The video above is from Selhurst Park on the opening day of the season. Like many Leicester fans that day I was expecting Leicester to have something to play for when Ipswich visited the Walkers Stadium on the season’s final weekend. Instead the two sides find themselves 11th and 12th, fighting for little more than pride and a spot in the top half of the table. In the Premier League the difference in league positions can mean millions of pounds, in the Championship it is next to meaningless. Still, the is the last City fans will see of the Foxes until August. By then the side will almost certainly look as different again to the side which slumped so miserably in that first half at Selhurst Park.
The optimism of Ipswich fans lasted much longer than 45 minutes on the opening day, after seven matches they’d climbed to 2nd in the table, but ultimately it has proven to be another frustrating campaign for the tractor boys. Watching Norwich City’s promotion party on Monday evening must have hurt, as would each of the nine goals the Canaries scored against Ipswich in their league encounters this season. In short, there is much for Paul Jewell to work on over the summer too.
Dead rubbers lead to questions about why this fixture ended up this way. Ipswich fans will wonder how a side with a perfectly respectable away record managed to lose ten matches at Portman Road this season. They will be scratching their heads as to why the Championship’s 5th best defence on the road morphed into the divisions 2nd worst back line at home.
For Leicester fans, questions about personnel dominate. But at least City supporters will catch a glimpse of what their team will be wearing on their quest for promotion next season. A mission that SkyBet have already made Leicester favourites to complete.
The Foxes will be chasing their 1,600th league victory and if they manage to score twice will have netted more home league goals in a single season since 1966/67. A convincing victory would do the world of good for confidence going into the new campaign. Mind you, what good was that confidence last August…