Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Staggering symmetry between McCarthy’s great escape and Lambert’s rescue mission... but will the result be the same?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 November 2018

There are remarkable similarities between the start of Mick McCarthy and Paul Lambert's Ipswich Town careers. Picture: PAGEPIX/ROSS HALLS

There are remarkable similarities between the start of Mick McCarthy and Paul Lambert's Ipswich Town careers. Picture: PAGEPIX/ROSS HALLS

Archant

Six years ago to this day, Ipswich Town appointed Mick McCarthy to get them out of trouble. STUART WATSON looks at the symmetry between then and now.

Mick McCarthy took over as Ipswich Town manager in 2012 with the Blues bottom of the table.Mick McCarthy took over as Ipswich Town manager in 2012 with the Blues bottom of the table.

Staggering symmetry

Paul Jewell was sacked on October 24, 2012 the day after a midweek defeat to Derby County (2-1 at home).

Paul Hurst was sacked on October 25, 2018 the day after a midweek defeat to Leeds United (2-0 away).

On October 27, 2012, Ipswich Town lost their single game under caretaker management – Chris Hutchings – by a score of 3-0 (at home to Sheffield Wednesday).

On October 27, 2018, Ipswich Town lost their single game under caretaker management – Bryan Klug – by a score of 3-0 (at Millwall).

MORE: ‘We have to create an atmosphere where we have a lot of fun’ - Lambert wants to remove fear factor at Town

On November 1, 2012, Mick McCarthy took over a team that was bottom of the Championship table and five points adrift (seven points from 12 games)

McCarthy replaced Paul Jewell in the Portman Road hotseat. Picture: ARCHANTMcCarthy replaced Paul Jewell in the Portman Road hotseat. Picture: ARCHANT

Six years later, to the very day, Paul Lambert is in charge of a team that also finds itself bottom of the Championship table and five points adrift (nine points from 15 games).

McCarthy’s rescue mission started with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Birmingham City on November 3.

That just so happens to be date Lambert takes charge of his first game – the Blues hosting fellow-strugglers Preston on Saturday.

By the way, back in 2012 (when the season started later because of the Olympics), Town were still bottom and five points adrift after 15 games too.

MORE: ‘I don’t want to harp back to Norwich... Ipswich is my club now’ - Lambert looking to the future

Mick’s rescue mission

It was a mixture of pure grit and good fortune which saw Town win 1-0 at St Andrew’s in McCarthy’s first game in charge. The Blues defended manfully following DJ Campbell’s eighth minute opener, but also had Nikola Zigic to thank for missing two sitters.

Two heavy away thrashings – 5-0 at Crystal Palace and 6-0 at Leicester – then came either side of a vital 2-1 home win against Burnley, Campbell scoring an 87th minute winner.

Come the start of the new year, Town had won seven of their 12 games under McCarthy to climb to 19th and eight points clear of the drop zone.

Despite that, the relegation fight – one of the most keenly contested in recent memory – went right to the wire.

MORE: Pride, passion, creating unity and beating the odds - the full transcript of Lambert’s first Ipswich Town press conference

Every week Town won so, it seemed, did their rivals. In the end they finished 14th with 60 points. Peterborough went down a with record points tally of 54, along with Wolves and Bristol City. Just eight points ended up separating 10th to 22nd.

Fixtures comparison

McCarthy until New Year in 2012:

Now Paul Lambert takes over as Ipswich boss with the Blues bottom once again. Picture: ROSS HALLSNow Paul Lambert takes over as Ipswich boss with the Blues bottom once again. Picture: ROSS HALLS

W 1-0 Birmingham (a)

L 5-0 Crystal Palace (a)

W 2-1 Burnley (h)

L 6-0 Leicester (a)

D 1-1 Peterborough (h)

W 3-1 Nottm Forest (h)

W 2-1 Bolton (a)

Mick McCarthy won his first game as Ipswich manager at Birmingham. Picture: PAGEPIXMick McCarthy won his first game as Ipswich manager at Birmingham. Picture: PAGEPIX

W 3-0 Millwall (h)

L 2-0 Leeds (a)

D 1-1 Bristol City (h)

W 2-1 Charlton (a)

W 2-0 Wolves (a)

Lambert until New Year in 2018:

Preston (h)

Reading (a)

West Brom (h)

Bristol City (h)

Nottm Forest (a)

Stoke (a)

Wigan (h)

Sheffield Utd (h)

QPR (a)

Middlesbrough (a)

Recruitment

Back in 2012, the ‘emergency’ loan window was still available to Championship managers.

After signing left-back Kelly Youga on a free transfer (he never played), McCarthy brought in right-back Bradley Orr from Blackburn, as well as striker Tyrone Barnett from relegation rivals Peterborough.

DJ Campbell scored the goals to move Ipswich away from the bottom of the table in 2012/13. Picture: PAGEPIXDJ Campbell scored the goals to move Ipswich away from the bottom of the table in 2012/13. Picture: PAGEPIX

That option is not available to Lambert following 2016’s rule changes. If he wants to strengthen his squad before January it will have to be free agents.

Strikers Darren Bent and Gabby Agbonlahor are both without clubs and both played under Lambert at Aston Villa. Bent did say recently that he would love to finish his career at Town, the club where it all started for him, but the fact he fell out with Lambert at Villa Park makes that move highly unlikely.

McCarthy then signed David McGoldrick, Richard Stearman, Anthony Wordsworth and Patrick Kisnorbo in January, adding Reece Brown and Jay Tabb to the squad later in the campaign.

Squad comparison

The team that started McCarthy’s first game in charge was: Stephen Henderson, Carlos Edwards, Luke Chambers, Danny Higginbotham, Aaron Cresswell, Lee Martin, Guirane N’Daw, Nigel Reo-Coker, Richie Wellens, DJ Campbell and Daryl Murphy.

He only made two changes from the previous match, dropping homegrown youngsters Luke Hyam and Josh Carson.

Tommy Smith soon replaced the ageing Higginbotham in the side, Orr came in at right-back, while midfielder Andy Drury got a fair amount of game-time. In general though, it was a pretty settled side.

Luke Chambers is the only current Ipswich player who was at the club when McCarthy arrived in 2012. Picture: PAGEPIXLuke Chambers is the only current Ipswich player who was at the club when McCarthy arrived in 2012. Picture: PAGEPIX

Murphy was moved from left-wing to striker, while skipper Edwards was pushed forward from right-back to right-wing.

Michael Chopra and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, previously key men, were marginalised and moved on come the end of the season.

MORE: ‘Excellent, only way is up with Lambert’ - Town fans react to boss Lambert’s first press conference

Town squad Nov 2012: Henderson, Loach; Chambers, Cresswell, Higginbottom, Smith, Mohsni, Hewitt; Edwards, Reo-Coker, N’Daw, Drury, Martin, Wellens, Emmanuel-Thomas; Campbell, Murphy, Chopra, Scotland.

Current squad: Bialkowski, Gerken; Donacien, Spence, Pennington, Chambers, Nsiala, Knudsen, Kenlock; Skuse, Nolan, Dozzell, Chalobah, Downes, Huws, Bishop, Edun, Edwards, Ward, Graham, Rowe, Lankester, Roberts; Sears, Jackson, Harrison.

Big questions

Lambert is equally experienced as a player and manager to McCarthy, but there are several factors to take into account when considering whether he can repeat the feat of 2012/13.

McCarthy was able to add David McGoldrick to the Ipswich squad in January 2013. Picture: ARCHANTMcCarthy was able to add David McGoldrick to the Ipswich squad in January 2013. Picture: ARCHANT

Is this current squad better or worse than the one which beat the odds back then? Put together a ‘best XI’ and make your own mind up.

DJ Campbell scored the goals (eight in McCarthy’s first 12 games) which turned things around. Will a goalscorer step up from this current crop? That’s a major concern.

And is the Championship, in general, a stronger division than it was? You’d have to probably say yes.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Jordan Graham is training with Oxford United after being given permission to move on by Ipswich Town.

Teenager Jack Lankester hopes to be involved with the Ipswich Town first team for the remainder of the season but would be prepared to spend time out on loan if it aides his development.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressing the players with his skills on the training pitch. STUART WATSON looks back on his playing career.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

Former Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst is the favourite in the betting as his former club Shrewsbury search for a new manager.

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football for a second time, due to a persistent hip injury.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features David Johnson signing for Town and Sir Bobby Robson’s testimonial match at Portman Road

Former Ipswich Town loanee Richie Wellens has been appointed Swindon Town manager, naming Noel Hunt as his assistant.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24