Date: 22nd August 2011 at 12:22am
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Ipswich fans call for Paul Jewell to play 4-4-2 formation in latest Vital poll

Ipswich Town have a new look team this season, and this week Vital Ipswich has been asking you what formation you feel the Blues should line up with.

Town have been toying with a number of different formations in recent years, including 4-5-1, 4-3-3 and the classic 4-4-2. The subject has garnered much debate in the past few weeks in particular, with manager Paul Jewell looking to find a shape which will get the best out of his new team.

Getting the balance right is proving tough however; whilst the boss has enjoyed reasonable success with the 4-5-1 formation during his tenure at Town so far, many fans have expressed a desire to see a more straightforward attacking approach, while summer arrivals Michael Chopra and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in particular have expressed their preference for a ‘two up front’ arrangement.

So, what formation do you think Ipswich should be using? Here’s how you voted:

52% – 4-4-2
15% – 4-5-1
21% – 4-3-3
12% – Other

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4-5-1 might have been Jewell’s preferred lineup for much of last season, but it seems the supporters are keen to see a change this year. Only 15% expressed approval with the five man midfield, while over half of respondents voted in favour of a conventional 4-4-2 lineup, no doubt persuaded by the prospect of Chopra being utilised to best effect with a forward partner such as Emmanuel-Thomas. 4-3-3 was seen as the next best option with around a fifth of the vote, though it is difficult to say who would line up for Town in a three man attack, whilst a further 12% opted for alternative options.

Ironically, Jewell has recently switched to the desired 4-4-2 shape, but the change has coincided with a disastrous downturn in results including heavy defeats to Southampton and Peterborough United. Whether or not this has anything to do with the formation or simply the players is difficult to tell at this stage, particularly given the rather unorthodox midfield adopted in the first half agains the Saints. Even so, defensive weaknesses could lead Jewell to revert back to a five man midfield in order to provide some protection for his backline. Only one thing is for sure – this debate is likely to rattle on for some time to come.

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This week’s poll: ‘Of the following defenders recently linked with Town, which one do you think we should target?’ (See right-hand column to view the list and place your vote)

What formation do you think Ipswich should be using this season? Should Town continue to experiment with a 4-4-2 lineup despite the recent results, or is it best to go back to 4-5-1? Alternatively, what other formations do you feel Jewell could try? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.

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