Andy Munro reflects on Blues’ latest defeat, at home to Derby.
If there was any justice in this world, Blues would have garnered three points instead of none. We had what looked like a perfectly good goal disallowe’ by the linesmen, were denied a nailed on penalty and had any number of chances to score several goals. Painfully, their first goal was a deflection off the post while Derby’s defence had a number of similar deflections in their own area which proved less costly.
Ominously, this is the type of luck that tends to befall a club that ends up being relegated, and Zola’s track record of two wins in twenty would have got him the sack anywhere else…in fact it would be interesting to find out if any manager of an English league club has ever survived such dismal results.
To rub it in Gary Rowett disappointingly showed his lack of class in openly celebrating their goals when a more modest approach would have been more respectful to the fans who gave him some great support in the past. Even worse, despite having the lion’s share of play, we were undone by a typical Rowett-inspired up and under which caused panic in our defence.
Cruel it was but the fact remains that sexy football is reaping some distinctly unsexy results. We looked excellent going forward with great performances from Jutkiewicz and Adams but always looked fragile at the back with the pedestrian Robbo and Groundsand Nsue often caught upfield as a pseudo winger. It’s no wonder the hearts of Bluenoses gravitate towards their mouths every time the opposition attack. My main grouse with Zola is his insistence on three at the back and two wing backs when it patently isn’t working. Frei, who is a naturally talented winger, hardly touched the ball when he came on but that has to be expected when he is relying on Grounds for service and support.
It didn’t help that Gardner’s set pieces were cringingly poor and one can only guess the level of the crowd’s vitriol if it had been the (unfairly) maligned Cotterill delivering so wastefully. In my view survival is in the balance with Rotherham away not easy when they’ve come away from a survival seeking Wigan with a point. Then a robust Burton side will be looking to bulldoze a Blues team whose confidence to get any sort of win must be non existent. My solution would be to revert to 4-4-1 with a team lining up as Kuscak; Cogley-Dacre, Grounds, Shotton and Beilik; Stewart or Maghoma, Kleftenbeld, Gardner and Davies; Adams; Jutkiewicz.
However, I doubt whether the Italian is for turning and perhaps, the music playing to welcome the team onto the pitch should be that Tom Petty classic Free Falling.