Date: 8th February 2019 at 11:20am
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So, stumbling around Twitter, as you do…I came across a poll being run by an Ipswich fan which asked:
‘Would you rather beat Norwich and get relegated or lose to Norwich but stay up?’.
It had been voted on about 500 times and the consensus was to take the derby day defeat but retain their place in the Championship. A very sensible decision. Let’s be honest, if Ipswich get beaten on Sunday and still manage to avoid relegation it would go down as one of the most incredible escape acts ever and Paul Lambert would be fettered in Suffolk in the same way he was/is fettered in Norfolk.

Surely the run of results they would produce over the final 14-odd games of the season to mastermind their escape would live long in their memory and it may even spur them on to greater success next season.

And yet, what I found extraordinary about this poll was that 36% of respondents chose to take relegation on the chin just so they could take bragging rights over their Northern neighbours. The idea that they would rather be playing in league one confounded me. So I decided to do a little experiment of my own.

I decided to run a similar poll for Norwich fans and asked ‘Would you rather beat Ipswich and finish 2nd in the league or lose to Ipswich and win the league?’

Okay, I know a few of you will say this is not a reasoned question – as either way we get promoted…but if I had said ‘Beat Ipswich and not get promoted’ or ‘Beat Ipswich and end up in the playoffs’ I don’t think anyone would have voted for those options. It has to be quite nuanced. Kind of in the balance.

A remarkable 77% voted to beat Ipswich and finish the league in 2nd. 3 out of 4 of you would put a derby day win over the Championship. Silverware, extra prize money and the long-term knowledge that we ‘won the league’ in 2019 put in the bin, just so we could retain our long-standing dominance over the Tractor Boys? Really???

I literally couldn’t believe it. Honestly…we’re going to lose to them one day. It’s only a matter of time. Who gives a monkeys when it is? But to win the league…?

Do you really think the club think the same? Do you think Stuart Webber, Delia, Michael or Daniel Farke give a Farke about some unbeaten record against Ipswich? Or do you think they want to win the league?

Maybe, the result would be different if I had held it outside the confines of Twitter? As this just seems to be the location of the vast majority of baiting of the enemy. Where you can find the insults and barbs. Throwing anonymous insults and derogatory images. It’s a great place if you like ‘banter’. Not so good if you want a reasoned debate. (I made the mistake of commenting on the whole ‘Mings/Oliviera’ debate and was immediately pulled into a tirade of abuse.)

I’d be interested in your thoughts? A derby day defeat for a season’s success or not??

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