Andy Munro gives a Blue version of events at St Andrews.
Depending on what side of Birmingham (or Warwickshire?) you’re from, the views might differ but, in my view, we probably deserved all three points but only just given Villa’s late rally.
Certainly I’ve no complaints about any of the Blues players and their performances with their obvious desire to erase the ignominy down at the Den. As forecast, Cotterill gave almost everybody the chance to redeem themselves with the exception of Maghoma who gave way to the much vaunted Jota.
Now I hadn’t seen much of Jota but he’s a bit like Fabrini in terms of his stature and quick feet and…maybe even his hairstyle. However, the big difference is that Jota doesn’t fall over at the merest hint of a gust of wind and his skills have a tangible end product…his glaring miss in front of goal, of course, excepted. He certainly looks the sort of talent which justifies the admission fee to matches at Stans.
Vassell up front looked a real handful but his livewire performance was cut short with what depressingly might be a long term knee ligament problem. Mind you, his second half replacement, Sam Gallagher, at last showed some semblance of his previously hidden talent despite being played wide.
Other than that, the undoubted stars were the midfield with Kleftenbeld quite superb and N’Doye showing there’s more to his game than just winning headers and sticking the occasional foot in..it was also nice to see his Gardneresque gesture to gee up the Tilton. The performance of the midfield kept the pressure off the back four as the supply line to the undoubtedly talented Villa forward line was cut. However when called upon, Messrs Roberts and Morrison stuck to their tasks manfully ably supported by their fullbacks with Colin particularly gelling with Jota with the sort of cohesion down the flanks not seem since the Caddis/Cotterill era.
A final word on ‘Clapperville’ or should that be ‘Clappervilla’? Whoever thought that this sort of match either needed any extra noise or that the clappers weren’t an invitation for a missile launching exercise must need their head examined. Mind you fat Brucie must be getting delicate in his dotage to suggest somebody could have been seriously injured, perhaps a touch dramatic, even bearing in mind the fragility of today’s professional footballers.