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Town Takeover Close
at 18:13:59

I’m surprised that so many posters seem to see this news (such as it is) as grounds for total celebration. Yes, the club is in a seriously worryingly state. But there are potential avenues for an owner to squeeze profit out of it. Take Portman Road. Just a few years ago, the possibility was raised of the club (under ME) buying it. OK, it didn’t happen. But the real estate has obvious development potential. And local government has had the life all but squeezed out of it especially in the last decade. Who knows whether the Council, under doubtless pressure from many sides, might have to accede to an offer to purchase the freehold in the future. One of Town’s glories is a town centre ground. I for one would be extremely sad if we were to end up in some flat-pack affair in a remote corner like Pride Park or the Riverside.
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Takeover Talk
at 18:20:51

I have to admit that I don’t know how the present ITFC indebtedness is precisely structured. But a large part of numerous US-led takeovers in British football has often involved a loading of indebtedness onto the target club through its holding company structuring. So it’s not a win-win panacea by any means (quite apart from issues arising down the road if the club continues its footballing decline). It’s never easy to compare like with like. But Swansea City has had a difficult time. Its supporters trust holdings were greatly reduced when the majority shareholders sold to US investors (admittedly the club’s financial position could not at the time be compared with ours). But the Swans were relegated two years later amid much acrimony over the level of financial commitment the new owners seemed willing to make. That said, things are turning round there - they are well managed, but are still constantly having to sell their high value players. Again, our situation very different in these respects. If anything comes of this, as much information as possible in the public domain will be key to how excited or nervous fans should be.
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McGavin Could Join Ndaba at Ayr United
at 15:34:38

McGavin, as well as a good passer of the ball, has a good physical presence for such a young player. I find it hard to see how he is still rated behind others in midfield. And I think he has serious potential especially in the holding role. Still, I am not sure that the manager rates him - despite the generally pretty unimpressive midfield performances from more senior players this season. So it may be good for him to go out on loan for now. Maybe he can return next season and claim a starting place. Hopefully in a team picked by a new manager.
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O'Neill: Lambert's Job is Safe
at 12:38:16

The Guardian website has just loaded a thoughtful and seemingly well-researched article by Nick Ames: ‘Paul Lambert battles for Ipswich future at a ghost club in rapid decline’. Among many other things it includes reference to the intemperate banning of Phil Ham. For some reason the description ‘ghost club in rapid decline’ has struck me as chilling but apposite. I admit that I was unhappy with Mick McCarthy (and his attitude) in the latter part of his tenure. His football may have been excruciating to watch, but his teams were well organised, he could be flexible during matches, and there’s no denying his achievement of reasonable results. Compare the chaos and incoherence now. The chairman needs to make a decision soon - if this season is as crucial as we all believe. He might feel that our not being at matches keeps the pressure off. But, even if second best, very many fans are watching our season unfold on ifollow, and it has made for ugly viewing.
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Lambert: We Kept Knocking and Got the Rewards
at 23:06:39

So Shrewsbury got everybody behind the ball did they? Well, given our tortuous build-up - mainly through Nsiala and McGuinness (yes, really) - that’s fairly easy to do. We were second best out there for much of the match. Sears, Lankester, Jackson, Judge - all played out of position. As for McGavin - according to the manager taking such exception to the interviewer’s mild attempt at positivity, apparently some things he’s got to improve on 100 times. Odd that. At least until he - hardly surprising - tired, he seemed to be our best player on the field. It looks like he’s getting the Woolfenden treatment. Classic Lambert. All this, and we have nothing to offer but an inflexible 4-3-3, with square pegs in round holes. As a manager Lambert is up there with Jewell and Hurst. But at least they were concerned, seeing things for what they were, whereas Lambert’s comments seem detached from reality. Sad times indeed.
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Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
at 17:19:24

Negative throughout. No pace. Using three indifferent footballers (Holy, Nsiala, Wilson) seemingly as playmakers. (What's that all about?). And a manager who is an embarrassment to Ipswich Town Football Club. A poor performance farcically turned into a bad day.
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Dobra on Target as U23s Draw at Cardiff
at 17:10:45

Overall, an enjoyable game in which Town looked positive and pressed throughout. Armando Dobra's goal was sharp and clinical. Cardiff though had a solid central defence and lively full backs, which made it difficult to service Tyreece Simpson adequately - though he offered a constant threat. Brett McGavin's physical presence and (even!) quick feet mark him out as quite a prospect. All in all, Town were well worth a draw, and were a shade unlucky with the somewhat messy goal conceded.
Blog
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The Story Behind the Billy Kee Banner
at 11:08:53

Superb effort lads. And a great post.
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Lambert: There Would Have Been No Complaints If We'd Won 4-2
at 22:02:16

Well played Town. This was even better than midweek at Ashton Gate. We have developed an imaginative, footballing midfield. And at long last we have footballers playing at full back. Of course there are problems still to work on, especially our goal scoring potential. Like any fan I'm sad that we are likely to be relegated. But we are playing good football - with a manager who doesn't see every game as a 'proper scrap'. Most of all, I'm proud of my club again. Lambert is doing well. Up the Town.
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Ipswich Town 1-2 Reading - Match Report
at 19:53:07

Herfie - after an especiacially bad day for us all, with few plus points, your post has brought back some perspective, and in my case a smile ...

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
Though lambert'd played a defensive tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance ...

Next season will be better (surely?)


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Ipswich Town 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday - Match Report
at 00:15:37

Perhaps as a seemingly deluded football fan who wants to enjoy both the modern game and his team, I thought that Paul Hurst would bring an improvement, and then thought the same about Paul Lambert. Overall, we have mostly played better football this season - better, anyway, than the desperately dull fare on offer the past few seasons. But otherwise the picture is more negative - the tactical sterility has if anything got worse. We have struggled for instance at full back (again) all season. So why not try 3 at the back and use wing backs? - that would especially suit Kenlock (or even Elder) and probably now Emmanuel (or Donacien pre-loaning back to Stanley). In midfield, Bishop (such a talent) should surely be a regular starter, and now we have Judge then in order to maximise his influence he must surely be more central. Few strikers at this level make for natural midfielders. So especially in our present plight Sears if he plays at all should partner Keane, or Harrison merits an extended run - though when fit preferably Lankester. Dual strikers at least would offer greater threat than the present system can. We are likely to be relegated, so if if we are allowed to look for a miracle the only hope surely is to try 3-5-2 or even 4-4-2. But one up front? No chance. Lambert needs to take a long hard look at his inflexible tactical approach. Consistency can often be justified, but it is not an absolute value, especially with results as bad as they are. As a Town fan in a mixed family with Norwich City fans I look forward to next week's game still with expectation but with little hope.
News
Comment
Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
at 00:40:42

It seems to me too much to expect a distinctly poor-to-average footballing side to be largely replaced not once but twice in the space of just six months of a season. And it's harsh to be simply blaming the defence (whoever - Knudsen, Chambers, Spence, and now Elder) or Hurst's oh-so green strikers/wingers. Clearly we have brought in players who are struggling at this level (so far, and maybe for a lot longer). But the real problem lies in midfield. I would be reluctant to place too much pressure on Dozzell, or even the improving Downes, yet the rest of the midfield is extremely imbalanced. Chalobah is a defender, Skuse so deep he is nearly a defender, Sears is no midfielder, Nolan has so far been a peripheral figure, and Edwards seems to have lost any semblance of a first touch. Given these weaknesses, how is pressure released from the defence? Who gets hold of the ball with any degree of craft and supports the strikers? It's asking an awful lot for near-strangers to gel in this unforgiving league, especially in the midfield. Still, if we are to have the remotest chance of staying up it has to be through a midfield of Bishop, Judge, Huws (if ever fit?), and possibly Downes. A long shot, but for me that offers the barest hope.
Blog
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Dear Martin Samuel...
at 17:27:50

Fantastic piece, Superfrans. Balanced and insightful - many thanks. In their dredging up of MM's departure some pundits do seem to have a blind spot - mostly without having done Town the courtesy of watching us these past years. Mind you, the piece was written in the Daily Mail, so in it's tenuous grasp of reality at least it seems consistent with the rest of the paper.
News
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Lambert: Legends Should Be Embraced By Club
at 18:18:32

This guy is such a breath of fresh air. His playing career included over 7 years with his local team, St Mirren, and after the upward trajectory spells at Motherwell and Borussia Dortmund, he was again around 7 years with Celtic. Each club he was with was seriously (and differently) successful while he was there. He seems to understand with crystal clarity from these experiences as a player just how important their club is to its fans, himself as fan included. And what excites me most is that he can clearly project this idea of connection onto Ipswich Town, fully aware of the great history, and how it inspires such loyalty also among many, often great, ex-players - who feel an abiding devotion, and enjoy and suffer just as we do. I think that Paul Lambert's presence is perhaps also encouraging us to change the tone seen on TWTD in the past couple of years. I was one of those who desperately wanted the McCarthy era to end. We now desperately need to view that era - including both positives and negatives - as finished, and to look forward to seeing, and even, as seems clear, to being part of a Lambert era. Like all managers, he needs time. And my feeling is that he deserves it more than most. Up the Town.
News
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Lambert Set to Be Confirmed on Saturday
at 17:55:55

Well said, grumpyoldman. You have quite brought the grumpy old man out in me. In the circumstances, this is surely a positive appointment - Lambert has a good pedigree and wide experience. Those obsessed with hating Norwich, please just give it a rest. We now have a chance (slim or not, who knows) of avoiding relegation, and that is worth celebrating.
Blog
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An Open Application for the Ipswich Manager's Position
at 12:30:11

Brilliant stuff BFC. Thanks for the cheering-up, so sorely needed at the moment. I guess Town could do a lot worse - not least you should be great for morale down at Playford Road. PS: Your acronym looks suspiciously like BFJ, so even better.
News
Comment
Swansea City 2-3 Ipswich Town - Match Report
at 17:56:23

I see the Swans from time to time, being based in Swansea, and they are a good footballing team in with a fair chance of promotion back this season. We rode our luck. And maybe deserved that - after all we have so often lacked a bit of luck at crucial times this season. We also played some good football - contributing our part to an exciting match (glory be, after the last few years of dross). The players' commitment was superb, and Chambers led them magnificently. The support (from out wide and the centre) for the sole striker seemed to be starting to come together - as it has to if we are to progress with that formation. So pleased for PH. Well done all.
News
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Blues Legend Beattie Dies
at 17:43:17

Awful news. Kevin was such a great defender, and a lovely man. Puts all the recent threads on here in perspective. R.I.P. mate.
News
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Nsiala's Red Card Appeal Rejected
at 23:36:35

A feeble but probably inevitable outcome. This Commission is ultimately more concerned not with meting out justice but with the question of whether to depart from the referee's decision. Two very different things. It still though leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. As a separate issue, Forestieri's response was quite pathetic. But these days the seeking out of an advantage as he did seems acceptable on grounds of being professional. Very sad nonetheless.
News
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Walters: No-Brainer to Return to Club Which Was Turning Point in Career
at 23:13:25

Just what Town need in present circumstances. And a good move for Jon too. He's a super player and he has some unfinished business here.
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