'The worst year of my Town-supporting life' - Fuller Flavour
PUBLISHED: 18:00 30 December 2018
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Boy, will I not miss 2018 as far as the Ipswich Town part of my life is concerned. Without a doubt, it has been the most depressing calendar year of my 40 years as a fan.
I had hoped that a two-game unbeaten run before Christmas might just be the catalyst to setting up a run to try and get us out of our current plight but the most predictable aspect of being an Ipswich fan is the knowledge that any hope of better times ahead is soon extinguished and it’s so often back to square one.
In hindsight, two away fixtures over the festive period at QPR and Middlesbrough were probably the last games we really wanted or needed.
Last Wednesday became the sixth visit in a row that we have lost at Loftus Road – four of those occasions have been to nil – and the defeat at Middlesbrough was the seventh successive winless visit to the Riverside in which time we have failed to score on six occasions and this was the fourth 2-0 defeat in that time.
It concluded a miserable end to what has been a truly desolate year. I certainly cannot think of any worse calendar years in my time frequenting Portman Road.
There are many statistics that highlight how bad it has been but the most telling ones are that we won only three home games (of which I only saw two ), we only managed back-to-back wins just once – the away games at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday at the end of February/beginning of March.
And we only scored more than two goals in a game on just two occasions – at Reading in April and Swansea in October.
Of the 46 league games played in 2018, we won 8, drew 15 and lost 23 scoring 38 and conceding 68. We amassed just 39 points from 138 available and that is of course relegation form by anyone’s standards.
You can look at statistics all-day long but the harsh reality is that the problems at our club go far deeper that any number crunching. When I break down the calendar year into three notable periods, it really highlights where it has been so miserable.
January to March saw the end of the Mick McCarthy era where it really was only the die-hards left attending games. The boring football, as safe as it was, had driven thousands away, tensions were at breaking point and Mick simply had to go.
I’ll go to my grave knowing that was always the right thing to happen regardless of what any expert has to say.
August to October saw Paul Hurst absolutely ruin us on the pitch. Some of what happened was mystifying at the time, now it just seems ludicrous and we’re paying the heaviest of prices.
And from the moment Paul Lambert walked into the club to the present day, I believe we have a very good manager in place but who has next to nothing to work with.
Off the pitch, Lambert has done more than anyone to unite the club and the supporters again and he oozes positivity, which deserves more return than he is currently getting.
Sadly, I feel the iceberg has already been hit and we’re on our way down. We’ve reached January further behind in points than we would have ideally liked, and I see players jumping ship in the forthcoming transfer window as well as difficulty getting enough quality to join the sinking ship to have any hope of staying afloat.
2018 saw us lose an FA Cup tie at the first hurdle yet again as well as failing to beat Norwich on two more occasions.
MORE: Town to sign Leicester defender If you think it cannot get any worse, this time next week we could be out of the FA Cup losing at the hands of Accrington and by the end of February, another Norwich game could well pass us by without a win in that particular fixture.
Then to cap it all, relegation to the third tier of the game for the first time since 1957 could well be confirmed. On those bright notes, I guess I should still wish you all a very Happy New Year.