting seasons in decades.

We all know how good he is, we all know the trajectory he’s on, good luck to him. And I’ll follow his career with great interest. And in some ways support the team he joins.

Chelsea and Man U may get their other targets, Brighton may move for another target, and McKennas desire to leave may be being overhyped. And indeed when the facts of an offer and new role are fully understood he may feel he wants to stay with us.

But come on the guy is already an Ipswich legend, celebrate what we’ve had, and recognise that change is what football support is all about.

COYFB
[Post edited 23 May 22:04]
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I thought I was Unstable - the TWTD hivemind has gone mentalist massive
at 22:32 21 May 2024

As I understand it much of this McKenna to Brighton hype is Brighton themselves using client journalists to create the momentum, the opportunity. Portraying through media voices the negotiations have progressed some distance. Its just not as advanced as this board is making out and concluding.

His people will be in talks with their people, of course, perhaps McKenna is also engaged, but I doubt Ipswich have even finalised any counter offer and terms, or commitments on further squad spending, playing staff, or data analysis capability. And indeed I see mention on the board of a rumoured mega deal from Ipswich, which would be expected and we'd all support. I doubt McKenna has met the CEO/Chairman yet in person or run the rule over the detail of the organisation and set-up, and his role. For example their well know recruitment approach which is by the club structure. Had any time to take a breath and make a huge decision, indeed had any chance to 'get a bad feeling about this'.

Welcome to the Premiership. This press bubble is no longer just Phil, Stuart Watson and Brenner, it's a large set of journos with clicks and readership to feed.

It may still happen, it may not. And it will happen not because of wages, either from Brighton or from us. It will be McKenna weighing up his career path and his emotions. Real chance our squad cannot be upgraded in time to mount a survival challenge, Brighton's is years ahead of us. As are their training ground, and world class analysis teams. A relegation and return to the Championship would see McKenna's stock plummet, and his path to a top four club would close for a while (same could happen if he tried to go too fast to a United or a Chelsea).

Our hope is Brighton just doesn't feel a good fit, both in terms of structure, staff, role. And McKenna feels that commitment to the Town project and place - Suffolk loves him. Furthermore, the drop in atmosphere and fan base is a real factor - where's their platinum selling super fan?! My fear is that if he meets or has met Paul Barber he gets the sense of a club quite a bit further up the food chain than Town fans realise, a level of professionalism higher.

Finally, McKenna is very bright, and its about balance, he knows that from a PR/reputation perspective jumping ship from a newly promoted side to a club with less history and fanbase, isn't a good look. Even Brighton fans themselves are stating this.

Hang in there people.
[Post edited 21 May 22:44]
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