What Mick McCarthy Must Tell His Players
Manager Mick McCarthy has a job on his hands and although he thinks he knows more than most of us about how to do his job, I think it is about time he received some kindly advice.
Having supported Ipswich Town for close to fifty years, I have seen more ups than downs but like most of us my blood is blue and I would give anything to wear that Ipswich shirt!
Home grown players like Brian Talbot and Terry Butcher and our adopted sons, Kevin Beattie, John Wark and Mick Mills would shed blood sweat and tears for the Blues because that was where their heart was as professional footballers.
The game has changed a lot since I first started watching it and one of the most underwhelming aspects of it is 'Player Power' that came about when agents got their foot in the door.
Now even the most dedicated football player can be swayed by what his agent whispers in his ear and one of the most redeeming aspects of our club, is that we have tried to resist their influence as much as possible - even sometimes at a cost.
I believe Mick McCarthy was wrong not to bring the players in for extra training after that diabolical defeat at Charlton because he reasoned that they would probably resent it.
Now I know that McCarthy has mellowed discernibly over the years but his judgment convinces me of one thing. It is the players who run the game and not him anymore.
Instead of perpetually harping on about his wonderful curriculum vitae in football, he should instead remind the players of the proud history of this wonderful club and why it is so important to give your all, every second you don that shirt.
Much maligned captain Luke Chambers is the only one that shows that kind of compassion and commitment and for all his failings, must be recognised for it. It would be unfair to name names but we all no who the sleepers are in our squad at the moment too.
We have had two of the most successful English managers in history in Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson and George Burley remember managed Scotland as well so we have a rich heritage of managerial achievement and McCarthy is still light years away from it.
So before the players go out to face Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon, I implore McCarthy to remind each player of his responsibilities - not just to himself but to the club as a whole and especially to our long suffering supporters who deserve better than this.
Losing is forgivable but only if you put your life on the line in a concerted effort to prevent it happening.
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich