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Thoughts On the Squad So Far and the Best Formation
Written by ForrestsFingers on Friday, 3rd Dec 2021 10:25

This season has seen a lot of comings and goings player-wise at the club.

Understandably having so many new players coming into the club it will obviously take time for them to gel.

Twenty league games into the season and with more than half a dozen cup games played, we find ourselves mid-table, out of the League Cup to lower league Newport, losing to both West Ham and Arsenal’s youth sides in the Pizza Cup and taken to a replay by crisis League Two club Oldham. It’s safe to say that there are some unhappy punters supporting Ipswich Town FC at present!

In my opinion, some of these players have failed to live up to expectations and this is why we have failed to fire consistently so far this season.

With that in mind I’ve compiled what I think of the players so far and what system I would use to get the best out of the side, it’s not 4-2-3-1.


Christian Walton - After a shaky debut has looked the best that we have, has produced some good saves and commands his area well. Distribution could be better at times.

Vaclav Hladky - Arrived with a bit of fanfare, best keeper in League Two last season. Sadly I feel that’s his standard. His performances this season have instilled little or no confidence and seems to be made of Swiss cheese. Can’t remember him making a decent save of any note all season. Remains back-up at best.

Tomas Holy - As much as he is a top bloke, a man his size should be dominating this area and players around him. He doesn’t. Handling is suspect and distribution is not up to scratch. Let him go in January.


George Edmundson - Fantastic signing, once fit has been a real rock at the heart of the defence. A leader and future captain, has great potential to improve especially with the right people around him.

Toto Nsiala - Has been solid, but still unnerves, has the ability to drop a clanger at any moment. Old-fashioned body-on-the-line defender. If he keeps it simple then can still do a job.

Cameron Burgess - Reasonable signing, although has lost his place in recent weeks. Did some stirling work covering in a couple of games at left-back. Worryingly short of pace. Good back-up.

Luke Woolfenden - Luke has just not upped him game. One of our own obviously, has the ability to become a very good player but is too laid-back and worryingly more and more mistakes have been creeping into his game. Needs a leader beside him still.

Janoi Donacien - Revelation this season, playing with plenty of confidence, amazing what happens when someone backs you. Good cover at centre-half, handy getting forward also.

Kane Vincent-Young - Still our most dangerous full-back going forward, sadly becoming more of a liability when it comes to defending, makes rash choices, needs a run of games without getting injured. Would be much better as a wing-back.

Matt Penney - Started the season OK, has gone downhill since then. Injuries and lack of playing time haven’t helped. Passing leaves a lot to be desired at times, but does whip a good ball into the box when getting forward, which he does well.

Hayden Coulson - Unlucky with injuries, difficult to comment on as he hasn’t played enough.

Bailey Clements - Surprising call-up to the senior side due to injury and Penney’s inconsistency. Decision-making isn’t quite there yet, but has been solid enough. Probably needs to go out on loan and play regular first team football to improve further.


Sam Morsy - Best midfielder we have but is desperate for someone to more around him. Definitely brought more steel to the centre of the park

Lee Evans - One of Cook’s favourites but tends to sit and take the sideways option far too often. Has been caught out in possession far too many times this season costing us goals. Needs to up his work-rate for me.

Scott Fraser - Personally I don’t get what people see in Fraser. He’s not a number 10, not a winger and is too slow to play in central midfield. Obviously has some ability but still to work out where his best position is.

Rakeem Harper - What a waste of potential this lad seems to be. This lad should be bossing the midfield and running the show, but seems so lethargic at times it’s criminal. Needs to knuckle down or he’ll be off soon.

Idris El Mizouni - Rapidly improving player. Has a great engine, breaks up play well and has the ability to score. Should be playing most games in future above some of the others would complement Morsy well and take some of the load off the captain.

Tom Carroll - Another with ability but has been hampered by injuries so far this season. Jury still out until he gets a run of games.

Jon Nolan - Is he still here?


Wes Burns - Fantastic signing and the one I was really excited about before the season started. He hasn’t let anyone down and has forged great partnerships with both Donacien and Vincent-Young down the right. First name on the teamsheet when fit at the moment.

Kyle Edwards - Flatters to deceive. Great pace but no end product which is frustrating. Could do with more assistance from his full-back/wing-back.

Sone Aluko - Has become almost undroppable recently, good skills, reads the game well, has a bit of experience which we need at this level.

Bersant Celina - I love Santi, he’s obviously got so much love for Ipswich and has amazing ability, but he tends to drift in and out of games far too much. He is a luxury, but is he one we can afford at present? Still not 100 per cent sold on him.

Conor Chaplin - Cracking signing. Great feet always looking to make things happen, pitching in with a few goals as well. Surprised he hasn’t played more.

Louie Barry - Pointless loan signing. Sad, he’s talented but he’s wasted four months of his career here.

Kayden Jackson - Out in the cold, but did come back and score a couple of goals on Wednesday. Will score goals at lower levels, needs to play in a two up top formation to be anywhere near effective.

James Norwood - Gutted for him but is his own worst enemy. Thank you but goodbye come January 1st.

Joe Pigott - Another one who can’t play the lone striking role. Good in the air and good feet, but needs an outlet up with him.

Macauley Bonne - Top scorer. Poacher. Ipswich fan. Misses far too many sitters which have cost us points this season. Hopefully we will sign him in January, but he also needs help up top.

I feel that the best formation we could utilise our players best from is 3-4-1-2

It’s obvious we have been struggling at the back this season and we seem to be lightweight and out-muscled. So I’ve opted for three centre-backs and use Burns and Aluko as wing-backs.

Tough between Nsiala and Woolfenden, but I’ve opted for Luke as he’s better on the ball than Toto.

Whether Aluko would have it in him home to bomb up and down the left all game remains to be seen, but there are plenty of bench options to cover if required.

Morsy has to start and I think so should Idris, he’s not afraid to put his foot in and has a great engine as well as an eye for a pass and like to get forward.

Chaplin gets in as the third midfielder linking play to the front two, and two up top with Pigott and Bonne.

WaltonWoolfendenEdmundsonBurgessBurnsMorsyEl MizouniAlukoChaplinBonnePigott

Subs: Donacien, Hladky, Nsiala, Aluko, Evans, Edwards and Celina.

As I say this is just an opinion piece. Some people may think I’m losing the plot but I’d be interested in seeing what other people’s thoughts are.

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

ForrestsFingers added 12:13 - Dec 3
Just spotted an error by including Aluko on the bench and in the team. Vincent-Young on the bench🤦‍♂️

markchips added 12:22 - Dec 3
worth a shot- we could hardly do any worse than at present.

SpiritOfJohn added 12:46 - Dec 3
Just spotted another error, you left out Donacien and put in Woolfy!
Happy with the midfield and front 3.

ForrestsFingers added 13:06 - Dec 3
Thank you SpiritofJohn. Difficult to call. Admittedly Janoi has been superb this season. I just think Woolfy would fit well on the right side of a back 3. Certainly Janoi could fulfill that role as well.

jas1972 added 13:21 - Dec 3
With Donacien in - the SpiritofJohn option - that's a line-up that I would like to see

BossMan added 14:46 - Dec 3
I like the formation and the players selected. I'm a big Chaplin fan and just can't see how Cook favours Celina in that central role.

Jon added 19:46 - Dec 3
Having watched every home game this season, my main gripe has been fitness levels, or rather after 60 minutes the lack of. In the back of my mind I also play two different formations. With Cookys formation and1 up top away but when possible at home the formation suggested by Forest fingers. My choice of players would be, Walton goalie just.( needs to really improve quick distribution). Wolfie, right centre back. Edmo on the left and Donacien down the middle. Giving all three the chance to get forward as much as possible to become extra midfielders. Aluko or Burns right wing back, Celina or Coulson when fit, left wing back. Morsey and Mizouni mid midfield pairing. Chaplin no 10 with piggot a false no 10 and Bonne an out and out up front poacjer/striker.

Ebantiass added 19:27 - Dec 13
Like it ,the formation i correct though i would have KVY in as right wingback and definately drop Pigott for Chaplin with Fraser in the free role behind the front two. Pigott has been woeful in my opinion.

KiwiBlue2 added 19:16 - Dec 14
Donacien Edmundsen Burgess
Burns Morsy El Mizouni Aluko
Bonne Norwood

Bench: Hladky, Woolfie, Vincent-Young, Evans, Celina, Edwards, Piggot
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