Andy Munro on Blues’ Wednesday, bloody Wednesday.
The way Blues played (or certainly started), it was obvious that they found playing Wednesday on a Tuesday night confusing. I’m not necessarily blaming the tactics but five in midfield and one up front was very predictable. It posed the question whether we are more afraid of the opposition than they are of us?
Despite the brave and positive after-match comments from Lee Clarke, we yet again started in second gear. It was almost a repeat of Saturday’s match and it raised the same issues…. powder puff up front, pedestrian in midfield and leggy at the back. Jack Butland also could be said to be responsible for one of Wednesday’s goals but I don’t subscribe to his growing army of critic – give me Butland any day over Doyle (admittedly only just), Lucas (definitely) and Myhill(definitely). I think that his stormy Championship baptism will teach him a sharp lesson but it will be one from which he will quickly learn given his undoubted talent.
Of the back four, Murphy was probably the pick but was the woeful performance of a lethargic Curtis Davies a result of him being the only player with genuine pace who week in week out is expected to bail out a comparatively ponderous defence?
Midfield is still a problem, with the right balance not yet struck and it was a surprise to see five in midfield without the talents of Ravel Morrison. Even the wingers seem to be coached towards intricate interplay rather than being told to take on their fullbacks. We could certainly have taken a lesson from the pacy Wednesday wingers who were fast and direct and caused our defence no end of problems.
In fairness to our wide men, the fact is that we take too long to move the ball out to them. Is this a sign of the ‘defensive’ tactics allegedly a Lee Clarke philosophy? True or false, we are in the England class in notching up meaningless possession in unimportant areas but no killer pass and no clue about what to do in the final third.
Up front, any successful team needs pace or power, preferably both. Without Ziggy, we have neither. I’m still not panicking….yet!