Ipswich Town has had an exceptional year, especially given their return to the Sky Bet Championship from Sky Bet League One. Fans were initially hopeful for a season that would help them re-establish themselves in the second tier and avoid relegation. However, the team has exceeded expectations and has been in excellent form, with the exception of Leicester City’s outstanding start in the second division.
One of the unexpected highlights of the year has been Vaclav Hladky, who has stepped up and performed remarkably well in the absence of their regular goalkeeper, Christian Walton. This turn of events has created a positive dilemma for manager Kieran McKenna.
When the news of Walton’s injury broke, some fans may have been concerned, but it turns out they had nothing to worry about. This is not to undermine Hladky’s goalkeeping abilities, as he has proven himself to be a capable option. However, Walton has long been seen as the number one choice for good reason, given his excellent goalkeeping skills.
Hladky has seized the opportunity presented to him this year, and it’s now difficult to make a case for dropping him in favor of Walton. This is evident when you look at Hladky’s and Ipswich’s defensive statistics for the season. The team’s defense is performing exceptionally well, with only two other Championship sides conceding fewer goals this year: Leicester City and West Brom.
Hladky, who is 32 years old, has also put up impressive numbers, including six clean sheets in nearly half of the matches he has played. Additionally, he leads the league in goals prevented this year. With both goalkeepers in excellent form, McKenna has the luxury of having the best goalkeeper pairing in the division. Their competition and mutual support could be a crucial factor in what promises to be a memorable season for Ipswich Town.