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Time To Simply Enjoy Being Ipswich Town
Written by WarkTheWarkITFC on Tuesday, 14th Aug 2018 16:01

Something incredibly strange happened to me on Saturday evening.

Instead of trudging away from the New York Stadium in a dejected manner, I calmly strolled out with a rather peculiar feeling. A feeling of satisfaction that was completely out of kilter with what should have been a sickening late loss.

The walk back to the car gave me plenty of time to reflect on what I was feeling and more importantly why I was feeling it.

On so many occasions last season similar walks had been tinged with disappointment even when we’d managed a favourable result and the world, for a moment, on Saturday evening felt as if it had been turned upon its head.

Then it struck me. Even though the result had gone against us, completely unjustly, I had been entertained. I had enjoyed watching my side play.

Mick McCarthy was a fantastic appointment for this football club and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he saved us from certain relegation.

The tenure of Roy Keane, followed by that of Paul Jewell, seemed to be a season upon season creeping towards the relegation trapdoor. Some even suggested that it may do the club some good.

Mick had other ideas and slowly but surely rescued us from the doldrums and began to introduce just the faintest glimmer of hope, which eventually grew brighter until the dazzling lights of the Premier League seemed to be realistically in sight.

Whilst the play-off run would ultimately end in the worst of all places, it had been a season to remember, and for those of you that were there with me at The Valley and Vicarage Road, as well as the many of you that listened on the radio or watched on TV, those were the games that you remember forever, the reason that you spend so much precious time and money following the club home and away and across Europe too.

For every Brentford away, when you stick four past a high-flying promotion rival and sit top of the league, there is a Port Vale away when you get torn apart by players you have barely even heard of.

In between though are a lot of run of the mill, forgettable matches, with forgettable moments and forgettable scorers. Think back as far as last season. How many scores can you accurately recall home and away? Quite a few I bet. How many scorers can you put to those matches? Not that many I’d imagine when all is said and done.

But say the name Frank Yallop and you immediately think of those two goals in a week. Two rockets at Spurs and against Manchester United, way back in the early 90s.

Utter the immortal words Adam Tanner and you’ll immediately recall that goal at Anfield, a moment we all recall in what was one of the worst seasons we have ever had to endure.

The name Chris Marsden will still bring shivers to your spine. The name Paul Power may conjure a moderate amount of anger still. The name Clive Thomas most certainly will to anybody of a certain vintage.

The reality of following your team, whoever that team is, is likely an unglamorous and thankless one. Ask Rochdale fans. Ask Coventry City fans. Ask Newcastle United fans. A series of seasons, games and players that will all be forgotten in the annals of time, punctured sporadically by the unexpected moments of joy.

In the midst of a season of utter misery I was at Anfield to see Tanner score in a 1-0 win against Liverpool that made history. Some of the greatest Town teams ever and greatest Town players ever had gone there and come away without a victory. Kevin Beattie, Mick Mills, Arnold Muhren had all failed. In a terrible team consisting of players that younger Ipswich fans would never have heard of, Adam Tanner (a truly unremarkable footballer) will forever be remembered.

In such moments footballing legends are born. Alex Mathie became a legend. Jim Magilton became a legend. Martijn Reuser became a legend. As incredibly hard as it is to believe Tamas Priskin became a legend. A complete waste of money, who looked lost in a Town shirt, was responsible for one of the greatest nights at Portman Road, if not the greatest, in the last decade. Without that one goal, he’d again become once forgotten.

Supporting Ipswich Town is not about the constant trophies, the Champagne football or the promotion challenges. Lately, it has not even been about East Anglian bragging rights. It is about being there at the start of the next great moment, the debut of the next Burley, Beattie or Dyer, the next wonder goal as Bramble marauds from the halfway line, as Finidi chips the keeper to end a flowing move or Jermaine Wright out of nowhere finds the top corner with a volley at Millmoor.

It’s about not having left Barnsley at 3-0 with five minutes to go just in case. It’s about waiting until the final whistle after Richard Wood equalises for Coventry City in the 96th minute just in case.

Last season it was clear McCarthy’s day at Town had been and gone. He’d lifted us from the doldrums into the clouds, but then dropped us back down again just a little. At times last year I walked away from an away draw or even an away win and it meant nothing. A meaningless league position in a season where promotion and relegation were not achieved and we’d scrapped out a win or a draw with little to no entertainment.

This is a new era. It may go nowhere. It may end in promotion. It may end in relegation. We do not know but that is what makes it so exciting. For the first time in a long time matches feel meaningful.

We drew with Blackburn but I was entertained. We lost to Rotherham but I was entertained. You may wonder how long one can be entertained if the relegation zone looms but even if it does then football will become meaningful again.

So please, let’s give the negativity a rest. Some people chanted for Bobby Robson to go. Some wrote Joe Royle off before a ball was kicked. I remember a good friend of mine being livid when George Burley was appointed. In football quite simply you never know and that is what makes it brilliant.

Hull City, Swansea City and AFC Bournemouth were on the brink of dropping out of the Football League altogether. Imagine telling them they’d be signing players for £5m or £10m or £20m and regularly visiting the greatest stadiums in the land. Think of the sheer ridiculousness of the journey Manchester City have been on, that Portsmouth have been on, that Wigan have been on.

Moments. That is what football is all about. At the end of the season we want promotion, we want a trophy, we want bragging rights. But more often than not we have none of that and the season becomes about how many Noel Hunt last gasp winners, how many Richard Chaplow last gasp winners, how many Danny Haynes handballs made you completely lose your mind and forget about the mundane Monday to Friday jobs, the money worries, the family problems and everything else that life can throw at you.

We support this club through mostly indifference, with a good smattering of miserable thrown in. Right now there is reason to be hopeful, reason to smile and reason to dream. Don’t let that fleeting positivity pass you by. Embrace it. Get down to Portman Road. Make some noise. Make a difference and maybe, just maybe. Make it for the start of the next great moment.

Us football fans don't get much back. So don't fear the unknown. Embrace it. Most of all though enjoy it!





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Reuser_is_God added 16:21 - Aug 14
A great blog.

Also a huge shame it'll be read by people who will go to the game on Saturday & just tut but hey ho.
3

stormypetrel added 17:14 - Aug 14
Excellent read...though I do confess to being of the tutting brigade come the end of the game. I didn’t go. But Hursts behaviours and decisions have me concerned. The news prior to the game regardingthe young players supposedly up for loan sending me spinning. However, I read this and reflect that you are absolutely right. Enjoy the moment it is exciting.
3

albitfc added 17:17 - Aug 14
Great blog I hope people read it and appreciate the need for patience and keep pulling together as we hope for a bright new dawn even if it takes a bit of time
7

yorkshire added 17:25 - Aug 14
Really great read and agree totally - instant gratification is something Ipswich have never been about

People wanted a change from Mick and that is exactly what they got, so lets give our new manager and HIS team a chance to progress without hitting the panic button 5 mins into his tenure
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Superfrans added 17:34 - Aug 14
Loved this. Great read, thanks. I agree with you, I think. I've always loved the trip to Portman Road and to away matches. Unlike many, I liked Mick as a man (I met him once, spoke to him once more on the phone) and he was always a gent and willing to spend some time. His football, like his transfer dealings, were over cautious, that's all. And I have more positive memories than negative ones of Mick's time - Brentford away on Boxing Day, Rotherham away, Charlton away, Barnsley at home last season, Leeds at home twice, Middlesbrough at home etc etc. But now we have Paul Hurst and he seems trying to shape a new team, also hardworking, but with a bit more ambition, energy and attacking intent. Of course it's nerve-wracking at the moment, but I can see what the plan is. It may be a bit of a roller coaster ride, but at least it is a new ride...
7

Cakeman added 17:50 - Aug 14
Very well written and a great read. I too recall the excitement of the visits to The Valley and Vicarage Road you mention. Tremendous away days with my voice lost for several hours (which many were pleased about I might add).
Let’s hope we can have some more exciting days like those in the future.
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Tractorblue1939 added 19:15 - Aug 14
Thanks for this, smashing read! Spot on, football is about the journey and the thrill of the unpredictable. We'll have a few moments of magic this season, and regardless if the rush comes from the scrap against relegation, the chase for 6th, or maybe even a semi decent cup run, I'm sure there'll be a couple of last minute goals to send adrenaline through us! Enjoy the season, all Town fans! :)
2

inghamspur added 22:13 - Aug 14
Yeah right....and see them lose to a team 2 leagues below with more or less a first choice XI. What a load of twaddle. Hope you enjoy watching them playing the likes of Exeter on a more regular basis.
-2

TR11BLU added 06:30 - Aug 15
Great blog, perfectly put and summed up brilliantly in the final paragraph.

Absolutely lost on @inghamspur!
3

Len_Brennan added 14:02 - Aug 15
One of the best blogs I have seen on here & I look forward to, hopefully, more such contributions from the author over the course of the season.
I may not radiate the same level of positivity as WTW does, but I appreciate it when I see it and acknowledge the importance of having it on discussion messageboards, where for some reason many people who are supposedly on the same side get all tribal over different opinions.

And speaking of different opinions; I'm probably one of the only (maybe only) posters on here who has sympathy for poor old Tamas Priskin. Of course he turned out to be "a complete waste of money"; but he didn't have to be. Firstly, we paid over the odds for him, mainly because we had a clown of a manager who was noticably splashing it around & making it easy for selling clubs to inflate fees. Then it transpired this same clown of a manager had no idea what type of forward he had spent a fool's ransom on & spent the remainder of his time here still unable to figure out what kind of service his key striker required in order to best avail of his quality. It is little surprise that you note how "Tamas Priskin became a legend ... and ... was responsible for one of the greatest nights at Portman Road, if not the greatest, in the last decade" immediately after that clown of a manager had been removed from his position and Priskin was played in a role which finally allowed him to express himself, in a cup semi final against a top Premer League club!
1

stormypetrel added 15:23 - Aug 15
After last nights result the read resonates even more so ...I saw much of the good in McCarthy and willed him to be less of an ass at times...I recognised the need for change..one simply cannot have everything...we made our choice we follow a path...I hope Hurst can find his way and bring the players along..I am lookIng forward to seeing the team soon home and away to get a first hand sense of where the team is...
0

PortmanTerrorist added 15:54 - Aug 15
Felt the same way leaving the NY Stadium on Saturday. Of course we should be concerned, our manager is concerned, i just hope the players are equally concerned. Regardless, the hope is back, and whilst we might well struggle this year, i have a suspicion we will give someone a thumping at some point.....never a possibility under Mick ! Give the new guys and the kids a chance to gel, find their feet, and as Blog says....enjoy the ride....however bumpy it may get at times.
1

edwardeberneezer added 20:00 - Aug 15
It was easier to digest the Rotherham result,previous week we sneaked last minute draw,which felt like a new beginning.The football being played is a joy to watch and I think Paul Hurst is not going to suffer fools gladly.
I am looking forward to every game with nervous anticipation,we have not had this since Magilton's short tenure,is that a decade ago?
Brilliant blog.
COYB
0

alfromcol added 09:50 - Aug 16
inghamspur

Very easy to be critical, but let's see a bit of text from you that is equally eloquent and well written.
As someone has already said, Absolutely lost on @inghamspur!
0

hulltractor added 15:53 - Aug 21
Well written blog. Tonight's game at Derby could give us our first win, then on to Sheffield Wednesday who are struggling and then the Budgies who also have not had a great start and have been messing about with Pink paint instead. We could well end up on a three match winning run....or not as the case maybe and that as you say is the beauty of football. You pay your money to be entertained at the end of the day, MM style football ended up stopping me bothering to travel down from Hull for home games as it just was not worth the entrance fee and expense to get there and back. PH on the other hand has got me back in the car again. Thats the difference. Long may it continue. Keep the fans entertained and the results will inevitably come. We might not hit the dizzy heights of the Prem anytime soon but we will at least get some enjoyment and entertainment out of our £30 ticket. Long may it continue.
0

geminimustang added 07:18 - Sep 8
The article is an almost fair summary of MM but overlooks detail.MM never had a budget.He created his own.Spotting a bargain,selling for a huge profit which gave him money to buy journeymen,loans and has-beens.The total sum of the parts was far better than the parts themselves.Then the writer tries to put a positive spin on relegation when there's nothing positive about it.Then we read about the entertaining football being played.Sideways,forwards and missing a barn door isn't entertaining.People are so determined to show MM leaving was the right decision,they try and put a gloss on what appears dull and worrying.The team PH has created is first division and he is hoping a few loans and has-beens will save the season.Not a chance.He has a transfer window to come but the money has been spent.The are supporters who believe ITFC belong in the Premiership,sorry,dose of reality needed.
0

Skip73 added 14:21 - Sep 27
Do you stll feel satisfied?
0
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