Power Rankings: The risers and fallers on the ultimate list of who’s hot and who’s not in the Ipswich Town squad
- Credit: Archant
Welcome to the second edition of the Ipswich Town Power Rankings, where we chart who’s hot and who’s not within the Blues’ squad.
Welcome to the second 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.
So let's get started.
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- 10 'Ludicrous' - Stanley boss on 'big turning point' in Town loss
1 - Flynn Downes (Non-mover)
The young midfielder keeps hold of top spot.
His performances this season have been excellent, earning praise from the likes of Ipswich Town icon Matt Holland in the process, as he bounced back from a pre-season incident at Cambridge where he was sent off for a violent headbutt.
The journey he has been on went to the next level in the FA Cup at Coventry when he was given the captain's armband by manager Paul Lambert, making him the youngest man ever to skipper the club.
The future is extremely bright.
2 - Luke Chambers (Non-mover)
The skipper continues to be a vital member of the Ipswich Town side, a first-choice for league action and the team's leader.
He's played just twice since the last Power Rankings list, giving away penalties in both the draws with Blackpool and Wycombe, but both were highly debatable, with Sullay Kaikai diving in the Blackpool game and his indiscretion against Wycombe clearly coming outside the box. It must be noted if a penalty had not been given, he would have been sent off.
He'll be a vital player when league action gets back into full swing with Saturday's game against Coventry.
3 - Cole Skuse (Up two)
The only man to have played in each of Ipswich's 17 league games to date, making him clearly a first choice of manager Lambert.
He was one of Ipswich's best performers against Wycombe, keeping the ball immaculately and again proving his worth in the centre of the pitch.
Played at centre-back in the EFL Trophy win at Peterborough but went off with a hip injury. Hopefully it's nothing too worrying.
4 - Luke Woolfenden (Up three)
It's clear Woolfenden's star is rising - he's inevitably being watched by clubs in higher divisions - and he's risen in these rankings too.
He was one of Ipswich's best players in both of the two recent home draws with Blackpool and Wycombe and showed he could do some of the more ugly sides of the game in the draw at Coventry on Sunday.
It also feels like he's well and truly past James Wilson in the central defensive pecking order.
There's more to come, too. That's what makes it so exciting.
5 - Kayden Jackson (Down one)
Jackson failed to find the net in November during three league starts and a brief substitute appearance at Coventry in the FA Cup.
But he's continued to contribute and, having often toiled when asked to play up front alone, performed that role well in the draw with Blackpool.
Has recently become a father for the first time and will, no doubt, be back on the scoring trail soon. Has only fallen due to Skuse and Woolfenden's rises.
6 - James Norwood (Down three)
It's been a frustrating few weeks for Norwood, going a month without a goal and being in and out of the side due to a nagging groin issue.
But those injury struggles have highlighted the important role he plays in this Ipswich side. A fully fit Norwood offered a real presence during the early months of the season but, restricted physically, he's not been the same.
Ipswich need a striker like Norwood and they need him to be fit.
7 - Luke Garbutt (Up two)
Another climber. Far and away the first choice at left back now, where he is a good mix of defensive reliability and attacking threat.
His set pieces continue to threaten and, in the draw with Blackpool, we saw another string to the Everton loanee's bow as he calm-as-you-like slotted home a penalty.
Norwood wasn't on the pitch then but, even if he was, should Garbutt be the Blues' penalty taker?
8 - Tomas Holy (Up two)
The first goalkeeper in the mix and it's a move up the rankings for the giant Czech stopper.
He put in his best Ipswich Town display in the FA Cup replay victory at Lincoln with a string of impressive saves and then produced one of the moments of the season as he superbly clawed a Wycombe penalty out as the minutes ticked down.
His performances deserve a guaranteed starting spot in the team but, such is the form of the man directly below him on the list, he has to make do with dipping in and out of the starting XI.
The form of Will Norris also means Holy is lower on this list than he perhaps deserves to be.
9 - Will Norris (Up three)
The Wolf from Wolves. Like Holy, his form between the sticks has been superb, giving Lambert a welcome-yet-troubling headache when it comes to a position where most managers have few decisions to make.
He's highly dependable, with his best game coming at Coventry in the FA Cup where he dealt with physical situations and high balls superbly and was unfortunate to see a last-gasp equaliser fly past him.
Lambert has two excellent goalkeepers and, as Holy said recently, the Town boss can't get his decision wrong.
10 - James Wilson (Down two)
Solid and dependable whenever called upon, be it in a back three or as part of a back four.
He's taking a central role in cup competitions but, when Lambert opts to go with a central defensive two in the league, it feels as if Chambers and Woolfenden have edged ahead as the preferred partnership.
His signing in August still feels like an excellent piece of business.
11 - Kane Vincent-Young (Down five)
The news that the former Colchester man is set to be sidelined until the end of February is a real blow to Ipswich Town.
He quickly became a key player following his arrival towards the end of the transfer window and was a focal point of what Lambert's side was trying to do.
But he's been hampered by injury since the end of October, before the bad news dropped after the draw with Wycombe.
12 - Jon Nolan (Down one)
It stills feels like we're waiting for Nolan's season to well-and-truly get going.
He's comfortable on the ball and, whenever put into the side is highly dependable - we just haven't had that spark yet.
13 - Alan Judge (Up two)
On the subject of spark, the Irishman's dramatic late winner at Lincoln felt as though it would be the moment which meant his season burst into life.
It was a brilliant, well-deserved moment for a man who has had well-documented off-field issues this season, but it hasn't quite worked out that.
He was given just five minutes combined in the two league draws with Blackpool and Wycombe but started at Coventry in the FA Cup, where he brilliantly set up Will Keane's goal.
There's surely plenty more still to come.
14 - Janoi Donacien (Up nine)
The biggest riser on this list.
When Gwion Edwards was selected ahead of him at right-back at Rochdale, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Donacien's Ipswich Town career.
But, following Vincent-Young's injury, he is now the first-choice in his position.
He responded well during a run of games in November as he took his chance, but he will need to continue to do so between now and January to ensure he remains at the head of the queue.
Is he looking over his shoulder a little after Barry Cotter played in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday?
15 - Gwion Edwards (Down one)
As players begin to lock down positions in Lambert's ever-changing starting XI for league action, the winger situation still seems to be in a state of flux.
Much of that is down to a switch in formations, with the wing-back system not needing traditional wide-men, while the form of Ipswich's wing core has also brought inconsistencies.
Edwards is one of those, with the Welshman not hitting the heights of his early months with the club last summer, but his goal against Blackpool is a reminder of the threat he can pose.
16 - Danny Rowe (Down two)
The former Macclesfield man is in the same boat as Edwards in many ways. He's in and out of the side and hasn't nailed down a starting position in the team.
He's had bright moments but not consistently enough.
17 - Andre Dozzell (non-mover)
He may not have moved up the Power Rankings (which he will of course be devastated by) but it's been a good couple of weeks for the academy youngster.
He played well in both the FA Cup replay at Lincoln and second round tie at Coventry, building on the good work he had put in with a more consistent run of games during November.
It feels like there's plenty more to come, which can only be a good thing for Ipswich.
That expiring contract is sure to become a real talking point in the coming weeks.
18 - Emyr Huws (Down two)
It's coming slowly but patience is very much still required with a midfielder who has missed so much football in the two seasons prior to this.
We still haven't seen a complete box-to-box display from the Welshman - understandable given his long spell on the sidelines - but it does feel like it's coming.
His action is largely restricted to the cups where he has sometimes seemed a little frustrated. A true test of where he's at would come in league games but he has to earn that right.
19 - Will Keane (Up two)
Four appearances, two starts and one goal since the last Power Rankings has seen Keane climb two places.
He's had to operate as a lone striker for the majority of that time but had decent moments at Lincoln before a good display (and a goal) at Coventry in the FA Cup.
He says he can handle back-to-back games now, which is a good thing.
Now it's time to see what he can do with a strike partner.
20 - Myles Kenlock (non-mover)
Will be disappointed not be included for the FA Cup game at Coventry, having not played in the league since the middle of September.
But he performed well at Peterborough in the EFL Trophy, firstly at left-back and then at centre-back after switching in side.
Scored a vital penalty with his 'Travolta' run up.
21 - Armando Dobra (Down three)
His fall in the rankings is largely down to the fact others, notably Keane and Donacien, have climbed above him rather than anything he's done wrong.
He's not been in a league squad since his red card at Accrington in October but has been praised for the way he's reacted to that set-back.
It looks as though the EFL Trophy will be the talented teenager's platform for the rest of the season, so it's a real boost that Ipswich have made it to the last 16.
22 - Idris El Mizouni (non-mover)
You have to go back to the middle of August for his last involvement in the league but the Tunisia international has been quietly effective in the cups.
His display at Colchester was good but the fact he scored his first senior goal at Peterborough, and kept his nerve in the shootout, will be a real boost.
He could (and maybe should) still be a January loan candidate should the right situation arise.
23 Jordan Roberts (Up one)
As mentioned in the first edition of these rankings, the only reason Roberts appears at all is the single minute he appeared as a substitute against Sunderland in the league in August. But that one minute means his cup performances can be taken into account.
He returned from a toe injury at Peterborough and performed well both in a wide roll and more centrally.
There's traffic between him and a league spot, though, and making an impact there is surely where he will earn an extended contract or not.
24 - Anthony Georgiou (Down five)
Still no league start for the Tottenham loanee, who has struggled to consistently produce the performances we've seen in flashes from the bench.
He'll earn a starting league spot with his cup performances, so the fact he was on the bench at Peterborough on Wednesday night will come as a real blow.
His loan is up at the end of the month and, at the moment, it's hard to see it being extended.
25 - Toto Nsiala (Non-mover)
Sadly the big defender remains at the foot of these rankings.
His hamstring trouble has resurfaced, robbing him of the opportunity to take to the field and show what he can do following a difficult return to action after his summer injury trouble.
We've seen good games and bad games from Nsiala but the only way he is going to make himself an important member of the defence is by maintaining fitness and getting on the field.