The real “Winter of Discontent” occurred in the UK in 1979, under Premier James Callaghan, but Ipswich Town football club will be hoping that history won’t repeat itself this time around.
Of course, the fear is that if the Blues are still at the foot of the table by February then the natives will be getting very restless again, and Paul Lambert’s rescue mission will be in very serious doubt. The good news is that there are seven league games before we get there and that means a potential twenty-one points. If we get back into the winning habit – something we have not done all season, then there is every hope we can start to pull clear – yet this season has been one of the most disappointing in living memory.
Lambert said in his press conference yesterday that he was in favour of a winter break. When he played in Germany with Borussia Dortmund he got one, and he firmly believes it would freshen things up for everyone. He explained to the media his views on the subject yesterday and said, ” It gives everybody a break from it, people can recover and can go and have time with their families. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced it so I know exactly what it’s like.”
Here in the Netherlands we have one, and this is normally the time that the Dutch start to watch more English football – especially Premier League matches when there is no local football to be had. Personally, I find it a bit disruptive, – in the same way that those dreaded international breaks seem to affect momentum for supporters and players alike. Give the fact that Ipswich Town have only just won again, surely the last thing that Lambert would want is for that momentum to be lost again, so in this respect, I suspect secretly, he will be happy there isn’t one this season!
I am of the view that if we had not had an international break after our fine victory at Swansea at the beginning of October, then Town would not be in the position they are in now and Paul Hurst would still be in charge. We will never really know but I am convinced that a long interval disrupts the collective mindset.
On Saturday afternoon, Town takes on high flying Sheffield United at Portman Road, and it will be interesting to see if the Blues have retained some of the belief and positivity that they should have gleaned from their last home win against Wigan? If they have, we really might have a nice Christmas after all!
F.W. editor of Vital Ipswich