Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon urges Marcus Evans to look beyond the manager

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NEXT week could see Portman Road hit the national headlines again, but I cannot help thinking it is a shame modern-day football proliferates the manager as king.

If not, surely we would all be demanding a root-and-branch investigation of Ipswich Town right now, to sort this mess out, rather than brushing it aside by turning on Paul Jewell.

We’re in the era of the manager (they were not always household names) where everything falls at his door. But I believe, sometimes, you have to look behind that door for the real problems.

Are Jim Magilton, Roy Keane and Jewell all terrible managers? That is the question Marcus Evans needs to quickly find an answer to. Neil Warnock’s surprising availability has spread wildfire across the Ipswich messageboards, but would he even be interested?

The 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Hull City did not really change anything. And the 2-1 injury-time defeat at Birmingham’s ‘fortress St Andrews’ (having not lost a league game there in 2011/12) was so cruel after we played with the heart and desire not usually evident in sides who go down. And that is why Jewell should stay; once the players stop playing for him, it is time to fire. But that time doesn’t seem to be now.

What was indefensible was PJ lashing out at the lineswoman for not giving what was described on Five Live Sports Extra as ‘a stonewall penalty’. Bringing gender into the equation is as bad as racism in my book.

Jewell has made mistakes at ITFC; namely getting carried away with signing up ex-Premier League players in the hope they can bring a quick promotion and not playing a system to shield his defence. But for every problem PJ is behind, I believe there are more in the shadows behind him that would be masked if we hand him his P45 now.

Maybe Simon Clegg, with little football experience, is too out-of-sync with the ridiculous way this industry operates. He talks of beginning to move us to a ‘break-even’ model, but if the players can get the wages elsewhere, surely they will join Gareth McAuley, David Norris, Marton Fulop et al in heading for the Portman Road exit for nothing....and then where will we be?

n Straight after the game on Tuesday I asked on Twitter: Jewell ‘out’ or ‘in’. Two thirds of you exactly said ‘out’ and one third ‘in’. Let me know again after Blackpool (now a huge game) at Portman Road on Saturday.