The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Southend Utd 2

And just when it had started to look better. This was very, very poor
indeed. Let’s not make excuses; Southend were well organised and
certainly wanted it more than some of our players seemed to, but they
weren’t great. However, this summarised all the worst aspects of this
season so far: we were aimless in our play, dreadful with our
finishing, and desperately in need of some inspiration, leadership and
responsibility. And naturally, when we made mistakes at the back, they
were calamitous.

Worst of all, we seem to be showing no sign of overcoming the
indiscipline which has characterised the last few months. Was it
really only the start of this decade when we qualified for the UEFA
Cup purely on our fair play record? The days when we got one or two
red csrds a season, tops, seem like a lifetime away.

It might have been so much different had the ref given what looked
like a nailed-on penalty; perhaps we’d have become more confident
instead of increasingly disjointed. There were one or two players who
were on the verge of decent performances, and might have delivered the
goods with a bit of support. The common theme amingst the players Jim
has brought into the squad seems to be level-headedness and
intelligence (e.g Wright, Bruce, Harding and Legwinski), but without
the leadership to keep the likes of Garvan and Clarke calm, and with
the continually dreadful example set by Lee, any desire to create a
more thoughtful team is on a hiding to nothing.

Yes, Magilton is new to all this, and he has tremendous support in the
stands, exemplified by the fact that everyone’s flailing around to
find someone (anyone!) else to blame, but sooner or later we’re going
to have to face up to the fact that these players ought to be doing a
lot, lot better than this. My fear is that if we end up where we are
now, we’ll lose players in the summer and unlike last summer, they’ll
be the ones we don’t want to lose.

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

Player Ratings

PRICE 5 (3/2): A great save when faced with a one-on-one in the second
half didn’t make up for Lewis having stood motionless as the
super-soft first Southend goal went in. And he was rigid on his
goal-line when the second went in too.

WRIGHT 5 (3/2), BRUCE 6 (3/3), DE VOS 4 (2/2), HARDING 6 (3/3): I
really felt we could have done with a bit more leadership today, and
that role naturally falls to the captain, or at least should do. Jason
also made a couple of poor headers too, which we were lucky not to be
punished for. Nothing seemed to go right for David Wright all
afternoon, although he did seem to be putting himself around a bit; on
the other side, Dan Harding again only managed to get forward on rare

PETERS 6 (4/2), LEGWINSKI 6 (6/3), GARVAN 7 (4/3), ROBERTS 5 (2/3):
Owen was surely our man of the match today, covering huge areas of the
pitch and really imposing himself on the game, even if his finishing
was a disappointment. Monica gave him some decent support, but the
wingers were again not really up to it; you couldn’t fault Jamie’s
effort, but where is the final ball or finish? And Gary Roberts really
doesn’t seem to be showing anything like the motivation you’d hope

LEE 3 (1/2), JEFFERS: Thanks Franny, it was nice having you, and
compared to Matthew Bates, you had a Matt Holland-like run in the
side. But let’s talk about Alan Lee. He was having an ineffective game
anyway, but to get himself sent off was nothing short of a disgrace.
Once again, when he didn’t “win” a foul early on, his main tactic
seemed to be to fall over at every opportunity until he finally got a
free kick. Magilton must be moving heaven and earth to cut down on the
needless bookings, so to have a senior player booked for dissent is
unforgiveable. Lee was lucky not to pick up a second yellow soon
after, but he did calm down. And then he decided to handball it into
the net. Pillock.

Subs: HAYNES 7 (4/3) was everything that the gormless Lee wasn’t, and
if it’s going to require Lee to be suspended to get Danny a decent run
in the team, then bring on the red cards. No, he didn’t score. Yes, of
course we give the younger players more credit than they’re probably
due. But I know which one of these two strikers appearing on the
promotional blurb would be more likely to make me renew my season
ticket. O’CALLAGHAN showed signs he might be useful if he gets a
decent chance, although I’m not sure what he offers that the other two
central midfielders don’t. CLARKE was also lively, but as a late sub
you’d expect him to be; he needs to cut down on the petulance though.

The CROWD were depressed, and thoroughly drowned out by all the Essex
boys who’d come up the A12 in cup final numbers. The REFEREE made
himself very, very unpopular with the home support. Enough said.

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