Wednesday, 25 January 2012

No excuses for the Blues self-destruction at Elland Road

If Paul Jewell were to be sacked today, I really don't think I'd feel any sorrow.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not starting any protests to demand he be removed from my club. (As I've long been saying - changing managers on a regular basis is not going to get us anywhere.) But I am rapidly losing patience with him.

It's performances like that at Elland Road on Saturday that cause the uncertainties for me: a first half good enough to show a decent side developing. But a second half so poor you feel relegation is all we deserve.

I really enjoyed watching the first half: I tweeted in the break that, though it wasn't quite what I'd call 'a good game', I thought we were well on top of Leeds and controlling the game.

We genuinely looked like a good attacking side, with Lee Martin being instrumental to most - if not all - of our chances on goal.

Though on the face of it Drury's goal was certainly helped along by a little bit of luck, going on the run of play at the time it was more than deserved. And had JET's thunder shot found the back of the net instead of rattling the bar, I feel we might have gone on to win all 3 points.

But, despite the good impressions the Blues made in the first 45 minutes, there was a distinct lack of optimism in the bar at half time (the only part of the away section, by the way, that looked like it belonged in this decade and not the 80's). Though the Blue Army were more than happy with what they'd seen in the first half, there was a definite sense of dread for what would happen in the second.

Of course, as is Town's way at the moment, they more than lived up to those expectations. Once again, it seemed like a different team turned out from the tunnel.

Lee Martin suddenly became invisible (and I don't just mean because we had a TV gantry blocking our view of anything on the right hand side of the pitch). Having been so influential in the early part of the game, it seemed impossible that he had no part in the latter stages of the game.

But, my friend Matt pointed out to me that Martin was now adopting a 'zonal marking' style of play and that restricted the affect he had on the game massively. Presumably Jewell's decision was to use Martin to try and stop us conceding any goals: a big mistake and I felt this was the biggest influence on the turnaround in the result.

Besides the sending off.

With regards to that, I think it's harsh to blame McCarthy entirely. To me it was an instinctive reaction and a silly mistake - which he realised straight away. He came off his line far too soon, but he tried to recocver and suddenly it became a choice between handling the ball outside the area and being sent off, or allowing Leeds to score.

Perhaps rather than publicly slating the youngster we could say: 'everybody makes mistakes mate, thank you for taking the red card'. For let's not forget, had he not handled the ball it would have certainly been a goal, but the resulting free kick was sent over the bar.

From the moment Alex was sent off though, the sense of impending doom became stronger and stronger. Ipswich Town had hit the self destruct button, again, and all we could do was watch.

Of course the second most significant part of the game was Sonko's... what can I call it without being mean? Sonko's mistake.

With a bit of perspective, I can now say I genuinely feel for the defender. He was clearly devastated that he'd made that mistake. But, that doesn't get us our three points back.

After the game, another friend, Sam, said 'in all my years of supporting Ipswich, I've not seen anything as dire as that'. I thought that summed the game up perfectly!

It's the school-boy errors that are wearing me down now, the back four are making the most simple of mistakes and I'm fed up of it. I've lost count of how many times I said on Saturday 'it was a rule I learnt in my first training session when I played'.

NEVER pass across goal; if in doubt boot, it out; talk to each other and mark your man. Why has none of this been followed in The Blues side in recent games? For me this is where Paul Jewell is truly failing the most. If he cannot even get the players performing basic football, how can we expect him to build a side worthy of Premiership football?

Jewell in, Jewell out. He can shake it all about for all I care at the moment.

For all my hoping that he was the man to sort us out and get us back to the Premier League- I'm just not sure what I think any more.

Following the catalogue of errors that were once again on display this weekenbd, he's on strike one for me. 2 more and I'm joining the Jewell Out camp permanently.

1 comment:

Matt Stannard said...

Great blog Amy.

The highlights for me, "We Want our Trevor Back" and "You're sat on the Naughty Step".

I would like Jewell to invite fans to a training session. Why? I would like to see whether he tells the players the basics and they just don't listen, or in fact whether these key issues aren't even discussed. To me that would put to bed whether I am behind him or not. If the players just don't listen then discipline is needed!

The key change to me was the wind. At half time Leeds had this behind them. The long ball caused all three goals. The wind helped and we didn't learn after the red card. Both keepers kept trying to clear the half way line and couldn't. Edwards or Cresswell could easily have come short, far more effective, again did the manager ask for this? I don't know!!