Mike Bacon: Saturday is again ‘Fun Day’ – as Lambert gets it so right...
MIKE BACON had a good weekend.... And he was not alone among Town fans. Happy days....
Don't you just love it when it all comes together.
It was my perfect Saturday: Town win, Norwich lose, my favourite 'other' teams, Villarreal and AFC Fylde win. Lottery ticket came up (£25).
I even treated myself to Peter Crouch's new book, 'How to be a Footballer', (which is funny), that I found for 50p in a charity shop on Saturday morning!
That night, my chicken curry tasted perfect, as it always does from my friends at the local takeaway - they even threw in a few prawn crackers.
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Even the fun and games down the Bristol on Saturday night bordered on the educational - rather than degenerating into trying to balance JD & Cokes on heads, while shouting, 'Delia...Let's Be Havin' You'.... and singing 'Oom-Pah-Pah, Oom-Pah-Pah'.
All it needed was the Green'Un newspaper to wind down with, while watching Match Of The Day, and it would have been 11/10.
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Yes, a good footballing weekend is something us Ipswich Town fans are starting to get used to again.
Who cares if it's in League One. A win is a win is a win is a win.
Supporting ITFC is fun.
And the boss, Paul Lambert has a great deal to do with it all.
Did you see him and the team doing 'German-esque'-style hand-holding celebrations to our fans at the end of the game at Gillingham? Quality. Love that.
Here's a manager who, before, during and after games, isn't interested in telling us all how good the opposition is, how well they played, but concentrates on his team, concentrates on his fans.
We have young players making a mark, good permanent signings, good loan signings, James Norwood is our new cult hero... I even saw work going on at the ground in Portman Road to spruce the place up a bit.... And we have 'The Beat's' statue to go up soon.... Wonderful.
It's changed the dynamics in my house, I can tell you.
Instead of wandering around on a Sunday morning after another Town defeat, boring the pants off my boys that Arnold Muhren, Frans Thijssen and John Wark ('Who?', they say!), was the best midfield three Town ever had, I now find myself singing the praises of Lambert ('the man for the job, no BS'), Flynn Downes ('going to be a good player'), and Cole Skuse ('need that experience').
Of course they would rather talk about Mo Salah and Dele Alli, but I feel I'm closing the gap.
And let's remember, this time last season the Blues hadn't won a Championship game. What doom there was.
Now, we can't stop winning.
And we can't stop keeping clean sheets.
Even my pal Milky's happy.
Away in Benidorm this week with his wife, sister-in-law and 'Uncle Ricky', he texted to tell me he'd found a bar that served Peroni on draught and did 'Happy Hour' from 6-7pm.
"I don't make it much past 9pm though," he said.
SO, it's Tranmere Rovers on Saturday at Portman Road.
And it takes me back to a time when I was editor of the Green'Un newspaper.
Well, it wasn't a home clash I remember with fondness, but an away one, as Town and Rovers went head to head at Prenton Park in an FA Cup clash in January 1999. Town won 1-0 - (I know, I did say Town won an FA Cup game).
But it was the heading I used on the front of the Green'Un that, to this day, is still vilified by my colleagues who worked with me at the time. And it still hurts.
As the FA Cup at the time was sponsored by 'AXA Insurance', I went with the headline... 'AXA do nicely for Town!'
I thought it was quite good... I was in the minority.
Still, live and learn.
So, back to type it will hopefully be then on Saturday night... 'Rovers Return home pointless'.
UP THE TOWN!