Is it possible to be just whelmed? At Saturday’s game, I was mostly underwhelmed, never overwhelmed but by the end I just felt distinctly whelmed. Even the most dour of games can sometimes be injected into life with a thrilling finish, yet even that fell short somewhat.
Quite why we played so poorly against the most hopeless team in the division is beyond me. The fact that we had the three points gift wrapped for us early on after Leon Clarke was pulled down when clean through is all the more galling. I’m no expert on footballing matters (despite Mr K’s continual attempts to declare us as such) however, the first rule when your opposing team gets a man sent off must surely be to keep your nose clean for the next twenty minutes or so. As opposed to, perhaps, giving away a soft penalty and suddenly galvanising the other team who are already incensed with the throes of burning injustice.
Ipswich looked good value despite their lowly position but dropping points at home to a team who are all but relegated is a cardinal sin. I tend to think that the blame, if we are going go down that route – and why not – perhaps falls equally between the players and the manager, as there was nothing inspiring happening on the pitch at all and as per last week, the performance came straight from the “play like terrified rabbits stuck in headlights” Warren Joyce coaching manual.
The only saving grace is that both the team and Paul Cook (through the substitutions) redeemed themselves when Joe Garner popped up with a late equaliser, just at the stage where it looked like we were going to get absolutely nowt. For those last few minutes, the stadium came to life, as the scent of a winner briefly wafted through the air but before long the foul stench of the River Douglas came back to overpower it, as the ref blew the final whistle. Plus, let’s be honest, even a one eyed ultra-biased fool like myself would struggle to find a reason to discredit Ipswich and say that they weren’t deserving of all three points, let alone one.
So I’ll take my whelmedness and calmly walk away and I will get myself a brew and a Hob Nob and look forward to reading Mr Angry, I mean Mr Middleton’s take on matters. I suppose the main positive for me is that being at the back end of the table means teams around us are equally as poor, so somehow, as long as we can win a few games between now and the end of the season, we will undoubtedly be safe. We sure don’t like making it easy for ourselves though.
Speaking of which, one manager whose teams definitely don’t like making it easy for their opponents is Tony Pulis and his comedy baseball cap. All the hallmarks are there again this season: lowest goals conceded in the division, yet only just over a goal a game scored and sitting in 5th having lost the lowest number of games in the division – six, along with high flying Norwich.
Given that brief, depressing statistical analysis, if we’re struggling to stick the ball in the net against ten-man Ipswich, I wouldn’t be expecting to hear that daft goal music much against a defence which is tighter than Chey Dunkley’s jock strap. The TIcs do sometimes have the habit of surprising us though (maybe even surprising themselves?) so we will have to wait and see.