There’s a memorable scene in Mike Bassett: England Manager where Ricky Tomlinson’s character defies the press pack’s calls for his head by reciting Rudyard Kipling’s poem If, before storming out on declaring they will be playing four-four-(something)-two.
Until Saturday, there were more than a few Ipswich fans beginning to depict Mick McCarthy as a managerial dinosaur chiselled from the same stone as Mike Bassett.
But at Bloomfield Road he defiantly answered his critics with a dramatic second-half turnaround under a dynamic 4-2-3-1 system that suggests formations, as well as players, impact on games.
Knowing when to deploy them is, of course, the key and McCarthy should be applauded for getting it right in Saturday’s 3-2 win.
In truth, I hadn’t expected anything from Bloomfield Road but the way three points came about, with an injury-time goal apiece, brought back memories of Joe Royle’s attack-minded approach and even those crazy play-off games of the 1990s.
How Portman Road used to rock in those days — but I live in hope we’re on the right path to it doing so again.
And at least we know there is now a plan B to turn to.
Republic of Ireland winger Stephen Hunt, when he is fully match-fit, could prove a great bit of business as he looks to put himself on the radar for a Premier League return.
I can’t end this week’s column without giving a mention to super fan Michael Kemp.
I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally, but it is clear that for those that did, there will always be something missing when following the Blues from now on.
As thrilling as the end of Saturday’s game was, ‘Kempy’s’ passing soon after, having only been in his mid-50s, puts football into perspective.
It’s people like him, and his enthusiasm for his team, not the billionaire owners and their wads of cash, or the players that come and go, that make it the game we love.