Bartosz Bialkowski has been named Ipswich Town’s Player of the Year by supporters and player’s alike for the last three occasions but could this be the last we will see of him when the season ends? Well, although it has to be accepted that he has had an indifferent season which has seen him dropped three times by two Town managers, surely he is the man that can help to bring us back to the future from the league below.
James Bree was candid enough to say that Ipswich needs to win all their last eight remaining fixtures, to avoid the drop to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1957, so we can safely assume that this is not going to happen – regardless of how well the Blues are playing at this current moment in time.
So then, let’s return to the headline question which reads, is this the last we will see of him? First things first, and he recently signed a renewed and much-improved contract with the club, which could see him here until 2022. Admittedly, he is 31 years of age now but for a goalkeeper, he should be at the very peak of his powers, and we may well reap the benefits of him staying with us. We must remember too, that Town must honour that contract he signed, which means that he will not suffer the consequences of a pay-cut, which both Cols Skuse and captain Luke Chambers will have to endure.
Another big plus for supporters, who are desperate to see him stay, is that he is very settled here and former Town Ipswich and England captain, defender Mick Mills, firmly believes that this can have an advantageous effect on the decision-making process. His wife and family like living in Suffolk, and as this can sometimes work in the club’s favour.
Mills also explained on the Radio Suffolk Final Whistle show, with Graeme Mac at the weekend, that environmental issues can also play their part, and this could apply to another player categorized these days in the VERY VULNERABLE bracket, midfielder Alan Judge. Mills thinks that he is still open to persuasion.
“On the plus side, there is just a possibility that he might – like a lot of people do, they love playing for this club. They love working in this area. They love the whole atmosphere of the place. It’s not just the football, it’s a lovely place to live. It’s an untroubled area. It’s great for families. There is a lot of plus points about this club and this area,” Mills explained. He believes that these factors can have a serious influence on a players’ thought-processes – especially if their wives and family like the neighbourhood and the manager seriously wants them to stay.
I would, of course, love them both to stay but even if just one remains, it will surely serve as a big boost for our new campaign in the First Division.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich