Christophe Berra sees similarities between Ipswich Town and Wolves’ class of ‘09
Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra has an encouraging sense of deja vu as the 2015/16 season draws ever closer.
The Scottish international played a big part in Wolves’ Championship title-winning season of 2008/09 under the management of Mick McCarthy.
And he sees a certain similarity between that team and the one McCarthy is now building at Portman Road.
“At Wolves we had two really good wingers – (Michael) Kightly and (Matt) Jarvis,” said Berra.
“Kightly was cutting inside and linking up with the strikers, while Jarvis was more about taking on the defender one-on-one with a bit of pace, getting down the line and putting crosses in.
“It’s looking a bit similar here now with the players that have come in. It could be a great weapon for us.”
Berra is referring, of course, to the summer additions of Ryan Fraser and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
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The diminutive Fraser, 21, has already shown in pre-season that he loves to run at his marker with pace, while Maitland-Niles, 17, has looked a classy loan acquisition from Arsenal.
“Ainsley is obviously very cultured, with his Arsenal background, and I’m sure if he keeps on progressing then he’ll make it all the way to the top,” enthused Berra.
“Ryan’s a winger that likes to take on the full-back one-v-one. He’s small, dynamic and he’ll cause defenders’ problems.
“When you’ve got pace and you can take people on left and right that can be hard to defend against.”
He continued: “It gives us another tool to our armoury. A bit of pace can give you something on the counter-attack and relieve pressure, while it also puts fear into the opposition and keeps them on their toes. They might not press so high if they know you can get in behind them.”
Meanwhile, Berra says it didn’t take him long to get over the disappointment of last season’s play-off semi-final defeat to rivals Norwich City. Reflecting on his red card for handball on the line in the second leg at Carrow Road, he said: “I’m quite a laid back person and accept that there are ups and downs in football.
“It wasn’t like I thought ‘I’m going to handball this’ it was just an instinct. If I’d done something stupid, punched or head-butted someone, I’d be upset with myself and accept criticism. But it was something I couldn’t stop.
“If I wasn’t hard skinned I wouldn’t be playing football at a professional level. People who don’t take disappointment very well never bounce back, but I’ve overcome disappointment several times in my career and once again I’ll move on.”