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The Entertainment is Back, and So Am I
Written by JollyJourno on Thursday, 28th Sep 2017 08:41

First up, a confession. I didn't attend a single Ipswich Town game last season. It was the first season in about a decade that I completely sat out.

Why? Well, I might be one of those supporters others call 'fairweather'. But I don't live in Suffolk, and I don't have a lot of money, so I pick my games carefully. I don't want to waste £30 on a ticket, plus £27 on a return train fare, to watch a mid-table team that averages one goal per game.

And so last season, I just couldn't be bothered. Mick's men were playing drab, defensive football, and most of the time they weren't even doing a good job of the defending they were set up for. It was easily the worst season I've known in two decades supporting Town. What incentive was there exactly for me to fork out the cash?

This season, however, something has clearly changed. After Tuesday's 5-2 mauling of Sunderland, the Tractor Boys are top of the goalscoring charts in the Championship. Our 19 goals in nine games is more than double the eight we'd mustered after the same number of fixtures last term.

Over the summer Mick spent what little transfer budget he had on firepower, and it sure seems to have paid off. Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn, and a rejuvenated David McGoldrick, are proving to be an irresistible strikeforce.

Now let's not get ahead of ourselves. We're still a long way from challenging for automatic promotion. But at this point in time, after so many so years of uninspiring and frankly crap football, promotion isn't even my number one priority. All I want right now is to be entertained. I want a reason to spend £60 on a day out in Suffolk. And the promise of goals is all the reason I need.

It seems plausible at this point that the sharp decline in attendances over the past two seasons is part of the reason why the goals have returned. Town's tactics this year are almost polar opposite to that from last. We're taking risks. We're switching formations. We're even playing with four bloody strikers. Did the board order Mick to change his style? Maybe. I know that if I were running a football club with falling attendances, I'd examine the reasons why and look to change them.

Prior to this season I hadn't considered Mick to be an adaptable or flexible coach. He seemed pretty stuck in his ways - and those ways were clearly not working. So yes, I wanted him out, like most Town fans did. But the new emphasis on entertainment, whatever the reason for it, has changed my view.

It's early days for sure, but right now I'm just happy that the goals are back. And I'm happy to finally have a reason to buy a ticket on the Portman Road turnstiles again.
See you soon, Tractor Boys.

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Ardentitfc1978 added 09:43 - Sep 28
Thumbs up mate!!! I do not want MM out, BUT I want him to change and be more attacking
minded. Must also admit my patience is almost up if MM did not sign the 2 firepower at the beginning of the season. So all credit to MM and the lads, indeed a very exciting season ahead. UP THE TOWN !!!

ipswich134 added 09:46 - Sep 28
Agreed. The first few matches won’t great either. I did noticed at Leeds in the 2nd half we seems to be finding form. This shown in our win against Sunderland.

JollyJourno added 09:57 - Sep 28
I'd like to apologise in advance for when the Bristol City game is a 0-0 draw. It's all my fault.

PortmanTerrorist added 09:58 - Sep 28
We all know how bad it has been and that there was a time last season when (regardless of loyalties) Mick could have and maybe should have left.

Some might argue the turnaround would have come quicker, others not at all. Either way, by luck or design, Mick is turning it around it seems.

However, it has always saddened me how fickle some of our supporters are. As i have taught my lad who has barely seen anything akin to 'proper' football at FPR in his whole 12 years (until this Tuesday) supporters only really earn that title when things are difficult. Always SUPPORT, never boo your own, and find appropriate ways to make a difference if you think a change is needed.

Anyone can show up to watch the Town when they winning or heaven forbid playing attractive football. If things keep progressing then at some point be prepared for a quite justified chant from the SBR Stand of "Where were you when we were ####" !

Myself and my boy will be singing

uefa1981 added 10:00 - Sep 28
We echo this sentiment too. I was proud of my now 18 year old son this season though. He swam against the increasing tide of woe and booked himself a season ticket without knowledge of the newly formed striking partnership. Seven of us going Saturday obviously we hope for a win, but mostly a competitive and fast flowing game. I watched the second half of the Leeds game and we were unlucky not to come away with at least a draw.

christiand added 10:01 - Sep 28
That pretty much sums up how I have felt about ITFC over the last two seasons, although my opinion is beginning to thaw, like yours Jolly Journo. However, I don't really feel or believe that all the problems are down solely to MM, his tactics and style of play, although these didn't help. Mr Evans needs to hold his hands up and say that he hasn't done what he should've either in backing his manager. MM has been very protective of ME and it was only when little cracks started to appear last season that the truth was outed. I must admit, even though ME 'loosened' the purse strings during the summer it really wasn't of any significant extent, it is always the bare minimum and that has been the problem certainly over recent seasons - MM is his shrewdness has bought well to boost the ability of the squad. In addition, the club in itself seemed to make continual 'fuax pas' off the pitch in how they treated the fans, with the ticket pricing fiasco at the end of last season the last straw for many. It just seemed that a huge dark cloud was hanging menacingly over Portman Road with the the black hole of the League One abyss swirling furiously as another illustrious victim seemed ready to be engulfed.

Nevertheless, over the summer, the club tried to respond and how refreshing that the start of this season has adopted a far more positive approach, the football on Tuesday night and against Leeds United last Saturday was very encouraging. However, there have been times this season when I thought we were resorting back to type with our play - Bolton at home springs to mind! The progress of some of our academy players is exciting, they have proved they can step up to the demands of first action and the club are trying more with their ticket incentives to build bridges and listen more to supporter's views and concerns, which surely must be the way forward? There is far more optimism since May and the impact it is having around the club is gradually building momentum. I'm still sceptical and need more convincing, although my view is softening, it is still very much early days but the green shoots of recovery are trying to burst through. My question is can a leopard fully change his spots? At the moment, the club has shown, it appears they can but can they sustain it?

Palestine added 14:38 - Sep 29
Well said and I'm inclined to agree with you. It is one thing (very deliberately) not being entertained, but being ripped off for the privilege? That is too much more me. I can accept watching poor football to a degree because it is still my club, my love, there is still a buzz just being there, but paying extortionate prices for the privilege? Can't do it.

Last season....yuk. Let's hope those days are behind us.

And let's be honest, most od the Mick out crowd wouldn't mind him staying if he tried to play more football and not sit back and try and nick a goal at home against the weakest teams.

RoyalAscotBlue added 16:14 - Oct 6
lol... one game!

One result, against a team in free fall, and suddenly everything is Rodney again.


What happened in the next game?

RoyalAscotBlue added 16:16 - Oct 6
Rodney! WTF? And where did the capital letter come from?

The word was rosey.


jas0999 added 08:38 - Oct 7
I continue to attend, but Sunderland aside, I can’t think of there being loads of entertainment on show. Birmingham second half was good. Brentford and Fulham very poor. Bolton dreadful. Bristol was okay in small patches, but we were second best.

Personally can’t see folk flocking back just yet. One good game not likely to convince fans to part with their hard earned. Far too early to suggest MM has changed.
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