In recent seasons it has become common to see Ipswich spend a lot of time in the relegation zone before they pull themselves together and drag themselves to safety in the second half of the season.
This has happened under both Roy Keane and Paul Jewell but judging from the small amount of football that has been played, they won’t have that problem this year.
It is very difficult to make a good assessment of the team after only two games and we will know a lot more about the side 5 or 10 games in but the early signs are relatively positive. A convincing win over Bristol Rovers may not be much to shout about but you can only beat what is in front of you and Ipswich did exactly that. The main positive to take from the cup game is that the side did a professional job and had the right attitude.
In the past Ipswich have struggled in the League Cup as most of the players failed to find the necessary motivation when up against lower league sides. It is likely that the current Ipswich team show more commitment in every game as they aren’t just at the club for the money.
Moving on to the Blackburn game there are many positives to take from the game as well as a few negatives. Neither side looked overly impressive but Ipswich were the better out of the two teams. Blackburn have some pretty big names for The Championship and the average age of Ipswich side was only 23.5 years old.
It was impressive to see such a young side better Blackburn despite the fact that neither team were at their best. On the other hand a lot of fans will be unhappy with the manner in which Ipswich conceded the goal which ultimately cost them a win.
Conceding from a set piece is something that will frustrate Paul Jewell too as it was a problem in pre-season that he obviously hasn’t managed to iron out. The Ipswich team are perhaps a little on the short side in comparison to other Championship sides so may be a little vulnerable from set pieces but personally I felt like it wasn’t a terrible goal to concede.
Morton Gamst Pedersen provided a good ball, Scott Dann made a good jump/header and Kazim-Richards did what all good strikers do by making sure he was in the right place at the right time. I don’t think you will find many better crossers in the division than Pedersen; in the same sense that there aren’t many players better at winning a header than Dann and Kazim-Richards is a great poacher, so it was a decent goal.
It has to be said that Carlos Edwards was caught slightly out and lost his man but it is a forgivable slip up as long as it doesn’t keep happening throughout the season.
Overall the game had more positives than negatives for Ipswich despite the fact that Steve Kean thought his team “controlled the game for the first hour.” I am not really sure which game Kean was watching as his post-match comments are possibly even more ridiculous than some of the comments coming from the Blackburn owners. There’s a lot of pressure on Steve Kean and he was probably making his comments in the hope that the owners hadn’t watched the game as they were too busy thinking about how stupid they were for sacking Sam Allardyce.
Regardless, Ipswich have provided 2 solid performances in the opening games and hopefully there will be more to follow.