The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Charlton Athletic 1

Utter, utter garbage. It’s hard to know where to start. Charlton fans spent much of the match mocking their own team’s abject display, Ipswich fans spent it looking heavenwards in frustration, and the neutral supporter I brought with me said it was just the kind of game which makes you long for the warmth of your living room. Because it was freezing too. If you’re here for the foreseeable future Jim (as long as that message from Mr Evans wasn’t a, er, vote of confidence), then just bring back Billy, Jordan and Trotsky and let’s at least see some players who will look like they want us to win the game.

OK, the first five minutes looked half-decent. But that was it. Yet however often the forwards tripped over themselves and left it to each other, Charlton just kept giving it back, and you always felt someone would get a freak goal, despite neither team having earned a lead. And you also knew that whoever got the lucky break would eventually hand the match back to the opposition. These things duly came to pass.

When we were finally gifted the chance to undeservedly close the game out, with a penalty, perhaps the professional thing would have been to bring on the club’s best penalty-taker, even if it would have been his first kick of the game. That’s what we were shouting for. But they gave it to Pablo (who’s missed from the spot before), and 20,000 people just wondered what form the miss was going to take. It was that sort of match.

Honestly, I don’t mind us losing if it looks like we’re going somewhere. But this was 90 minutes of cluelessness from the players and the management. However bad things are, I rarely regret going to Portman Road. But tonight as I trudged up the hill depressed and cold, I couldn’t think of any redeeming feature to justify the trip. I feel sorry for Jim; if he keeps it the same on Saturday, things will probably be awful once more, but if he rips up the teamsheet and starts again, he’ll be roundly criticised for not knowing what he’s doing. I don’t go along with this “the supporters need to get behind the team a bit more” stuff either. I don’t have the answers, but I’m not paid to. Something’s fundamentally wrong, and the people who are paid to get it right need to start doing their jobs properly.

Overall Town performance:
3/10 – Just unremarkable rubbish. We didn’t even have the excuse of opponents playing nice football, as in the last two home games

Opposition quality:
3/10 – Every bit as bad as we were

6/10 – A couple of odd decisions, but otherwise not much to remember (the difference is, for a ref that’s a good thing)

Match excitement:
3/10 – Well, we didn’t lose, I suppose, and there was a penalty, and the chance to shout at the manager a lot. But I kind of think there should be more than that

Opposition supporters:
7/10 – Fairly noisy, and quite amusing at times (“one shot, we only want one shot”, then a few minutes later “one shot, we only need one shot”)

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

WRIGHT 5 (3/2) had so little to do you can almost commend him just for avoiding getting frostbite

VOLZ 6 (3/3) made a couple of corkingly good last-ditch tackles in the second half; NAYLOR 5 (3/2) has to take his share of the blame for the uncertainty in the defence on the rare occasions Charlton threatened; McCAULEY 5 (3/2) likewise; and WRIGHT 5 (3/2) also had an unremarkable night.

WALTERS 4 (2/2) simply didn’t get into the game at all; SHUMULIKOSKI 6 (3/3) played most of the adventurous balls forward from the midfield, and picked up a good amount of loose balls; GARVAN 7 (3/4) was the pick of the side, and probably the only player who put in anything better than an “average” six-out-of-ten performance; and QUINN 5 (3/2) ran around a lot, but made few memorable contributions.

LISBIE 3 (2/1) was useless, showing no awareness of what might be happening, and making just a couple of decent runs and shots despite being given plenty of opportunities; and STEAD 3 (2/1) was just as hopeless.

From the bench, COUNAGO was a disaster, wasting the penalty and then making an idiot of himself when presented with a one-on-one with the keeper. HAYNES was introduced far too late to make an impact, but still managed to waste what possession he had.

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