League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

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An easy 3 points?

Town Win
Crewe Win
Total votes: 9

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League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by Frosty » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:55 pm


Image Ipswich Town v Crewe Alexandria Image

Sunday 28th November 2021 – 15:00

Portman Road


Pre Match Thoughts - Mike

This Is All Feeling A Bit Too Familiar..............

This may sound absolutely ridiculous but I am genuinely more fed up with all things Ipswich Town under Paul Cook than I was under McCarthy, Hurst & Lambert, a damning statement but one that is completely true to how I feel right now. I can only assume it is because in my head we have the infrastructure in place to get ourselves moving back up the Football pyramid, from the owners to the Chairman & CEO right down to the squad and us fans, everything is there including the funding and yet still we find ourselves no better off than we have been for years, at least where League standing is concerned. Clearly we have been a bit more entertaining at times but even that has waned over the last Two or Three games, the goals have dried up, the chances created are getting less and less and the general level of performance has dropped off and sadly I put most of this very much at the lap of One man, Manager Pail Cook.

The insistence and absolute stubbornness of the man to stick with one formation and One formation only is seeing us become predictable and I am convinced teams are working us out with a lot of help from ourselves. For this squad to be sitting below half way in League One as we approach the mid way point of the season is not acceptable in my Eyes and it should not be acceptable in anyone's Eyes, this "progress is being made" nonsense coupled with "it takes time and we need to gel" is not cutting it with me anymore, it's plain and simple from where am standing and that is we are getting wrong tactically on the pitch.

Tuesday's embarrassing no show against Rotherham United really brought it home as to how far off it we really are, it was men against Boys for pretty much the entire game and to hear Cook say after the game that he has no problem with the result makes me furious, I have a damn problem with it and I am sure any Town fan with a brain cell has a problem with it too, then to hear him say "This is what we aspire to be" says it all, this is Ipswich Town now aspiring to be like Rotherham United for god sake, sorry but I just can't accept it.

For all the complaining and anti Paul Cook posts that are now coming to the fore on Social Media, and trust me there are many, I do not think for One second the owners will do anything for a good while yet, sadly I believe we are stuck with this for the entire season, unless of course we go on a really poor run of results which could well force their hand.

The upshot of the defeat to Rotherham, who it has to be said are a good side is that we are now down in 13th place with One win in the last Five and not a goal in sight in the last Three games, to see Burton, Bolton & Cheltenham leapfrog us is galling in the extreme, something has to change and quickly and as always games come thick and fast in this division.

What better opportunity to get ourselves back to winning ways than a home tie against bottom of the table Crewe Alexandra at Portman Road, the Alex have a meagre Two wins to their name in Nineteen games so far and have also had trouble at both ends of the pitch, goals are being shipped while scoring has proved to be anything but easy for them. Three players share the honour of being top scorer with Chris Porter probably being the most noticeable name. As the U2 songs goes, let's hope to god it is not a Sunday Bloody Sunday come 5pm and that Town have at least steadied the very rocky ship. I can't possibly predict anything other than a Town win in this one, anything else is unthinkable and yet a small part of me has a 1-1 draw in my head. I predict a 4-2-3-1 formation though, anything else would be a shock. COYB'S.

The Opposition – Crewe Alexandria


Crewe Alexandra were formed in 1877 as Crewe Football Club, separate from the successful Crewe Cricket Club, and named after Princess Alexandra. They were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground and played their first match against North Staffs that same year, a match that ended 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandra's first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queen's Park of Glasgow, losing 10–0. In 1888, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Football Alliance, but lost their league status in 1896 after only four seasons. The club left the Alexandra Recreation Ground shortly before the end of the 1895–96 season, and after playing at a number of different venues, including in nearby Sandbach, they moved to the first Gresty Road ground in 1897. In 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site.

Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921, during which season a record crowd of 15,102 packed into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City, a game The Potters won 2–0. Crewe earned their first honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, before being barred from entering (not least since Crewe is not in Wales).

1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches. The dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport.

One of Crewe's most famous matches took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, with Bert Llewellyn and Merfyn Jones scoring for the Railwaymen. On 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe.

1961 saw Crewe's most notable win in their history, Jimmy McGuigan's side defeated Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. That particular Chelsea side contained the former Crewe player Frank Blunstone as well as Jimmy Greaves, Peter Bonetti and Terry Venables. The Crewe goals were scored by Billy Stark and Barrie Wheatley. Spurs won by a more modest 5–1 in the Fourth Round. In 1963, Crewe gained promotion for the first time in their history with a 1–0 win over Exeter City. Frank Lord became the local hero, scoring the only goal in front a crowd of 9,807. Lord also holds the record for most hat-tricks for the club, eight during his time at Gresty Road.

In the 1964–65 season, Terry Harkin scored a record 35 league goals for Crewe. 1977 saw Tommy Lowry play his record-breaking 475th and last game for the Railwaymen. 1979 would see manager Warwick Rimmer's most notable signing when Bruce Grobbelaar joined Crewe and played his first match against Wigan Athletic. During the season he scored from the penalty spot against York City and kept eight clean-sheets in his 24 matches played. In the same year the club went a record 15 matches without winning at Gresty Road.

The period from the 1950s to the early 1980s was generally not a successful time for the club, and few would have argued with Michael Palin's comment, in the 1979 BBC Great Railway Journeys of the World documentary when, in a shot over Gresty Road filmed from the roof of the adjacent Rail House he described Crewe as "like those other railway towns, Swindon and Doncaster, possessed of a football team which is perpetually propping up the bottom of the Fourth Division". Indeed, between 1894 and 1982, Crewe finished in last place in the Football League eight times, more than any other league club.

In June 1983, Crewe appointed Milan-born Dario Gradi as manager. His first season signings included Mark Leonard from Tranmere, John Crabbe from Hereford and David Pullar from Exeter[7] as Gradi looked to build an academy structure to develop players that could be sold to help fund the player development programme. Among his first transfer successes were Dave Waller (sold to Shrewsbury in 1986) and Gary Blissett (sold to Brentford in 1987), plus Geoff Thomas and John Pemberton (both signed from Rochdale and sold to Crystal Palace, in 1987 and 1988 respectively).

Gradi quickly gained a reputation for developing young talent, allowing Steve Walters to become the youngest ever player to pull on a Crewe shirt: aged just 16 years and 119 days he played against Peterborough United on 7 May 1988. Gradi's efforts paid off in 1989 when Crewe won promotion to the Third Division. They went back down two years later, but were promoted again in 1994. In the same year, Neil Lennon became the first Crewe Alexandra player to gain an International cap for 60 years when he was selected to play for Northern Ireland against Mexico. Gradi then led his charges to Division One in 1997, after victory over Brentford in the Division Two play-off final, and kept his team there until 2002, despite a club income on which many more lowly clubs could not survive. Meanwhile, Gradi celebrated his 1,000th game in charge of Crewe on 20 November 2001 – an away fixture at Carrow Road.

After one season in the Division Two the club were promoted back to Division One at the end of the 2002–03 season, having finished in second place; the first time the club had finished in the top two of any division, and the club prepared for life in Division 1.

Although managing to retain their place in the Division 1 in the 2003–04 season, at the start of the 2004–05 season they were rated one of the likeliest teams to be relegated from the newly renamed 'Championship'. In the event, they put in a good showing in the first half of the season; comfortably in the top half of the table, but after selling Dean Ashton to Norwich City for a record £3 million in the January 2005 transfer window, Crewe failed to win any more games until the final match of the season, when they defeated Coventry City 2–1 and narrowly escaped relegation on goal difference. The following year they were not so fortunate. Despite a good run towards the end of the 2005–06 season, they were relegated to League 1.

By the summer of 2007, Gradi was the longest-serving manager in English league football; he had completed 24 years in sole charge of the club, although assistant manager Neil Baker took temporary charge between 22 September and 17 October 2003 while Gradi underwent heart surgery (Crewe only managed one point while Baker was in charge). On 20 April 2007 Crewe Alexandra announced that, from 1 July 2007, Gradi would take up a new role as the club's technical director while gradually allowing newly appointed first-team coach Steve Holland control of the team.

Holland's first season in this role, 2007–08, was a disappointment as the club narrowly avoided relegation after finishing 20th with 50 points. That summer Holland spent half a million pounds on new signings, including Calvin Zola, Anthony Elding and goalkeepers Steve Collis and Adam Legzdins, while striker Nicky Maynard joined Bristol City for a club record fee of £2.25 million. However, despite a positive pre-season, including a win over Premiership club Hull City, Crewe took only nine points from their first 16 games.

After pressure from fans, the board sacked Steve Holland as first team coach in November 2008, and re-appointed Gradi as caretaker manager. Gradi's first game back in charge was a 3–0 defeat at home to local rivals Stockport County. On 24 December 2008 the Icelandic former manager of Stoke City, Gudjon Thordarson, was appointed as Holland's successor, though Gradi remained in charge of the team for a further six days before resuming his technical director role. Thordarson's first game in charge was a 2–2 draw away at Millwall in the FA Cup 3rd round, but although Thordarson received the Manager of the Month award for February, the team suffered a poor end-of-season run, not winning for 10 games, and were relegated to League Two. On 18 June 2009, Steve Davis was appointed assistant manager to Gudjon Thordarson. Davis left his role as manager of Nantwich Town, where he spent five successful years, gaining two promotions. Davis replaced former assistant Neil Baker, who was moved to a new scouting role within the club.

On 2 October 2009, after nine months in charge, Thordarson was sacked after a run of poor results. Dario Gradi was reinstated as caretaker manager in time for the following day's match against Rotherham. Despite lingering close to the playoff places for the majority of the season, another run of poor form saw the club finish in 18th place, only five places above the relegation zone. Gradi responded to this disappointment by refusing to take the team on a pre-season tour, stating that he "doesn't want to reward the players for what happened this season".

The club finished 10th in League Two in their 2010–11 season and also ended up with the League 2 golden boot winner: Clayton Donaldson scored 29 goals, but moved to Brentford in July 2011.

On 10 November 2011, the club announced that Dario Gradi had stepped down as manager and would return to his previous role as director of football focusing on youth development.

Steve Davis was appointed manager, and led the team to a 16-match unbeaten run in early 2012 up to 7th position, earning the club a play-off place. Crewe defeated Southend United in the semi-final with a 1–0 win at home in the first leg and a 2–2 draw at Roots Hall, extending the unbeaten run to a club-record 18 matchesand securing a play-off final against Cheltenham Town at Wembley on 27 May 2012 which they won 2–0 and earned promotion.

Before the 2012–13 season started, Crewe sold Nick Powell to Manchester United, and on transfer deadline day (31 August 2012) captain Ashley Westwood was sold to Aston Villa. However, with new players coming into the first team, Crewe won the Football League Trophy, beating Southend United 2–0 in the final at Wembley in April 2013. The team finished 13th in League One, ending the season by fielding a team whose starting 11 were all Crewe Academy graduates.

On 22 February 2014, for 33 minutes of a match at Port Vale, two brothers played on opposite sides against each other – Crewe's Harry Davis and Joe Davis of Port Vale – while their father, Steve Davis, was manager of one of the teams (Crewe Alexandra).

In March 2014, Crewe chairman John Bowler (elected chairman in 1987) was honoured with the Contribution to League Football Award at The Football League Awards 2014. Dario Gradi had earlier won the same award, in 2011. In December 2014, it was announced that Bowler had, like Gradi (in January 1998), been awarded an MBE for services to football.

On 3 May 2014 Crewe ensured their place in League One with a 2–1 home victory over Preston North End ending the 2013–14 Season in 19th place four points above relegation.

Crewe started the 2014–15 season poorly, accumulating just four points from the first 11 League games. Some sustained runs of better results pulled the club out of the relegation places, but, needing a home draw against Bradford City to secure safety, Crewe lost 0–1 and had to rely on favourable results elsewhere to ensure League One football for another year, finishing two points above the bottom four in 20th position.

The following season started in a similar pattern, with the team winning just two of their first 15 league games, and crashing out of the FA Cup in the first round, defeated at Gresty Road by non-league Eastleigh, forcing Davis to defend his position as the 'right man' for the job. Crewe's relegation to League Two was confirmed following a 3–0 defeat at Port Vale on 9 April 2016, with five games remaining. After an initially promising start to the following season, Crewe's form slumped during the final months of 2016, and on 8 January 2017, Davis was sacked as Crewe manager, with former Crewe defender David Artell appointed his replacement. Under Artell, Crewe finished 17th, improving slightly to 15th position at the end of the 2017–18 season (on 5 May 2018 again fielding a starting 11 who were all Crewe Academy graduates), and then 12th at the end of the 2018–19 season.

After 36 years involvement with the club, Gradi, 78, announced his retirement from all positions at Crewe Alexandra on 7 October 2019. In February 2020, further changes to the club's board were announced with local businessman Stuart Whitby (of Whitby Morrison) and former Nantwich Town chairman Tony Davison joining the board following a £1.75m buy-out of majority shareholder Norman Hassall; the Railwaymen Supporters Society also raised £250,000, to earn the right for a Crewe fans' representative on the club's new board.

On the pitch, Crewe vied for promotion for much of the 2019-20 season, and were top of the table (ahead of Swindon Town on goal difference) when the football season was suspended on 13 March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, Crewe was one of several clubs to 'furlough' (put on temporary leave) players and staff in order to save money. On 9 June, Crewe's promotion to League One was confirmed, but Swindon were crowned League Two champions on the basis of average points per game. Artell was selected as League Two Manager of the Year in the League Managers Association Awards.

Last season Crewe finished 12th place in League 1.

The Manager – David Artell


Form Guide

Ipswich Last 5 Matches, currently in 13th place with 24 points

30 Oct Plymouth 2 - 1 Ipswich Town

2 Nov Wycombe 1 - 4 Ipswich Town

13 Nov Ipswich Town 0 - 0 Oxford Utd

20 Nov Sunderland 2 - 0 Ipswich Town

23 Nov Ipswich Town 0 - 2 Rotherham

Crewe Alexandria Last 5 Matches, currently in 24th place with 12 points

30 Oct Crewe Alexandra 1 - 4 Milton Keynes

2 Nov Crewe Alexandra 1 - 1 Doncaster

12 Nov Bolton 2 - 0 Crewe Alexandra

20 Nov Crewe Alexandra 2 - 0 Gillingham

23 Nov AFC Wimbledon 3 - 2 Crewe Alexandra

Match Referee – James Oldham



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Re: League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by JohnnyB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:50 am

It’s got to be a win, hasn’t it?

Anything else and even I will accept Cook ain’t working.

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Re: League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by BlueBalls » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:43 am

Wanting a win but hoping for a loss so that Cook is removed.

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Re: League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by rossi » Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:52 pm

BlueBalls wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:43 am
Wanting a win but hoping for a loss so that Cook is removed.
ha - it wasn't that long ago that people were saying exactly the same about PL. And actually about every single crap managerial appointment that ME made. Hmmmm...........

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Re: League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by Bluemike » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:21 pm

I can't really ever hope we lose but I get the thinking behind it.

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Re: League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by BlueBalls » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:40 pm

rossi wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:52 pm
BlueBalls wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:43 am
Wanting a win but hoping for a loss so that Cook is removed.
ha - it wasn't that long ago that people were saying exactly the same about PL. And actually about every single crap managerial appointment that ME made. Hmmmm...........
Ive been anti-Cook from the start or atleast since he f*cked up managing the existing squad last season.

I dont really want us to lose but you get what i mean..... every cloud has a silver lining.

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Re: League 1 - Ipswich Town vs Crewe Alexandra Preview & Matchday Thread

Post by goldandblack » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:19 pm

1971, was that the year it was built, looks shiny new, did they modernise it or pull in down,
anyway back to the thread, I can see a high scoring win v Crewe, then back on track to the top,



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