Time to step down, Ince.

Last updated : 21 January 2004 By Site Staff

It’s now time for Incey to be dropped. At the start of the season I was his biggest fan as he pulled off save after save to keep us in matches and as he plucked the ball from the air as the opposition hit cross after cross. In my opinion he was the best keeper in Division One on form but for some reason he’s not lived up to early expectations.

Saturday was the final straw. You knew it’d be bad when he took his first goal kick, it didn’t leave the grass as it rolled, fortunately, into David Wright’s feet. Then came the goals. OK, the first was down to poor defending as Wright stood idle as Tommy Miller fired home from thirty yards. The second was more bad defending, combined with poor goalkeeping. When your defence isn’t up to it, as a goalkeeper, you’re expected to deal with that sort of shot. The defence once again failed to keep an eye on Miller as the impressive Counago pulled it across the edge of the area for Miller to hit a weak curling shot into the left corner. Ince didn’t even move.

The 3rd was even worse, coming 10 yards off his line to try and claim a ball from behind the attacker Shefki Kuqi. The 4th from Reuser…. Total embarrassment. Reuser hit a hard ball from the right wing as a cross come shot, the ball dipped over Inces head and into the inside of the left side netting. He could have caught it or just tipped it over, but didn’t and David Wright’s disgust was justified. The 5th was a 25 yard low shot from Counago to Ince’s right… the ball ‘slipped’ thought Ince’s hands. The 6th probably didn’t have much to do with Ince as Kuqi turned Walker inside out before a hitting a fierce low shot into the right.

I think any other keeper could have denied 4 of the Ipswich goals. A couple of the goals were down to poor defending but Ince should deservedly shoulder most of the blame. Poor positioning, poor kicking, poor ‘eyesight’ and plain naivety in all of the goals.

This isn’t his only bad goal, as many like to think, we’ve been ashamed of his kicking since he got his place in the first team. Goals from West Brom & Gillingham have cost us points and all been put down to his mistakes. When was the last time we saw Ince dominate his area like he was last season?

He saved us in the early part of the season, the miracle save at Millwall, the home game vs. Ipswich (Ironically) and the penalty save vs. Preston… but at the moment he’s costing us with lack of dominance, poor kicking and poor all round goalkeeping. It’s time to see if Bankole, Tomlinson or even Owain Fon Williams can stake a place… if youth is the answer to the outfield problems then what about goalkeepers, Dario?

They certainly can’t do any worse than Ince did on Saturday.