Season Preview 2012/13: Ipswich Town
HAVING TIPPED Ipswich Town to be dark horses for promotion last season, it was perhaps inevitable that Paul Jewell's side finished in a disappointing 15th place.
Despite a raft of new arrivals, Jewell was unable to achieve the sort of finish he would have wanted, at time seemingly lucky to hold onto his job at Portman Road through appalling patches of form.
The Tractor Boys squad is now beginning to take shape in reflection of the manager, with the emphasis this summer on securing young players.Strengths:
For the first time in a few seasons, Ipswich look to have balance throughout the squad; cover in every position, without an overbearing reliance on youngsters, veterans or loanees.Weakness':
Too many inconsistent players.
The likes of Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland will undoubtedly bring goals to the party, whilst Lee Martin can be dangerous too. The key issue for Jewell is to get the requisite level of performance out of those players on a weekly basis.Best business so far:
Capturing former Nottingham Forest centre-half Luke Chambers on a free transfer.
The 26 year-old defender was a key player at Forest, having signed from Northampton Town in 2007. Ipswich have struggled at centre-back, with key man Ibrahima Sonko injured all too frequently. Chambers will add quality in depth in that area.Star man:
The charismatic Jimmy Bullard.
Now 33, the East Ham-born midfielder linked up with his former Wigan boss Jewell, when he signed for Town on a free transfer last summer. Injuries and internal suspension meant that Bullard only made 21 appearances last season. However, the former Hull City & Fulham midfielder is an integral part of the Ipswich squad, with and excellent range of passing and superb set pieces in his locker.Shows what I know - he's been let go by 'mutual consent' today! (ed.)
In: Scott Loach (Watford) undisc, Elliott Hewitt (Macclesfield Town) undisc, Luke Chambers (Nottingham Forest) free & Massimo Luongo (Spurs) loan.
Out: Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) free transfer.
wfc123: Improvements have certainly been made to this Ipswich squad, but if Chopra and Scotland don't score regularly, you have to worry. We know Nathan Ellington will rarely trouble the back of the net, that much is for sure! Mid-table to lower half.
chrisgwfc: A team who continue to flatter to decieve in this division. Have made some decent signings this season but nothing to suggest them can break their mid-table cycle.