The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Blackpool 1

Yet another game notable only for its lack of anything memorable, although I suppose there’s a chance that one day we might say to our grandchildren “I was there for Town legend Luciano Civelli’s debut”. We’re scraping the barrel here though. That’s five home league games in a row without a win, something which hasn’t happened since the autumn of 1995, a time when Neil Gregory was keeping Lee Chapman on the bench. For large sections of the crowd, the reaction seems to be something which I can’t remember happening since the mid-nineties either: just sheer detachment. Sure, it’s no good, but it isn’t that bad either …it’s just a bunch of players who nobody seems to particularly care about, putting in what can only be described as a mid-table performance. It’s all rather sad actually.

Just the five changes this week. Sure, one (or maybe two) were forced, but Jim seems determined to pretend he’s Rafa Benitez by showing off the extraordinary depth of his squad. It isn’t working. Nobody seems to know what to do, either as a team or individually. A few supporters are getting angry, but we’re not playing badly enough for it to incite the majority to do more than moan to each other. It’s just the air of “when’s this all going to be over?” which gets me. I’ve no idea what the solution is, although if I was Marcus Evans I’d start by recognising that we’re not going to get 30 points from 14 matches, and telling Jim to use the rest of the season to build something for next year instead of ineptly trying to plan just 90 minutes ahead.

Overall Town performance:
4/10 – there were a few chances, and a few individual moments of skill, but yet again it was all rather aimless

Opposition quality:
6/10 – pretty decent; they tried to play football and largely succeeded

7/10 – nothing too challenging, and kept the lid on things when they threatened to go off

Match excitement:
3/10 – good grief, those of us who only get to see home games sure are paying for last season

Opposition supporters:
5/10 – a cheery bunch, although not a noisy lot

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

WRIGHT 6 (3/3) didn’t have to pull off too many heroics, and we’re almost starting to take his reliability for granted now, which is a definite bright spot for the season

WRIGHT 5 (3/2) got a chance to play on the right side, although not to renew his partnership with Walters, which both have missed; McAULEY 6 (3/3) found himself with a change of defensive partner – again – but continued to look increasingly like a captain; BRUCE 6 (2/4) put in a reasonable performance including one glorious saving tackle; and THATCHER 6 (4/2) as usual gave his all, without setting the game alight

HAYNES 4 (2/2) was at his infuriating worst – there was one exciting run, but most of the time his off-the-ball play was lethargic and he persisted in making the wrong decisions; MILLER 6 (3/3) was adequate, as he usually is, and at last got a decent shot on target; GARVAN 4 (3/1) had a stinker, with just nothing going right; and CIVELLI 6 (3/3) showed a few promising touches, without giving any obvious indication if he’s going to be a good acquisition or not

COUNAGO 5 (3/2) never suggested he was going to do anything special – you can usually tell from the first fifteen minutes if he’s going to have an impact, and he didn’t; and STEAD 5 (3/2) was equally ordinary, offering no real threat

From the bench, SHUMULIKOSKI provided a more reliable presence than Garvan had, and BOWDITCH added some good movement.

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