Sunday Snap: A clear picture, points-per-game, unflattering comparisons and Town's Action Man
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Ipswich Town drew 1-1 at Crewe Alexandra yesterday. Andy Warren looks at some of the events surrounding the game.
The Blues dropped to 11th after this game and, while the League One table is a little lopsided with teams having played different numbers of matches, it’s a position that feels both significant and symbolic.
It’s where Paul Lambert’s side finished last season, of course, dropping from 10th once the season was curtailed and decided on points-per-game.
Ipswich have games in hand on six of the 10 sides above them and, while the fact the Blues are in poor form and have a truly abysmal record against the top teams in the league, the full picture is a little clouded by the disparity in games played.
Points-per-game helped clear up those issues then and can do so now, with the PPG doing Town few favours as it shows Lambert’s men to be sitting 10th in the table. Doncaster jump from third to first and Lincoln move into second ahead of Hull, with Portsmouth, Peterborough and Accrington taking the remaining play-off places.
Extrapolating their 1.56 PPG out over a full 46-game campaign puts Ipswich on a shade under 72 points, which would leave them nine off the final play-off place.
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This draw with Crewe marked the halfway point in Ipswich’s season, with Town’s 36 points two behind where the Blues were at this stage last season.
107 not out
Town’s Crewe draw came in Lambert’s 107th game in charge of Ipswich Town, with the Scot winning 34, drawing 26 and losing 47 games. It’s a win percentage of 31,77.
Comparing the club’s standing now to where it was the last time a manager reached the 107 mark isn’t favourable to Lambert at all, with Mick McCarthy taking Town top of the Championship at Brentford on Boxing Day 2014.
It can’t all be pinned on Lambert, of course, with Marcus Evans at the helm and McCarthy overseeing some of the decline which followed before Paul Hurst’s brief reign.
But the Blues now find themselves in their lowest league position in 65 years.
(Re) Action man
Once again, the Ipswich Town goalkeeper had very little to do in a game where their only real piece of action saw them pick the ball out of the net. That story has been told plenty of times this season.
Tomas Holy is the man with the gloves at the moment, with the Czech keeper beaten for power and placement as Charlie Kirk converted Crewe’s only shot on target in this game.
Empty stands at matches have allowed us to clearly hear who says what on the pitch and, while Ipswich are an exceptionally quiet team at times, Holy’s voice booms around the ground throughout.
Phrases such as ‘shape’, ‘reaction’ and ‘head it away’ are incredibly common, wherever his side are on the pitch. I’m not entirely sure how much impact his words have on his team-mates, but there you go.
The club shop is always looking for ideas, so here’s one. A Tomas Holy action figure with Toy Story-style pullstring. The above phrases would be just perfect.
He would look good, too, decked out in Town’s excellent aqua and black goalkeeping shirt.
This was my fifth visit to Crewe (first with Ipswich) and I’m yet to see the team I’m following pick up a win.
My record is now P5 W0 D3 L2 with three red cards to boot.
This visit did remind me of my favourite name for a stand in all of football as we sat opposite the ‘Ice Cream Van’ stand, sponsored by manufacturer Whitby Morrison.
Who knew ice cream vans were so expensive? Their website sells pre-owned vans, starting at £11,000 for one made in the 1970s and up to £60,000 for ones made in around 2011.
Every day’s a school day.
Putting together a team sheet isn’t necessarily an easy job, given a short time frame to decipher some scribbled hand writing and get the papers out to those waiting.
But it appears some concentration was lost by the time the Crewe sheetsmith reached the Ipswich Town substitutes.
Introducing – Darvid Cornell, Jack Lankaster, Aaron Drinnan and Elkan Raggott.
There’s a growing army of Ipswich Town loanees to keep an eye, with the group potentially getting bigger before the transfer window closes.
Idris El Mizouni is the latest to head out on a temporary basis, with the youngster heading to Paul Hurst’s Grimsby side where he will be fighting for EFL survival. He played 90 minutes on his debut but things didn’t start well, with the Mariners going down 2-1 to fellow strugglers Stevenage. It’s going to be a slog.
Janoi Donacien’s Fleetwood lost 1-0 at Oxford while Adam Przybek was between the sticks as Chesterfield drew 2-2 with Dagenham.
Finally, Corrie Ndaba was again used at left-back as Ayr beat Alloa 4-1. By all accounts he's been excellent up in Scotland.
It’s all kicking off
It’s been another pretty miserable week for Ipswich Town but this made me smile.
Flynn Downes is clearly happiest when he’s on a football pitch and he was gagging to return from a knee injury, so much so he couldn’t control himself in Tuesday’s loss to Sunderland as he kicked off while the other 21 players were on their knees in support of racial equality.
He had to run and get the ball back, too, before taking part in the statement and then getting the game underway for real.
Good job it wasn’t live on national television...