Fuller Flavour: ‘I have never seen a worse red card’

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watching the warm-up at Hillsborough Picture Pagepix

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watching the warm-up at Hillsborough Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

My first column of the season three weeks ago talked of a road ahead of hope rather than a cul-de-sac of apathy leading us back to where we always seemingly start. Do I still stand by that statement? You bet I do!

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watching the warm-up at Hillsborough Picture Pagepix

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watching the warm-up at Hillsborough Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Of course, the position we are in cannot be any worse right now but what else can we do other than have some optimism? There’s no point giving up on Paul Hurst, our chances for the season ahead or our new-boys still settling in. After all, we are only still in August.

All new projects are not without teething problems and concerns. We’ve seen glimpses in some of the games that there’s something to work with and we just need to be patient.

I recall at the start of last season, a number of fans getting carried away when we won our first five games of the season, yet we soon took a turn for the worse and by January time, we could not wait for the season to end and for a change to happen. Let’s see where we are in January 2019.

Looking back at Saturday’s game, I have to say that in 40 years as a Town fan, I have never seen a worse red card that was awarded to Toto Nsiala. He won the ball, Fernando Forestieri was a yard away at the time that Toto connected with the ball and Town should certainly appeal. Then if they do and if the card is not rescinded, we might as well give up on the game!

Coming back to that run of five games won last year, perhaps it was in the stars to beat the run this year in terms of the number of games without a win by stretching the run to six on Saturday, and then get our first win of the season in our very next game.

Wouldn’t that both be nice and about time given that the opposition is Norwich. Win that and our confidence can be restored and then we can get our season going. Simple!

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Last Monday, I attended my first-ever Under-23 game and to see a win for any Town side is a refreshing change these days and by an 8-0 scoreline too. It was difficult to read too much into the performance overall, given that they were up against a very young Hull City outfit who were totally outrun in every department.

Aside from a good hat-trick by Danny Rowe, I thought that Ben Morris led the line well and Jack Lankester was particularly impressive. Emyr Huws had a tidy first-half but seeing him end the half holding his knee was a little worrying and would suggest he is a long-way off from a return.

Meanwhile, Wednesday of last week marked the 40th anniversary of my first Ipswich game which saw us lose 3-0 at home to Liverpool all the way back in 1978. It was also Arnold Muhren’s debut that night.

I had great delight telling my nephew on Thursday that at that time, we were the current FA Cup holders and were just three years away from winning the UEFA Cup and finishing runners-up in the old First Division two years in a row.

When I reflected on that time compared to the current day, it made me think how much I both love and hate the current game. I will always love Ipswich and attending games and the social side that goes with it.

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But I hate how it has developed, how money has ruined many aspects of it and how the nostalgia of those days will never return again.

Then, the likes of Aston villa, Nottingham Forest and Derby County, as well as ourselves, could challenge for the league and win trophies in Europe yet none of us are currently in the Premier League.

Finally, last Thursday, I met a fan of the Fuller Flavour in Brian Allen who had great delight in finally meeting me (no idea why)!

Brian, after hearing your tales at the end of last week, the pleasure was all mine and I hope that – other than Town’s result – you enjoyed your 84th birthday on Saturday.

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