The View From Churchmans

Ipswich Town home match reports from just another season-ticket holder


Ipswich Town 0 Watford 1

Another season, another abject home display against Watford. They must love
it here. There’s so little to say about this one. We were devoid of spirit
and devoid of ideas. The crowd are depressed and most certainly not being
entertained. And from the performances and the statements coming out from
the management you just get the impression that the whole club is a bit
rudderless. It’s been a long time since I wondered whether it’s worth the
hike over to Ipswich, but I can feel that coming on for the next game.

Surprisingly, we’ve played worse than this. That wasn’t the whole problem.
Few players seriously underperformed. No, the problem is that we just seemed
to have no plan and no leadership. Watford must have had six or seven good
chances; I’m not sure we had a single one. Sure, the midfield is down to
“anyone who’s brought their kit gets a game” levels, but really, is there
really any of the injured trio (Westlake, Garvan, Horlock) whose absence
takes the heart out of the team? Of course not. The real problem is
exemplified by the fact that Jim, who didn’t seem to expect to be playing
for us this season (never mind retaining the captain’s armband) was
strong-armed into staying on well past his sell-by date by a manager whose
indian summer has equally expired (if consistently losing in the playoffs
can be called an indian summer). I’m not blaming Jim here; he’s the symptom,
not the cause. If we’re going to go nowhere, I’d at least like to see us do
it trying to find a way out, rather than just standing there.

Match Ratings:
Excitement – 1/5
Town Performance – 2/5

Player Ratings (1-5 for commitment, 1-5 for impact):

SUPPLE 7 (3/4):
Who’d have thought the one shining light of the afternoon would have been a
youngster playing one of his first games? Oh, everyone. Anyway, three
cracking saves (at least I think the one at the North Stand end just before
half-time wasn’t a fluke) although one ended up being put in the net anyway.
One or two dubious bits of distribution, but an equal number of impressive
kicks, and Shane also commanded the area well. I’m not sure if he could have
done any more to stake a claim for a regular place.

SITO 6 (3/3), DE VOS 5 (2/3), NAYLOR 5 (3/2), McEVELEY 5 (3/2):
Very little to say – the defence were just-about-OK individually and not too
disastrous as a unit, but they did contrive to make Watford’s strikeforce
look a bit unnecessarily exciting at times. McEveley continues to be
erratic, but both fullbacks had a hard time with precious little support
from a narrow, narrow midfield.

MAGILTON 4 (2/2), JUAN 5 (3/2), RICHARDS 5 (3/2), CURRIE 5 (2/3):
Definitely the heart of the problem today, the midfield were shapeless and
ineffective. They all swapped positions regularly, but nothing seemed to
work. JJ and Matt seemed to be trying, and Darren showed one or two decent
touches as usual, but Jim was sidelined on the right and contributed nothing
of note. Even his captaincy seems to be unenthusiastic right now.

FORSTER 5 (3/2), PROUDLOCK 5 (3/2):
Well, they both ran around a bit, and in both players’ defence, the service
to them was awful, but not getting a decent shot on target all afternoon
remains unforgivable. Adam Proudlock seems willing, as well he might, having
been given a reprieve his career doesn’t seem to deserve, but he’s surely
not the answer. We have two proven, quality strikers in Deano and Sam who
aren’t playing to anything like their capability (and that’s an
understatement) so why aren’t we getting their attitudes and performances
sorted, rather than just floundering around with more loanees? And don’t get
me started on names like McDonald, Peters, Clarke and Knights…

Subs – BOWDITCH and PARKIN came on for Proudlock and Magilton and we went
sort of 4-3-3. Nothing happened.

The REF fancied himself and gave out a couple of unnecessary bookings when
he felt the game wasn’t giving him the chance to be the centre of attention.
The CROWD were gloomy throughout, although the pondlife booing Sam Parkin’s
appearance just made me feel ashamed. The “Sheepshanks out” brigade made
themselves heard at the end too.

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