North Stander: Bonne's becoming a Blues icon - now we have to start winning
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Ipswich Town fan and journalist Terry Hunt shares his thoughts on the Blues after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday....
He’s behind you! Yes, the panto season arrived three months early at Portman Road, with local hero Macauley Bonne playing the starring role in our last-gasp comedy gold equaliser.
It was one of the funniest footballing moments I’ve ever witnessed, with Bonne gesturing to fans to keep quiet as he hid behind the hapless Sheffield Wednesday keeper, before pouncing to set up the goal.
Why on earth none of the Wednesday players warned their keeper that Bonne was lurking, goodness only knows. Surely they could see what was happening?
That magical moment was particularly sweet for Bonne, who had missed a golden opportunity right at the start of the game.
He wears his heart on his sleeve, and makes it obvious how much it means to be playing for the club he supported as a boy, growing up on the Chantry estate in Ipswich.
He is fast becoming an iconic figure at the club, probably the first we’ve had since Shefki Kuqi, who was at the game on Saturday and received a warm welcome when he was interviewed on the pitch at half-time.
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Let’s hope we can make the Bonne deal permanent at the end of this season. Much will depend on whether we go up, I suspect.
Overall, it was another entertaining but ultimately pretty frustrating match. We played some good stuff in parts, and got ourselves into some really good situations, but then lacked either the composure or the quality to play the final, killer ball.
As a result, until that last minute clanger, the visiting keeper had a relatively untroubled afternoon. We miss the mercurial attacking skills of Kyle Edwards. Hopefully we will see him again very soon.
So, the passionate fans at Portman Road - what a crowd on Saturday, by the way - are yet to see their team win at home this season. That is certainly not the way to build a promotion challenge. Let’s hope we can put it right against rock-bottom Doncaster under the lights on Tuesday night.
I bumped into an Ipswich Town legend before the game on Saturday, and he was pointing out the lack of academy products in our team this season. With that conversation fresh in my mind, I was pleasantly surprised to see Idris El Mizouni in the starting line-up.
I thought he did well alongside Tom Carroll, and I hope we see him on a regular basis as the season goes on.
The biggest plus point from the last two games has been our defensive solidity. Up to and certainly including the Bolton game, we were leaking like a sieve. The introduction of Janoi Donacien and the growing partnership of Cameron Burgess and George Edmundson has improved things immeasurably.
Burgess and Edmundson are just what is needed at the heart of the defence at this level. Two big, uncompromising defenders who love tackling, blocking, and heading. Nothing too complicated!
There was a moment in the second half which yet again brought to mind one of the great mysteries of the professional game.
Wes Burns had a clear opportunity on his left foot, but instead of shooting decided to turn on to his favoured right foot, back into traffic, and the opportunity was quickly sniffed out.
Why will professional footballers not use their “wrong” foot? Their reluctance loses them so many opportunities. I’m not having a go at Burns. You see many supposedly top players, operating at a much higher level, doing exactly the same thing.
I’d like to think that if I was a professional footballer (a difficult concept to grasp, admittedly) I would spend an extra hour after training each day just working on improving my technique with my weaker foot. It is their job, after all!
The other thought which occurred to me during the game on Saturday was this - why on earth would anyone want to be a referee?
Who would choose to spend 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon hearing thousands of football supporters chanting some pretty unpleasant things about you? It happened again during the Wednesday game after the ref made a couple of dodgy decisions.
Why do they do it? Well, thank goodness they do, because without them we wouldn’t have a game of football. It might be worth remembering that...
So, can we get that first home win against Doncaster? We certainly need to start stringing results together.
The league table still makes pretty unpleasant reading, and October is just around the corner. Time to start climbing the table.