Suffolking improvement?

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Kernow Yellow
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Suffolking improvement?

Post by Kernow Yellow » Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:03 am

To quote the mighty Half Man Half Biscuit:

Oh let me gaze upon your curves
Instead of Ipswich Town reserves


Frankly watching paint dry would have been more interesting than last night's 'contest'. At least we got to see Jack Stevens in action - he must have had more possession than anyone else on the pitch. At one point we had the ball on the edge of the visitors' six yard box, and still went all the way back to Stevens via the left wing. FROM THE SIX YARD BOX!! I understand the desire to keep possession and grow confidence levels after Saturday, but some of those triangles between Stevens, Moore and Atkinson were painful to watch. Especially since it almost always resulted in a hopeful chip up the line from a fullback, or a long hoof from Stevens. Our passing is so ponderous and predictable. Key players were largely anonymous again, and the midfield tired badly. What's up with Anthony Forde? Surprised he hasn't been used at all in the last two games after his bright start to the season.

Oh well, it was reminiscent of similar displays after bad periods, which ended up laying the foundations for an improvement. So let's hope that happens again.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:13 pm

Well if we're lobbing around HMHB quotes, I welcome the result because it's a positive step towards making us mathematically safe...

It reminded me of a dreadful 0-0 draw we had at Southend back in October 2018. I had the misfortune to attend, and it was an awful spectacle - but it came after a terrible losing run and signaled the start of a change in fortunes because we kept a clean sheet and got a point. Sometimes that's all you need to give you a platform on which to build, and frankly after the pathetic display against That Lot on Saturday it's a welcome result.

Now we need to build on it on Saturday with a positive crowd to get behind Us.

Dr Bob
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by Dr Bob » Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:34 pm

There was one brief moment in the first half, after yet another ponderous and ineffectual move, when we suddenly played a few slick passes and cut through them with ease. It certainly jolted me awake...for all of 30 seconds. What was so amazing was the way it highlighted how lethargic our play had been up to that point...and sadly went back to being straight after. The number of times our players got the ball, only to pass backwards, was ridiculous. I shudder to think how many times we kept possession only by going from around their box all the way back to Jack. At least, given his sweeper-keeper style, at times this was not actually right back to our penalty box, but even so...

Ipswich did not have a shot on target until approaching the 90th minute. On Saturday we are home to the league leaders. Looking at the last-6-game current form table, Hull are third, whilst Ipswich are several places below us. It that was to be a turning point, something will really have to change on Saturday.

A clean sheet was great, but Hull will be such a different proposition. I liked how Jack was talking to the defenders. His kicking was poor at times last night, but in other games I have seen him kick very well and effectively. Overall it was not the toughest test to judge him and the back line by.

I also struggled to see where and how goalscoring chances could come from. I have never been the best at reading formations and patterns of play, but I could see nothing in terms of a structure to play that suggested we had a clear plan about how to get the ball, and supporting players, up to Taylor. But I guess that this, in part, also comes back to lethargic play, giving the opposition more than enough time to get behind the ball, press players, and snuff out any chance of an Oxford attack.

Here's hoping the clean sheet gave everyone a little boost, before Hull come to town. One of the most embarrassing things I have ever witnessed was at Boothferry Park in a match just before Christmas many years ago, with the local vicar trying to lead the crowd in carol singing over the tannoy. Here's hoping everyone is spared anything like that this time.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by OtmoorYellow » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:09 pm

I think there's some unnecessary negs going on here.

OK, so we didn't thrash one of the biggest clubs in the division, but TBH we have no automatic right to do so.

Taking the positives, defensively we were much improved. After a string of mediocre performances at best, we finally kept a clean sheet. And realistically we never looked like conceding.

For me Stevens did OK, and was better than recent Eastie performances. A couple of kicks went astray, but apart from that he was solid, vocalising to the back line and a more positive keeper than Eastie, in that he was prepared to venture outside his 6 yard box, as well as actually go for crosses (something Eastie hasn't done regularly since his shoulder injury).

When one of the back line went forward, Gorrin dropped back to provide cover. I never saw us with less than 3 left at the back. The lack of back cover has been a big factor in previous goals conceded on the counter.

Most of the players looked a little more confident, but I can't put my finger on why they are all tiring so early in the matches. Lasting the full 90 minutes used to be one of our big threats.

If we can keep the tight back line, the next aspect to focus on is getting a better final ball into the front men in the box. We create quite a few chances, but often the final ball isn't accurate enough, or clever enough to turn the defenders, or quite the right depth for back post headers. It's almost as if the wide players are just crossing to an area in hope rather than crossing direct to a man.

Whilst the passing isn't as slick as we've been used to in recent years, that comes with confidence to make a higher risk pass, rather than take the easy route backwards. We had plenty of off the ball movement (as far as could be told in the relatively small window provided by the TV screen), so we need to persuade players that they are capable of making that incisive pass.

Bizarre though it may seem, I don't think the performance against Ipswich was as far off a good show as some on here will have you believe.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by Kernow Yellow » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:20 pm

Hmm. Ipswich may be 'one of the biggest clubs in the division', but they apparently had 12 first team players out injured (how does that even work when squads are 22 players?) and are below Us in the current form table. We were definitely not playing one of the league's strongest teams. Besides, since Covid and the resulting wage cap has somewhat levelled the playing field, I don't think there are too many teams in this league we shouldn't be looking to beat at home.

I don't have an issue with the result so much as the performance and spectacle - it was two teams desperately low on confidence trying their hardest not to lose. The fact that we at least succeeded in doing that is to be welcomed. But a good showing from OUFC? Not for me. We looked a hundred times better only one week previously at Fratton Park.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by Kernow Yellow » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:43 pm

Thought it might be worth dragging up this thread for today’s return match at Portman Road, to see how far we’ve come in the interim. The matches were startlingly similar, albeit today’s more nerve-racking than snooze-inducing. What a terrible football match though! Ipswich constantly giving Us the ball, and Us not knowing what to do with it. I really don’t understand why we don’t try to pass the ball forwards quickly more often, as we look so dangerous when we do that. Instead our midfielders’ first instinct is almost always to look backwards, and in that instant the chance to catch opponents off-guard is gone.

What alarmed me most was the number of times two of our players went for the same ball, often then leaving it for the other almost immediately afterwards. How Ipswich failed to capitalise at the start of the second half is a mystery. It was noticeable that, for the third game in a row, we tightened up and looked a little sharper after Gorrin was withdrawn. Coincidence?

Taylor understandably looked forlorn having long balls banged up to him with no-one getting forward to support, but he really has to take the kind of chance that Sykes presented him with. Following Tuesday’s penalty miss, his form has to start being of concern.

Oh well, we got the draw we seemed to be playing for. Which is no bad result at all. Onwards to Pompey, who we really raised our game against last time. A repeat performance would be very welcome, as I have not been particularly impressed with our last four showings...

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by OtmoorYellow » Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:42 pm

Not remotely concerned about MT’s performance. I would be more concerned if he wasn’t getting into positions to score.

Dull game, with both sides pressing opponents into making mistakes, and so relatively few chances to score, and little flowing play.

Slightly concerned that Gorrin is not learning to play hard without consistent fouling. He is a red card waiting to happen.

I would have taken a point from Portman Road before the game, so no complaints about the result.

Dr Bob
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Re: Suffolking improvement?

Post by Dr Bob » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:53 pm

Dull performance, dull game, but a point that keeps us in the mix. Digging up the question of the run of victories being against teams outside of the top-however-many-you-choose-to-make-your-point, the only way that run would continue against the best teams in the division would be if we were way ahead of them as well. We are not. We are probably as good as them, but not so much better that the steamroller would continue. And so our upward mobility has slowed.

But we are now in a run of games mostly against teams roughly as good as us. In such circumstances, playing poorly away from home, against a team only one win away from us in the table, and still getting a point, is OK. Given some of their misses we got lucky, but even the best teams need that from time to time. Take it and move on...

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