With Murphy going for a decent fee , it's time to see whether the board have got the ambition to invest the money in a new player or wether they will try to get a freebie or a loan player to fill his role
Coming off the back of an encouraging draw to our local friends, we headed into the Preston game on a high. You could say a few fans were worried of the recent departure of Daryl M, with no big target man how could we play our football - he was crucial to our style of play, he held the ball up to give time to other surrounding players to make a move. Yet with a different player, we had Brett Pitman upfront, whom has the ability to finish and also has a little more skill and control on the ball, that was showed today by him.
Anyway, the whistle went and Ipswich were straight at it from the start, the first 20-25 minutes were superb. Pitman, Ward and Sears linking up nicely. Bru, Skuse and Douglas dominating the midfield and passing it nicely while maintaining possession. Preston's midfield couldn't even touch our midfield's play. This was the best 20 minutes Ipswich have ever played - that I've seen. Pitman was pulling off tricks, winning headers (from the long balls, sadly we were doing a few long balls which I thought would've stopped due to Pitman not being recognised for that style of play /physique) and just generally looking alert. We then score, with Ward sweetly striking the ball on the half volley, just outside the box.
This is where my rant starts...
The next 70 minutes are a different story. Take a minute to appreciate we are currently playing a 2nd bottom team (yes, only a few games in, but this team are bad. No way other to put it). With this fact we should be chasing for a 2nd goal. However, the football slows down and there isn't that scent of a threat from us anymore. Yet we do have control. So, second half starts and to sum it all up, was dire. It literally felt like nothing happened. It was all in the air, midfield created nothing, Pitman was chasing lost balls and there was no threat about us now. And it wasn't even like we just maintained the ball, it was awful! Rubbish, in the air no control, no one had the class to take it down and knock it about to eachother. You could say, "Well we got the goal and now we're just going to shut up shop" yes, and that's an important point. Mick made it quite clear he WANTED to win against Preston, which he stated after the good Norwich result.
So what's my point? Well; we are fans, not customers. We spend our Saturdays watching our club that we love play. Yet we get scooped up with cr*p football. Now I'm not saying we are a rubbish team as I hope you can agree with me (if you've seen me post before) I try and post as many positives that I can and I do normally have a lot of positives. But I want to see passing, exciting and thrilling football. As a football fan, there are normally two mindsets heading into the game; 'I'll take the win no matter how we play' or 'I want to see exciting football played by us, as priority'. Personally, I am the 'I want exciting football' otherwise it's a waste of time, in my opinion. Also, if you play exciting football, results come. And exciting football includes passing, attacking with speed and creating multiple chances with minimal long ball.
How we are going to go about this, I don't know. But Skuse or Douglas needs to pick the ball off the defence, then the other players from midfield and up need to move themselves to an angle where they can receive the ball from the possesser of the ball. While Chambers needs to learn when he has the ball near the touch line that he can't kick a ball through a player, he normally loses it and goes off for a throw in, where he could of turned around and gone back to one of the centre backs. I'm sure things can get better, and maybe this dire football of today was due to the situation of needing those 3 points,and we had the goal.. Who knows?
Ward is a great player; faded in the second half but it's very clear he's a very very good buy.
Douglas is a good player but on occasion reminds me of moments from Magilton's last season; willing but the legs just can't make it happen
First 20 mins aside, the quality from both teams was dire. My 9-year-old asked in the second half; "why does everyone keep heading the ball"
Preston were pisspoor and, thankfully, offered nothing at all
15k crowds could become the new normal
FanZone was rather soul destroying although that's probably more a reflection of me coming to terms with becoming middle aged rather than the thing itself. I was hungover and unsuccessfully searching for wifi (the only network showing was "Phil Ham's iPhone") so maybe not fair to judge.
Benitez: Murphy Will Add Competition Up Front27th Aug 2016 22:50 Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez says Daryl Murphy will add to his options up front as the Magpies look to return to the Premier League at their first attempt. The 33-year-old is expected to complete a £3 million switch in the next few days ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.10