Red hot to sub zero – the Ipswich Town thermometer
There have been some key departures this summer, but following 11 signings Ipswich Town still carry a large squad of 28 professionals following the closure of the permanent transfer window. STUART WATSON takes a look at who’s hot and who’s not following a mixed start to the season
Sounds ridiculous to say after Town conceded 12 goals in two nightmare games, but the loanee Fulham keeper has been Ipswich’s stand out performer so far. Produced a string of good saves and heads into tonight’s England match as the nation’s second choice custodian.
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Of all the big names that have arrived at Portman Road on a permanent basis, it has been the tenacious and technically gifted young Liverpudlian left-back who has shone the most. A real find from League One side Tranmere and proof that there are plenty of gems in the lower divisions.
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Three starts, three goals for the Irishman – two of which were corkers from outside the box. The Blackburn loanee has brought energy and leadership to the Blues midfield.
The veteran has done an excellent job in a variety of positions, featuring in defensive midfield, left-back and even left wing. Shown good array of passing and calmness on the ball.
The charismatic midfielder’s return has given everyone at the club a lift. Clearly short of fitness at the weekend you could still see glimpses of the extra creativity he will bring.
It was a super debut for the centre-back they call Superman last weekend. The free transfer has shown promising signs that he can bring much-needed power to the back line and will only get better with improved fitness.
Exploded onto the scene with goals galore in pre-season followed by a brace in the opener at Bristol City. Starved of service as the lone striker in many games since though.
The Celtic loanee gave Town a different dimension last weekend, giving a powerful presence in the final third. Ability to play on the wings will also prove useful.
Endured a torrid time in the Southampton and Peterborough debacles, but was less of a guilt party than those around him. Looked far more comfortable alongside Sonko at the weekend.
The 34-year-old centre-back looked solid and assured in the 3-0 win at Bristol City but can’t be rated any higher because of the injury concerns. Missed most of pre-season and all but that opening day win with a thigh problem.
An impressive cameo against Leeds – scoring one and making another – has suddenly elevated him from out of the picture to firmly in the frame. Having toiled as a lone striker last season, could be very effective in a front two if he receives balls to feet.
Seemingly behind others in terms of fitness, Town fans are yet to see the best of the experienced midfielder. A hamstring injury has set him back in the last couple of weeks.
Constantly blowing between hot and cold it is only fitting that the man recruited from Arsenal sits in the luke warm category. Electric against Northampton and impressive versus Southampton, the versatile winger/striker has been anonymous on too many other occasions.
Back-up keeper yet to see any action. Paul Jewell is looking for a third custodian.
Seemingly the only right-back option at present, the former winger has looked much better in attack than defence. Caught out of position and outmuscled at times.
After earning praise for his display against Northampton in the Carling Cup the youngster was brought back down to earth with a bump after enduring a torrid Championship debut in the 7-1 loss at Peterborough. In his defence, is a right-back being asked to play in the middle.
Hero to zero. Red hot in pre-season, the winger started the campaign by scoring his first competitive goal in nearly two years at Bristol City. Now training with the youth team at the manager’s insistence following his red card at Posh.
Teenage winger been told to ‘knuckle down’ by Jewell having burst onto the scene last season. Limited mainly to cameo sub appearances so far.
Handed the captain’s armband in the summer, midfielder’s performances have been well below par. May have been unsettled by Portsmouth’s attempts to sign him and contract uncertainty.
Summer signing has failed to catch the eye on the few occasions he’s made the pitch. Seemingly dropped behind Scotland to fourth in the strikers’ pecking order.
Nightmare start for the centre-back. At fault for Northampton and Hull’s winners, pulled apart against Southampton and sent off before touching the ball against Peterborough.
Training with the youths and unwanted by Jewell. Did little to prove the manager wrong with a poor display at right-back in the Carling Cup.
Another condemned to training with the youngsters. Pacey left-sided player rejected a loan move to Football League new boys Crawley at start of season.
Very much a fringe player in pre-season, the teenage midfielder has fallen even further down the pecking order now that Keith Andrews and Jimmy Bullard have been signed.
The former Luton player looked lively in pre-season but, like Hyam, is now miles away from the first team.
Like Hyam and Drury, failed to take his chance as a number of fringe players flopped in the Carling Cup.
Hungarian international strikers days at Ipswich looking increasingly numbered. The man signed for �1.7m two years ago is yet to make the bench this season.
If you include Emmanuel-Thomas as an option the Northern Irish teenager is now seventh choice striker. Will surely depart on loan when the window opens next week.