|Hands Off Our Town!|
written by Pessimistic Friday, 22nd Mar 2013 13:05
I was vilified by many in my last blog for having the audacity to suggest that Town would need at least 51 points to avoid the drop. I was perhaps a bit too optimistic and I think in this extraordinary season, Town might a little bit more. It is all so tight down there that literally anything could happen and we must avoid the drop at all costs!
Now there is no need for anyone to get their knickers in a twist because this is nothing more than an honest observation. As this goes to print, Town find themselves in 19th place, four points off the drop zone, on 46 points. This is not a lot when you consider that are nearest rivals in the battle to reach the safety zone are Barnsley (44pts) and Sheffield Wednesday(43pts) and they both have a game in hand on the Blues.
What has been refreshing of late though, has been the way we have defended. Six clean sheets in nine encounters is worthy of much praise and has been crucial in gleaning points given our fragile attacking options.
That is the good news. The bad news of course is that one of the most vital components has left us again and let's face it, Stephen Henderson has been a huge asset the second time around without doubt!
On the other hand,we all love to see local lads in the team and this does give life-long Town fan Scott Loach, another crack of the whip! I am not convinced however that he is as sound as Henderson but in this amazing season of goalkeeping merry-go-rounds he is once again in prime position.
Personally however, I think Arran Lee-Barrett is nowhere near as bad as some people seem to think. He has also kept a lot of clean sheets in his time at Town and when we have taken big hits; namely Peterborough last season and Blackpool and Leicester this, he was not in the team.
It saddens me that Henderson could not see out the season with us though, as he has improved beyond all recognition since his second coming just a few months back.
Why Sam Allardyce found the need to bring him back to the Hammers is a bit bewildering. I am sure sitting on the bench for the foreseeable future is not what the keeper wanted - even if it is in the Premier League and yet ironically, his good form with Town, has almost inevitably led to this unsatisfactory scenario for the Blues.
So then, what is becoming a very trying season continues in earnest. Mick McCarthy has done a magnificent job so far and believe me, I am the kind of person that tries to use superlatives sparingly! He is a gritty, down-to-earth Yorkshire man, with a big heart. And he was honest enough to admit recently that the sudden departure of Jason Scotland was in hindsight a bad idea. I like honesty. It breathes fresh air.
In this broad church of diverse football opinions, we are, as true Town supporters, all in this together. Tyrone Mings reminded us too, that human decency still exists at a professional footballing level and our aim must be to cull as many points as we can, as quickly as we can so that we can pull away from danger. Only then can we can put in place the building blocks for our next Championship assault, which I feel sure will be more fruitful.
I am proud to be an Ipswich fan and I think in Mr Mick we have the right man at the helm. Perhaps we should take the advice of Ken Blanchard, the business author and consultant, when he became frustrated with the sequacious nature of subordinates and said defiantly, "Don't quack like a duck... soar like an eagle!".
And in football terms, it is never boring when you are soaring up the table with increasing rapidity!
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