The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Leicester City 2

The sequence of poor performances and dull games continued in weather and
pitch conditions which were surprisingly good, and in front of a decent
crowd (the second largest in the division on the day) for the time of year.
There was a feeling that we’re a bit injury-hit at the moment, but to be
honest, only Wilnis (for De Vos) and Currie (for Williams) separated us from
what might have been the first choice starting eleven; Bruce and Walters
were probably due a chance of a full 90 minutes.

Like many recent games, however, we seemed to have much of the possession
while never threatening the opposition consistently where it counts. This is
Jim’s team now, with the Royle era a memory, and although most of the
supporters seem patient, it’s not progressing as fast as we would have
hoped. Jim likes to make out that he’s a bit of a disciplinarian, yet the
team’s discipline has collapsed, with an unprecedented number of bookings
and suspensions for dissent or other losses of temper; Garvan yesterday was
just one more for the list, although at least he has the excuse that he’s
young enough for it to be part of the learning process.

There’s definitely the core of a decent side in there. We may have only
managed seven goals in the last ten league games, but the defence doesn’t
look so porous now in open play: they just need better organisation against
set pieces, and the return of the captain and a more confident goalkeeper
would solve this, I suspect. We can occasionally ping it around with flair,
but too many of the midfielders blow hot and cold, and none of the strikers
(with the possible exception of Haynes) seem to have any confidence. Another
Saturday where Mrs R decided to do something else instead, and I had to
admit to her afterwards that it probably wasn’t a bad decision.

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

Player Ratings

PRICE 3 (2/1): A real off day. Stayed rooted to his line (why?) for the
corner which led to their first goal, and was easily beaten to the ball in
an identical situation (when he did come out) for their second. Seemed to
have no communication going on with the defence at all.

WRIGHT 6 (4/2), BRUCE 6 (3/3), WILNIS 5 (3/2), HARDING 4 (2/2): Fab looked
the part as captain, in terms of presence, but didn’t really make the
defence into a cohesive unit, often wandering all over the place to chase
the ball. Fortunately Alex just put his head down and got on with his job,
and was probably the pick of the defence in terms of achievement. Dan was
uncharacteristically quiet, but Wrighty really worked hard up and down the
wing to make up for it.

PETERS 7 (4/3), LEGWINSKI 5 (2/3), GARVAN 5 (3/2), CURRIE 4 (2/2):
Jamie never stopped running, and was easily our man of the match, despite
never making the breakthrough he probably deserved. Monica and Owen both
failed to make an impact on the game (until Owen went mad and got sent off),
but at least they kept things moving, unlike Dazzlin’ Dazza, who reminded us
what we haven’t been missing by slowing down almost every move in which he
was involved, and then trying to play overambitious killer balls (normally
40m diagonal slingshots to poor Jamie Peters’ head). I can’t think of
another player we’ve had like that since, ooh, Jim Magilton’s cameos last
year. Perhaps that explains the selection, although nothing can explain why
Jim could find two other players who he thought were more deserving of being

CLARKE 4 (2/2), WALTERS 6 (3/3): This sounds harsh, but Billy looks a bit
worn out, partially physically but also in terms of ideas. His first touch
has been getting worse, and he doesn’t seem to have much of an eye for goal
at the moment. Let’s hope it’ll pass. Jon Walters looked useful, if
unspectacular, and could be a good signing if they can work out how to make
the best of his abilities; he won more balls in the air in the first twenty
minutes than Alan Lee has since Christmas, but there was nobody to do
anything with them.

Subs: HAYNES looked a bit lightweight and not particularly up for it. But
O’CALLAGHAN put in a solid performance in the twenty minutes in which we had
neither Owen or Monica and he found himself with just two wingers for
company in midfield.

The CROWD were subdued. The REFEREE made the usual quota of errors in the
other side’s favour, and mysteriously failed to at least caution Leicester’s
psycho number 2 when he took a head high swipe at one of our players in the
first half. The inevitable result was that he’d “make amends” by yellow
carding the next available infringement, however trivial, and unfortunately
that turned out to be Garvan’s first card.

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