Ipswich Town could be on the verge of a promising new era at Portman Road after what has been a couple of very challenging campaigns for the East Anglian side.
Paul Lambert has departed the club after failing to get Ipswich back into the Championship at the first time of asking last term, missing out on the League One play-offs entirely. While this time around things have not improved too dramatically and the Tractor Boys were looking like they were going to miss out on the top six once again.
However, Paul Cook’s arrival is one that should generate a lot of positivity around the club. The former Wigan Athletic boss arrives with his stock high following the impressive job he did with the Latics, despite their points deduction enforced relegation last term.
There is also speculation over a potential takeover of the club, and that would be something that a lot of supporters would be excited to see happen. Were they to be taken over then the future could suddenly look brighter for them off the field, as their immediate on-field future looks to be under Cook.
The Tractor Boys have a long and illustrious history and have achieved many highs since they were formed way back in 1878. Here, we take a look at THREE facts that you might not have known about concerning Ipswich…
Ipswich’s lengthy 45-year European record surpassed by surprising side
One fairly well-known and proud fact around Ipswich, especially amongst the club’s supporters is the Tractor Boys’ record of never having been beaten at home in European competition. That comes despite the club having played in all three major European club competitions and having taken to the field against the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Barcelona.
However, what might not be as well known is that Ipswich for 45 years held the record for the longest unbeaten home run in European football history. That run saw them avoid defeat at Portman Road in 31 matches in a row in Europe.
That record though was eventually broken due to the Tractor Boys’ lengthy absence from European football. However, it was not the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona, Manchester United, or Liverpool that broke that record, but it was Dutch side AZ Alkmaar who eventually surpassed the 31 unbeaten home game mark in Europe.
Ipswich’s horror defensive showing in post-Alf Ramsey era
Undoubtedly one of the best eras in the history of Ipswich came under the legendary Sir Alf Ramsey who guided the Tractor Boys to their first-ever English top-flight title during the 1961/62 season. That came in the club’s first-ever campaign at the highest level of English football.
Ramsey’s departure from the club after 369 games in charge was always going to potentially see the club need to take time to adapt to a new approach. However, his replacement Jackie Milburn’s time in charge was very rocky, to say the least.
Under Milburn, Ipswich’s defence contrived to concede an astonishing total of 121 league goals in 42 matches, which came just two years on from their maiden top-flight title. To this day that remains one of the worst defensive records in English football history from a side in a single season.
Ipswich went 54 years without ever sacking a manager
In modern-day football, it seems highly unlikely a club would last more than a decade at most without at least one managerial casualty. Indeed within the last few years, the Tractor Boys have parted company with Paul Hurst after just 15 matches and now Lambert has become the latest to step aside
However, after turning professional in 1936, the Tractor Boys went through seven permanent managers all of who enjoyed varying degrees of success with some moving on to take prestigious jobs like the England job and others who were less successful leaving at the end of their contracts.
In 1990 though the decision was made by Ipswich to sack John Duncan after three years in charge of the club. Three successive mid-table finishes in Division One (now the Championship), the last of which came nearly a decade on from the club winning the UEFA Cup under Bobby Robson, was enough for them to decide to dispense with a manager for the first time.