Dave Gooderham: Goal of the season contenders, big wins, still unbeaten - what a time to be a Town fan!
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
My first draft of this column started with me questioning the reasons behind Ipswich’s rise to the top and impressive return to winning ways after years in the doldrums, writes Dave Gooderham.
Was it because of their quality and enviable squad depth or because of the poor standard of League 1 opponents?
In truth, it is probably a bit of both but to place too much emphasis on the latter would actually be unfair to Paul Lambert and his side.
While fans are still waiting for Ipswich to fully hit top gear from the first whistle to the last, the fact that Lambert's men remain unbeaten should be hailed.
At times, the football has been easy-on-the-eye, the goals have flown in at one end and been stopped by Messrs Holy and Chambers et al at the other.
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A big, comfortable win was one glaring omission thus far and that was put to bed in Saturday's 4-1 over Tranmere, well in the second half at least.
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And if that wasn't enough, September has already seen three contenders for goal of the season - in both the club competition and for the entire league.
Two have been scored by a right back - and what a snip Kane Vincent-Young is proving to be. Both very different goals, the full back getting on the end of a 25-pass move at Gillingham and then doing it all by himself at the weekend.
But even those two very different, but equally stunning strikes, were usurped, for me, by Luke Garbutt's thunderbolt free kick against Tranmere. It was a goal worthy of an Alan Partridge moment of commentary, if this wasn't a family newspaper.
Which goal was better? It's subjective and open to what type of goal you prefer. But who really cares? The fact that we are simply having this debate should be celebrated long into Saturday night, Monday morning, throughout the week and indeed the whole season.
When was the last time we had a serious debate over the goal of the season, let alone three genuine contenders before September ends?
It is becoming equally difficult to pick a player of the month, let alone the season. What a time to be a Town fan!
Of course, there has to be some sense of perspective. We are all aware that this is the third tier of English football, we have more games in the EFL Trophy this month and the first round of the FA Cup is on the horizon. It's hardly hosting Bayern Munich in the Champions League - thankfully.
But rather than bemoan these set of circumstances and fixtures, Town fans have seized this opportunity to rejoice in their different surroundings.
In truth, this weekly column is getting a bit like Groundhog Day.
Ipswich win again, without really hitting top gear and certainly not performing over 90 minutes.
Trying to dissect the first 10 matches of the League One season is difficult. Should we worry that Ipswich are only truly performing in patches? Probably not. Save for one or two exceptions, the standard hasn't been that high and there is clearly a gulf between League One and the Championship.
But as mentioned, and to quote Lambert and almost every football manager, let's focus on ourselves and what we can control.
Given that fact, social media debates has turned to whether Ipswich Town should be postponing matches simply because a few players, mostly fringe and/or youngsters, are away on international duty.
I don't like sitting on the fence, but I wasn't too worried either way. If we have a chance to call a game off, I would probably go for it. But not because we will miss a Judge, Georgiou or Dobra, but because it gives the rest of the squad a chance to have a break on a Saturday afternoon.
Yes, I know that means a gruelling period of fixtures will await them. But in terms of games, League One is gruelling from the moment the first ball is kicked so any break should be welcomed, especially for our older statesman Cole Skuse and Luke Chambers whose influence on the pitch and in the dressing room should never be underestimated.