Ipswich bullies are the Blofeld to Norwich City’s stylish James Bond
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
After seeing Norwich City frustrated by their unfashionable rivals Jon Rogers still believes that the Canaries will prove their class this season.
As I travelled back from the game, my hands finally dried, my mouth finally moistened and my ears continued to whistle more than the referee did.
The throbbing atmosphere, the overwhelming anticipation, and the fact we had so much more to lose, all came together in a soup of restless unease. By the time I arrived home, my body and mind were in pieces. Throughout the entire 90 minutes, every huff followed a puff, every push followed a shove, and every to followed a fro.
Good god, I hate derby day.
As for the actual football, there was little to enjoy as the contest shifted end to end like a game of garden swing-ball. Each team frantically swatting the ball away, claiming they were on top.
In reality, the game was so evenly matched, it was difficult to argue that either side deserved all three points but there was something that wasn't quite matched. The massive divide between the styles of football.
Ipswich were once again mixture of carthorse and bully. The more aggressive hoofs the better. I saw more pushing, shoving and kicking at Portman Road than the silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad, inset, did in the taekwondo in Rio.
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But their brand of kick and rush only works if a weaker side allows it to work. Norwich did their best to stand up to it, and tried their best to play better football – mostly one-touch triangles high up the pitch – but could only do it in-between crunching aerial challenges and scrapping for the subsequent second balls.
Even though we were trying our hardest to let our cultured players express themselves – not much came off. All in all, an average performance has brought us an average result against an average team.
Despite the draw being a fair result, and the man in the row in front of me announcing about forty seven times to all we were rubbish and we would severely struggle this season, we remain unbeaten with just two goals conceded in four.
The one point that really made me reflect was there was a clear visual evidence of unease at Portman Road. Ignoring a very obvious Marcus Evans/Olympic ticket jibe, Portman Road was approximately 75pc full on derby day.
Massive sections of blue seats in every corner of each stand apart from the one bathed in yellow. After watching the quality of football on show, I can understand why.
Take away the tension and adrenaline sparkle of a local derby, watching the football Mick McCarthy's team dishes up each week is not only one dimensional, it's painfully unwatchable.
A consistent level of direct non-football is dull, dire and is starting to be potentially disastrous for the club.
If Ipswich can't motivate their fan base to pay to watch their team in their biggest and most captivating game of the season, what will they do when Burton or Preston come to Suffolk? Ipswich are struggling to compete financially with dwindling ticket sales... that makes a toxic combination.
This might seem like an all out attack on the next door neighbours but as much as I don't want them ever to be promoted, (15 years in the Championship) I don't want them to go down. As much as it would be fun to gloat at their failure, everyone needs their Moriarty, their Wile E Coyote, their Blofeld.
Mick's outburst towards his own fans proves not all is rosy at the Road and I wouldn't be surprised if they started to sink. As for Norwich, well, as Sherlock Holmes, Road Runner and James Bond prove, the cream will always rise.