My Best Town XI: Bailey Clements
Sunday, 19th Apr 2020 14:14
In the 10th part of the series, Kieron Dyer catches up with current left-back and lifelong Town supporter Bailey Clements, who selects the best XI from his time watching the Blues before Dyer assesses the team.
Academy product Clements, 19, joined the club aged seven and made his senior bow in the Carabao Cup tie at Luton in August.
Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski - A great shot-stopper and to win Player of the Year three times in a row shows how vital he was.
Right-back Carlos Edwards - Although starting as a right winger, he showed his versatility when moving to right-back. Enjoyable to watch due to his attacking nature.
Left-back Tyrone Mings - A close call between Mings and Aaron Cresswell but for me Mings was my favourite to watch, such a powerful player who has proved he’s a top player.
Centre-half Gareth McAuley - A rock at the heart of the team, you could tell he just loved defending.
Centre-half Luke Chambers - A natural leader who would die for the team. Also his supportive characteristics have helped countless young players feel welcome when moving into the first-team environment.
Midfield Cole Skuse - The most underrated player I’ve ever seen, always a step ahead of the game and has cleaned up countless dangerous situations over the years.
Midfield Tommy Miller - A player that sticks in my mind from when I first started to develop an understanding of the games I was watching at Portman Road. He was the player I just used to love and remember getting his number eight on the back of one of my shirts.
Midfield David McGoldrick - The best technical player I have seen play for us, unfortunate with injuries but a class act on his day.
Wide left Ryan Fraser - When you put lightning speed with direct play it’s almost impossible to stop, and for us fans it’s always a joy to watch.
Wide right Jonathan Walters - A class player who always gave 100 per cent. Also as a fan I understand how everyone felt when he came back last year, it was a real shame when he got injured.
Striker Daryl Murphy - The play-off season, need I say any more? Goal after goal, he could not be stopped. I remember on many occasions he’d win a header and chase the ball himself, often getting a shot on goal as well. His power and bullish nature was frightening.
A good team. This is a different insight because Bailey’s at the football club now but he hasn’t played too many games in the first team yet.
I know he’s a massive Ipswich Town fan so I said to him to pick the best Ipswich XI that he’s seen live. He’s been going regularly since 2009, so he’s had more than 10 years or watching Ipswich Town.
He’s gone for Bart in goal. I think Bart will be in a lot of people’s teams from recent times. He was Player of the Year three times on the trot and I think if you look at the Ipswich Town teams over the last 10 years, you could probably say that Bart is one who is definitely going in the Hall of Fame from an era where we haven’t had too many good times.
He was a fantastic servant to the club, he won us so many points on his own with incredible saves.
At right-back he’s gone for Carlos Edwards, a club captain, he was probably one of the signings that Roy Keane made that was a real success at the club. A good player, very versatile, another player could play anywhere.
I think Bailey’s done well picking Carlos because right-back has been a bit of a problem area of late. In the last five or six years we’ve tried numerous players there and it didn’t quite work out but obviously Kane Vincent-Young has come in now and looks like the solution. I think Carlos definitely deserves a place in the team.
I’d forgotten completely about Gareth McAuley, that is a great shout, another wonderful servant for Ipswich. A bit of a fans’ favourite.
A little like Damien Delaney, when he was playing for Ipswich I would have thought the Premier League was a step too far, so if you’d have told me he would have gone on to West Brom and would have been a regular in the Premier League holding his own I would have been surprised. But that just goes to show his character, that he’s a leader and what kind of player he was.
I think he had to pick Chambo because Chambo’s now his skipper. There would have been some words said when this lockdown’s over and they’re back at training!
There’s a lot said about Chambo, a lot of fans absolutely love him, some fans don’t. But he’s been a great servant for the club, has a never say die attitude and he gives his all. He does so much off the pitch as well for the young players like Bailey and I’m pleased Bailey has picked his captain.
He’s gone for Tyrone Mings at left-back. It’s weird now how Tyrone’s career has gone that he plays centre-half. For me, I think Aaron Cresswell was the better left-back, I just think he had more quality on the ball.
Tyrone was an absolute beast when he played left-back for Ipswich, he had great power and pace up and down the line. But Cresswell had that bit of quality. However, Cresswell went to West Ham for £3 million and Tyrone went for £8 million. They’re both England internationals.
It’s just who you prefer, I preferred Aaron Cresswell but equally you can’t argue too much with Tyrone being the left-back because he was one of the great success stories - got rejected as a kid loads of times, comes here for £10,000 and now he’s playing for England. A fantastic story.
Skusey is Bailey’s favourite player, I know he thinks the world of Skusey. He’s another one that divides opinion among the fans. Bailey says he’s always in the right place, mopping up and does the dirty work that goes unnoticed.
He’s been another fantastic servant for the club and when you look over the 10 years or so that Bailey’s been watching, what other midfielders could be in there? That great season that Teddy Bishop had when we made the play-offs, could he have got in the midfield? I know he’s had his injury problems but that one season when we made the play-offs, Teddy was on fire for us.
Jimmy Bullard was another one. I know he was only here for a relatively short period but he had an unbelievable purple patch. But just for longevity and what he’s given to the club you can’t argue with Skusey.
I mentioned Tommy Miller in Darren Ambrose’s team, an unsung hero, scored goals from midfield, a brilliant penalty taker. Skusey and Tommy would complement each other very well.
Ryan Fraser and Tom Lawrence have probably been the outstanding wide players of recent seasons. Lawrence was another one who who had a great spell at Ipswich Town but I think that Ryan Fraser over a season was probably more consistent than Tom Lawrence.
He wasn’t actually our own player at any stage but a proper winger, learnt a lot from us and he was a match-winner for us. An unbelievable work ethic as well going back the other way, which you don’t really see, wingers nowadays they have licence just to cheat.
It was no surprise he went back to his parent club Bournemouth and was ripping it up last season in the Premier League. Not many of these teams have got out and out wingers, so I’m pleased to see Bailey has picked a winger in the team and Ryan was fantastic here.
Didzy playing in front of Skusey and Tommy Miller, he would be the one who found the pockets. A very intelligent player, when he was at Ipswich he was probably our best player. Unfortunate with injuries but on his day was a match-winner, unplayable, could link up play, could score goals. I think he picks himself.
I played against Jonny Walters in a pre-season friendly when I was at West Ham, I was playing at right-back and he was left wing. He was quite quick, which you would never think, and he was a powerful runner, he was as strong as an ox, and good in the air.
It would have been nice to say that he was in my pocket that day but no, he gave as good as he got.
A good player, went on to the Premier League and did very well. I know he was a fans’ favourite, he was constantly one of Town’s top players during his period here, so it’s right that he’s been recognised by Bailey.
Daryl Murphy in that season when we made the play-offs, he scored 27 goals, he was the outstanding striker in the league that year. Another selection you can’t really argue with.
That front four complement each other so well, they’ve got a bit of everything, a bit of intelligence, technical ability, dribbling ability, so they’d be a handful on their day and I think Bailey’s picked a very good team.
Photo: Werner Scholz
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