Roy Keane Sacked As ITFC Manager

As has been widely reported by now, on Thursday 6th January 2011, Roy Keane was sacked as Manager of Ipswich Town Football Club after being in the post for 20 months. The club held a press conference on Friday 7th January at 11am to confirm this and indicated that the process to find a replacement manager was ongoing  with a view to appointing a new manager for the week commencing Monday 10th January.

I personally have mixed news about this, when Roy came to the club in April 2009, I wanted him to do well and succeed but it hasn’t turned out that way and after spending £8-10 million pounds on players and wages, town are no better off on the pitch and in actual fact are in a worse position than when they were when Roy started. Roy’s tactics were also something to be desired, with him liking to make changes for every game, which I believe was the main problem, players didn’t know whether they’d be playing the next game or who they’d be playing with and just when it looked like players were beginning to form partnerships and know one another the manager would tinker with the team yet again. Formations and substitutions were also mind-baffling, example was with the local derby with Norwich recently, town were reduced to 10 men following Damien Delaney being sent off, most managers would then have gone all out and brought on an attacking player as the team would have nothing to lose, but what did Roy do? He took off one of the attacking players for a midfielder (Colin Healy) who had hardly been in the team in recent weeks!!!

The treatment of some players also raises questions about his man-management, he brought players Lee Martin (1.5m) from Manchester United and Tamas Priskin (1.7m) from Watford and hardly playing them before loaning them out to another club! What a waste of money that was?! Tamas Priskin is one of my favourite players and I do think if he was given a run in the team with a constant striking partner like he was having with Jason Scotland (before Roy changed things around again!) and was then beginning to get confidence in himself, but the following week Roy left him on the bench and having him on a substitute with 20 minutes to go. Priskin was understandably upset and perhaps that showed in his play, Roy didn’t like this and so since then left him out of the team!! That, in my view is not the way to treat players, of course they are going to be upset when they had played well and they are left out for the next game because the manager still hasn’t decided his best starting eleven! There are other players I could mention such as Roy signing a striker Rory Fallen from Plymouth (on loan) a player that couldn’t get in to a league One side, and we’re the league above!!! To be fair though he has surprised many with his areal ability and hold-up play, but is not the answer to our goalscoring problem by far!

I’ve mentioned about Roy’s tactics about, but just briefly going over it again, he prefers to play a formation such as 4-5-1 which to be fair – worked at the start of the season, but the formation uses only one striker upfront and I don’t think any of the strikers at the club are particularly good on their own, it is much better to play 2 up front with a formation of 4-4-2, which Roy had been using in his last few games for the club. But as I said I think Roy’s main downfall was the fact that he couldn’t resist changing the team and experimenting all too often, yes we did have a number of injuries, but even so he should have tried to play the players’ in their best positions as much as possible, that way he would have got them best out of them and also most of the team would have known each other and their teammates better.

I mentioned two of Roy’s signings and his treatment of some of the players above, but the other question is did he have enough backing? I say he sure as hell did!!! Not many managers have been blessed with a budget of £8-10 million and Roy wasted it on average players, from his old clubs and he seemed reluctant to buy players from clubs that he hadn’t been involved with, so this restricted his dealings to mostly Sunderland, Manchester United (with Lee Martin) and players that were Irish etc. Nothing against Irish players, but he could have widen his search and would have find  better more value-for-money players. So yes, Roy cannot complain saying he had no financial backing, when he clearly did and wasted it.

There was also incidents involving the fans’ with Roy criticising them and saying that the fans knew nothing about football and what turned out to be his last match where town lost at Portman Road, to Nottingham Forest, he made gestures and was involved with an argument with some of the town fans. This certainly did not help his cause and with the attendances falling to an average of around 15,00 or so, where we have a 30,000 stadium says it all! So to conclude I do think town were right to sack Roy Keane, he was given more time at the club than many others would have given him yet it seemed to be the same old problems with the team and his management that let him down. Perhaps understandably club chairman and owner, Marcus Evans was reluctant to sack the manager due to his high profile and media attention that he brought to the club, but if the team is losing, its not exactly positive media attention is it?

Skills coach Ian (Charlie) McParland will take charge for Ipswich’s FA Cup match with Chelsea today (Sunday 9th January) while a replacement town boss is being found. Whoever it is they must have more experience than Keane and preferably not have been out of the game for awhile as football is like technology and is forever changing. My dream candidate would be former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton, who did a wonderful job at Newcastle only to be sacked by an over-ambitious chairman!

9th January 2011 by

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