I don’t think many people were expecting managerless Ipswich Town to play fantastically on Saturday but nobody expected that the team would be as bad as they were against a fairly average Sheffield Wednesday side.
The Yorkshire side previously had not won in 10 games but Ipswich let them stroll to a 3-0 win and if their finishing wasn’t so dire then it could have been more.
After the game caretaker manager Chris Hutchings said he felt it was the more experienced players that let him down whereas younger players like Luke Hyam and Josh Carson gave it their all. Hutchings also admitted that the fans chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” were probably accurate for a few players.
The performance highlighted exactly how big the task is for whoever takes over the hotseat. As I have said before, all of the warning signs are there for a team destined to be relegated so the new manager will have to make an instant impact.
The frustrating part is that on paper the team aren’t actually too bad and the squad is not lacking in ability. However, it is obvious that there is no unity within the dressing room and having so many players either on loan or short term contracts isn’t exactly helping. What is more worrying is that even before the flood of loan signings came in the senior players weren’t giving it their all.
It seems like Carlos Edwards was right last week when he said that Paul Jewell was too soft for his own good. Unfortunately the nice guy approach didn’t work out for Jewell and the players let him down massively. Nothing has changed since he left and Ipswich desperately need a man who will say exactly what is on his mind if the players aren’t performing for him.
Roy Keane had this approach and it is fair to say that the players respected him. What went wrong for Keane is a completely different story to Jewell as the Irishman filled the team with gutless mercenaries.
What the team really needs is a man as firm as Keane but also able to buy players with the right attitude and tactical awareness. I have mentioned before that I would love Ipswich to steal MK Dons manager Karl Robinson but I have to admit I now question whether he would be the right man. Robinson has impressed everyone with what he has done in his first two years of management and he would be the ultimate long term choice for the club in my eyes. However the team desperately need a manager who is more experienced and would instantly command the players respect in order to save the club from relegation.
Surprisingly Ipswich have been linked with Ian Holloway who would be the best appointment that any fan could dream of but sadly I think this will always be a dream. Holloway has a great side at Blackpool and he would be insane to leave them for a team in a mess like Ipswich. The strange thing is Holloway applied to manage Ipswich after they sacked Jim Magilton but the men at the top chose Roy Keane instead and Blackpool snapped up Holloway soon after.
The good news is that there are a few good managers about who would fit still fit the bill. Mick McCarthy would do a good job and so would Owen Coyle or Alan Curbishley. The only downside is that there are a few clubs hunting these managers so Ipswich will have to convince them that their future lies in Suffolk over anywhere else.