Date: 22nd March 2016 at 4:45pm
Written by:

As a human being I have a very high regard for Mick McCarthy. In fact, I admire him as a man so much that I am sure that if we had grown up together we would probably be the best of friends.

He has many favourable attributes that few of us possess and his honesty is one of them. There are few in the game that can remain so consistent in his statements, whether we are victorious or have failed and he is readily prepared to admit to his mistakes.

Not everyone mind because it could be argued that he is oblivious to some of them. Yet when things go wrong he rarely blames it on the match officials and he is in many respects the very epitome of a pragmatist; getting too high when we win or too low when we lose is not the Mick McCarthy way.

The trouble with Mick is not that he is thick because he is well aware of when the natives are getting restless, as he alluded to after he and his team were booed off after the Rotherham debacle.

He knows only too well that when you are winning, supporters are much more forgiving if the football lacks any sort of real quality but a defeat in front of your home fans has a number of ramifications at this stage of the season and one of them is the renewal of season tickets and that can be very costly!

The blues have had reasonable crowds under the McCarthy reign but that won’t last forever because this is a results led business and if the football is as abysmal as the results, then he knows that he is in for a torrid time.

The other factor that he is blatantly aware of is that as a manager the owner wants to see progress and if we miss out on the play-off’s this season, then this is quite simply unachievable.

That is the price of relative success and let us not forget that Mick McCarthy has done wonderfully well in his term of office to date and without him, who knows where we might find ourselves?

So then the next question we ought to ask perhaps is whether our Mick is a one trick pony? He knows how to stop the rot but is less assured when it comes to taking us to another level?

His defence must be that he has been starved of cash from the Howard Hughes of football Marcus Evans but is this in itself a plausible excuse because even with limited resources, he has acquired over the last few years some decent players?

Injuries to key players this term have not helped and we have missed Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick very badly and of course we all knew that Daryl Murphy could not emulate last season’s goal haul so there are some mitigating circumstances.

Up front Freddie Sears and Brett Pitman are good enough for any Championship side but he tends to leave one on the bench and play the other one out of position. In other words, he does not seem to want to play them to their natural strengths. Brett is not a super sub and Sears is not a winger!

Then we have Luke Chambers who all day long is a centre back and never a wing back and yet to accommodate both Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith in his side he has to move him wide. Chambers is largely wasted in this position in my view.

But most Town supporters are dumbfounded by the square pegs in round holes strategy. I am sure Mick has his reasons but to date he has not divulged them and so it remains a bit of a mystery?

Worst of all however are the long ball tactics employed by Town. We may be called The Tractor Boys but that is not a cue to play agricultural football most of the time.

This aspect is probably the most frustrating because we lack creativity although we do have players who can be creative. Kevin Bru and more recently Ben Pringle are examples of this but against Rotherham they were not even included in the team!

And finally, why on earth do we play so negatively at home? Often it is as if we are the away side and we often take an age to get into gear and by then we are usually chasing the game.

Heaping so much praise on the opposition psychologically backfires too, as we seem to give the opposition far too much respect and this is reflected in our players attitude as well sometimes.

I want Mick McCarthy to succeed but only if he can change his ways. He is stubborn as an old mule we know but sometimes you have to eat a bit of humble pie and move on.

He has eaten the humble pie after The Millers defeat so now it is time for him to change his strategy. That is if of course he can?

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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