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[Blog] For the Sake of My Football Club, Please Go
Written by GlasgowBlue on Monday, 21st Nov 2011 11:47

I've been supporting Ipswich since seeing my first game as a wide eyed 10-year-old at Portman Road in 1974. I've seen the good times and the bad. I've experienced the joys of winning the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, promotion and play-off glory with the anguish of relegation and play-off failures. In 37 years of following this club, I have supported every manager, whether good or poor. I've never called for a manager to be sacked and, until now, I thought I never would.

This isn't a knee-jerk reaction to a poor run of results. This isn't a call for us to become a hire 'em and fire 'em club. It's a call for the owner and directors to admit they have made a mistake in appointing Paul Jewell and to rectify that mistake before any more damage may be done.

I would rather Mr Jewell could see his failings, admit that both his failure at Derby and the two years out of the game that followed his departure has left him 'out of touch' with the modern game, and do the decent thing by resigning. If he won't then the club should make that decision for him.

People have asked me on the Message Board, "Why were you prepared to give Roy Keane so much more time than Paul Jewell?", and yes, to the very end, I was a vocal supporter of Roy Keane, as I was of Jim Magilton.

My answer is simple. Roy Keane, like Jim Magilton before him, was a young inexperienced manager. As part of his learning curve he was liable to make mistakes, and for every one step forward I would expect us to take two steps back. We are a club that in the past has allowed young managers to find their feet. In his first two seasons Sir Bobby was flirting perilously with relegation, surviving at the end of the 1970/71 season by goal difference alone.

Like Jim and Roy, there were reports of bust-ups with players in Sir Bobby's early days, but the club stuck by the great man and Ipswich prospered under his management.

Paul Jewell, however, was supposed to be the finished article. The real deal. The experienced manager who had seen it, done it and wore the T-shirt. After all, he had taken two small unfashionable clubs in Bradford and Wigan to the Premier League and kept them there.

However, the catalogue of mistakes made by Mr Jewell in recent months are of the sort you would expect from a rookie. Not from somebody who has managed five English clubs in 13 years.

We should start first of all with results because it's a results business first and foremost. Now I am not a football fan that expects to win every match. We will lose games of football. Of course we will, but it's the manner of our defeats that causes me such concern.

Now I can accept that teams, no matter how good, get a hiding every so often. Already this season we have seen Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United on the recieving end of high scoring defeats. But under the stewardship of Paul Jewell we are making a habit of conceding three or more goals in a game.

And what is most worrying is that these high scoring defeats come back to back. You would expect, after a game where we concede a high number of goals, that the manager would attempt to rectify the situation by both work with the players in training and selecting a more 'solid' team together with the emphasis of not conceding. Paul Jewell doesn't seem to have the ability to do so. Whatever he is saying, the players clearly ain't listening.

In the last seven months of football, September excepted, we have conceded three or more goals 11 times:

March: Reading 1-3, Watford 0-3
April: Boro 3-3, Norwich 1-5, Swansea 1-4
May: Leicester 2-4
August: Southampton 2-5, Posh 1-7
October: Millwall 1-4
November: Doncaster 2-3, Forest 2-3

You may conclude from those results that we have a defensive problem. However, in those games Jewell used three different goalkeepers (Arron Lee-Barrett, Márton Fülöp and David Stockdale) and various permutations of 13 defenders (Gareth McAuley, Darren O'Dea, Damien Delaney, Carlos Edwards, Troy Brown, Mark Kennedy, Aaron Cresswell, Tommy Smith, Jack Ainsley, Reece Wabara, Ibrahima Sonko, Ívar Ingimarsson and Danny Collins).

Now it can't all be the fault of these 16 players. It must surely bring into question the ability of the manager to set out a team that doesn't concede so many goals on such a regular basis.

I would also call into question some of Paul Jewell's tactical decisions. Taking aside his persistence with the diamond, which most people had acknowledged has been found out by the opposition some weeks ago, he has made some bizarre decisions that has seen Michael Chopra, in the first six games of the season, isolated and unhappy on his own as a loan striker, Jason Scotland completely ignored at the beginning of the season until his goal against Leeds forced Jewell's hand, Grant Leadbitter played as an orthodox winger, Tamás Priskin totally ignored for the entire season then parachuted into the starting XI against Doncaster then being bombed out of the squad again after scoring two goals in the recent internationals.

Then there was the decision to play our third choice goalkeeper against Norwich. With no prospect of making the play-offs ourselves, it was an opportunity to stop our deadliest rivals from making the automatic promotion places. We were humiliated that night thanks, in no small part, to mistakes made by the goalkeeper.

This result was followed by the defeats to Swansea and Leicester as detailed above, and with the departure of McAuley, Brown and Eastman it was obvious that signing two central defenders over the summer was a priority. We signed Ívar Ingimarsson, a 34-year-old injury plagued defender who had been released by Reading, a club with similar ambitions as ourselves.

And hey presto, he is crocked after one game which is then followed by the Saints/Posh nightmare. Games that we may have faired differently in had the manager listened to the come and get me plea from Ibrahima Sonko. Paul Jewell ignored those pleas. Paul Jewell knows best.

An example of what can only be described as reckless gambling by the manager is the current goalkeeping situation. After firstly dropping him for no good reason Mr Jewell sold on Márton Fülöp to make way for the loan signing of David Stockdale. Now nobody can deny that Stockdale isn't a class act but whilst we are sliding perilously closer to the relegation places, we are an injury to 39-year-old Mark Schwarzer away from the prospect of a relegation dog fight with ALB between the sticks. That is negligence from the manger at the very least.

I could add the signing of Premier League journeymen, has-beens and never weres, that has seen our team, synonymous with bringing through our own young talent from Wark to Wickham, become the Dad's Army of the Championship whilst young players who showed great promise such as Luke Hyam or Shane O'Connor have been left in limbo.

Why on earth did we sign Nathan Ellington? A man who has scored just ten goals in English football over the past five seasons. Those who expressed doubt over his signing were assured that if anyone could get the best out of him then it was Paul Jewell. They obviously don't remember his spell at Derby under Paul Jewell where he scored a total of three goals in 27 games. The mixture of loan signings and golden oldies reminds me far too much of the Norwich team that was relegated just three years ago.

Another concern is the poor form of the love of our lives, Mr Jimmy Bullard. On his return I made tentative enquires to the availability of Mrs GlasgowBlue for him and an appointment at the hairdressers for my perm was booked, but he seems a shadow of his former self. Is it the lack of pre-season football? It didn't appear to affect him last season when he seemed to almost single-handedly drag us up the table.

Again, I believe he is the victim of the poor tactics of Jewell, playing deep at the bottom of the diamond. Pressed by opposition attackers, isolated from our forward players he doesn't have the time or freedom to play his natural passing game.

Paul Jewell seems to have assembled a talented squad that is not playing as a team and if we need a crystal ball to see how events will unfold in the next few months then we need look no further than Derby County. The last team managed by Paul Jewell.

Jewell took over a Derby side heading for relegation from the Premier League, of that there is no doubt. Billy Davies had done a remarkable job in getting them to third in the Championship, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion but they were rock bottom when Jewell took the job.

But let's not kid ourselves that he took over in the final few months of Derby's Premiership campaign. He joined in November and was given funds to ensure that they at least put up a fight for survival or plan for life back in the Championship with a much better squad.

In the January transfer window he signed eight new players: Alan Stubbs, Emanuel Villa, Danny Mills, Robbie Savage, Laurent Robert, Hossam Ghaly, Mile Sterjovski and Roy Carroll. They went 21 league games without a victory.

Still, with the core of Billy Davies's promotion-winning squad plus the January additions they should have had more than enough about them to mount a successful promotion challenge. But this is Paul Jewell we are talking about.

In the close season he brought in 13 players: Paul Connolly, Paul Green, Jordan Stewart, Kris Commons, Nathan Ellington (yes him again. Well if anyone can bring out the best in the Duke etc, etc), Steve Davies, Martin Albrechtsen, Liam Dickinson, Rob Hulse, Przemyslaw Kazmierczak, Aleksandar Prijović, Andrejs Perepļotkins and Nacer Barazite, before adding Luke Varney and James Tomkins on loan once the season had started.

After signing 23 players in just 12 months they sat, in December, 18th in the Championship table, just five points from the relegation places. In keeping with the rather bizarre statements we have become used to hearing from him about "lack of pace" and "we can't defend", Jewell came out with another gem, stating his desire to bring fresh legs and impetus into a squad hit by injuries and a busy fixture list. After signing 23 players for Christ's sake.

This is the way I see Ipswich going if we continue to be managed by Paul Jewell.

Jewell seems to be running out of excuses. I'm fed up with him saying how he doesn't talk about other club's players and then coming out in the press with the opposite. I don't want to hear another "I tried to sign him" quote. I don't want to hear him say how he envies the pace of other teams when he is responsible for signing so many players over the age of 30 that lack pace.

To be honest, I'm fed up with Paul Jewell and I wish he'd go now.




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mwhitfc added 13:45 - Nov 21
Every manager makes mistakes, but for me personally, I am not panicked by the results. Yes, there is a lot of them, but what do you suppose we do in defence as 3 of our 4 centre half defenders are currently injured?! With Keane and Magilton, I agree, they were expected to make mistakes, but its about time we had someone in charge who has more knowledge of the game, and give it a year or two to mould a squad that is going to be strong enough to go up and stay up. I think you would be in the minority with wanting Paul Jewell out, as most people believe he is the one to get us back to the Premier League, even if its not this season. Its people like yourself that annoy fans like myself, because there is always something to moan about, even when we are doing well!!
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SitfcB added 13:52 - Nov 21
Why didn't you write this blog whilst we were on our 6 game unbeaten run?
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backinbeige added 13:59 - Nov 21
HE'S NOT EVEN BEEN HERE A YEAR!!!!!!!
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Surco72 added 14:09 - Nov 21
We have also scored more than 3 in 8 games since Jewell took over so overall good value for money .
How many times did Keanes attractive footballing side score 3 or more in a game in his 2 years at the club? 7 times whilst conceding 3 or more 13 times .
Win percentage as managers Jim 38% , Keane 34% ,Jewell 46% i would say that is an improvement for less than a year in the job with limited spending compared to his predecessors ?
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peterleeblue added 14:36 - Nov 21
This season is almost a lost cause anyway. I would say hangfire and give him January. No noticeable improvement by seasons end then move on.
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WadzillaBhoy added 14:43 - Nov 21
@ Surco72 although Jewell hasn't spent much in transfer fees I'd imagine signing on fees probably help make up the difference not to mention the increase in the wage budget. Plus Jewell has had the money from the selling of Walters and Wickham under his belt.

Also if you are going to talk stats using win percentage is a bit disingenuous as both Keano and Jimbo got a lot of draws. For example if you work out the percentage of points taken from a game its Jimbo - 65%, Keano - 65% and Jewell - 60%. Having said this I hope we stick by Jewell, sacking a manager isn't the solution.
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essexblues added 14:54 - Nov 21
mate your so two faced you was singing his praises when we was winning now you want him too leave make ur mind up will you,I go to watch ipswich through the good times and the bad and when I go I give my vocal support to my team wether we win or lose
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GlasgowBlue added 15:04 - Nov 21
Sitters. Whilst on our six game run I was saying that most of our signings were stop gap and we would have to start all over again next summer.

Essexblues. Don't call me two faced. I have never sang Jewell's praises. I made up my mind as far back as April. I also never give less than 100% vocal support at matches. Win lose or draw.
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Garv added 15:41 - Nov 21
Silly.
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irishtim added 16:03 - Nov 21
Good blog alot of truth in it. I would give pj some more time but not too much. If we get beat at home to reading & then away to burnley then i think times up. If i were marcus evans that would be my line of thinking. At the moment everyone seems to settle for whats happening but if we continue with that mindset then we will go down
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MaySixth added 16:25 - Nov 21
Zzzz
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SammyT added 16:28 - Nov 21
Hope your talking about "your" football club on FIFA...

No more sodding manager merry-go-round people, its that and not the managers thats been our problem. Manager + time + player rentention (to a certain extent) + patience = success. 2-3 years minimum term unless relegation.

Good point on here about seeing goals and entertaing Football so far, PJ has brought that already, it will get better but it might be a SLOW process. Deal with it..
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Mossy added 16:41 - Nov 21
Whilst your blog has some good points the larger issue is quite clear. The club WAS in a mess under Keane's stewardship there is a hell of a lot that needs to be sorted at this club to be a competitive outfit.
We do need more players that is clear at least now we have a foundation of a half decent team.

Whether you like it or not we were going down last season under Keane thankfully we got him in earlier enough to change that situation.

I wasn't exactly happy with his appointment but, you have to support him. He has made some rickets but, he hasn't been at the club for a year we need 2 more transfer windows and continuity to get this team back going again.
With PJ in charge. Have faith, he will come good.
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FKA_tomtheblue added 18:22 - Nov 21
Oh, FFS, who wrote this thing?

Ah, GB. That explains a lot. Nothing to see here.
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Daleyitfc added 18:29 - Nov 21
I agree with your views on Jewell : he WILL have to go before we can start to achieve success.
However, your stated support for the mentally challenged Magilton and Keane I can not agree with : they were absolutely useless too, were clearly going to fail right from the start, and we have now wasted 5 years, and umpteen millions, by appointing rubbish managers who would drag us down, waste money, and eventually get sacked. And, no, this is not a hind-sight thing : if you check back you will find that I pointed this out on TWTD as soon as each of these wassocks was appointed, but of course was then shouted at and told to 'keep the fafe' by the young Turks on here who think they know more than me about football.
So, let me be clear : Jewell will not succeed and will be sacked before his contract ends, just like the last 2 wasters, but not early enough : he should have gone in August.
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SouperJim added 18:42 - Nov 21
No manager should be sacked just 4 months into his first full season without a very very good reason. We've had one good run of form sandwiched between two, shorter, bad ones. 20 points from 16 games is not a crisis and who Jewell signed and what he did at Derby is not a template for what will deffo happen here.

You can see that many of the recent signings are a stop-gap, yet are unwilling to wait for the bigger picture. Would you have had Jewell stick with Keane's squad? Get a grip.
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Reus30 added 18:52 - Nov 21
I read your blog,

If it was in paper form, it would be in the bin

Biggest problem, Keane a young and inexperienced. I would say a Championship title, several years in the PL as inexperience....

He just was terrible. Jewell will turn this around. Then the blog in 18 months time will be I love PJ!

Good day
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ChickenMcGreal added 19:37 - Nov 21
GB, you have had your say here, made some excellent points and not much to argue with. The only problem here is some people are showing you little respect for having this opinion. It doesnt matter that they might not agree with you. But all the same it should be respected that all you are trying to say is enough is enough and who hasn't had enough if they were honest?

I dont know the answer but even with a new side, things are no better than a year ago. I will go with the flow for now whilst at the very least respecting what you have had to say.

As for Billy Davies, now there's a man who knows the way to the play-offs having done it with three different clubs....
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Reus30 added 20:54 - Nov 21
WOW Billy Davies, if Billy Davies ever becomes manager of ITFC, I will just top myself, who next Gary Megson!!!

Tbh I did want Gary Megson when Keane left. But then I relised it was Gary Megson, and thought better of it,

PJ is our man for now. Back him.
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Jewell_do added 21:01 - Nov 21
I agree with some comments but you seem to forget without McA and Norris this was going to happen. And the mighty Keane was the one willing to let contracts run down.

We need to give him to at least Jan 2013 otherwise we turn into another league one club. This transfer window is the most important in our history. If he doesn't sign 3 or 4 under 30s on PERMANENT DEALS we are down.
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Garv added 23:02 - Nov 21
Do you genuinely not think this team will keep us up Jewell_do?
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Jewell_do added 23:40 - Nov 21
Why not? We concede loads and dont score enough.I'm about 50/50 right now. The reason I say this is because I have never seen an Ipswich team capable of conceding 3 every game (even when we were in administration) I think as a club we need to be less arrogant and stop demanding top 6- we have been shiit for 6 years and not a single club has feared us in years. I cant see Collins or Andrews signing and even if they do its another 12 months before we have replace them.

The championship is now very much a young man's game, the pace of some counter attacks we see of the oppo is superb. Jewell seems oblivious of this. Building after what Keane destroyed will take more than 12 months so I pray we give Jewell until 2013.
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Garv added 05:32 - Nov 22
Agree with your general opinion and especially your last sentence.

We do score more than we have in recent years though. Maybe not enough in recent games but when you find that balance you can move forward.
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glassblower added 07:50 - Nov 22
Certainly some sentiments I can identify with. Ultimately GB will likelier be proved right than wrong but it's too early to call. Can perfectly understand there's no point in persisting with the wrong man but in all honesty I'm not sure we have the wrong or right manager and suspect than what he does in January and next summer could be telling. We will not go down.
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blrmy added 08:31 - Nov 22
A well written blog and grats on that, and you are welcome to your opinion. As you've put effort into it, good on you for submitting it (rather than the usual PJ out with no thought as is usual on here). However, I do not agree with your position and to call for a manager to be sacked now is systematic of the instant success generation, and surprised that with your age (similar to mine) you don't recognise it. Give him more time, otherwise again we are back to square one. There are no guarantees in football, and supporting a small club brings with it the highs and lows of good runs and bad. If you are seeking continued success go with Man U, Chelsea, etc.
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