Andy Munro watches Blues draw 1-1 with Millwall.
Gary Rowett will never manage a side playing sparkling football but his sides are all well organised. This, together with Millwall’s physical strength and size meant that a comparatively dimInutive Blues side, weary from their Yorkshire travails, were always going to toil against the dockers.
However, Blues compounded the footballing conundrum by playing without wingers and playing with two forwards with identical rather than complementary skillsets. This meant that helped by some uncharacteristically mislaid passes from Blues midfield, Millwall generally looked very comfortable with Blues’ sporadic first half attacks.
It’s only when the pace of Bela and the wing wizardry of Montero was introduced did we look a real danger. Even if their goal was a one in a million strike, on balance Millwall deserved to be in front until the improving Jake Clarke-Salter headed a superb equaliser from Crowley’s corner.
In fairness, there were some highlights with Connor Truman’s superb display which included a save that can only be described as Banks-like. When Roberts limped off with what looked like a serious injury both Dean and Clarke-Salter also stepped up to the plate.
The midfield was patchy apart from excellent displays from Jude Bellingham and Dan Crowley, who must be the steal of the century never mind the season for under a million quid. The former was also unlucky not to net in the closing minutes with a brilliant turn and shot.
Unfortunately, it was up front where we struggled, Gimenez showing that he might be a replacement for the Juke when the latter gets fatigued during the game or injured but shouldn’t be on the pitch at the same time. Maybe it’s time to play 4-3-3 with Bela/Maghoma and Montero either side of the Juke. At least the options are there….
Incidentally, the crowd of just under 20,000 wasn’t bad given the opposition, the start of serious Christmas shopping and the fact that no doubt probably half of Millwall’s notorious away following were probably detained somewhere at Her Majesty’s pleasure.