Date:Tuesday April 17 2007
Is it just me or are Ivar Ingimarsson`s days as a Reading regular coming to an end?
The Icelandic defender has been a loyal servant of Steve Coppell since way before either he or Coppell were contracted at Reading. First playing under Steve at Brentford, Coppell found Ingimarsson to be a solid and dependable centre-back and recruited his services when he moved to Brighton and secured the player`s services from Wolves 2003 following his own move to Reading.
Ingy has played an extremely important role in Coppell`s Reading outfit since then playing in over 150 games and taking part in every single minute of league action in Reading`s 2005/06 record-breaking Championship winning season.
And this year Coppell has repaid Ingimarsson for his devoted service extending the players stay at Reading until 2008 and picking the deputy-captain again for all of the league matches played to date.
But should this be where the line is drawn? Ingimarsson was an undoubtedly great defender last season and this season he has had his moments but recently chinks have begun to appear in his armour.
Against Liverpool, the Icelandic international was, in my opinion, at fault for both goals conceded in the 2-1 loss. In the first instance Nicky Shorey`s deflected free-kick fell to the grateful feet of Arbeloa who began bounding up the pitch. Ingimarsson could have bought Arbeloa down in the Liverpool half, risking at worst a yellow card but buying his team-mates enough time to get back. But instead, Ingy choose to stand off Arbeloa, back peddling with the Argentine all the way until Hahnemann`s area where when he eventually decided to stand up the right-back, it was beyond too late.
Every player has their off day, but Ingimarsson was guilty of the same mistake on a second occasion in the same half; although it wasn`t Ingimarsson`s fault that Pennant had won the ball on the right wing, he could have stood the player up instead of back peddling and hesitating which led to the cross which Kuyt headed in for the winner.
Against Charlton, Ingimarsson`s back-peddling traits became ever more noticeable to me, and against Fulham his entire performance seemed marred. Although I will not deny that Ingimarsson is still awesome in the air, next to the still-learning Andre Bikey, he was made to look amateurish.
And if Bikey can maintain this kind of form, who is to say Ingy`s position will be safe next season with the return of the indestructible Sonko.
Reading could do a lot worse then to field their two African centre backs permanently in the middle of defence. And with the yet untested 23 year-old Peter Mate still in the Reading ranks, perhaps it is time for the ageing Ingimarsson to step aside…
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