Mike Bacon: Flynn’s in the history books. So are other Town players – just not with the Blues!
IN his weekly look at life at Portman Road, MIKE BACON feels there are enough players with that winning experience to benefit the Blues
I know older Ipswich Town fans go on about it, but you have to admit it’s at times like these you are glad the Blues have a rich history to wallow in.
I mean, could you imagine if, as a club, all you had ever won – ever, in your whole history – was a couple of League Cups and say an odd lower league division title! Well, can’t all be winners.
But when it comes to Ipswich Town you can’t take away the fact the Division One Championship, FA Cup and UEFA Cup are in the bag and have a proper ring to it.
I say all this as we continue this extraordinary period in our world’s history with much of the planet ‘locked down’ as we look to beat this awful virus and people have time to dwell on the past.
Thankfully, a rich history is something we enjoy at Portman Road.
And it was said many times at the start of this current campaign in League One, that the Blues squad of 2019/20 had a chance to write their own names into the Ipswich Town history books. Shame it looks as though they won’t grab it.
Because history is a strange, yet wonderful thing – and teaches us much.
As a footballer you don’t often get a chance to become a ‘history maker’.
While the likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Alan Hansen, the Arsenal Invincibles team and many more top players can show off their medals at the end of their careers and say ‘job well done’, there are far more who can’t.
Which is why players should be driven by the thought of making history. Any history, at any level.
I talk to non-league players who look back with pride on their careers, winning titles many fans of the pro teams will never have heard of, but titles none-the-less.
Winning the Conference League or Ryman Premier League, or even the Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division is an honour... An honour that will be spoken and written about within that club for years, decades to come.
I have many football books in my collection, not just on the professioanl game, but also non-league clubs.
‘Newmarket Town FC 1877-1977’, ‘Old Newton FC, the first 50 Years’, ‘A History of Halstead Town, 1879-2010’.
All the books contain photographs, reports and opinion – a history of their club and a memory of the players that made history.
Flynn Downes has already made history.
OK, so his loan spell at Luton Town didn’t see them win League Two a couple of seasons ago – but they were runners-up and one look at the Hatters’ honours board states just so. He was part of it, a history-making season.
I remember talking to Flynn for a Kings of Anglia article last year and he said how Town skipper Luke Chambers had said to him that he should cherish that promotion with Luton, telling him promotions and certainly league titles or cup wins don’t come along that often.
Chambo’s not wrong.
Flynn is not alone in the current Town squad who has helped make history for previous clubs – James Norwood (Tranmere), Alan Judge (Brentford), Luke Chambers (Forest & Northampton), Danny Rowe (Lincoln) are other current Town players who know what it’s like to win promotions.
So, I truly believe this current Ipswich Town squad ought not to be in League One – or League Two before you start!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they would enjoy a great deal of success in the Championship right now with the squad they have. But I repeat, they ought not to be in League One
Who knows? There might still be time to etch their names in Ipswich Town history if/when the season restarts.
It’s up to them to grab the moment. You don’t get many.
Careers are short, retirement is far longer.
Premier League footballers are coming in for stick over the coronavirus outbreak and their response to it – many fans suggesting they should give up a large percentage of their wages to help the NHS or their own Club’s staff.
I feel uncomfortable telling anyone they should give up all or some of their wages for whatever reason. But, then again, some professional footballers really don’t help themselves.
Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish have already been in the headlines for the wrong reasons since ‘lockdown’.
I will say this however.
When you get a chance to talk to a player one-on-one, without the pressure of the Club watching over them, whether at Premier League or League Two level, most are really decent people.
Of course there are a few! But I put more blame on the clubs than I do the players in this current situation.
Clubs could easily take the pressure off players by making a mandatory gesture from the players’ wages.
Still, football – rarely gets it right.