The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 1

There was a slight air of unreality about this one starting well before the
match. People were joking that if we were ever going to lose the unbeaten
record, it would of course be against the worst opposition …but they were
only half-joking. And at the ground, the atmosphere was so flat before and
during the game it was hard to believe.

Of course, after all the discussion on the list about how we should
reorganise at the back, it was almost inevitable that Burley would do
something so outrageously stupid that nobody would have predicted it. Yes,
let’s play Wilnis as a centre-back. After trying him on the other wing
against Crewe, where next? We should have seen it coming. To be fair to the
guy, he didn’t play badly given that he was so out of position (expected to
win balls in the air against the likes of Claridge, yeah, right) but then
you could say that Mowbray didn’t play badly when the clearly insane Burley
decided that Mogga could play centre forward at the end. Why not put Johnno
in goal? I’m looking forward to seeing that on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, Wilnis being lost meant Mowbray had to spend all his time
covering for two players, Brown as the third centre-half was left with an
acre to cover, and it all knocked on from there.

By half-time the spirits were low, the confidence had gone (as had Scowie,
the only outfield player looking on form), and a hasty revamp to 4-4-2 with
Jermaine Wright was never going to turn it around. We made a few chances
(and squandered them) but with the midfield falling to pieces (why?) we
never really put our foot on the game.

Last time we went to pieces like this was against QPR and it sparked a
radical overhaul of the team structure, rebuilding from the back with
Mowbray. I’m not sure we have a radical option this time. Burley has 48
hours to find one.

Some ratings:

Wright 8 – a couple of good saves, and a couple of good calls. Left
hopelessly exposed for the goal.

Clegg 5 Wilnis 6 Mowbray 6 Brown 6 Clapham 5 – the wingbacks were hesitant
throughout the first half, although Clegg looked more at home in the second
half as a full-back, although he still contributed almost nothing. But
Clapham was wandering around like a lost soul in the second half when pushed
forward into the midfield. Brown was pulled all over the place, Mowbray just
couldn’t cope with Claridge, Bradbury *and* covering for Wilnis’
inexperience in the centre. Wilnis did at least seem to try.

Magilton 5 Holland 6 Scowcroft 7 (Wright 5) – here was where the real
problem was. I’ve rarely seen Matty so uninvolved, and Jim just didn’t know
where he was supposed to be – linking from the defence? Hanging behind the
strikers? His distribution was uncharacteristically useless too. Scowie
looked like he pulled a hamstring. Eeek. Jermaine Wright might as well not
have been on the park.

Stewart 6 Johnson 6 – well, Stewart might be able to control the ball better
than Johnno, but he can miss chances even more glaringly too. At least he
got into a few positions. Johnno was certainly trying harder than a few
weeks ago, but that’s about it. Even now he’s trying, he still doesn’t seem
to have it in him to take people on, create a chance, or even simply hang
around and follow up when the goalie spills it. All he wants to do is sit
with his back to the goal, and lay the ball off back to whoever passes it to
him. We need more than that, guys.


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