Fuller Flavour: Ultra-defensive and I’m bored for the umpteenth time. I wish we had more ambition
PUBLISHED: 13:22 11 March 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Town fan Karl Fuller gives his thoughts on Ipswich’s 0-0 draw with Sheffield United at Portman Road yesterday.
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.
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.
A more concerning theme from this current run of home games is that we just never look like scoring.
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.
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.
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.