The Two Up Two Down Ipswich Town Conudrum
East Anglian Daily Times football columnist Stuart Watson, hit the nail on the head, when he said that, instead of worrying about going two goals down in the opening twenty minutes, what about trying to go two goals up?
He was of course referring to manager Mick McCarthy's football philosophy which implies that, we must not go off like the clappers, only to suffer the ignominy of trailing the opposition by a couple of goals - all because we went at them in a forward thinking frenzy from the off!
On Tuesday night against Sunderland at Portman Road, everything changed and McCarthy reasoned that we had so many good attacking options, that it would have been churlish to avoid using them to full capacity. He felt that his four strikers were better than the Black Cats four defenders. Well, he certainly got that right.
And what a difference it made! Town went at Sunderland at full throttle from the off and with Waghorn and McGoldrick pulling the strings, the visitors found life very uncomfortable from the outset, as Town went at them with pace and passion.
Radio Suffolk football analyst and Town legend Mick Mills, has said for a long time now, that he cannot quite fathom why our manager is so reluctant to play this way because the home fans expect it of you.
On Tuesday night McCarthy finally got the message and had a change of heart and the results were truly staggering!
The goals, when they came, were largely very well-crafted affairs and for the first time in a very long time, there were five different Town goalscorers and they came from all quarters.
Striker Martyn Waghorn got the show on the road with the first on nine minutes, after a deft cross from his former Rangers teammate, Joe Garner and then on 27 minutes it was centre back Jordan Spence who headed home powerfully from a Waghorn corner.
Before this encounter, Town had only managed to score a first half goal in just twenty of their last fifty four matches at Portman Road and yet here we were, with two before half time!
The goal feast continued after the break, when Bersant Celina celebrated making the starting eleven, by expertly executing a cheeky back-flick from Man of the Match Martyn Waghorn and then David McGoldrick capped an excellent display with a goal of his own, before weaving past a couple of defenders and delivering an inch perfect pass into the path of onrushing midfielder Grant Ward and he rounded the keeper for the fifth.
This was a wonderful all-round team performance and a five star one at that. Cole Skuse was excellent too and much more forward thinking than normal but the whole team gelled so well.
Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor have been at Portman Road since November 2012 and look like they will now remain with Ipswich until the summer of 2018, with the option of two further years.
If Town continue to play this way then no one will be complaining but I have the suspicion that if things go pear shaped, then McCarthy might just as quickly revert to old school again.
He must be aware however that it is not just getting good results that will bring the fans back but good performances too and I genuinely hope he does not lose his nerve and we go for the jugular again against Bristol City at Portman Road on Saturday.
Only then will those stay away supporters be seriously tempted to find out just what they are missing?
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich