I was fortunate (or as it turned out unfortunate) enough to make it to Leicester on Saturday to see my beloved Ipswich Town play the Foxes at the King Power Stadium.
Of course it would have been naive of me to expect a victory; even a draw was always going to be difficult to achieve and I am sure that many of the Ipswich faithful came to the game with the same attitude. I did not expect the team to get anything out of the game but I did want to see something positive to take from the game.
I said before the game; if we lose 2-0 but the younger players look like they are making progress or if our new right back impresses then in ways I will be able to go home satisfied.
However, as I am sure you can imagine there are very little positives you can take from a 6-0 thrashing.
Obviously it would be unfair to blame the result on a few players as the whole team were to blame, but I will name a few that were significantly worse than any others.
If I remember correctly Stephen Henderson did not make a single save in the entire game and never looked like he had any command over his defenders. It would not surprise me at all if McCarthy put Scott Loach back in goal when he has recovered from injury. After all, Loach was dropped after having one or two bad games and after seeing Henderson’s performance Loach can’t be any worse than that. We may as well give game time to our own goalkeeper rather than someone else’s.
It pains me to say it but Bradley Orr had possibly the worst Ipswich debut of all time.
I would be impressed if someone can remember a player having a worse start. He was completely destroyed by Lloyd Dyer throughout the whole game and looked completely out of his depth. Although, it has to be said that Dyer is a decent player and Orr was always going to take a while to blend into the team, so hopefully he will improve in future games.
Something people may not have picked up on was that Lee Martin was heavily to blame for the second goal. He failed to track back and give Cresswell the support he needed when defending a Leicester attack. This left Cresswell with too many men to mark which consequently meant the Leicester winger had a ridiculous amount of time and space to swing a cross into the box. We all know that on his day Martin is fantastic going forward but the fact that he often fails to support his defenders lets him down massively.
Luke Hyam was very solid when he came on. At this point in the game Leicester had already won and were obviously conserving their energy for their next game but it is still worth mentioning Hyam’s performance. I don’t rate him as highly as some, purely because some of our fans go over the top and hype up our younger players to be the next Messi, but he certainly has some talent. Whilst he did not do anything special he did all of the simple things right which was more than anyone else could do. To top it off he never stopped running and closing men down even at 6-0.
Finally, I wanted to end on a positive and say a good word about Luke Chambers.
At the end of the game the Ipswich fans were clearly not happy and you could tell many of the players were anxious about getting close to the away end. Most of the Tractor Boys players applauded the away fans from the half way line; probably doing so because there were worried about getting booed or maybe they just could not be bothered to make the journey across the pitch.
Chambers on the other hand jogged all the way over knowing full well that he could have abuse hurled at him after putting in a poor performance.
For me this meant a lot.
Chambers knew that he had a bad game so it would have been easy to give the fans a few distant claps and then run off to the dressing room. However he faced up to the fact that he had a bad game and accepted that whatever the fans do the least they deserve is credit for making the trip and getting behind the team. Fortunately everyone respected the centre back’s effort, applauded him and even chanted his name. It was a pleasing end to a terrible day in Ipswich Town history.