“The game was full of passion and emotion – (winning) was a sweet feeling.” – Daniel Farke.
Well there’s no arguing with any of that. The records continue to tumble, we are unbeaten in eight, clean sheets away from home seem almost de rigeur and we are into the top six courtesy of a hard-fought win over our nearest and dearest.
I watched the match in Micawbers in Pottergate with number two son and a few of his mates. A terrific atmosphere – packed but not stacked, if you see what I mean. They have a policy of keeping the Sky volume down to barely audible, of which more later.
Observations on the game itself have largely been done to death both here and elsewhere, so I will be relatively brief with mine.
Our old mate K-nudsen (as Gary would call him) rattled our Angus’s woodwork with a belter. On its day it would have gone in, but it didn’t. Town deserve some credit for the way they attempted to mix it up and I think we should all send David McGoldrick an early Christmas card for missing Sitter of the Weekend. A free header you would expect even our beloved Wesley to have buried.
The rising blue tide was held at bay until half time, a little fortuitously at times perhaps. Farke’s subsequent analysis was perceptive and surely gives some insight into the way he thinks and works:
“It is so complicated to play Ipswich because they play the long balls and then for the second balls they get men around the ball quickly.
“You have to accept this style of football and be prepared for the deep play. It is important to win the second ball. In the first half I had this feeling we were a little bit too nervous in our own possession. We were copying their style a bit too much. We spoke about this at half-time, about being braver in possession and playing our own game. Get the ball on the ground and (achieve) a good structure. We did that better in the second half.”
We did that much better in the second half, indeed we did.
The play involving Wes, Yanic Wildschutt and Marco Stiepermann that conspired to assist James Maddison’s most marvellous strike was worthy of winning this close encounter – and what a strike it was. Bartoz Bialkowski remained rooted to his line as that sweet, swerving right-foot shot nestled into the corner.
And although the goal boosted confidence and we know we can depend on the resilience Farke has built into us in order to defend a lead, don’t tell me you weren’t nervous – I know we all were. The prize was in sight if we kept our collective cool, both on and off the pitch. And this is where the volume control policy at Micawbers comes back into play.
There was a little guy in there who rejoices in the name of Jumma. I know that’s his name ‘cos I asked him – and also the lady behind the bar to make sure it was for real. He looked like William Hartnell (the original Dr Who) and had the stature and personality of jazz singer George Melly. As the clock wound down, his timely but often inaccurate commentary became both audible and hilarious.
Just one example will suffice: “You’re useless Jerome. Get the ball and score a goal.”
Voice in the bar (probably mine): “Leave it out mate, Cameron speaks very highly of you.”
This primitive form of banter sustained us all (especially Jumma) until one of the most apparently biased referees I have seen in recent years blew those final whistle blasts and we could all collectively rejoice.
Tim Robinson? Tom Robinson of 2-4-6-8 Motorway fame couldn’t have done any worse. Maddison was offered little protection and a foul allegedly committed by Wes in roughly the left back area was a joke. Too many set pieces given to Town on a plate by a quirky at best referee.
In the end we went ape, enjoyed it and now we move on. Tellingly – and it warmed the cockles of the old blood-pumper – this is what Farke said afterwards. He had said the first half of this sentence before, but I’ve never the second before:
“There will be setbacks, it is normal in football, but I know as long as these lads stand together we will be able to create something extraordinary.”
Just as a coda, Stephen Fry posted something about President Madison on Twitter. A band well-known to everybody who likes the Blues is George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Their only British chart success was Madison Blues.
And I bet that lot down the road had the Maddison Blues big time this morning.
Thanks to Daniel Farke and the Destroyers.