Ipswich Town Squad and Starting XI for 2020/21

Discussion in 'Ipswich Town' started by Nuggets, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. Nuggets

    Nuggets Well-Known Member

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    If you told me that our season was going to be scrapped on the 7th March, following our 1-0 home defeat to Coventry City, I would have been grateful. We were coming off four consecutive losses and a record of one win in the last nine games. A paltry four points from an available 27. If we had turned a few of those defeats into victories, we could have been playing play off football a week or so ago. Filling the football hole with a number of Premier League matches - played against an eerie backdrop of piped-in sounds and numerous substitutions more befitting of a pre-season friendly – has not been the same. However, I have admittedly missed watching our Town. Or should that be missing the wider match-day experience of speculation around starting line-ups, beers in cramped pubs, and debates on here around our most recent capitulation?

    Needless to say, I hope that lockdown has treated us all well and that we’re all healthy and still (for us - relatively) sane. Over the last few months, we’ve been treated to a drip feed news cycle of cautious words from figures at the club regarding the club’s future and an unnecessarily protracted solution to refunding loyal season ticket holders’ money. With the squad numbers released lately, Wycombe promoted, and players apparently preparing to go back into training ahead of a proposed League One restart date in late August, early September, I thought it’s high time to get back to doing what we do best on here – arguing amongst ourselves about our football club. With the wage bill being pruned and speculation around who will stay and who will go, how does our squad currently look on paper? How confident are you of us getting promoted next season, in a campaign where we might not be able to attend games for a majority of the season? Here’s my view on the squad’s strength, as of now:

    Goalkeepers

    Following the end of the erratic Will Norris’ loan spell at the club, the goalkeeper position looks like Tomas Holy’s to lose. Holy was arguably the biggest victim of Paul Lambert’s decision to chop and change the starting line-up week after week. Showing glimpses of promise and a decent shot-stopping ability, Holy might be able to make the position his own this season. He does have Richard Wright’s son, Harry Wright, as the designated deputy. Holy appears competent and solid at this level, but with Northampton Town’s David Cornell linked with the club (again) following his decision not to renew his contract with promoted Northampton, could we see a more dependable goalkeeper between the posts ahead of the new campaign?

    Defence

    The defensive positions have the starkest contrast between our strengths and weaknesses – half good, half bad. In Luke Wolfenden (who recently signed a new contract) and Kane Vincent-Young, we arguably have one of the most talented centre-backs in the division and a right-back who impressed during his spell in the first team - before his injury coincided with our slump in form. These two players will be key to any success and progress we make next season. Unfortunately, with Luke Garbutt departing, we are short of options and quality at left-back. Myles Kenlock – who has struggled over the past two seasons - looks pencilled in as the current first team starter. Tristan Nydam, who has failed to push on from his initial breakthrough under Mick McCarthy, looks set to be our deputy left-back. Bailey Clements may also feature. The choices for our second centre-back position are made up of players who all put in indifferent performances last season, before their form plummeted. Give a warm round of applause for slow James Wilson, the slower Luke Chambers, and the downright unreliable Toto Nsiala. Recruitment for a new starting left back and centre back will be key decisions that the club needs to get right.

    Midfield

    I presume Lambert will want to set us up in a 4-3-3 formation and, on first glance, his options in centre midfield appear plentiful and strong. Flynn Downes will most likely be sold at some point this summer, but he remains the best player in our squad and will be crucial for a promotion push next season, if he stays. Other central midfield options include long-time servant Cole Skuse (rewarded with a one year, plus additional year contract, despite his declining influence), the sedate Jon Nolan, injury prone Emyr Huws, and the frustrating talent of Andre Dozzell. For attacking midfield options, we have the exciting talent of Teddy Bishop (if he can stay fit), Alan Judge – who failed to consistently impress last season – and the emerging, yet untested, Idris El Mizouni. While strong on paper, the goal threat from these players makes for some concerning reading. Between them, there are 590 league appearances, but only 19 goals. A potential replacement for Downes, in a box-to-box midfield role – or somebody with a better goal threat – will be another decision the club will have to make, unless Lambert believes he can make do with what he’s got.

    Attack

    Whether we go for a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2, whatever the formation, all promotion-achieving clubs rely upon a strong stable of goalscorers. We have some quality and youthful players with strong potential in the wings. Gwion Edwards, Jack Lankester, and Armando Dobra are a trio of players that can hopefully push on next season. Edwards, a stand-out talent at League One level a couple of years ago with Peterborough, can hopefully recapture that form for us, which we’ve only really witnessed in sporadic glimpses last season. Lankester, a player who impressed in our relegation campaign from the Championship, missed out on the trials and tribulations last season and can hopefully serve as a new signing. Dobra is also a player who may develop into a first team regular. We also have Freddie Sears as a potential wide option, although he frequently struggled in the role during our Championship years – with a bit of luck, a fresh pre-season and a lower calibre of opposition will rekindle some of his exciting attacking form from four or five years ago. Sears, however, remains a player arguably too tied into the McCarthy years and has possibly ‘overstayed’ his Ipswich years, similar to Chambers and Skuse. In the centre forward position, Kayden Jackson had a good season and should be able to score more goals in the new season. His pace is an undeniable asset, but elements of his game – such as holding the ball up – still requires a lot of work. James Norwood is something of a cult figure among the fanbase, but he also needs to show that he can be a reliable goalscorer this season and hopefully overcome the fitness and form issues that plagued his promising start.

    Formation

    My starting eleven from this current squad would look something like this:

    GK:Holy
    RB: KVY
    CB: Wilson
    CB: Wolfenden
    LB: Kenlock
    CM: Downes
    CM: Huws
    AM: Bishop
    RW: Lankester
    LW: Edwards
    ST: Jackson

    What do you guys think? And where do we need strengthening this summer?
     
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  2. YorkieLancsHampyLondoner

    YorkieLancsHampyLondoner Well-Known Member

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    One name not mentioned and a player I have fancied for a couple of years albeit plagued with injury - Ben Morris. But his squad number has been rescinded so read into that what you will.

    We could be given a boost by players coming back from injury, and the break may have shaken off the general malaise so we may be surprised at weaker players gaining a new perspective and motivation and other favoured ones dropping off.

    It feels like it could be a moment to promote Harry Wright.

    It won’t happen - and the financial excuse is going to be wheeled out - but I would be looking to sign a talisman attacking midfielder and 30-goal deadly striker.

    The likes of Chambers, Bishop, Judge and to a lesser extent Jackson and Norwood - unless Lambert has seen anything in training I’d say these players failed to take their opportunity and are making up numbers.
     
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  3. Bigalreigned

    Bigalreigned Well-Known Member

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    I thought we looked best with Skuse alongside Downes (much as I hate to say it).I still think we need to get more out of Dozzell or has all the hype about him been hot air?

    Can’t argue with too much of your starting 11 otherwise Nuggets.

    All the best to all on here,I think it’s going to be a long haul both for Town to get out of this Division and the whole world getting over this dreadful virus.
     
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  4. Redruth

    Redruth Active Member

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    watched a bit of the game last night, pretty dire.For me the only game that took my interest was the Saints V City. all the others seem to be pointless friendlies.The prem league chasing the money & hopefully killing the mad spending, Ozil on £ 100000 per month !!!
    what I am trying to say if there are no crowds allowed back in until next year at the earliest, what is the point of starting the league ?

    hope every one is safe & well & not as miserable as me <wah>
     
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  5. YorkieLancsHampyLondoner

    YorkieLancsHampyLondoner Well-Known Member

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    I’m doing alright. Have got fitter and healthier.

    This thread and having seen David McGoldrick in action the other night - and Sheffield Wednesday loaded with ex-Town players a few days ago - and Kieffer Moore netting a brace for Wigan - and Wycombe getting promoted on a shoestring - has got me thinking, does the playing staff really make any difference.

    and you’re right. If we couldn’t finish last season on the basis of gate receipts and testing costs, how can there be a 2020/21 League one season?
     
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  6. Nuggets

    Nuggets Well-Known Member

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    Interesting comment on the playing staff, Hampy. It's a debate that we've all had down the years. Ultimately, my thinking on it, is that at League One level it's much more about marginal gains compared to the Championship. I don't think the ability of an average player at a club like Coventry City - who topped the league this season, finished 8th the season before, and were in League Two the season before that - differs that greatly to a club like a Southend (23rd) or a Lincoln City (16th).

    I think with the squad we have, which mainly consists of players with a lot of experience in the division above, we should be able to get promoted under a competent manager. I think if you took out players like Downes and Wolfenden, then that objective becomes much harder - but it's still not impossible. I don't think the club is well run, which puts us on the back foot already compared to clubs that finished above us - like Coventry, Wycombe, Oxford, and Fleetwood - where, strategically speaking, they're a lot more joined up and ambitious despite the comparative lack of resources.

    Lambert's main issue last season was his inability to pick a settled side and his failure to imprint a consistent style of play and philosophy on the pitch. Towards the end of the season, players looked unsure of what their responsibilities were and the tendency was to play a more cautious, inhibited style of football. Lambert's main task will be to pick a settled eleven, expand on a gameplan beyond 'kick it long to the two strikers', and get the confidence and positivity back among the players. Ignore the fans, if he gets the above correct and we're winning games - then the fans and the positivity will return.
     
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  7. YorkieLancsHampyLondoner

    YorkieLancsHampyLondoner Well-Known Member

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    You’re right nuggets that now is probably not a good time for anybody to come in for their careers. But for the future of the club I think we need someone to come in and spark a change on the pitch.

    There has been a positive change at the club since McCarthy left on the terraces and from a PR perspective.

    Evans is going to continue to hinder us on the pitch but even with limited resources those marginal gains you talk about should be enough to see us back in the Championship.

    I don’t blame him for one moment but I am not confident of Lambert’s ability to get us on an upward trend and it is only going to get more difficult the more seasons go by that we sleepwalk gradually down the league system.

    I think it was the postponements at international breaks that cost us last season and that was a lack of ambition, energy and faith in his squad on Lambert’s part. A lack of leadership and passion for all the football knowledge the man clearly has in abundance.
     
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  8. YorkieLancsHampyLondoner

    YorkieLancsHampyLondoner Well-Known Member

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    Oops wrong thread... this was mainly in response to the other thread - I got a notification of a new post and ended up here instead. The two threads actually have very similar themes.
     
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  9. Westlake33

    Westlake33 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'll comment on this thread too - Kenlock is absolute gash. Pub league player. Absolute pony. Better required.
     
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  10. Redruth

    Redruth Active Member

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    Come on Westy, do you like him or not ??
     
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