Well, it has been a refreshing start and it has rekindled the hope and the aspirations of a once proud football club, that is but a ghost of its former self. Having supported the Blues for more than fifty years, I wonder if I will survive to see the day when Ipswich Town are once again in the top flight of English football?
For the record I am 63, and for the last two decades have had to suffer the misery of watching the slow death of a club that I have always loved so dearly. There has been the occasional moments of magic, when our ambition has risen beyond the norm, only to be quelled just as dramatically, as that old familiar deep depression descended on Portman Road once again. Joe Royle provided a team that excited, and we came ever so close to the promised land under his magnificent reign. Sadly, his war chest consisted mainly of peanuts but he made the very best of the resources made available.
In the good years of Mick McCarthy too, there was a glimmer of hope that we might just make the Premiership again but of course our fiercest rival put paid to that dream and let’s face it, even if we had have got there we would have been cruelly annihilated in the elite league. Jim Magilton too provided a team that could play some good football and I still believe – just like Paul Hurst, that he was not given enough time to prove his true worth.
And now we have Paul Lambert and once again our hopes have been raised. He is saying all the right things but more importantly than that so far, doing all the right things too, and I really do believe that whether by way of a fluke or good fortune, owner Marcus Evans has finally found the right man for the job.
Admittedly, Lambert’s curriculum vitae does not read too well of late, when he was unable to save Stoke City from the their relegation to the Championship but all things considered, he has embraced this club with a passion and a hunger not seen in these parts for many many years, and he has a very good coaching team.
Being out of work for a while seems to have reinvigorated him as well and this seems to be reflected in the massive transformation seen on the field in the last couple of games, when Town have played with confidence and belief and a passion to succeed. Supporters have also found something very likable about the man and his press conferences have been quite frankly a breath of fresh air.
I believe we can survive this season and then push on, and although we have a mountain to climb, I cannot think of anyone else who could pull us clear of the danger zone without the fear of heights. When you are rock bottom the only way is up, and I am sure he has told the players not to look any further down.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich