‘DAD’S Army’ worked wonders for Paul Jewell at Bradford City, but it certainly didn’t help Ipswich Town march towards the Premier League in 2011/12.
After Michael Chopra helped us cruise past Bristol City (3-0) in the sunshine on opening day, it seemed as if the Scouser’s ‘old’ magic was back.
But the Ipswich pensioners were soon caught cold with thumpings against Southampton (5-2) and Peterborough (7-1) before that calamitous seven-game losing streak that surely came close to costing Paul Jewell his job.
If he does go on to become a memorable Ipswich manager for the right reasons, he will forever look back on those second 45 minutes at Barnsley, with Keith Andrews inspiring a 5-3 fightback from 2-0 down as the Blues built on that win to pull clear of the relegation zone.
It was a fairly decent second half of the season where the home form drastically turned around, but it was too little too late for the play-offs.
So it will be out with the old and in with the new for 2012/13 after Jewell admitted there was no long-term plan.Here are my fantasy award winners, to sum-up a truly consistently inconsistent campaign:
BEST FIND: Aaron Cresswell our best player in 2011/12 cost only an initial £240,000 (possibly rising to £520,000).
FOOL’S GOLD: Lee Bowyer. Carling Cup winner didn’t get anywhere near to living up to his past.
Best celebration: Jason Scotland simply dropping his shorts to his ankles at Southampton following Bullard’s Newcastle nightclub misdemeanours.
CLEGG ON FACE: A number of PR gaffes to choose from, including... Giving a recovering gambling addict £250,000 of club funds to pay off debts; saying you won’t repeat the same mistakes with contract renewals, and then repeating the same mistake with contract renewals; dishing out two different punishments for the same crime, including fining a gambling addict who owes nasty people a lot of money. BUT, the award goes to...chief exec Simon Clegg, for the handling of the abandoned Middlesbrough match that meant a large number of people (eg. servicemen) paid for 90 minutes of football and only got 38 — while those that could make the re-run paid AGAIN.
CROSSBAR CHALLENGE KING: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
BLUE ARMY’S BEST MOMENT: Giving Billy Sharp a standing ovation after losing his baby.
BLUE ARMY’S WORST MOMENT: A rather perplexing banner at Brighton’s Amex Stadium that got them a wee bit angry.
PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON: West Ham at home (5-1) — outplayed most expensive squad in the league, again.
STINKER OF THE SEASON: Burnley away (4-0) — zero per cent fight.
BIGGEST LETDOWN: Jimmy Bullard - normally a jester on the pitch, but a clown off it.
BEST DISGUISED DEFENDER: Carlos Edwards (please get us a right-back).
BEST GOALKEEPER (a new award, as we had four!): David Stockdale — he wasn’t even ours, which says it all...
•Next week: My 2012/13 wishlist.