Fuller Flavour: Lambert should go - but that’s only part of the problem at Town
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller offers his thoughts on Paul Lambert, Marcus Evans and the state of play at Portman Road....
Let me take you back to September 24, 2012, when this column made its very first appearance. That debut column came after a home defeat to Charlton Athletic, where the visitors helped themselves to two goals.
It was a time when Ipswich fans had quite simply had enough of what was being served to them. Patience had run out, the football was mediocre and we had a manager that had lost the plot. Five games later, Paul Jewell was gone.
In my opinion, Paul Lambert needs to be gone in a similar timeframe after Charlton’s first win at Portman Road since that date on Saturday.
I worry about the length of time left on his five-year contract as to whether anything will happen though and should my wishes be granted, not all our problems will be solved – far from it.
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Ipswich Town Football Club is knackered. It is on its knees with a ruddy great millstone hanging around its neck. Marcus Evans can pull the trigger and fire Lambert anytime he wants – although at this stage it might cost him considerably – but then we’re left with Evans, the common denominator in our meek subsidence into third division mediocrity.
Whenever the day comes that Lambert is gone, and whoever the next man is in charge, can we really expect anything to improve?
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I refer back to when Jewell left, over eight years ago, and wrote “It wasn’t too hard to predict and at the time (of Jewell’s departure), it was a brutal assessment of the mess that the club is in and I honestly feel that it would take more than an appointment of a new manger to pull the club around.”
Fundamentally, despite a decent start for Mick McCarthy, nothing changed within the core foundations of the club.
When McCarthy left, I wrote: “I would love to see Evans take a fresh viewpoint on how to make us a club again. A whole new structure needs to be put in place, one that has not been in place in the Evans era with concise and transparent plans that fans can buy into.” Again, nothing changed within the core foundations of the club.
And to complete a trilogy of concerns following another sacking of a manager, I wrote after Paul Hurst’s exit: “The past week has seen me angry, upset, and philosophical and wondering when any of it will get any easier. The life of an Ipswich fan these days.” You you get my drift. The reset button keeps getting pressed and yet nothing improves.
Back to Lambert, and he has clearly lost what credence he had left in the past week. He continues to be prickly with the local media, banning one writer from club press conferences, and stated that we’d be ‘useless’ when it was put to him about playing two up front.
Our continuously growing injury list is horrendous. But what we had an abundance of in the matchday squads going into both games against Hull and Charlton was strikers. With little left in midfield, surely we could have gone into those games with a front two? Especially given that Charlton had no recognised centre-backs!
We really should have looked to pile on the pressure in that area, rather than looking to dominate the ball in front of our own penalty area.
Yes, the injuries are not helping but you cannot totally blame those for a record that has now seen us win just three games out of 24 against those that finished in last season’s top ten and games against six of the current top ten. More worryingly is the fact that of these games, 12 have been at Portman Road and we have a solitary win over Accrington Stanley to enthuse about. Incidentally, the other two wins in this run came at Fleetwood and Gillingham. No disrespect to them but as we slipped into League One, they were the sort of games we’d hoped to be winning.
Ipswich Town is a drug to me. It is my addiction. I trust those in charge to deal me a decent fix. An occasional high is all I want. Under Paul Lambert it’s apparent that isn’t going to happen. It’s time for him to go now.