Ipswich 4 Forest 2
Five months into the biggest reset button in the club’s recent history and the world, once more, is caving in. Twitter is awash with frenzied messages about our plight. It’s the tiniest minorities of course; anyone who sees Twitter as a constant gauge for the fans thinking is wholly mistaken. The most vocal, angriest verdicts online will inevitably rise to the surface but delve a little deeper and you’ll find sensible and reasoned debate. There is no right answer here but there is a need to stop screaming your heart out at everyone when we lose a game of football, no matter how ridiculous the nature of the defeat.
The reaction at the final whistle at Portman Road was a mixture of dismay, frustration and a bit of audible angst. Yet the players were largely applauded as they made their way across to thank the 1,100 Forest. I steered clear of Twitter in the immediate hours after the game. Partly because I was enjoying the remainder of the day, can in hand and laughing with mates. And also because it can be a disheartening place at times. I knew what I’d witnessed, I knew the defending was criminal and I knew that a lot of what I had seen was not good enough regardless of how short a time into a rebuild we are. I also saw the usual flashes of promise and, believe it or not, I do admire the philosophy Warburton is trying to stamp on his players. And, shock horror, I think he’s made some good progress in a matter of months. Shoot me quick!
Through glazed, drunken eyes I took a first proper glance at just after 10pm as my tram rolled through the city centre. Fans calling other fans deluded and stupid for one viewpoint or another and an army of one informing folk that we should abandon any ideas of playing football because it’s not working. I don’t raise this as some blasphemous statement, anyone is entitled to have a say, but it’s the panic to throw everything else out the window so soon into this project that sticks in the throat. It was just weeks ago that we purred at the destruction of QPR. An all too rare performance I know but if that is what we are aiming for on a regular basis then I’m all for giving it a go. You only have to remember back a couple of seasons to the widespread outcry at ‘Dour’ Dougie Freedman. He very quickly made us tight at the back but there was widespread outrage at the style of play. I’m certain that some of the same people who complained profusely about that now lament our latest style.
I also saw one Twitter user announce, with no shortage of drama, that he was turning his back on the players. Jesus Christ. It’s all I need to say on that matter. Let’s hope it was the beer combined with disappointment talking.
The eagerness to rip up the plan and then rip up the plan and then rip up the plan is absolutely frightening. Time has to be afforded to try and get it right. We all see the issues; the frailties and the mistakes but are we seriously suggesting these are exclusive to the Warburton era? There has been a long standing malaise at NFFC and an underlying weakness in each and every squad. It’s been passed on from generation to generation and we never succeed. It’s spread into the fanbase in the form of impatience and a habit of panicking at every turn. Eventually we have to give someone the opportunity to eradicate it. A manager needs a series of transfer windows and he and his players need all of our understanding. It was almost universally accepted back in August, now some are sadly starting to turn.
To Mark Warburton and his players, you have my support.