Andy Munro reports on Blues’ first league game of the season.
After the first game, Bluenoses I spoke to still seemed undecided whether the glass was half full or half empty, although in my case the last gasp equaliser meant that it was definitely half full. Perhaps too many fans forgot that we were playing a well organised team, used to playing together and one that had romped division one amassing over 100 points in the process – better even than Saints and we all know how they did in the Championship last season.
The attendance, at 18,500, was slightly disappointing although it was the holiday season and Blues fans were in good voice although I didn’t see any real evidence of the much vaunted ‘Forza Blues’ initiative. Early on, Blues dominated proceedings without really looking dangerous while Charlton relied on breakaways which at times had us in all sorts of trouble. Jack Butland getting us out of the mire on several occasions whilst Charlton’s Johnny Jackson missed the sort of chances Ronnie Rosenthal would have been proud of. In fact, apart from the occasional dangerous foray from Ravel Morrison and some clever but sporadic work from Messrs King and Burke, we looked powder puff in the opposition penalty area.
The second half generally followed a similar pattern except with Charlton looking even more dangerous. In truth their opening goal was well deserved and came following some extensive pressure around our box. While Redmond was sent on first, it wasn’t until the final five minutes that Ziggy put in an appearance. Immediately he encouragingly poleaxed the Charlton centre-half in a strong challenge just when their central defence were about to celebrate the game as physically their most undemanding 90 minutes for many a season.
Even better was to come, following great work by Burke (who else) when Ziggy powered the ball home into the corner of the net to give us a welcome, if undeserved, equaliser.
It’s a long season and Lee Clarke is undoubtedly a fine manager with a decent track record but playing Ambrose on the wing doesn’t work for me. If Blues play two up front then Redmond has to play to give us balance and pace.Iif Lee wants to play Ravel Morrison, Haydn Mullims and Darren Ambrose then I think that he just has to play one up front.
On the subject of ‘up front’ Lovengrans (who had a particularly anonymous game) is, in my view, too similar to Marlon King – tricky, with an eye for goal, but no real pace and no real physical presence. Consequently, if they do play together they need an early ball to feet or crosses that are powered in rather than looped. Personally I would only play one of them, probably off Zigic with the other on the bench.
A game of opinions…..
PS It’ll be interesting to hear the Canaries tweeting on the internet about our previously ‘loyal’ manager.