Ipswich’s season was effectively ended on Saturday afternoon when they were beaten by a superior side in Burnley live on Sky.
Every manager wants to emulate what Sean Dyche has done at the Lancashire club, but how exactly can Ipswich transform themselves into a top side?
First of all it is important to consider the fact that the Tractor Boys will be finishing just outside the play-offs and have had a great season considering their financial constraints. Mick McCarthy is a manager that likes to build from the back and Ipswich have a solid back four at the moment that are probably good enough for next season.
The centre back partnership of Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith has been one of the main positives this season. Smith is also a player that is only getting better and Berra looks like he is in his prime right now.
We don’t know what the future holds of Aaron Cresswell after rumours that Premier League teams want him, but Tyrone Mings looks like a solid replacement if he is needed. It would be nice to see a more natural right back than Chambers but you can’t fault the former Nottingham Forest defender’s performances this season.
In midfield there are two solid defensive minded players in Luke Hyam and Cole Skuse, neither will do anything spectacular but they both do a job that is necessary. Further foward the strike partnership of Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick looks good enough but the key area that needs improving is in-between the defensive midfielders and the strikers.
The likes of Paul Anderson, Jay Tabb, Stephen Hunt, Anthony Wordsworth, Paul Taylor and Frank Nouble are decent squad players but aren’t the type of players that will consistently threaten and create chances.
You could argue that the jury is still out on Wordsworth and Taylor but the truth is if they were training/playing well consistently then they would have featured more this season.
McCarthy has been given no money to spend at Ipswich and unfortunately you need money to buy creative offensive players. You can fill almost every other role with average championship players, make sure they have the right attitude/mentality and under a manager like McCarthy they will grind out results. However whilst this type of player won’t make mistakes and work hard they won’t offer much apart from that.
That is the main difference between Ipswich and a side like Burnley. Neither team are overly technically gifted and rely heavily on hard working players but the Clarets have quality players just behind their strikers like Junior Stanislas and Michael Kightly. Having that extra piece of creative quality makes such a huge difference to a team and that is the type of player that McCarthy will be eyeing up over the summer.
The Suffolk side could also do with signing another central midfielder to replace Hyam when he is out of form and a natural right back would be a solid addition to the squad. However big changes are not needed; just a bit of extra quality in the right area would be enough to turn Ipswich into a Burnley.