Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

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Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:10 pm

On Saturday, Phil Parkinson attempts to paddle Bolton’s deflating dinghy across the River Orwell (from whence George got his nom de plume). But with a quarter of his crew unavailable through soccer seasickness, is he up Shit Creek without a paddle? Can Ken Anderson contact the RNLI, or at least the EFL? Will Bolton sink without trace?

On the face of it, Ipswich – embarking upon their 16th successive second-stratum season since being sent down by Fredi Bobic’s outlier of a hat-trick – could be firmly pinned into the middle of the Championship’s three mini-divisions: presumably safe from the drop, but significantly outmuscled by the handful of richer clubs vying to board the Premier League gravy train. Over the last eight seasons they’ve finished 15th, 13th, 15th, 14th, 9th, 6th, 7th and 16th, suggesting the play-off pretensions have been replaced by a recent reversion to a long-term rootedness.

However, they’ve started this season at a pace: before the midweek fixtures (from which they were absent because opponents Derby had a rescheduled League Cup game), they were flying high in fourth place. Mick McCarthy has often made the most of meagre resources and the habit seems to have rubbed off on his team. They’ve scored 10 goals from 52 attempts, the division’s second-lowest number of shots per game (8.7 – less than Bolton’s 9.3, more than Burton’s 6.3, less than half of divisional “leaders” Brentford’s 18.1).

At the back end, they’ve permitted the opposition an extraordinary average of 20.3 attempts per game, the most in the division (Bolton’s 10.7 is the sixth-lowest concession rate, not far behind Leeds’ 9.6 and Preston’s division-low 9.3). For the latter, they can largely thank Bartosz Bialkowski, whose 5.2 saves per game is the division’s highest rate; by contrast, Mark Howard’s 1.8 and Ben Alnwick’s 1.5 are the division’s lowest bar Leeds’ Felix Wiedwald on 1.4 saves per game.

The Pole In The Goal peaked against Brentford, when he kept a clean sheet despite the despairing Bees raining in a eye-watering 22 shots: Bialkowski made six saves that day, more than Howard and Alnwick have made in the last five league games put together (0 @ Birmingham, 0 v Derby, 1 @ Hull, 2 v Boro, 2 v Blades).

But such statistical anomalies rarely last for long, and there are signs of the wheels falling off the Tractors. They were second after winning their first four games, quite handily for us beating teams who might be expected to be in the bottom third: 1-0 v Brum, 2-1 @ Barnsley, 4-3 @ Millwall and 2-0 v Brentford. But that last win came three days shy of a month before the Bolton game; since then they’ve been beaten 2-1 by Palace in the cup, capitulated 2-0 at home to Fulham and lost 2-1 at QPR. Across those three losses they managed just five accurate attempts while allowing their opponents 60 attempts of which 22 were on-target. While converting such numbers into wins looks impressively efficient, in defeat those totals look worrying.

So all is not lost for Bolton. A touch of Parkinsonian organisation might just be able to hold the hosts at bay, while a goal off a set-piece, a flailing arse or a stray beachball must just be enough to start a revival. Stranger things have happened at sea.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:11 pm

And here, reposted from the Blades game thread, is the view from the other side (many thanks to regular TW visitor OrtonCakeBingoBongo).
OrtonCakeBingoBongo wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:16 pm
I was looking through the pages, taking things in and ideally thought our weekends game would be up, but they haven't done the preview yet.

Point being I didn't realise the club was bottom of the league when looking earlier tonight. Fair enough you did what was all important and got back at the first attempt, but seriously unless there is a drastic improvement you could find yourselves back in under a year from now. Maybe pointing to the obvious, but it's only four or five weeks into a new season, some will react to a greater extreme than others.

I've put down for a home victory on our own club forum and believe we'll win on the day but this has been a very strange few weeks already and just about anything can occur out there. Looking forward to the game, I saw highlights of your game from the weekend and didn't think Middlesbrough were worth a three goal victory. Yes we've done better than expected ourselves, but not getting carried away before we're even underway once again. I hope it's an entertaining game for all involved and the referee has a quiet afternoon, may the best team win. Quietly confident.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:16 pm

I can't think of a team Parky can field that can avoid defeat. 2-0 to them.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Peter Thompson » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:15 pm

bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:16 pm
I can't think of a team Parky can field that can avoid defeat. 2-0 to them.
I don't think that this team under Parkinson can avoid defeat - 3-0 to Ipswich

1. We don't create enough chances to score the goals required to win games at this level.
2. Our defence is poor, so Ipswich are sure to score from our defensive poor marking or by leaving their strikers unmarked in the box
3. Our midfield is very weak physically, not mobile enough & they also don't get forward to support Madine.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:21 pm

More effort. If we do what we do and only lose 1-0, then put more effort in, do it a bit better and win. Simple. ae:) ae:)
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by bw@bw » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:10 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:10 pm

On the face of it, Ipswich – embarking upon their 16th successive second-stratum season since being sent down by Fredi Bobic’s outlier of a hat-trick – could be firmly pinned into the middle of the Championship’s three mini-divisions: presumably safe from the drop, but significantly outmuscled by the handful of richer clubs vying to board the Premier League gravy train. Over the last eight seasons they’ve finished 15th, 13th, 15th, 14th, 9th, 6th, 7th and 16th, suggesting the play-off pretensions have been replaced by a recent reversion to a long-term rootedness.
I read an interview with their owner Marcus Evans a while back.
Basically said that for his first year or two he put real money in to try to get back to PL.
After that, he had enough. He was not going to risk his whole fortune!!!
Now his view is that he would like them to break even over a few years. Maybe lose a small amount (max £2m per season I think), then get it back from selling a decent player to a PL club every once in a while. They could carry on that way for the rest of his life!
If by chance they ever do get to the PL, he will have got back his losses from the first few years and a bit more and as a supporter he would be delighted. Even then, they would have to pay their way whilst enjoying the ride.
McCarthy understands these rules and is happy with them. He stays in a job even if they are in mid table and can stick to coaching and developing players.
No doubt the fans would like Evans to spend more but it is not going to happen.

So DSB it looks like you read it spot on!
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Bruce Rioja » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:41 pm

Peter Thompson wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:15 pm

1. We don't create enough chances to score the goals required to win games at this level.
2. Our defence is poor, so Ipswich are sure to score from our defensive poor marking or by leaving their strikers unmarked in the box
3. Our midfield is very weak physically, not mobile enough & they also don't get forward to support Madine.
Cheers mate. I couldn't quite put my finger on why we keep losing. ;)
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:40 pm

Peter Thompson wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:15 pm
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:16 pm
I can't think of a team Parky can field that can avoid defeat. 2-0 to them.
I don't think that this team under Parkinson can avoid defeat - 3-0 to Ipswich

1. We don't create enough chances to score the goals required to win games at this level.
2. Our defence is poor, so Ipswich are sure to score from our defensive poor marking or by leaving their strikers unmarked in the box
3. Our midfield is very weak physically, not mobile enough & they also don't get forward to support Madine.
A mates lad, a regular supporter, went Tuesday. He put it simply. "We had unlucky goal scored against, we played well enough and just didn't/couldn't get the ball in the net. We lost 1-0. " ....and thereby, football is explained. It's goals that count.
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by LeverEnd » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:09 am

TANGODANCER wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:40 pm
Peter Thompson wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:15 pm
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:16 pm
I can't think of a team Parky can field that can avoid defeat. 2-0 to them.
I don't think that this team under Parkinson can avoid defeat - 3-0 to Ipswich

1. We don't create enough chances to score the goals required to win games at this level.
2. Our defence is poor, so Ipswich are sure to score from our defensive poor marking or by leaving their strikers unmarked in the box
3. Our midfield is very weak physically, not mobile enough & they also don't get forward to support Madine.
A mates lad, a regular supporter, went Tuesday. He put it simply. "We had unlucky goal scored against, we played well enough and just didn't/couldn't get the ball in the net. We lost 1-0. " ....and thereby, football is explained. It's goals that count.
They had the better chances, but the late one that hit the bar was because we were chasing. Last season we best them in a similar game where they were unlucky.
I've seen 3 games this season, 0-4, 0-3 and 0-1. I'm dripping for that elusive goalless draw.
Oh, but surely just for one day, we could fight and we could win
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible...

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:15 am

Injury update, via Marc Iles' BN pieces this morning:

• Reece Burke – expected to play despite minor neck injury
• Josh Cullen – expected to play despite minor toe injury
• Filipe Morais – fitness test, knee. Wasn’t supposed to play 60m midweek, PP hoping there’s no after-effects
• Andy Taylor – fitness test (“outside chance”), calf tear
• Sammy Ameobi – out, knee, expected back soon
• Derik – out, 4-6wks, groin
• Josh Vela – out, ankle, maybe 6wks
• Will Buckley – out, time unknown, hamstrings/back. subbed midweek, sent for a specialist scan

Apart from that we're tickety-boo.

PP on Buckley then Morais:
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/wa ... wich_Town/
It’s a tightening in his hamstring and whether it’s coming from his back, I don’t know. The physio, Matt Barrass, will look at it again but the last time they scanned it, the injury was minimal. He has obviously felt something in there in the first half of the Sheffield United game. It’s frustrating for us because Will had fresh legs and we wanted to put him into that team and use his incredible running power and energy, which he has shown in the games he’s been involved in.

Fil came on and did well. He wants to win, you can see that. There was a little bit of disappointment in his delivery from set pieces because we’d talked about Sheffield United having a 6ft 6ins goalkeeper who was going to come and claim everything. We wasted opportunities to put the ball into good areas from set pieces on occasion - something we’ve been good at in the past.

PP on belief:
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/wa ... f_Ipswich/
It's still very early in the season but I do believe we can turn this around quickly. It has been a very, very poor start – we can’t hide away from that. But I do believe the lads showed the right spirit against Sheffield United and we have got to keep that tenacity in our play against Ipswich on Saturday.

I thought that performance was right up there with when we beat Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup and if we can maintain those levels, I can’t ask any more. We can’t stand around and dwell on defeats. You have to get back into training, work as hard as you possibly can to prepare and then, just maybe, something will fall for us.

Everyone can see the injuries are biting hard into the squad but we mustn’t complain about it. Things aren’t going for us at the moment and there’s obviously a lot of hurt around. But the only way you get results in football is by working hard. Nothing gets given to you on a plate. We will keep going. Injuries don’t help the cause but that doesn’t stop us being organised and prepared for Ipswich. The win will come and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

PP on the poor start:
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/wa ... wich_Town/
It is a concern, without a shadow of a doubt. We’ve conceded a lot of soft goals, I think the intensity of our performances haven’t always been as high as it should have been. And that’s why we find ourselves in the position we’re in. I’m not going to keep going over the same issues – they are what they are. Teams around us have spent money but it doesn’t alter the fact we should be doing better than we are right now.

Elements have been against us but I felt the other night against Sheffield United that there was a change in our attitude and if we can take that on now into the Ipswich game, and even step it up a level, then that win isn’t far away. A lot of the lads are getting belief they can play at this level and they just have to keep going.

PP on Armstrong:
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/wa ... wich_Town/
He looked frustrated at times but he’s a young player and he’s just got to keep working hard and it’ll come. We have got a few young players learning with us and Adam really wants to score goals, you can see it in him. I think he will, he’s just got to keep going.

Finally, there's way too much to quote here but it's a good interview with Mark Little on a reunion with Mick McCarthy, who gave Little his debut 11 years ago:
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/wa ... mory_lane/

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:10 pm

I have to say, that although I generally take interest in football outside of BWFC, Ipswich are one of those teams that I never seem to notice. Just a quick look at their recent line ups, suggest they play 4-4-2? That is certainly how McCarthy has played at his previous clubs. Very old school, defenders defend, the central midfielders win it and give it to the wide players, who cross it for the strikers to score. None of this withdrawn striker, No 10, inverted winger mullarkey :) Maybe our Ipswich friend can confirm this?

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:22 pm

bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:10 pm
I have to say, that although I generally take interest in football outside of BWFC, Ipswich are one of those teams that I never seem to notice. Just a quick look at their recent line ups, suggest they play 4-4-2? That is certainly how McCarthy has played at his previous clubs. Very old school, defenders defend, the central midfielders win it and give it to the wide players, who cross it for the strikers to score. None of this withdrawn striker, No 10, inverted winger mullarkey :) Maybe our Ipswich friend can confirm this?
I'll ask a mate of mine who's just emailed, but it sounds right. Meaning that either 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1 (if played right) should be able to outnumber them in central midfield – our weakest area.

Personally I'd go 4-2-3-1 because I'd be worried about their wingers getting in behind our wingbacks, but I suspect PP's choice will depend on fitness and energy levels. He went 3-5-2 to match up with SUFC so will he go for a 4-2-3-1 (which is really a tweaked 4-4-2) to do similar?

BTW: Pay on the day, same prices (Adults £25, Over-65s £22, U23s £15, U19s £8).
https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2017/septem ... wich-town/

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:08 pm

View from an Ipswich fan, who also confirms they're playing 4-4-2.
Any lingering memories of my mob as a sweet-passing 'footballing' club disappeared as soon as Big Mick arrived into the manager's office, though we also - and almost immediately - ceased to be a soft touch.

Now into what I believe to be the final year of his contract, MM is going for broke this season, playing four up front, and sometimes attempting to simply out-score the opposition in the manner of Keegan-era Newcastle. This tends to obscure the fact that our back 4 (or 3. Or 5. Depending on what kind of mood Mick's in) often appears to resemble The Keystone Cops, with only Big Barto then keeping the score down.

A couple of years ago, our defence was tight as a drum, but Berra's disappearance back to Hearts (and who would rather live in Edinburgh than, er, Ipswich?...) and then injuries to Smith and Webster have seen kids thrown in too soon, together with MM's inevitable loanees, and grizzled old pros - more often than not ex-Wolves - playing out of position.

All in all, I doubt very much whether tomorrow will be a 0-0, and we really do need to win, in order to maintain any ongoing hope of a Top 6 finish.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:58 pm

Hmmm how do we combat an attack minded 4-4-2? I am really struggling.

We could match them up and do something like:

Alnwick; Little, Wheater, Burke/Beevers, Robinson; Noone, Cullen, Karacan, Morais; Armstrong, Madine.

Looks solid enough, although both full backs would be essentially converted wing backs, and the midfield looks a bit slow and one paced. Darby I guess could be a more defensive option at right back, although to me he has never looked capable at this level.

The squad that is available tomorrow looks better suited to 3-5-2.

Alnwick; Burke/Dervite, Wheater, Burke/Beevers; Little, Burke/Cullen, Karacan, Pratley/Morais/Noone, Robinson, Armstrong/ALF, Madine.

Could Burke play the holding role, with Dervite restored to the back three? Would this formation leave us exposed against an attack minded 4-4-2?

One thing to note is that they didn't play midweek, so they will be fully rested and at their most energetic. Can't see anything for us here, but we live in hope...

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:36 pm

If they're playing something like a 4-2-4, playing wingbacks (and a defensive midfielder) would end up with us fielding a back six. I'd go with a back four and, at least to start with, have our full-backs thinking primarily defensively, let the folks in front of them do the attacking: you wouldn't really want them bombing on and leaving us exposed against a side that has proven itself adept at making the most of few chances.

Trouble there is that Robinson and Little aren't as defensive-minded as traditional full-backs, but whether they should be replaced – assuming energy levels are equal with their alternatives after midweek – depends on whether Andrew Taylor is fit to play with his calf problem and Stephen Darby is fit to play in the second tier. I don't wish to castigate the Scouser but his displays thus far have hardly suggested excellence; in that case, maybe a long-distance trip like Ipswich is a reasonably "quiet" place to give him a game, although it's often the case that the fans who do make that length of trip usually feel sufficiently entitled, and frequently pissed-up, enough to make their feelings perfectly clear whether or not the afternoon's evidence fits their prejudice. Unless Little genuinely couldn't tackle a fish supper, I'd prefer to reward him (and have his forward forays as an option) than attempt to rehabilitate Darby.

Another option is Burke at right-back, but he might be needed at centre-back to give us more pace - which would allow us to play a
higher line, although Ipswich may not be playing much through midfield anyway. I wouldn't play him at defensive midfield because it's a very different position to centre-back, despite popular opinion perhaps more prevalent in our parish thanks to the successful redeployments of Campo and Hierro, who were both multiple Champions League-winners rather than wet-eared West Ham hopefuls. Personally I'd pair him with Wheater – harsh on Beevers perhaps but PP hasn't shirked the big decisions, including changing his formation, goalkeeper and captain. Nobody's bigger than the team.

The big question is not whether to play a back three or back four but the midfield five, and namely who the hell's in it. This will obviously depend on fitness but in a 4-2-3-1 I'd be wanting Morais on the right and Noone on the left: he'd prefer to cut in from the right, but that enormously nullifies Morais's wonderful split-second ability to steal a yard and cross it in right-footed. Basically, although Noone might be worse on the left than the right, Morais is *much* worse on the left than the right. I'll be intrigued to see how Sammy does on the left when he's back.

After that it's make do and mend for the central trio. Given the absences of Vela, Derik and Buckley (who seems to be PP's second-choice No.10 after Vela) it'll almost certainly be Cullen, Karacan and Pratley. None of them is a natural 10 – it's more likely to resemble an Allardyce-style 4-3-3/4-5-1 than a more modern 4-2-3-1 – but that might be OK if we can win the ball in midfield (outnumbering Ipswich's two with our three, or four with our five) and feed the wide men in the gaps behind the home wingers.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:08 pm

Yeah, it is another issue we have that we signed or re-signed four wide players in the summer, and all four are really right sided players based on their careers thus far, even if two of them are left footed. Obviously being paupers and under a restrictive embargo meant we had to grab what we could, but it has left us unbalanced in the wide positions when we play four at the back. I agree Morais, out of all them, needs to play on the right the most. His main attribute is making a yard of space and ripping in juicy crosses. At this level that is really his only effective attribute. So DSB I think you are advocating:

Alnwick
Little, Wheater, Burke, Robinson
Cullen, Karacan
Morais, Pratley, Noone
Madine

That definitely seems close to being the best we can offer. It could definitely be effective if we could have the very best of Pratley, where he gets into the box from time to time, and shows his non too shabby finishing abilities. Failing that it looks like a thankless task for the isolated Madine. I guess Armstrong and ALF are options from the bench in this regard.

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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:12 pm

The Ipswich fan's comment sounds very honest (and quite familiar to us in respect of midfield, although I think our defence needs some decent maintenance rather than replacing. We seem to be playing a game of two halves quite a lot lately and first half defence mode means we always end up chasing the ace after the opposition score. I still see/feel a lack of energy and urgency is a very noticable difference to most teams we play. They hassle any attack physically, whilst we run off players and try to block their passes, very afraid, no doubt of givinmg away free kicks in dangerous areas. Because the rules seem to have no permanence from one ref to the next, some of them seem to think Kev Davies is still playing and every time our front men (mainly Madine) challenge it's automatically a foul and a free kick the other way. Since the game became more physical there seem to be an awful lot of in juries around and not just with us.
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Harry Genshaw » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:19 pm

We'll weather the storm and nick it with a Morais free kick. 1-0 win :oyea:
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by Bruce Rioja » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:58 am

Mick Mac's side eh?! So they'll have massive CB's and we're shit up top anyway. So nil to us is inevitable. Their centre forwards will be massive as well and will bully our lot at the back. 2-0 to the Tractor Boys.
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Re: Turning the tide? Orwell adrift? Ipswich (A) 16/9/17 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:46 pm

Hoping it'll help turn the tide, I'll get in an early COME ON YOU WHITES.....
..and a prediction of a surprise win. :oyea: :oyea:
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