Dave Gooderham: Why we need to learn lessons from Luton Town

Emyr Huws made his first start since December 2017 at Luton. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Emyr Huws made his first start since December 2017 at Luton. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

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In his latest column, former journalist turned PR business owner and Town fan Dave Gooderham discusses why the Blues must learn from Luton Town, and offers his views on the Luke Chambers debate after his mistake against Sunderland.

Town fans at Luton Picture: PAGEPIX LTDTown fans at Luton Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

We need to learn lessons from Luton Town.

Eight words I probably wouldn't have expected to write a season or two ago. And I don't even mean learning from Tuesday night's disappointing yet predictably quick exit from the Carabao Cup at Kenilworth Road.

I mean we need to look at what has happened at Luton. Look at what, and where, momentum can get you and then brush ourselves down ahead of more important challenges to come.

I don't intend to write too much about yet another cup defeat. Losing lamely 3-1 at higher league Luton is of course regrettable, especially in front of yet another impressive away following.

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After all, if this season ends with promotion or a trip to Wembley, which hopefully then ends with promotion, then no one will remember a first round exit in the League Cup.

Armando Dobra was a bright spot at Luton Picture: PAGEPIXArmando Dobra was a bright spot at Luton Picture: PAGEPIX

But there are lessons that we can take. Ipswich Town fans need to realise where we currently stand in the pecking order - as I am sure many do.

For all our history, our three stars over their once-plastic pitch, Luton are currently better than Ipswich Town. They play better football and have tasted far more recent success than we can currently dream of. Simple as.

But it hasn't come easy for the Hatters who incredible found themselves in the Conference just five years ago. So let's take a look at what has happened at Luton and realise that sometimes you need to go down to go up.

Especially as this season has actually started well. Four points from a possible six, and a truly heartening performance against fellow promotion favourites Sunderland, proves there is no relegation hangover.

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Throw in the fact that Emyr Huws and Alan Judge are closing in on fitness, the same for Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan, and it is proving difficult to name our best XI.

Town fans applaud the team at Luton. Picture: PAGEPIX LTDTown fans applaud the team at Luton. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Yet some fans, I'd suggest too many, believe that our best team shouldn't be captained by Luke Chambers. A poor error from the skipper, one that would have haunted him, saw Ipswich throw away a possible 100% record against Sunderland in front of a packed Portman Road.

It was a pretty grim error from Chambo, though I'd also point a finger at some indecision by Tomas Holy. But to suggest that Chambers should be dropped doesn't sit with me. Are his best days behind him? Maybe. Will he ever play higher than League 1 again? I'd suggest not. But right now Chambers should definitely start in the heart of our creaking back four.

For me, he is currently one of our two best centre backs - although Luke Woolfenden has clearly started the season better and Toto Nsiala is nearing a comeback.

But putting aside actual ability, Ipswich desperately need leaders in their ranks. The season has started well, but one or two dodgy patches in games, or indeed dodgy results, and our young guns may not cope. Chambers and Cole Skuse must start to help support these youngsters and provide some much-needed game management, as and when required.

Fortunately, our captain and vice-captain have been ably backed up by James Norwood who, we are told, made his leadership presence felt in a positive way from day one. Some might be unsure about Chambers. But Norwood certainly wasn't when taking part in an impressive #AskNorwood social media feature, organised by the impressive press team at Portman Road. Have a listen at his sincerity when Norwood decides to answer a fan's question about dropping Chambers.

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A concerned looking Ipswich Manager Paul Lambert at half-time at Luton Picture: PAGEPIX LTDA concerned looking Ipswich Manager Paul Lambert at half-time at Luton Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Unfortunately, too many football fans, of all teams, seem to need a public enemy number one. And, currently, that seems to be Luke Chambers.

Far more precarious when it comes to having a Town future is, sadly, right back Josh Emmanuel. Unfortunately, I can offer less of a defence for our towering right-back.

He is obviously a very decent young man, with very decent beliefs, but he appears to be struggling for confidence. Lambert, like Mick McCarthy and Paul Hurst before him, remains unconvinced with the Town boss also voicing doubts in the past about the present incumbent, Janoi Donacian.

We hear talk of a winger being wanted. But it wouldn't surprise me if Lambert is looking to strengthen both full back positions as well as another striker to support Norwood and Kayden Jackson, as the League One transfer deadline edges ever closer.

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