Dave Gooderham: #100points and #100goals? Why not? Let’s enjoy the success, it’s been a while!
PUBLISHED: 17:34 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:34 11 September 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
It’s not exactly gone viral, but there are a couple of ITFC hashtags on Twitter that are growing in popularity.
They are usually grouped together and it is as simple as '#100points #100goals'.
A quick look at the facts suggest Ipswich may not need 100 points. Only three League One champions in the last 10 years have managed such an impressive tally - and Doncaster even took the title with a 'paltry' 84 points seven seasons ago.
Then there are the goals. Ipswich have currently notched 14 goals in six games. Keep up that ratio and the hashtag will come true.
To put the goals in perspective, Ipswich have averaged just 55 goals a season over the last 10 years - culminating in the horrific 36 goals last season. This is not a column designed to bash past managers but sometimes you have to look at the past to appreciate the present.
The simple act of scoring a goal is the most joyous moment for any football fan and for too long Town fans have been feeding off scraps. It certainly has a nice ring to it and it certainly continues the air of positivity seeping out of Portman Road. We are talking about fans who have been starved of success for so long. So if they want to dream of 100 goals, why should anyone stop them?
For most, it's a bit of fun. But when you see James Norwood and Kayden Jackson linking up, Will Keane and Freddie Sears (soon) waiting in the wings, midfield options that are the envy of League One and a marauding Kane Vincent-Young, who knows…
The real test of this team will be in adversity. An injury here or a defeat there. Both are bound to happen in such a gruelling season and as teams wise up to playing against Ipswich Town. Manager Paul Lambert is right to rotate, though one hopes the formation will be largely settled even if the personal changes.
As we prepare to return to Portman Road and face fellow unbeaten Doncaster Rovers, it's hard not to feel confident. Even losing the top spot to Wycombe last weekend, as Ipswich enjoyed a rare weekend off, was only met with social media comments akin to 'enjoy it while it lasts', directed at The Chairboys.
I mentioned last week that the footballing stars were currently residing over IP1 - and there were two more examples this week. One was last Saturday's postponement caused by a Cypriot loanee, an Albanian Under-19, a Tunisian Under-23, an England Under-20 and Alan Judge.
While Ipswich could have still fielded a strong side in their scheduled trip to Rochdale, the older limbs of Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse, among others, would have enjoyed a weekend off.
The same will be true if games in October and November are postponed when England complete their European Championship qualifying programme. It might add to the fixture list later down the line, but I would argue any break should be welcomed at this stage.
We also have to assess our rivals when looking at our own chances of success. Currently fifth, Lincoln City had started life in League One brightly after their promotion last season. Enter Huddersfield Town, exit Danny and Nicky Cowley, and suddenly an uncertain shadow hangs over Sincil Bank. We wait and see how that departure affects a side who would have been in the mix under the Cowley brothers.
Of course, such things are mere sideshows in a League One campaign. The biggest focus will remain on Paul Lambert's men, his starting line-up, his performance, keeping key men fit and continuing the good feeling that currently resonates through every aspect of the club.
When I was fortunate to cover Ipswich Town for this newspaper, the international break was always something of a quandary. There would be a foreign player joining up with his national side, maybe a Premier League loanee as well and maybe a fledgling Town star with one of the younger set-ups.
But not really enough to cover a back page and maybe two pages inside. We needed to be a little more inventive, for instance by taking a broader look at the games ahead to see where September points might be won or lost.
Another way would be to analyse the release of the FIFA 20 ratings - always an exciting time in the Gooderham household.
My young sons want to know whether Messi or Ronaldo is the highest rated and where Hazard, Mbappe and De Bruyne now sit. I'm not bothered about that as I eagerly scan the Ipswich Town ratings. As a brief summary, Vincent-Young is rapid, Norwood has hair and Downes should be disappointed.
Let's quickly get back to the real thing.