After the dry wit of another Yorkshireman, who in the end reverted to expletives to get his point across, new boss Paul Hurst is indeed a breath of fresh air.
I have already taken to the man and although my opinions are nothing more than that, he has already reinvented Ipswich Town football club because, in the dark days of former boss Mick McCarthy, the toxic atmosphere at Portman Road threatened to destroy the fabric of the club for good. They were sorry times in our proud history, and only now do we finally see some light at the end of the player’s tunnel!
Now I am not condemning everything that our former manager engineered but when he lost the plot – which became more frequent the longer he was here, the ill-feeling between supporters and himself intensified, and although we must not forget his initial Houdini act in pulling us clear of relegation against the odds, his parting shots confirmed the fact that he was a very bad loser.
Paul Hurst is also a Yorkshireman and by his own admittance is someone who spends the club’s money as if it were his own. You don’t have to be a Yorkshireman to think this way, as arguably our greatest ever manager Sir Bobby Robson adopted a similar approach but it is why, I guess, owner Marcus Evans appointed him.
Listening to Hurst speak with Mark Murphy on the Breakfast Show on Radio Suffolk today, reassured me that we are not getting a Mick McCarthy mark two and that although he will try to get value for money in transfer deals, his football ethos is far removed from our former boss.
Firstly, he likes wingers! Now, that in itself is a breath of fresh air and so too is the fact that he wants all his squads to play in a similar way, which seems to make sound sense but was never truly employed by McCarthy. He also is not content to just accept what has gone before and every player has a chance to impress and the slate has been wiped clean for all the whole Town football squad.
His new football strategy is not going to bring those stay away fans back in a rush but as Hurst said himself today ‘words are cheap’ and action speaks much louder.
Paul Hurst has all the necessary credentials to go far in management and I am now firmly convinced that Marcus Evans was right to make him his preferred choice. He also has a good sense of humour but it is not cloaked in sarcasm, which was an unfortunate McCarthy trait. Unlike our former boss, his honesty is not self-delusional. He tells it how it is and not, it seems, with ‘terminological inexactitude’ to use a Churchillian quote.
And although this column is purely subjective, I really do believe the feel-good factor is back in town and that collectively we are hopeful of renewed success.
FW – editor of Vital Ipswich