I saw the best and, perhaps, the worst of Ipswich Town in a 12-hour period this week.
A behind-the-scenes tour of Portman Road, for my grandad’s birthday, reminded me of what a great club — thanks to him — I follow.
As our impressive guide Simon Askew said: “We aren’t a Man United, but how many clubs have only had 15 managers since 1936 and have seen two of those manage their country?”
As well as the rich history, the stories of how Sir Bobby Robson pledged his bonus to ensure a replica of the FA Cup, and how we were the football pioneers of artificial light to keep our pitch green in the winter, were among those that made me feel proud.
But it was followed by a bombshell of a story about the club’s finances.
Despite the Twitter abuse to the contrary, the local press did the right thing.
It was in the public interest and is the kind of journalism which can help a club in the long run (see my own paper’s stories on Long Melford FC).
On the football side, things are certainly falling into the ‘good’ category right now.
Three straight wins, following Daryl Murphy’s late header against Huddersfield, and we’re within a win of the ‘lay-off ‘laces (see last week).
For all the talk of Mick McCarthy’s defensive stabilising, it is Terry Connor who deserves praise for the other end of the pitch — with David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy with 47 per cent of our goals.
Will the new-found optimism survive a tricky trip to Nottingham Forest?
Well, three wins and two defeats suggests the City Ground is far from a fortress. They are another great club, with another great history — but for both of us, it’s time to start making some more.
* Debenham schoolboy George Fowler continues to impress and played as the under-18s were within a penalty shootout of knocking Sunderland out of the FA Youth Cup.