The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 FK Sartid 1

“View from the Greene King Stand” tonight comes from the Cobbold Stand,
which let me find out if the deathly hush from the North Stand this season
had merely been down to being three times as far away from them as last
year. But no, something horrible’s happened: it seems moving the heart of
the home support onto two levels really has ripped the heart out of the
noise-making machine. At one point, it took two guys in the Cobbold – that’s
the *Cobbold* – to get some chanting going in the North. You could see
people making an effort there, but it wasn’t happening.

So having established that the game was played in a less than white-hot
atmosphere, was it any good? Well, we don’t half make our UEFA Cup second
legs hard, don’t we? This bunch were copybook Eastern Europeans: able to
ping it around and make us look like lumbering idiots when they felt like
it, yet when they wanted to kill the game they could put in Oscar-winning
feigned injury performances, as well as hack away as if our players’ legs
were jungle in need of clearance. The former side gave us a good beating for
much of the first half. The latter side then took over and if there was any
justice we’d have stuck half a dozen past them just to prove that cheating
doesn’t pay. If only.

The squad coming out had “5-3-2” written all over it, what with Fab being
back an’ all. So Burley played a nice 4-4-2 with them. Or 4-3-1-2, with
Darren A getting what we might call an “undefined” role. Hermann and Veno
swapped places, so we got the rather unlikely left winger of last season
back, and the front two were replaced wholesale to little effect. The
formation eventually went to 3-5-2, with HH back in the centre of things,
but there never really was a cutting edge again, and I’m starting to get a
little worried about where it might come from. We’ve already tried five or
six strikers this season without success (except against two pub teams);
perhaps Bam-Bam’s wise to hang on.

Some ratings:
(1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement)

MARSHALL 5 (3/2): Very little to do except pick the ball out of the net, but
his distribution was appalling.

WILNIS 6 (3/3), McGREAL 5 (3/2), VENUS 4 (2/2), HREIDARSSON 7 (4/3): Hermann
was well up for it, putting in so much mileage he looked shattered by
half-time. His overlaps are great fun, but I just think it’s daft that we
can’t find a more natural winger. Veno wasted dead ball after dead ball all
evening and really irritated everyone in the ground. McGreal looked a little
ponderous against some nippy strikers.

MILLER 6 (3/3), HOLLAND 9 (5/4), CLAPHAM 5 (3/2): Another godlike
performance from Matt, who sat deep in front of the defence but swallowed up
everything and didn’t sit back for a second. Did the work of two men again.
Jamie seemed to be wandering again, and was one factor in the side losing
its shape. Tommy was solid if unspectacular, and missed our best chance, but
must be worth persevering with.

AMBROSE 5 (3/2), COUNAGO 6 (4/2), ARMSTRONG 4 (2/2): A lacklustre
performance from Darren A, who I hope isn’t being overplayed. One run of
genius was the only highlight. Pablo worked very hard for most of the night,
without really getting through, but he kept us all thinking he was about to
do something great. Too many flashy flicks though meant too many attacks
broke down with him. And the shot count was minimal, so we still haven’t got
over that problem. Alun started off brightly but disappeared off the radar
for the next 50 minutes, popping up only for a goal which looked about 150
yards offside. For that we should be thankful.

Subs: FINIDI was hopeless, just hopeless. Enough said. Marcus BENT looked
more imposing than Armstrong had done, but to little effect, and then
started to look a bit lazy again. Two substitutions which achieved little.

The REFEREE struggled with Sartid’s tactics when they went into spoil mode.
I’m not sure what more he could have done really though, except give us more
additional time when the dismissed player took fully two minutes to walk off
the pitch. Probably as frustrating for him as it was for us.

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