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0-0 Not the End of the World?
Written by TimS on Sunday, 24th Feb 2013 10:52

I cannot believe that it is just over four months since I whinged on a dark cold Monday night about the direction of this football club.

OK, I was feeling a bit depressed. The cold, dank and dark weather down in Devon did not help. No one in the South West of England, apart from the odd Town fan down in these parts, seems to particularly care about this Town season. Work colleagues showed some muted tea and sympathy, but I was secretly further angry by a web comment to my November article that Town’s dreary and wretched season was 'not the end of the world'.

Based so far away from Ipswich, watching my club tread quick sand on the other side of the UK is not easy. OK, we are not talking about a credit downgrading, the war on terror, or the Eurozone crisis, but if you have a passion for a football club, and for Ipswich as a town, you do want to see the club do well rather than being choked in a gag of relegation and stagnation.

Maybe I was not around in the Robson years, and I remain totally jealous that my parents' generation could park up on Hawthorn Drive and go to an actual game against Real Madrid at Portman Road rather than via a computer game.

You will be pleased to know that it is still cold in Devon this Saturday night and I can imagine how life would have been like this afternoon in the cold winds of the Huddersfield’s Galpharm/John Smith's/Alfred McAlpine stadium. I have friends in the local area and life can be bleak on so many different levels when the winds are blowing across the Yorkshire Dales.

The trip back along the M62, M1 and A14 will probably be long and boring, whilst you wonder whether an afternoon of sofa hunting in one of those shops’ seemingly never-ending sales would have been a better use of your time.

I used to often wonder whether you can really be an Ipswich Town fan until you have gone to an East Anglian Derby. I now believe that you can only be a Town fan after you have endured a 0-0 on a cold afternoon, when it is obvious that the game will be 0-0 after one minute of action, or the first tackle.

Town v Leicester in February 2007, Town v Burnley in December 2008, Wolves v Town in March 2009 and Leeds v Town in March 2011 spring to mind. Those sorts of games become a chance to be cleaning up your mobile, changing your screensaver, getting rid of texts and clearing your call history.

You also know that it has been a bad 0-0 game when you have read the matchday programme after 10 minutes, and start to count the rivets in the stadium roof opposite your plastic bucket seat. You play cloud patterns in the sky and you want to ‘sing up for the lads,’ but your voice has gone to sleep.

I may be reading too much into one point and I suppose that one point is better than nothing. That one point gained in the Yorkshire winds may be very important come high noon at Burnley in May, but could it have been three.

Are Town now at the desperate stage where 0-0 v Huddersfield is seen as something positive? I then read that our manager is happy with a point, and if he is happy than I should be happy. Maybe I should be happy! Away from Suffolk, I am reading the local media websites to be told of a ‘dogs of war’ approach, the captain tells me that Town must be ruthless, someone called ‘Chops’ (formally known as Chopra) is praised for conquering his demons with his one goal against Blackpool and being a ‘character’ in the dressing room.

The high command of Town are talking about improving the matchday experience and catering ‘offering’ at Portman Road which I should be happy about because the chance to potentially watch Bournemouth, Carlisle United or Scunthorpe in the league will be made much more pleasurable with a better meat pie and more fizz in my Coca Cola. There is also a youngster coming from Manchester United on loan (but have we not been here before with United loanees?)

I appreciate that not everyone is a football fan in Suffolk, and Town potentially dropping to League One does not mean that the Ipswich Town will be wiped off the face of the earth. However, think back to those crazy times nearly 13 years (yes, 13 years ago) when Town were knocking on the Premiership door and I was in the Buttermarket in the days when there was sun and temperatures above four degrees Celsius. There was a buzz whether you were a football fan or not.

In 2000, you walked around the town in your tangerine away strip with a certain swagger and pride, making knowing nods to other Town fans, who smiled back. In 2013, you can walk around the town in your Town shirt, and you will probably get an offer of street based therapy or get arrested for nodding at strangers.

The non-football fans of Suffolk will probably not care about the 0-0 against Huddersfield, and they will probably not even read this article, but I want Town to stay in the Championship. However, I still want a bit more honesty from the club in terms of strategy for the short term and the long term, not just PR fluff, dogs of ‘war,’ a catering review and talk about ‘characters’ in the dressing room. Then I will have less to worry about.

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algarvefan added 11:30 - Feb 24
Good blog Tim, It's even more painful if you remember the Robson era, as I do. And until 2 years ago I also lived in Devon and travelled to the 4 corners of England watching Town. Now I live 2,500 miles away and only get to the occasional game and it seems more painful as I don't see first hand what's going on. Marcus Evans has not been good for Ipswich, although God knows what would have happened if he hadn't stepped in, I wish I believed he had the interest of the club at heart, I'm not convinced.
I'm just hoping and praying that on the last game of the season we don't need to Barnsley needing a win...........Jason Scotland for the winner anyone?????????

marco007 added 13:39 - Feb 24
Good blog and I too remember the glory halcyon days of Robson and the Burley era in which it was a pleasure to watch true artists grace the hallowed turf at Portman Road.
I think we all know that times have changed and it is a different ball game run by sheikhs and oligarchs that a few years earlier probably did not even have a clue about the clubs that they would later own and proclaim strong affinities.
The heart of the game has been stripped out and clubs likes ours will never really compete on the big stage. Yes, we can have aspirations of being like Wigan and West Brom but we do need a clear strategy. Loans are ok in the short term but not in such huge numbers and the situation looks further bleak by the inability to develop and hold on to our academy players.
We live in hope, and football fans are forever optimists hovering on the fringes of fantasy and reality.
Keep the faith


commuterblue added 18:45 - Feb 24
nice blog. but 0-0 away to a relegation rival is a decent result.

and if mick doesn't feel he likes the depth behind the 6 first choice defensive outfield players, then a loan fits in nicely.

let's stay up and then complain about nil nils to teams in the bottom half next year

mike_holmes1990 added 21:21 - Feb 24
0-0 is a desperately disappointing result. This was a game that should have been looked at as one we could use to get three points, and climb further away from danger, Especially considering Huddersfield's form. However, generally speaking 1 point away from home is not the most disastrous result. Just need to make sure there is no hangover from Watford at the next home game.

Fatcatevans added 21:35 - Feb 24
Excellent point away! You are losing sight of the fact that the short term goal is survival. All the harkening back to the good old days won't change that! Lets stay up and then rebuild! Even Ramsey and Robson had to do that initially. MM is a pragmatist. We will survive . it won't be pretty but I'm afraid Muhren and Thyssen aren't currently available. Keep the faith

JimmyJazz added 13:40 - Feb 25
Take a look at the remaining 12 fixtures. We may need to park the bus on a few more occassions yet.
Palace, Leicester and Hull at home. Any chance MM would regard a single point in all those games as a good result?

NoCanariesAllowed added 13:42 - Feb 25
I wasn't there on Saturday (had planned on going, couldn't afford the travel), but I have been there for some of those nil-nils - watching Kevin Lisbie run offside every single attack on that freezing cold night at Wolves in March 2009 does indeed spring to mind.

I agree that a point is not the end of the world - ultimately, as much as I did consider this a "must win", it was more importantly a "must not lose". In the end, it prevented Huddersfield taking 3pts and going ahead of us, even if it was a missed opportunity to put some distance between us and the bottom pack.

But from what I've heard, it's not necessarily the 'only one point, not three' that is the problem - it's that the fans travelled that distance and saw one shot on target. 0-0 never seems so bad if you actually think your performance warranted something more, but clearly this didn't.

Could be worse though. I'd still rather travel to Yorkshire and see a 0-0 than go to Peterborough and see a 7-1 tonking.


marco007 added 15:06 - Feb 25
nocanaries about stating the obvious!
Guess, we are all just sick of accepting football of such a low quality over such a sustained period.
With every glimmer of hope, there seems to follow dross. eg 4-0 win v Middlesborough followed up with 1 goal in 4 games!
Our supposed wingers have contributed a whopping 0 goals in over 60 games between them!!

blues1 added 19:30 - Feb 25
algarvefan, i agree that this is a good blog. but in your case if youre gonna post a reply you should get ur facts right. we dont go to barnsley on the last day, we play burnley.

Nthsuffolkblue added 22:26 - Feb 25
The fact Huddersfield lost heavily against Forest seems to be playing too much on fans' minds here. They have lost by 2 goals or more 5 of their last six away games, but at home their last 7 results are 6 draws and 1 win (including v Cardiff, Birmingham and Palace). In that context and the fact they had more chances in the game, 0-0 in my book is a good result.
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