Date: 2nd June 2021 at 7:51pm
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Most of us will give him the benefit of the doubt, and that includes our new owners. His track record has been poor so far, but we should not press the panic button just yet.

The modern game tells us that there is very little patience in the sport we love, and this is especially apparent at the managerial level.  New Boss Paul Cook has struggled so far and won just 4 of his 16 games in charge last season. A win rate of just 25% is cause for serious concern. He is only too aware that he has to improve massively on that.

There are, of course, mitigating circumstances. His former right-hand man Leam Richardson decided not to join him at Portman Road after he guided Wigan Athletic away from relegation and earned a contract with the Lancashire club.  This was a big blow. All the success that has come Cook’s way so far have arrived with Richardson at his side. Cook’s appointment was also a little ill-timed. Under previous manager Paul Lambert we had just gone on an unbeaten five games run and defeated several sides in and around the top six. We were just two points off the play-off places.

Former Blue and Radio Suffolk’s footballer analyzer Mick Mills was probably right when he suggested there was no point swapping bosses until the season’s end. We had a bit of momentum before the change, and then it was as if someone had disconnected the power source. I am not blaming Cook entirely for this, but timing is everything.

The third factor to consider is the squad itself. Were they resentful of the new incumbent? It certainly seemed that way.  Some of them were definitely averse to training two times a day! From the moment Cook took the job, he found himself in an invidious position. He had to make do with loan players and old heads that had come around to thinking that playing football for Ipswich was a permanent position. It is human nature to get comfortable in a job, and few of us like the boat to be rocked.

Paul Cook will be judged on the players he recruits and how quickly they begin to gel? Time is of the essence here. The honeymoon is over, and now it’s a case of convincing our new owners that he has what it takes to go all the way. They seem a decent lot, but they will expect results and fast!


2 Replies to “Is He Up To The Job?”

  • Thank you Frank for another very interesting article.

    I am uncomfortable with the appointment of Paul Cook. What we are told of what has happened since he joined and at the end of the season when he has told many players that they can find another club gives me no confidence at all. He cannot, surely, remove all players and then plan to replace them albeit with a smaller overall squad. If I was a current Town contracted player I would be most unsettled.

    I look back of the Managers hired by Marcus Evans: Keane ( a top player used to mixing with the best), Jewell a proven Premiership Manager (but like Cook not an Ipswich type of Manager), Mick McCarthy proven at all levels including managing a National Team and Paul Lambert (a top player) and a Manager proven in the premiership, Championship and League One but lost his job not for football reasons but for publicly questioning his boss. Regrettably I do not see any top, top qualities in Paul Cook’s CV either as a player or Manager and if it is true he has told most players to find another job then I think he is wrong. Understandably, if he wanted to change the culture of the club, then Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse two really influential figures in the club needed to go; the fact they have done is, in itself, a bold statement.

    Ipswich is a club that nurtures their own and in Downes, Dozzell, Woolfenden, Dobra and Nydam and other young players they have the nucleus of a proper Ipswich team who should be the future of the club. McCarthy and Lambert rated these players because they know good players with potential. The signings of Paul Hurst were a disaster and all of the players signed at that time should go. I worry that Paul Cook might sign the wrong players aswell.

    But, I am nervously giving Paul Cook the benefit of the doubt and wish him well and hope he allays my doubts.

    • This is more or less where I am at the moment, Charles. I desperately want him to succeed but sometimes I feel that my heart is ruling my head on this. I genuinely hope I am wrong – as of course, you do. I appreciate your detailed explanation of your current mood on the subject, which incidentally runs parallel with mine.

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