The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Derby Co 1

I’m really irritated. Really, really irritated.

Irritated with almost the entire team for not seeming to have the desire or
the ability to put in even a respectable First Division standard
performance. Irritated with that crap ref. Irritated – angry even – with the
pond life of the North Stand who thought that chanting “one Marcus Stewart”
at 18-year-old strikers struggling to cope was going to achieve anything
other than giving Derby a notional twelfth man. And of course irritated with
George Burley for shattering the faith I had in him that he could pull us
out of a run which has seen us play consistently crap football for twelve of
the last fourteen months.

After something of a showdown following the Stoke game, the result was …no
change at all. And the responsibility for that has to go to the man at the

Let’s face it, we were rubbish. And as the match went on, even though Derby
started to sit back and let us make the running, we got worse. There was no
movement up front. No creativity in midfield. And no communication at the
back. Carbonari and Christie looked world-class in comparison with anything
Town could offer. Yet Burley’s putting out, more or less, the eleven which
most of us would pick, and not trying anything outrageous with the tactics
or formation. With that, we should easily be able to pick up three points
against almost anyone in the division. Yet at the moment, we’d settle for

It would be easy to say that the cup games are at fault. And it’s true,
since the beginning of last season, the weekend result after almost every
midweek cup game has been a defeat. But then we’ve also lost an awful lot of
weekend games *without* a midweek fixture. Since we last played Derby at
Portman Road, over 13 months ago in August 2001, apart from a bizarre
six-week period last Christmas, we’ve won three league matches. Three. Yet
we have the same manager, the same squad, and the same tactics. There seems
to be no sign of any major changes. And it’s major changes we need now.

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

MARSHALL 4 (2/2): Very low key presence in his own box, dreadful
distribution, and hesitancy cost us one goal and allowed a second, albeit
offside, one in too.

WILNIS replaced by WRIGHT 4 (2/2), McGREAL 5 (3/2), BROWN 5 (3/2),
HREIDARSSON 4 (2/2): Wobbly to say the least. Nice to see Wayne given a
chance, but he was very unsure of himself at times and was completely
outpaced on more than one occasion. His endless stream of long hoofs forward
amounted to little, but to be fair, with bugger-all happening in front of
him, his options were limited. Jermaininho is a poor enough right back at
the best of times, today he was worse. Even Hermann had a shocker: he just
didn’t seem to be with it at all.

MAGILTON 5 (3/2), HOLLAND 6 (3/3), CLAPHAM 5 (3/2): Jim didn’t have a bad
game, and popped up usefully at just the right time at both ends of the
park, but Derby are the first team this season to over-run us in the
midfield, and I think the finger has to be pointed at Jim. He’s just so
static that the entire team seems to be losing its cohesion around him. Matt
ran around like a mad thing, but even he didn’t have that special spark
today. Jamie just seems to have run out of ideas.

AMBROSE 4 (2/2), COUNAGO 5 (3/2), Darren BENT 5 (3/2): Another lacklustre
performance from Darren A, who just watched the match go by for the second
half. He’s the guy who’s supposed to be making the openings, but it isn’t
happening now. Overplayed? Maybe. Underconfident? Looks like it. Counago’s
full of flash touches, but they’re almost inevitably flicks to nobody, and
as many attacks broke down with him as did with Marcus Stewart for the last
year. Looked to be trying reasonably hard (although looks can deceive) but
barely had an effort on goal all afternoon. And Darren B just had a bad day
at the office. There’s a lot of pace in these three, but they’re hardly
making any openings. Worrying.

Other Subs: FINIDI didn’t get involved as much as we’d have liked, but did
at least play the only decent balls into space for colleagues to run on to
all afternoon. I can live without ever seeing him in the first team again,
but perhaps there’s a place for him on the coaching staff. Space. Player
running towards it. Pass into it. Easy.
And as for ARMSTRONG: well Alun, you’ve got fifteen minutes to turn the
match in our favour mate, go on, you can do it! …or alternatively, you
could perhaps not touch the ball at all. Yes, that’s a better idea.

For a period of 20 minutes, the REFEREE made some of the most awful
decisions we’ve seen at Portman Road for a long time. I don’t know what he
was thinking. Bizarre. The CROWD were actually a bit better than in some of
the games of late, with the huge exception of the sheer stupidity from a
section of the North Stand in thinking it would help to start singing about
Marcus Stewart, who, I should remind everyone, has not exactly been
everyone’s favourite player for the past year. Well ha bloody ha, you bunch
of t*ssers, calling you “pond life” does a disservice to frogs. S*d off, the
team needs you at the moment like a hole in the head.

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