Ellis Harrison is a player, who at 24 years of age, has the right temperament and technical ability to succeed at Town. Furthermore, he is hungry for success!
Yesterday, he passed his medical at Portman Road and signed a two-year deal, with the option of another year and I firmly believe that he is our most exciting new acquisition so far and has in his possession, all the right attributes to excite and delight!
He has pace and scores goals – not only with both feet but also with his head and having watched him at close quarters, I know he is an intelligent footballer, who will not only provide goals for others but who can score a fair few crackers himself too!
In the modern era, the price Town have paid for a player who can get you goals is in my view a sound investment. We all know that strikers cost the most and yet the deal that was agreed by both clubs, will see the Blues fork out an initial 750,000 with the possibility of the transfer rising to around one million pounds if all those add-ons are met, and this would probably include Ipswich reaching the promised land!
When asked about his goalscoring prowess Harrison was prepared instead to dwell on what he could add to the team in terms of work-rate, and although he suggested that he might “chip in with a few goals” he was much more focused on what he brings to the team and his all-around energy and commitment.
It is already clear to see the differences between the defence minded ‘make sure you don’t lose at all costs’ mentality of Mick McCarthy and the positive attitude adopted to football by Paul Hurst. Speaking with Andy Warren of the East Anglian Daily Times Hurst said, “It’s still a little bit of a hangover from what they’re used to. We’re perhaps trying to change a bit of the mentality around the group, which again takes time. We want them to be a bit more positive in everything they do and at times they can look a little bit fearful, almost.”
I think we all know where they got that bad habit from and it was one of the reasons why Town kept giving away so many late goals and not going for the jugular when in front. This was something we witnessed on many occasions over the last couple of seasons.
I have really warmed to Paul Hurst over the last few weeks and I think he understands what supporters want to see on a football field. He likes to be excited too but knows that to keep his job he must balance that against a gung-ho approach to playing the game. His positivity is in complete contrast to our former boss and I feel sure that with time, the players will buy into it as well.
And as Hurst said himself, some of Town’s deep-rooted football tactics need to change. “I look at our wide players on a few occasions where they do something good and then turn back towards their own goal and I don’t understand why? I’m never going to shout at them for taking on the defender and taking people on!”
I remain hopeful that new incumbents Ellis Harrison, Gwion Edwards and of course Jordan Roberts will ensure that we will be looking forward much more than we are looking back this coming season and I too, am enthused by what I have seen and indeed heard so far.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich