The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Hull City 0

I think we’re getting the rough stuff out of the way while many of the
faithful are still on holiday. Nineteen thousand and a bit, amongst the
lowest Saturday afternoon crowds for a few years, saw what must be one
of the most nondescript matches in that time. Apparently I shouldn’t
be too alarmed, I’m told we were worse at Leicester, but even so, if I
see two teams as poor as this play each other again this season I
shall be very, very disappointed.

The two new loanees were immediately drafted into the centre of the
park, displacing Williams and Bruce, who had been the high point of
the previous home game. But as I mentioned, I didn’t see the two
debacles in between. In a very flat 4-4-2, the midfield must have been
one of the youngest we’ve fielded in a long time. Jim stuck with Jaime
Peters, because he obviously felt we could be dangerous with some
width, but the winger didn’t cut it and the strikers were nowhere
anyway, so our best chances came from the few times we actually worked
it a bit with some sharp passing. Those times were few and far between
in the first half, and almost nonexistent after the break.

Fortunately, Hull offered even less than we did. This was a match to
forget; I just hope Jim’s learned something from it. At the moment,
that’s all we ask: I hope he’s not feeling the pressure too much,
because I sense a lot of patience around the ground. He should take
advantage of that. But there’s a lot of work to be done.

Overall Town Performance: 4 (2 for effort/2 for achievement)

Player Ratings

PRICE 6 (3/3): apparently drafted in because he’s better in the air
than Supple and we might have needed that today (we didn’t). I wonder
whether that was the whole story though – shop window, and all that.
Anyway, Lewis did what he had to do; his distribution improved a bit
as the match wore on, but he never got the opportunity to shine.

BRUCE 5 (2/3), NAYLOR 5 (3/2), DE VOS 4 (2/2), HARDING 6 (3/3): Alex
apparently likes the right-back role, but he had little defending to
do this afternoon, especially compared to Dan Harding the other side,
who at least had some attacks to deal with. Why then was Dan the only
full-back we saw getting forward? In the end, Jim brought Fab on in
attempt to get some forward movement on the right. Meanwhile, in the
centre, we looked as flaky as ever, and a series of mistakes from
Jason was probably at the root of it.

PETERS 5 (2/3), NOBLE 5 (3/2), WALTON 6 (4/2), WILLIAMS 5 (2/3):
Really, really nondescript across the park. Simon Walton looked up for
it, but his continual bemoaning of his team-mates’ lack of movement
smacked as much of arrogance as anything. Mark Noble was quite
anonymous, especially disappointing given his promising reputation.
Gavin Williams didn’t make much of the wide role, and was quiet, and
only Jaime gave us much to talk about. He was lively, it’s true, but
he seems to have no confidence at all; however promising the situation
with the ball at his feet, if there was another blue shirt in the
vicinity, he’d automatically lay it off. Only when isolated and forced
to do something with the ball did he show us any hint of what he’s
presumably capable of. In a winger, this is worrying.

FORSTER 6 (3/3), LEE 4 (2/2): I could try to describe Alan Lee’s
performance eloquently, but I could never sum it up as accurately as
the bloke next to me who said he played like “a clodhopping great
elephant”. Quite hopeless. Nicky Forster seemed like Asafa Powell in
comparison, but in reality was only average; however, most of what
few decent attempts we had involved him at the sharp end.

Subs: HAYNES came on for Lee and his effort and lively play was the
highlight of the afternoon, even if it didn’t result in a goal. CURRIE
replaced Peters, and immediately improved the number of crosses we got
in, but of course by then we’d taken off the only guy who’s paid to
get on the end of them. Darren’s dead balls were a bit poor though.
WILNIS got a few minutes to try to add some mobility to the right

The CROWD were OK, which was quite commendable given the abject fare
in front of them. The REFEREE had little of note to do. I really wish
I had something interesting to say about any aspect of this match, I
really do.

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