Misery for Mick McCarthy in the Ipswich season preview

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 02 August 2017, 15:21

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Mick McCarthy ahead of the 2017/18 Championship season.

Background

Ipswich endured their worst season for 58 years, finishing 16th, as Mick McCarthy ran out of ideas to revive a stale team under the constant gaze of a disapproving fanbase. The football was so pedestrian that Portman Road witnessed its lowest average attendance for 15 years, with loanee Tom Lawrence the only source of inspiration. Now the club is on the charm offensive. Owner Marcus Evans has loosened the purse strings, ticket prices have been reduced and McCarthy is promising more entertainment on the pitch.

Personality

McCarthy is a man of principle, a no-nonsense operator who doesn’t mince his words and can accept most shortcomings but never a lack of honesty and endeavour. Extremely strong-willed and determined, his teams are stubborn, renowned for their basic organisation and battling qualities. His whole ethos revolves around order, avoiding uncertainty by taking control of the controllables and doing everything by the book. Once his authority has been established, his temperament is one that players and media tend to find both amusing and endearing.

Quote

"I always feel a big responsibility to get the team to perform and I don’t think we did last year. It was not as exciting as previous years and it was a scrap. Rotherham, Blackburn and Wigan fans will be feeling a lot worse than ours but we have got to be a lot better. We weren’t very entertaining, and I will try to improve on that. Some changes are forced on you through necessity, some run their course. It needs freshening up definitely, without any doubt."

Verdict

If you stand still in the Championship, you go backwards. And the rot has set in to such a degree at Ipswich that one modestly promising transfer window might not be enough to undo the damage caused by three years of half-measures. If McCarthy stays put for the duration, you’d back him to scrap his way out of trouble but that assumes he would survive the backlash if another relegation battle presents itself. Any potential successor might well find himself on a hiding to nothing.

Prediction: relegated

Mick McCarthy

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