Grading all the Ipswich Town players after their mid-table League One finish
- Credit: Archant
Andy Warren hands out his player report cards following Ipswich Town’s 11th-place finish in League One.
The giant Czech goalkeeper quickly became a popular figure following his summer arrival, both for his charismatic personality and early performances on the pitch as he equalled a long-standing clean-sheet record.
There were mistakes along the way and his season certainly wasn’t a perfect one, as he traded places with Will Norris on a regular basis, but he’s shown enough suggest he will be a safe pair of hands next season. B
The Wolves loanee arrived on the eve of the season and had to be patient due to Holy’s solid start at Town, putting in solid if unspectacular performances in cup competitions when he did get his chance.
Norris did eventually get his chance in the league and was generally a safe pair of hands, but will not be happy with a string of mistakes which cost his side – most notably in games against Lincoln and Wycombe, before a howler in the home mauling by Peterborough. C-
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After returning from his loan back at Accrington, the defender started the season as first-choice right-back but was soon deposed following Kane Vincent-Young’s arrival.
The former Colchester man’s injury opened the door once again and Donacien took his chance in November and December, but despite being solid enough defensively he didn’t have the attacking instinct to truly replace Vincent-Young. Some bright spots, some shortcomings during his 19 appearances. C
The defender’s loan from Preston saw him play at left-back, left wing back, the left side of a back three and in the middle of a back four.
He only played seven games and showed himself to be a safe pair of hands, without ever truly getting the chance to show what he’s all about. C-
The skipper was once again a fixture in the side, making 32 appearances during a shortened season. His campaign started badly with a mistake which cost Town two points in the home opener against Sunderland, but he put things right a week later against Peterborough with a dramatic equaliser and continued to be a vital member of the side.
He had his good games, he had his bad games, but the Ipswich defence generally stood up well enough. It was the attack which ultimately let them down. C+
The defender was signed on the eve of the season in what felt like a stop-gap move, due to Town’s injury struggles at the back. But he became a valued member of the side and ultimately extended his deal by a further 18 months.
He played 31 games. He knows his weaknesses, plays to his strengths and proved to be a decent addition to the squad. C
It was a funny old season for the Welshman, as he began the campaign on the injured list after missing the vast majority of pre-season.
In reality he had few opportunities to show what he can do on the wing and was instead used as a temporary wing-back (and even as a right-back) in the absence of Vincent-Young. He started shakily in an unfamiliar position but as time went on he grew into the role. He deserves credit for that. C
The midfielder continues to split opinion despite remaining a trusted midfielder by his manager, featuring 32 times in all. Most of those were spent in midfield, though he did also show he can do a job as a hybrid central defender.
He was the player we’ve become to know so well, nipping in to win the ball back, playing simple passes to more creative team-mates and spreading play. He’ll always be critcised for not offering enough in the final third, though. Like so many of his team-mates he had his off days, too, but did enough to earn another year’s contract. C
The striker entered the season hoping to become a regular starter but ended it as Town’s joint top scorer.
His 11 goals all came in Ipswich wins during a season where he has learnt to use his blistering pace more dangerously and has spent less time toiling as a lone striker than he did in his debut season at Town. He contributed with seven assists as well during a good year. B+
Norwood was Town’s marquee summer signing and his start to life at Ipswich could not have been better as he scored goals for fun in pre-season, netted five in his first six Ipswich games and captured the imagination of supporters with his off-pitch persona.
But a nagging groin problem, which has now been operated on twice, dogged him all season and held him back. He scored 11 but will be the first to admit he should have scored more during a season where plenty of chances went begging, particularly in one-on-one situations. He and Town will be hoping for better in an injury-free 2020/21. B-
Nolan was one of the bright spots of the closing stages of Town’s relegation from the Championship but, like so many, started the season sidelined by injury. It felt like he never really got going.
He has so many good attributes but he can frustrate you at times by how irregularly he’s able to demonstrate them all at once. There’s a really good player in there but Ipswich haven’t seen it on a consistent enough basis yet. C-
This season was all set up to be a positive one for Bishop, following six months of sustained fitness and good form, but it wasn’t to be. He suffered a knee injury in pre-season and was out again until January.
He was the best player on the pitch on his full return at Exeter but featured just eight further times. He was able to show flashes in all of those but, as he again enters the final year of his contract, it feels like the time has to be now for him to show he can be the player we know he is on a regular basis. C
A fairly promising season for Rowe was over by the start of December and, with it, so his Ipswich Town career it would seem.
The winger was in the team from the off and showed bright moments as he cut inside onto his left foot in the early weeks of the season, while he also netted the winner at Rochdale. Injury ended his campaign though and he hasn’t been offered a new deal. C
The Irishman was supposed to be the centre-piece of this Ipswich Town side, pulling the strings from the No.10 position and proving himself to be a cut above in League One.
But, after a summer where the Blues turned down offers from QPR and Judge struggled for full fitness after missing pre-season, it didn’t work out that way. He showed flashes, scoring four goals, but once again spent time out on the wing or not being full able to influence matches.
He’s as honest as they come and will feel he could have done more, especially when judged against such lofty expectations. C
The forward played just a single minute of League One football for Ipswich in 2019/20 but managed to net three times in the EFL Trophy. When he did play he was effective, though it wasn’t enough to force his way into Paul Lambert’s thinking.
He ended the campaign on loan at Gillingham and will depart when his contract expires at the end of the month. D
The striker was out until Boxing Day with the knee ligament injury he suffered at Norwich in February 2019 but, in truth, never got enough time on the field to get back up to full speed.
He wasn’t his usual, sharp, self for much of his 12 appearances but did net once at Blackpool. C-
The standout performer who would surely have won the Blues’ player-of-the-year award had it been handed out this season.
He was a fixture in the team, showed a calm head and real growth on the pitch as he began to dominate midfield opposition. He was the best player on the pitch on more than a few occasions. His first touch has improved, with a move to open up play for himself with one touch of the ball and clever use of his body now becoming a trademark.
Whether he is still with Town when next season starts remains to be seen. A
This season turned out to be a nightmare for Nsiala. It started in pre-season when, with a real opportunity in front of him to cement a starting spot, he suffered a hamstring injury in Germany and was ruled out for the opening weeks of the campaign.
When he returned he had to make do with cup games to get his eye in, with his first league appearance at Accrington ending with him being substituted at half-time having given away a penalty. He gave away another against Lincoln and was taken off after 38 minutes at Portsmouth after picking up a yellow card and risking being handed a second.
He played just once more in the league before being loaned to Bolton. F
Another stop-start season for Dozzell, with the youngster only making eight starts in the league.
Some of his displays were excellent, notably away at Coventry where he made Ipswich tick, and some of his passing was a joy to behold. He’s clearly an incredibly talented player but, once again, we’re talking about whether he’s fully able to exert himself on games. C-
The former Colchester man couldn’t have made a better start to life at Ipswich Town, scoring two excellent goals and giving his side a new dimension down the right flank.
Sadly his injury cost Ipswich and the dynamic wing-back was only able to feature nine times before his campaign was ended by groin surgery. He’ll be back. B+
Idris El Mizouni
The young Tunisian international featured in three of Town’s first four league games but then didn’t play in League One again, with his action restricted to cup competitions. He was impressive in many of those and he’s certainly a player with a bright future.
He was enjoying an extremely productive League Two loan with Cambridge before his season was ended by a knee injury so, hopefully, he’ll be back and raring to go when football resumes. C
Another of Ipswich’s crown jewels. This was Woolfenden’s breakthrough season at Portman Road, following loans at Bromley and Swindon, and he certainly looked the part.
He’s cool, calm and collected but a solid defender too, showing that in the vast majority of his displays as he made himself a regular fixture in the side. He had some off days but he’s still only young. Like Downes, whether he’s still an Ipswich play when games resume remains to be seen. A-
The Everton loanee’s Ipswich career started with a bang as he struck twice in his first two games and that set the tone for a successful loan. His excellent free-kicks against Tranmere and Lincoln exemplified his set-piece threat while he was particularly influential when playing in a more advanced role.
Garbutt sometimes found the defensive side of things a little tough but was almost always a positive influence to his side, despite struggling with some niggling injuries during the second half of the campaign. Will he be back? That seems unlikely. B+
This was finally going to be the season where Myles Kenlock made the Ipswich Town left-back spot his own, having had to make do with in-and-out roles under previous managers.
He lined up behind Luke Garbutt to start the season and started each of Town’s first seven games, performing well enough, before dropping out as Garbutt slipped further back and Lambert experimented with different formations. He never got his league place back. C-
The young Albanian excited whenever he got on the field, scoring on his debut at Luton and then starring in the EFL Trophy victory over Tottenham at Portman Road.
His enthusiasm boiled over as he was sent off on his league debut at Accrington but the exciting attacking midfielder remained around the first-team for the majority of the season before coming back into the picture prior to the stoppage. You get the feeling he could have a real role to play next season. C+
The young midfielder’s first steps into the first-team picture have been positive.
He’s good on the ball and calm in possession and has shown he is capable of moving play around the field from the middle of the pitch while not being afraid to put his foot into a tackle. Another who could have a bigger role to play next season. The ultimate successor to Skuse? C
The real plus from the Welshman’s point of view is that he was back playing regular games during the 2019/20 season after such a long time out injured.
At times we saw flashes of the player who so impressed on loan in 2017 but we also saw how tough it can be when you’ve been sidelined for the best part of two years. C
Keane’s season started late as he signed on with the Blues in the middle of August and took time to get going. He ended the campaign with six goals, making it the most prolific campaign of the striker’s career to date.
That’s maybe part of the problem. For all the neat touches, excellent composure on the ball and ability to bring others into the game, he didn’t offer the goal threat of his fellow forwards. He is now looking for a new club. C
The Tottenham loanee showed plenty of flashes from the bench during the early weeks of his Ipswich career but never managed to make a league start before returning to his parent club. D