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Alex Mathie: Ipswich Town need David Norris-type midfielder

09:58 14 February 2013

David Norris

David Norris

Archant

Having played with some illustrious midfield names from the Portman Road past, Alex Mathie is well qualified to scrutinise Town’s current goalscoring shortfalls.

The retired striker, a popular figure with Blues fans, scored 47 goals in 134 games for the club and became a cult hero for his 40-minute hat-trick against bitter rivals, Norwich City, during Town’s 5-0 win, in February 1998

The scorer of Ipswich’s two other goals that day, Bobby Petta, was a winger by trade, but chipped in with seven of Town’s 77 league goals that season.

The Blues have a rich tradition of producing goalscoring midfielders with John Wark leading the way, but latterly, the likes of Paul Mason, Matt Holland, Micky Stockwell and David Norris have assumed responsibility for scoring crucial goals from the engine-room.

With Town the joint-lowest goalscorers in the Championship, Mathie says Town are crying out for a similar type of player.

“The midfield have played well this season but they are not getting far enough up the pitch and I feel someone like a David Norris figure, who can get beyong the strikers, is just what we need right now,” said the BBC Radio Suffolk pundit.

“I played with a few in that mould at Ipswich.

“I remember Matt Holland reaching double figures in his first season at the club and you had Kieron Dyer playing alongside him.

“There was also the likes of Mick Stockwell, Paul Mason, Bobby Petta and even Gus Uhlenbeek who would get forward and chip in with a few goals.

“As a striker, having those types of players in your team gives you more options as you are able to hold the ball up for the midfielder to run on to.

“You can also link up with your wide players on the left and right.”

Town’s midfield have contributed just four goals this season and a lack of creativity and cutting-edge is costing Town dear, with recent defeats at Blackburn and Bristol City prime examples.

“I was crying out for Carlos (Edwards) to be pushed back into midfield but he is not getting the crosses in like he was a couple of seasons ago,” said the Scot.

“Lee Martin does get forward but when he gets in the box, his final ball is not always there.”

He added: “I have always maintained that Town need to add a couple of players, especially in wide areas.

“Mick (McCarthy) is adamant he does not need to strengthen his squad though, and who am I to argue?”

What do you think? email starsport@archant.co.uk with your views.

7 comments

  • That list of players is a no-brainer, it will end up with John Wark getting 100% of the vote! He was one of the best scoring midfielders of all time and belonged to the Bobby Robson era. That era the greatest in towns history is a long gone memory now with the new era of clown managers like mccarthy and an owner with no passion or knowledge of football.

    Report this comment

    ged scott

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Have to completely agree with Rob Steroo on this one. Norris is not a great example. In fact, he's a poor one. He took ITFC for a ride, for his own gain. Month after month he told us he wanted to stay, when in actual fact he had signed for Pompey.

    Report this comment

    Jason

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • I remember a banner at the Cup Final in 78 it said "Whymark Mariner when Woods will Wark it in. That was just superb. Johnny Wark is a true legend and still a great fella. Just goes to show how highly rated he was when he went to Liverpool. Unfortunately he never got his correct position there as a guy called Graham Souness had the central midfield role. Sorry to be so repetitive but Iv'e been banging on for months about the type of midfielder that we needed, but quoted Brian Talbot, very similar to Norris. An up and down player who could weigh in with a few goals.

    Report this comment

    whymarkmariner

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • when played in the correct position Norris was a very good player. Shame Magilton played him on the wing. Keane barely got to play him at all, in fact I think Norris getting injured on the first match of that season was Keane's biggest problem, and Jewell managed to get some good performances out of him before the insane decision to let him leave. Maybe someone should have asked Cleggers what the greatest regret he had was? I imagine letting Norris and McCauley leave when another year on the contracts offered would have seen them stay would be one of them.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Mehen

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • David Norris, you mean the one who was allowed to walk away for nothing by the 'dynamic duo' Clegg & Jewell.

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • You have to admire the Chuckle Brothers' for both managing to turn this magazine piece into a platform for another rant. Hopefully a win at the weekend should keep Barry and Paul quiet for a while.

    Report this comment

    72alwaysblue

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • The EADT is now a more amusing read than Viz or Private Eye. I realise the ever-changing EADT journos charged with watching dismal games at the Offshore Arena and listening to repetitive garbage from gravy-train riding managers are themselves on a bit of a merry-go-round.... but surely even the most idiotic of 3rd rate hack would realise that Town are in the position they are in precisely because they DID have a player like Norris. He after all showed he was an opportunistic mercenary by ignoring his contractual obligations at Plymouth, quickly showed he was not as good as the players he replaced, attracted grim publicity for a brainless goal celebration, then simply ran down a short term contract at Town to make another financial killing at Portsmouth - perhaps the only club in the entire slightly worse run than Town.

    Report this comment

    Rob Steroo

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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