Grimsby, Notts County even Nottingham Forest, none of those teams worried me when they lost their manager. Same with Oxford, Peterborough or Southend. I couldn’t see Danny Cowley getting in the car with Nicky riding shotgun and travelling away from Sincil Bank for good.
Now, I can. That isn’t to say I think it will happen, that isn’t to say they’re going, but this is a job I could see them taking. It’s their neck of the woods, it gives a natural transition to West Ham and it’s another great challenge, just like we were.
Firstly, the news. Mick McCarthy, Ipswich manager of six years, is leaving at the end of the season. It’s very amicable, both parties have agreed it and he’s not being booted out right now. His entire spell there has been handled the right way by Marcus Evans, no knee-jerk sacking, no public courting of other managers and a chance to walk away at the end of the season with both heads held high. It is almost sickeningly mutual, the sort of respectful departure you’d expect from a club with values.
Danny has said a hundred times that he and Nicky always finish a job that they start, on TV the other week he even said that if Barcelona came knocking, he wouldn’t jump ship. It is easy to say these things, but tougher to actually live through them. I’m not saying Danny isn’t true to his word, but I’ve lived apart from my partner before, journeyed up and down the A1 and A14 incessantly and I know what that can do to a person.
The big questions are these: Would Ipswich risk the club’s future in the hands of so-called untested managers? Is the journey Danny says we’re on something he plots season by season, or is it a bigger picture which he won’t be swayed from? The answers to those questions are going to be the key to us retaining our gaffer’s services.
I can’t see why Ipswich wouldn’t want Danny and Nicky. They’ve seen first hand how effective their football is, we’ve dealt with Ipswich over Danny Rowe too so they’ll be well-known to the owners there. They’re from that neck of the woods and will have a growing reputation that is hard to stifle, so much depends on the owners leanings. Having checked the odds I see Steve McClaren, Mark Warbuton and Tony Mowbray are amongst the other front-runners. McClaren would be a similar appointment to McCarthy, Warburton failed at Forest but perhaps has unfinished business and Mowbray is doing a great job at Blackburn. Remember, Mowbray also played for Ipswich and has managed Celtic.
My gut feeling is they’ll go for Mowbray, a manager proven at the level, a manager with extensive contacts and someone with an affinity to the club. Danny will get due consideration, but I’m not sure he’ll be the one.
The bookies will tell you otherwise, I’ve already been tweeted by a guy who follows me with a statement that Danny is down from 16/1 to 4/1. He’s only reporting where the money is going, but people get early money on outside bets in hope of a big win.
— Michael Triffitt (@michaeltriffitt) March 29, 2018
The bookies will look to drive this as much as possible and Danny is perfect for taking punters cash. The links between him and the South East are extensive and he’s been talked about before in this context, but will Ipswich Town, a side hoping for a Premier League return, lump everything on a manager who, as yet, hasn’t won anything in the Football League? That’s not detrimental to Danny, but take emotion out of it, we’re outside the League Two play offs. For us, it is good, but is it enough for a potentially huge side to gamble on? Or, will they see Tony Mowbray, top of League One and with Celtic under his belt and break the bank?
Danny and Nicky don’t leave a team during the season, they act with integrity and grace and I feel that Ipswich would be a decent fit, but is the time right? They never start a job they don’t intend to finish, so is that simply season by season, or is it the bigger picture. Remember, they’re so wrapped up in this club it is unreal, they don’t just manage the side but they’re helping shape the training ground, they’re building for the future and they seemingly love the city.
I’ve heard (and I’ve not written it before) that the families are looking at moving up here too, houses have been viewed (allegedly) and plans are in place.
All things considered, everything weighed and analysed, I’ve made my mind up as to whether I think they’re going or not. Agonisingly for you, it’s on the next page!!