2018 was a year of long wished-for change at Portman Road: the downward spiral of division and anger between Ipswich Town fans and manager Mick McCarthy - caused in no short amount by the lack of investment from Marcus Evans - came to a head.
But can 2019 be the year we finally say goodbye to that? I really do hope so. For years, we've been wishing for something different - both in the style of football on the pitch and the owner's style of management off it.
By the end of McCarthy's tenure you'd have been hard pushed to find someone who wanted him to renew his contract in the summer and to this day you would still not find anyone who doesn't concede it was best for all parties that he leave.
The relief of McCarthy's departure in April was followed by a risky appointment in Paul Hurst and a disastrous start to the 2018/2019 season. We find ourselves facing the very real prospect of relegation to League One in the coming year.
But, if we were to go back 12 months - would we change what happened? Would I regret adding my voice to the calls for Mick's resignation? Not. For. A. Second.
And what of our hopes for 2019? To finally move on.
A few months ago, former Norwich player Chris Sutton mocked an Ipswich Town fan during a 5 Live show for saying we were happy to have moved on from our previous manager, even though results since then have been poor.
Aside from the fact that his obsession with criticising our supporters is a bit weird, I do wish Sutton would take the time to learn more about what's going on at Portman Road before commenting. Surely that's part of his job?
It’s true the Hurst honeymoon period didn’t last very long, but that doesn't mean we regret the departure of McCarthy. Even if having him here would have meant we were safe. I think it's fair to say that most Blues fans are content the club made the right choice in moving on from him.
When speaking to Chris, Blues fan Tom explained this perfectly well, pointing out that anything was better for us than the dross we were served up last season and McCarthy’s repeated press conference digs at our fans. It seems Chris has taken offence to this point of view, but he might wish to consider that it's one held by a large number of Tractor Boys, before trotting out the ‘be careful what you wish for’ strap-line yet again.
(I’m sure he's completely professional and unbiased in his opinions and that his loyalty to our green and yellow neighbours in Norfolk has nothing to do with his inability to even consider this matter from a different point of view.)
Chris is, of course, correct that McCarthy had moderate success while managing our club: After saving us from relegation, he took us to 6th, 7th, 16th and 12th in the league – not too shabby for a man who wasn’t given the budget that other clubs around us are.
But, the closing years of his time with us epitomised the frustration we’ve all come to feel: he made us question whether we wanted to keep paying to go to games. He went to away games to play for a draw, introduced a hoof-ball style of play that gave us neck-ache and had an aversion to Cup competitions that bordered on disrespectful.
We never got beyond the Third round under his stewardship, and that included an embarrassing, pitiful defeat to then non-league Lincoln. That was a game Chris commentated on, on national radio, with glee and gloating. So, as I say, he's clearly objective and professional when it comes to this topic.
Don’t get me wrong, I understood what he was trying to do on the pitch – even though I was bored out of my mind watching it. But his attitude off the pitch became indefensible: when he reached the point of telling his own fans to f*** off after Chambers scored the late goal against Norwich, he reached the point of no return – he had to go.
What should have been a moment of celebration was completely ruined by his actions, it tainted the day even more than Klose’s 95th-minute equaliser – and given I’ve been waiting nine long years to see us win a derby, that’s saying something. I'd love to know what Chris has to say about that, but presumably it wouldn't suit his pro-McCarthy, anti-Ipswich fan agenda.
Sadly Chris isn't the only one that seems to be taking pleasure in our demise since the Yorkshire man departed. We've inexplicably appeared on the back page of one newspaper, who usually pays us no attention at all, under the headline 'Be Careful What You Wish For' and other pundits have followed suit.
Despite their liking for Mick, the only time the papers seemed to take an interest in him was when he was linked with the Ireland job. Not once did they cover our results on the pitch - ironically, that's likely to be because it was too boring.
Even now, as the club faces the drop to the third tier of football for the first time ever, the media insist on looking back at the end of last season rather than forward to the end of this.
I've seen more people criticising us for McCarthy leaving than discussing the current situation of the club and where we're going next. Outside of East Anglia (to be fair, Norwich have taken notice of the Paul Lambert appointment, they're still sulking), we are in the wrong for 'hounding him out'.
What they all seem to have overlooked is one glaring fact: We’ve been in this league for 17 years. Seventeen. I was at school when we got promoted. Since then, I’ve gone on to graduate from uni, moved up north, had three long-term relationships, lived in eight different homes, had a child, got engaged and bought a house.
Meanwhile, Ipswich Town remains stubbornly in the second tier of English football, not being promoted but not being relegated either. The loyalty our fans have shown throughout these years of tedium should be applauded, not mocked. When you’re a football fan, you have to deal with the trials and tribulations. You have ups and you have downs, but you never let that stop you going back for more.
If (or maybe that should now say 'when') we start next season in League One, we will not regret parting ways with McCarthy - mainly because it has absolutely nothing to do with him. Our time with him had come to an end and what has happened since is really not linked - I'd suggest it's lazy journalism to claim it is.
Let us just focus on going down...
Oh, and may Chris find something more interesting to focus on than what us Blues fans are up to, or at least learn how to do a bit of research.
This article first appeared in the magazine, Kings of Anglia, you can order your copy here: https://www.buyamag.co.uk/Leisure-Magazines/Kings-of-Anglia/KINGITF9