Andy Munro comments on Blues’ opening pre-season friendly.
They say you should never read too much into friendlies, and in fact some of our best seasons have followed abysmal friendly results. So, apart from commenting that the match was played at a funereal pace, neither side, in boxing parlance, were really laying a glove on each other. So with goalmouth action as rare as the proverbial rocking horse droppings, here is what I gleaned from our first friendly in Portugal.
Stockdale’s kicking is a sight better than Lee Camp’s but in the normal goalkeeping arts, they looked about the same. The back three in both halves looked decent and maybe at last Marc Roberts is going to earn his not insubstantial amounts of corn. Still a slight question mark by young Harding who seems to suffer the occasional lapse in concentration.
Maxim slots easily into the role of wingback but on the other flank Steve Seddon was the star of the show, which augurs well for the future. In midfield Gardner and Davies were no more than decent and the latter still doesn’t seem to be back to his pre-injury form.
Up front, Mrabti and Odin Bailey did okay without setting the world alight with the latter still looking a bit lightweight and neither really gelling with an undistinguished Isaac Vassell. Finally, while it was good to see the young Jude Bellingham given some minutes, the game seemed to pass him by and another Trevor Francis he ain’t.
Still, it’s early days on all fronts.