The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Wolves 2

Brendan Holmes writes: Well beaten again at home. This time it was more that Wolves were too good than we were particularly poor, however it is worrying that we were found wanting against one of the teams we should be competing with for promotion. Eubanks-Blake’s difficult header was a goal I don’t think any of our strikers would have scored, and it was as much as Wolves deserved in the first half. We built up a head of steam in the second and might have gone on to equalise were it not for Haynes’ injury and then Bruce’s petulance.

Wright: 6
Excellent point blank save from Stearman’s far post header at 1-0 down to keep us in the game, but couldn’t hold on to the shot for Wolves’ second. Good kicking with his “wrong” foot.

Thatcher: 5
Chris Makin mark 2. An out and out defender who’ll offer very little coming forward. Hopefully his defensive solidity will compensate for the detraction he will be to our attack down the left. Some trademark crunching challenges in defence. It’s safe to say a regular starting berth will be punctuated by a ban or two, I just hope not for dismissals.

Bruce: 5
Speaking of which. It was a silly tackle, I thought the otherwise lenient ref might see that there was minimal contact and only give a yellow, but Bruce should know the rule by now. Like Thatcher, sound defensively but offered little support to Haynes and Walters going forward.

McCauley: 6
Not much wrong against two tough opponents

Naylor: 7
MOM Lionhearted

Haynes: 7
An engrossing battle with the fearsome Elokobi, Haynes seemed to conquer his opponent when he finally twisted his way past and thereby injured him, only to succumb himself as if exhausted by the effort. Probably just cramp, but it was worrying how our attack seemed to lack impetus without him.

Walters: 6
Started at right mid and switched intermittently with Haynes on the left. All action as usual, but unable to provide much end product, not helped by the full backs.

Shumi: 6 Miller: 6
Apart from McCauley, our rather agricultural defence seemed happy to bypass the midfield. So although what they did was competent, they weren’t involved enough. Shumi impressed in the holding role again, Miller was combative in the more attacking role, but not sprightly enough to be goal threat.

Lee: 5
Not as good as his reported performance at Burnley last week, perhaps the lesson to learn is he shouldn’t start three games in a week and a half when we have a squad of 38 players.

Lisbie: 6
Great energy levels, wasn’t quite able to latch onto a bouncing though ball when he was in two minds whether to use head or feet. Lacked the ingenuity to make much when in decent positions.

Counago: 7 A sunny home game on a lush pitch, perfect for Pablo you would have thought, and indeed when he came on for Lee at half time, he offered the quality hold up play and passing that Lee couldn’t. Similar chance to Lisbie’s except Pablo also tried to use hands in addition to his feet and head.

Garvan: 6
On for Shumi after 54. I think he and Shumi are interchangeable, as they both have very similar qualities. So if there were doubts about Shumi’s tiredness after his 90 minutes + international travel in midweek, why not use the squad and start with Garvan?

Trotter: 6
Great way to shatter a confidence player by dropping him after his goal and two excellent performances last week. Came on for the injured Haynes after 70, he was asked to cover right back too when Bruce got himself sent off. Needs a run of games to improve, so should be starting ahead of Miller IMO.

One Comment:
  1. Stanway TractorBoy Snr

    I’m not sure what match Brendan was watching, or whether he’s just over-positive about things at the moment. The performance was truly awful and lacked any quality (as Jim would say) and passion, especially in the first half. We were again out-gunned by a team that is clearly better coached than we are. They knew where the ball was going to be, whether they had it or not, picked up nearly all the loose balls, and then played to their strengths – down the wings or a long ball to Iwelumo, who’s hold up play was outstanding for a big bloke. Clearly McCarthy knows how to get the best out of every one of his players and asks them to play in their correct positions and do the things that they are good at doing. So you play balls to feet to the likes of Kightley and Ebanks-Blake, high balls to Iwelumo, and balls to run onto for the wingers. So why do we play high balls to Lisbie, balls to run onto to Lee, and balls to feet to Walters and Haynes? It’s madness. Or was it just that Wolves knew how to play us? I don’t think so.

    And the effort level in the first half was, as Jim said, embarrassing. Although I wouldn’t direct that criticism too much towards the defence. They were left totally exposed at times by the lack of effort from the midfield and forwards, as Walters was pretty ineffective, Haynes just wandered about if he didn’t have the ball… and I am less than convinced about Shumi, to be honest. Lee looked awful, but to be fair to the bloke, play to his strength. Playing balls down the wings for him to run onto is barking mad when his marker clearly had 2-3 yards on him. Again, we had no width and therefore didn’t have anybody crossing the ball for him to get his head onto (which is exactly how Wolves scored their first goal).

    My take on the two home games so far is this – unless we sort out the midfield by having ball winners in the middle and people on the wing that are willing to take on their full-backs and supply crosses, we are going to continue to struggle. The defence will be fine and Lisbie/Lee/Counago will score goals if given the service. But that’s where the problem is – the service. Just how many midfielders do we want before we are able to choose 4 players that can provide that service? Who knows.

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