Monday verdict: Get out of your bubble Marcus Evans and Mick McCarthy and remember who is important – the Ipswich Town supporters
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That’s the problem with Ipswich Town at the moment. Nothing is entirely broken, but something clearly needs fixing.
Steady, safe, pragmatic and predictable. Those words apply to the approach of both owner Marcus Evans and manager Mick McCarthy.
Multi-millionaire Evans has had his financial fingers burnt in the past. In a world of boom and bust football clubs he’s not prepared to risk the latter by going for the former.
The wily McCarthy, meanwhile, has become a master of self-preservation in a cut-throat profession where the average shelf life of a Championship manager is just eight months. In his own words, he’s ‘done a bloody good job under the terms and conditions’.
Stuck in their football bubble, it’s like they have forgotten about – or certainly take for granted – the very reason the game exists. The fans. You know, the ones who are asked to pay a minimum of £30 on the day in exchange for some sort of entertainment.
The Blues are rarely brilliant and rarely awful. That was once again the case in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Cardiff – a perfect microcosm of the bigger picture.
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- 3 Matchday Recap: A replay awaits as Town fail to beat Barrow
- 4 Harsh or fair? Here's what Town fans are saying about Paul Cook sacking
- 5 Ipswich Town set to announce caretaker manager
- 6 Driver arrested for being four times over legal limit
- 7 Body found in woods near Mildenhall
- 8 'We're probably not as good as we think we are' - Cook on FA Cup draw with Barrow
- 9 Hundreds sign petition to fix closed Suffolk road as MP visits site
- 10 'Gutted to see the gaffer go' - Norwood on Cook sacking
This season, 17th-placed Town’s record reads: P20 W6 D7 L7 F18 A20. In 2016, it’s P42 W13 D15 L14 F37 A41. Utter mediocrity on, it shouldn’t be forgotten, the club’s biggest wage bill in years.
And for those that say there are lies, damn lies and statistics, what we see with our eyes is more damning than any number crunching. It’s hard to remember too many occasions over the last 12 months where you’ve left a Town game thinking ‘I really enjoyed that’.
The fact that Cardiff defender Sol Bamba’s fit of rage on Saturday – in which he shoved his own physio, angrily confronted the fourth official and then grappled with manager Neil Warnock after being dismissed – was one of the most entertaining things seen at Portman Road in a long time says a lot.
Ipswich Town are a bit like the pack of socks you open on Christmas Day. A practical gift, but not exactly one that sets the pulses racing.
There’s not enough broken for Evans and McCarthy to change tack. There’s not enough broken for supporters to unite in loud protest. There is, however, enough broken for thousands of fans to find something better to do with their time and money.
The weekend’s attendance of 15,042 was the lowest on a Saturday at Portman Road in 17 years. Perhaps a continuation of that trend will take the blinkers off Evans and McCarthy.
If not, the purgatory will continue, only with no sense of purification in progress.