13 December ~ After slipping to a sixth consecutive defeat on Saturday, Roy Keane declared his Ipswich side's performance was not good enough and stated he needed to look at himself in the mirror. Ipswich fans will be hoping he sees some divine inspiration in his reflection after their season reached a new low at the weekend.

Even the most pessimistic Ipswich fan could have expected a win at Preston. They are, after all, bottom of the league and don't look like vacating that spot anytime soon. Instead they lost 1-0, making their record nine defeats in their last 11 games. The Ipswich faithful have stuck by Keane and given him the benefit of the doubt but this run, which included a 4-1 hammering by Norwich, has led fans to question his tactics.

Keane bemoaned the lack of experience his two centre-halves, aged 20 and 21, had on Saturday and he believed that had a bearing on the result. He did, however, leave 29-year-old centre-back Damien Delaney out of the squad completely despite the lack of experience in defence. It is decisions like this that are frustrating Ipswich fans and they now feel the need to protest about the manager's future at the next home game. Admittedly, the team have a considerable injury list, including 17-year-old wonderboy Conor Wickham, but that is no excuse for Keane (although he has bemoaned this fact nine times in the last 11 matches).

Rumours have already begun circulating concerning a successor, with Glenn Roeder reportedly ready to step in to the hot-seat, but owner Marcus Evans seems loathe to dispense with the services of a man he appointed 18 months ago. With their next two matches against an in-form Watford and an improving Leicester side, Keane's reflection is sure to show a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He insists he will not walk away and the Ipswich hierarchy insist he will not be sacked. With this impasse, it could continue to be a disappointing season for the supporters. Matt Green


Comments (2)
Comment by Hot Orange 2010-12-14 09:27:17

Funnily enough, it's decisions like playing two young but promising centre halves ahead of a 29-year-old journeyman who had an absolute shocker in his last game (at Norwich) that suggest to me there's still something worthwhile in Keane's management. The omission of the team's best two attacking players from the previous game, less so.

There are plenty of things about Keane's tenure that I'm not happy with - an over-reliance on average loan players, a not particularly riveting playing style, all the defeats, that kind of thing - but his willingness to use young players is a good thing.

I hadn't heard the Glenn Roeder rumour. Chilling.

Comment by David Agnew 2010-12-14 18:36:24

Oddly enough, no-one else appeared to have heard the Glenn Roeder rumour before this piece. In fact, no-one's been circulating the Glenn Roeder rumour after this piece either.

As Hot Orange says, playing two young centre-halves isn't an issue amongst the vast majority of the Town faithful, and one of the biggest positives of Keane's tenure is the number of opportunities he's given to our Academy graduates (especially in comparison to his predecessor). Delaney is lost at centre-half without the organisational skills of the currently injured Gareth McAuley next to him, and if McAuley isn't in the team, then you're better off leaving Delaney out of the squad.

As for "Marcus Evans seems loathe to dispense with the services of a man he appointed 18 months ago" - considering that Evans doesn't speak to the press, or indeed anyone (or even let anyone know what he looks like), it's odd that anyone can claim to know what he's thinking.

Still, one good thing about Keane leaving will be people who know sod-all about our club will stop writing crap like this. If you listen to most of the media, Keane's been under pressure for his entire tenure at the club, but even now, with six league games on the trot lost (all ignoring the Carling Cup quarter final win in amongst them), there hasn't been any sort of protest against Keane whatsoever. Is there dissention amongst a vocal minority? Yes - but then Joe Royle had the same when we were top of the Championship in the spring of 2005, despite only spending money on one player in two and a half years.

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