Andy Munro comments on Blues’ defeat on Saturday.
Lee described the performance as “horrible” but perhaps he ought to also have a word with his sidekick, who told the Mail that they’d leave nothing in their dressing room. Apparently the penalty of not giving their all would be not to have so many days off shopping in designer shopping outlets, which must have left the underperformers trembling.
In fairness, the side looked reasonably well set up, albeit with the usual inclusion of Clark’s lovechild, Lee Novak, and the decision to pack the midfield, with only one winger fielded. Predictably, we looked powderpuff up front, vulnerable in defence and whilst Clayton Donaldson has shown that he can finish with aplomb, somehow he doesn’t seem the threat that we thought he would be. Part of this might be pairing him with Novak who, as has been said countless times, works like a Trojan but rarely offers a genuine threat.
The midfield didn’t help matters. as they looked one-paced and only really livened up when Duffy came on. What he’s done to become just a bit part player, I’m not sure. Our much vaunted ‘new’ defence looked as leaky as a colander and is now becoming the same worry as last season.
I suppose all this is to be expected given our resources and the tactical ‘accumen’ of the current management although I still stick by my wildly optimistic(?) forecast that we’ll finish just outside the bottom six. However, this is all a bit reminiscent of supporters’ hopes for England in the World Cup. We went with supposedly nil expectations but I think every England fan secretly thought that we’d maybe get to the knockout stage or even the quarter finals. Similarly with Blues while the party line has been that we’ll be lucky to stay up, with our ‘refreshed’ squad we were all secretly hoping that a miracle would occur and we might even flirt with the play-offs.
I genuinely think that we have a half-decent team somewhere amongst this quad but without jumping on the Lee Clark Bashing Bandwagon, I think that it needs somebody with more tactical nouse but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, until there’s a change of ownership. In the meantime, my plea to Clark and his backroom boys is keep it simple. With 4-4-2 at least everybody is clear on their role and there is no hiding place. Given decent instructions, I don’t see why Messrs Cotteriill and Duffy can’t be effective going forward without neglecting their defensive duties. They’re in their mid-twenties not their sixties!