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LWB - we need a crosser not a dribbler
at 14:53 18 May 2022

After the recent Kyle Edwards thread I was pondering the left wing back role and was thinking about the defensive shape problem.

I think it's clear from the way we set up with Thompson that McKenna does not think our defensive shape works if both wing backs play as high as Burns does. That we need a LWB who is ready to drop back into that LB slot if we got caught with Burns up the field. In possession we were also using Thompson as a deeper out ball (he averaged twice as many passes per game as Wes).

So is the solution to the LWB position going to be a player who creates chances in a different way to Burns? Rather than having a player who starts high up the pitch and looks to run in behind we should be looking for one whose best creative work is done from deeper. Burns' pace pushes teams back and resulted in Thompson having a lot of opportunities to put crosses in 20-30 yards from the byline. So what we lack is someone who puts in the kind of crosses that punish teams for defending too deep (Conor Grant and Luke Garbutt come to mind). We need a left wing back who can switch play to Wes and who sends in good crosses (and set pieces!) when the opposition is set in their defensive shape.

What do we reckon?
at 17:24 23 Apr 2022

We'd won every game this month we'd be ... 7th.
Be Arrogant Celina!
at 16:45 23 Apr 2022

One thing I'd try and do over the Summer is persuade Celina that his main job is to drive at goal and hit it as often as possible.

At present he shoots half as often as Twine and Brannagan, despite striking the ball just as well. By contrasr, Morsy, whose shooting from distance isn't terribly threatening, works an angle and has a pop whenever he can. Wrong way round that.
What if we kept the same squad?
at 11:51 21 Apr 2022

If we lined up for 2022-23 with exactly the same squad, including loanees, with no new additions apart from returning loanees, where do you think we would finish after a McKenna pre-season and with a clean slate league table?

[Post edited 21 Apr 11:51]
Lucky Lucky Lucky
at 10:44 21 Apr 2022

So, from the Gillingham Home Game I've been indulging in some childish superstition, where I wear/use a different Ipswich Town object for each game we play (ranging from replica shirts through scarfs, socks, a mug once).

Now, with our season dead I was trying to decide which object had proven to be the luckiest (the two remaining objects can't be lucky, because there's no fortune in winning a dead rubber).

Going down the list it's hard to pick out many games in which we were genuinely fortunate? We've won games we've deserved to win, we've drawn and lost games we've deserved to win, we've lost/drawn games we deserved to lose/draw. But points we've taken through a bit of good fortune? Thin on the ground for me.

The only exception I can think of is that first one, the Gillingham game, where they were better than us, missed chances and we scored with a half chance.

So, is the object I used for Gillingham the luckiest object? Or was there some other good fortune that I've missed?
10 up for Chaplin
at 22:04 19 Apr 2022

Good work lad!

Haven't had a non-loanee midfielder hit 10 goals in a season since David Norris and now we've had two in a season.
Slow and safe / Fast and risky
at 21:59 19 Apr 2022

Noticed a weird thing about our tempo tonight and it reminded me of the Oxford game.

When we're chasing a result our passing is often slow and risk averse. We pass from left to right, back to the left, back to the right, searching for a better opportunity to put a ball in (which usually never comes). We turn down crossing opportunities, we turn down shooting opportunities, we recycle the ball endlessly.

Then when we're winning, like tonight and Oxford, we're suddenly trying to get the ball forward quickly, trying ambitious flicks and early through balls, doing everything a million miles an hour, surrendering possession quickly.

Should it not be the other way round?!
45 minutes that sums us up at the moment
at 20:36 19 Apr 2022

Waste a lot of good positions, waste a lot more set pieces, let the opposition wind us up, give a cheap free kick, then concede from the resulting cheap corner.
Mildly concerning
at 17:40 16 Apr 2022

- Not great to go into the Summer on the back of this sort of run. Another 2 weeks of these results is going to dampen a fair bit of the enthusiasm for next year.

- Don't think you could claim a single one of our forwards is in good form right now, not the strikers, not the attacking midfielders. Let's hope it's temporary rather than systemic.

- Thought after Plymouth we'd boss all 6 of our remaining games, even if we didn't win them. Again, let's hope Cambridge and Rotherham getting on top of us was just circumstantial rather than about teams working us out.

On the bright side, Baggott did well.
7-day rotation?
at 14:23 9 Apr 2022

We've had a run of one-fixture weeks and named a different line-up in each one. Why do we reckon we're doing that? I thought the conventional wisdom was that 6 days was plenty of recovery time for most players.

Is it just tactics?
at 10:51 8 Apr 2022

If you wanted confirmation that even McKenna's very healthy points tally slightly underrates our underlying performances ... we're now 4th in the Expected Goals table:

As you might expect there are 4 teams above us who've out-performed xG MK Dons +9, Oxford +3, Sheffield Wednesdsy +3, Plymouth +21 (!) - all of them because they've scored substantially more goals that you'd expect from the chances they've created.

Basically, they score from half chances, set pieces, own goals etc. and we don't.
[Post edited 8 Apr 11:05]
at 20:13 31 Mar 2022

The last monthly thread. Usual questions - what will we need (to nick into the play-offs) and what will we get?

Fixtures are
Cambridge (H)
Shrewsbury (A)
Rotherham (A)
Wigan (H)
Crewe (A)
Charlton (H)

I think we'll take 14 (I think we'll win one of the big ones, but take a "screw up" draw somewhere else). But that we'll need 16.
Burns v. Thompson
at 18:48 28 Mar 2022

Various people saying we need "another Burns" for LWB next year, but anyone else think Thompson and Burns' different roles/attributes are complimentary rather than better or worse?

Burns plays very high. His defending is decent, but he doesn't do a lot of it. His link passing and movement is great but he does it in very specific areas (the final third). Thompson in contrast does a lot of defending for us, helps our shape out of possession so it's 4 rather than 3 when it needs to be. He also hangs deeper to make himself an simpler out ball.

Reflected in the stats too:
Burns makes 25.5 passes per 90 minutes
Thompson 47.8 (6th best in the squad)
Burns 0.8 tackles and 0.7 interceptions/90
Thompson 1.9 and 2.5 (3rd and 1st)

Thompson does all that and still ranks 2nd in the squad for chances created.

For sure Wes does things Dom can't but we do need someone doing Thompson's bit, just as much as Burns.
[Post edited 28 Mar 18:54]
Impressive adaptation
at 17:55 19 Mar 2022

Putting the result to one side for a second - thought it was really impressive once again how we rode out a bad period of the match (much of the first half) but got more and more on top of them as the game went on.

McKenna's substitutes really improved us (Macca really gave a masterclass on how to play as a lone striker, I thought) and Oxford really fell away from it. In the end their equaliser was an absolute travesty.

I genuinely think we are man for man the best team in this league right now, even if we'll surely run out of road to make the play-offs. Making up that much ground was always going to take a lot of quality and a fair bit of good fortune, but we've only had the former.
Oxford Line-up thread
at 11:48 18 Mar 2022

Roll up roll up, predict our front 3!


Donacien, Woolf, Burgess

Burns, Carroll, Bakinson, Thompson

Aluko, Chaplin, Celina.

Yes. This weekend the false 9 thing is finally happening.

Can last week's winner franz_tyson triumph again?
[Post edited 18 Mar 11:51]
at 10:48 13 Mar 2022

[Post edited 13 Mar 11:17]
Why we're about to go on a run of wins
at 09:14 13 Mar 2022

Watching our last few games, I watched us dominate everything bar the scoreboard. Opposition barely had a clear opportunity, we've had territory, possession, penetration, done everything but score.

My main worry wasn't that we'd keep fluffing our lines in front of goal, but that the dominance reflected the standard of the opposition and our ability to put out the same 8 players.

But yesterday we were exactly the same - playing one of the form teams in the division, who'd beaten Oxford twice recently (once with ten men!), and we might as well have been playing Morecambe again. That despite losing Edmundson, Morsy, Evans and Jackson.

There's no reason we should fear any of the fixtures we've got coming up, to me we're better than every single other team in this league right now and if we get a fair wind, our share of good luck and take even a normal proportion of our chances, we'll run through these last 8 like a hot knife through butter.

Keep the faith!
[Post edited 13 Mar 9:32]
Morsy fine, Edmundson out for a while
at 13:45 11 Mar 2022

Ankle ligament damage would be 6 weeks minimum I guess? We're into "might make the play-offs" territory...
[Post edited 11 Mar 13:47]
Leaving 9th?
at 17:54 9 Mar 2022

With 3 teams now in range and 2 of them with games you wouldn't expect them to win, a win Saturday almost certainly sees us finally leaving 9th (and loss definitely does)!

Gotta be a draw then, hasn't it?
Line-up prediction
at 14:56 8 Mar 2022

If you guess the correct front 3 you get a prize.

Walton; Donacien, Woolf, Ed; Burns, Bakinson, Morsy, Thompson; Jackson, Pigott, Aluko.
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