Seven days at St Andrews

Andy Munro on Blues’ week – cup defeat and a point in the league.

A decent point against an equally decent Bristol City side but, as ever at this stage of the season, especially with new management, things are inconclusive.

Blues’ defence coped well, although we lost the fluidity of Colin overlapping, which is a vital part of the new formation. It is also perhaps telling that our goal came from the Juke, with the ball being provided by fellow old boy Roberts. While undoubtedly, the three new boys on show are class additions comfortable on the ball, they will need time to bed in. However, my view is that with both Cowley and Villabanca playing behind a single forward, we look too lightweight and the new forward Giminez has to be given a chance to show his metal as soon as possible.

Of course our failure to capture Wells or Afobe (or even Gayle…if the latter bid didn’t fall into the fiction category!), may leave a real gap and we lack real searing pace. I notice that Isaac Vassell netted in his first game for Cardiff to earn them an extra two points.

Without sounding like a football version of Old Moore’s Almanac, I think that his departure is a real mistake. Letting somebody go for an ‘undisclosed fee’ usually means the player has been sold for an embarrassing low fee and, if that’s the case, it’s a footballing crime.

At least we avoided defeat because after an ignominious defeat to an enthusiastic Pompey side in midweek, Blues can concentrate now on the league.

Call me an old traditionalist but I completely disagree with wholesale changes for cup games and this early in the season nobody should feel jaded. It was literally boys against men and even in my late 60s, I can relish playing against talented, quick but lightweight youngsters whose lack of experience often leads them up blind alleys. Either way, any sort of defeat is to be avoided when the most vital commodity in a club is confidence.

In fairness, things might have been different if we had had somebody with a bit of physique who could have held the ball up. Without that we had no shape and while that man could have been Isaac Vassell, he was confined to the bench while on his way to Cardiff.

I’m playing a familiar tune here but why sell him when we lose our only forward with real pace when the transfer window was never going to yield somebody with similar jet heels before it bangs shut? Even Clotet chooses his words carefully, saying it’s difficult to assess what we’ve lost.

To my mind the sale was pushed through by the Chinese and the wise old owl that’s Neil Warnock has bagged himself a bargain who is likely to return to haunt us.