Bullard Best Blues Buy, Say Supporters
Believe it or not, a total of 17 players left Portman Road this summer, but manager Paul Jewell has certainly been busy finding replacements. Defender Danny Collins became the 12th new face to arrive at Ipswich since the end of last season, but despite acquiring individuals with a good mixture of quality, experience and potential, Jewell's new team has had a slow start to the campaign as the boss continues to search for his best 11. Even so, impressions have already been made by his new men - some who have pleased and excited the fans, while others have made little impact.
Collins only signed on loan from Stoke on Friday so came too late to be included in this poll, but we decided to ask you which of the other 11 new arrivals you felt was Jewell's best signing of the summer transfer window. Here's how you voted:
31% - Jimmy Bullard
20% - Aaron Cresswell
15% - Michael Chopra
13% - Keith Andrews
6% - David Stockdale
3% - Nathan Ellington
3% - Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
3% - Ivar Ingimarsson
3% - Daryl Murphy
3% - Ibrahima Sonko
0% - Lee Bowyer
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Cheeky chappy Jimmy Bullard comes top of our poll after his surprise return to Portman Road late in August. The former Hull City midfielder, who was a huge hit during his loan spell at Town last season, had at one time looked destined to continue his career elsewhere with Jewell insisting his hefty contract at the KC Stadium made Bullard too difficult to sign. However, with the 32-year-old signing a two year deal after his Tigers deal was terminated in August, the response from the fans to his signing was overwhelming. Indeed, opinions of his acquisition are clearly still high, with almost a third of voters selecting Jimmy as the top Town transfer of the summer.
Second in the list - and possibly the surprise package of the Blues' season so far - is Aaron Cresswell. The 21-year-old was playing his football with League One Tranmere Rovers last season, but after arriving on a free transfer (albeit with a compensation fee) he has had no trouble stepping up to Championship football and has impressed fans with his work rate in defence as well as his attacking contributions from the wing and set-pieces.
Not too far behind Cresswell was Michael Chopra, Town's first and arguably biggest signing of the summer. After joining from Cardiff City for £1.5 million in June, he made an immediate impression with 4 goals in pre-season before exploding onto the scene with a brace in his league debut at Bristol City. However, the 27-year-old has not scored since then having been frustrated by a lack of service in recent matches, and that has probably affected impressions of him with only 15% of the vote. Close behind him was Keith Andrews with 13%, the on-loan Blackburn Rovers midfielder having surprisingly overtaken Chopra in the scoring charts with an impressive 3 goals in 5 appearances to date.
There was then something of a gap to David Stockdale, who comes fifth with 6% of the vote. The England international keeper has been personally impressive since signing on loan from Fulham despite conceding 16 goals having been rather let down by his defence. Below him comes a cluster of players on 3% including Ivar Ingimarsson - who has yet to make an appearance since the opening day due to injury - as well as Nathan Ellington, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and recent arrivals Daryl Murphy and Ibrahima Sonko.
The signs are rather worrying however for Lee Bowyer. The veteran midfielder, who has been struggling for fitness, has so far failed to make any real impression since signing on a free transfer from Birmingham City. It shows too, with the 34-year-old coming rock bottom of our fans' poll with no votes whatsoever. Though he could yet come good once properly fit, reports that Bowyer is on a fairly generous contract at Portman Road will only serve to breed impatience amongst the fans if he is not seen to be worth his wages.
Boss Jewell has still not ruled out further arrivals at Town in the weeks to come, though further tinkering with the squad could be somewhat counterproductive at this stage. The new signings are clearly struggling to settle together as a team so far and could take a while to fully demonstrate why the Town manager has invested in them, but hopefully as the season progresses, they may all prove to be worthwhile acquisitions.
This week's poll: 'Which centre-back pairing do you think Ipswich should use?' (See right-hand column to view the list and place your vote)
Who do you think has been Town's best signing of the summer? Do you think all of the new players will come good in time, or are there some that you are concerned about? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.
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