Andy Munro witnesses Blues’ defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers.
I am still in a state of shock following Blues’ humbling against a very ordinary QPR side. It almost sank to the Bournemouth nil-eight depths and could well have done without Kuscak’s acrobatics between the sticks. After the match, I deliberately avoided listening to the Zola interview because it’s not nice to hear a decent human being in pain. But (and it’s a big BUT) he has to carry the can as a professional. Granted, Blues had five key players missing but the side fielded had some decent talent on paper, although paper-thin was all it was.
Unfortunately the tactics and balance were poor, many of the players looked lightweight and to be going through the motions rather than playing with pride and passion. Blues’ central defence, even during the Rowett era, could look shaky so to buy two wing backs/attack minded fullbacks seems to have been tactically naive.
So, looking at the side from one to eleven, plus subs, it’s worth being clinical in an objective assessment, of which the besieged Zola seems incapable:
KUscak: Great shot stopper but too often slow off his line. Still worth his place with a decided average back up in the wings.
Nsue: Too often caught napping defensively. Admittedly good going forward but crossing was abysmal, despite his goal.
Shotton: Flaky to say the least and not the sort of leader figure that a central defence needs.
Grounds: Capable only of being mediocre in any position he plays.
Robbo: Came on as sub and the best player by a country mile which perhaps says it all.
Keiete: He will eventually and undoubtedly be a great asset but the young player currently needs some stability around him.
Dacres-Cogley: Robbo apart, he looked easily the most accomplished player and a mystery why he was subbed at half-time
Tesche: A shadow of the player who first came on loan to us – ponderous and wasteful
Kleftenbeld: Too often caught in possession and, like Tesche, wasteful.
Frei: Not one of his best performances but still the pick of a poor bunch going forward. Played as part of an organised and structured team, he would be a real asset.
Stewart: Over-elaborated at times but still looks a decent player although never really threatened.
Sinclair: Quite ponderous for a supposed pacey player and a terrible touch on the ball…..whatever did Zola see in him?
Adams: Shrunk back in his ‘prospect’ shell and needs decent support.
Storer: Should have replaced Sinclair instead of being confined to an unfamiliar midfield role.
However, the bottom line on this is that Zola has not been able to motivate the players and has tinkered tactically to no available. Changing managers who have signed their own players is not something to do lightly but one win in fourteen…