The View From Churchmans

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


Arsenal 1 Ipswich Town 0

Well, the stats show that we can’t complain about an Arsenal win, but we so nearly got something out of the game, and certainly impressed all the Arsenal fans I was near. A battling performance, and we shouldn’t get at all downhearted about the result, because if we keep that standard up to the end of the season there are 10 or 20 more points to come, for sure.
Circumstances were against us, with the injury list added to by Croft limping off in the first half, but both the 4-4-2 (with Jamie C at left back, Reuser left midfield and Scowie up front) and the subsequent 5-3-2 (with Jermaininho at right back, Scowie right midfield and Reuser up front) looked pretty solid. Where we were weak (not for the first time) was in the centre of the park, and later, when Arsenal brought on the runners, we were always going to be exposed with midfielders playing both fullback/wingback positions. But they carried on to the end, and Marcus might have had a better break to put us one up early in the second half – and then who knows what might have happened?
Some ratings:
Wright 9 – save after save after save, a performance which saved us from an unjustified hammering. Arsenal never played in a style which required him to do the “dominating his area” thing where he’s been weak of late, but it was a shot-stopping performance which the gippo up the other end must dream about.
Croft 6 – seemed OK, but then got crocked and off he went. And we were down to our last fit defender in the squad…
Bramble 7 – couple of good tackles, seemed aware and in control; encouraging performance
Venus 7 – again, a hard day at the office, but never seemed to panic
Clapham 6 – thought he was going to get a rare 90 minutes at full-back, and seemed a little stretched at first, but was happier in the subsequent wing-back role. However, never really made much of an impact.
Wright 8 – given the unenviable task of filling in for Croft, but hardly put a foot wrong really. Very hard-working performance.
Magilton 6 – got fairly involved, but didn’t seem to be able to produce anything interesting and inevitably resorted to the sideways pass or even more frequently the pass back.
Holland 5 – yet another game which seemed to pass Matt by; not making an impact in the centre of the park, yet not performing heroics at one end or the other either. Anonymous, and worryingly so, because it isn’t the first time recently
Reuser 7 – looked interesting out wide earlier on, then went into an unaccustomed striker’s role (presumably because GB thought we needed Scowie’s presence to shore up the midfield). Up front he played in a way we’re not used to, but didn’t have the communication with the others. Well worth finding a regular starting place for though, surely?
Scowcroft 6 – battled hard but it didn’t come off much in either position. We weren’t playing to Scowie’s strengths today.
Stewart 7 – kept Adams really busy. Good, intelligent play as usual, without ever getting the killer touch (or, to be honest, much of an opportunity).
Brown 7 – looked very comfortable in the middle of defence – hugely encouraging.
Naylor 5 – didn’t have long but hardly managed anything.

Town support: blummin (can I say that?) marvellous. The Arsenal fans around me (I was in the box immediately overlooking our support) thought it was an amazing performance, and they get to judge all the away fans from the same standpoint, every week. “yeah, your team were pretty good, but the support, that was fantastic”.
Mrs Bergkamp in the box next to me: 10

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