The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Sheffield Wed 1

Well, those who wanted George’s head on a plate got their wish, but that’s
only half the job done: now we have to find (and be able to afford) someone
better. And if this was Oor Tony’s manifesto, there was little to persuade
the electorate to vote for him, I’m afraid.

Apart from the enforced changes, Mogga didn’t go for a radical alternative
to the lineup and tactics which have let us down so badly of late. I guess
he’s not officially had a lot of time to come up with something, but I’m
sure he lies awake at night planning what he’d do with the side if he ever
got the chance just as the rest of us do. So it was a little disappointing
that he decided to see if his motivational skills alone could make the
difference. Apart from going to a 5-3-2 with Clapham and Makin playing very
wide and forward, it was pretty standard fare. Venus went off in the second
half and a change to 4-4-2 became enforced because we’d run out of central
defenders (with no McGreal, Bramble or Hermann), and things went from shaky
to frightening.

I got the impression most of the players were trying their best to form a
more cohesive unit for the new boss. At times in the first half they were
running around together in big groups like nervous kids in a schools match.
But what a day for several players to have absolute stinkers. It was as much
as the rest could do to make up for their deficiencies. And as the match
wore on, what little game plan there was degenerated into a mess, quite
frankly. Not encouraging, but at least we got the usual new manager’s luck
as far as the score went. Because on another day it could easily have been
2-3 or 2-4, and we wouldn’t have had that much to complain about if it had

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

MARSHALL 4 (2/2): I could rewrite the comments from the Derby game. Hesitant
(costing us a goal), not commanding in the box, unreliable on distribution
…only a fine save at the death offered any sort of mitigation. I’d say
that so far this season Marshall has provided some of the weakest
goalkeeping I can ever remember at the club. Must do much better.

MAKIN 5 (3/2), GAARDSOE 3 (2/1), BROWN 6 (3/3), VENUS 5 (3/2), CLAPHAM 4
(2/2): The wingback idea just didn’t work: both were well out of things,
although they got drawn in more when we went 4-4-2. Brown struggled at times
but credit has to be due for his covering for Gaardsoe, who made some
dreadful errors at the start and went downhill from there, putting in one of
the worst central defensive performances I’ve seen in years. His
distribution made Mogga look like Glenn Hoddle, he gave the ball away time
and time again, and he was turned so easily by the opposition it was
frightening. Clapham was particularly disappointing, both in his delivery
and his concentration: in the 91st minute, as part of a four-man defence,
and defending a one-goal lead, he went walkabout and left Brown to cope with
two marauding attackers. Unforgivable.

WRIGHT 5 (3/2), HOLLAND 6 (3/3): Jermaine showed very little presence for
the first hour, and was instrumental in us being so ineffective in midfield,
but curiously as things degenerated around him, he seemed to come more into
his own later. Matt got stuck in, as ever, and appeared all over the park,
as ever, but too much didn’t come off.

AMBROSE 5 (3/2), COUNAGO 8 (4/4), Marcus BENT 4 (2/2): Darren seemed
mentally jaded, failing to pass with conviction on several occasions, but to
his credit, he was still going off on runs at the end, long after he should
have been given a rest. No real killer contributions however. Counago (and I
never thought I’d be typing this) was, however, tremendous. Real passion and
commitment, popped up in the right place at the right time, and could hardly
be faulted. Blimey. I’m off for a lie down. After a brief mention for Marcus
Bent, who was everything Pablo was not. This guy seems to have a serious
attitude problem. His whole demeanour and body language says “the world’s
got it in for me”, and I’ve been wondering if a 2 for effort is generous. At
times, Marcus just didn’t seem to want to be there. Terribly disappointing.

Subs: MILLER’s contribution was less than we’d have liked – a third man in
midfield was just what we needed, but the desired effect wasn’t achieved.
ARMSTRONG tried hard but also failed to make much of an impact. And FINIDI
contributed sod all, but that rather goes without saying.

The REFEREE was OK (just the normal quota of mystifying decisions), the
CROWD were about average for this season (which ain’t saying much) and the
weather was miserable. Which is how I seem to sound permanently nowadays.
I’m not! Really!

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