MONDAY VERDICT: A few tweaks and turnaround Town suddenly so much more enjoyable to watch
- Credit: Archant
They say a week is a long time in politics, well a fortnight proved to be a lifetime for Ipswich Town.
It was all doom and gloom following the lacklustre 1-0 home defeat to East Anglian rivals Norwich City.
Where was the strength in depth? Where was the spark? Why wasn’t the money raised from the sale of Aaron Cresswell being reinvested? Was manager Mick McCarthy’s obsession with hard-work and organisation set to deliver another season short on entertainment?
The progress of the previous 18 months wasn’t being forgotten or unappreciated, but the aforementioned questions were all valid following an underwhelming start to the club’s 13th successive campaign in the Championship.
Since then teenage midfielder Teddy Bishop has emerged from seemingly nowhere and boy does he look a prospect. Impressive in the 1-1 draw at Derby County, prior to the international break, his home debut ended with a standing ovation as Millwall were beaten 2-0 at Portman Road on Saturday.
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Owner Marcus Evans has quietened those who had suggested he has lost interest in the club, turning down big money bids for David McGoldrick and Tyrone Mings.
Rejecting more than £10m in transfer fees was certainly bold, but the duo gave credence to the decision at the weekend. Striker McGoldrick scored the crucial opener and showed signs he can replicate his superb form of last season, while Mings backed up manager Mick McCarthy’s claim that the left-back could end up being worth twice the reported £2.5m that Crystal Palace offered for his signature.
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Star centre-back Christophe Berra has been handed a new three-year deal too. Town may not be splashing the cash on transfer fees, but they’ve shown no lack of ambition when it’s come to keeping hold of their best players.
Then there’s the subtle change in tactics. Two attack-minded full-backs in Mings and Jonathan Parr, plus some added variety in midfield, has gone a long way to making the Suffolk side look far easier on the eye.
Not so long ago this particular writer was fearing plenty of forgettable fare and some mid-table mediocrity at best. The fact that less than 15,000 Blues supporters turned up on Saturday suggests many others felt the same.
Now we’re all rather looking forward to the visit of Brighton tomorrow night. Football; it’s a funny old game.