So, the pretty much inevitable has happened. Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor are leaving ITFC at the end of the 2017-18 season after five and a half years.
Some Town fans will be unhappy at this news, undoubtedly we could have employed a lot worse than them, but the overall feeling is that their time has come to an end at Portman Road, especially with various incidents alienating large sections of fans: the constant negative tactics; the press conferences where Mick is at best dismissive of the supporters and at worse downright rude to them; and the incident at Carrow Road where despite his protests to the contrary, it’s pretty clear through his build up of frustration and relationship breakdown, yelled ‘f*** off’ to the travelling supporters after the opening goal.
As the great man, Sir Bobby Robson said when asked "What is a club in any case?”, he replied “Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city or town.
It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love."
It hurts me to say this, but there is precious little love around ITFC at present from any supporters, young or old. Apathy and anger are in plentiful supply however, and the next few months and the next managerial appointment could well be crucial as to whether we can get ourselves out of this rut we are in.
Also on the City of Yellows Blog:
- Have the wheels come off?
I now have serious concerns. Not that we just don't look anything like a team capable of attacking the play-offs next season, worse than that, Norwich City have every chance of finishing lower than our neighbours down the road.
- An objective view from south of the border
We can easily get clouded on what’s happening in our backyard. A Town fan takes time out to compare both clubs…
- A pragmatic approach to being a Norwich City fan
I first started taking note of Norwich City as an eight year old living in Lowestoft, strangely lots of people living in the most easterly town in England seem to prefer to support Norwich than the county town of Suffolk.
So who are the likely candidates? Shooper Shteve McLaren? No thanks, he’s only ever had success with a bigger budget than he’ll get here. Tony Mowbray? A hero in his playing days but his managerial record is mixed. The Cowley brothers? They have worked wonders at Lincoln but they play a long ball game and part of the reason fans at ITFC were unhappy with McCarthy was his long ball style. Mark Warburton? Maybe, a pretty safe choice though. Shefki Kuqi, still attends games at Portman Road fairly regularly, but I don’t know his style of play and would likely be too big a gamble.
For me, the more interesting choices are the likes of Paul Cook at Wigan and Derek Adams at Plymouth. Young managers with something to prove, playing decent football at a lower level and are probably within our budget.
Whether they’d want to come to Ipswich is of course another matter. And the manager is only part of the problem here, with the elusive owner Mr Evans seemingly unwilling to spend any more than the bare minimum he can get away with. He either needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat with his next appointment, or loosen the purse strings, or sell up to someone who is prepared to invest in ITFC, one thing is for sure carrying on with a similar style appointment isn’t going to see the fans flooding back, cheaper season tickets or not. Interesting times ahead.