Where do we now go from here? The Premier League looks a long shot and it’s clearly a chance missedTue 28 Feb 17 by Martin Penney
Oh well, that’s done and dusted then. And yes, we will be playing them again next season.
Probably with the same manager, one or two players we would all rather were not here, a massively-reduced budget and an intransigent lady in Stowmarket whose FIFO attitude will remain.
Please Google ‘FIFO’ if you need to, suffice to say that those who don’t FI are forced to be FO – Messrs McNally, Bowkett and even Moxey are prime examples.
Tom Smith is the ultimate FI. It’s logical that he would be, really. Yes, we should give him a chance; perhaps there is more to him than any of us realise. I cannot think of anything just now, but the proof will be in the pudding – maybe that amazing one or whatever it was that saw everybody from Lidl to Fortnum and Mason bereft of cranberries at Christmas in a year I fail to remember.
My favourite moment of yesterday’s match was obviously Jacob’s goal, but while it made me smile, another incident gave me a real belly laugh.
As anyone who was there will know, two rather unpleasant-looking ‘Binners’ decided to jump the barriers. The stewards did their job, the police did the rest.
I sincerely hope the idiot who decided to thrash around like a wounded shark gets done for resisting arrest as well as the usual charge. There is ample evidence on camera and 27,000 witnesses, 2,000-ish of whom might not be willingly forthcoming with statements.
On the subject of law and order, whoever was in charge of policing the ground and its immediate environs had issued a dictat that supporters of both clubs should not be afraid to ask for selfies with officers. Oh, how well that turned out.
As I was passing the Iceni, an obviously inebriated and extremely scrawny Ipswich fan decided he’d put this to the test. He went up to two cops, one the height of Mitchell Dijks and the other, much shorter, who was built like Ricky Hatton in his prime.
He asked for said selfie, and I’d better paraphrase the response. It went something like: “We’ve not been told about it and I don’t really want my picture taken with you”.
His mate chimed in with: “I only have to give you my service number, not a picture”.
A couple of the Ipswich lad’s mates egged him on (they had obviously dared him to do it for a bet) and the boys in blue and dayglo eventually relented. The expressions on their faces had to be seen to be believed.
Seeing I was stood there grinning, the tall one came over to tell me that if I wanted a laugh I should try the cinema. I said the policy announcement was all over the press and if their duty sergeant or whoever hadn’t told them it wasn’t really the Ipswich fan’s fault.
We ended up having a decent chat – they weren’t on overtime whereas some of their colleagues were and that’s why ‘embrace a Binman’ didn’t go down too well with them.
And as for four police officers in Morrisons, well the mind boggles. I wanted to ask them where the pastrami was, but quickly realised it wasn’t worth missing the match for asking an insolent question.
The Ed Sheeran situation was funny too in its way. I’ve stood and sat with friends at Arsenal, Brighton and Boro in their areas, but I would never do that at Ipswich. That is beyond contemplation. Plus I don’t have a death wish.
As for the flare, whoopee-doo. Hope they found who did it and took the appropriate action.
Yes, I also heard the lady on Canary Call who suggested it was in our own best interests that we should remain in the Championship. One wag on a message board elsewhere suggested it was a Ms D. Smith from Stowmarket who had received the benefit of voice training to disguise her usual tones.
Iwan’s comments on that show were rather more interesting.
A hard rock band I used to quite like called UFO had a song called Rock Bottom. Singer Phil Mogg stretched out the line “Where do we go from here” for an eternity, before Michael Schenker cut in with one of the best elongated solos I’ve ever heard.
So, where do we go from here?
To me, and this is only my opinion after all, the stumbling block is Delia.
Next season is surely our last realistic tilt at the Premier League in the foreseable future. But if Alex Neil is still in charge – which with Delia at the helm he doubtless will be – what will be different to this season?
We have few players up for the Championship grind. Wildschut, Naismith and Pritchard have collectively cost us £25 million. Matt Jarvis (remember him?) a conservative £4 million. And what value have we had from any of them?
The money is about to run out. The excellent Mitchell Dijks is highly unlikely to be here next season, and the admirable loyalty of the Murphy brothers (particularly Jacob, who gave a fantastic radio interview yesterday) is bound to be tested in the close season. There will be offers coming in.
Should either brother leave, they would go with my very best wishes. I’d love to see one or both push on in the Premier League, I really would.
To answer my own question, I see us going nowhere upwards fast. Even when Delia does decide to call it a day (a life vice-presidency and a cornucopia of hospitality awaits) we will have Tom.
But, as I said previously, he must be given a chance. The book must not be judged by the cover.
We did not miss out on promotion with a brace of 1-1s with Ipswich.
We missed out because of the stubborn nature of somebody who could have been on a par with Julian of Norwich in the eyes of the supporters. But mucked up big time.