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@ Phil - Video Content
at 18:14 22 Aug 2019

Really enjoy the video content in your articles - The highlights and the alternative angles of goals.

Is there any chance of getting more fan stuff in there. I saw this - - on LinkedIn and love it. Makes you proud.

Not sure on the ownership side of things, but I assume the club would be happy to share and promote the matchday experience.
Round One: Albatross
at 10:36 18 Aug 2019

Searching for perspective
Three games down and like most people I'm trying to make sense of things. The lack of perspective is somewhat painful.

I've found myself trawling through the past five seasons to establish what needs to be done. I heard a few mockingly put out 100 points and 100 goals. Sheffield Utd managed 100 points and two seasons later they are in the premiership. So here's to hoping

The least points accumulated to secure automatic promotion was Burton's 85. That same season the title winners Wigan recorded 87 points, which would have placed 5th last season.

The average title winner has accumulated 96 points. The average runner up has accumulated 90 points and the average third placed team has amassed 86 point.

Aside from the trolling Norwich accounts, we all hope to win automatic promotion. Not team in the last 5 years has achieved 90 points in third place. So the average second place points total should by our aim.

Last year's runner-up - Barnsley - got 91 points. Barnsley started off well enough. They were 3rd after 7 games and undefeated. Five loses and three draws from their next 14 games saw them drop out of the top 6. However they rallied over their next 25 games, only losing twice.

In total they lost 7 games over the course of the season and this should be our target. Only lose a maximum of 7 games and don't do a Sunderland.

Bizarrely Barnsley didnt lose at home in the league all season, making a fortress out of Oakwell (autocorrect nearly made me look like a right idiot). Whilst I will use seven loses as a bench mark to plot our progress, I will split it up into 2 losses at home and 5 away.

I've roughly plotted out their home and away form for wins and losses, reaching the conclusion that to achieve automatic promotion you need to win 15 home games and 12 away games throughout the season. This should be supplemented by 12 draws, six at home and six away.

Establishing Par
Betting is rife in football. Almost every club has better sponsorship etched into their club tops. The general cycle is... You place money on football. You lose more than you win. Betting companies make lots of money. They pay clubs a fraction of the money they make from you, so you see their betting brand. You then repeat this cycle.

The way they make money through advantageous odds. And here are those odds for League one at the start of the season.

Sunderland (11/8)
Ipswich (2/1)
Portsmouth (2/1)
Peterborough (10/3)
Rotherham (10/3)
Lincoln (9/2)
Doncaster (5/1)
Burton (11/2)
Fleetwood (11/2)
Oxford (7/1)
MK Dons (15/2)
Coventry (8/1)
Blackpool (9/1)
Bristol Rovers (10/1)
Gillingham (10/1)
AFC Wimbledon (14/1)
Accrington Stanley (14/1)
Rochdale (14/1)
Shrewsbury (14/1)
Southend (16/1)
Tranmere (16/1)
Wycombe (16/1)
Bolton (40/1)
Bury (250/1)

I have used this to plot out what golfers would call "par". I've probably played 5 pitch and puts in my life, so why is is call par is beyond me, but par it is.

In this system it would be par to beat the lower ranked clubs and lose to the higher rank clubs. For example a club like Oxford is par win at home and par draw away.

Round One: Albatross
Through this lens we've actually done really well. Our par was just 1 point. We were expected to lose to Sunderland at home, lose to Peterborough away amd draw to Burton away.

With random teams playing each other and no idea if they are any good, this is a good measurement to put our start in progress. We bettered the each game expectation and were three under par (aka an Albatross).
Result: Albatross (1W, 2D)
Season progress: 4 point surplus

Round Two: Three Wins
No chance of an Albatross here, we are out for three wins to hit par. Three back to back wins is something we haven't achieved sinse we won 4 in a row at the start of the 2017–18 season. I can't help but feel nervous, time to get that winning mentality!

AFC Wimbledon come to Portman Road first. They are predicted to finish 16th and if we want to go up we don't want to be spending our hard earned surplus just yet.

An away trip to debt ridden Bolton follows with another win expected. Bolton are not even the poor side we beat towards the end of last season's disaster, so failure to get the three points would be disappointing. They are only ranked ahead of Burton, who might not even get to the end of September

Shrewsbury complete the next round, with another win set as par. Shrewsbury are ranked 19th and were angry that we took their manager and 2 players. In reality we should be angry at them. Lesson learnt, keep the receipt.


I've moved house and don't have internet installed at the moment. Please excuse me if the layout is a bit naff. I'll try and do it better next time when I have access to my computer.

I'm thinking of doing something like this roughly every 3 games. It's way more manageable than every game.

Subsequent posts will not be about Barnsley. I'll add in more stats from form, etc.
[Post edited 18 Aug 10:45]
at 13:12 12 Aug 2019

Not sure who was doing the insights into different insects for a while, but I saw this on one of my subscribed Youtube channels.

It's epic and they are making more.

No subject
at 17:09 9 Aug 2019

Me: big game this weekend. Ipswich V Sunderland

Girlfriend: They're in the champions league. You're in the Champions League. No. The champions 3rd league.

Me: You don't know what you are talking about.

GF: Yes I do. You got relegated.

Anyone else feel my pain? I got owned.
at 15:16 1 Aug 2019

Boss just got through Christmas promotions.

I am boycotting any company that tries to sell me something whilst relating it to Christmas, if it is prior to Halloween.

Had enough. It isn't a 5-month commercial holiday.
D-Day - Russia
at 19:33 6 Jun 2019

D-Day is undeniably a huge deal in the history of our nation. As many on here who have shared their families personal stories highlight.

But to not invite Russia, regardless of whether we like them as a country and Putin as a person, is a shame on us and the West. 25million dead and holding a single front sinse '41.

Without them holding the other line it is doubtful we would have been successful and certainly would have been at a much greater cost.
Ipswich Town: Why fans are meeting relegation to League One with optimism
at 10:56 14 Apr 2019

Why does such positivity persist around Ipswich Town - a club that has endured one of the worst seasons in its history and been destined for the drop for so long?

The inevitable was confirmed on Saturday, ending a sequence of 17 consecutive seasons in the Championship and putting them in England's third tier for the first time since 1957.

However, rather than dread, the reaction of those connected to the club is one of optimism.

"We really didn't want this to happen," former club captain and record appearance holder Mick Mills told BBC Sport.

"Slowly but surely, we've known it's been coming. It's been a gradual process, maybe a three-year thing.

"But you have to focus on next season and start to look at the players who can start that campaign and hopefully be the club's future."

'Be careful what you wish for'
When Mick McCarthy left Ipswich in April 2018 after five and a half years in charge, former Norwich striker and BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Sutton warned supporters to "be careful what you wish for".

Since Sutton used that phrase, it has been regurgitated by other correspondents and employed to goad Ipswich fans now planning away trips to Fleetwood rather than Fulham next season.

There was mid-table stability under McCarthy, but a large section of fans had been disillusioned with his style of play for some time, with the Yorkshireman not afraid to give as good as he got.

He called out fans who he claimed "ruined" home games last season, calling them "numbskulls", while attendances fell.

Even in hindsight, few Ipswich fans regret seeing him go.

"It's been a difficult season, nobody can deny that," said supporters' club chairman Mark Ramsay.

"But the fans are optimistic. We're looking to the future and moving forward, not backwards.

"The football's been far better this season, far more attractive to watch.

"We like Paul Lambert, he likes us and we want him to become the modern-day Bobby Robson and move forward with a young squad coming out of the academy."

Ex-England captain Mills and Benjamin Bloom, host of The Blue Monday ITFC podcast, echo those sentiments, arguing "change had to come" when owner Marcus Evans decided not to extend McCarthy's contract last year.

"The lack of succession planning and where McCarthy left the club made it very, very hard for an inexperienced manager in Paul Hurst not to fall completely flat on his face," said Bloom.

"Sometimes it's better the devil you know, but sometimes a change can do you good.

"This is, of course, the worst-case scenario. But other clubs have gone down, organised themselves, come back up on a more secure financial footing and created a better feeling on their return, so why can't we?"

The future, however, may be filled with some hazardous precedents.

Plenty of other former Premier League clubs have dropped into League One in the past decade, with several finding the path back treacherous and long.

"What everyone's hanging on to now is a chance to get the club properly organised," Bloom added.

"There's almost been an extended pre-season for Paul Lambert for the past five months.

"You see clubs like Sheffield United and Norwich City, who dropped down before Ipswich - they already had plans set up in terms of contracts and personnel.

"It strikes me in football these days you only really need to have a two-year plan and you're miles ahead of everyone else because of the scale of managerial sackings."

Plotting the path back
Former Norwich manager Lambert's arrival in November has been just one of the turbulent events that have characterised Ipswich's season to forget.

While he was unable to mastermind the great escape many will have dreamt of when he took charge, the die was almost cast during the brief reign of his predecessor Hurst.

He lasted just 14 league games at Portman Road after his decision to leave Shrewsbury Town last summer backfired.

"We're not where we are now because of results in the last 10 games," Lambert said.

"It goes back further than that, to July and August. If the club was how it is now back then, I wouldn't be here because we would have been in a great place.

"It starts in July, your season, and that's what's cost us."

Lambert is no doubt alluding to the huge turnover in playing personnel that characterised Hurst's tenure at Portman Road.

Four key components of McCarthy's squad left before the season started. Adam Webster, Martyn Waghorn, Joe Garner and David McGoldrick left for fellow Championship clubs and in their places came a raft of players from League One and League Two.

"The four best attacking players left in the summer," Mills said.

"The replacements were made, but the fifth-best attacking player from last season in Freddie Sears emerged as the best this season and that tells its own story.

"That's where it went wrong and we just couldn't score goals."

Lambert, perhaps by default rather than design, has put his faith in the club's academy graduates while implementing his own playing style.

Players such as Flynn Downes, Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell have emerged from the same production line as former England internationals Kieron Dyer and Richard Wright of previous eras.

"The club has to have a structure in order to build," Lambert added. "The great thing about it is it also has a great support and they deserve to see this club do well."

Evans pays price for prudence?
While other clubs have pushed hard financially to chase the dream of promotion to the Premier League, Ipswich owner Evans has been more frugal.

McCarthy's era was characterised by having a watertight transfer budget, bringing in players on frees or using his powers of negotiation to pull off a bargain.

But has that financial caution been Evans' and Ipswich's ultimate downfall?

"It's a long story with Evans as he was the only person available to buy the club when he did and take on the level of debt," said Mills.

"I think he didn't really know the game too well then and trusted managers too much. Amazingly, when he did get one who knew the game well, he slashed the budget.

"All the time, it's just been slightly wrong and maybe if he'd surrounded himself with football people rather than business or financial people, it may have been different."

Ramsay added: "We'd all like to see the owner put more money in, but I think we're realistic and know we need to stay on an even keel and the club needs to keep moving forward.

"We don't want to end up in the sort of situation Bolton find themselves."

View from the commentator
Brenner Woolley, BBC Radio Suffolk

Even for a club that has had more bad times than good over the past two decades, this is a massive blow.

The huge drop-off in television revenue, and potentially gate receipts, will mean that cutbacks on and off the pitch are inevitable.

Players who have relevant clauses in their contracts will be forced into taking pay cuts, while the threat of redundancy looms large over the club's non-playing staff.

While owner Evans will continue to bankroll the club's day-to-day running, he is unlikely to give Lambert a sizeable war chest for recruitment.

For the most part, the Scotsman will spend the summer trying to lure free agents to Portman Road, while if he does wish to invest significantly, there is every chance he will have to sell before he can buy.

Bizarrely, given their side's dreadful position, there is a real spring in the step of Ipswich fans - many of whom believe Town's stay in the third tier will only last one season.

Their positivity is largely based on Lambert's previous success with Norwich, the signing of experienced midfielder Alan Judge and the hope that a crop of talented youngsters can all step up.

The more pragmatic believe a good start to 2019-20 is imperative. Otherwise, more choppy waters could lie ahead.

EDIT: Accidentally put a picture name in bold as a header - removed
[Post edited 14 Apr 11:11]
Championship Football
at 17:56 13 Apr 2019

Those were the days...
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