Mike Bacon: Empty shelves, empty stands... Dangerous times as Town fans pushed to the max...
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Another week and more depression for Ipswich Town fans. MIKE BACON gives his thoughts...
One win in nine and no toilet rolls - what a start to 2020 this is turning out to be.
I shouldn't be so concerned - we've got plenty of old Green'Un newspapers at home we could cut up into little segments should we get caught short.
It's a sad state of affairs.
I went into our local supermarket on Sunday and there were empty shelves, rows of them. It looked very spooky.
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Clearly loads of us are at home stuffing pasta and sitting on the bog.
Then, it dawned on me.
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Those rows of empty nothingness is just how much of the Cobbold Lower (indeed much of Portman Road) could look next season if this shambles continues unabated.
Bottom of the Divison Three form table, with the English footballing world not giving us a second glance.
Even our friends up the A140 can't be bothered to take the pee out of us anymore.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they feel sorry for us, many have just run out of quips and put-downs.
Let's be honest, between us all - local journos, national journos, radio commentators, fans, bloggers, vloggers, tweeters, texters - we have written and spoken millions of words on the sad plight of our club... But where is it getting us?
It's just gallows humour now.
Even the Blues' on and off-field link-up with non-league Needham Market, announced this week, raised sarcastic debate from Ipswich fans - most of it complimentary for Needham, but not the Blues.
'Won't be long and we'll be playing them,' was one of the many replies from one Blues' wag!
...There are of course still 24 points left to play for.
How many do you think we'll get?
I'll say 11, only on the basis that I like the number 11
When I go to my local Chinese takeaway, I always have 11 - Duck curry. That's the only reason I think we will get 11. This season is making no sense.
And this is the problem, too many of us are starting not to care less.
Dangerous times for our club.
Not that it includes absolutley everyone and, as per usual, the Town army will be on the march on Saturday - at Bristol Rovers. Fantastic supporters who deserve so much better.
Those old enough will remember it as the scene of a battling 'snow-pitch-covered' draw in the FA Cup in 1978 - on our way to the FA Cup final that year (we beat Rovers in the replay, when players were tough enough to handle replays).
The younger element of Town fans will know Rovers as 'Marcus Stewart's first club'!
Yes, Bristol Rovers is where young Marcus cut his teeth, before joining Huddersfield and then us, as we made our way back into the Premier League in 2000.
What would we do for a Marcus Stewart now?...
...I must stop.
I get told off for reminiscing.
It's not about the past but about the future. But what exactly is ITFC's future?
Ipswich fans are a loyal bunch.
But their loyalty is being tested to the max.
If relegation last season with Mick McCarthy's words, 'be careful what you wish for', ringing in our ears wasn't bad enough, this season's potential non-play-off-making squad... Well, what can you say?
... I used to sup up my pint and head home at 10.30pm on a Saturday night to watch Match of the Day, when the Blues used to play at the top table - the Premier League.
Able to watch, or re-watch, our game that day with the great and the good discussing Town's season, their strengths and weaknesses. As a club, as fans, even in defeat, it felt comforting to be one of the country's top football teams.
These days, I don't bother.
I order another half, a packet of Nobby Nuts and chin-wag about the darts till closing time - catching the last MOTD game featured - usually a 0-0 bore draw. The EFL on Quest just doesn't do it for me.
Still, the speedway starts this weekend.
Not for the Witches, they are still a couple of weeks away.
Let's just hope they can put Ipswich back on the professional sporting map.
Someone has to.