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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Fuller Flavour: Ultra-defensive and I’m bored for the umpteenth time. I wish we had more ambition

PUBLISHED: 13:22 11 March 2018

Town' Cameron Carter-Vickers in a battle with Sheffield United's Ched Evans at Portman Road.  Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Town' Cameron Carter-Vickers in a battle with Sheffield United's Ched Evans at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Town fan Karl Fuller gives his thoughts on Ipswich’s 0-0 draw with Sheffield United at Portman Road yesterday.

Ipswich's Bersant Celina and Enda Stevens in a first half battle at Portman Road.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comIpswich's Bersant Celina and Enda Stevens in a first half battle at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It’s exactly one year ago that the word homogeneous crept into my column, a word I used to sum Ipswich Town up at that moment in time.

In many ways, and one year on, nothing has really changed.

Saturday’s ultra-defensive display against Sheffield United saw another Portman Road game pass by without either a goal or barely a shot on target worth remembering.

A fourth successive home game without a goal does phrases such as Groundhog Day and déjà vu such justice.

Joe Garner in a battle with Richard Stearman in the second half. Photo: STEVE WALLERJoe Garner in a battle with Richard Stearman in the second half. Photo: STEVE WALLER

In fact, we’ve only scored two goals at home in the last eight games since Christmas Day winning just one of those games.

I’m cursing more than ever for missing that victory over Leeds as I’ve now not seen us win at Portman Road since we beat Reading 2-0 on December 16, and having not seen a goal for five home games on the spin, this is the first occasion that this has happened for me in my nigh on 40 years of watching Town.

MORE: ‘We don’t set out for a 0-0 draw’, said McCarthy

A more concerning theme from this current run of home games is that we just never look like scoring.

Bartosz Bialkowski gathers.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comBartosz Bialkowski gathers. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

And that of course is mainly due to how we set ourselves up with the personnel, as much as anything.

It looked to me as though we had nine defensive players in action against the Blades and not a spark of creativity to be seen anywhere.

In my humble opinion, in Freddie Sears, Grant Ward and Tristan Nydam, we had players on the bench who could have at least offered a degree of width, pace or creativity had they been thrown on, but none of them were ultimately used.

We replaced like for like Stephen Gleeson with Luke Hyam and to me, it all smacked of not wanting to get beat.

Again, for the umpteenth time in the last two seasons, it left me totally bored and I suppose some will say not losing and keeping a clean sheet can be seen as positive.

However, the most positive aspect for me is that it’s another game closer to the end of the season. And that’s sad.

Town fans often say that the moods of our weekends are determined by Ipswich’s results.

I suppose most football fans are the same.

Win, and we’re obviously happy, lose and some of us understandably mope around in a sulk.

But where does a draw leave us?

As you were I’d say.

MORE: Town ratings from the Sheffield United game

There were some that still harboured hopes of reaching the play-offs simply because we were seven points behind but with two home games to come in four days – one of them being a game in hand on others.

But those people should know that it’s the hope that kills you in the end.

Thankfully, our away wins are giving us something to cheer – the latest win coming at Sheffield Wednesday. After Pride Park, Derby, Hillsborough seems to have become our second favourite hunting ground these days it would seem.

Two other things of note that I wrote exactly a year ago were in respect of a boring 0-0 home draw against Wolves with next to zero football to enthuse about.

While we’ve stood relatively still since, Wolves will be grateful to have taken great strides in moving forwards.

I also wrote that it was a football miracle that Mick McCarthy still had a job as our manager.

Perhaps it is even more so now after another year of much the same.

MORE: Five observations from Town’s 0-0 draw with the Blades

I don’t mean that in a derogatory manner but when you consider the number of fans that have left in the last couple of years alone for being so fed up with such miserable football on display, Mick has been fortunate if you ask me.

We know that Marcus Evans is very patient but for how much longer can he afford to be?

I’m glad that we are not a sacking club, but I do hope that at some point, we will be more ambitious, have a plan and not stagnate.

It’s all become too homogeneous yet again I’m afraid.

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has ruled out Paul Hurst returning to the club following his recent sacking by Ipswich Town.

More than 500 tickets have been donated for Ipswich Town’s home game against West Brom next Friday evening after one small act of kindness gained online momentum.

Toto Nsiala may currently find himself on the fringes of the Ipswich Town first-team but the central defender continues to make an impact off the field each and every week.

We’ve ranked the home kits of all 24 Championship teams. So who comes out on top?

Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

ANDY WARREN spoke to Ipswich Town No.2 Stuart Taylor about his journey from cleaning Paul Lambert’s boots at St Mirren to assisting him at Portman Road.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Jordan Graham is training with Oxford United after being given permission to move on by Ipswich Town.

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