Mike Bacon: Why are Town so wedded to the 4-3-3? It's not working, so let's try something else!

Mark McGuinness clears aSunderland corner.

Two great sides who have seen better days... Town v Sunderland in League One - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

A question for you.

Did you think Peterborough and Sunderland were especially good sides? Perhaps it's me. Perhaps they both had off days/nights. Perhaps they were both superb and I missed it in between my cup of herbal tea and hob nobs.

But from where I was sitting (in my front room), neither appeared world beaters... But both took the points and ran from Portman Road, leaving us to reflect for the umpteenth time in recent years what the hell has happened to our football club?

Referee Charles Breakspear sends off Kayden Jackson.

Referee Charles Breakspear sends off Kayden Jackson. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

OK, Peterborough got lucky with an own goal, but never looked like losing once they took the lead. Sunderland had Kayden Jackson to thank for his stupid challenge and again never looked like losing after they scored.

According to the stats we had four shots on target in those 180 minutes of football. It ain't going to win you games with that ratio, while the entertainment factor at Portman Road hovers between 1 and 2.5 out of 10!

LAMBERT: 'It's up to Marcus what he does'

I dread to think what attendances would be right now if fans were allowed in the stadium. And as for the atmosphere - you think it was bad at the end of Mick's tenure!

What a sad sight it was on Tuesday. Sunderland and Ipswich - two former big teams in the Premiership - slugging it out like a couple of punch-drunk boxers trying desperately to rekindle former glories. Huffing and puffing, but little quality, while new kids on the block, Lincoln, Peterborough and Doncaster must look on and worry little about playing these two former 'greats'.

Most Read

And to think I once stood on my milk crate in the East Stand watching Johan Cruyff play at Portman Road... sigh!

Gwion Edwards is fouled by Sunderland skipper Max Power.

Gwion Edwards is fouled by Sunderland skipper Max Power. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

I suppose at least Sunderland are going in the right direction (just) - we certainly aren't.

Now, I'm not someone who delves into team formations much. Firstly because I like to think the people at the coal face, ie. the coaches and managers at Town with all their badges who train with the squad day in, day out, watch the videos, etc., know exactly what they are doing - and secondly, because it's boring.

GWION EDWARDS on his contract situation

However, and seeing as I'm running out of things to talk about in this column as I continue to repeat the same old stuff about dire performances, lack of entertainment, lack of shots, etc., I would like to know why we feel 4-3-3 is the perfect combination for us right now, and has been for some time?

Charlie Wyke beats Ipswich keeper Tomas Holy to give the visitors the lead, just before the break.

Charlie Wyke beats Ipswich keeper Tomas Holy to give the visitors the lead, just before the break. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It's a mystery to me. I'm not saying it's not a formation... But for Ipswich Town at this moment, I don't get it (although I'll admit our striker options are now limited).

Because look, we are not Liverpool with their wonderful front three, nor PSG with theirs, nor Man City who revel in playing a false No.9 with about 10 striker options from Stones to Foden!

We're Ipswich Town, mid-table in League One and quite frankly I think most fans would like nothing more than a good old 4-4-2 to steady the ship - Norwood/Jackson, Norwood/Drinan, Sears/Drinan, Sears/Norwood. I'm not bothered! Woolfenden and Kenlock for all I care! Just a presence in the opponents' penalty box that makes us look a threat.

KAYDEN JACKSON: 'I cost the boys three points'

Because it would do us (sadly) good to remember that right now, we are almost as close to being in the National League as we are the Premier League in the English football pyramid - there's a sobering thought!

Oh, and by the way, while I'm going all fancy-dan on formations, I'd even have a go at a 3-5-2, especially at home, with attacking wing-backs Gwion Edwards and Luke Thomas.

Stephen Ward is fouled by Jordan Willis .

Stephen Ward is fouled by Jordan Willis . - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

For me, it's like hitting a golf ball. If you continue to slice it time after time after time after time... you would try something different, adjust your grip, stand differently, get a lesson! Sticking to something that isn't working, isn't smart.

Anyhow, that's me done. I'll get back in my box, I hear you.

Three points at Crewe would be nice!

Then again, so would my local pub re-opening!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus