It’s a big week at Ipswich Town; managerial musical chairs aside, the Blues have been facing the prospect of two massive cup matches against Chelsea and Arsenal – and before Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge, Vital Ipswich decided to ask you for your predictions.
Despite struggling in the Championship, Ipswich are playing ‘pretend Premier League’ in the cups, taking on two of the biggest teams in the country. Sunday’s FA Cup Third Round tie at Chelsea is followed by Wednesday’s Carling Cup semi-final home leg against Arsenal, giving the Blues’ fixture list a rather glamorous if challenging look. That challenge was made all the tougher last week when Roy Keane was sacked on Friday morning, leaving Town facing both matches without a manager.
Ahead of the Chelsea game, we asked you whether you thought Ipswich could win both of these big cup games. Here’s how you responded:
21% – Chelsea yes, Arsenal no
8% – Arsenal yes, Chelsea no
16% – We can beat both
55% – We can’t beat either
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Surely even the most pessimistic Ipswich Town fan didn’t see us getting pulverised 7-0 by Chelsea on Sunday, but confidence was certainly not high before that game. Over half of those who responded thought that we would not be able to beat either Chelsea or Arsenal – no surprise given that the team wasn’t capable of beating Nottingham Forest at home the week before!
Optimism probably dropped even further after Keane was sacked, throwing Town’s preparations for the two games into a state of chaos and dropping Ian McParland in at the deep end. Question marks have consequently emerged over the timing of Keane’s dismissal – and indeed, since Sunday, whether we would have done any better at Stamford Bridge with the Irishman still in charge.
The result at Chelsea probably doesn’t bode well given that more fans seemed confident of a result at Stamford Bridge than victory over Arsenal. 21% thought that Ipswich could muster an upset against Carlo Ancelotti’s team, but only 8% thought that we could win in the semi-final against the Gunners – and that was before we got hammered!
We know now that the 16% who predicted a win against both Chelsea and Arsenal have been left disappointed. However, with new manager Paul Jewell not set to take over until Thursday, whether McParland can inspire the mother of all rebounds against Arsenal on Wednesday has yet to be seen.
(Poor old Charlie – he probably still doesn’t know what’s hit him!)
This week’s poll: ‘Are you happy with the appointment of Paul Jewell?’ (See right-hand column to place your vote)
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