‘Forget about the past and create a new future. Put aside the debate over Marcus Evans’
Town fan PETER WATSON has been a Blues supporter for more than 45 years. Here are his thoughts on the current situation at Ipswich Town... Join in. We welcome your posts.
I have read with interest the recent articles about the plight of ITFC under ‘your posts’ and thought I would add a new, and different perspective if I may.
To ‘qualify’ on such an important subject I would add that I have been a Town supporter since about 1972 – I was 12 at that time – when I went to match days to sell programmes and my late father was doing the radio commentary for the hospitals way up in the top tier of the Cobbold Stand.
I would also attend reserve games which had a distinct atmosphere to them and then to a number of away grounds to follow my team, so I feel I have been married to a relationship which has seen plenty of highs and of late too many lows.
The colourful history of ITFC is well documented though those of a younger generation are emotionally fortunate not to have seen this as this past seems to now act against the current climate the club finds itself in.
I will start with a high in that I was one of a few hundred who travelled to the away leg to watch Town against St Etienne which for me was simply the most accomplished performance I have ever witnessed in what was surely the best team in Europe at that time.
Europeans nights under the floodlights at Portman Road, massive cup ties against Leeds United/Liverpool to a packed house brought a romantic electrifying theatre of football never previously seen and we didn’t realise then how fortunate we truly were to see this.
Fast forward to the present and there are a number of factors which I feel account for the demise of this great club.
Sky took over the bank manager role of the clubs providing a payroll that rewarded the rich to get richer and the parachute payments providing an uneven playing field with clubs trying to ‘buy’ success.
Even at their prime ITFC could not match the payroll of the bigger clubs, although there is a counter argument that spending vast sums of money does not guarantee success either.
So what is intrinsically different from the Sir Bobby Robson era to today?
I see that as 3 main areas namely:
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The players selected, bought and hired, should fall squarely on the manager who should have an in depth knowledge of how to get the best from each player and work as a ‘team’.
The manager should know about the best formations and his first 15 and be confident that they can perform and understand what is required of them each and every game. Continuity breeds understanding and efficiency and RESULTS!
Do we really have a leader in the team that encourages, unifies and brings a battle cry when the chips are down? I am not just talking about a captain per se I am talking about character who galvanises the team to raise their game and fight to the bitter end. I remember watching Terry Butcher at Luton in a cup game covered in blood but giving every part he had to the cause. We need steel, strength, and character in the team. Successful teams have them and as ITFC cannot afford to seek out the high end players then look for those with these qualities, as a team knitted together as one is a very difficult team to beat on their day.
Forget about the past and create a new future, put aside the debate over Marcus Evans as that is counter productive, get the simple things right about a constant team selection, only change this when a player is suspended or injured to keep competition for places at the sharp end. If you are good enough irrespective of age then you play is an adage. Supporters can forgive most things as mistakes are made by all of us in our lives. What we cannot accept is that you fail to give your full efforts for 90 minutes which is a very basic requirement irrespective of the skill level.
Finally, let there be hope as this is what keeps every football fan going that this year, or maybe next year, will be their year.
Success does not have to be always on a grand scale either, negative thoughts and behaviour are a catalyst for poor results.
Let us change this each and every one of us and move forward all of us as a ‘team’ club, players and supporters alike.
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