New Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook is sick to the back teeth of excuses, and so too are most of the fans. He wants players to respect Town’s proud history and are proud to wear the badge. Sadly, so far, he has seen none of it. In fact, he goes a lot further when he says that he has made his mind up about who will be here next season and who obviously won’t be.
“I’m tired of listening to feeble excuses about why we don’t play well. It’s always somebody’s fault. It’s like pass the blame, pass the parcel for blame. Eventually, the parcel has to stop with someone, and they have to stand up and be counted. As a manager of a football team last Saturday at half-time, that was a performance that gets every manager in the country sacked.”
We all love Cooks’ honesty – except perhaps the players, who are still in denial. Players like Gwion Edwards and Kayden Jackson have fooled themselves into thinking that they are actually better than they really are. Who is fooling who here? There are no flies on Paul Cook. He has seen through this facade. He elaborated further.
“I’ve watched Plymouth, Bristol Rovers, Lincoln, for a period of the game, MK Dons and latterly Wimbledon all come to Portman Road and dominate the game. Coming to Portman Road and dominating football games! Are you messing?! Come on! It’s not going to carry on. I get people in that I want to get in and I get a calibre and character of player. We lack character. A hundred per cent we lack it.” And so say all of us.
Cook sees things the way supporters sees things and that’s what makes him different from the rest. He has been spoilt on success but since he arrived here, it has been one massive fail. “At the end of the day, I’ve never feared anything I’ve done as a football manager. I don’t fear getting beat. I fear not having a team on the pitch that reflects me. At all my previous clubs I’ve always had a team on the pitch that reflects me.” This lot clearly don’t.
As for the younger players who have been representing the club both at under 23 levels and under 18 levels, Cook has nothing but praise. “As I’ve said to the lads, I am so proud of them. I’m so proud of the Under-23s teams who are also winning football games. The problem at Ipswich Town Football Club is the first team. The other teams represent us fantastically well. I wish the Under-18s well. What an achievement it could be for them. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. We have got so many good young players in the building, so let’s hope they can all have a really bright future.”
As for the first-team squad, it is bag packing time. They would be wise to move fast because I see a bus approaching with very faulty brakes!