‘At times, I think I’d rather watch McCarthy’s football... And as for those cardboard cut-outs!
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Welcome back to ‘Your Posts’. A chance for you to get anything ITFC off your chest and have it featured here on the EADT/Ipswich Star website. THOMAS SEGGONS brings you his thoughts on life at Portman Road at the moment. Want to join in? Just e-mail email@example.com and include a photo of yourself.
I’m not enjoying this season like I normally would – or should.
This awful Covid-19 has a lot to answer for, and unfortunately the regular matchday routine is suffering because of it. Cardboard cut-outs in the crowd (a waste of money if you ask me), flags, banners, instead of the true fans who must sit at home to watch the game. I hate it, I honestly cannot wait until the time until we get to go to grounds again.
Of course, I understand the need for safety. But on another theme it is also proving a godsend for those who cannot visit Portman Road regularly. A tenner a game is much cheaper than buying a ticket and travelling to Ipswich – the chance to see the team you support more frequently is a great opportunity to see some more game time.
However, I live in Ipswich with a season ticket and often attended away games. It is just not the same.
Usually, in more normal times, matchdays would be something to look forward to (well, sometimes the pre and post-match plans were much more enjoyable than the actual game, but you get the point..!).
A pint before the game, or a meet-up coffee with a relative, fish and chips or a pub afterwards; whatever it was, it helped make the weekend and those plans were associated with that match.
For example, for the Gillingham game last year, we stayed in Canterbury the night before because it was where I studied history at university. Then, after we had left the city, we travelled to Priestfield Stadium and enjoyed the ‘temporary’ stand (that is permanent now, would you not say?).
With watching at home there is no real story to fit with the game. To some degree, each game is merging into one for me because there is no real story to place with the game.
When I say they are all merging, I just mean that it is harder to pinpoint certain moments from certain games.
Of course, I can remember Chambers’ strike at Blackpool, Dozzell’s red card and the shocking penalty decision at Sunderland as well as the offside that was not offside in the FA Cup, as well as other key moments.
It is difficult to express completely what I mean.
I find it hard to understand how fans of bigger clubs can watch their club on Sky each week. It is nowhere near as enjoyable.
Similarly, watching it on TV is different to being there.
I refused to watch the EFL Trophy games because I could be in the ground for the same price last season! Replays block live action, the camera work has, at times, been dreadful, and the camera angles make it impossible to see every players movement, where they are on the pitch, etc.
The game cannot be followed as much as it normally would when you are there in person, the whole perspective of each game changes, and therefore opinion may be slightly different.
Anyhow, I am going to finish off by giving some thoughts on our season so far.
It is great to have seen the team start the season so well. In second place- we could not have asked for much better! Arguably, I do wonder whether Nolan, Dozzell, and Toto would have had such a good start to the season with fans in attendance. Without the pressure of the fans present, they had no one to start getting on their backs if they made a mistake or two, and instead let their confidence flourish – especially Toto, he definitely gives the feel that he is a confidence player.
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However, I am still slightly concerned. We have been here before.
Yes, agreed, we have been playing better. Yes, we have a system and rotation seems to be a thing of the past (ignoring the FA Cup and EFL Trophy). But my days, we can be so slow going forward!
It is good to keep possession, but you need to look good going forward. At times, we do.
Yet, for the most part it is possession for the sake of keeping possession. I lost count how many times we passed it around at the back against Pompey in the first half, without looking threatening.
At times, I think I would rather watch McCarthy’s football at Town, in the more enjoyable days (2012-2015) than I would some of the play we watch now.
It was not until McGuniness’ direct ball forward and Nolan’s run that got us back into the game. Nevertheless, we looked clinical against Blackpool. Chambers’ goal was a great team effort and one hell of a strike! Edwards looked deadly on the left – he needs to be playing there frequently.
Also, who have we beaten?
Not Doncaster, not Lincoln, and not Sunderland. We seem to have enough quality to finish off teams who will finish in the second half of the table, but not the top half. It echoes last season, unfortunately.
Agreed, we lost to Sunderland because of bad officiating.
However, we were moaning about the officials last November when we drew with the now Championship side in Wycombe Wanderers. It is all awfully familiar. Still, the red card and penalty decision at the Stadium of Light overshadowed the fact that we still could not beat an elite League One team since relegation.
We were terrible at the Stadium of Light up until Lankester’s goal, and even without the decisions, Lankester should have been putting his second half chance away. If he had, the game is changed, and the bad officiating may never have been a talking point.
So, overall, we have seen plenty of positives and improvements on last season, but there is still reason to be concerned.
Then again, I am missing the whole matchday experience no matter how we play.
I, for one, cannot wait until fans are allowed back in again. I believe I will enjoy it so much more.
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