Barnsley away was always going to be a tough fixture considering the Yorkshire side were in decent form and whilst the result may be acceptable for Ipswich, the performance was not.
The fact that Barnsley managed to have 66% of the possession suggests that Ipswich were lucky to take a point from the game.
Everyone will now be thinking; what is Paul Jewell’s plan to turn this around?
He still has the opportunity to bring players in either on loan or as free transfers and it sounds like he is planning on making at least one more addition before January.
However, loan signings usually only offer a short-term fix and don’t really benefit the team in the long-term. Ipswich have secured useful loan signings in the past like Giovanni Dos Santos, Keith Andrews and Jimmy Bullard but none of these players helped the club in the long-term. Jewell may be able to secure some experienced players on loan but it won’t solve the bigger problems at Ipswich.
One or two players coming in on free transfers could liven things up but it is so difficult to find the right players. Players without clubs at this stage in the season are usually without clubs for a reason.
Defender Abdoulaye Méïté had spent a week on trial at the club and he is a prime example of a player who is without a club for good reason. Méïté is obviously a player who would be capable at Championship level but you have to question his motives. If he just wanted to play as much football as he could then he could have found a club by now. The reason why he hasn’t signed for anyone yet is probably because his wage demands are too high and with the financial fair play rules coming in nobody is prepared to offer him the contract he wants.
No doubt eventually a club like Ipswich will become desperate for a defender and they will cave in to Méïté’s wage demands, only to find out later that the player doesn’t really care which will result in him never living up to the hype.
Given that Jewell will struggle to find a good loan or free transfer, what can he do? He can’t properly buy players until January and there is only so much that he can do on the training pitch to improve what hes got.
The obvious answer is that he needs to have a rethink about his tactics. The current approach Jewell is taking obviously isn’t working and he has to change something fast or he won’t have a job. Marcus Evans is a patient owner but also an ambitious one and it is likely that he will give Jewell a month or two at most to turn things around.
Jewell must be fully aware of how long he has got and it wouldn’t surprise me if his thought processes were very similar to what has been said in this post.
Jewell could keep things as they are tactically and hope that all of his key players hit form to pull the team out of the position they are currently in but he will know that this is unlikely. That only leaves Jewell with one option which is to try something new tactically. As things stand it looks like he will be sacked soon so he doesn’t have anything to lose, he might as well roll the dice and hope for the best.
Jewell’s next game will be Tuesday night away at Brighton and it will be an even tougher game than away at Barnsley but hopefully we will see the start of something new for Ipswich.