After conceding another last minute goal that puts Ipswich bottom of the Championship the club has said farewell to manager Paul Jewell.
I have no doubts that Jewell was fully committed to the job and he seemed like a great guy, but the recent performances have been worse than anything Ipswich fans have seen in a long time. The problem was simply that the former Derby boss was not good enough at motivating the players and setting the side up tactically.
The big question now is who will be the next Ipswich manager?
The job isn’t very attractive when you first think about it. The squad is filled with loan signings and players on short-term contracts. Additionally, the team are bottom of the table so whoever comes in will basically spend the next year fighting relegation as well as rebuilding the squad. To top it off the club’s reputation has been steadily in decline for years and Portman Road doesn’t attract as a big a crowd as it used to.
However, there are some positives that may help the club attract a decent manager.
What Jewell was good at was finding some good young talent for the club; it was just a shame that he couldn’t ever make the most of it. Whoever comes into the club will inherit a squad that is a bit of a mess but at the same time has a decent amount of young players that can only get better. It certainly seems like Jewell has left the squad in a better condition than Keane did because the latter stripped the team of all its young talent, whereas Jewell brought in younger players.
Furthermore, the big perk of being Ipswich manager is having money to spend which is a privilege that many clubs can not offer. Marcus Evans is also an owner that is well known for his patience and managers will like the fact that Ipswich only sack their manager as a last resort.
Many people have suggested names such as Poyet, Di Canio, Redknapp, Hoddle, Solskjaer and others but these are all unrealistic targets that I can’t see coming into the club. As it stands there are too many managers linked with the job to talk about them all but I will go through a few of the more realistic options.
Lower league managers such as Gillingham’s Martin Allen and MK Dons Karl Robinson are potential choices. Allen’s Gillingham side currently sit top of League Two and the Gills boss has had a lot of success in most of the jobs he has taken on but unfortunately he has often clashed with club owners. Robinson was the youngest Football League manager when he took over the Dons at the age of 29 and has guided them to 5th place two years running.
The three biggest names that could realistically become manager are Alan Curbishley, Mick McCarthy and Owen Coyle. These three experienced bosses are all currently out of contract and will be considered the three favourites to get the job.
Curbishley left West Ham under controversial circumstances as players had been sold without his permission but the former Hammers boss has a decent win percentage in every job he’s had. McCarthy is statistically just as impressive and in my eyes was harshly sacked by Wolves. Coyle did not have much luck at Bolton but you can’t deny that he did a great job at Burnley as well as being extremely successful in Scotland beforehand.
The five names that I have mentioned here are only a few of the choices but I believe they are the most realistic ones. Obviously each manager has very different pros and cons which are hard to weigh up but everyone will have their preferred choice. In all honesty I would be very happy with any of those managers apart from Martin Allen but my top choice would probably be Karl Robinson.
I expect that most would prefer one of the out of contract managers as they have had previous success at some point in the Championship but I think Robinson would be a great long-term choice which could bring stability to the club.