Date: 29th April 2020 at 11:03am
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Our former glories cannot be ignored but are we now just living in the past? Is big business one of the main reasons for our sad demise, and is there still room for hope? Having supported the Blues for half a century and more, these are desperate times. I have never really known anything quite as bad as this, and those dark clouds that have descended on Portman Road only produce lots of rain.

To add insult to injury, a former nemesis of ours has been spouting his mouth off again. As a striker, it is not a name that jumps out at you and maybe this is because he has an appalling track record as a goalscorer. His best spell was his three years at Norwich when he scored a total of 19 goals but even this equates to just over 6 goals a season. His name is Nelson Oliveira and he was born in Barcelos, Portugal in 1991. Quite frankly, I have never trusted the sincerity of a player who wears gloves.

In an interview for the  Reading fan site The Tilehurst End where he was formerly employed he said, “I have a love for the people of Norwich and for the fans. In my opinion, Norwich will always be a much bigger club than Ipswich.” He has uttered this trash before and it shows perhaps that he is not only a very average footballer but he is also not very knowledgable about the history of the game.

Yes, we are living in the past these days it is true, and he did admit to not knowing enough about the Blues to make such a bold statement in the first place – only to utter it again here! His senior career began with Benfica and stayed with them for almost seven years without ever scoring a goal. He was loaned out to a host of clubs during this period with limited success before more loans spells in England and Wales with Swansea and Nottingham Forest finally brought him to Norfolk in 2016, where he made a total of 65 appearances.

At 28, he is seen as very much a journeyman and has already played for nine clubs but for the majority of the time, he spent it on loan. After leaving Norwich he went to Reading where he scored against us again in a narrow victory but that was only one of three goals in his loan spell with them.

He is now in Greece playing for AEK Athens and he said that he never had an easy relationship with Ipswich – or indeed former Blue Tyrone Mings who appeared to stamp on the striker’s face following a collision. “It was a very bad challenge from Tyrone Mings. I don’t believe he’s a bad guy, but sometimes in games, there are players – especially defenders, who want to hurt you on purpose. At the time, I felt he wanted to do that. He wanted to hurt my face with his boot.”  Mings was not handed any sort of fine or retrospective ban for the incident which further incensed the centre forward. “I didn’t like the way the federation reacted. If a player like Harry Kane received the same challenge I did, it would have been different.” Later Mings apologized via a text message and Oliveira now considers the matter closed.

Oliveira left Norwich after falling out with Daniel Farke but in this interview, his mercenary motivations kicked in. “So, there was big interest from Reading, but I was not close to signing because I said to Norwich that if I were to move, I would move to the Premier League. I would have had a better salary.” Then in pre-season Reading offered 8 million pounds for the player and he said that he was a bit frustrated no one from Norwich had spoken to him about it but that his agent confirmed that this was indeed the case and so he went.

I suppose it is only fair to give some balance to his statements and he does admit belatedly that perhaps he was not entirely aware of the proud history of Ipswich Town. “Maybe I didn’t look at the stories of both clubs, as I know Ipswich is also a good club. But I still think Norwich is bigger.”

At the moment, of course, there is little doubt that we would much rather be where the Canaries are – even if they are rock bottom and at the foot of the Premier League table. These days football is big business and ‘big business’ does not look kindly on the past.

But a twenty-eight-year-old from Portugal is far too young to remember the good old days here and of course, ignorance is essentially a voluntary misfortune.


4 Replies to “Are We Just Living In The Past?”

  • This is not an issue full stop. The guy is bound to say that Norwich is the bigger team. If you were to ask Terry Butcher, Mick Mills, Ray Crawford or Jim Magilton the same question, you would get an equally one-eyed response. A far more pertinent question is has Marcus Evans done a good job managing Ipswich Town FC since he bought our club? I would say no. The only thing that has saved him from getting the sack is that he is the owner. He’s not going to sack himself. Managers of businesses (and that is ultimately what he is) are paid for results. Whichever way you look at it he has been unsuccessful. His job was to provide the required infrastructure, players, academy and football manager to achieve promotion back to the Premier League, where we spend the vast majority of our time between 1961 and 2001.
    Football is also an entertainment business and no-one would accuse the Tractor Boys of producing riveting football in recent years. If he had given Mick McCarthy strong financial backing we would have been promoted years ago. Now look at us, 10th in League 1 with a lamentable record against the teams above us in the table. Perversely, Coronavirus came at a great time for us football-wise (obviously not financially) as we were dropping down the table steadily and wouldn’t have turned it round before the end of the season.

    • Good Points made Richard and yes, I missed the boat in some respects with this article but of course, I have in the past, focused my attention on owner Marcus Evans before and I have lowlighted his achievements – or lack of them, on many occasions.

      I intend, with every column, to make my arguments as balanced as possible and perhaps this time I failed. My emotions seemed to have got the better of me and you are right to refocus my mind on the deplorable job Evans has done since he took command. He has wasted so many wonderful opportunities because of his parsimonious nature and I even headed a column with this in mind.

      Anyway, keep giving me your views and I will continue to reply to them.

  • No worries Frank. I’m Suffolk-born and a Town fan since 1962.
    Suffice it to say that I am unimpressed with our owner and what he has achieved at Portman Road since buying our club.
    I fail to understand what he is trying to achieve. It’s almost as though he is happy enough to own us but is not really bothered with what we achieve. We should be in the top flight for all sorts of reasons but whether we crack it again in my lifetime is anyone’s guess.
    As a side issue, it occured to me the other day that perhaps Paul Lambert is at the same stage in his career as Paul Jewell. A good young and upwardly mobile manager once but now not performing as he once did.

    • Thanks again, Richard. Apart from the club itself, I fell in love with Suffolk many moons ago and had the pleasure of living around there in the late ’70s but for the last 30 years, I have resided in the Netherlands, as you might already know. The points you have raised are valid ones and perhaps I will write an article with this general theme in mind. I am 65 now, so I am beginning to wonder too, whether I will ever see the day when Ipswich rekindle some of their zest from bygone years? The clock is ticking but it seems to be going backwards at the moment doesn’t it.

      Please keep reading and airing your intelligent views.

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