Is Mick McCarthy one of Ipswich Town’s top 10 managers of all time?
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
Famously, Ipswich Town has produced two of England’s greatest-ever managers in Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson.
But what about the rest? Terry Hunt comes up with a top ten - the last in our 12 Days of Ipswich Town Christmas.
Appointed at Christmas 1994, Burley inherited a team which was doomed to be relegated from the Premier League. The next few seasons saw steady improvement, and a lot of heartbreaking play-off defeats. Until it all came right one glorious day at Wembley in May 2000. Town performed miracles to finish fifth and qualify for Europe in their first season back in the big time, but it all went horribly wrong the following year and Burley ultimately paid the price.
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A controversial choice, perhaps, but statistically at least, John Duncan’s three season spell at Town was one of the best. He won more than 45 per cent of his games, a figure higher than Robson’s and only marginally below Ramsey’s. Yes, I know statistics can be used to prove anything, and I certainly don’t claim Duncan was a great Ipswich manager. But perhaps not as bad as some would say?
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The Scot was Town manager from 1937 until 1955 (with the war in the middle) and he oversaw progress from the Southern League to the brink of the Ramsey era.
You might be surprised to see Fergie’s name here, but there is a school of thought that he performed miracles to keep the team in the First Division for four seasons as everything collapsed around him. Also deserves recognition for his work as Robson’s right-hand man.
In little more than two years, McCarthy has transformed Town from relegation fodder to genuine promotion contenders. And he’s spent virtually nothing doing it. Remarkable achievement.
McGarry inherited Jackie Milburn’s ageing squad. He took four years to turn things round and get the team back to the First Division. He then, rather oddly, departed for “bigger club’’ Wolves.
Town’s first professional manager, who oversaw their debut season in the Southern League, which they finished as champions. His win percentage of more than 64 per cent is unequalled.
What a manager. He transformed Ipswich Town, and the whole way football was played. Introduced the “wingless wonders’’ at Ipswich, which saw the “Country Cousins’’ win the league title against all the odds. Four years later, he did the same with England - lifting the World Cup. Although he was awkward in public and with the media, Ramsey’s players saw a different side - and they absolutely adored him.
In his 13 years at Portman Road, Robson created two great sides. After some tough early years, when chairman John Cobbold stayed loyal to his young manager, Robson’s talent for bringing through young talent and making the odd successful foray into the transfer market paid off with season after season of success.
Endless European campaigns, FA Cup winners in 1978, and UEFA Cup triumph three years later. The only trophy which eluded him was the League Championship.
Genial Joe was appointed after Burley’s sacking, and performed miracles to get a team into the play-offs despite all sorts of financial woes happening at the time. If he’s been allowed to spend even £1 million, then we would have been promoted.
What do you make of Terry Hunt’s top 10? Did he miss anyone? Share your views below.