Tag Archives: Football

Stand By Your Man

Karma, Shakespearian justice, call it what you will there is a certain uncomfortable feeling of “serves you right” about the way Roy Keane has led ITFC to the bottom of the table. Back in April I posted my feelings about the way the board had apparently pulled out the knife and dug it deep into Jim Magilton’s back so they could say “the king is dead, long live the king” when they installed Keane. Ok I didn’t put quite so poetically back then, I actually posted this on the day Keane was appointed and this the day before when Magilton was sacked. The point was made though that Magilton had been shafted by a board who were paying politics.

Last month I was “thrilled” to see the delightful style of play which Keane were getting the team to play. As it stands at the moment, quite unsuprisingly, Ipswich are without a win from their ten games this season. We have managed three draws, which is actually just a few less than we normally have at this time in the season. For far too many years we have tended to start in the bottom half of the table being draw specialists, but it’s never been this bad…and if I’m honest I don’t think the Championship has ever been quite this competative. It’s always a good league with some excellent football, better than the Premiership I think but this year I think it’s even tighter with only the odd exception. This is the year where we could have done with the traditional Ipswich style still being there, and Magilton had that. He understood the way the club worked and prospered on a shoe string.

So am I amongst those baying for Keane to go? Well, only if they were planning to reinstall Magilton or bring in somebody else who really understood the club and what we are about. Part of what we are about is giving people a chance to get themselves and the team out of the shit. We are about nurturing and developing talent, managerial aswell as on the field, particularly youth talent. Ramsey, Robson, Burley, Magilton…they all knew and benefitted from that, (and interestingly enough three of those four names went on to manage their national teams). This is why I think bringing in a managerial “name” has gone so horribly, horribly wrong. Yet, it is not too late in the season to turn things around. We’ve been not so far away from here before and managed to finish just outside the play-off zone. My plea to Keane would be to talk to those who have been involved with the club and learn the Ipswich way…and be ready to change his managerial style accordingly.

East Anglia as a region needs Ipswich to stay in the Championship and Norwich and Colchester to fight it out in the League One Play Offs. Too often the media describes East Anglia, with it’s naff road links, as the back end of no where or a quaint back water….football was the one thing truly putting us on the map. It would be a crying shame next year if all the local clubs were left languishing in League One.

Also as I’ve said before football is one of those things you don’t really get a choice in. When your heart belongs to a club it belongs to that club forever. So it is I will be standing by Ipswich whatever happens this season……..but I may have alot less hair on my head, and a hoarse voice by the end of it.

Media Circus and Memorials

Today is the memorial service at the cathedral for Bobby Robson. It is an invite only affair and Palace Green is pretty much sealed off at the moment.

It was surreal needing to pop into the nearest appropriate venue to do some photocopying / printing and finding that I was entering a security zone. The area is normally bustling with tourists, students and wandering clergy but today it is media types and security and a strange kind of suspension of reality. The world heritage site currently has outside broadcast units from all the major media providers parked on there and the green is set up for celebrities to be interviewed in the rain.

I wish I had a camera; the juxstaposition between media and religion (media trailers and cathedral) would make a wonderful photo, representative of where society is in late modernity.

As it is I will sit and work I will be aware that those who go to the service are going to celebrate / remember the life of a man whom I greatly admired as a kid growing up in Tractorland. These are the people who knew and worked with him, they are the people for whom Sir Bobby was more than a celebrity figure, he was their friend and often, I guess, mentor.

Thrashed

Today headed off to the Riverside to see Ipswich getting thrashed 3-1 by Middlesborough (and the penalty we got in the last minute of extra time was not even deserved).

Impressed by: the support for the Teeside steel workers Save Our Steel campaign at the beginning of the match, the beef and Yorkshire pudding wrap they had instead of pies and the community spirit which oozed out of the supporters and club.

Unimpressed by: the unsporting behaviour, particularly in the first half, which saw atleast 5 Ipswich players being booked. Boro weren’t perfect but the behaviour of the Ipswich players was inexcusable (unless they were playing Norwich). I have witnessed Ipswich appear to neither defend or attack before but they have always previously done it in a gentlemanly way. This style of play is not the Ipswich way and I am sure that Ramsey, Robson or Burley would never have allowed it. The way the team played generally….awful is probably a compliment. It is no wonder we only have 2 points so far this season. Felt so sorry for the travelling fans who had come so far and were in stunned silence at their teams terrible performance until we got the penalty at the end.

If I were able tonight I would change my allegiance or say I was never going to spend an equivalent to a weeks shopping bill on going to watch them again. As it is I know I will always be a Tractor Girl and yes, I’ll probably scrimp and save to go and watch them play at St. James’ Park in April. For an explanation all I can say is refer to Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch.

RIP Sir Bobby

Sir Bobby Robson died earlier today, he was a true footballing legend where I grew up. He was the manager who led Ipswich to both the FA Cup and UFEA cup victories in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He was the man who can be credited with developing our successful youth policy. He was a truly great leader whose contribution to the Town cannot be over estimated.

The Town website today carries tributes from the former players of the glory days. The BBC site details his achievements as England and Newcastle manager aswell as for the Town and has some clips of him being honoured which illustrate something of the affection held for him.

So today I raise a toast in memory of Sir Bobby Robson.