|Goals From Midfield|
Written by rickw on Monday, 18th May 2015 22:02
Looking back on this season and most of us would admit Ipswich reached or exceeded our expectations, but after coming so close to success we are now all hungry for more - and for Ipswich to take that next step and challenge for automatic promotion.
In January I saw our game vs Derby as a good indication of where the title might be going - however this couldn't have been less accurate! There were four teams at the end of the season still fighting for automatic promotion, and unfortunately we weren't one of them.
If you compare our team to the others in the top eight then it's clear where we fall short - midfield, specifically goals from midfield. Now I know our midfielders have their own merits (mostly workrate) and I don't expect too many goals from Cole Skuse, but we need more from others.
I have compared who scored the goals for all the top eight:
Now I know there are reasons which contribute to this stat - like some of the teams play five in midfield and for parts of the season we've just played three or played Jonny Parr on the wing (whose two goals I counted towards the defence tally) but even so we have fallen far short of our rivals.
Just to be fair, in other areas of the pitch we've fared well:
Now although it's unfair to expect Daryl Murphy to get another 27 or Christophe Berra six, but I'm sure David McGoldrick and Freddie Sears will get more, and Tyrone Mings and Luke Chambers are capable of more than their one.
So if they can keep up their levels and if we can get just 10 more goals from midfield (which would still leave us bottom of this years stats!) I think we'll be in with a shout.
So who to get? Now I know a lot of the Championship's high scoring midfielders like Bakary Sako and Michail Antonio wouldn't be Mick McCarthy type players, ie we know it's a pre-requisite that they're of a certain character and will work hard, rather than inconsistent brilliant or anonymous players.
But I'm sure there are players who would fit the criteria - I was impressed with Bradley Johnson's defensive effort against us and he's got 15 goals - however we couldn't pay the fee to take a key player from a promotion rival and we should never ever sign a Norwich player!
Now I haven't seen as many Championship or Football League games as many others so I have confidence that McCarthy and his scouting team will know of several players who would fit the bill.
In my limited knowledge James McClean from Wigan maybe one. I've read Wigan fans calling him their hardest working player and although his six goals isn't incredible - it was for a struggling team and still three times what our top scoring midfielder got!
Martin O'Neill is said not to be keen to call up players from below the Championship, which is perhaps what's prompted Wigan to announce they would want £2.5m for him in today's papers.
Another perhaps could be Sean Scannell from Huddersfield, maybe more inconsistent than others but he destroyed many left-backs this season getting Huddersfield surprise results against some of the top sides.
This type of fee would take a change in tack from Marcus Evans, but he threw millions at Roy Keane and Paul Jewell and now I hope McCarthy has proved himself so if there's one season to show a bit more ambition and spend a little more to take a chance on promotion - it has to be this one coming!
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