Fuller Flavour pre-season special: A hard slog ahead of Ipswich Town, could we get worse?
The new season is two days away and I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry - I've really not missed football this summer!
A huge majority of Town fans were glad to see last season disappear which in turn will see several fans disappear themselves now.
Season ticket sales are down, the mood is at an all-time low (at least in my lifetime it is) and if some of the concerns left hanging over us were lifted during the summer, I think that it is safe to say that they’re well and truly back after last week’s 6-1 loss at Charlton.
Of course, it was only pre-season and better to get the demons out of the way in that sort of game but was it just a one-off? I recall writing in my very first column of last season how pre-season concerned me. The lack of goals, the lack of performances, the lack of signings and the lack of momentum to carry into the new season.
I was reminded how it was “just” pre-season and shouldn’t have been worried. I was worried and our worst season in 58 years followed.
I’m worried again now and have this nagging feeling that the Ipswich way of getting over last season would be to go and have our worst season in 59 years!
What has frustrated me, is that the early part of this latest transfer window saw some really encouraging signs.
Find me an Ipswich fan not happy with the permanent singing of Emyr Huws. The fact that Tom Adeyemi chose to sign for us over Norwich gave him a good start to life with Town fans, what a shame we’ve not been able to see what he can offer on the pitch as yet.
Bersant Celina is another to have chosen signing for us over other clubs. Time will tell if he can replicate the form shown last season by Tom Lawrence.
And judging on the goals he has scored in pre-season and from what I saw of him against Colchester, Joe Garner could well be a useful acquisition up front, but how we need a big target man alongside him.
I also like the look of Dominic Iorfa but am a little disappointed that his signing has probably come about at the expense of sending Josh Emmanuel out on loan.
I would love to see us develop our own players rather than those of other clubs but all the same, I will be right behind Dominic.
It also remains to be seen how many of our youngsters will push on this season. Can we use Andre Dozzell more, Flynn Downes looked good in much of pre-season and Tristan Nydam apparently has a big future ahead.
One thing for sure is that the Championship looks stronger than ever this term. A mate and I last week were commenting on how strong the division is and could barely name no more than three or four sides that on paper at least looked weaker than Town. That adds up to a very worrying statistic indeed. As a club, we’re probably on a par with Bristol City. But when you see the sort of money they’re willing to spend on one player, you realise that at least in the transfer market, we’re well behind them.
If I was to bet on a top six, my money would be on the likes of (in no particular order) Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds.
That’s not even considering clubs who have either spent money or have parachute money to spend such as Derby, Sunderland, Hull City, Norwich, Wolves and Nottingham Forest.
Sheffield United can bring momentum with them from winning League One last term for a good season whilst clubs such as Cardiff and Birmingham have managers who know how to get out of this league.
There’s one hard slog in front of us.