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The lowdown on Ipswich

Posted on 29 December 2000  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Remember season 1994-95? A season when the Premiership still had 22 teams, of which Blackburn emerged as champions, Spurs finished seventh and Arsenal a lowly 12<SUP>th</SUP>. At the end of that campaign the top flight also bade farewell to Ipswich Town and it was to be five years before the Suffolk side were welcomed back to the Premiership promised land with a bump &mdash&#59; a 3-1 defeat at the Lane!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>What strides have been made by George Burley&rsquo&#59;s team since that Saturday afternoon in August when Spurs set in motion a home run of results which is still in tact to this day.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>While it might have been considered that a long-established top-flight club had put their newly promoted country cousins in their place &mdash&#59; the &lsquo&#59;Tractor Boys&rsquo&#59; have now taken the whole country by storm, winning a host of admirers along the way.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Popular legend has it that a crisis at Portman Road now is running short of wine in the boardroom on matchdays. A myth somewhat in keeping with the welcome extended to visitors during the days of the Cobbold family&rsquo&#59;s stewardship of the club. This particular image has been maintained by the current chairman, the forward thinking David Sheepshanks.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Having enjoyed such a stable boardroom history, perhaps it is no coincidence that Burley was given time and support in his quest to restore Ipswich&rsquo&#59; fortunes.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Since taking over in December 1994, Ipswich finished rock bottom and went on to endure a succession of miseries in the promotion play-offs. Commentators agreed that Burley&rsquo&#59;s side were by far the most stylish outfit in Division One but this counted for little in the final count-up. For four seasons&rsquo&#59; in a row they ended up in the dreaded play-offs and only succeeded at the last time of asking.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Ipswich stuck by Burley throughout the disappointments and are now being rewarded for their loyalty.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Burley, of course, was a member of Bobby Robson&rsquo&#59;s team &mdash&#59; a team whose success the club has since been trying to emulate. Burley has set out his own teams in the style of that glorious era &mdash&#59; keeping it very simple and extremely pleasing on the eye.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>While Spurs have accrued virtually all their points at White Hart Lane, Ipswich have found away visits a profitable experience. They have registered six wins on their travels, including successes at Leeds, Liverpool and Everton.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>It is a measure of how far Ipswich has come that, on Boxing Day, they were listed as favourites to overcome Chelsea. It was only last season that Chelsea were entertaining the likes of Milan, Lazio and Barcelona.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Not being the sort of club to talk up their own achievements, there will probably be a few pints supped in the bars around Portman Road when another six points are put on the board. This will see Ipswich reach the traditional relegation-avoiding safety level of 40 points. It&rsquo&#59;s hard to imagine now that it was ever in doubt.</SPAN><I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt&#59; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"></SPAN></I> <P><I>By Richard Hubbard</SPAN></I> <P class=MsoNormal><I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt&#59; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></I>&nbsp&#59;