It was another disappointing defeat for Ipswich Town at Portman Road yesterday, and what was perhaps even more hugely disappointing was to see Will Norris in goal! I have been advocating for some time the return of Tomas Holy, who has done little wrong when he has had the chance in the team, which sadly has been all too rare.
On the contrary, he is a far better instinctive shot-stopper than Norris and kicks upfield with effortless ease. Could it be that his demeanour, which engenders a deep sense of modesty, and at times, it could be argued, a lack of self-belief, is the reason that manager Paul Lambert is loath to throw him in at the deep end? I would like to think not, because at the beginning of the season he appeared to be the first choice and for good reason at the time. The Blues were winning regularly and he was keeping clean sheets – and five in a row I seem to recall.
I have an inkling that the defenders also felt more comfortable in his presence, and although at 6 feet 9 inches tall he looks a bit awkward and cumbersome at times, I still think he is a much more worthy applicant for the goalkeeping posts!
And, after the horrendous mistake by Norris, that effectively cost Ipswich Town any chance of getting back into the game against Peterborough, it is surely a time for a change. Is it any wonder Wolves are in no hurry for him to return? Personally, I have not rated him from day one and everything I have seen from him recently, only confirms my worst fears and that is he is simply not good enough – even in this league!
In fairness though, it is not just Will Norris who was responsible for this defeat. Alan Judge is ill-disciplined and does not stay in a central position and far too often fails to link up with the forwards; preferring instead to do his own thing on the wing, which is invariably counter-productive.
Our lack of creativity in midfield is another reason to be genuinely concerned at the moment. Yes, we pass the ball smoothly at times but there is no cutting edge and our forwards are not given many opportunities to express themselves due to a lack of ingenuity in midfield. The loss of Teddy Bishop and Emry Huws has exacerbated the situation to some extent, but even they have not been setting stadiums on fire with their skills; having both come back from long term injuries.
The loss of Luke Garbett to injury was a huge blow on Saturday, and from that moment on we were up against it. Myles Kenlock looked ring-rusty – although he did improve a little as the game progressed and Freddie Sears – when he eventually came on, was being played out of position.
Sunderland next week will be a big ask. They are finally starting to find some form and our record against the top teams is quite frankly appalling. Lambert has to find a way to get this lot playing with conviction again and it might begin with the reintroduction of Tomas Holy, at long last, in goal.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich