The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 4 Millwall 1

Walsall on Saturday were one of the poorest sides we’ve entertained this
season, and today we got another well-below-average outfit, of the sort we
regularly slip up against. Millwall must have had serious
striker-availability problems (you wouldn’t start with Steve Claridge
nowadays otherwise, unless it was for a bet), and when Claridge finally went
off, they had to stick a midfielder up front. But after dominating an
uneventful first half without anything to show for it, there was a nagging
feeling that we could well fail to get the result we deserved. However, a
combination of the conditions, tiredness and substitutions opened the game
right up in the second half, and we (at last) started to take some of those
chances we create so effortlessly at times.

It was the same 3-5-2 starting lineup as on Saturday, and the game followed
much the same pattern: lots of Town possession, a bit too much sideways
passing, perhaps not enough movement up front – or inspiration in midfield –
but still enough chances to have the game buried by half-time. Soon after
half-time Dazzling Dazza Ambrose came on for Fab and we went 4-4-2 with
Hermann dropping back, presumably because Dazza couldn’t be expected to
defend like Fab, but 15 minutes later Gaardsoe had to go off, so we went
back to 3-5-2 with Matt in the middle of defence.

Although the 3-5-2 is obviously Joe’s preferred choice, it has to be said
that we came alive once we went 4-4-2 and Dazza came on and things changed
around. Jim however was completely lost in this formation – so there’s still
a way to go before we find the lineup which really clicks. And I do think
the key to our success or otherwise is going to be Pablo burying chances –
we’re not going to get that many fixtures between now and May where we can
afford for him to miss so much.

What struck me this afternoon was our lack of urgency, and that’s as much
the reason for all these soft goals going in as anything else. Millwall were
great at taking quick free-kicks and corners, and it just continuously
seemed to take us by surprise. We’ve got to sort that out. Nice scoreline

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

MARSHALL 6 (3/3): A more encouraging performance from Andy. Even his
distribution wasn’t as bad as it has been. However, still a lot of work to
do on his communication with the defence, and his command (or lack of it) of
the box.

HOLLAND 6 (3/3), GAARDSOE 7 (3/4), MAKIN 6 (3/3): Fairly solid performances
all around – Gaardsoe was particularly composed (again) although not
stretched on many occasions. Matt’s distribution was still surprisingly
tentative, something I’m at a loss to explain.

WILNIS 5 (3/2), MAGILTON 5 (3/2), MILLER 5 (2/3), CLAPHAM 6 (3/3),
HREIDARSSON 7 (3/4): Wilnis made some good space and got more crosses in
than in recent games, but still didn’t produce any killer stuff. Magilton
came in and out of the game, with too much overambitious stuff and too much
sloppy stuff at times, but when he was having a good patch, you felt if
anyone could open up their defence it would be Jim. Miller was a passenger
for most of the game, but finally woke up when he got (and took) his
goalscoring opportunity. Disappointing though. Clapham’s performance was
much more encouraging, patrolling right across the centre of the park and
really getting involved throughout. No headline-making stuff, but I felt he
played a significant part today. He just needs to lose some of the hesitancy
he’s developed in the last year. And once again we were treated to Sir
Stanley “twinkletoes” Hreidarsson playing the bizarre role of the giant left
winger who can win the ball in the air *and* skin defenders at will. Trouble
is, if he could only then do something good with it…

NAYLOR 5 (3/2), COUNAGO 7 (4/3): for the second game running, Bam-Bam really
made little impact. I hear what certain people say about the way he occupies
a defence and creates space for Pablo, but so does Marcus Bent (in a far
more irritating way), and Bent actually scores too. Pablo’s close control
terrified the Millwall defence today – on occasions it was as good as I’ve
ever seen it – and if only his finishing hadn’t been so disappointing it’d
have been a really classy performance.

Subs: AMBROSE was a class above, opening up the game at least for a while
after he came on – magnificent to watch. Marcus BENT put on one of his usual
disinterested displays, expecting someone else to go fetch every loose ball
ten yards away, and yet once again, when he could be bothered to get going,
he showed what a great striker he could be if only he could get stuck in.
Quite infuriating. WRIGHT worked really hard – much more so than Miller had
been doing – and shored up a flagging midfield. And like Miller, he showed
the strikers just what can happen if they’ll just bloody well have a pop
instead of trying to pass it into the net.

The REFEREE was excellent – almost un-noticed. The CROWD 4 (2/2) however
were the day’s biggest disappointment. Yes, “Four one, and you can’t get
home” after the traffic report on the PA was funny, but for the vast
majority of the game it was like being in a library. The Millwall supporters
were simply bemused – they had nothing to react to.

Hands up who’d have taken ten points out of twelve over the holiday period
before it started? Is that Joe Royle I see jumping up at the back?

Reply to “Ipswich Town 4 Millwall 1”

Follow us on Twitter!

Site Search