Ipswich Town’s relegation last season saw them drop out of the top two divisions for the first time in over half a century.
They’re a side with European honours and a rich pedigree of playing top-flight football. After their failings last campaign, they’ll be visiting the likes of Accrington Stanley and Lincoln City this season, as well as taking part in the FA Cup first round.
It’s a huge step down for the proud club, but one that is expected to bring some level of success. As a big fish in a small pond, they should be right at the top of the food chain, battling for honours with Sunderland and Portsmouth.
They’ll only do that if they’ve got goals in the team and that’s where our latest spotlight piece comes in. They’re looking to add Tom Elliott to their ranks, the Millwall forward formerly of Cambridge United.
Can he provide adequate backup to James Norwood? We look at the stats from last season to find out.
Elliott scored most of his career goals in a spell with Cambridge and another with AFC Wimbledon. Never truly prolific, those periods still saw the 6ft 4in striker earn a move to Millwall, where he made 38 outings last season, including 33 in the Championship.
He’s very much a target man and that should see him amongst both the assists and goals. Ipswich won’t be going long as their Plan A, so perhaps bringing in Elliott is their alternative approach, looking to get him on late in games if they need to get the ball forward quickly.
That seemed to be the case at the Den, 17 of his Championship outings came as a sub which suggests he didn’t quite have the quality to make a second tier starting XI on a regular basis. His goals and assists return were modest too, four goals and one assist were the total of his involvement in goal action.
That doesn’t quite tell the whole picture though; he was getting shots away at a decent rate. He averaged 2.69 per game with an accuracy of 35.8%. Whilst it’s not a staggeringly good percentage of shots on target, it’s certainly evidence of him getting in shooting positions and putting shots at goal. In terms of quality, it suggests he might have been playing at a level slightly above his skill set, but he still did what he could to make a difference.
He only averaged a shot assist on 0.51 occasions per game; this is a stat Ipswich will want him to improve upon. Getting a flick on in the later stages will be important and if they do need to be dug out of a hole against tough sides looking to kill their passing game, Elliott will be a good outlet.
His stats from last season don’t suggest he’s going to get 20 goals, nor that he’s going to keep James Norwood out of the team, but they do point to a valuable squad player who might bring a different approach to the Ipswich squad.