The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Wigan 3

That’ll be seventeen goals conceded in the last seven home games then (ten
of them in the last three) and no team can possibly win anything with a
defence like that. What was more worrying was how easily Wigan found it to
walk away with the points. They knew exactly how to beat us and just came
and did it. Even worse, when the whole crowd could see what they were doing
and how vulnerable we were after 10-15 minutes, why was BFJ too proud or
shortsighted to do something about it until half-time, by when it was too
late? In a nutshell though, that’s perhaps why there’s an air of pessimism
around the ground: few of us believe the management or the resources we’ve
got this season are adaptable enough to keep up with the teams which are
getting better as the season goes on. We might be seventh, and well in with
a chance, but we don’t look like taking it: apart from the bizarre, and
possibly lucky, result against Crewe, we haven’t had a decent win in the
league since November.

The first half was one of our worst displays of the season (something which
has been said more than once in the last month or two). There’s a real lack
of enthusiasm and confidence about the team which manifests itself in most
of the players thinking it’s enough to just pass to the nearest colleague
and that’s job done. When the team has a buzz about it, at least those
passes are into space the players are running into. At the moment it’s all
just static.

With one full-back position being filled by a midfielder and the other by an
increasingly nervous teenager, it didn’t need Alan Mahon’s insider knowledge
to know where our weakness would be. Wigan just ran at us again and again
until we made mistakes, and we made ’em: Diallo’s slip for the first,
Richards’ hesitation and the central pairing’s lack of communication for the
second. We didn’t get a look in: Wigan seemed to be putting in ten times the
effort we did, and I’d guess they had a dozen attempts on goal in the first
half, while all I can remember from us was Jim passing it into their
keeper’s arms and Shefki missing a marvellous aerial opportunity.

At half-time came the obvious change, given the personnel available: when
all you’ve got are central defenders and midfielders, 3-5-2 makes so much
more sense. Things were transformed. But the momentum was with Wigan, and
our heads were down: there was to be no comeback, and to be honest, on
effort alone, we didn’t deserve one.

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

DAVIS 6 (3/3): Much more solid. Not to blame for any of the goals. Could
have endeared himself to the crowd with a little more urgency at times

WRIGHT 6 (3/3), NAYLOR 5 (3/2), DIALLO 4 (2/2), RICHARDS 4 (2/2): Very shaky
across the board, although Jermaine did a good shackling job on Mahon, and
stuck to his brief well. Drissa seemed slow off the mark on several
occasions, and gifted them the first goal; then a lack of communication with
Bam-Bam (who was trying to play offside) gave them the second. Matt Richards
just looks every bit like a youngster who’s been asked to play too many
games in his first season, and he seems hesitant, nervous and altogether our
biggest weakness. But he’s being totally let down by his colleagues, week
after week, and this afternoon was simply the worst example of this; I can’t
remember any of the midfielders giving him any support whatsoever.
Constantly being attacked two-onto-one, it must have been quite frightening.
Despite being beaten again and again however, he still made two goal-saving
clearances and tackles.

MILLER 4 (2/2), MAGILTON 4 (3/1), BART-WILLIAMS 5 (3/2), REUSER 3 (1/2):
An awful display from the midfield, devoid of creativity or commitment.
Tommy was quite anonymous for the whole game, and CBW was disappointingly
lacking in inspiration. Jim had a nightmare, constantly playing pointless
chips to nobody and failing to inspire (or set an example) in his captain’s
role. But worst of all was Martijn Reuser, who we might just have seen the
last of, I think. He seemed disinterested, contributed almost nothing going
forward yet made no effort to help a struggling Matt Richards behind him.
Nobody was surprised to see him left in the dressing-room at half-time.
Anyone still championing Reuser’s cause is still living in 2000-2001, a
world away from today.

KUQI 5 (3/2), COUNAGO 4 (2/2): Pablo contributed little, but this was as
much due to the fact that the “service” from his team-mates consisted of
hopeful high punts forward that he was generally only a foot in height away
from being able to take advantage of. There were perhaps more blatant
candidates for the half-time chop. Shefki stayed involved throughout, as
we’ve come to expect, but almost nothing came off for him all afternoon, and
he’s rapidly developing a reputation as one of the most comically bad
finishers since, ooh, Mich d’Avray. You just feel that with the strongest
part to his game being his clumsy but effective surges forward, he might be
better played as a midfielder, in the same way as Jamie Scowcroft found a
great role there. Just because you’re a big bloke doesn’t mean you have to
be a target man.

Subs: SANTOS 6 (3/3) brought a bit of solidity to the defence, marshalling
things well. Three central defenders are, in our case, definitely more than
50% better than two. BENT 5 (3/2) was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet,
but didn’t really produce much of an improvement over Counago. WESTLAKE
never seemed to find the space or role within the 5-3-2 which he does in a
flat four midfield.

The REFEREE was didn’t do much wrong. Sent a bloke off, too. Almost forgot
about that.

The CROWD were rarely animated. The Wigan fans, having a disco for most of
the game, chanted “In church, it’s just like being in church” and it was
hard to argue. A few morons have decided that the best way to show their
displeasure is to have a go at Davis or Richards. Yes, they have the right
to do so. No, it isn’t clever. In fact it’s pathetic.

Reply to “Ipswich Town 1 Wigan 3”

Follow us on Twitter!

Site Search