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!