Ipswich Town can stay in top flight, says Ardiles

Ipswich players celebrate with fans
Ipswich Town's Harry Clarke celebrates promotion to the Premier League with fans [PA Media]

Promoted Ipswich Town have a "big chance" of staying in the Premier League next season, according to Argentinian World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles.

The 71-year-old former Spurs star said the teams promoted from the Championship were generally favourites for relegation.

But Ardiles said the fact that Ipswich had played in the top flight before would count for a lot.

"Ipswich have a big, big chance - they have played extremely well," he said.

Players challenge for ball during game
Ossie Ardiles (fourth from left) playing for Spurs against West Brom in 1982 [PA Media]

Ipswich Town and Championship winners Leicester City secured automatic promotion to the Premier League.

They will be joined by Southampton, who clinched their place in the top flight with a 0-1 win over Leeds in the play-off at Wembley on Sunday.

"Every time, the three teams who are promoted are the favourite to go down - certainly," Ardiles told the BBC.

"But on the other hand, I believe that for people like Leicester and Ipswich, they have been there before, so that will count for a lot.

"I don't think they will go down."

Side-on view Ossie Ardiles
Ossie Ardiles thinks Ipswich have a 'big chance' of staying in the Premier League [Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media]

Ardiles and fellow former Argentinian international Ricky Villa, also 71, visited a pub in Barley, Hertfordshire, to mark national independence day on 25 May.

The pair, who moved to Spurs after winning the World Cup with Argentina in 1978, took part in celebrations at the Fox & Hounds.

They watched the FA Cup final then answered punters' questions about football and their careers.

Ardiles lives in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and is a friend of the Fox & Hounds' owner, Graham Smith-Bernal. Villa lives in Argentina and is visiting England.

Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa leaning on rail
Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa played against an Ipswich side managed by Bobby Robson in the 1970s and 1980s [Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media]

Ardiles said he and Villa had "absolutely wonderful" memories of playing for Spurs against Ipswich in the late 1970s and 1980s., when Bobby Robson was manager.

He said Ipswich had been one of the best sides in the country when he was playing.

Ardiles said he would love to see the club return to those heights.

Got a story? Email or WhatsApp us on 0800 169 1830

More on this story

Related Internet Links