The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 0 Newcastle 1

I’m started to get irritated as well as a tiny bit scared now. Every time I
think “well that’s the low point, the recovery starts here” we come out the
next week and offer nothing new. I can’t see where the next goal’s coming
from, the defence looks more porous than it has done for years, and the
midfield seems outnumbered 2:1 regardless of how many people we put there.

Today I think the midfield had to carry the can. Whilst I was not filled
with confidence to see a back pairing of McGreal and Venus, it has to be
said that despite the Newcastle creative players like Solano and Bellamy
being given acres of space and time by our midfield to turn, run and
generally do what they like, in the end, there were very few chances
created, and although I’m surprising myself by saying this, that has to go
down to some intelligent and hard work by the back four. Now I’m off for a
lie-down.

Right, having got that over with, the six players in front of them were
universally awful. Nobody wanted to pass forward, nobody wanted to shoot,
and nobody went on any decent runs (although Bent looked closer to doing so
than anyone else has for weeks). George, you are not going to turn this
rabble into an outfit capable of getting us out of trouble without far more
time than you’ve actually got. Major surgery is required. Face facts.
Clapham’s had enough chances. Finidi has turned out to be a mistake. Counago
is way too lightweight for the Premiership. Magilton needs a rocket up the
a*se because we really, really need the old Jim back (the current one
doesn’t even deserve to be on the bench). Six mediocre strikers does not one
good one make. And get Wayne Brown back so we can put Hermann into the
centre.

Some ratings:

SERENI 6 (3/3) his reflex saves and his ability with one-on-ones (and no
keeper should have to face as many as he does) are unquestionably excellent,
but today provided more evidence of his worrying inability to hold shots –
just parrying them will not do at this level. His communication with the
defence is also very suspect. For now, let’s give him the benefit of the
doubt, but I’m uneasy.

MAKIN 7 (4/3) had perhaps his best game of the season, solid in the tackle,
quick to get out and generally very lively. A real and pleasant surprise.
McGREAL 6 (3/3) had a tough afternoon but, as with VENUS 5 (3/2), the
restricted number of efforts by Shearer and Bellamy tell the tale.
HREIDARSSON 7 (4/3) was as up for it as ever, went on some mazy runs which
showed his real commitment to the cause, and was always there or
thereabouts.

FINIDI 4 (2/2) had another afternoon where you kept thinking he was going to
be the man most likely to, but he never was. He’s surely fit, he was
certainly given the ball enough, but nothing’s happening. WRIGHT 6 (4/2)
tried hard, but was just not sharp enough to get the forward passes in
quickly and ended up doing the Magilton/Wilkins thing far too often. A big
disappointment. And lose the boots Jermaininho, they make you look like a
twat. HOLLAND 7 (4/3) ran his socks off, but had far too much to do and at
times came as close to losing his composure with misplaced passes as I can
remember. Still, if only we had another nine of him eh? CLAPHAM 4 (2/2)
didn’t really seem to want it, and certainly didn’t produce it. The free
kick at the end, almost casually lobbed into the wall, summed up everything
about Jamie this season. The hunger’s gone, and the little extra ability
that came with it and helped him surprise us all at this level last year has
drained away too. Sad.

Marcus BENT 6 (4/2) worked hard and occasionally looked like he might make a
telling run, but there was little to work with coming from the midfield.
ARMSTRONG 4 (2/2) wasn’t the same player who ended the match in Milan on
such a high, leading the whole team by example. He developed no relationship
with Bent whatsoever, it was like watching Johnson and Scowcroft at their
worst, and we’d have been better off with an extra midfielder.

Substitutes: PERALTA ran around a lot but far too often into trouble. His
enthusiasm is beyond doubt, but he’s not making much happen. COUNAGO just
looks awful. Nippy yes, but so lightweight he just tumbles over and over,
and there’s no way refs are going to keep giving him free kicks for it. When
he turns a defender it looks cool, but it’s easy to deal with. Invariably
it’s a turn straight into trouble. NAYLOR got a token five minutes and had
little chance to contribute.

The REF was the worst we’ve had all season, even if you go along with his
“ball to hand is not a foul” philosophy. Continually conned by SHEARER, who
was a complete git as usual.

SIR BOBBY is still a god. And it was nice to see KIERON back and good to see
him get a generous reception. Thank goodness he didn’t score.

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