This article was written in 2012 shortly after the arrival of Mick McCarthy as boss of ITFC
Having been an Ipswich Town fan all my life I have seen a little bit of success. That was back in the late 70s/early 80s when the late great Sir Bobby Robson was in charge.
Since then we have failed miserably as a football club. One or two skirmishes with the big boys of the premier league and a play off final success is little return in near on 35 years since we were one of the best sides in Europe.
So where did it all go wrong? Only 5 out of the past 27 seasons have been spent in the top flight yet the fans still say we’re a premier league side. No we’re not.
Look what happened last time we tried to mix it with the big boys. We qualified for Europe, got a few quid, spent it on expensive nobodies and the aged Finidi George and soon came crashing back to reality.
The time before that we clung on for dear life every season until we got embarrassed at Old Trafford by one of the worse Man Utd sides to grace the premier league. And the idiots still chant we’re the pride of Anglia.
No we are not! Ask the little bakers, builders, carpet fitters etc of Ipswich how much pride we had when bills went unpaid and businesses folded because we had to enter administration.
That was classy.
Then we look at some of the rubbish that has graced the hallowed Portman Road turf. After losing the UEFA cup side of Mariner, Brazil, Wark etc we had Putney, Paz, Marshall, Pennyfather, Lee bastard Chapman. Shall I go on?
Crazy. (the situation not the horse as that’s crazier) (Or Crazee)
I put a lot of the blame on David Sheepshanks. He had a 5 year plan. Yes lick as many arses as possible so he can get a nice little earner with the FA. Well done David. It took you 7 years but you made it!
As well as Sheepshanks there was that other fool, Clegg. He did not have a clue. In the past 3 seasons alone we have paid off the contracts of 13 players. 13 players! That’s how many players we used when we finished runners up to Liverpool and Aston Villa in the early 80’s. For any young uns reading this yes Liverpool and Aston Villa both used to be quite good!
Maybe we live in the past too much. After having had two of the greatest ever managers in Robson, and before him, Ramsey, we’ve had to put up with a lot of shite.
Bobby Ferguson went from coach to manager and how many people over the years have done that successfully? Then came the depression, or the John Duncan years, possibly the worst manager of all time?
John Lyall had a good couple of years but we weren’t West Ham (thankfully) and his heart wasn’t quite in it. Then came Burley. After he got over the 9-0 walloping at Old Trafford things picked up and he finally got us out of the championship or division 2 or whatever it was called back then. A blinding first season back in the premiership had us just one game away from the champions league. Unfortunately we’re not Harchester United and the following season saw us get found out as Burley’s inadequacies with the the cheque book and his penchant for sex lines (allegedly) saw us return to our rightful place.
And we’ve been there ever since.
Burley went and in came one of our better players of recent times, Jim Magilton. He was another that started well but his fiery Irish ways weren’t to everyones liking and once our rich sugar daddy took over he was sacked.
On his mothers funeral day.
Again classy ITFC
Our rich sugar daddy was Mr Invisible, Marcus Evans. He wanted to raise the clubs profile so who better than Irish mentalist Roy Keane? Evans’ yes man Clegg duly got Keano in and the media frenzy in the town was almost as crazy as the time we lost a few ladies of the night.
Keano was diabolical. Rumours of fights with the players (Pablo?) and being more interested in where people lived than how they played meant another 18 months of nothing for the blues.
In came Paul Jewell. He had a bit of success with Bradford a few years ago and was quite good as a replacement on Soccer Saturday when Le Tiss was drunk. But as a manger of ITFC? Worse than Keano.
Now we have another new dawn with the mercurial Mick McCarthy (how many of you are now Googling mercurial?) what will his tenure bring?
My guess is absolutely nothing.
If he is to succeed he needs a bloke who can bang in 20+ a season as a regular occurrence.
Since John Wark hit the net 23 times in the 82/83 season (30 seasons ago) there have only been 6 instances where a bloke has scored 20 or more:-
Kevin Wilson – 25 in 86/87
David Johnson – 22 in 97/98
David Johnson – 23 in 99/00
Marcus Stewart – 21 in 00/01 (premier league)
Pablo Counago – 20 in 02/03
Shefki Kuqui – 20 in 04/05
Ladies and gentlemen I rest my case for Ipswich Town Football Club being nothing but a second division football club.