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|F*cking gutted frankly|
at 16:57 2 Feb 2019
The fight just isn't there. The belief certainly isn't. What happened to where we left off at Villa park?
I know the defence was makeshift and Wednesday should have buried us, but Judge doesn't work out wide, Quaner doesn't work through the middle and Freddie doesn't work without someone to make the ball stick.
It's not Lambert's fault we're going down, but to line up at home protecting the defence suggests he had no faith in Toto et al. An extra body up top and we might have had a totally different game from the off.
|3rd week running and we should be behind at HT yet we're not|
at 15:49 2 Feb 2019
Don't look like testing them really do we? Set pieces are our best hope they're not good enough yet. Full backs seem to be struggling more than the centre backs, but that might be because of the centre backs only clearing as far as they can nod it.
Wednesday aren't scintillating are they but should have enough to put us away, and haven't. At least this week the referee is competent enough and not trying to run the game instead of officiate it.
Bishop looks good enough to make something happen. If Quaner had picked the right run that would have been one hell of an assist laced through the defence.
|The other fixtures today|
at 11:48 2 Feb 2019
Millwall vs Rotherham - home win? Draw wouldn't be too bad if there's a chance of dragging more teams into it, but in all likelihood we just want to claw our way above those 3 immediately on top of us.
Reading vs Villa - The Brummies owe us after their Stroud-assisted win last week. Very worried this one goes against us and the plastic lot at the Madjeski get a win.
Blunts vs Bolton - it's like picking which disease you want isn't it? But has to be a destruction via Didsy and co you'd hope.
As for us. It's not going to be easy is it? Our only hope is that new players, new manager all come together at once like it can and Wednesday stall today. Especially if conditions are rough and we can get the crowd up for it.
at 17:33 31 Jan 2019
[Post edited 31 Jan 17:38]
|Today is Holocaust Memorial Day|
at 08:18 27 Jan 2019
I went to Auschwitz one Easter. It was one of the grimmest days of my life. I know there's a lot of debate around Antisemitism and point scoring on here, but it's important to remember not just the persecution of Jewish people, but so many groups in society that hasn't always gone away.
I also think this site is an amazing archive and project, regardless of whether you've been or not.
It was recoloured by Marina Amaral who did the amazing Colour of Time book.
|A thousand voices whisper it true|
at 20:44 26 Jan 2019
There is a scene in High Fidelity where the protagonist goes back to all of his ex girlfriends to piece together why his life is in such disarray. The same mistakes, the same problems and same comic irony is lost upon him. As Lambert returned to the 3rd of his former clubs since joining us, and 2nd in as many weeks, the game played out in much the same way. Despair and defeat.
Bart and Kenlock returned to the side, as Lambert perhaps showed that now we are not able to afford mistakes, having made two serious ones last week it was no surprise to Elder dropped. Having not convinced much at times, likewise Gerken’s omission might be understandable.
Beyond that, Chambers, Collins and Pennington made up the final 3 of the back four. Skuse sat behind the impetuous and impressive Chalobah and Downes in midfield, as Keane was very much a lone striker at the peak of a 4-3-3 that saw Judge on the left, and Sears on the right for 15 -20 minute spells before swapping on command.
Apartheid. Communism. Keith Stroud. Human history is littered with injustice and little men, thrust into the clutches of power and centre stage to play it out for all to see. It is easy to criticise Keith Stroud, because he is sh1t.
I have a dream, that when Keith Stroud takes control of a game, Ipswich players are judged not for the colour of their shirts, but their conduct in the tackle.
Town played some good and highly creditable football. Taylor put in a teasing cross and Chambers nodded it away. Town played a counter-attack and looked at Villa’s defence with hungry eyes. Their line was higher than Del Toro’s hair in the Usual Suspects and equally in parts, questionable and brave.
In a division which is very much a marathon, Town sprinted to their weekly collapse. Every time Villa touched the ball, they got a free kick. After 5 minutes they floated a delicious one following El Ghazi’s felling, and Bart did what his defenders did. Stood stiller than a puddle as who else, but the wrong Chelsea kid got his head to it. Abraham wheeled away and the emancipation of our clean sheet was complete.
In a first half where two teams and a referee vied for control, it was clear that Town were 3rd best all too often. Splitting centre backs to play out from the back with 3 defenders and a goalkeeper who can’t control the ball that well, was a recipe for self-immolation. Even Kenlock the most likely to beat a player had neither the required touch to meet an overlap convincingly, or the belief to cut inside when space and support was there.
Villa simply rolled Town along the wall and out of the door in far too many tussles. Service was not forthcoming. Poor Keane, not because he was bad, but because when he did work some magic down the right thanks to the support of Chalobah and Sears, it mustered the weakest of shots at a keeper who spilled everything.
At the other end, McGinn span away from everyone bar Skuse, and when he realised that Judge, Kenlock and Sears would not commit to shutting down his left foot when Adomah or Hutton could provide an outlet out wide, he shot. This was a problem. He’s really good at shooting, and Bart couldn’t hold a ball if you dropped it in his cupped hand and coughed today.
The first half saw some bizarre moments and some brilliance. Chalobah and Downes were allowed space to play but not enough of the ball. The athletic in manner in which Trev chopped the ball like a Power League Ronaldo and drove towards the box showed the desire we desperately needed. It ended with Pennington copping a tame cross right to Kalinic who even dropped that initially. It painted a picture of a team who again, faced a keeper terrified and in need of targeting, whilst we are a team fighting a war with Nerf guns.
Of all the strange decisions, Town nearly went even further behind only to be saved by a linesman who had closed his eyes and guessed. Adomah who always scores against us, did it again. Bart with the assist via a palmed McGinn effort, and in off the post. He looked a hand’s breadth off from the stands, but the lino definitely didn’t know, which in fairness, was in-keeping with most of his work today.
Town had got to half time with some good intentions to attack, but apart from Judge constantly wanting the ball and Sears being able to run like a video game character and get it to the line before firing into the box, nothing was sticking.
Stroud had had the chance to flash his cards about, El Ghazi was cautioned for diving in on Collins needlessly, but when Town’s defence spent more time playing across the 18 yard line than was healthy, it was a lucky break to see Villa so wasteful and so casual.
Abraham opted for a gymnastic overhead kick early in the half and missed, before realising that doubling up on Chambers and Pennington at the back post, meant that he ran clear but too close and tight to get off a second goal.
If the home side had the advantage it was in no short part to the fact they could be waved on deep inside their own half, lose it near our corner flag, and be given the restart. High balls were nothing to do with how shorts were worn, but where Claret heads were dipped in. Keane, Collins, Chambers and Skuse all had their go at trying to talk sense into Keith without talking their way into his book.
The second half was met by the opening of the heavens. As rain fell harder, there were no signs of redemption or freedom for the Blues. It was a question of when Villa’s deserved second would come. Not if.
Freddie and El Ghazi both had a game of ‘who could look most like scoring after a mazy run before smashing the ball at an unsuspecting fan in the upper rows’. Collins also showed Tammy why having a girl’s name can make hairy arsed old defenders treat you like a little bitch. Clobbering him in the air and clearing his best chance in the opening minutes as the ball fell loose in the area.
There was death all over this game, no real spark or sense that either side would come away unscathed in some way. As Town looked to make a change, the giant Quaner was limbering and shaking the rain off his forehead as Villa forced a corner. Town again marked zonally, a tight line of Blue across the six yard line.
I’ve seen a man hit by a tram. He fell with less force, distance and ceremony than McGinn did. He was also hospitalised for several days. Pick a defender, any of them and you may as well blame them for the decision to award a penalty, even though Alan Judge was probably closest to him. I thought last week’s was soft, but this was footballing fudge, the kind with second hand sweetcorn in it. Abraham sent Bart the wrong way and got the brace that would see Villa limp past us.
Collin lumbered on for Keane, which seemed bizarre. For Town had barely managed to make the ball stick up top but when they did it was either Keane who did it, or found Judge deeper to keep play ticking over.
Town would finally break behind Villa’s line after Abraham went looking for his hat trick. Turning Pennington and Chambers he ran free at the near post and forced Bart to tip over. With confidence overflowing like half time urinals, Villa looked like they were going to punish us. Instead it was the lens through which Keith Stroud sees football.
Downes had been tenacious all game and showed a restrained sense of poise to chip over for Quaner to run on to. Shrugging off all doubts and attention the big man fired at goal. Villa had Elphick and Chesters back, Stroud had theirs’. You could not only see the ball hit the trailing arm of Elphick but hear it. Such was the noise in Villa Park. Soon it was replaced by a guttural roar of expletives and disbelief. If last week’s blatant penalty denial had been and understandable misreading of a ricochet, this was a human rights violation.
Town looked incensed and inspired. With Adomah withdrawn, the candidates for a jammy goal had decreased, so Ipswich took their moment. A decent move down the right saw Judge miscontrol and the ball run behind the attack, it came back to Freddie who took a touch and hit an absolute screamer. If their keeper was suspect, this was made it irrelevant. Buffoon wasn’t getting that rocket. It marked Town’s second goal in 112 days for me, that was the last time I saw us win. 1100 of us celebrated like we were going to again. Football is irrational.
Soon after Smith took off the already carded El Ghazi and brought on Kodjia. Moving to a 4-4-2 then pushing Kodjia out wide when Jedinak came on late to match our 4-3-3 it was testament to the threat level we posed to a team waiting for their first home win in months.
Between then, Town made a good fist of sh1thousing a drawer. Judge made a meal of going down, when stepped on he contorted like a murder victim and won a hard-fought foul. Whipping the set piece in at the near post, Trevoh nearly capped a fantastic display off only to see his glance at goal crash off of the post.
We were also denied by a corner being succeeded by a drop ball in a half where not even set pieces were going with us. Glenn Whelan is a midfielder so slow in every conceivable way, he seems to have it as super powers. He fell over trying to win the ball from a corner, but is unclear if the contact took place whilst he was still playing for Stoke, baffled and then aflame, Town watched as Villa smashed the drop ball uncontested back to Bart when we had been waiting to cross it back in for a header on goal.
Nothing was going right for us all game, and as Bart made his first goal-stopping save late in from the onrushing Abraham who had this time ghosted past Kenlock at the back post, you sensed that settling for a gallant, yet narrow defeat might be the best result possible today.
Quaner had reinvigorated our front line, and made us look like we had the power to compete with a one man team. However, it begs the question why he didn’t start, and would he have been more use attacking the kind of full backs that let the ball go out for a corner rather than control it as Taylor did twice in the second half?
Lambert is saying all the right things, and no doubt will have to be careful after the game not to be up in front of the FA. But for all the cruelty, malice and unfairness of the day, of our plight and our position, we did little to help ourselves and little more than stand still when it really mattered. One less week now with which to make the Great Escape, but away from fantasies and Hollywood, it is best to remember they sometimes used to shoot people who even looked at the fence too longingly.
|I want to believe every word of Evans' interview|
at 17:52 23 Jan 2019
But I don't.
When he shoehorned in Sir Bobby's name like that it felt like a guilt trip and a rather cheap tactic. I know he can never be "one of us" and that was a fairly clear attempt to talk to us at eye-level but it stuck in my throat.
There's no mention of promotion (from any league) and there's a sense of "careful what you wish for" isn't there?
I completely accept his position and do agree with parts of it, but the idea this isn't his fault or that if "it nearly worked under Mick" why get rid? Surely that means he doesn't believe in doing what's right for the club above all else? Otherwise he'd have done like the Cobbolds' and Sir Bobby non?
Speaking out is a good thing, but t's everything he doesn't say which worries me most. Whatever his faults, I don't believe Evans wishes us ill, it just feels like the the club is a budget sports car he can't shift on the other side of a midlife crisis.
|However, far away.....|
at 20:07 19 Jan 2019
In the wilds of the frozen North, a few hundred Ipswich fans were stuck in the loft of Ewood Park awaiting their team. A long way from safety, and even further from the pitch as the stand sat empty below us.
Debutant Judge made a bow and settled a few questions about where he would fit into Lambert’s system. On the right wing mostly, Sears on the left with Keane in the Irishman’s preferred position and Quaner in his up top. Skuse and Chalobah made a defensive pair of midfielders ahead of the same back five. Gerken marshalling Pennington, Chambers, Collins and Elder.
Blackburn had an odd line up and shape that flittered between Bennet as a full back and wing back, and Dack as a deep lying play maker for the odd minute before running beyond Evans to join Graham’s slipstream. Sometimes they had 3 at the back sometimes 4, the same up front and you could not always tell if it was because of Ipswich’s weaknesses.
The game kicked off in fairly unremarkable fashion. It wasn’t until Cole Skuse marked an opening 24 minutes of uncharacteristic casualness on the ball in the 6th minute or so, that it got going. “Man on” would have helped, especially as there were two, but he looked like a man rushed back from injury and unable to rush anyway, as a stray orange calf blocked the ball behind for an early corner.
Moving from fairly solid defence of Reed’s set pieces, Town put every man back and the height of the front two helped to make a shield wall across the six-yard box rarely seen in mini-season under the mini-manager when we last played Blackburn.
Town looked far from confident as Gerken switched from centreback to centreback, and the ball moved across the fissures this system calls for. With Judge and Keane constantly looking for it in far off channels just beyond our own 18-yard box, there was hope, but little evidence either would alleviate Rovers’ dominance between the semi-circles.
Ipswich were facing a keeper and two full backs that didn’t look like they had revised for any test today, but time and again retention was not better than before kick off and we failed to do more than overlap and overhit all too often.
Judge found Sears with an exquisite long ball that was completely passing by both teams until the wideman could bring it inside. But again, support and belief let us down long before our delivery could.
Blackburn looked to have the opposite in terms of presence up front, but on the overlap a man was always spare. Both Pennington and Elder were asked to deal with high balls, through balls and a decision on where to place their studs. When Bennett screamed through at the back post, his shot matched his run and nearly hit us away fans. It was a let off that saw Town shook.
Not long after Dack was lifting the ball after lifting himself off the turf from a soft free kick. The game had played on until the long-haired midfielder had decided he didn’t want to. Sitting down centrally the resulting effort was turned away and just went the right side of the post for a corner. As it came back in, we all watched the ball as it bounced off the foot of the post with Gerken beaten.
In the maelstrom of poor decisions from Lambert’s defence and poor possession from both midfielders, Town saw Dack race down the flank in a rare wide appearance and try and lift the ball over Gerken. Collins cleared away what should have been a stronger effort and sure goal. Soon after Lambert switched the wingers before Armstrong repeated the move and tested Deano’s gloves with a straight stinger, easily palmed out.
The lack of protection for either full back may have seemed unnecessary given Rovers’ dearth out wide, but when they moved en masse from side to side it loosened Town’s resolve.
Ipswich deserved to be behind at half time but could have lead minutes before the break. Quaner who had carved gaps in the defence, often enough for Chalobah to pick the wrong one, then drew Lenihan in from an off-side position.
Leaving the ball, the German got the defender to follow suit and Keane raced through. Raya flapped and blew the oncomer too wide and too far. With not enough time or men to get in the box again the ball cannoned out for a corner.
This was a month of games where Lambert revisits his exes’ and trying to get balls in or even near their box is going to be a huge problem it seems. Our survival might hinge on it, thanks to narrowness and depth of running from Judge and the crowding from either central midfielder it was hard to know if this was 4-2-3-1 or lopsided 4-3-3 at times.
It was crucial with Ipswich still in the game, they took the break to reassess and change. Mogga substituted Reed and swapped Armstrong over to Elder’s side. Town gave a cheap free kick away on the edge of the box when they had 3 to 1 in their favour. This seemed to be telling.
Blackburn’s dominance was a silent acknowledgement over the game, hanging more like bad breath than bad intentions in the queue to full time. Nonetheless, Sears sought the ball cleverly down the left and with Elder overlapping, Quaner was just three yards out but with his back to goal. As it came across the German looped it over with the outside of his boot. Keane waggled the outside of his hand demanding the next one comes to him as he seemed to do on his debut the other week.
The home fans barely made sound all day, there was ripple of frustrated encouragement across the attic seats, thudding dully across the rafters. That would change as Blackburn grew into the game. Judge won cheap fouls in reasonably good positions, but most of Town’s set pieces floated into Raya’s hands or beyond his grasp with little threat.
When the end of the deadlock came it was like all fatal moments, unclear and out of nowhere. I’m sure we’re all overjoyed Armstrong survived what appeared to be a landmine he stepped on, almost gallantly given Elder was chasing in behind him and sure to have triggered it next. As the referee took his time and the linesman wanted nothing to do with it, Chambers earned a booking thanks to the crowd not liking him stepping over the spotted ball. The referee with his back to it all gave him the card, somebody else deserved.
Gerken’s dive was just as good as the spotkick. Alas, he went the wrong way as Graham almost pointed to where he was going to put it, well inside the post and slowly. Town were behind. Always behind.
Lankester made a birthday bow on his 19th. Quaner withdrawn and Keane moving up top.
The sub went on the right and Judge went centrally. Presiding over where the ball should be, as the evidence stacked up against the away side.
It was not to be Lankester who would make an instant impact from the bench, but Blackburn’s Nuttall. This time Armstrong did Elder on the other side, strafing across him and firing a machine gun pass into the middle. All of Town’s defenders were cut asunder as the youth team product blasted home a doubler and killed Town off.
A lack of tactical discipline from us and actual discipline from them was all that perhaps we can cling to in terms of unjust actions being done upon us. Bennett could not catch Sears at one point, so pushed him into the hoarding playground style. No card but a free kick. This was topping what in the first half seemed to be the clearest booking you’ll see all season as Lenihan did the same to Quaner as the German cross the halfway line and the defender cut him off at the knees. When he was finally booked for a nasty tackle in the second half the decision was not lost on many travelling fans.
The pinnacle of what should have been given to us, when we did little to deserve anything was a clear handball to deny a goal bound shot. Bennett who had also lunged in on a countering Sears, stuck his arm out to deflect it out for a corner. The ref beat his chest like an emasculated gorilla. His understanding of biology, up there with that of physics and the laws of the game.
Lambert put Bishop in late on to become the third player in the hole, and the number in over their heads into double figures. Rejigging the lines to make what might not have been a 4-4-1-1 as Dack and his mates cannoned balls over the bar and the game well and truly beyond us.
Once again Town find themselves riding their luck, then setting fire to it in a bin like the division’s paupers we seem so keen to be. Hurst’s player’s all but banished frim sight, it’s easy to see why some are now looking cynically at Lambert and seeing a relationship between points for the PR, but little points at or away from PR. But the picture is bigger and darker than that alone.
We lined up again with changes, new faces and little looking like we could do more than steal a 0-0 until we leant our soft bellies onto the cutting edge of reality at this level. If we go down, we deserve to thanks to displays like today being seen too often.
Elder showed that like most of Lambert’s signings, if it wasn’t for injury or circumstance they’d not be here. Cementing his place as the second best left back at the club for now, he was merely the temple on which today’s knock out blows fell. Had we played out 1st choice, we may have left with stolen parity and a point. Keane is the man with gold in boots, and if we fail to put every attack through him, we are foolish because not only does he want the ball, but the ball wants to be with him if it has any chance of finding the goal.
|Extended clip of the goal here|
at 14:25 13 Jan 2019
The pass and vision of Keane to pick out Sears is even better then the improvised finish. Had a message of a United mate last night celebrating his goal.
Would be galling to see him continue with the best goal ratio of his career here, only to go on to somewhere else afterwards. Hull won't want him with the Bowen money imminent, you'd think they'll be shopping higher up soon.
|Wonder if we'll need to watch ourselves at Carrow Rd this time?|
at 19:19 12 Jan 2019
They're swapping stickers for cash and acting very shady.
Can't be a banner with all their trophies on, they sound like they're actually making something real. A massive guide to League 1 just in case we need it? They'd know after all.
|The Terriers said he was like marmite|
at 18:58 12 Jan 2019
They couldn't be more wrong. This makes me love him already and everybody knows Marmite is just some tar they scrape out of the cogs of factory machinery.
|7pts and 7 goals between us and the Millers|
at 17:06 12 Jan 2019
It'll take use 3 games to close that gap. 3 goals either way and it'll be incredibly tight.
Can we get a win(s) at Ewood or Villa Park? Strange things happen all the time, but it's gonna be a hell of a run in if we make more ground up this month isn't it?
I'd take guts and graft over anything right now.
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