Karma, Shakespearian justice, call it what you will there is a certain uncomfortable feeling of “serves you right” about the way Roy Keane has led ITFC to the bottom of the table. Back in April I posted my feelings about the way the board had apparently pulled out the knife and dug it deep into Jim Magilton’s back so they could say “the king is dead, long live the king” when they installed Keane. Ok I didn’t put quite so poetically back then, I actually posted this on the day Keane was appointed and this the day before when Magilton was sacked. The point was made though that Magilton had been shafted by a board who were paying politics.
Last month I was “thrilled” to see the delightful style of play which Keane were getting the team to play. As it stands at the moment, quite unsuprisingly, Ipswich are without a win from their ten games this season. We have managed three draws, which is actually just a few less than we normally have at this time in the season. For far too many years we have tended to start in the bottom half of the table being draw specialists, but it’s never been this bad…and if I’m honest I don’t think the Championship has ever been quite this competative. It’s always a good league with some excellent football, better than the Premiership I think but this year I think it’s even tighter with only the odd exception. This is the year where we could have done with the traditional Ipswich style still being there, and Magilton had that. He understood the way the club worked and prospered on a shoe string.
So am I amongst those baying for Keane to go? Well, only if they were planning to reinstall Magilton or bring in somebody else who really understood the club and what we are about. Part of what we are about is giving people a chance to get themselves and the team out of the shit. We are about nurturing and developing talent, managerial aswell as on the field, particularly youth talent. Ramsey, Robson, Burley, Magilton…they all knew and benefitted from that, (and interestingly enough three of those four names went on to manage their national teams). This is why I think bringing in a managerial “name” has gone so horribly, horribly wrong. Yet, it is not too late in the season to turn things around. We’ve been not so far away from here before and managed to finish just outside the play-off zone. My plea to Keane would be to talk to those who have been involved with the club and learn the Ipswich way…and be ready to change his managerial style accordingly.
East Anglia as a region needs Ipswich to stay in the Championship and Norwich and Colchester to fight it out in the League One Play Offs. Too often the media describes East Anglia, with it’s naff road links, as the back end of no where or a quaint back water….football was the one thing truly putting us on the map. It would be a crying shame next year if all the local clubs were left languishing in League One.
Also as I’ve said before football is one of those things you don’t really get a choice in. When your heart belongs to a club it belongs to that club forever. So it is I will be standing by Ipswich whatever happens this season……..but I may have alot less hair on my head, and a hoarse voice by the end of it.