The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 WBA 5

There are five-one defeats and there are five-one defeats. This wasn’t a
defeat of the Wimbledon kind, where the team lost because it didn’t seem to
care; this was a defeat against a much better team, which took all of its
chances clinically. Although I’m not putting West Brom in the same class, I
was reminded of the home defeat against Liverpool, where you just had to sit
back and admire the way the opposition picked us off at will. Mind you,
there are Premiership clubs which wouldn’t complain about a squad strong
enough to have Ellington and Hartson on the bench. If Mowbray mucks up
promotion with this lot, perhaps we won’t feel so disappointed about letting
him get away.

It was good to see Billy Clarke get a start, and the midfield probably
picked itself in Williams’ absence, but I was disappointed to see Alex Bruce
at right-back again. It doesn’t make sense to me: not only did a De
Vos-Bruce pairing in the middle look better than a De Vos-Naylor one does
99% of the time, but Alex would be my third choice right back anyway in the
current squad. I’d love to see the goals-against statistic for the De
Vos-Naylor partnership over the last few seasons, but apparently Royle and
now Magilton see something which 20,000 of us can’t.

One disappointing performance against a very good team does not spell
disaster, but with another home game in three days’ time, Jim is going to
have to pull something out of the bag to stop the unbeaten run during most
of September becoming just a fond memory. Our next opponents haven’t lost
since the second game of the season.

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

Player Ratings

PRICE 4 (3/1): Very poor; maybe the international start in midweek was all a
bit much. Communication occasionally questionable, distribution nothing
short of dreadful, and let in almost every attempt West Brom had on target
(the official stats say they had eight, but I can’t remember the three which
didn’t go in).

BRUCE 4 (2/2), NAYLOR 4 (2/2), DE VOS 5 (3/2), HARDING 5 (3/2): Jason is at
least still managing to look the part as captain, but accordingly has to
take most of the responsibility when the defence is such a mess. Dan Harding
had one of those days when nothing seemed to go right, but at least he
looked like a comfortable full-back, unlike Alex Bruce. Bam-Bam got
unnecessarily involved in a fairly half-hearted mass brawl in the second
half, which was just stupid.

CURRIE 4 (2/2), LEGWINSKI 4 (2/2), WALTON 6 (4/2), NOBLE 6 (3/3):
Although I’ve so far been unsure as to his enthusiasm and teamwork, I
thought Simon Walton showed the only real spark of effort in midfield today,
although nothing came off for him at all, and in terms of results, he was as
bad as anybody. Certainly he showed more commitment than either Darren or
Monica, who were pulling out of far too much. And then came Currie’s
substitution, where the toys seemed to come right out of the pram. As he
stomped into the dugout, Jim seemed to say something to him, and it looked
to me like Darren threw his water bottle at Jim from the bench behind,
followed by various items of kit. That’ll go down well.

CLARKE 6 (3/3), LEE 6 (3/3): Sure, we didn’t score, and indeed didn’t manage
a shot on target (terrific!) but both strikers tried to the end, and would
be the wrong (if easy) target for the moaners. I’d still start them again
next week.

Subs: BOWDITCH got a whole half-hour, and looked useful. RICHARDS was lively
for the ten minutes he got.

The CROWD were as depressed as you’d expect, although refrained from really
taking it out on the team. The ground was emptying very rapidly before the
end though. The REFEREE started reasonably, keeping his cards in his pockets
and keeping things going. But he started to lose it in the second half,
especially with a stupid booking for a West Brom player who (with his back
to him, when clean through) put the ball in the net a couple of seconds
after the whistle had gone for offside. The result? He had to give out the
same card when we did it at the other end, even less blatantly. Slow
reactions when there was a bit of pushing and shoving let things escalate
into an unnecessary brawl at one point too.

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