Duncan Edwards dissects Ipswich's appointment of a certain Mr Lambert. Nothing to see here, move along....
So, Paul Scumbert.
There seems to be a bit of gnashing and some occasional pant-plopping about this but I just cannot see why?
Ok, so the appointment fits his solitary successful M.O.
Take on a club at its absolute worst for a generation or more, build momentum, over-perform.
However, let’s be brutally honest here, down the road he isn’t inheriting a triumvirate of attackers that is the envy of the division; there’s no Holt, Hoolahan and Martin down there. There’s also no recently left “smaller club” that he can pillage for a David Fox to pull the strings. There isn’t a board that are going to spin some plates to “give the lads a hand” and furthermore, they aren’t a club that’s made a swift decision on the back of a solitary hiding, this is a club that have mustered one win in 15.
When Paul Lambert flipped the bird to Colchester United for a bigger gig, we were in a position where things probably couldn’t be worse. When Paul Scumbert struts into the training ground in Suffolk, he’s taking on a alcoholic that has still got a good few binges in it before it hits rock bottom. He’s got a tuppenny-hapenny squad assembled by his predecessor and there’s sod all he can do about it until January.
Apart from focus them and motivate them.
If there’s one thing I am sure of, it’s that he’ll suffer no fools and that the dicking-around during the warm up seen by everyone will quickly become a thing of the past. I do expect an improvement from them under Scumbert’s tutelage but I also don’t think it will be enough. They’re shit. This appointment isn’t going to buff out the sweetcorn and uncover a gold ingot but it might give a log a fleeting roll in some glitter. Ultimately, it’ll still stink the house out.
They look nailed on relegation contenders and if Scumbert keeps them up then it will be the first notable success on his CV since he left Carrow Road.
You see, him going there doesn’t tarnish the memories I have of those three seasons. I’m unlikely to see that kind of upward mobility again from my club. That momentum, the relentless belief, the performances above and beyond our expected capabilities. But it was a perfect storm rather than the swish of a wand. Subsequently, poor Paul has achieved little. Some would say that he’s been unlucky; Villa slashed their playing budget (beggars belief when you see how they go about their business now), Blackburn were a bit ‘basket-case’ but Stoke should have been good enough to stay up and Wolves aren’t exactly pining for his input.
This isn’t an example of ambitious, forward thinking from Ipswich. This isn’t them grasping the nettle and trying to follow our lead.
It’s the desperate appointment of a manager on a downward career curve that is equally desperate for work.
There’s always the danger that it might work but with ME only seemingly interested in ‘ME’; it looks a remote possibility.
Terry Butcher spoke candidly about the shambles at Ipswich Town, the dilapidated stadium, the people doing the work of three others, the poor quality squad and the ‘investor’ that owns the club. The poor bloke nearly choked when he said how envious he was of Norwich City, their brave board, their academy, players, results....
I guess, what I’m trying to say is that rather than being some kind of Marcus Masterstroke, this is more an example of how far Paul Lambert’s stock has fallen.
All those years ago we poached a manager from a little club in East Anglia that scraped crowds of a few thousand in their dump of a stadium.
Now he’s at another one.
All the best, Paul, all the best.