Andy Munro watches Blues’ season begin with a win over Brentford.
To be honest, I would have been content with a draw beforehand and in fact, it was probably the least a more than decent Brentford side deserved. However, thanks to dogged defending and a well taken goal by Jérémie Bela, we garnered maximum points – a precious confidence booster after a long winless run.
The first surprise was the decision to play young keeper Zach Jeacock, who looks an excellent prospect and, at least, must be a shoe-in as first reserve keeper in 2020-21. In front of him, George Friend showed the still not completely convincing Harlee Dean what real leadership is all about. Overall, the back four looked solid apart from Pedersen’s penchant to give his winger too much room.
The defensive midfield duo of Sunjic and Clayton looked a waspish combination and should serve Blues well. Further up the pitch, the gifted Bela looked the player we first signed whilst on the other side Sanchez looks a really decent signing with excellent control and strength and, as bonus, chased back well.
Perhaps the only flat note was the relegation of the gifted Dan Crowley to the bench. His replacement Jon Toral still looks slightly off the pace in terms of getting up the pitch to work with and feed off the Juke. Whether that’s something the more diminutive Crowley could do remains to be seen.
Juke as usual put in a herculean shift to ensure the Brentford defence were kept busy on their guard and this is a start we all hoped for, with Aitors Karanka’s ability to organise solid, methodical units already showing through.