‘If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he’d have put grass up there.’
The memorable words from the great Brain Clough, referring to the importance of playing football on the ground, could easily be adapted for the Blues current number one problem.
If ‘Ol’ Big Head’ had been watching us of late he would have surely had a thing to say about there being grass on our wings for a very good reason.
It is no coincidence that after we tried in vain to dig ourselves out of another hole at home to bottom side Doncaster Rovers on Saturday both our consolation goals came from crosses from wide men – but it was too little too late.
Why Paul Jewell didn’t start Josh Carson, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas or Lee Martin instead of Colin Healy I, and the rest of the Ipswich faithful, will never know. But one thing is for certain – it sure didn’t work.
You had to feel sorry for Healy’s short cameo, as he was effectively made the scapegoat for the now hazardous diamond midfield exploited by the opposition over the last four matches.
Injuries and off-the-field issues, which saw both Carlos Edwards and Jason Scotland left out of Saturday’s miserable 3-2 defeat have not helped.
But Jewell said at the end of last season he favoured a 4-4-2 set-up, so I can’t understand why he isn’t confident enough to employ it from the start, rather than messing about trying to adapt during games.
Three defeats on the trot and our ‘winning formula’ has vanished into thin air, so hopefully the international break will be spent working on something new on the training pitch to rediscover it.
Five points off the play-offs is far from disastrous at this stage of the season, but we’re now on the brink of sliding closer to the opposite end of the table if results don’t quickly recover.
Finally this week, the tribute paid to grieving father Billy Sharp when he scored his goal on Saturday was a credit to the Ipswich supporters and a real lump-in-the-throat moment. We all hope he ends up playing in front of us more often but it was a great gesture which reminded me of one of my favourite Town games, the Sheffield United comeback after Dale Roberts sadly passed away. Maybe Jewell should show that second half to his players over the next week, as if we played with that spirit we’d soon fly up the table again.