09-08-2011: Ipswich Town 1 Northampton Town 2 (Carling Cup 1st Round) Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
One of seven new arrivals already this summer the signing of the enigmatic Arsenal youngster Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for £1m seems like good business to me provided Paul Jewell can convert this huge talent into a consistent performer on the pitch. Gunners boss Arsene Wegner had spoken often about JET’s undoubted ability but left a question mark hanging over his work ethic.
JET had an impressive spell on loan at Doncaster at the beginning of last season followed by an equally unimpressive one at Cardiff (although in fairness the latter was hampered by injury). Reading through comments by Gunners fans on an Arsenal message board it seems they are disappointed that he hadn’t made the type of progress that someone like Jack Wilshere had, by backing up talent with real effort.
But initial signs for his Portman Road career are encouraging. A good performance at Bristol City at the weekend, where he laid on a superb pass for Town’s second goal, and tonight he opened his Town goal account in the 11th minute, receiving the ball on the left hand edge of the penalty area and sending a powerful strike over the Cobbler’s ‘keeper and into far corner of the net.
JET was easily the best performer for me tonight in a Blue’s side containing nine changes from the side that won 3-0 at Ashton Gate at the weekend. With that number of changes an upset was always likely. The Cobblers went 2-1 up ten minutes after the break leaving Ipswich plenty of time to force extra time (JET almost did so from a free-kick) or even to have won it but, as was so often the case last season, they just couldn’t convert numerous chances into goals.