Fuller Flavour: Much to be positive about for Ipswich Town in an almost perfect opening day win
PUBLISHED: 14:16 06 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 06 August 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Aside from a bad injury to Andre Dozzell, Saturday afternoon was just about perfect for Town, writes Karl Fuller.
Three points, a clean sheet, a debut goal for Joe Garner and our relatively successful opening day results over the past decade or so stretches another year.
I must admit that in Friday’s column, I painted a picture of pessimism - mostly justified I’d claim of course, but as soon as I read Chris Brammer’s piece on the EADT website on Friday about our opening day results since 2007/08, I must admit to feeling a bit more hopeful about our chances.
One result of course doesn’t mean everything is rosy in the ITFC garden but it’s certainly another good start to the season.
In case you missed Chris’ piece, before Saturday, we had won five, drawn two and lost three of our previous ten games which gave us the second-best Championship opening day record in that period, only bettered by Sheffield Wednesday.
Given that they lost at Preston and we won, I assume that we now have the best record?
Just like last season, a home game against opposition whose name began with the letter ‘B’ was ignited just after a goalless first-half by a new-signing scoring on his debut.
True, this wasn’t the crazy 4-2 result that we inflicted upon Barnsley almost a year ago to the day, but it was the same three points that a morale-boosting win can gain for you on the first day.
I had feared that six goals in pre-season for Garner might have seen him dry up once the season started for real, but once he swept home Jonas Knudsen’s cross, to become our 66th debutant goalscorer, such fears were soon forgotten.
I think we’ve got a real find in Garner and fair play to Mick on his signing.
As I said, what a shame about Dozzell’s injury. This really needed to be the season that he pushed on and showed that all the promise that has surrounded him over the last couple of years could come to fruition on the back of success with England’s Under 19’s in the close season.
He was certainly having a good game up until his injury and if it is as serious as feared, then what a blow that is for us and of course more importantly, to Andre.
He has deserved his chance to become a regular starter and to have the opportunity taken away from him in such a manner really is cruel. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
Flynn Downes had an assured second-half and put in the kind of display that had everything I was told he would have by one academy coach recently.
I was impressed with what I saw at Colchester in pre-season and whilst of course I would not want to put any pressure on his young shoulders, it’s a breath of fresh air to look forward to our youngsters being given a chance rather than some old has-been looking for one last payday.
As for Birmingham, well it was definitely a good time to play them as I cannot imagine ‘Arry Redknapp being happy with his lot for too much longer.
On Saturday’s evidence, they need a lot of improvement and judging by his dealing in the transfer market over the years, you would imagine that it will not be much longer before some decent arrivals come through the door at St Andrews.
As for ourselves, much of course to improve on but the season is up and running with a win and it will now be interesting to see what our line-up will be at Luton tomorrow evening in the league cup.
Usually we see a much-weaker line-up played in such cup games but would imagine a few that did not play on Saturday will get a run out and that would include Adam Webster, Bersant Celina, Danny Rowe and David McGoldrick.