WHAT on earth am I going to report on next week?

Barely a day has gone by in the last two months without Ipswich Town being linked with some loan player or another. And they have been rather successful – or not, depending on your persuasion – with eight players signed on different kinds of short-term deals since the end of September.

This state of affairs is both remarkable and rather a poor show which could ultimately prove to be the Blues’ downfall.

But with the loan window closing last night, it means Mick McCarthy has played his final hand until January. The manager cannot be blamed for coming into the job in the middle of the, err, ‘emergency’ transfer window. Likewise, he has had little choice but to pinpoint loanees as he looks to mould a squad that will move Ipswich away from the relegation zone in the coming weeks.

His bigger transfer tests will come in the New Year and then next summer. But Town have become something of a laughing stock after having no choice but to rely so heavily on players owned by other clubs.

In fact, the diagram, above, shows how short-term the club is right now with an incredible nine players who could start despite either  not belonging to Ipswich or, in the case of Nigel Reo-Coker and Kelly Youga, could be leaving Portman Road in January. 

You could point the finger at Paul Jewell for not being able to secure the right permanent players in the close season. 

But I would argue that the real blame lies higher up the Ipswich food chain.

Rather than criticise chief executive, Simon Clegg, ultimately the transfer budget is only sanctioned by one person – Marcus Evans. Jewell obviously had no choice but to work to the parameters set by one man and one man only.

So when ex-Manchester United keeper, Tomasz Kuzcszak, was sitting in his office, Jewell was unable to pay the extra few thousand a week that Brighton reportedly paid. The same goes for Derby striker Steve Davies who told me he was dying to play for Ipswich, before ending up at Bristol City. These are just two of many examples. 

Some might say that makes sense in the throes of financial fair play. But I would argue Evans was too careful, to the detriment of both Jewell and the side. 

Ipswich have been playing catch-up ever since.