Power Rankings: Two new entries, one big climber and plenty of fallers - who’s hot and who’s not at Ipswich Town
- Credit: Archant
Welcome to the third edition of the Ipswich Town Power Rankings, where we chart who’s hot and who’s not within the Blues’ squad.
Welcome to the third edition of the Ipswich Town Power Rankings.
This is the ultimate list of who's hot and who's not in the Ipswich Town squad. So here's how it works.
Power Rankings is not necessarily an ordered list of the best and worst players at the club, it's not grounded in statistics or simply a reflection of ability. It is in a constant state of flux and based on vibe, feeling, standing, form, comparison to others and what the future may hold.
Only players who have made appearances in the league are eligible, with this list updated regularly with risers and fallers and players added as and when they appear.
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So let's get started.
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1 - Flynn Downes (non-mover)
Three editions of the power rankings, three times Flynn Downes sit atop of the pile.
It's for good reason, too.
The young midfielder started the season like a train and was a central figure in the Blues' hugely impressive start, before missing the defeats to both Accrington and Rotherham in October having been a winner in nine of his first 12 starts of the campaign.
His form may have dipped a little but he's remained a key man, making it little wonder clubs higher up the pyramid have eyes on him.
The hope must be that Ipswich start firm during the January window.
2 - Luke Garbutt (Up five)
The first riser of the latest rankings list.
Since the last Power Rankings Garbutt has played seven times and scored twice, firstly against Coventry in the FA Cup and then another free-kick in the loss at Lincoln, and provided the assist for James Norwood's goal at Wycombe on New Year's Day.
His performances have been consistently of a good standard which is part of the reasons the Blues are currently working to try and bring Garbutt to the club on a permanent basis.
Much of his football has been played at left back or left wing-back, while there is a clamour for him to play in a more advanced role due to his early-season successes.
3 - Luke Chambers (Down one)
Much of the skipper's December was disrupted by a neck injury which, as well as Paul Lambert's rotation system, restricted him to just three appearances in the last month.
He was sent off in the dying stages of the Portsmouth game and had a tough afternoon at Lincoln, after which he spoke plainly about the Blues' need to pull together and rediscover their identity. He knows better than most that actions speak louder than words, though.
His leadership will be vital as Town look to arrest their slide down the table.
4 - Luke Woolfenden (Non-mover)
The youngster is playing regularly in all competitions and has continued to show the attributes which have made him a coveted asset by clubs higher up the pyramid.
But there have also been moments which highlight the fact he has only 19 games at League One level and still has a way to go before he's the finished article.
He's likely to be a regular between now and the end of the season, as long as the Blues can resist any January offers which arrive for the defender.
He's a real asset to the club.
5 - James Norwood (Up one)
The striker has netted twice during the period since the last rankings were published, firstly in a game against Bristol Rovers in which he also missed a string of chances and then as he got on the end of a clever Luke Garbutt goal at Wycombe.
That showcased his movement and finishing ability and what he can do if given the service which has been lacking for all the Ipswich strikers of late.
6 - Tomas Holy (Up two)
The big goalkeeper has been a little unfortunate not to have played more regularly in recent weeks, with only one league game played since the penalty save which earned Ipswich a point against Wycombe.
He hasn't let Lambert down when he has played and could potentially return to the starting XI when Accrington visit this weekend, given team-mate Will Norris's tough run of form which has, if anything, elevated Holy's reputation.
7 - Kayden Jackson (Down two)
The striker is currently on a 12-game goal-drought, with Ipswich winless in the last 11 of those games, but he has continued to contribute to the team.
His running is still stretching teams and he's improved his crossing from wide positions this season, with one excellent ball providing partner Norwood with his goal against Bristol Rovers.
He'll be wanting to get back on the sheet himself soon, though.
8 - Cole Skuse (Down six)
The midfielder's ever-present league run has come to the end, with the experienced campaigner missing games with Lincoln and Wycombe due to a neck injury.
He's lacked zip when he has been on the field of late and has plenty of midfield competition to fend off during the second half of the season, though, so it remains to be seen whether he will continue to be a key player for Lambert.
9 - Will Keane (Up 10)
The biggest riser in this edition of the rankings.
Keane has scored three goals during this period, away at Coventry, Lincoln and Exeter, with some of his play also reminding us of what he's capable of when the ball is played into his feet rather than being launched in the air.
Jackson and Norwood still appear to be the preferred pair in attack but you feel Keane deserves a greater chance.
10 - James Wilson (Non-mover)
Despite his form dropping off a little in recent week, just like many of his team-mates, Wilson continues to be a solid defender.
He knows his limitations and plays to his strengths, which are two good attributes to have at this level.
11 - Alan Judge (Up two)
The last edition of the Power Rankings came hot on the heels of his dramatic winner at Lincoln, which we hoped would be the moment which sparked his season into life.
It hasn't quite worked out like that, but we have seen some decent displays from the Irishman in recent weeks, notably at Coventry, Lincoln and Wycombe.
He had three chances to score in the latter and will be disappointed not to have taken one of them, but was getting into good positions when played in his favoured No.10 role.
More of that, please.
12 - Teddy Bishop (New entry)
It's a pleasure to enter this midfielder into the Power Rankings for the first time.
After five months out he earned his place in this list with a late cameo at Wycombe but it was his display at Exeter which really caught the eye.
Captain Luke Chambers recently said Bishop is capable of 'transforming this team' due to the different attributes he brings to the table. He was talking about Bishop's dribbling ability, which he exhibited at St James Park with a number of excellent attacking runs as he took the ball on the turn before running at his man.
Of course we can't get ahead of ourselves given the fact he's only just returned from injury and has a history of issues in that regard, but it's exciting to have him back.
That's why he's entered the standings so high. Goodness knows we need to latch onto the positives at the moment.
13 - Will Norris (Down four)
As previously mentioned when discussing Holy, Norris has had a difficult time during his last three appearances.
He was a little shaky on Boxing Day against Gillingham and was then caught rushing off his line too readily in the defeat at Lincoln and draw at Wycombe. Those errors look set to hand the gloves back to Holy.
Make no mistake about it, Norris is a good goalkeeper (as his display at Portsmouth shows) but his form of late has not been up to the high standards he has previously set.
14 - Andre Dozzell (Up three)
The academy graduate is getting more gametime at this moment than he has at any other during the season, with the youngster starting three times in the league since the last Power Rankings and showing what he can do in flashes.
He plays his best football alongside Downes, and was paired with his close friend in the aforementioned league games, and came on strong in the second half at Exeter at the weekend.
He needs to do it more consistently but there are visible signs of progress. A big period now as he enters the final six months of his contract.
15 - Freddie Sears (New entry)
It's great to see a second new entry appear on this list, with Sears now back in contention after the best part of a year out.
The forward received the biggest cheer of the afternoon when he was introduced on Boxing Day against Gillingham, with that appearance followed up with more than an hour from the bench at Gillingham and a start at Exeter.
He's clearly a fair distance from the form we saw last November, when he was scintillating in the month following Lambert's arrival, but that's completely understandable given he's been out for so long.
There's more to come.
16 - Janoi Donacien (Down two)
It's testament to the progress the defender's made in recent months that his injury absence has hurt the Blues.
He left the Lincoln game at the end of 2019 with the score locked at 1-1, with his departure and the subsequent reshuffle proceeding a further four goals conceded as the game visibly changed.
He's not returned yet, after picking up his knock, but he had been a dependable defender and, once you've accepted he's not the same flying dribbler as Kane Vincent-Young, a good back-up to the former Colchester man.
Would have been a non-mover were it not for Bishop and Sears' entries.
17 - Jon Nolan (Down five)
It's been a season of false dawns for Nolan, who is currently sidelined with a heel injury.
We know what he can do, with his good range of passing and comfort on the ball, but he's not been able to do it consistently enough. That's partly down to his own form and partly due to Lambert's rotation policy.
He has had a number of quiet games recently.
18 - Gwion Edwards (Down three)
The Welsh winger has spent much of the last month playing as a right wing-back, where he has not always looked comfortable.
To his credit there has been some progress, with the 26-year-old more solid defensively and finding it a little easier to get forward and do what he's good that.
He's been inconsistent, but it's perhaps a little unfair to be too critical given the fact he's being asked to play an unfamiliar role in the side.
19 - Kane Vincent-Young (Down eight)
The Blues are really missing their dynamic full-back, who is sidelined until at least the end of February after undergoing another groin operation.
That's when he could potentially return to training, but we will need to be patient when it comes to a full-on return.
20 - Emyr Huws (Down two)
The Welshman is still finding regular minutes hard to come by, which must be a frustration given he's stressed recently that he's feeling fit and is raring to go.
He came on strong in the game at Wycombe and he completed 90 minutes and kept the ball moving throughout, after a bit of a slow start.
You sense there is more to come, he just needs a chance to show it.
21 - Myles Kenlock (Down one)
The left back is still without a league appearance since the middle of September, but he has featured regularly in the cups.
His most recent outing at Exeter served as a reminder of what he's capable of as the defender got forward well down the left flank and proved to be the focal point of many attacks as he cut inside and shaped to cross.
There's a sense his next opportunity might not be too far away.
22 - Idris El Mizouni (Non-mover)
The Tunisian international has only made one Ipswich appearance since the last rankings list was put out, on Saturday at Exeter, but he has returned to the league fold during that period.
His three unused substitute appearances at Coventry, Lincoln and Wycombe are a sign of how much Lambert and his stuff rate the teenager and it wouldn't be a surprise if he was involved further during the second half of the campaign.
He could potentially be a candidate for a January loan but it would need to be at the right club which plays to his strengths.
23- Danny Rowe (Down seven)
The winger hasn't played since December 1 after picking up a knee injury which has kept him out of Town's last nine games.
Prior to his injury he had been in and out of the Town side, just as Edwards has been, with his appearances bringing bright moments and inconsistency in equal measure.
24 - Armando Dobra (Down three)
We haven't seen Dobra in league action since his red card at Accrington in October, with his last appearance coming in the EFL Trophy win at Peterborough.
With Town now out of that competition Lambert must decide whether his development is best served staying with Ipswich or whether he would be better off out on loan.
We've seen enough to think he can make an impact this season, though.
25 - Toto Nsiala (Non-mover)
It's been a difficult season for the big defender so far.
It could have been so different, had he not suffered a hamstring injury in pre-season which sidelined him until October. He would have been a certain starter on opening day but has instead struggled to command a place in the league side.
Of his three displays in League One to date, one (at Accrington) ended with him being subbed at the break having given away a penalty while his second (at Portsmouth) ended after just 37 minutes when he was replaced while on a booking.
We have seen in the past that the former Grimsby and Shrewsbury man can be a giant at the back but, at a time when Ipswich are trying to cut out the mistakes, go 'back to basics' and become hard to beat again, Nsiala's form would need to improve significantly for him to become central to Lambert's plans.
26 - Jordan Roberts (Down three)
The forward has featured for just a single minute in League One this season, all the way back against Sunderland in August.
His only three appearances since the first month of the season have all come in the EFL Trophy but has seen his campaign disrupted by injury.
He wasn't involved in the weekend loss at Exeter, though, which saw the Blues tumble out of the competition, so with no games left in the Trophy it's hard to see where Roberts' gametime is going to come from.
His contract is up in the summer, making a potential exit in January likely.
Farewell: Anthony Georgiou
We say goodbye to our first player from the power rankings.
Georgiou's time with the Blues was brief. It started with a bang as he changed the game in Town's eventual 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon but never kicked on from there and returns to Tottenham without a league start to his name.