Iwan Roberts: I was wrong about Norwich City...but at least I was right about Ipswich Town
PUBLISHED: 19:29 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 19:29 04 October 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
I said after a drab East Anglian derby back on September 2 that both Norwich and Ipswich were two very average teams that would probably finish mid table or worse.
Well it looks that I was very right with one of those predictions, but very wrong with the other one!
What on earth is happening down at Portman Road? New manager Paul Hurst is still looking for his first win as Ipswich manager and after Tuesday night’s defeat to Middlesbrough they are second from bottom by goal difference only. They are in real danger of ending their 17-year stay in The Championship.
Norwich fans love reminding the Tractor Boys that they are the longest serving team in this division, but it could soon come to an end with the real possibility of relegation to League One.
I bumped into Mick McCarthy at St Andrews at the beginning of the season and I had a quick chat with him about what had happened to him at Ipswich in his last few months in charge.
I told him that in my opinion it was shocking how he had been treated by the club’s fans and that it was disgraceful how they hounded him out after the job he’d done, not only reaching the play-offs in 2015 but how he’d managed to keep Ipswich in The Championship for six years with virtually no resources.
In three of the seasons Mick was in charge at Ipswich they finished sixth, seventh and ninth, his lowest finish as manager was 16th and in his last season in the hot seat he guided them to a 12th-placed finish! Not too shabby for a manager who had to beg and borrow for everything that he got, but it was still not good enough for the Ipswich fans and they finally forced him out in April. Their loss if you ask me and their lowly league position would definitely suggest that, sometimes you really have to be careful what you wish for.
Norwich’s form on the other had since the derby couldn’t have been better and yes there will be an element of disappointment after their winning streak came to an unlucky end on Wednesday night when Craig Bryson kneed an equaliser for Derby with five minutes of normal time remaining. However, a point away from home against a team that the week before knocked out Manchester United in the League Cup isn’t such a bad result.
MORE: Paddy’s pointers from the 1-1 draw at Derby
I scored a few goals against Derby, I’ve mentioned quite a few times my first ever hat trick was scored in 28 minutes for Leicester against the Rams but my most memorable goal I scored against them was at Vicarage Road back on April 30, 1988 and the main reason for it being the most memorable was it was against the great Peter Shilton.
It was a decent header from what I can remember and even though we only drew the game 1-1 the sheer fact that I scored against a goalkeeper who won 125 caps for England meant it was one of the best goals I scored for Watford. Mnd you I only scored nine goals for the Hornets and it doesn’t matter how many goals I’d have scored for them none was going to top my winning goal and the first of my professional career against Manchester United on September 16, 1986.
On Wednesday Steve Bruce was relieved of his duties at Aston Villa after a run of just one win in their last 10 games in league and cup and after the 3-3 against bottom of the table Preston a Villa fan vented his anger by throwing a cabbage at Steve – a cabbage!
Who on earth thinks about taking a cabbage into a football stadium?
Chelsea fans in the 80s and 90s used to throw celery on to the pitch but they would do it at every game as part of a song they sang but never threw it at any of the players.
While Welsh fans were in Belgrade last summer a Serbian fan somehow sneaked a javelin into the ground and threw it into the middle of the Welsh end luckily no one was hurt but the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard being taken into a stadium was a Vespa!
It happened in 2002 when Wales played Italy in the San Siro against Italy. I wasn’t part of the Welsh squad but my brother and cousin went to the game with another 4,000 Welsh fans. For some reason the Welsh fans were put on the lower tier of the stand behind one of the goals which meant they were sitting ducks for the Italian fans who were in the stand above them.
During the game coins were thrown at them, they were showered with urine which they weren’t really surprised with but then over came a Vespa from the upper stand! They couldn’t believe it and thankfully no one was injured.
On a more personal level the only thing that’s ever been thrown at me while playing was those false teeth sweets you could buy. At the time it made me laugh and it didn’t bother me one bit. I thought 10 out of 10 for originality from a Sheffield Utd fan!