North Stander: Do Lambert and the players know something we, the fans, aren't aware of?
PUBLISHED: 10:23 31 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 31 March 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
North Stander Terry Hunt reflects on bizarre after-match comments from Paul Lambert on another depressing afternoon at Portman Road
The conspiracy theorists have had a field day since Paul Lambert’s frankly bizarre comments during a post-match radio interview on Saturday.
Why was Lambert so evasive when asked about his future by BBC Radio Suffolk commentator Brenner Woolley?
Is he leaving at the end of the season?
Lambert is not exactly wet behind the ears, and must have known precisely what impact his comments would have.
So, here goes with the conspiracy theory questions.
Why were Town suddenly so poor on Saturday, after some much improved performances?
Why did Lambert wave to the North Stand after the game?
Was he saying goodbye?
Finally, why did he not take the chances Brenner gave him during the interview to confirm he’ll be here next season?
Do Lambert and the players know something that we, the fans, aren’t aware of?
Or are we all getting a little bit carried away?
If Lambert really is planning on leaving at the end of the season, then something quite fundamental must have changed behind the scenes. What that might be, a mere fan like me can only guess at.
For me, it would be desperately sad if Lambert did go.
One thing our club needs is some stability - firm foundations on which to start the rebuilding process. What we certainly don’t need is to look like one of those joke outfits which changes its manager as often as most people change their socks.
If Lambert does leave, we will have had four managers in a year. That’s not the Ipswich Town way.
I want Lambert to stay and get our club back on track. It will be a monumental task – Saturday’s performance underlined that – but we do have a really promising group of young players to use as a basis. Why would any manager want to walk away from that?
From Lambert’s personal viewpoint, if he leaves then he will become known – statistically at least – as Ipswich Town’s least successful manager. Two wins in 25 games so far means he’s overtaking Jackie Milburn as our worst boss, from a results viewpoint.
Surely he doesn’t want that on his CV, which in any case is looking decidedly shaky since his successful spell at Norwich.
We will wait to see what happens with Lambert, but one thing I do know – Lambert’s evasiveness has created a feeling of instability at the worst possible time. We all know we’re being relegated, but at least we thought Lambert was staying for what we hope will be a promotion push from League One. Now we’re not so sure.
As I’ve already mentioned, Saturday starkly demonstrates what a tough job Lambert – or perhaps his successor – faces in trying to bring the team back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
The game against Hull was a microcosm of the season – absolutely no threat up front, and mistakes at the back.
A pretty lethal combination, as the league table shows all too clearly.
We were well beaten by a visiting team who are nothing more than a mediocre Championship side.
Certainly nothing exceptional, but comfortable winners against us. They barely had to break sweat.
It now looks like our fate will be sealed pretty quickly, and thank goodness for that. This slow, lingering death is doing no-one any good.
Sadly, we will go down as one of the worst teams in Championship history. Only three wins so far, hardly any clean sheets, and a woeful goal scoring record. Really, really dreadful.
Finally, on a much more positive note, I would like to express my admiration for the ultra-loyal members of the Blue Army who are making the long trip to Bolton next Saturday for the ‘Wooden Spoon play-off’.
The one big positive this season has been the performance of the fans.
Absolutely outstanding in terrible circumstances.
Player of the year? How about awarding it to the travelling supporters? They richly deserve it.