Better than payting £35 to be hammered

Tamworth: never before did The Man think he would relish a visit to the place. I have not been there, and will probably never go there again, but I have to say I'm looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Tamworth: never before did The Man think he would relish a visit to the place.

I have not been there, and will probably never go there again, but I have to say I'm looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime trip.

It offers a rare shaft of light in what is becoming an increasingly mundane existence for us.

The prospect of drawing a Premiership team and getting dumped out at the first hurdle again held no allure for me.

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Had we of got Chelsea, or someone of that ilk, I might not even have gone.

Peter the Pointer (PTP) might call me a disgrace for that, but I believe those sorts of fixtures to be akin to blood sport.

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It's not so much David against Goliath anymore, as David against the US Army: not interested.

The Man would not be prepared to sit there while a Russian's plaything mauls what is left of our club.

But thankfully, we've avoided the big boys - and drawn the minnow.

Don't get me wrong - I know we are in for a battle - and could get beaten - but it will be an experience, much better than sitting in some Lego stadium paying £35 to watch us get hammered.

t Ahead of today's Premiership fixtures The Man was very keen on the look of the bottom three. I'm sure it has probably changed again: but I'd crawl over broken glass to see West Ham, Charlton and Watford go down at the end of the season.

Regular readers of this column will know of The Man's particular disdain for those vulgar cockneys West Ham.

Their recent acquisition of Robert Green has only served to intensify this angst.

For anyone who missed it, the Incredible Shrug said in a recent interview that Norwich is "a city the size of a town with a village mentality". A touch of truth maybe, but his condescending comments are a touch ironic given during his time here he regularly looked like the village idiot.

But I notice he's now got a smart new London hair cut… I doubt his hillbilly look went down too well in West Ham's rude boy dressing room.

Greeno also said that he would have swapped any place in a World Cup squad for a move to West Ham.

Which, given the fact he refused to play for us at the end of last season in case he got injured for the World Cup, is a bit much.

All The Man can say is what goes around, comes around… I remember Andy Marshall making similar noises a few years ago.

r Rubeer-necking at Ipswich Town has become one of The Man's favourite pastimes.

For while we may be well into our third consecutive season of failure, life is always worse over the border.

The lives of our Suffolk rivals are increasingly becoming the modern day equivalent of the great comedy series Steptoe & Son.

Sure - they beat us 3-1 - but financially they are falling apart at the seams.

Every week they seem to be scheming up new ways to save 10p. This week they had to sack their kit man because they couldn't afford to keep him. The s**m also recently had to sell their team bus to raise funds - it is now being used by Accrington Stanley!

The Man understands the s**m squad now gets transported to games in the back of one of Mr Sheepshanks' food lorries.

I know our finances are not in great nick - and I suspect some severe cuts will be on the way in the years to come - but Ipswich's £36million debt will take some surpassing.

All this, ladies and gents, and they don't even own their ground!

It's not going to be long before the UN is forced to do Aid drops over Portman Road…

t The Man apologises to eagle-eyed readers out there who spotted there was no column last week.

I will not go into detail as to why I could not produce it, just to say it was a mixture of health and location challenges - which have subsequently been resolved.

The Man was a touch upset as I wanted to have my say on Grant's anti-fan outburst, and Doomcaster's annual accounts.

Both issues have been chewed to death by now, so I will be concise.

Firstly, I think Grant was right, he just used the wrong words. His job is to completely overhaul the club - so that involves fans not just players. We have become too quiet, and need to rediscover the sort of positive vibes that got us into the play offs, and eventually got us up. That, however, is easier said than done.

On the accounts, it appears Doomcaster and co are doing a decent job at navigating the impossible gap between Premiership and Championship.

However, to have not underwritten a promotion push with two sets of parachute payments is a big concern (and failure) - because what the hell are we going to do WITHOUT that money…

As Drury candidly said this week, the squad is "ridiculously small", and the board has got to do all it can to try and make sure that doesn't happen again.

t Others may argue, but The Man believes Robert Earnshaw - pound-for-pound - is the best goalscorer this club has had in the past 25 years.

Therefore I was delighted to see Earnie say this week that he was not thinking of leaving. The Man believes him - I think RE is a decent fella and will not down tools like his predecessor Ashton.

Alas, we live in the real world. Come the end of the season - barring a miracle - we will still be in this division; can we seriously hold on to him?

Will Doomcaster want to pay his wages without the parachute cash available? And will Earnie really want to stay as the prospect of promotion diminishes? It is unlikely.

The Man would suggest we all relish having Earnie here while it lasts, as after this season it's unlikely to be for much longer. OTBC.

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