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Green’Un With Envy
at 17:03:05

jontysnut yes indeed. There was always the wierd and wonderful descrpitors like red-haired player x. Or the wonderfully evocative 'crisp tackle' (invariably by Derek Jefferson).
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Heart of Darkness
at 09:23:21

There is slightly more to it than that I think. If you have been going for a while then you have a group of chums and family you sit with - and the allure of bargain renewal rates plus staying with the people you know had inflated the number of supporters in the ground despite the dire football on offer and disconnect with what the club had become . If you got out of the habit of going - then coming back is not far removed from a military operation - far removed from those far-off days of paying at the turnstile and pushing in to be with your mates. My view is that third division football is actually highly attractive - I've never seen Ipswich play in this division before and I have been a supporter since the mid-60s. There is also the fact that a few Ipswich players are now in the team and Evans has resisted (so far) Lambo's call for bodies. That is a massive positive too. IF Town are competitive in this league then it is only natural that crowds are bigger and more enthusiastic than they were after same old, same old dross in the second division. There is even some hope of upward momentum and team building for now. Though that may be a fantasy too far. If anything the Sunderland crowd was mildly disappointing - but it WAS in the holiday season when many supporters are sunning themselves elsewhere. As you say, what will attendances be like for 'proper third division games - answer pretty good as long as Lambo doesn't lose his way. To follow your Conrad analogy to its logical conclusion though you have to pay attention to the exploitation of the slave trade at the heart of the darkness - and Town are still under the thumb of oppression in that respect.
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Ha'way the Draw – Sunderland Home Preview
at 08:04:55

Maybe you should include a weather section in future blogs - as this promises to make the mackem's journey a tad bracing - and will probably destroy the game as a spectacle. Sunderland are really a poor man's Newcastle, they've been pretty useless in everyone's living memory and Ross has a thankless task given the ludicrous over-expectation and large collection of overpaid rubbish he inherited. Personally I think he did pretty well last season given the hand he was dealt. But he will probably be gone by xmas unless he can magic an effective team from the dross. Tempting to highlught this as a season-defining game for both teams and managers. Whihc of course it won't be.
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Full of Optimism and Hope, the League One Kick Off is Finally Here!
at 07:45:00

Finally here? Starting the football season half way through the first ashes test seems horribly early to me.
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A Familiar Foe In Uncharted Waters – Burton Away Preview
at 11:04:09

Personally I think a visit to Burton with no real idea if Town can compete is an excellent example of how far we have fallen. It seems no time at all that I saw Burton at the Abbey in a non-league fixture. Since then Burton have made great strides to their glass ceiling while we have slowly wandered downwards. Might not be an easy introduction - and the following two fixtures look a tad challenging too.
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New Judge Bid Rejected Report
at 11:02:06

Good bit of business for the owner. Judge isn't the player he was as shown by his inconsequential performances which saw him eventually marooned out wide. He wants to go - so he will go when the owner gets his offshore cash. Now all you have to do is fantasise that Huws will be fit which would make Judge an irrelevance anyway
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How This Young Boy Fell In Love
at 09:03:54

A fine effort. I remember that night well which effectively kick started the season. There have been many memorable Town gamesv Man U in my time. I think Denis Law got 6 goals in the first two Man U games I saw.... we often here about the 6-0 win, but rarely an even more memorable 2-7 which followed a 3-5. My more vivid memories are of David Best keeping out Booby Charlton single handedly only to be beaten by a Mick McNeil own goal and a stunning 4-1 in the sunshine with Frank Clarke and Jimmy Robertson in full flow and George Best playing as though hung over. I'm not sure that these are dark days just yet. Not many can remember 3rd division games at Portman Road and the season ahead has real novelty value (as long as the club can compete). Time will tell.
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Fanstastic
at 13:04:32

armchaircritic I admire your optimism - and if truth be told, IF Lambert embraces the young players he has and injuries allow players to develop then yes, all could be relatively rosy. I'm hoping he will not be allowed to make any signings untilor even if contracted players are removed - which could be enormously beneifial in a poor man's Spurs sort of way. My mind keeps going back to January - and Lambert's disastrous short term signings. I'd even include Judge in that mix as he is surely in the way of a fit Dozzel and Bishop (if such a thing exists) - and ended last season marooned out wide anyway.. I honestly have no diea how Town will do.... anytthing between 3 and 16 will be 'in touch with the play offs' so you may well get your wish. I'll be happy with a season of consolidation!
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Fanstastic
at 16:46:12

armchaircritic - i tend to agree - my one regret, if that is the right word from watching through the Robson era was that the club made no attempt to sign Peter Shilton - who went to Stoke and then Forest at a time when he would have transformed Town from nearly men to something very special. The fee would have been a problem as Robson's signings were always funded by outgoing players. Sivell was a glaring weakness that Robson never seemed anxious to address and Cooper was good - but nowhere near the best player in the team that Shllton would have been. The half-hearted attempt to sign Jennings was too little, too late. I'm not sure what the answer is to the current conundrum because the owner is clearly not here in a football club capacity - and is so utterly at odds with what the club used to stand for. Alas it is now his club to do with as he sees fit. For as long as Town have been part of 'The Marcus Evans Empire' I have been of the opinion that it is a waiting game for Evans to go belly-up on the assumption nobody knows what he is worth and it is probably a lot less than the blithe assumptions - then start again like Luton and Portsmouth. ('Sir' Alan Stanford had a habit of turning up to games in a hired helicopter and oozing the illusion of wealth for example - and the inept way Evans has run Town suggests his shadowy empire must be just as ineptly run. Wishful thinking probably. Other than that I just hope Town actually promote from within on the pitch and O'Neill has it in him to stand up for the academy and the football club. I'm sure they are trying to unseat as many of the contracted players as possibel, but as we already know from a previous disastrous relegation that is easier said than done. But I'd be more than happy if Town made no signings at all this summer based on Lambert's record to date. Assuming Town are in deep financial trouble (which they must be) I'suspect its a long haul to stabilise in division three and start to look up rather than down - unless the owner runs the club differently - and see no indication or reason for him to change.
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Fanstastic
at 08:27:45

With all due respect the teams of the late 70s and early 80s were anything but underdogs - if anything they were serial underachievers. Every year was tipped by national pundits to be 'their' year - and alas it never was apart from the cup win which came about largely through a very streaky draw, if truth be told. Lots of songs of that era stick in my mind... 'we hate Nottingham Forest...' 'Oh I once asked Mr Bill Shankley....' and the oft conveniently forgotten Aye, Aye, Are Ay!! Ipswich Republican Army!' No mention of flat caps, rosettes and rattles either - nor school age Blue Arrow girls being sexually harassed at high volume on a weekly basis (presumably witnessed by their parents). But yes, those of a certain age grew up with a club to be proud of - and therein lies the difference. It's now a club for spivs and whilst the local bonhommie may be temporarily? on the up, I suspect Town are now one of the least liked teams in the league where they were once one of the most admired.
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Eric Gates and the Great Escape
at 08:23:21

Wonderful stuff - thank you. Rose-timted memories of favourite players stay with you for ever - mine are of Danny Hegan and John O'Rourke from an earlier time at a similar age. Before saturation TV coverage even great players were rarely captured on TV - no Town fan will haveen George Best play well - and Denis Law only once. As a fellow member of the Eric Gates Appreciation Society, you should perhaps have made mention of his penchant for artful diving (cheating in modern parlance) or running away home (twice?) because Robson wouldn't pick him. I think we all owe a great debt to Eric's polar opposite brother Bill, a towering, granite-hewn centre half with Boro who had a stern word with Robson - which may well have made Robson see sense (and the blindingly obvious!)
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The Unfair Football Finances and a Fairer and More Sustainable Alternative
at 18:19:02

Your top six includes three teams that have been relegated recently - Spurs, Man United and Man City. Granted before the current TV excesses - but their 'size' gave them huge advantages out of all proportion to better run clubs at the time. The only way 'fans' can stop the ever-growing gap in TV revenue is to stop buying overpriced TV packages. Even that strategy, which is already happening in this country to a certain extent is dwarfed by the growth in global TV sales. The Premier League is a global league with global players and a global fan base. There is no way TV revenue will go to rubbish clubs other than as sops - and in reality there is no commercial reason why it should. Creating an elite is the best way to improve standards. Ironically salvation may be on the imminenet horizon as UEFA are being coerced into expanding the 'champions league' (final this year between two teams who haven't been champions this century). This will, if it has not already done so, create a european league with no relegation. So the league will shortly be without your big six anyway - and you'll get your wish of rubbish clubs getting more money for being rubbish.
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Evans Joint-174th in Rich List
at 13:21:55

Plenty of comments on his alleged wealth coming from 'assets' but what 'assets' does he have? Most of his businesses are services with staff paid on commission. This result-based remuneration is what he tried to put into place at Portman Road with disastrous results. His businesses are somewhat opaque. This time last year the ludicrous ST Rich List quoted the only growth in his empire came from his football club - in other words he'd cooked the books on transfer values. Clearly the man is not exactly poor but his wealth is smoke and mirrors
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This is Where I Came In
at 09:23:01

Wonderful stuff - had me reaching for my rose-tinted specs. You started watching a few couple of years before me - but I remember travelling to Ipswich in a goods wagon, watching Laramie and Rawhide whilst waiting for the Green 'unto drop through the letterbox and seeing players cycling to the ground. Town had an identity back then and alas it is long gone. It's difficult to get as misty eyed over the future when the club is based in an unknown tax haven rather than deep roots in the Tolly Cobbold brewery. I'm not sure fans are permanent - they come and go - and always have done. There were thirteen thousand back then and thirty thousand in the ground for some cup epics in the Robson era - and nowadays? Nobody knows because of the obsession with season tickets and the strange practice of counting empty seats as paying spectators. But until someone 'in the Far East on business' cottons on to the fact that most fans have no desire or ability to go to every game I think crowds will continue to decline whilst matchday tickets are so expensive and parking is so difficult. As another blog points out the Sir Alf miracle can indeed be replicated elsewhere in just as unlikely circumstances. But only at a football club. Has any club gone down and prospered under predatory (or being charitable, utterly clueless) ownership? I dont think so.
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League One, Leicester and the Long, Long Wait
at 13:51:36

A good read - but is it realistic thinking any recovery is possible under the current ownership? Ever since taken over, Town have been an income stream, not a football club. Leicester had the advantage of owners interested in the well-being of the club AND the community. Town have neither. Lambert has also shown no ability to compete in a very poor division - and his January signings were madness personified, which gives little confidence he will do any better if he is still around in the close season. You also say Town have not been chaotic under Evans - but they have been a rudderless farce, allowing (ill-chosen) manager after manager to chop and change with no strategy or vision. Unless things change radically and quickly, Town will continue their now accelerating decline. I'd argue that the Burley years were a brief blip in a long drawn out decline dating back to the construction of the Pioneer Stand - and ultimately the death of the club's DNA - John Cobbold.
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Reflections on Relegation
at 17:26:56

A good read not disimilar to my own feelings. Nobody yet knows what state the club will be in come the start of next season and if Lambert is still here his hapless efforts in the transfer market in January don't inspire confidence either - nor does his apparent inability to compete with Rotherham in this division - which can hardly bode well in the more competitive third division. Time will tell. Good read - thanks
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The History Boys
at 08:59:57

Future Boys surely? We're all quietly hoping for a better future. It's interesting to see a perspective from someone who has never known Town as a viable football club. Even when you started supporting Town were effectively insolvent, living off other peoples' money. It's been downhill ever since, albeit very, very slowly. Interestingly we are swapping places with Luton who have won a major domestic trophy since Town last did and on their 6th promotion or relegation since Town started to slowly crumble in the second division. Oxford Utd too have won a domestic trophy since Town last did. The club isn't anywhere near as successful as supporters like to believe - it's akin to Blackpool harping back to the Matthews final and thinking they should succeed in a different lifetime. Most supporters see their enthusiasm wither a little as age, children, family life and mortgages alter perspectives - not to mention better things to do with your money. The problem Town have is that they have gone from perhaps the most appealing team in the league in the Robson era to perhaps the least appealing team in the league in the Evans era. There is not much left for new supporters to cling on to.
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More Than a Manager
at 10:49:06

A good read - though I would take issue with your rose-tinted memories of the Robson era. There is more than a little doubt that Robson's teams were the finest in the club's history. Ramsey's team won the league, something Robson's teams never really came close to - and they beat what was hyped as the time, 'the team of the century' (double-winning Spurs) home and away whilst so doing). If anything, Robson's teams underachieved by winning just one domestic cup competition in almost a decade of sustained excellence - the same return as Luton, Oxford Utd and er Norwich during the Robson era. I would argue that Robson's blind spot was in goal - Shilton went to Stoke and Forest for entirely realistic fees - and a rather late in the day bid to sign Pat Jennings floundered later on some incompetence, if the story from Jennings is to be believed. The most endearing thing about the film for me was the sheer depth and genuine warmth and admiration that characters like Ronaldo, Guadiola and a startlingly young special one had for the man. The Gazza interview was genuinely moving. Personally I didn't like the structure of the film - but it was nice to see the staggering achievements of the man wherever he went highlighted so well - as well as his warmth and humility. .
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The 'Tinpot' East Anglian Derby
at 09:29:43

Maybe its geography but 20 odd miles north of Ipswich us Norwich and Town fans mingled on a day to day basis at school, work and in the pub with no problem - and still do. I don't recall 'scum' coming into the vocabulary until Town got an inferiority complex. Curious because Norwich's situation and ours, Town with dodgy offshore owners are far more scum-like than Norwich. Back in the day when the most intimidating chant was 'We all piss in a green and yellow bog, a green and yellow bog, a green and yellow bog...' there were some great derbies. No Norwich player had ever scored a hat trick in a derby, the programme crowed for a league cup tie at Portman Road. Hugh Curran scored a hat trick. Johnny Millar got two to knock us out again a few years later - and Norwich hadn't even paid for him. Then there was the league cup semi where D'Avray had his jaw broken by a stray elbow. Norwich won that one too. So they are well ahead on cup ties at least (Not that anyone cares about them any more) as well as bragging rights for most of the last 30 years
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Osman's Evening With South West Branch Raises £400 for Beattie Statue
at 10:34:46

There don't seem to be many more than 20 people in that photo - which means they averaged up to £20 each. Given the current state of the appeal that appears to be rather more than the average supporter who actually attend games have managed to stump up. Bit rich assuming the club and Evans should fund something supporters started. If the people who actually go to the games stump up £10 on average that is more than enough. Another way supporters could show their appreciation, instead of campaigning for low prices - eg Derby at £12.... make it £22 with £10 from every ticket going to the appeal. Might be nice to see supporters put their money where their mouth is for a change.
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