In 1977 Ipswich beat Barcelona 3-0 and this was no fluke. Johan Cruyff played for the opposition that day but Roger Osborne marked him out of the game. It was a wonderful time to be a Town fan but am I dreaming to suggest that it could be repeated? Well, before you say ‘no way Jose’ I ought to add another quote from the late great John Lennon who said, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.” At the moment our squad, the management and supporters alike are collectively united in a common goal, and this makes the dream more feasible and of course, momentum is what drives us all on. As I am in the mood for famous quotations we should not neglect what former Secretary of State for George Bush Colin Powell once said, ” A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
Now I guess we need a reality check. We are top of the third tier of English football and literally light years away from those heady days when we conquered Europe and twice finished runners up in the top flight of English football. That was the early eighties and before the mega Premier League was formed but in those days, we were feared by everyone, and how wonderful it would be if we could re-write some football history!
The reason I am so overwhelmingly optimistic is that I am convinced that having some momentum counts for an awful lot in the game, and manager Paul Lambert has done this kind of thing before with our arch-rivals from across the border. Town fans are finally starting to believe again and more importantly perhaps too, so are the players! Confidence is 60% of a success story and momentum, in turn, breeds confidence, and this is what we have just now.
And before you say it can’t be done, think of what was achieved under George Burley and our fifth-placed finish the last time we came up to the Premiership! Then look at the makeup of the Elite League as things stand. Who would have thought that little Bournemouth could not only live with the domestic giants of football but beat them at their own game? Burnley are also massively exceeding expectations, and they are a relatively small Lancashire outfit but they have a very good manager and a togetherness that has been born out of sweat, determination and hard work. Sounds familiar? Well, it should, because without these essential qualities, any chance of a second coming is no more than a forlorn dream.
F.W. editor of Vital Ipswich