Andy Munro watches Blues go down to Sheffield Wednesday.
Unfortunately, Blues got the result we deserved with the Owls’ goal coming from ex-Villa man Barry Bannan just to rub salt in the wounds. However, let’s be frank and recognise that Aitor Karanka’s sides are generally solid but that we’re never going to set pulses racing.
While we had the majority of possession, this was not reflected in the shots tally and most of the game we played far too deep especially when our front line consisted of Scott Hogan and the even more diminutive Dan Crowley. Neither player had the physique to be effective without support. It didn’t help that Jeremie Bela appeared to be carrying an injury and Gary Gardner looked the footballing version of ring rusty.
Now I’m not going to hammer Karanka for this defeat, because most of us would have taken our current midtable position at the start of this season but there are still a few things worth saying. Rotating a squad is all very well but this not only means that understanding is not great but that players who haven’t played recently are either lacking in confidence or sharpness viz a viz Gardner and Crowley.
Playing Hogan up front is never going to work as he needs to feed off the Juke or Liverpool-style needs to be part of a front three that press. Still, there were some good points with Jonathan Leko coming on to show the pace, power and presence that we desperately need and the Aussie prospect looks like he could become a starter sooner than later.
However, our lack of goals remains a worry and Karanka may have to rethink his safety first policy. The consolation in all this is that we look a solid outfit and Leko may yet provide some exciting icing on the staid footballing cake currently on offer to Bluenoses.