Andy Munro reports from Blues’ game at Ipswich.
We’ve never done well at Ipswich nor against teams managed by Mad Mick so I suppose a one-nil reverse shouldn’t have come as a major surprise. Maybe, it’s the footballing equivalent of ley lines but usually hoodoo teams and grounds seem to stay that way.
In fairness, we were set up in quite an attacking format but, yet again, the Geordie Tinkerman was at work. Playing a back four is fine but to then relegate one of your in-form fullbacks seems foolhardy. Maybe Mitch Hancox was injured but, if not, the decision to ‘rest him’ seems strange and it is noticeable that the goal came from Nouble marauding down our left side.
Equally, the decision to play Novak and Caddis as the wide options in midfield seemed pointless. If you’re going to play 4-4-2 (if that’s what it’s meant to be) then play proper wingers. It was also noticeable the difference made by the talents of Burke when he came on.
It’s a simple message to Lee Clark that playing two proper wide men isn’t sacrificing the defence. When you attack down one side, you push the winger forward with the ball to head for the by line and also tell one of the midfielders to go hell for leather and look to get into the box to add variety to the winger’s cross. In doing so you tell the winger the other side to tuck in with the remaining central midfielder to form the anchor in front of your defence. This is bread and butter stuff and it’s a mystery to me why Clark can’t see it
Up front, the jury must still be out on Macheda who is a bit like Marcelo used to be for the Blues. He’s competent all round but outstanding in no particular asset. On the plus side, he looks decent in front of goal (presuming he gets the service) but on the minus side, he’s devoid of pace and power. And on that latter subject, Ziggy is playing slightly better without really punching his weight (that is in lbs as well as £s).
Thankfully, with the exception of Yeovil, for whom I’ve got a sneaking admiration, all the teams below us had a torrid time. However , with QPR and Burnley around the corner our nine point cushion could soon burst.