MY BIGGEST wish for 2012/13 is that Paul Jewell learns from his mistakes, and that starts with building from the back.
All good sides need a good solid foundation, and there were cracks visible when we kicked off our last disappointing campaign.
We started 2011/12 at Ashton Gate with a goalkeeper (David Stockdale) who could be recalled at just 24 hours notice and seemingly no back-up plan if that happened.
We had no proven right-back or solid competition for the only realistic option there (Carlos Edwards) and still with no experienced holding midfielder in the squad.
We got away with it against Bristol City, where Mark Kennedy covered in front of the back four, but we were soon opened up time and time again through an all too porous midfield.
That is why I believe a goalkeeper (local lad Joe Lewis is a good shot stopper with something to prove), a commanding right-sided centre-back to partner Tommy Smith and a defensive shield are all absolute musts this summer.
We have never filled the void left by Fabian Wilnis at right back and Carlos Edwards would be better deployed further up the pitch if this position was sorted.
Up front we also look lightweight and neither Jason Scotland or Michael Chopra are going to win much in the air, so a targetman should also be on Jewell’s shopping list.
It would be great to see Connor Wickham return for a season-long loan but it doesn’t look like a move could happen until late in the window, so we must be looking elsewhere.
Last summer, I believe we were left short of what we needed by a combination of Jewell spending too much time on unrealistic targets (eg. Lee Westwood and Matthew Upson) and Simon Clegg dragging his heels with contracts in a way which only means you miss out in football.
Our best signing went under the radar initially, as Aaron Cresswell was plucked from League One Tranmere with minimum competition and we should be looking to repeat that success in the coming weeks.
Not yo-yoing Luke Hyam and Josh Carson in-and-out of the squad is also another wish, as it can do nothing for their confidence, particularly when Hyam impressed.
Since Marcus Evans acquired the club we have finished: 14th, eighth, ninth, 15th, 13th and 15th under three different managers, proving money can’t buy you promotion, when placed in the wrong hands.
Hopefully Jewell is the man to realise Evans’ Premier League dream, but after a truly underwhelming campaign in his first full season in charge, we look like going into 2012/13 more in hope than the expectation of previous years.
Maybe that won’t be a bad thing and maybe, just maybe, the good times will return to Ipswich Town. After all, don’t good things come to those who wait? Thanks for reading, enjoy the summer.