Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter woes continue for Town.

We conceded 9 goals over the Easter break, something that our defence and our goalkeeper almost certainly caused for themselves. One of those goals was a McAuley own goal, another was a penalty after a clumsy challenge by Mark Kennedy (who having just failed to tackle to guy previously, thought it would be a good idea to have another crack when he had no chance), the rest were caused by goalkeeping errors (Swansea times two yesterday, definitely one against Norwich) and not having enough pace at the back.

Both Darren O'Dea and Mark Kennedy looked hopelessly outpaced by Swansea's wide man, Dyer. He skipped past O'Dea in the first half many a time, it was his inability to control him on the wing that led to Swansea's opener, which was, arguably at the time, against the run of play. However, for Swasnea, they settled down and played the football that shows why they're one of the top sides in the division, and like Norwich, they took advantage of our non-pace and non-threat upfront and ran us ragged on the counterattack.

Against a team like Swansea, and with us having nothing to play for, I would've thought that it would have been the perfect game to give Jaime Peters a crack. He has pace and possibly could've matched Dyer. Peters always, always puts the effort in and he gets forward too, whilst keeping his position at the back, something that has always been a problem with Carlos Edwards.

With Bullard and Wickham out, and us recalling Ronan Murray from Torquay, I'd have liked to have seen him given a chance up front with Jason Scotland. Scotland is not the type of player you want when your team get so frustrated that they play route one football. He can't run, can't jump and his first touch is appalling at times, so hitting a long ball up to him is highly unlikely to work. Scotland has scored 10 goals this season and I bet you that if you could see all the higlights, he'd have had the ball passed at his feet, rather than lumped up field. I thought he'd be a good player for us should he pick up a bit of match fitness, but he like every player tipped as the answer to our goalscoring woes, he's been disappointing.

The other thing with our well documented striking problem is that nobody seems to want to get in the box. We get the ball, we faff around outside the area, but when you look into the area, there is nobody there. So then we faff around a bit more, waiting for someone to magically appear in the box, but then you look around the field and most of the players seem disinterested. Yes, we're safe, but for heaven's sake, you've just lost 5-1 to our hated neighbours. A reaction, a better performance or even just the slightest showing of passion would be much appreciated.

My blog a few days ago about Ipswich's season not being mathematically over (it is now) is redunant now. When I wrote that, I hoped for a much better showing from Town in both the derby and South Wales. Instead, at this stage, if we seriously want to challenge for promotion next season we have got a long, long way to go. So, Paul Jewell, against Preston on Saturday, a team who've been relegated but will probably play with more pride than our players can even imagine, please play the fringe players. Give Brian Murphy another crack in goal, play Jaime Peters, give Luca Civelli a start. If you think a player's not going to be here next season, don't play them. Give even more of the youngsters a go, like Joe Whight. Look at the players you've offered contracts to, to give them a chance to impress you and possibly cement a starting place next season.

The start of next season marks almost 10 years since we got relegated from the Premier League. Since then we've come close to the play-off final twice, but since 2005 and have been stuck eternally in midtable.  Delaney signed his contract stating that there was "optimism around the club". After these two results, I wonder just how much optimism there is now.

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