The Rise of the Tractor Boys

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Kyle Goldsmith looks at Ipswich Town’s remarkable form of late, with promotion to the Premier League in their thoughts after a 14 year long stay in the Championship…

On 24th October 2012 Ipswich Town sat rock bottom of the Championship and were without a manager after Paul Jewell was sacked. They had and still have not been in the Premiership since 2001, but with this early season form under Mick McCarthy could they be returning after their long exodus from the promised land?

Ipswich are unbeaten in the league since October and have racked up some impressive wins, including victories against Watford and Charlton, who were previously unbeaten at home in the league until new loan signing Noel Hunt scored a 94th minute winner. They also won at Blackpool in Lee Clark’s first game as Tangerines manager. Although this may not seem too impressive, Blackpool have only lost one game in five since.

Noel Hunt celebrates his 94th minute winner on his debut at Charlton
Noel Hunt celebrates his 94th minute winner on his debut at Charlton

Ipswich have found no problem in scoring goals. Despite David McGoldrick not hitting the heights of last year, Daryl Murphy has smashed in 13 goals in 19 games and has already equalled his tally from the whole of last season. His form since arriving at Ipswich in 2012 has come as a relative surprise considering he had only scored 34 goals in the whole of his 10-year career.

The Tractor Boys have also defended well too, conceding only 20 goals, which is the fourth best defensive record in the Championship. Jonathan Parr, Tyrone Mings, Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra have been used in various combinations and have given Ipswich a massive advantage at set pieces. None of these players are under six feet tall. They have one of the tallest teams in the league from defence to attack. Six foot three inches Daryl Murphy has given them a target man and an unbelievable eight of the eleven players who started against Leeds last weekend are over six feet tall!

Tyrone Mings - being chased by Chelsea and Arsenal
Tyrone Mings – being chased by Chelsea and Arsenal

Mick McCarthy may have money to spend in January as well, with Tyrone Mings being watched by Arsenal and Chelsea with a crazy fee of £8 million being reported. The question for Ipswich is do they take the money, reinvest it and go for promotion without Mings? Or do they keep him and hold out for an even more preposterous fee in the summer?

Either way this could be the Tractor Boy’s best chance to return to the Premiership in years. Mick McCarthy has done an unbelievable job to not only halt Ipswich’s slide down the table in 2012, but get them right back up the league. The promised land of the Premiership is in his and Ipswich’s sights.

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