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Fuller Flavour: Let’s focus on positives - a good win, and a beautiful home shirt

07 September, 2020 - 19:00
Paul Lambert's Ipswich Town kicked off their season with a Carabao Cup win on Saturday Picture: STEVE WALLER

Paul Lambert's Ipswich Town kicked off their season with a Carabao Cup win on Saturday Picture: STEVE WALLER

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Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller returns for a ninth season of his weekly column - and he was happy with the Blues’ first competitive clash since March.

Welcome to the ninth season of the Fuller Flavour – a season that has started in circumstances we’ve never seen before, behind closed doors.

The early finish to the 2019/20 season has left me stuck on 799 Ipswich games and who knows when I will be able to celebrate the 800th. Mind you, I only have myself to blame for failing to reach that milestone having missed some games prior to the lockdown. The way the finale of last season was heading was thoroughly depressing and we will never know what our final position would have been had the season finished in natural terms.

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I still remain bitter as to how clubs were able to vote to end not only their own season but that of others too and then carry on to play in play-off matches. I remain bitter too at the salary cap that is forcing us to trade in the same circumstances as the likes of Rochdale and Accrington Stanley.

Luke Chambers jumps for joy after scoring in front of an empty South Stand on Saturday. Photo: Steve WallerLuke Chambers jumps for joy after scoring in front of an empty South Stand on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller

No disrespect to those clubs by the way. However, if the same rules applied across the board, can you imagine the uproar from clubs like Manchester City or Chelsea if they were forced to operate the same as say Brighton or Crystal Palace?

And then there is the angst among season ticket holders whose price per game cost of their ticket means it is more expensive to watch games on the iFollow channel than it is for non-season ticket holders, who pay £10.

All that said, I really want to draw a line under these moans and start the season feeling positive. If you cannot be positive at the very start, when can you be? One thing that has made me very happy is the new home shirt. Call me old-fashioned but I love the yellow badge and if you’ve yet to see it live, then trust me, it is a thing of beauty.

I must thank my dear friend Kris, who is going through so much pain at present, who bought me a shirt to cheer me up after I was made redundant because of the effect of Covd-19 on the business I worked for. It was a treat to receive that for sure.

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Saturday’s win and performance over Bristol Rovers brightened me up too. I know pre-season is not a time to worry about results etc., but I have felt over these past few weeks that something is not right at the club.

I see so much said on social media platforms which 95% of the time can be taken with a pinch of salt. But there is no smoke without fire.

The situation with James Norwood and Kayden Jackson worries me somewhat too. Are they simply both injured and nothing more to it? I worry because it smacks of the same situation we saw two years ago with Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner missing games through supposed injuries only for both to leave the club on the eve of a new season.

Gwion Edwards in action during the Bristol Rovers game.
 Picture: Steve Waller     
www.stephenwaller.comGwion Edwards in action during the Bristol Rovers game. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Can we really afford to lose both Norwood and Jackson on the eve of the new league season with rumours of others being interested in both?

Much of Paul Lambert’s time at Ipswich has been about getting the fans back on board and back into the club. Average gates of 20k last season would suggest that he succeeded in doing so. But the lack of communication in recent weeks has done little to restore confidence in many fans that was sadly lost in February and March.

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I really hope that he is right when he talks of less rotation and about retaining the shirt once it has been won. We will not learn anything in this first week though as to what our side might look like moving forward. The joys of games in the League Cup, EFL Trophy and then the League will necessitate changes.

Freddie Sears is congratulated by Stephen Ward after scoring to give Town a 1-0 lead on Saturday. 
 Picture: Steve WallerFreddie Sears is congratulated by Stephen Ward after scoring to give Town a 1-0 lead on Saturday. Picture: Steve Waller

The last time we opened a campaign against Bristol Rovers saw a season to behold when on the first day of the 1991/92 season, we drew 3-3 with The Gas before going on to win the league.

Saturday’s performance was pleasant to watch. How poor were Rovers? We won’t know until a few games in. but it is all boxes ticked for me for game one.


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