There is no getting away from it. The writing has been on the wall for sometime and after last night’s performance, we now surely realise he has to go. Who am I talking about? None other than want away midfielder Flynn Downes.
Transfer talk is unsettling not just to the player involved but also for the football club. A squad has to sing from the same hymn book and this season this is exactly what manager Paul Lambert has been striving for. To achieve this we need continuity and a sense of collective purpose and with no distractions. It is obvious that after a decade here Downes wants the chance to prove his worth at a Premier club. The chances of it happening here any time soon are exceedingly small. I totally get this but the longer Ipswich holds out for a better deal the more disruption it will be internally, and now we hear rumours that Kayden Jackson is wanted by Bournemouth. If this is indeed the case, it will further exacerbate the current situation, and if he wants to leave let him.
Unhappy players rarely give it their best shot anymore – unless of course, it is to encourage another club with a bit of extra financial clout to come in with an improved offer. There is a much greater risk that like a bad apple, this disenfranchisement spreads throughout the pack, and we end up with more player discontent as the rot sets in, and we walk blindly into a profound state of somnambulism.
Last night at Portman Road, what we missed most of all was a cutting edge. Yes, we hit the bar and posts twice and had a shot cleared off the line but we were not clinical enough. Arsenal’s first serious attempt at goal was the equaliser just before half time, but we should have been comfortably ahead by then if we had not been so profligate. We controlled possession for large chunks of the first half and looked to be coasting until they scored. One goal is never enough and I hope that these players learn something from it and quick!
Although Lambert made only two changes initially from the side that thumped Bristol Rovers, it was the young-guns who impressed the most. Andre Dozzell engineered some delightful passing moves and at the back, Luke Woolfenden and Corrie Ndaba seemed to give the back four more balance, and they were both outstanding. Ndaba probably only found out he was playing minutes before the kick-off, as Toto Nsiala felt his hamstring as they warmed up and was replaced.
The result was disappointing but the performance was not. Only Myles Kenlock and Alan Judge let the side down in what was otherwise an encouraging display. Jon Nolan is capable of replacing Downes if he moves on, and Emyr Hows is improving all the time as well. Aaron Drinan once again showed too why we should not be fearful if Kayden Jackson leaves.
I will, of course, be glad to see the transfer window slam shut again but if we are to get our season moving in the right direction, then we must remove the ‘wantaways’ before they destroy yet further, the very fabric of this club.