With our current season in a state of limbo, Town supporters must be worried about the squad’s fitness levels, and whether, if we kick off again, players will be match-fit? As the weeks turn into months of idleness, and social distancing has become the norm, there is a real risk that this might have a negative effect on match sharpness and the ability of players to get up to speed. Who in the end will be fit enough to wear the shirt?
Of course, this problem is not exclusive to Ipswich Town football club and who knows, this enforced break might do us the world of good. We might be able to refocus on the job in hand and approach the remainder of the season with a new sense of optimism.
Speaking on Talk Sport’s Breakfast Show, with former Town striker Alan Brazil this morning, manager Paul Lambert explained that there may be some advantages in this stop-start season. ” This break at the minute might bring them back. (Players) Hopefully, it does bring them back whenever the season does resume – or if it does. If it does resume, it’s like a restart button, this break – it’s like a there you go again pre-season.”
Lambert was equally frank about the potential pitfalls, if the season finally resumes, which is by no means certain. ” My only concern with the whole thing is that if we are told you have to do a mini pre-season – you know yourself being an ex-player Alan as well when you have a pre-season you have got to play maybe four for five warm-up games to get ready, and then OK eleven substitutions! And then you have to play two teams in two halves and a lot of substitutions because you are putting everybody at risk again.”
On looking at the strength in depth of his squad, Lambert felt supporters would tolerate youngsters coming into the frame. “If you have to use even the younger players – the academy kids, I think fans will accept it a lot more now – just because of the situation that’s happened. I think it will change everybody’s perception in the world of sport.”
He was asked what he is doing in his spare time and he said that apart from Nexflix and Tiger King, which is being enjoyed by the whole family, he is a bit of a football book worm and is currently reading the career of Leeds boss Marcelo Alberto Bielsa Caldera. He managed Argentina for six years and has taken the Yorkshire club to the pinnacle of the Championship table, before the season ground to an immediate halt.
Let us hope that all this reading might inspire Lambert on the training ground too, and perhaps reading other manager’s books like Mauricio Potchetinni and Marcelo Bielsa it could serve as the catalyst to bring about dynamic tactical changes. He argues that you are never too old to learn so let us see if he does?
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich