" Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

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" Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby Mr Ducie » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:56 am

" Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "


Cardiff is a friendly club to visit. When I arrived on the concourse and realised there were no programmes on sale inside the stadium, I was directed by a fellow Blue to another steward who nipped out and purchased two for me. The stadium was half-full and the mood among Town fans was one of end-of-season reflection, the football a welcome distraction from our wider problems.

One the game kicked-off, Cardiff the more purposeful side. We had our usual three centre-backs with Knudsen and Spence out wide. It was apparent that City were going to test our right side, mainly due to having three natural left-footers in Junior Hoilett and Kadeem Harris backed up at left-back by the creative Joe Bennett.

Their first foray gave an indication as to how the game would play out when hesitant covering by Spence and McGoldrick allowed a cross which Kenneth Zohore flicked over the bar. We broke cover with a superb early counter-attack which Grant Ward was not able to finish, although it looked like a Bart-quality save from Cardiff’s Allan McGregor.

The regular formation of 20 outfield players in a postage stamp awaiting a goal-kick in the wind and rain should tell you much about the game. The fact that one long-range Aron Gunnarsson throw went behind the goal-line and Bart’s subsequent goal-kick went straight into touch will also tell you much about the quality of the football. It was quite imperfect but nonetheless quite entertaining.

Cardiff also set about getting into our faces, spoiling our play and working free kicks and set pieces out of the referee. Bristol City fans were indignant about it earlier in the season but you have to admire the hutzpah of Neil Warnock’s game management. There’s no point getting cross about it as his teams will never change their nature.

We started to grow into the game after 15 minutes although our attacking moves lacked the energy, tempo and conviction of the Bluebirds’ forays. Our opening goal owed as much to Tom Lawrence’s excellent set-piece delivery as it did to the accuracy of Chambers’s header. “We’ve got our equaliser in nice an early”, quipped a fellow Blue. If only. That was to be the high point.

“Swing low, sweet chariot.” A little hubris was allowed but the Bluebirds were now roused and Bart did well to keep out Harris and Zohore efforts. When City’s equaliser fell, it came from a free cross by the tidy Jazz Richards, a towering header by set-piece danger Sean Morrison and a lightning reflex finish by Zohore. Three Cardiff players were doing what they do best and we had simply let them.

City now had their tails up as the first half reached its conclusion. Zohore nearly added a second moments after they levelled and shortly after this Gunnarsson fed Hoilett whose shot hit the post with Bart beaten. Cardiff’s growing alertness contrasted with our lethargy and we were relieved to hear the half-time whistle.


The consensus at the interval was that it was an entertaining albeit poor quality first half. The awful conditions didn’t help with the blustery rain refusing to let up. The shape of the team was good and the Cardiff goal came from the habit of switching off which had blighted so many games this season.


“Pitman for Smith.” Resuming our seats after the break, it was apparent that Mick had come up with a different diagnosis and changed our shape to 4-4-2. This was to prove a catastrophic alteration and one which went a long way to handing Cardiff victory.

Two of our three creative players, Ward and Lawrence were now forced wide and Lawrence became a peripheral figure having been at the heart of our creative play before the break. We were now left with two central holding midfielders and no central midfield threat.

Toumani had been able to break forward to good effect to link with the creative players in a three-man midfield with Skuse sitting, but he became more withdrawn and this allowed Gunnarsson and Whittingham time and space to create in the centre with Ward also no longer there to disrupt them.

Things were worse at the back. Two of Berra, Chambers and Smith had been able to double up on Zohore in the first half when he was receiving clearances to hold up, but now he was able to isolate a centre-back. Whoever was covering at right back was also isolated and would have a tough job being one-on-one with Harris. Each of these consequences specifically cost us a second half goal.

Things were little better up front. With the supply chain fragmented to the wings and the long ball, Pitman and McGoldrick had little to work with. The sight of the giant Sol Bamba effortlessly shielding the ball out of play behind the goal line from a ball into the channels became a recurring second half theme.


You could instantly anticipate the problems the formation-switch would create, but the second Cardiff goal was still a surprise given the speed and ease with which it came. Five minutes into the second half, a City goal-kick, a clever flick-on and Zohore was through to score unmarked. If your defenders are habitually switching off it’s probably not a great idea to remove one of them.

The hosts were now looking to kill us off and their inevitable third goal came soon after. The spiky and combative Harris worked his way down our right side to the by-line and slid the ball back to Joe Bennett who had time pick his spot. Bennett is a classy left-back and needed no second invitation although by now we were becoming ragged.

With an hour gone the game was effectively over and lost but a fellow Blue spotted a telling contrast in the behaviour of both sets of players in an injury break shortly after the Bluebirds’ third goal. The Cardiff men were all over with Warnock, getting fluids and instructions whereas our lot were all standing around, isolated, hands on hips and with hardly a word being spoken among them.

“The early leavers are on their way.” The final quarter of the game passed with little incident. Any lingering excitement or interest ebbed away as Cardiff were happy to play out the game. We were now as faltering in our attacks as we had been hesitant in our defending. McGoldrick’s weary trudge on being subbed off was not the urgent sprint of a losing player whose team were chasing a goal.

“Another Ipswich long ball into the channels.” The nippiness and alertness of Cardiff’s players was a sharp contrast with our play. City were more likely to add a fourth goal as yet more catastrophic defending allowed Hoilett an absolute gift of a free shot with seven minutes left. We had a late tepid penalty appeal for a handball but the game drifted to a soporific conclusion.


“Oh dear, oh dear”, “It was all half-hearted.” The mood was a flat as you could imagine heading out of the stadium after the full-time whistle. There was a nervous check on how other results went on mobile phones, something I never thought we would return to under Mick. The damage could have been a lot worse but our display was so poor in that second half that relegation cannot be excluded.


It was unfair to reference Ian Milne at the start of this report as it wasn’t him who allowed Zohore off the leash to score today. Nevertheless, it was abundantly clear even to an untrained eye who was watching today that events off the field are having an effect on it. This was a very distracted Town performance and the contrast with Cardiff’s industry, energy and enthusiasm was palpable.

Any neutral watching our display would place money on Mick leaving this summer no matter what the official line might be. A professional football dressing room is a work environment with people looking out for themselves and Cardiff showed us up as a group of players with their collective minds elsewhere. That this happened after the post-Derby heart-to-heart is all the more alarming.

“Ipswich fans need to be ‘realistic’ about Marcus Evans’s budget.” This was my other favourite Ian Milne sidewinder this week and it all drives back to what Steve M described as a “sense of drift” a few months ago. Milne’s was quite an insulting remark as it implied that we had ideas above our station. If an owner is not ambitious for his club, it’s hardly a surprise if it rubs off on the pitch.

We are not militant supporters. We are a patient lot and one of our number said before the game that many of us would be happy with a few 3-0 or 4-0 wins between now and the end of May. We are sick of being taken for granted, of paying sky-high prices to support an under-funded squad and being fobbed off with gimmicks and a five-point plan more suited to Colchester or Southend.
Mr Ducie
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" Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "


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Re: " Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby Dai Drope » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:45 am

A good read Mr Dude fair play. If its any consolation, you have nothing to worry about relegation wise if you stick to your first half formation! Good luck tractor boys.
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Re: " Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby Chris Holmes » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:43 pm

A danger for Ipswich is that besides Rotherham who have all but gone, all their fixtures are against teams scrapping for something... but even Rotherham might play with freedom knowing they have been relegated.

Ipswich Town v Birmingham City Sat 1 Apr 15:00
Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic Tue 4 Apr 19:45
Fulham v Ipswich Town Sat 8 Apr 15:00
Burton Albion v Ipswich Town Fri 14 Apr 19:45
Ipswich Town v Newcastle United Mon 17 Apr 15:00
Rotherham United v Ipswich Town Sat 22 Apr 15:00
Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday Sat 29 Apr 15:00
Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town Sun 7 May 12:00
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Re: " Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby Tonteg Bluebird » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:18 pm

An excellent read. Thanks for posting. :thumbright:
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Re: " Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby DandoCCFC » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:26 pm

Good read, the second for us came through Morrison not a goal kick I think though.
I will.
And before anyone els gets in there no im not an ideot abroad

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Re: " Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby oohahhPaulMillar » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:57 am

Chris Holmes wrote:A danger for Ipswich is that besides Rotherham who have all but gone, all their fixtures are against teams scrapping for something... but even Rotherham might play with freedom knowing they have been relegated.

Ipswich Town v Birmingham City Sat 1 Apr 15:00
Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic Tue 4 Apr 19:45
Fulham v Ipswich Town Sat 8 Apr 15:00
Burton Albion v Ipswich Town Fri 14 Apr 19:45
Ipswich Town v Newcastle United Mon 17 Apr 15:00
Rotherham United v Ipswich Town Sat 22 Apr 15:00
Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday Sat 29 Apr 15:00
Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town Sun 7 May 12:00

Your right I wouldn't fancy that run in!!!
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Re: " Ipswich Town Fans View Of Game "

Postby NyeBluebird » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:47 am

Hoilett and Harris are left footed? News to me!
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