Andy Munro reports from Blues’ local derby at Wolves.
Unfortunately Marlon scored in his own net this time and didn’t have one of his better games as he was frequently caught offside but, in fairness, if anybody could be excused from a poor performance then it is the Blues King of Goals. Having said that, Blues were very unlucky not to secure at least a share of the points and completely outplayed Wolves in the first period. However, the goal that we conceded can be laid firmly at the door of Stephen Caldwell who needlessly gave away the free kick which led to Wolves’ winner.
In fact, Caldwell never convinced and the two young wingers in front of the defence showed lots of clever footwork around the ball but too often failed to penetrate into the heart of the Wolves territory and when they did, the final ball was generally of poor quality. In contrast, Sako for Wolves, despite being run ragged by Caddis overlapping in the first half, returned the favour in the second half with his power and speed. I still can’t understand why Burke is out of favour because he heads straight for the byeline to get behind the opposition.
Regarding other areas, I think Lee Clarke actually got the formation right but not the personnel. Spector, Mullins and Elliott are hardly inspirational or game changing. With two young attacking wide players, I can understand two of them being selected but certainly not all three. This selection folly was illustrated by the midfield completely failing to get into dangerous areas and we desperately need somebody with a box to box mentality if we are playing with just one up front.
Butland, as usual, was excellent and could do nothing about the goal which was caused by a Sako free kick driven in – something that we seem incapable of doing ourselves from wide positions.
However, overall it was fairly encouraging, if at the same time a slightly powder puff display despite some excellent possession. Consequently I wasn’t desperately disappointed but perhaps that means that I am becoming ambivalent to losses on the basis that this season’s horizon is probably, at best, a middle of the table job.
In the after-match interview I did feel a bit sorry for Lee Clarke who, as usual, mumbled his way through, trying not to look the camera in the eye and ending with a classic, “What shall we do?”
Well Lee, if you don’t know…..