Thursday, 19 May 2011

Transfer window? More like supermarket sweep for Town fans!

Interesting theory on Twitter this week: davegoods reckons there's seven places to fill in the Ipswich Town first team this summer. Quite a task for our PJ.

I think you've got to consider even more than that. Our starting 11 could literally be anything next year: and trying to figure out who it will be is proving to be quite exciting!

Firstly, there's the ongoing saga with Jimmy Bullard. This story has more twists and obstacles than the A14 and it seems unlikely to be resolved any time soon. Word has it he wants to stay, Paul Jewell has said he wants him to stay, and we know already how much the fans want him to stay... yet there's still now word on an actual contract.

For me, it's all a bit too 'been there done that': remember Frannie Jeffers? The man was a legend at Portman Road for a few months and my god we wanted to sign him permanently. But when it came to the crunch he chose Sheffield Wednesday and the bigger wage packet. At the moment I don't see Jimmy playing in Blue and White next year. Sadly.

But what else does the boss say? Jewell's told reporters he's after a proven scorer - Hallelujah! He says the type of player he's after is Watford striker Danny Graham: the Championship's top scorer this year with 27 goal in all competitions. I fear we'd be shooting out of our league with this particular line of enquiry because there's reportedly Premiership interest too. But I like the way Jewell's thinking:

'I want a striker who will do anything to get a goal. We haven't got that devilment, that type of player who will kick his granny to score a goal'.

Isn't that exactly what the Town fans have been wanting all along?! My confidence in Jewell grows a little bit more every day, thanks to comments like this. It does make me wonder how different things might have been had Keane left at the end of last year and given Jewell some time with 2010's summer transfer list.

Speaking of strikers, there is, of course, the rejected bid for Billy Sharp. Here's a striker with a good reputation in the Championship, who has shown signs of that 'anything for a goal' attitude. There's plenty of time for Town to come up with another bid, but again the rumours of Premiership interest may get in the way. Isn't it annoying?!

Then, there's also talk on fan site Those Were The Days that we're targetting belgian midfielder Germinal Beerschott. He's a very tall midfielder who's been capped for his country. Even if it's not true it serves as a reminder that Paul will have his fingers in pies we've not even thought of. So trust the big man I reckon.

With all these rumours flying around I was feeling a bit dizzy, so I turned to twitter and the ITFC Tweeps! 'If you were PJ who would you spend your pocket money on?' The response was a full blown shopping list from dave_harrison, though as he said it was 'more fantasy football than realistic football'.

Bullard, Goodwillie, Sharp, Coppinger, St Ledger, Montgomery, Westwood, George, Boyd .

Now, defender St Ledger's a very interesting idea that I've not seen anywhere else yet. We were linked with him in January but it was decided that the requested £2.5 million was too high. A strong defender with experience in this league and a good reputation could be just what we need with our McAuley heading to pastures new. Perhaps that asking price will have gone down now his club Preston have been relegated?

Join the Town Tweeps and follow me on Twitter @tractorgirlamy

Elsewhere, I've just discovered which kicked up some more 'realistic' ideas. Blogger Lewis suggests Shaun Derry; a midfielder who came close to a deal with us last summer but financial issues put a stop to it. Lewis also ponders the possibility that, now QPR have been promoted, Derry's 33 year old legs and stamina would be better suited to the Championship than the Premier League. Lewis also comes up with Sheffield United defender Nick Montgomery. Another player with a good reputation... previous to this year anyway! However, I am reliably informed by my boyfriend (a life long Blade), Montgomery's a true United-ike, most likely, would want to see them back up to the league they've just been relegated from.

Of course all of this speculation will come to nothing if Clegg and Evans don't back Jewell with the necessary finances. I do get the impression they understand that is what's needed to get out of this league. But, will they deliver on that? Was the lack of support from the board the reason Keane left? Did he just feel he wasn't given the money? Were McAuley and Norris not simply looking for a move to the Premiership? Could there have been more to it, more going on behind the scenes than we know?

We'll find out soon enough; but I am reminded of what one fan said on Twitter in response to shouts for 'Clegg out'. What is everyone worrying about? The football season still hasn't finished; there's plenty of time.

So, bearing all that in mind, who would I pick? Any of the above and more besides.

For me though, the important thing is not who the players are but how well they gel together next year. Town have to enter August with a confidence and total desire to win every game. In the pit of my tummy I'm getting the same feeling I was getting in the mid nineties - that we were at the start of something good. It may take us a few years to get there. It may take us four attempts to win the Play Offs. But one day we will, once again, be Premier League.

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