I believe anyone who has followed the progress of Ipswich Town Football Club this season can agree that it has been a roller-coaster ride.
The unmistakable high point of the season was the 1-0 home victory over the unimpressive Arsenal, where Tamas Priskin, the Hungarian born striker, scored arguably the most important goal of his career. However, contrast this with the lowest point of the season, and it just seems like a forgotten memory. The local derby against the prolific Norwich City, which saw Ipswich losing 4-1 at Carrow Road, and going on to lose 5-1 at Portman Road, completely shadows the impressive run the Tractor Boys had going into these games.
The season started with the Blues triumphing one of the pre-season favourites, Middlesbrough, 3-1 at the Riverside. An unexpected victory for the hopeful town fans, giving them hope for the rest of the season. Ipswich continues this impressive start, gaining 10 points from the first four matches. During this ‘mini’ run, the Blues won two away League Cup games against league one Exeter and league two Crewe.
However, after this spell, Town managed only 9 points out of a possible 27; an unimpressive figure given the inspiring start to the season. This then led to the Blues losing six on the trot, and saw them slide hopelessly down the table and towards the drop zone.
The New Year saw a mixture of emotions for Town, with them travelling to Premier League giants Chelsea and Arsenal in a matter of days. The fixture that saw Ipswich travel to Chelsea will be one the club will want to forget, as they lost 7-0; all the goals came in under an hour.
However, four days later Arsenal visited Portman Road for the Semi-final of the League Cup, with both clubs looking for a first leg advantage, and to take a step closer to the final. Although Ipswich were on the back foot for the majority of the game, striker Tamas Priskin produced a wonderful ‘poachers’ goal in the 78th minute – 1-0 Ipswich. The goal came out of nothing – a long floated kick by Martin Fulop, chased down by Priskin and beautifully curled in the bottom right corner of Szczesny’s net. Arsenal then went on to take the second leg 3-0 and booked themselves a place in the final against Birmingham.
Then came the turning point of the season – Jimmy Bullard. The Hull loanee had been plagued with injury throughout his career, and hadn’t found himself in the starting XI. This was until he made the loan move to Ipswich. The supporters welcomed him as one of their own, and he showed them a master class of midfield attacking and a hunger to track back and help out the defence. Over the course of his loan spell, he contributed 5 goals and 5 assists in the 15 games he played for Town – not a bad record for a 32 year old central midfielder.
After the second leg of the semi final, Ipswich went on to take 11 points out of a possible 15, which saw them rise considerably up the table and safely away from the dreaded drop. Their season again turned for the worst – Ipswich managed just one win from a possible six, which left the supporters wondering what they were to expect next.
What came next was a challenging four day Easter period. Ipswich found themselves at the hands of a 5-1 thrashing from arch rivals Norwich, and a 4-1 defeat to newly promoted Swansea.
Ipswich had once again disappointed the loyal fans at Portman Road, with a bottom half finish in the Npower Championship Table. Add this to the embarrassing fact that the ever hated Norwich City have made it into the Premier League, it was not the season that every Town fan had hoped for.