This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Paul Cook is willing to let the majority of his Ipswich Town squad that is under contract leave the club this summer, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.
Cook warned that he would be overseeing a mass squad overhaul before the 2021/22 season, labelling himself as ‘demolition man‘ due to the dismantling he would be doing.
Alan Judge and Stephen Ward’s departures were confirmed before the season was over and the likes of Freddie Sears, Cole Skuse, Luke Chambers and other first-teamers had their upcoming departures announced in the last few days.
But the cutting of the squad is set to run deeper than that with several players contracted for next season and beyond up for sale for the right price, including young talents like Flynn Downes, Armando Dobra and Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop, who has been in the senior ranks since 2014.
Is Cook right to put half of his squad up for sale though after a poor few months under his management? The FLW team have had their stay…
Well I think he has to do it now, either way.
He sort of made a rod for his back earlier on in the campaign with him quickly digging out his Ipswich squad for their performances and then rather doubling down on more than one occasion by hammering them in the press.
Clearly, he’s hell-bent on taking a really aggressive approach in the transfer window and I guess we’ll have to see how that works.
For me, I actually think it could be what Ipswich need after a few seasons of really underperforming but it’s all about who he gets in – though I think the new owners will be eager to show supporters they are serious and they will invest.
It carries risk, of course, but I do think it’s worth doing to be honest.
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Ipswich Town appearances?
It’s a bold call, there is no denying that.
But ultimately, you have to trust Paul Cook’s judgement here as there is clearly something wrong with the dynamic of that current squad.
He sees these players day in, day out, and clearly is not happy with he’s working with so it sometimes requires a ruthless edge to transform a club’s fortunes.
There are a few players I’m surprised to see potentially be moved on, with the likes of Teddy Bishop, Andre Dozzell and Kayden Jackson players I’d have expected Cook to look to retain.
Though, with the new ownership in, a new management team in, next season really feels like the beginning of a new era at Portman Road so getting rid of a lot of deadwood at the club seems like a logical step.
With this in mind, Ipswich fans need to manage expectations though, as a completely new-look squad will take time to gel and grow as a unit.
This is maybe a slightly naïve thing to say, but it can’t get any worse for Ipswich than it already is, so I’m fully behind this call.
Of course, it can get worse, but Ipswich are underachieving and don’t look like going anywhere fast with their current squad of players.
Cook, for me, is the right man to take Ipswich forwards and if his judgement of the squad is that it needs an overhaul, you’ve got to get behind that.
It’s not a risk either because, as I’ve stated, Ipswich should be doing much better.
Clear them out and go again feels like a good strategy to me.