|The Past, the Present, the Highs and Lows|
written by Edmunds5 Monday, 15th Oct 2012 15:10
I’m not sure how this will go down but I wanted to spice things up a little in terms of my approach to a blog, so I decided to do a rather long-winded poem that reviews the story of the past and present times, hope you enjoy.
10th of December, Liverpool the location, a date I remember without hesitation. A Sunday I recall, no expectations more hope. I was geared up for humiliation and drowning my sorrows. Sorry mum if I’m grumpy tomorrow.
I just couldn’t foresee the elation that followed. ‘TURN UP THE RADIO I THINK ITS ONE NIL’, Marcus Stewart goal and victory was sealed.
I went and told my mother who said ‘What’s the big deal’. I knew she would struggle to understand how I feel. It’s just I never though we could win at Anfield.
There was more to come I have you know, decent results had recently flowed. As we see off the Saints at Portman Road. The next one was tough, United away.
A defeat at Old Trafford but not battered not shamed, just three days rest for the Chelsea game but a two-all draw marked a good Boxing Day.
Everything seemed so smooth on the pitch, though still inconsistent, losing four from six. But we got back to taking the League in our stride, defeating the Hammers and then the Magpies, before beating Boro at the Riverside.
Just four matches left, a Champions League spot in sight, we begin to believe that we might, just might. The last day arrived; it was time to show heart, behind to a battling Derby at Pride Park.
Filled with nerves and nails bitten, this wasn’t the kind of script that we’d written. Keep being patient, it will come, Naylor then scores and we draw 1-1.
A fifth-placed finish our reward, a fantastic season as our fans applaud. The Champions League it wasn’t too be, and in reality was a distant dream. But there’s no reason too feel down, our debut season made all Blues fans proud.
The second season we found it tough, we huffed and puffed but it wasn’t enough. A win at Liverpool could keep us alive but we were cruelly stuffed and couldn’t survive.
They say ‘second season syndrome’ is what we had suffered; in any case we fought bravely but just couldn’t recover. That was that, but we had a blast, wounded but with an inner belief that we would be back fast.
Changes were made, George Burley was sacked. Who left on a downer but with memories intact.
But David Sheepshanks acts as Joe Royle is backed. Eyes were set on a return to the top flight but financial issues took control of our plight. It wasn’t straight forward as we entered administration, a time where the board called for patience.
Despite the turmoil we got on a run, things were looking up under Royle and we were scoring for fun. Kuqi and Bent power and pace, we were right in the hunt for a promotion place.
West Ham in play-offs on the 15th of May, after the season concluded with a draw against Cardiff on the final day.
The first legs at home as we look for the upper hand, just three games away from the promise land. A tight affair, nothing to choose, whatever we do must not lose. We win one-nil, a slender lead, we would have loved another but we can still be pleased.
The game's still in the balance, we’re not through yet. Upton Park Tuesday, the stage is set. West Ham v Ipswich under the lights, fingers crossed it will be our night.
Etherington scores the Hammers ahead, now our hopes would hang by a thread. A goal down we tried to keep strong but unfortunately for us we just could not hold on.
Corner to West Ham Dailly up from the back, who found himself free and had a crack, it wasn’t a bullet not the best hit but it finds the net and left us Blues in bits. All the hard work had been undone, another gruelling season ahead in Division One.
Unfortunately 2004/2005 was basically the same, we miss out on automatic before play off pain, defeated by West Ham once again. Another season ahead full of graft and grind will 05/06 be our time? Well we started slowly were off the pace, given a lesson against Preston and at Sheffield United away.
A chance to bounce back against the Canaries at home, but the dismal derby went to our rivals down the road.
We continued to struggle; we missed Darren Bent's pace, something we found tough to replace. The top six were beyond us and we were unable to chase, as we ended up in a lowly 15th place. A poor end to a tough campaign that marked the end of Royle’s reign.
Marcus Evans then came into Town, buying a stake, settling our debts down. In effect he kept the club afloat, after a miserable time of financial woe.
Jim Magilton was the man to he appointed, could he repair a squad that had looked disjointed. Players came in, as we started a fresh; he brought in the likes of Campo and Thatcher amongst other experienced heads.
After a busy summer the season got under way, only to be beaten by Preston on the opening day.
Up and down results followed, we got the ball down and played but we were just far too inconsistent to be right up there in May. Unfortunately for us this proved the case, as we eventually finished in 14th place.
A mid-table finish seems a constant theme, are we turning into a mid-table team? What’s the reason for our current plight? Well, players are leaving, money's quite tight, Still Jim has a second season to get things right.
Just three wins in ten was not the best start but we soon started looking the part. One defeat in nine lifted us up to eighth positive signs as fans had faith.
On the verge of the play-offs, we were well in the mix, fingers crossed that we would emerge in the top six. But such is our way we began to lose form, losing four from eight with two wins and two draws.
We were lying in 10th with 12 games to go but one win in nine dealt our play-off chances a major blow. We didn’t lie down; we continued to fight as Danny Haynes’ strike clinched derby delight.
But with failure to reach the play-offs proving the final straw, Super Jim was shown the door. His sacking was seen as a slightly controversial decision, as Roy Keane was then handed the managerial position.
This filled Town fans with a sense of optimism, after his exploits at Sunderland where he won the Division. Back to back wins, Keane of to a flyer unfortunately it failed to push us up any higher.
All in all, too little too late. Season over, we finish in eighth place with our pursuit of the Premiership at gradual pace, at least another season we would have to wait.
As we went and gave promotion a bash Keane was allowed to splash the cash, he then went to raid the Black Cats as he signed Leadbitter and Edwards whilst loaning Colback. Delaney, Martin amongst others were unveiled so how would we fare with these signings sealed?
After fourteen games we were awaiting a win with our patience already wearing thin. Second from bottom, the football a bore conceding goals and struggled to score.
There was just nothing to cheer, the outlook bleak, when will we end this dismal streak. But after 14 games we finally won, and put an end to the woeful run. We found our feet, results would come, just one defeat in eleven before being undone.
The usual inconsistency would then take its toll win a couple lose a couple draw a couple, same old same old. In truth our start made it an uphill task, with the play-offs looking too big of an ask with a bottom half finish on the cards.
So yet another season without great joy, just where are we going under Roy? With Keane clearly far from pleased, he felt a summer clear-out was well in need.
Many departures, but just a few on board, many targets were not secured. Fulop, Kennedy and Scotland amongst those that signed but with a squad so thin expectations weren’t high.
But our start proved a welcome surprise our first five unbeaten before a slide. Suddenly we were on a downward slope as our depleted squad found it tough to cope.
Our early form was soon forgotten as six defeats in a row left us sixth from bottom. A home loss to Forest meant enough was enough after 20 months Keane’s time was up.
With the board in search for a fresh face, Paul Jewell answered the call and was the new man in place. With promotion beyond us survival was the aim, with Jewell waiting for summer to do things his way.
There was still the odd high point, the odd positive note, a thrashing of Doncaster at the Keepmoat before a Bullard brace beat the Bluebirds away. But overall it was another season of pain, finishing 13th, nothing really gained.
Summer arrived, time for Jewell to revamp, freshen up his squad and make a stamp. JET, Chopra, Cresswell arrived at Portman Road along with the wise old heads, the experienced pros. We started OK despite a heavy loss to Posh but a win against Portsmouth pushed us to a play-off spot.
However, a defeat to Palace and things were to get a whole lot worse as seven straight losses left us 21st. After that it was the usual inconsistent form, though we were beginning to accept this was becoming the norm. Yet another season of false ambition ends up with us finishing in 15th position.
A lack of transfer activity left fans unsure, but faces would finally arrive through the door. Hewitt, Loach and Chambers would all sign, with the added bonus of youth a positive sign.
Though there was hardly a spending spree, with Marcus Evans reluctant to keep paying large fees. Some fans thought we could achieve others thought we might struggle to compete, had a lack of quality and was a little too weak.
Early on things seem to flow, a cup win against Bristol Rovers and a draw with Blackburn at home, before a win away at Vicarage Road.
From here we’ve crumbled and have not won, beaten by Carlisle to end the idea of a cup run, against Blackpool where we were trounced as well as two home defeats on the bounce.
After being sucked into the relegation zone, this prompted Jewell to get on the phone, as we tied up a number of loans, with many annoyed that they’re not our own, we have to wait if things get sewn.
One-up against Cardiff, players seemed to be settling in fine, having been unable to see the game out after leading, the table would make rather miserable reading.
Whether Jewell's fired, whether his job stays in tact, as fans we’re tired and just want to see the club back on track.
A difficult time and a difficult start but whatever happens Ipswich Town will remain in the heart, because we for sure can still find a way out of this mess, fingers crossed good times are ahead.
Thanks for listening, I would appreciate any comments.
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