THE worst Easter weekend in the history of the club, but could it be the making of us?
A humiliating 5-1 defeat to Norwich on Thursday hurt me as much as any Town fan, with the 4-1 scoreline at Swansea’s Liberty stadium compounding the misery as another fruitless campaign peters out.
But four wins from five games going into the East Anglian derby and we, and most importantly, those in charge of the size of the Portman Road purse, could have been fooled into thinking ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
But if nothing else, the last two painful 90 minutes of football has vividly shown up this group of players’ deficiencies as we look to challenge for promotion next term.
The last manager rightly paid the price, but now it’s time for his sorry signings to follow him out of the door. Let some new blood lead Paul Jewell’s Ipswich Town. This lot have more than had their fair chance.
And I trust Jewell to get us a good deal, much like Paul Lambert, who you just have to grudgingly admire.
I didn’t hear of Keane trawling around League One games on a Bank Holiday weekend. Jewell was spotted at Southend not for the first time, likely eyeing up a swoop for Rio Ferdinand’s cousin, Kane Ferdinand, a holding midfielder that my Shrimpers-supporting sports editor tells me has the potential to be a Premiership player and probably available for around just £200k.
Forget these has-been Premiership players we’ve bought in to little effect in the past. It’s great to sign an Ivan Campo, initially, but ask Norwich fans about signing a Wes Hoolahan, a Grant Holt or a David Fox — all with much to prove — and you will get far more for less. The key ingredient is the hunger that far eclipsed our sorry ‘warriors’ in the derby on Thursday. We were not just out-fought, but grossly out-thought.
A last home game of the campaign with already-relegated Preston North End on Saturday may seem like a damp squib, but there is much for Jewell to sort out ahead of the summer.
Which of the three goalkeepers, now Arran Lee-Barrett has slipped up, will he trust, if any? Will Jason Scotland finally prove he can be the same player revered at Swansea? Can Grant Leadbitter and David Norris show they are worthy of the title of one, if not the, Championship’s most expensive midfield partnership? Can Ronan Murray and Jaime Peters save us some money next season? Is Lee Martin up to his expensive price-tag under Jewell? And 4-4-2 or 4-5-1?
So many questions still to be answered, but from the pain of Easter, maybe the wind of change will bring hope and, maybe, long-awaited success...
If these players aren’t hungry enough, there are plenty that are.
Follow @russclaydon on http://www.twitter.com on Saturday for team news and #itfc action from Ipswich Town v Preston North End at Portman Road.