In the modern football world, most match reports are adorned by a plethora of stats that may (or may not) tell us something extra about the relative performance of each team – eg BBC reports show shots, shots on target, possession and fouls.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on the subject of Town’s playing style under Mick McCarthy. Having been humbled at Old Trafford, I wanted to see how everyone felt about what I perceived to be a rather attritional and outdated brand of football seen here and in pretty much every other Ipswich game since McCarthy arrived.
It is safe to say that the first 10 games of the season have not gone as we had planned. To be sat in 12th is disappointing to say the least, but what is more concerning is seeing the manager come out and question the loyalty of his players. That came as a shock.
I wish I could have been there when Mick McCarthy first tasted it. The look on his face. The glint in his eye. The dawning realisation that this was the missing ingredient in the promotion recipe he's been formulating ever since arriving at Portman Road.
If you’re one of the many Town fans whose reaction to the Brentford game included assertions that the Blues have a reputation for throwing away points late in games — “Typical bloody Ipswich”, “We did this for the whole of last year, too”, “When are we ever going to learn how to close out games?” — then I’m afraid you’ve been talking nonsense.
Since walking through the door and taking the wheel of the sinking ship left by Paul Jewell, Mick McCarthy has made some absolutely fantastic signings for Ipswich. Almost every single one has been a free transfer or a loan deal, but which of the many new recruits has served this club the best?
There is quite rightly a lot of excitement surrounding Ipswich Town in the build up to the new season. Our squad is the strongest it has been since Joe Royle's Class of 2004/05, and we are well-placed to build on our sixth-placed finish last season.
This Championship season promises to be even more competitive and dramatic than ever. With all 24 clubs just one promotion away from the pot of gold available from the new Premier League TV deal, owners across the division are spending more and more money in order to benefit.
Please don't take the headline of this piece to be negative, it certainly isn't. Whilst the odd doom and gloom-monger still exists within the ranks, it is evident to the vast majority of Town fans that the aura that surrounds the club at the moment is the most positive it's been since the heady days of Premiership football.