Mauled by the Tigers

Andy Munro leaves St Andrews feeling less than pleased.

Birmingham City Football Club - St Andrew'sI suppose it was an accident waiting to happen. Ex-manager returns with ex-striker and, after half an hour, it seemed we were looking at a Barnsley scenario. While the Blues weren’t quite abysmal, the three goals conceded were poor in the extreme from a defensive point of view. Twice we were undone by the pace of the returning Aluko (AJ deja vu anyone?) and also the sort of header from an excellent corner which we seem incapable of delivering ourselves.

To their credit, the crowd stayed with the team apart from a fleeting chant of “You’re Not Fit to Wear the Shirt” and Blues tried to respond without being able to make up the deficit. Apparently Lee Clarke was obviously too ‘distraught’ to be interviewed but he wants to try being a fan then he’d know the meaning of the word. So up stepped Terry McDermott who, with responses frequently punctuated by the Scouse he learnt at Liverpool (ermm), made Lee Clarke look one of the greatest orators of our time. He said the players were “professionals” (blimey, that’s a surprise) and would “put it right”. He said Lee Clarke would make sure of that and he “wore his heart on his sleeve” Obviously the same location as his footballing brain.
How can things be put right when he has allowed the position to occur that Curtis Davies is the only first line defender with a semblance of pace? Probably, in the back four, Robbo showed the most commendable attitude but Spector’s lack of pace and Murphy’s loss of form meant that nothing was really happening down the flanks except for the sporadic brilliance of Burke. In the middle, Ravel Morrison scored a great goal but surely the manager should ensure that he is instructed to get in the box a lot more, otherwise why play an uninspiring fetcher and carrier like Mullins? Wade Elliott had a poor game and one of his mistakes caused a goal. Mitch Hancox came on for Murphy and showed refreshing pace and commitment – Murphy stormed off when subbed but, in fairness to Clarke, it was the right decision as Murphy was mediocre at best. Perhaps he’s been misled by previous hype calling him the best left back in the Championship. Let’s see what happens when we play Wolves if his nemesis Jermaine Pennant is playing.

Somebody told me that Mitch Hancox has been playing well on the left hand side of midfield for the Development Squad. I say give him a go in the first team as we desperately need an injection of pace, determination and direct play. I would probably exempt Marlon King and Ziggy from major criticism as two goals at home should be enough to win any game. Maybe we should also give Diop a run out in the centre of midfield alongside Morrison. The way things are going, by the time he playshe will be Gran Papa Diop.

So, it’s back to inconsistency, back to question marks over the manager and back to questions on the takeover. Normal service has been resumed.

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