Mike Bacon: My 5 New Year wishes for Ipswich Town and their loyal fans
- Credit: PA
As we look ahead to 2021, MIKE BACON comprises his Ipswich Town New Year wish-list for the next 12 months - hoping not just one, but all five of his hopes come true.
1. Promotion to the Championship.
I don't think I can ever remember feeling as underwhelmed as I currently am with Ipswich Town's fixture list.
OK, so I was lucky to be brought up as a kid watching Barcelona, FC Cologne, Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, et al, at Portman Road. But I've never been a fixture snob.
Blackburn coming to Portman Road, Forest, Derby, even them lot up the A140 - I can handle that. But I'm struggling big time to find even the remotest bit of excitement knowing some teams in League One are coming to town next week or the week after!
Please let's get out of this division in 2021. I could actually stop the rest of my New Year wish-list right here to be honest! But if I do, this feature is rather short!
2. An FA Cup run - of any sort!
- 1 Pictures show flooding along Suffolk coast
- 2 Red flooding alert issued for Suffolk coastal town
- 3 Ipswich Town transfer rumour: Villa set to recall Barry in January
- 4 Large cannabis farm discovered in property near Suffolk-Essex border
- 5 'Striking' Suffolk eco home featured on Grand Designs up for sale
- 6 Suffolk coast flood alert issued including Felixstowe and Ipswich
- 7 Family pays tribute to 'gentle giant' who died in motorbike crash
- 8 Police officers praised for saving baby's life with CPR
- 9 'It's powerful' - Harper on Town's use of sports psychology
- 10 Bill Turnbull announces leave from Classic FM show for health reasons
Now, this is actually a bit of a bizarre request. Because if Town get promoted back to the Championship come May, then we won't be in the FA Cup until 2022 (I think that's right!).
So, I do want an FA Cup run, but I don' t want an FA Cup run. You understand?
If by some awful fate we are still in this grotty league come August, then at least let's get past two rounds of the FA Cup.
I love my non-league football, but I'm getting increasingly depressed watching more and more non-league sides get further in the FA Cup, than Ipswich Town. STOP IT. We've had enough lacklustre cup exits.
3. The return of KVY.
It's a predictable request, not just from me, but all Town fans.
Kane Vincent-Young was a breath of fresh air when he joined Town in 2019. But his injury has seen him sadly missed. He has a long contract with the club, so he has plenty of time to entertain us. But up to now he's only played nine times.
We badly need him back ASAP. His attacking style and determination to take on all-comers as he marauds forward, is something Town have been lacking.
4. A change of style
Now look, before anyone from the Town coaching staff reads this (which I doubt they will!), I'm not pretending to hold an UEFA A coaching badge.
Yes, I did do my level one badge 10 years ago, but that won't count now.
However, like many Town fans, while I may not appreciate 'false No.9s' or 'inverted wingers'. And I may not understand the relevance of 'zonal marking' or the 'high press', trust me, from someone who has watched the Blues since 1974, I do know good football when I see it.
So, in 2021, I'd love to see Town with two up front. I'd love to see more high-intensity to our game. I'd like to see quick passing and players running at defenders. To get out of this awful division, we don''t need to be pretty, or cute, just fractious, feisty and determined. And stop mucking about at the back. That can wait when we're back in the Premier League!
5. More appreciation of Ipswich Town fans
You don't have to be a genius to realise many Town fans are not happy..
From poor results to 'be careful what you wish for' comments from a former manager and then the owner, for goodness sake (oh, yes, sadly that will never be forgotten), the hierarchy at Portman Road need to heap a whole lot more TLC, respect and realism on Town fans.
Remember, Ipswich fans haven't just popped up out of the ground over the last 10 years . Oh no, they've been around a long time and witnessed football of a very high standard for 60 years and even up to as recent as the Joe Royle and Jim Magilton eras - not long ago.
It never needed millions upon millions for the likes of Sir Bobby, George Burley or John Lyall to build teams that entertained and were successful. We've never been a club that has bought big!
At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, but remember, it's the fans who make the club.