The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Coventry City 1

Let’s imagine it’s 7pm this evening, and you’re in the bar, having seen the
team sheet, and are writing a script for how the evening’s events will
unfold. Let’s not be too radical; how about this? With a fairly solid
defence, a lively midfield and a static front two, we pass the ball around
well for 45 minutes, but there aren’t any goals. Then after the break,
Coventry come out with a plan to exploit our weaknesses, but we come out
with Jim having put a rocket up the a*** of our weakest links, the game gets
much more exciting, and we score a peach. But when the oldest player on the
pitch decides to call it a day, Jim inexplicably decides to reorganise the
defence to pair up the panic brothers again, and we fall to pieces. Coventry
inevitably equalise, and there’s only one thing for it: send for the teenage
supersub who everyone in the ground would have had on from the start, and
guess what? He scores, we survive some late pressure, and everyone goes home
happy. Not exactly far-fetched as a prediction really, and of course exactly
what happened.

Of course, while Jim is “learning”, if we can still pick up wins here and
there, all well and good, but I think a lot of supporters can see his
mistakes coming a mile off, so I hope he learns quickly. Two tombstones in
front of a slick ball-playing midfield? I don’t think so. Naylor and De Vos
back together again? Please, no. Keeping our most exciting striker on the
bench until the last few minutes? You’re pushing your luck, Jim. You seem to
have quite a bit of it at the moment though.

Overall Town Performance: 7 (3 for effort/4 for achievement)

Player Ratings

PRICE 6 (3/3): Looked the part again, and if Jim’s operating a “one keeper
stays in until he makes a mistake” policy, then Lewis will be between the
sticks again on Saturday.

WILNIS 5 (3/2), BRUCE 5 (3/2), DE VOS 6 (3/3), HARDING 8 (4/4): Much better
central defensive pairing, with a distinct reduction of heart-in-mouth
moments in the stands. Liked the look of Dan Harding, who’s slowly settling
in, and seemed much happier than on Saturday, when he clearly didn’t get on
with Matt Richards. Alex Bruce was great in the middle, but really poor
later at right-back.

WILLIAMS 7 (4/3), LEGWINSKI 6 (3/3), WALTON 6 (3/3), NOBLE 7 (3/4):
Nice consistent performance from the midfield, who moved around well and
could only perhaps be criticised for playing a little too much to feet
rather than into space: both goals came from balls which actually gave
players something to run on to.

MACKEN 5 (2/3), LEE 5 (3/2): No spark or movement really; Alan at least got
a move on for a brief period in the second half, but then went back to
jogging round again. Jon Macken played a part in the cracking first goal,
and won some good balls in the air (even if they went to nobody), but if the
entire ground knows that at some stage he’s going to come off, and someone
more exciting is going take his place, why not just start there?

Subs: You could never accuse NAYLOR of not trying, but there’s a groan
around the ground at the moment when the old central defensive partnership
is resurrected, and with some justification. And anyway, if the problem is
with the right-back, and there’s another one (Sito) on the bench, why not
make a like-for-like swap instead of rearranging a quite serviceably
functioning defence? As for CLARKE, what else needs to be said? Energy,
skill, the ability to bring the ground to life – and winning goals too. For
me, starting matches is not what puts pressure on young players, it’s being
expected to come on and save the day every time. That’s what’s not fair on a
youngster. CURRIE had a few minutes at the end.

The CROWD were great, and created a really good atmosphere which played its
part in making this a genuinely enjoyable evening. The REFEREE had little to
do, and commendably left it that way.

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