I quite enjoyed my Sunday dinner time for reasons that won’t come as a great shock to any of our readers. It began with a lengthy walk to the junction of Prince of Wales Road and King Street with my mate until he went his way to the ground and I went mine.
I passed or, more accurately, tried to pass the Queen of Iceni just as the march was setting off. Everyone was singing, even me. I bumped into a couple of guys I knew, and we joined in at the back, at least until we reached the little tunnel that leads to Morrisons.
En route, I met the humorous Captain Sauerkraut and his son. The Captain was wearing Alpine boots and official socks topped off with mock lederhosen and sported a yellow plastic coalscuttle helmet adorned with City badges. Complete with a pair of “tank commander” goggles worn on top and Captain Sauerkraut ironed onto the back of his City shirt. His son was far more orthodox in beanie hat and scarf.
I then achieved my first objective and bought an All Together Now scarf – what a buy for a fiver especially as a percentage goes towards more of those atmosphere enhancing flags.
The site (and sound) of Holty starting off On the Ball City was a great touch. We largely ignored Paul Lambert. At that point anyway.
Ninety seconds in, Max Aarons crosses, a brave header down from Mario Vrancic and there’s Onel Hernandez. Off we go.
To their credit Ipswich did all they could to get back in the game, by fair means and sometimes foul. Lots of hoofball. No blame attached to them for the Vrancic injury – our super Bosnian appeared to roll his ankle when clearing a corner and never quite recovered. I hope it’s not too bad.
I’ll gloss over the little rumble immediately prior to half-time as it has been widely reported on and discussed elsewhere, beyond this: Jon Nolan’s late tackle on Aarons was over the top in every sense of the phrase. Did the wily Lambert decide to distract referee Bankes by instigating the kerfuffle in order to prevent a red for his player?
The cynic in me suggests that’s not beyond the bounds of possibility. We’ll never know. Maybe he “took one for the team”.
Ipswich did everything they could to unsettle us and came out after the break like a wounded tiger but to no avail as our back four, marshalled ever-increasingly well by the excellent Christoph Zimmermann, held firm.
Step forward everyone’s favourite Argentine, Emi Buendia, who seems to play in black and blue as well as yellow and green. He played in Teemu Pukki who perfectly placed the ball in the only part of the Ipswich goal he realistically could. Not quite cruising but realistically that was game over, albeit with half an hour to go.
Graham who sits behind me is notorious for disappearing into the Upper Barcaly ablutions during play. I don’t think I ever have done so in 30 years previously but when the urge is strong it has to be done. And as you’ll have guessed by now, I missed Pukki’s game-killer, returning deafened by the roar and relying on Screeny McScreenface to show me another fine through-ball from Buendia and the following poke-in from Pukki.
As we entered stoppage time, Graham suggested I went again so we could score a fourth.
There was even time for Pukki to get his ovation and – oh the irony – for Jordan Rhodes to appear.
The songs broke out and everybody was doing the hokey-cokey to the “up and down” chant, Ipswich were reminded that they were not really very good and all the usual suspects were rendered by the Barclay choir. Plus it was made very plain that Lambert is persona non grata at the Carra from hereon in.
I’ll conclude with a quote from an Ipswich fan which sums it up perfectly:
‘Norwich were a class act, they picked us off at will. It was like the battle of Hastings. We attacked by running down the hill leaving ourselves totally exposed for the counter punch, like the Normans did to the Saxons in 1066. We were no match for the finishing skills of their fine swordsmen, in particular Pukki.’
On the walk back past the multi-storey I was accosted by two fellow parka-wearing Yellows and we were singing One Daniel Farke. A further parka-sporting lady joined us. A perfect end to a fine Sunday dinner time.