The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Coventry City 1

Well, a heck of a lot’s changed at the club in a fortnight, and who on earth would have thought the ground would have been almost sold out for a fairly pointless kickaround against a club whose season was even more over? I’m not quite sure what all these occasional supporters thought they’d see, but what the new manager saw was a fairly representative example of the slightly disjointed performances we’ve had to put up with all year at home.

The main difference was that there was enough extra commitment from most of the players for the score to end up two-one in Town’s favour rather than the other way around, as might have happened in the last few months of the Magilton era. It would have been impossible for Keane to have instantly conjured up a silk purse from a sow’s ear, so I was rather glad the team didn’t play like something it wasn’t, and he got to see how much work there is to be done to get them playing like any sort of incisive unit. That’s not to say Town weren’t any good – for spells in the first 45 minutes things were quite encouraging – but if Coventry had equalised with the last kick of the match, as they so nearly did, it wouldn’t have been a travesty after such an uninspired second half. And the narrowest of wins, at home, against a bottom-half team with nothing to play for, ain’t that great.

Still, Keane will have seen a few things he’ll like. And it’s going to be absolutely fascinating to see how many of these players will be back in August.

Overall Town performance:
5/10 – Reasonable in the first half, toothless in the second

Opposition quality:
5/10 – Forgettable

7/10 – Not much to do; one dreadful linesman, however

Match excitement:
5/10 – The Mexican waves started very, very early

Opposition supporters:
7/10 – Started off a bit confrontational, but chilled out as the game went on and were really enjoying themselves by the end

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

WRIGHT 6 (3/3) had a really quiet afternoon, and from the voting sheets I saw, will be runaway player of the year

PETERS 8 (4/4) had a super game, playing like a real old-fashioned full-back, with speed and agility (and he can tackle too) – he’s an amazing “find” in this position; BRUCE 6 (3/3) and BALKESTEIN 6 (3/3) made a pretty competent and solid enough partnership; and SMITH 6 (3/3) seemed pretty comfortable throughout – funny that he should have started just the first and last matches of the season!

DOS SANTOS 7 (3/4) was classy again, although it’d have been nice to have seen him involved a bit more; NORRIS 6 (3/3) worked hard in what must surely be the position he’s meant to play in; GARVAN 6 (3/3) played a few terrific balls, and this seems to be a promising and complementary midfield pairing; and LISBIE 5 (3/2) looked an intriguing choice in a wider role, but didn’t really show much confidence.

COUNAGO 6 (3/3) was reasonable enough, but surely he is what he is now at this stage in his career, and if Town are to seriously challenge next season, someone a bit more special is going to be required; whether the same is true or not of STEAD 7 (4/3) I’m not sure – he does create a target and some good openings, but can’t quite finish things off.

From the bench, HAYNES showed a useful (and unusual) determination, and might easily have had a goal; QUINN looked OK; and SHUMULIKOSKI had a few minutes in which Town seemed to want to go backwards.

One Comment:
  1. Just discovered your site in an idle moment. What an archive of blog posts going back over 10 years excellent work.

    For entertainment this season was perhaps one of the poorest I can remember so to win , have a big crowd and see Roy Keane unveiled at Portman Rd was enjoyable.

    For me Tommy Smith’s performance was the highlight. It was like having a new signing after his long injury though I imagine his natural position would be at centre back. Stead played with a new sense of urgency and worked hard.

    Pablo will never weigh in with sufficent goals and should only be a squad player next season, the elusive 20 goal a season man is needed!

    Coventry almost drew with the free kick at the end of the game and this just shows there is plenty of work to do and thankfully the big clear out has happened. The only player I would perhaps have kept is Billy Clarke.

    Roll on next season, transfer speculation and pre season friendlies

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