The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 Burnley 2

Dear dear. Things didn’t bode well as I walked towards the ground at 6.45pm
to see Fab getting into his car (D1 FAB) and forcefully driving away from
the ground. One for the more imaginative gossipmongers, I’m sure. What did
it mean? I don’t know. But I don’t know much after tonight. Do the players
all want to work for Mogga? Is Mogga the man for the job? Whatever your
opinion, there was probably something to back it up this evening.

We came out playing one of the more interesting tactical arrangements of
recent months. Marcus was banished to the bench in favour of Super Al (I bet
that went down well), and Jermaininho got a chance to play in his proper
position at last, although somewhat deeper than he might have liked. It was
loosely a 4-4-2/4-3-3, but Jamie, Super Al and Darren A were all under
orders to run all over the park. A sort of 4-2-1-and-3-oddments, if you
like. All three of them switched from one side of the pitch to the other
constantly; I didn’t know where they were going to turn up next, but it was
better choreographed than it sounds, and created some tremendous openings
(most of which were sadly squandered).

Burnley are a neat team who play a simple but highly effective game; get the
ball up, and hold it for an onrushing mass of players. They were better than
us in the air in all areas of the pitch, all night, so why they didn’t sling
some more in from the wings I don’t know. And they had two of the most
effective centre-backs we’ll come up against all season. A Town lead at
half-time was possibly justified, but as usual it never got going in the
second half; substitutions which weren’t unreasonable made things worse if
anything, and by the end you couldn’t really say Burnley didn’t deserve a
draw. It was a shame we just gift-wrapped it for them.

So Mogga has some ideas, and the players looked like they wanted to work
hard for him; but he can’t solve the problem of it all falling to pieces as
the match wears on. It’s not really much of an advance on the Burley era
though.

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

MARSHALL 3 (2/1): It goes from bad to worse. Hesitant, nervous (and the
ironic cheers from the crowd will only have made it even more difficult).
Kicked (and gave away possession) constantly when a throw would have been
the right option. Surely should have done better with their first goal.
Unforgiveably just stood there and presented Burnley with the equaliser when
all he had to do was move 2 feet to catch the ball. An absolute liability
now.

MAKIN 5 (3/2), McGREAL 5 (3/2), VENUS 5 (3/2), HREIDARSSON 7 (4/3): Hermann
really put his heart and soul into things all evening, but the others looked
apprehensive, with even Veno seldom venturing out of position. Perhaps not
surprising when they were so outplayed when Burnley came forward in earnest:
both central defenders looked susceptible to anyone running at them, and yet
missed a lot in the air too.

WRIGHT 6 (4/2), HOLLAND 4 (2/2), CLAPHAM 6 (3/3): There was something very,
very wrong with Matt tonight. He rarely got stuck in, he was slow to the
ball, and whilst he didn’t give it away as much as some others, he was
seldom in a position to. Jermaininho worked heroically in Jim’s deep
position to make up for things, but was overwhelmed much of the time. Jamie
got around the pitch a lot, but was given more creative responsibilities
than usual and didn’t really deliver.

AMBROSE 6 (3/3), COUNAGO 7 (4/3), ARMSTRONG 6 (4/2): Some good effort up
front, with Counago leading the way again, despite more than a hint of going
back to his old ways and spending too much of the match on his backside. As
ever, a little too clever at times, but played most of the more creative
passing of the first half as well as making most of the openings. Super Al
played really wide, but it stopped us hoofing it forward to him all the time
(which would have resulted in very little), and he made some great space and
runs on several occasions. Darren A looked classy for the first half, but
faded again.

Subs: MILLER came on for Wright (when it was Matt who should have gone) but
had little impact; DARREN BENT was disappointing as a replacement for the
first of Mogga’s runners to flag (Super Al); and BROWN filled in adequately
for Veno who also had to retire early, spoiling Mogga’s plan to put on
Finidi for the tiring Ambrose or Counago.

The REFEREE was OK, although he had the slowest-flagging linesman in
history, the CROWD were about average again, and bigger changes than those
we saw tonight are surely needed.

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