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Posts posted by RareBirds

  1. And now we've told Pitman he can leave. I fucking love Bret Pitman - he is without doubt (citation needed) the best player we've got (citation needed).


    Next season will be shit. 

  2. Honestly think we made overtures to do it just from a business perspective and to keep things ticking over to the end of the season - Webster was injured, Smith has come back from injury, Taylor can't walk more than ten metres without injuring himself (Chambers remains frustratingly injury free). Now we're here we've 'done the right thing' so to speak as its to be able to spend more time with his kid rather than because we're crap (unlike Tommy Oar, who cancelled his contract after five months to go back to Australia because he was homesick, and then pretty much immediately gave an interview saying actually it was because we were shit).


    If you do have any 20 goal a season strikers or creative midfielders lying about, feel free to send one our way (just someone who can trap a ball and pass it forward would do). 

  3. Fair enough and good luck to him. He was brilliant in our play-off year but he hasn't been great this season and we've got Webster and Smith who I would hope would be ahead of him next year (and fucking Chambers doing fist pumps and whatever else it is he does). 

  4. 14 hours ago, Butters said:

    What's your take on McCarthy? Happy enough with him at the helm?


    Hahaha, I was going to answer this last night, but thought it would descend into a drunken screed (whereas this will just be a sober rant). Short answer - definitely not happy. Longer (but still trying to reign it in) answer:


    In my opinion (and what the hell do I know), there are two issues with Ipswich at the moment: 1, the owner (Marcus Evans) and how the club is ran, and 2, Mick McCarthy. 


    Point the first - Marcus Evans 

    I'll preface this by saying that, without Evans (or someone of his ilk) we wouldn't exist. We were skint, on the way out and if he hadn't come in we'd have either folded or kept going down until we were something like Coventry. There's a growing call for Evans to go, but to be honest I just think that's pie in the sky stuff - there isn't a conveyor belt of bored millionaires looking to lose money on us. But having said that - I think we're being ran really badly. We're an old fashioned, reactionary club and we're basically sleep walking towards irrelevance. It's been a shit season, people are leaving in droves (one of the side-effects of letting people pay for their season tickets on direct debit is that they can cancel the direct debit during the season - my row was full at the start of the season, and by the last game yesterday we'd lost about two thirds of people - long standing season ticket holders who just couldn't be bothered to pay and watch terrible football any more) so I was looking forward to seeing what they were going to offer for the season ticket renewal this year. They: 


    - Raised prices 

    - Got rid of the old £10 11 and under season ticket (replaced by a new £50 12 and under season ticket, so for a friend of mine who took his two sons, 8 and 9, to games - his costs went from £20 for the season to £100, before he pays for his own ticket)

    - Raised the senior price threshold from 60 to 65

    - Got rid of student prices to be replaced by a 23 and under price (so mature students have to pay full price) 


    In return, there's a derisory rebate if we sell 12,750 tickets. I think we'll be lucky if we sell 10,000 - expecting around 9,000. As far as I can tell, they basically just figured loads of people would stop coming anyway because of McCarthy so worked out the maximum amount they could charge without losing the likes of me. No one I know is looking forward to next season - we've renewed out of some bizarre grim commitment to a club that no longer cares about us. I want them to look at Huddersfield and their pricing structure this year - I've got no finance background but I would have just thought that there are fixed overheads that the club pays for every game anyway so having 10,000 at £30 a ticket or 20,000 at £15 a ticket is a no brainer - as the 20,000 will spend more at the club shop and on pies and beers.


    Even something like the programme - I don't know anyone who buys ours anymore, something like the Wolves programmes with their covers is a cool, interesting idea. If I was a Wolves fan, I'd probably buy every programme this season with a view to having them all framed (and never doing it and having them in a box in my loft) - I made a half hearted attempt to get a copy of the Ipswich one. Ipswich's programmes are just full of empty interviews and shit adverts. Evans isn't going to put money into the club - fair enough, so we need to be more clever in terms of what we do in terms of sponsorship, procurement, pricing, community engagement and with the money we do have. But we're not doing any of that - our secondary sponsors (after Marcus Evans himself) are things like the Dove Pub (a great pub - you should go there if you come to Ipswich for an away game) but they're not going to be putting in the money we need to be relevant again, or third tier Facilities Management companies like Vertas (apologies if you work for Vertas). And all the while other clubs are either getting richer, better run or smarter than us. 



    Point the second - Mick McCarthy 

    And into that cauldron of mediocrity we have Big Mick. He has had two big successes with us - he kept us up in 2012/13 and got us in the playoffs in 2014/15. However, in my opinion keeping us up in 2012/13 was basically what was expected - he took over in November and had a good team, we were just being managed appallingly by Paul Jewell (who was putting more effort into his after match quips to Sky Sports News than his tactics at that point). I'd expect anyone competent to be able to manage us out of that situation and it played to McCarthy's strengths (and in spite of everything else, he is a very, very good man manager - all the players and staff at the club love him).


    2014/15 however was a brilliant success - he massively overachieved with the team that he had and that season should go down as a major feather in his cap and, assuming he doesn't alienate the entire fan base before he goes, he should be remembered fondly for that season. But in spite of that ... I almost think that season is the reason we're in the state we are now - we were top at Christmas, then spent cock-all in January and limped to sixth and lost valiantly to Norwich in the Play-Off semi finals. I think both McCarthy and Evans thought they had cracked it at Christmas, incorrectly thought they could basically make us competitive on a shoestring budget and identified McCarthy as key to it all, and we've slowly slid to irrelevance since.


    The following season McCarthy claimed to have the best squad he's ever had and I think he was right, but he basically showed no idea how to use it - we basically regressed to the cliched 'McCarthy Team' but with all the negatives and none of the positives. We hoofed it up to Murphy, but didn't have anyone supporting him to get knock-ons or to be in the middle to actually score after he'd held it up. We crowded the midfield and broke up the opposition's play, but didn't have anyone that actually wanted the ball that could pass the ball forward. We played a counter-attack tactic, but were slow and over defensive so there was no-one in the opposition's half to actually attack with. And as we've got shitter, McCarthy has got more entrenched in proving himself right and damn the consequences. He has favourites, and he's the Manager and can play who he likes so fair enough, but his don't seem based on footballing ability or form but rather people that the media or the fans have had a pop at him for playing, so he'll keep playing them until they play well so he can then crow about it in post-game interviews.


    Our player of the year for the last two years has been Bartosz Białkowski (our goalkeeper, never a good sign). However, McCarthy likes our other goalkeeper Dean Gerkin. Gerkin is an average Championship level goalkeeper and makes mistakes. I think Bialkowski is an excellent keeper and I assume he'll be in the Premier League next year, or at an upwardly mobile Championship club. McCarthy kept playing Gerkin last season until the mistakes got too much and he had to bring Bialkowski in, who did excellently. Then Bialkowski missed a match as his father died, and rather than just play Gerkin that one game, he kept playing him, until again the mistakes got too much, instead of bringing his superior keeper back. A couple of games ago, he even said that Gerkin was the reason that Bialkowski was so good, as he kept him on his toes and pushed him to be better. And he keeps doing this across the team - playing and bigging up his favourite no matter how badly they play - e.g. bringing Jonathan Douglas back for games, or just talking about him in pre and post game interviews when he's not even in the squad ("Dougie is different class" is a common refrain - Douglas was the subject of a fan video that went viral after the Newcastle away game, https://twitter.com/RachelC_6/status/789887960120455168)



    And as we've got worse, and the attendances have gone down, and the atmosphere has got worse (and even then we're a soft lot - McCarthy basically has to put up with a few half hearted boos and tame songs), he's just doubled down and got more stubborn. Other teams' fans like McCarthy as he's seen as a straight talking Yorkshireman and for a while he was. But this season he's lost it - whereas he used to throw a few light swear words in with a cheeky grin, now he swears a lot and it's no longer funny, light hearted stuff, now he's just a bitter old man. After the Newcastle game (by far the best performance this season, the highest attendance and 'Bobby Robson day' - a marketing driven event but we love our club history at Ipswich so a fairly major deal) McCarthy said "They are feeling it a bit and I did say to the lads there are 25,000 coming here to watch. I said, ‘Not us by the way, I’m sure none of the fuckers are coming to watch us the way we’ve been playing here". And I know it's precious, but come on! Why call the fans fuckers? But that has basically been him all season - he feels slighted by the fans so goes out of his way to antagonise them.


    And following that great result against Newcastle what does he do away at Rotherham? Makes 9 changes and loses. What has he learnt? Probably only that you can't make 9 changes to a winning team and expect everyone to gel and play well but surely he knew that already. 700 away fans went - sod 'em. We gave 4 points to Rotherham this season. Then he goes back to the same team as against Newcastle for Shef Wednesday yesterday and loses. Why? Only he knows. 


    I fully expect him to be here again next year, and I think we'll go down. With crowds of around 10,000 (depending on how many away fans there are) and I fully expect McCarthy to blame everyone else but himself for it. If I was his agent I'd be telling him to get out now, as other than the Lincoln debacle, I don't think the national media has cottoned onto how badly he's doing, so he could still get himself set on Soccer Saturday or BT Sports or whatever. Another season like this, and he'll be screwed. 


    Ultimately, I just don't accept that low budget has to mean shit with regard to Ipswich. I think there's a lot that can be done with regard to coaching and team tactics that mean you make the most of what you have. The cliched McCarthy Team is one that maximises dead ball opportunities and closes games out - we're not like that at all. We let in goals for fun, we're terrible at throw-ins (both our own and oppositions, we always let the opposition play it out from throw-ins, I don't think we're taken a good throw in in the oppositions half all season), we're crap at corners, we constantly take short, quick free-kicks whilst not being set up or having the players who can do something about it - the centre-halfs have still gone up for the ball into the box, but we'll play a short one, cock about for a bit then lose it. We bought Kieffer Moore for £10,000 in January - all six foot five of him (he's not very good). But we bring him on and lump balls up to him without actually having any other change in tactic to take advantage of it - he knocks the ball on to ... no-one as we've taken off Freddie Sears to bring him on so there's no one with the pace to actually take advantage of it. We spend what little money we do have on loan-players who sit on the bench and do nothing whilst our youth players get frozen out and don't progress. 


    I think I lost any hint of a coherent argument a while back, so in summary I think McCarthy has lost it. He's a great man manager and his players love him, but a terrible tactician and his pride and stubbornness will take Ipswich down next year. I would take anyone as our next manager over him.  


    Next question (apologies for the rambling). 

  5. We've taken up the option on Berra and Chambers, but I think its just smart business rather than any desire to have them as part of our future plans in the team. Berra was rock solid two years ago, a bit off the pace last season and this year he's just seemed disinterested I think (starting from around the time when the stories linking him with a move back to Scotland started). He's whole hearted but slow, not a leader in the slightest (we had Steven Taylor on loan, although injury meant he only played a couple of games, and the difference between someone of his quality and Berra and Chambers was night and day; he made everyone else 5-10% better defenders, as he was constantly telling everyone what to do, tracking runners, covering for people etc.) and a bloody awful passer of the ball. 


    I'm being far too mean to him as I'm grumpy after the game this afternoon - he's been a really good player for Town but I'd be perfectly happy to see him go, especially if we get something in return. I think he could boss it in Scottish football as I'd imagine he'd get his mojo back a bit (I think he thought he'd already be gone by now) and he wouldn't have Chambers running about fucking things up like an inept comedy sidekick.  

  6. Crap game to end a crap season. I left before the 'lap of honour'. The last time I'll see Tom Lawrence in an Ipswich shirt, and probably the last time I'll see Bart in goal for us. The two of them were basically the own good things this season, and between them are the reason we're still in the division. 


  7. Great game today, by far the best game this season. I still expect Newcastle to go up but they looked very average today (which has to be worrying for them as we are not really very good).


    Season ticket renewal deadline day for the cheaper rate and they go and pull a performance like this out of the bag! Where's it been all season? I've renewed obviously, as the alternative is talking to my family at the weekend and none of us want that. 

  8. And ... we're safe (surely).


    Good win today - all three goals real calamities for the Wigan defence but sod them, we'll take the credit for a high pressing game. We went back to 532, Douglas not even on the bench and we're miraculously better. 

  9. 21 minutes ago, merman said:

    Phew, rescued a point against Birmingham. But definitely missed Tom Lawrence.


    We were shit and we'll keep being shit until McCarthy leaves. The current bête noir seems to be Evans, but that's bollocks - what the fuck does he care whether the fans call him a wanker, he's not at the game - 99% of them couldn't pick him out of a lineup. There's no conveyor belt of idiot millionaires willing to lose money on us so we just need to accept that he owns the club for the foreseeable. What we don't need to accept is McCarthy's awful management.


    He came out this week saying that everyone needs to pull together and then goes and picks Douglas. I can't see any other reason to pick Douglas than his own ego and to put the fans' backs up - Douglas has not been close to the team for months, the fans hate him, he's leaving in the summer, and suddenly he's straight back in, on the week that season ticket renewals are out and there's a lot of bad feeling going around. I'm convinced it was so that, in the event of a win, he could be snide about the fans in the post game conference -"See, I was right all along", because he has got that weird and petty towards the fans this season. We haven't been good this year, but we've been reasonable since being outclassed twice by Lincoln, by playing some sort of 5 3 2 / 3 5 2 (depending on how you want to class it). Today we're playing 433 - which hasn't worked at all for the first half of this season, and most of last. Actually, accordingly to TWTD we played 442 (diamond) but that's an indication of how well it worked - I couldn't even tell what formation we were playing. We were terrible - Bart kept us in it (again) and we scored our equaliser from a cross that went straight in. Otherwise I don't think we had a shot on target. 


    Anyway, I'll stop moaning. I think there are a couple of Birmingham fans on here (maybe the Debaser?) - I thought you weren't very good, but we were worse. Zola will be flabbergasted as to how you haven't won - Bart made a couple of very good saves and a couple of regulation (for him) saves. You had the better chances by far but still made things pointlessly difficult for yourselves at times - overplaying it at the back and nearly getting yourselves in trouble etc. Thought your number 2 (I think - the right back) was good. You brought about a thousand fans so fair play - fairly quiet but, like us, you haven't really got a lot to sing about at the moment.


    Must win game on Tuesday now against Wigan. 




  10. 7 minutes ago, Boothjan said:

    And as Rotherham's away record is


    Played 18

    Won 0

    Drawn 1

    Lost 17

    Scored 12

    Conceded 52


    I'll give you one guess as to who that one away draw was against. 



  11. And home. 


    Yeah, that was dire. As far as I can tell we set up to not lose at home to Wolves. Our attacks of note were a series of corners that we had at the start of the second half. In terms of substitutions, we brought on a left back for a centre half, and then with eight minutes to go brought on our £10k wonder buy to lump high balls up to. I don't think McCarthy had a clue what to do today - I haven't bothered looking out for the post game interview, I assume he'll say Wolves are a top side, tough game, both sides had chances, Chambo (or some other idiotic nickname) is top class. 15,000 there today (and they count season ticket holders whether you turn up or not - about 15 empty seats on my row) - unless something amazing happens I think we'll be down to 12,000 gates next year. 


    But enough of my moaning. Like I said, I think Wolves should see that as an opportunity missed. Costa didn't start - was that a tactical decision? We made some odd changes in personnel that I can only assume was to contain him and then he didn't come on until about the 75th minute. In general, you had more possession than us and knocked it about quite nicely - not sure if its your natural game or someone had watched VT of the Brentford game but you did the same thing as them of having people on the overlap and also cross field passes as we're very narrow and don't track runs very well. But for all that, you didn't really create enough chances - the free kick that I thought should have been a penalty you put over and that was about it in the first half, second half you had a good run which Bart saved and then another free kick at the death that Bart made a very good save to. Other than dealing with a few corners I don't think your keeper had to make a save. 


    Still, on the plus side - we're away for the next two Saturdays and then it's the international break I think!

  12. 2 hours ago, Boothjan said:

    I really hope we win tonight. Not just because we've got to stop this awful run of defeats and claw our way away from the bottom 3 but some of the OTT reactions from our fans is starting to grate.


    I think Lambert will set up to frustrate and out won't be pretty tonight - and we will unleash Cavaleiro and Costa from the start v Rotherham on Saturday. 

    That was shite. You were probably the best of two poor teams; you should have had a penalty in the first half from where I was. In retrospect I think you'll view that as a missed opportunity. 

  13. I'm really enjoying it but the load times on PS4 are atrocious. There was one event where there was a machine to examine (trying to be vague) and two of the options teleported me elsewhere (with no warning) so there was a couple of minutes loading screen to get to the new place, then I had to trek back to the machine to check the other options, which meant travelling through multiple areas, each with their own couple of minutes of loading screen in between. 


    Definitely one to play on PC if you've got the option. 

  14. 3 minutes ago, Boothjan said:

    We should be looking to beat Ipswich on Tuesday ...


    That's the spirit - underwhelming fare at the Portman Road draw factory today. We looked tired and slow and somehow got outwitted constantly by short corners. Seriously, every fucking corner was a short corner. And every fucking time we didn't notice. At a certain level it was amazing to watch - will we mark and close them down ... no we won't, but mostly it was just really fucking annoying. 


    Anyway, we'll draw with you one all - it's what we do. You heard it here first. 

  15. 3 hours ago, Droo said:

    Anyone played this on the PS4?  I have an old laptop, but tend to give up on PC games far too quickly.  


    I've not seen much specifics in the reviews for consoles.

    I am - I've only played about two hours so I'm not sure about how 'broken' it is. It loads veeeeery slooooowly and the engine is a bit juddery but I've had nothing outright broken yet.


    The text is perfectly readable and the controls seem fine (although other than then tutorial I've talked my way out of all fights so far so there might be issues there). 

  16. Great win for Ipswich today - the Sky Sports highlights are hilarious. Five minutes of Villa battering us - great saves, they hit the woodwork, glaring misses, then one Ipswich attack which we score from. 



  17. Good game at Portman Road yesterday; we were fucking abysmal against Derby on Tuesday but, bolstered by loan players who possess the amazing ability to turn towards the opponent's goal and pass forwards, we looked pretty good. Pity we didn't hold on for the win but Reading's equaliser was pretty special - we had previously spurned a one-on-one to go three-one up! 


    Tom Lawrence scored two more, and effectively our season rests on whether he stays fit, and thus we have a nice gentle mid table end, or the kicks he takes every game take their toll and he misses games, in which case we're hoping that other teams are shitter than us as no-one else looks like scoring. 



  18. It's the universal truth of Bloodborne that the one boss you find a total bastard, a procession of people will come in saying how they one shot him. I breezed past Micolash until New Game 3 when he was just a total bastard - I ended up using the poison knives from above cheese as A Call Beyond would just one shot me in the last phase every time. 

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