The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 1 Wolves 1

A curiously absorbing game, given that it was between two mid-table teams
both playing well below their potential. Sometimes when two teams are so
firmly in the “could do better” camp, you wish you’d gone to the
International Festival of Boredom instead, but on other occasions, it makes
the game open up and there are plenty of chances, even if most of them are
squandered. This match was, fortunately, of the second type.

With a fairly predictable (phew!) 4-4-2 lineup, the pre-match conversation
wasn’t – for once – mainly about The Madness Of King Joe. Those who think he
has lost it had to wait for the post-match interview, when he said he was
“ecstatic with a point” and that he’d have “gladly taken a point before the
start”. Gosh, er, well, we were playing a team just in the top half of the
table, after all. At home. I don’t think many home supporters went out of
the door marked “ecstatic”, do you?

Two dreadful goals (a Crouch-like deflection and a penalty that should never
have been) sum up the finishing, not that we had much finishing to do. But
there were a few crumbs of comfort: Jimmy Juan continues to look like he can
fill Tommy Miller’s boots, and Sito is one of the most solid full-backs
we’ve had since Treacle. On the down side, we still seem to have precious
little motivation or leadership on or off the pitch, and nothing to offer
except long balls to players who don’t seem to be able to chase them well
enough. I think the worrying thing for most fans is that whilst there might
be injuries and suspensions, the players who are missing aren’t ones we all
expect to turn things around on their return. And whilst Joe continually
talks about the side being “in transition”, we have to ask ourselves
“transition to what?” We seem to be grateful just to tread water at the
moment.

Match Ratings:
Excitement – 3/5
Town Performance – 2/5

Player Ratings (1-5 for style, 1-5 for content):

PRICE 6 (3/3):
Pretty solid again. Looks to be getting more confident in the air too.

SITO 7 (4/3), DE VOS 5 (3/2), NAYLOR 5 (3/2), RICHARDS 6 (4/2):
Unlike the Sunday Times reporter who thought Matt was the man of the match,
I saw a fullback letting far too much get past him. Fortunately (and unlike
the Molineux game) the resulting crosses were dreadful. However, he stuck to
his task well, and his commitment cannot be faulted. Sito’s looking good.

WILLIAMS 5 (3/2), MAGILTON 4 (2/2), JUAN 6 (3/3), CURRIE 5 (3/2):
A withdrawn midfield, exemplifying the lack of confidence in the team at the
moment. At least Juan has a bit of presence now, but I can’t see what Joe
sees in Gavin Williams, who was only fleetingly and ineffectively involved.
Darren’s crosses and passing were disappointing again, and as for Jim, I’m
really beginning to wish he hadn’t let himself be persuaded to continue: I
just don’t want to remember him this way, contributing so little and being
substituted every week. We need someone to build the team around: it’s
absurd to have a captain who’s watching from the sidelines most of the time.

FORSTER 4 (2/2), BOWDITCH 5 (3/2):
Nicky was consistently either too slow off the mark, or too quick (and
offside) and is becoming really frustrating. Deano was OK, nothing more.
Both strikers can rightly feel their supply lines were rubbish though.

Subs – HORLOCK at least showed a desire to get stuck in, although on another
day he might have been sent off too, had Anderton not got up quickly.
PROUDLOCK had more presence up front than the other two had done, and showed
more of a target, but had similarly little effect in terms of creating
chances. BARRON got a strange five-minute run-out – not quite sure why.

The REF gave us a dodgy penalty, so enough said. The CROWD were supportive,
although Joe found it objectionable that many people booed the decision to
take Deano off. That’s being supportive of a player Joe, even if it’s not
being supportive of you, and they shouldn’t be criticised for that.

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