The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Tranmere 0

AAAAGH! The last time I came away from a game this angry with someone at
the club, it was after Bobby Petta’s pathetic performance at Everton.
Last night the brickbats were aimed squarely at George Burley. Is this
man SO arrogant that, after having made a decision, he just WILL not
accept the evidence of his own eyes that certain things need changing?

So Tranmere put up one of the most negative displays we’ve seen since…
well, Tranmere in the last two years. We knew what was going to happen: a
complete dependence on the offside trap. That’s no problem for Johnson on
form; however, not only is he going through a particularly indifferent
patch, but so is Naylor, and they clearly haven’t got it in them to time
their runs for balls over the top. So does GB demand a change of style to
run through them, or play short passes through them? Does he heck. At the
end of the game the only plan of attack is still long balls from the two
wide centre backs.

And Matty Holland. Clearly unfit, he watched the game go around him, and
was obviously going to be substituted at half time (especially with the
natural replacement, Magilton, on the bench). Well, he would have been
substituted …by a manager with a brain cell. At last, with 20 minutes
to go, Magilton starts warming up. And who comes off? JERMAINE WRIGHT!
Quite frankly, Burley wouldn’t have surprised me if he’d have taken off

I despair, I really do.

Richard Wright: 6
A couple of scares, running out when he shouldn’t, made him look daft,
and a couple of missing calls gave away unnecessary throws and corners.

Wilnis: 6
Found it hard to get involved, with little defending to do. Tactically
substituted at half time, no reflection on his play

Venus: 6
Looked as lacking in confidence jogging up to take the penalty as my Mum
would have done. 14,000 people knew he’d miss it. His game then went to
pieces for 15 minutes, but all credit for recovering, although very
little defending to do

Mowbray: 7
Hardly put a foot wrong, and was in his element against a side depending
totally on breakaways, as he was always there before them.

McGreal: 7
One of his best games yet, playing well within his limitations, and
adapting well to a wider role in the second half’s three-at-the-back

Clapham: 8
Magnificent game, although criminally neglected by team-mates at times.
Jamie was given the whole left side to run, and he rose to the challenge.

Jermaine Wright: 8
Like McGreal, he’s settled right down and is starting to play really
effectively within his limitations. Proving to be a tremendous link
between the defence and the attacking midfield, allowing play to be swept
across the field on the ground through him, rather than hoofing it over
in the air.

Holland: 5
Simply not there. Played about four passes in the game, and made about
two tackles. Clearly unfit. Should never have been allowed to have looked
so poor.

Stockwell: 6
Worked as hard as ever, but was given Holland’s role so found himself
playing on the left in the first half, and never really fitted in. Moved
to a wider right position later but struggled against constant attention
of 3 or 4 defenders.

Naylor: 5
Just too slow of foot and thought to beat the Tranmere offside trap. Did
hardly anything effective, and confidence was draining long before he was
substituted. Didn’t really seem to want it, surprisingly.

Johnson: 5
Apart from a couple of bursts (one of which won the penalty), jogged
around and – like Naylor – seemed too frustrated by the massed defence to
care. But this was the man who made the same offside tactics look stupid
when we thrashed Barnsley. Clearly going through a bad patch. Needs some

Scowcroft: 7
Got 45 minutes to play behind the front two, and made his presence felt,
but couldn’t get to grips with the fact that his through flicks were
going nowhere with two such out-of-sorts strikers ahead of him.

Magilton: 6
Given the Wright+Holland role which Jermaine had been doing well, he
wasn’t really up to the job, and is still tending to unsettle the team.

Axeldal: 6
Looked enthusiastic for his token ten minutes, and was certainly an
improvement on Naylor, but you have to be something sensational to turn a
game around in that space of time, and he isn’t.

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