'I watch games motionless, even the wins are not enjoyable - if we lose it is just becoming laughable'

Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town

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IN our latest 'Your Posts', HENRY CHARD disputes Town have a toxic fanbase. He knows where he feels the blame lies at Portman Road.

‘That was the worst I’ve seen in a long time.’

This has become my most used phrase when friends and family ask, ‘how was the game?’

It has become a bit of a joke in a WhatsApp group I’m in with fellow Ipswich fans, ‘Let me guess, was it the worst you’ve seen in a long time?’

Of course, there are occasions where it is exaggerated, when emotions run high just after full time, but I’ve lost count of the amount of times where I genuinely think that is as bad as it gets.

When we got relegated, I’m sure many thought ‘well, it can’t get any worse’ but that’s my point, Ipswich Town seem to have an incredible knack of sinking to new lows at the moment. 

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We have no given right to win League One but I don’t think anyone can blame us for expecting our team to be challenging for automatic promotion in the third tier of English football especially with the playing squad and budget we have in this league which severely lacks quality in my opinion.

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Ipswich in League One is something I never imagined happening and I’m only 30 years old, I dread to think what those who followed us in the 70s and 80s make of the current situation and the younger supporters, well done if you’ve survived this long!

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Town boss Paul Lambert - Credit: Archant

We all know the stats, we’ve all watched the games, so I won’t bore you with them again but it is clear to me we need a change of management. I say that as someone who does not like chopping and changing managers but after two and a half years, I have seen absolutely no signs of progress under Paul Lambert, simple as that!

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There is a myth outside of the football club that we have a toxic fanbase and demand success. Hang on, this is a fanbase that applauded the team off the pitch following relegation to the third tier and turned up in their numbers week in, week out, in League One the season after.

Mark McGuinness on his knees after heading into his own net.

Peterborough take home the spoils recently from Portman Road - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

I’m sure there are some that demand success and at the moment in a very poor League One I think that's fair enough, don't you? However, the majority of Ipswich fans I know have just always wanted to be entertained, see some ambition on and off the pitch, a plan for the future.

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

A few boos from the North Stand towards Mick McCarthy seemed to have turned the nation into believing this is a really horrible place to be.

Let’s get this right, Mick was the best manager we’ve had for many years, fans did not turn against him because of our league position, the relationship had turned sour and the football was not a pleasant watch.

It feels like now really is rock bottom, certainly in my own lifetime and the fire for Ipswich Town is burning out in all of us. Even in lockdown when there is nothing else to do, does anyone get excited to watch us?

I watch out of loyalty and a feeling that it is my duty as it has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

I remember the days where I would celebrate and be up and down off my seat all game, I would be angry and in a grump after defeats.

Right now I watch games motionless, even the wins are not enjoyable, if we lose it is just becoming laughable and that is the most damning thing I can say about things because I have never felt like that watching my club ever. 

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Before I go, I see lots of criticism for Luke Chambers, someone who seems an easy target.

This is the Luke Chambers who has served our club magnificently and is available every week, he is not out with any ‘knocks’ like so many others and would run through brick walls for the club, the Luke Chambers that was arguably one of our best players in the early part of this season, back at right back I will add, not his favoured position.

Luke Chambers pictured during the Blues 2-1 win over Burton Albion at Portman Road Picture: Ross Hal

Luke Chambers, don't blame the skipper, says Henry Chard - Credit: Archant

However, apparently, he is ‘part of the problem’ for some. Personally, I am thankful we have a captain who cares so much about the club and you can visibly see shares our frustrations and I wish we had more like that. 

As far as I'm concerned, Marcus Evans is the reason we find ourselves in League One, but he can’t be to blame for us doing so poorly in the third division.

Ipswich Town fans have had to send cardboard cut-outs of themselves to attend games at Portman Road

At the moment cardboard cut-outs, but how many Town fans are being turned off by the team's results? - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Lambert has all the tools available to him to have a successful side at this level but so far has failed pretty miserably. So, Marcus, make a change before it is too late, the future of this club depends on it, unless the future you see is one of less than 10,000 fans at Portman Road, only there out of loyalty.

HENRY CHARD

We welcome your posts: e: mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

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