“The Lambeth Walk” is a song from the 1937 musical called Me and My Girl. By contrast, the ‘Lambert Talk’ is a very positive appraisal of all things Ipswich Town. It does not matter how many times we get beat, Paul Lambert is always upbeat about our prospects of pulling ourselves clear of the relegation zone.
So I guess the question that looms before us right now is whether Paul Lambert merely talks the talk but cannot walk the walk, to the same degree? The Lambert walk has been painfully slow so far and certainly in terms of points, no better than the Paul Hurst overnight stay at the club. Yes, it is true to suggest that the squad as a whole are playing prettier football and Lambert’s passing ethos means that those huff ball days are behind us, but what else has really changed?
He cannot get any new players into the club until the transfer window re-opens in January, and even then it is questionable whether any good players would be motivated into joining a club that is eight points adrift of the rest in the Championship and has won just one game all season? I admire Paul Lambert’s enthusiasm and his self-belief but is it enough to save us from the drop?
I like the fact that he has let the youth have their say but whether this is because his choice is so limited these days remains to be seen, but there is little doubt that both Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester have excelled under his stewardship, and even Andre Dozzell is getting a look in these days which is encouraging.
What Lambert needs most of all between now and the beginning of next year is a large dollop of good fortune. Sadly, this is something that appears to have evaded the Blues for far too long and if only more experienced midfielders like Emyr Huws or Tom Adeyemi could return to the fold, then this would give him a real boost. Instead, he suffers the indignity of losing his key midfield maestro Cole Skuse, for two months or more.
I was a little concerned to not see Teddy Bishop’s name on the team sheet on Saturday against Stoke City but then I noticed he was on bench-warming duties so it is not thankfully another setback for a player who has oodles of talent but has been thwarted by a succession of frustrating injuries over the past few seasons. He is still young though so there is still some hope.
So then, should we start to baulk at the Lambert talk or instead embrace his positivity? Remember that when he was the gaffer at his former club Stoke, he was singing from the same hymn sheet and look where that got him!
Like everyone else though, I dearly want him to succeed and I do not blame him in any way for what has happened since he walked through the door. If he does pull it off and Town do survive and avoid the dreaded drop, then this would be an even greater Houdini act than the one McCarthy inspired in his first half season at Town – which was arguably the best thing he ever did!
The first time I heard the phrase, ” Be careful what you wish for,” it came out of the mouth of Town favourite Alex Mathie on Radio Suffolk, and although it pains me to admit it, I think on reflection that he was probably right.
F.W. editor of Vital Ipswich