Abysmal City Have Gerken To Thank
Ashton Gate, Bristol
5 December 2009
Embarrasing City were lucky to claim a point against an impressive Ipswich side that must be wondering how on earth they are leaving the West Country with only a point.
Bizarrely, Johnson chose only to make two changes from the shambles that was last week. Liam Fontaine and Lewin Nyatanga came in for Carey and McCombe with Jamie McAllister taking the captain's armband. The two changes unbalanced us further as both left-footers were played in the two centre-back spots.
And so it began, inside a subdued and sparsley full Ashton Gate.
The Tractor Boys, fresh from their first away win at Cardiff last weekend, were the first to show intent with Fontaine denying lazy ex-City loanee Stern John from tucking in a rebound following a Grant Leadbitter long ranger.
Gareth McAuley somehow contrived to head wide from the resultant corner after finding himself unmarked in acres of space.
Livewire target-man Jon Stead then tested Gerken with a curler from the edge of the box on 10 minutes which our keeper tipped wide before Owen Garvan clipped the angle of post and bar with a rasping drive.
Walters sent Stead racing clear again on 21 with Gerken doing well to keep out low to his right-hand side.
It was all Ipswich until talisman Paul Hartley narrowly curled over from 20-yards in first-half stoppage time.
The Suffolk side flew out of the traps in the second period with Jon Walters sending Garvan's centre just off target and Stead warming Gerken's gloves from distance.
Alan Quinn then had another glorious chance from the edge of the box after finding City's defence all at sea but, once again, Gerken saved the day.
Evander Sno, wasting away in left midfield, brilliantly chested down a high ball for ex-Tractor Boy Danny Haynes who could only fire his left-footed drive against the post.
Maynard was afforded his only clear sight of goal when Hartley's corner found him unmarked at the back stick only for the striker to make a complete hash of it with some sort of head and knee combo as the ball skipped up off the skiddy surface.
But in the 62nd minute, Maynard played in Sno, who drove in off the wing, before sliding through Haynes, whose luck was clearly out as he saw his angled shot hit the other post.
Haynes was required to defend 5 minutes later as Leadbitter's effort squirmed away from Gerken following a corner only for the striker to hack away off the line.
Walters headed straight at Gerken from ex-City youngster Liam Rosenior's right-wing cross before Ivan Sproule was eventually introduced to provide much-needed width on the right flank.
But Ipswich continued to press ahead against the lacklusture Robins as Colback fired a 30-yarder low to Gerken's left. The ex-Colchester stopper did brilliantly to get up and smother at Ipswich sub Paulo Counago's feet, as the Spaniard looked poised to poke home.
CITY 4-4-2: Gerken, Skuse, Fontaine, Nyatanga, McAllister, Elliott (Sproule 74), Hartley, Johnson, Sno (Clarkson 84), Haynes (Saborio 84), Maynard.
IPSWICH 4-4-2: Lee-Barrett, Rosenior, McAuley, Delaney, Wright, Walters, Leadbitter, Garvan, Quinn (Colback 79), John (Counago 57), Stead (Edwards 69).
REFEREE: Master Tony Bates (Staffordshire)
Made multiple saves to keep the scores level in a game Ipswich must've had a dozen shots on target. Only his performance stood between us and a real thumping.
Dean Gerken 8
Cole Skuse 6
Jamie McAllister 5
Liam Fontaine 6
Lewin Nyatanga 6
Marvin Elliott 5
Evander Sno 7
Lee Johnson 3
Paul Hartley 7
Nicky Maynard 5
Danny Haynes 7
Ivan Sproule 6
David Clarkson 6
Alvaro Saborio 5
Abysmal and has to take responsibility for this. As said last week, he's learnt nothing from the previous game and actually claimed we played well! What game was he watching? Too narrow and shocking substitutions.
Had his team organised and was tactically spot on. Made subs to affect the game and came for the win which, on another day, they'd have had a hatful.
Rubbish, Just Rubbish!
Has Johnson Reached The End?
This isn't just a one-off. This has been going on for months now. We're drifting down the table despite him being backed well in the transfer market.
We have the best squad we've ever had, even if it is an unbalanced one, yet we've a manager who doesn't know how to get the best out of them.
All players have a limit on their ability which they reach when they've fulfilled their potential at whatever level. Managers should be no different.