The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 1 QPR 4

The after match comment “that was the worst Town performance I can
remember for several years” seemed a bit exaggerated, but it’s hard to
argue against that if you can’t immediately think of a worse one. And I
couldn’t. QPR must have loved it. They weren’t worth a three goal win,
but we almost certainly deserved a three-goal defeat.
For a while at the start, we almost forgot the dreaded letters
D-A-N-S-O-N. There’s nothing worse than a discredited Premiership ref, as
all fellow Paul Alcock fans know. But the teams gave him little to be
controversial about for half an hour (although you could say three
disallowed goals were enough). Then Thetis made an innocuous challenge,
Ted reached for his yellow card, and the whole thing went off. It was
almost as if a subconscious message went out to the players: “Hey!
Danson’s the ref you know! A few niggles here or there and you’ll find
yourself up against nine men in no time!” Kiwomya was the worst offender,
but we played our part. It quickly degenerated, and Magilton, who had
been giving as much unnecessary lip to the rest of the Town side as he
usually reserves for the ref, got into some handbags which ended up in
stamping and an inevitable (and deserved) red card. With the score at 1-1
and 45 minutes to play, it was always going to be uphill from then on.
However, we then decided to commit suicide. Not content with having
gifted QPR the equaliser, although we did the right thing and took the
game to them in the second half, we decided to gift them one, two, three
more goals. As a comedy act, this defence would have waltzed off with a
BAFTA or two. And there was nothing we could do to change it. Burley
named not a single defender on the bench, then proceeded to substitute
the only reasonably-performing one, Croft, at half time. Where was
Wilnis? Brown? Bramble? I hope for Burley’s sake they were all unfit.
What were the chances of us needing Axeldahl *and* Naylor?
Whilst the goals were down to individual errors in every case, the buck
stops right at the top this time. We have no leadership on the field,
with Matt far to preoccupied with doing the work of an entire midfield to
organise the troops, and we have no leadership off it, by the looks of
things. Discipline is worse than I can remember for years.
One of those games where you feel that going down by three goals was
probably better for us than going down by the odd one would have been.
Pathetic. This was the team which put six past a fair Barnsley side just
a few weeks ago, remember? bring on Charlton. We’ll probably be fantastic.

Some ratings:
(Formation: 4-4-2)

Wright 7 – Richard deserves better than this. A couple of good stops, and
although he looked a bit stupid for QPR’s first goal, he was in the best
possible place really. Nobody could have stopped the others.

Croft 7 – Very solid. Looked in spells more like a full-back than anyone
we’ve had for years. I hope it all works out. Nothing spectacular, but no
idea why he was substituted. We needed Mickey on, but there were several
more obvious candidates.

Thetis 5 – Incredibly (and I still think the guy shouldn’t be anywhere
near the first team) he was the most composed of the defenders in  the
second half. Seemed to have genuine commitment, and the way he didn’t
rise to Kiwomya’s constant baiting was a revelation. But has to be marked
down for the criminal gift of the second goal. Oh dear dear dear.

McGreal 4 – Utterly awful. Nervous, hesitant, unsure of what was going on
in front and behind him… this was the display of a teenage debutant,
not the wise old head we’d been hoping for. He’s been looking more and
more out of place as the season’s gone on. I’ve no idea why.

Venus 4 – Last season we all expected Mogga to gradually fade out as age
caught up with him. Instead, he had an incredible Indian Summer, playing
the best he ever played. He was right to call it a day, because an Indian
Summer is usually followed by an almighty crash. I wonder if Venus was
following the same pattern but didn’t know when to let go. Suddenly,
almost overnight, he looks positively geriatric, and he doesn’t even seem
to have the reading of the game which allows other 33 year olds to
continue to look good. Players of far less pace than Kiwomya were
sprinting past him for 90 minutes. He failed to see totally telegraphed
through balls, making ordinary punts forward from QPR look like
defence-splitting genius. A stinker.

Wright 5 – Well out of sorts. Watched the game for the first half, then
when forced to get involved in the second half proved disappointingly
negative. Our only chance for real creativity in the second half, and he
blew his chance.

Holland 7 – MOTM, but if he wasn’t trying so hard to make up for the
deficiencies in every other part of the pitch, he could be so much more.
Then again, if he hadn’t been up front when needed and on the line when
needed, it would have been 0-5. But we need someone with Matty’s
inspiration at the back. And we need 9 or 10 more players with his
commitment.

Magilton 5 – Watched the game, like Wright, but worse, he seemed to be
really winding up team-mates with constant whingeing. Losing his rag and
getting sent off is, for a player of Jim’s experience, unforgiveable.

Clapham 6 – Jamie seems to have commitment, but the mess around him is
not letting him get on with things. Just doesn’t seem to fit in at the
moment.

Scowcroft 6 – Generally a poor game. Nobody knows just *why* Karl Ready
always plays a blinder against Ipswich, and always has Scowie in his back
pocket, but the fact is, he does. And of course, being Ipswich, we
*never* learn. No,  we just pump long balls up to a hopelessly beaten
Scowie and hope things will change. Just like we’ll never learn that a
Scowie/Johnno two-up-front partnership SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK. Never has,
never will. They’re both class players, and they’ll both score goals on
their own, but together, they completely cramp each others’ style. FACT.
The Scowie-in-midfield thing, allowing Johnno to get on with it, proved
that. If we haven’t got room for Scowie away from Johnno any more because
we’re spoiled for choice in midfield, then we have to face the fact that
we have a class player who just doesn’t fit in the team (while Johnno’s
still here, anyway).

Johnson 6 – Seemed to be trying in fits and starts, but looked
disillusioned at other times. Only really showed his speed on a couple of
occasions; he’s been found out a bit and we need to find different ways
of feeding him. If he’d had the slotted through balls QPR were putting
through to Kiwomya, he’d have had 3 or 4 goals (and if he’d been up
against McGreal and venus he’d have had ten).

(Sub) Stockwell 7 – You know Micky’s never going to let you down, b ut he
failed to really make the most of the space and tireless running.
Committed but never quite as effective as you hoped he’d be.

(Ref) ‘Ted’ Danson 3 – Appalling. Not for Jim’s sending off, which was
justified, but for taking the lid off the game with a stupid booking of
Thetis a few minutes before. Then, in the second half, made a string of
bizarre decisions, including booking two QPR players for absolutely
nothing while continuing to let Kiwomya’s blatant attempts to wind up our
defenders go unpunished.

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