By Dan George (Ipswich Town supporter)
Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening Stretford End Arising. I have volunteered to write monthly reports on Ryan Tunnicliffe as part of the website’s ‘loan watch’ feature. As opposed to diving straight into the first month without background knowledge of Ipswich Town’s squad or season expectations I thought I would put together a brief (at first) summary of the squad, signings and expectations and just where I think the Manchester United youngster fits in.
Firstly, if it wasn’t for Mick McCarthy arriving in Suffolk nine months ago we’d be looking at a season in League 1. Ipswich were rock bottom when he was appointed manager, with 6 points from a possible 36. He then masterminded a complete turnaround in performances and fortunes earning 50 points from 33 games (play off form in the Championship).
As a new season is upon us and with ten new additions to the squad our expectations have shifted, possibly rightly so, and we are all aiming a little higher. Mick will be aiming for a top 6 finish, although a lot of Town fans will consider a top 10 finish a successful season. As for the signings themselves; Dean Gerken (GK), Freddie Veseli (RB), Christophe Berra (CB), Cole Skuse (CM), Jay Tabb (CM/LW), Paul Anderson (RW), Jack Doherty (LW), Daryl Murphy (CF), David McGoldrick (ST) and of course Ryan Tunnicliffe. Now I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of every signing but they all certainly fit the McCarthy mould, hard working, consistent if not unspectacular.
Focusing on Ryan’s competition I would suggest he may initially struggle to start regularly, unless we sustain a few injuries. Our young academy graduate and last season’s Young Player of the Year Luke Hyam has been ever present under Mick and has come on leaps and bounds in 2012. I would expect Cole Skuse to partner Hyam, especially for away fixtures due to the nature of his game, whilst at home Anthony Wordsworth will probably get the nod, due to his creative strengths. Jay Tabb is also in contention; he did very well for us on loan for the last six months playing on the left wing.
So where does Tunnicliffe fit in at Ipswich? He starts the season as fourth choice in my opinion. McCarthy is a firm believer of not dropping players if they are playing well, but if Tunnicliffe is allowed an early chance and impresses he will be given an extended opportunity. If not, I feel his six months could possibly be wasted.
Sorry if this has been a bit of a bore. I’ll try to spice up the match reports and I do hope Ryan gets an opportunity otherwise I’ll bore you lads (and lasses) about the saviour that is Mick McCarthy once a month!
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