The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 QPR 0

Two points well and truly down the drain. We had the chances to win this one comfortably, even ignoring the ref denying us a clear “over the line” effort and an even clearer penalty. If we don’t make the playoffs, the big regrets this season will be the chances squandered, rather than (as has been normal over the past ten years), mistakes at the back. It’s a long way from the Royle days, when nil-nils were rarer than a Fabian Wilnis goal.

One thing which hasn’t changed though is the mystifying inability of the manager to make the obvious changes. We started off at a mental pace; a quarter of the game gone and it was a case of “how haven’t we scored?”; half time and it was still a case of “we’ll surely score in the second half”. But the deterioration continued, and by the end, the first few minutes were a distant memory and you felt we didn’t even really deserve to score, such was the lack of positivity and commitment. Haynes was ten yards ahead of the QPR defence for the first 45 minutes – they must have wondered what had hit them – but unfortunately that meant he was twenty yards ahead of the plodding Alan Lee, and there was no cohesion. Jim’s bizarre response in the second half was to change to a 4-5-1, putting Haynes out wide, which must have had the QPR central defenders shaking their heads in grateful disbelief.

When that didn’t work, far too late in the day, he decided to go back to two up front. “Now let me see”, he must have been thinking, “who can I play out of position next? Oh of course, I’ve got slow winger Gary Roberts on the bench, why not play him as a central striker?” The collective groan around the ground was audible. And there, in a nutshell, is what’s caused us to fail to compete with the staggering mediocrity in the top six this season – odd tactics, inconsistent selection and a lack of sustained faith with most of the enthusiastic young talent at the club. Every team needs a Magilton, but not a bunch of them, with the rest of the team shackled back to allow the Magiltons to look better.

Overall Town performance:
5/10 – started well, faded inexorably

Opposition quality:
6/10 – tried to play football, which would have played into our hands if we’d been any good

3/10 – awful: got the critical decisions wrong, and Haynes’ booking was nothing short of bizarre

Match excitement:
6/10 – actually not bad for a nil-nil, and the first half was well above average

Opposition supporters:
9/10 – lots of ’em, and loud too, although a bit predictable

Player ratings as ever 1 to 5 for each of effort/achievement…

BYWATER 7 (3/4) did what little was needed quite competently, and kept things moving

SIMPSON 6 (3/3) was OK for someone settling in, but what on earth he brings to the team that the unfortunate Wright can’t offer, I simply have no idea (is this the most pointless loan signing ever?); BRUCE 6 (3/3) had a steady game; DE VOS 7 (4/3) led by example yet again; and SITO 8 (8/4) was the classiest player on the pitch.

WILLIAMS 4 (2/2) was slow, gave the ball away time and time again, and missed an open goal to round things off; GARVAN 6 (3/3) made most of our telling passes as usual, but when we’re reliant on such an ungainly player to provide all the drive in midfield, it does make you think there’s something missing elsewhere; SUMULIKOSKI 5 (3/2) was a little disappointing; and QUINN 4 (2/2) was nondescript on a day when we were always going to need the wide players to provide the flair.

LEE 5 (3/2) tried his best, for what it’s worth, but when he fails to form a partnership with so many different partners, it’s clear where the blame lies; and HAYNES 6 (2/4) was just an infuriating enigma – when he bothered, he tore the QPR defence to pieces, but when he didn’t (which was most of the time), his lack of concentration was a liability.

Coming off the bench, ROBERTS was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time; and RHODES just got a shamefully brief few minutes to the crowd’s obvious disappointment.

One Comment:
  1. Fair report overall I reckon.
    Keep up the good work on the HMHB lyrics project. That’s exactly the kind of thing the net needs.
    All the best,
    (QPR fan, HMHB fan)

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