I am dreading next season at Ipswich Town, and have no optimism
As the curtain comes down on the worst season in my 38 years of supporting Ipswich Town, I can only say how truly thankful I am that it’s over.
I’ve been writing this column for five years and feel like I’ve come full circle.
In my very first column, I wrote ‘the patience of the fans, whose football club is becoming so unrecognisable, has run out and they can no longer feel a part of it’.
I added that supporters want instant results – or at least decent performances backed by a sustainable plan and definite signs of progress. None of that seems to be evident at Ipswich.’
There was much more written about the state of the club and I could have picked up that column and used it on a number of occasions this season and it would have all rung true.
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We might have had a brush with the Championship play-offs in between times but, in essence, we are no further forward than where we were five years ago.
If anything, we are slightly further behind.
- 1 Matchday Live: Town beaten 3-0 after Harrop's red card
- 2 Cyclist dies after collision with car in Bury St Edmunds
- 3 Ipswich Town closing in on appointment of new chief executive
- 4 Cafe owner 'very emotional' after mystery customer leaves £500 for staff
- 5 'Buzz' about town as pub prepares to reopen under new family management
- 6 Woman arrested on suspicion of drink-driving following A14 crash
- 7 Serious crash closes road in Bury St Edmunds near A14
- 8 'I am delighted to be joining. There is a lot of hard work that lies ahead' - Town's new CEO Ashton confirmed
- 9 'Our supporters are tired and bored of us' - Cook on 3-0 loss at AFC Wimbledon
- 10 Antiques Roadtrip star opens new Suffolk antiques shop
The constant in the last five years has been the mindset of the hierarchy at the club.
The past five years has shown that we’ll get nowhere on a shoestring budget.
Along with the deterioration in entertainment value, the supporters have had enough and are voting with their feet and are staying away from Portman Road.
On the pitch, I can think of at least eight positions that need improving.
I fear for our future and think the job is too big now for the ‘M-Trio’ of Marcus, Milne and Mick to turn things around.
Off the field the club should prioritise improving their PR to restore relationships with supporters.
They’ve got a massive job to get Ipswich fans back on side and for many I feel it is a bridge too far now.
So what are my positives of the season?
There are not many!
The goals of Tom Lawrence, the single performance against Newcastle and the heroics at times of my Player of the Year Bartosz Bialkowski is all I can muster really.
My concerns go back to pre-season when we struggled to score goals and won few matches.
At the time, those that I tried to voice my concerns to hit back saying it was only pre-season and it didn’t matter.
I feel vindicated in recognising the problems to come were so obvious to me back then.
Looking back I said I wanted round pegs in round holes at Portman Road.
I would argue that this was achieved – in the end – only because we saw a lot less square pegs this season.
Captain, Luke Chambers found his way back to his preferred centre-back position, while Freddie Sears was used more as a central striker towards the end of the season which surprise, surprise, saw him start scoring goals.
My final wish was to see us finally beat Norwich.
I’ve not seen us beat them for one reason or another since Alex Mathie scored a hat-trick and we beat them 5-0.
Another failed wish but I suppose we must be the happier of the two sets of supporters as we remained undefeated.
We now head into a summer of much uncertainty.
Will Mick go?
Will Marcus Evans provide next season’s manager, whoever that may be, with a much-needed cash injection to sign players with more quality than we already have?
Based purely on the last couple of summers, I see no reason to be optimistic in expecting anything come August.
I’m really dreading next season and I do wonder where our beloved football club will be in twelve months’ time.
Thank you to those that have read the column again and for all those that have got in touch again with so many nice comments.
Enjoy the summer and here’s to the shared desire for better times ahead – the long-suffering fans certainly deserve them.