Sunday, 7 August 2011

Dare to Dream: Is the Bristol result a sign of things to come?

Word has it that on Football Focus this weekend Ipswich Town were tipped to be this season's 'dark horse'. I wonder if they're thinking a little differently now?

As The Football League Show's Steve Claridge said on Saturday night following a disappointingly short review of our match:

'Dark horse? I think they'll be a bright light in the Championship'

Paul Jewell's new look side did the 1,700 travelling Town fans (including myself) very proud in this first game of the season: and not just with the fantastic scoreline.

What we saw this weekend was an excellent display of football, especially when you consider what we were watching last year. No, it wasn't perfect and, yes, we have things to learn. But it wasn't a bad starting point was it?!

The main thing I noticed was how interesting the game was. Last year I got to the point where I felt I was watching the Blues out of loyalty rather than the possibility of actually enjoying it. Some of the games last year were tedious, to say the least, but I'm now starting to think that will no longer be the case.

Personally, I felt there was some good football on show. We pushed forward constantly and took our chances on goal. Whilst at the other end the defence seemed fairly well in control, especially with such a solid keeper in Stockdale.

The BBC's coverage of the game failed to show any of this, particularly the three spectacular saves from the young keeper, so if you have the chance I would definetly try to catch the review on the Ipswich Player this week.

Man of the Match should probably be Chopra: for an absolutely beautiful first goal (his 13th minute shot was the first of the 3pm kick offs, by the way). And a rather more lucky - but no less satisfying - third goal, which wrapped up the game for Town and ultimately secured the win.

Chops looks set to be a Town legend already, with every single Town fan singing his name for almost the full ninety minutes. He was active up front and looked a real threat for us every time we moved forward.

However, my Man of the Match was Mark Kennedy. I didn't see much of the defender last season, and what I did see really didn't impress me. But yesterday I thought he was solid and instrumental to a lot of Town's best moves - that stunning opening goal was a result of his well timed pass. He looked sterdy at the back and I'll be keeping my eye on him this year.

It's suprising to me that in a team starring so many exciting new players it's a player from last years terrible side that caught me eye. Perhaps it's my natural apathy for defenders (being one myself, when I do get to play), or maybe I just have an exceptional eye for talent, ahem...!

Also making his mark , in my opinion, was young defender Aaron Cresswell - he's definetly the one to watch this year. He was very quick up the left hand side and reminded me a lot of Jaime Peters - mainly due to his height, he's tiny!

Meanwhile, I shocked myself when I found I was singing 'Lee, Lee, Lee Bowyer'. It's no secret that I'm not his biggest fan, but Town fans told me he would bring leadership and knowledge to the team... and they weren't wrong!

The midfield looked like a force to be reckoned with, unlike last year where you'd have been forgiven for thinking it didn't exsist. I'm hoping him and Leadbitter will be the ones to lead us to the Play Offs - or beyond - this season... and when he does I'll definetly be eating a slice of that humble pie.

At the other end of the pitch it was nice to see John Stead get such a great reception from the Town fans. He's a popular player among the Portman Road faithful and so I was pleased to see him receive a standing ovation from our end of the ground when he was substituted.

'Bekah's funny moment' was the chant from the Blues fans: 'Is there a fire drill'. Amusingly thought up to goad the Bristol City fans following the third goal, as the ground appeared to empty in a few seconds.

But, of course, the Highlight of the Day as a Whole has got to be getting home and turning on the Teletext:

With West Ham losing yesterday, the terraces can continue to sing 'We Are Top of the League' well into next weekend's first home game against Hull. Fow now, we can bask in the glory, no doubt it will be one of the highlights of this year. I just pray it isn't the only one.

Because whilst my post-match feeling was one of pure happiness, there was an undeniable feeling of wanting to keep a lid on it for the time being.

As my Daddy said: 'It's only one game'. An opinion that is reflected by boss Paul Jewell. I was interested to read on the Green 'Un website that he wasn't unreservedly happy with the performance:

“We are keeping our feet firmly on the ground... It is the start of a very long and arduous season and we have got off to a good start.”

All we can do, as loyal supporters, is keep up the excellent support that we showed this weekend and hope this is a sign of things to come.

Less than 48 hours after the game, the footballing world has already moved on. Stockdale has been called up to play for his country and Marton Fulop has left the club - leaving us with serious worries about having enough talent between the sticks. Rumour has it Tamas Priskin will follow Fulop, which has disappointed the Town Tweeps - but one wonders how much he would have featued in a side that's pinning all it's hopes on Chopra? While there's also hopes of signing Everton defender Duffy to increase our choices at the back.

Savouring the moment didn't last too long did it?!

We cannot and will not expect 3:0 wins every time the boys walk on to the pitch, it's going to take time and effort for them to become a team worthy of promotion - let alone one that will survive in the promised land that is the Premiership. It is nice to daydream, though, that one day we will look back on this game as the start of ' The Glory years' for this generation of the Boys in Blue.

Dare we Dream?

In the meantime though - I'm more than happy to bask in the glory... shall we just see that picture one more time...?!

By the way: my top Town Tweeps this weekend have to be @Hacaman for bringing me my brand new replica shirt over from Ipswich! And fellow blogger @gavinbarber whose lad did us proud as the Ipswich mascot!

If you're not following him, do so... and of course find me on Twitter @tractorgirlamy

I'd love to hear what you thought of this weekend's game, who your Man of the Match was and how many times in the last 24 hours you've punched the air in delight as you relive those three beautiful goals!!!

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