As a lifelong Ipswich Town fan, you tend to wonder if you do in fact follow sport’s most mediocre sides.
Have a look at the synonyms for mediocre: ordinary, common, commonplace, indifferent, average, middle-of-the-road, middling, medium, moderate, everyday, workaday, tolerable, passable, adequate, fair. All of these you could certainly assign to the Tractor Boys.
One only needs a look at the table where Ipswich Town sit after the previous weekend’s fixtures. 9 Games. 3 Wins. 3 Draws. 3 Losses. 8 Goals scored. 8 Goals Conceded. And 14th on the table. Sweet, sweet mediocrity. Their next game was midweek, so not to upset the perfect mediocre balance, it ended 0-0, albeit against quality opposition In Brighton. Somehow they manage to move up to 13th. right in the middle of the table.
That’s not to say mediocre is a bad thing. There is a certain comfort at a certain level of performance. You only have to peer down the divisions of English football to fans who would gladly take some indifferent, average, middle-of-the-road, middling, medium performances and season results. Teams such as Portsmouth, Bolton and Coventry are now in the third and fourth tiers, so could be worse than mediocre.
Even in Ipswich’s division, The Championship, fans of Leeds United and Cardiff may prefer a little dull semi achievement than some of the off field antics.
With more and more money being thrown at EPL sides, the possibility of getting promoted reduce with each parachute payment filled season. Mediocre and middle of the Championship will be the new black soon enough.
Ipswich Town, now the longest serving side in the Championship, haven’t always been stuck in second division ho-hum. At the beginning of the noughties the Tractor Boys broke the shackles and were promoted to the EPL. They were no less than third at Christmas and held on to be fifth by year’s end. An incredible season and one never to be forgotten as they held their own against most of the big clubs. But it didn’t last long, and they were relegated the following season. A few playoff semi finals have been reached since, but no taste of Wembley or the EPL.
But it is a case of being careful what you wish for. Sure we could spend shitloads and hire a manager with a name like a type of Nespresso pod, but that hasn’t worked out at other clubs. In fact it more often than not ends in tears, relegations, and a new hardened UK manager installed. The fact that Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy has lasted as long as he has in the division where the lifespan of a manager is under year has been outstanding.
Some fans say they would rather see them relegated than to stay in the Championship in the current state. It would only be a matter of a few games in the third tier to realise that’s not a great idea. Plus with the new BeIn Sports deal, there’s been more Championship football than ever. Rather than relying on live score updates and poor match reports, we can now see the mediocrity in person.
So fans will just have to sit back and wait for a lucky break, or discover a rare gem to look up to the EPL for from the midfield. It could be worse as the money trickles down from the EPL for relegated clubs. Staying in the Championship may well be an achievement to aspire to within a few years. Just being in the EPL isn’t the be all anyways.
But are they the most mediocre sporting side in the past few decades. Some will argue there’s worse, and we welcome that discussion. We also have a few alternatives below.
SOME OF THE OTHER MEDIOCRE SIDES/ATHLETES TO CHALLENGE IPSWICH TOWN
ROCHDALE (UK Football)
As an Ipswich Town fan we might whinge, but Rochdale have been even more mediocre than Ipswich, albeit with far less money to do so. Survival financially for some of these clubs are big enough wins.
Rochdale have only been relegated and promoted three times in their history from the 1920’s, and were stuck in the fourth tier from 1974 to 2010. Before a rush of 2 x promotions and 1 relegation has threatened to break the cycle of mediocrity.
The Tigers are a great club, and were an even better club back in the day. But it’s been a while since they tasted success. They made three finals series in a row from 2013, but before that it was very sporadic appearances since their premiership in 1980 and Runners up award in 1982. Their overall winning percentage over the last 30 years hovers around the low 40%. Not too bad, but not great.
NICO HULKENBERG (F1)
Is there a point when potential is overtaken by mediocrity. Nico Hulkenberg is reaching that stage. We are huge fans of Hulkenberg, but he is either terribly unlucky or can never seen to take advantage when things go his way. The amount of podiums that Sergio Perez has grabbed in the past few seasons merely highlights that Nico may not just be quite good enough.
LUCA BADOER (F1)
Possibly down the weaker end of the mediocre tag, somehow he managed a career of 50 GP starts without scoring a point. His performances filling in for Felipe Massa in 2009 were particularly embarrassing. Would have scored points in new Top 10 system, but that would have made slightly less mediocre.
NORTH SYDNEY BEARS (Rugby League)
So mediocre they no longer exist, not through their own fault, but an ill fated merge with Manly to create the Northern Eagles. Showing Manly are never to be trusted, Manly went back to Brookvale full time, and the Bears were told to bugger off. Their only premierships came in 1921 and 1922 with a Runners up title in 1943. Some finals appearance through the 80’s and 90’s ended in disappointment. It wasn’t enough to save them.
To prove their mediocrity, they are currently playing in the second tier NSW Cup and not making the finals.
SHANE WATSON (Cricket)
Unfair? Probably. But with so much talent could you look back on his career with a shrug of the shoulders and a Meh. As stated before, mediocre is not too bad a thing. It’s just very middle of the road, so you could argue he belongs in this list.
Think we have missed one?
Why not add your thoughts below and let the discussion begin.