Mauled by the Tigers

Andy Munro witnesses Blues going down with scarcely a fight.

Our visit to Hull saw yet another embarrassing reverse, this time by a team managed by a Steve Bruce whose tactical nous when in charge of Blues would have made Barry Fry’s grasp of the game seem akin to Jose Mourinho. It also beggars belief that our own manager knew the likely opposition team and tactics they would employ but still was completely outflanked. In fairness to Clarke, he’s not been lucky with injuries and maybe there’s some semblance of truth in the old adage that a manager is only as good as his players.

Obviously Hull are doing what Blues can ill afford – loaning/buying quality like George Boyd and then bringing in international class players, albeit Egyptian, from abroad. Either way,it was all over before the fat lady had even cleared her throat with the Blues defence too easily pierced and the scenario amply described by the oft-quoted phrase “An outpaced Caldwell”. It was noticeable that Butland had a fairly average game which perhaps highlights what would have happened in previous matches if we’d had an average keeper between the sticks when, so often, JB has been our saviour.

It now seems patently obvious that some of the players just aren’t good enough and the age profile compounds the situation with players either around the teenage/early twenties mark or in their thirties.The fact that most players are at their peak in their mid to late twenties( Darren Ambrose excepted of course) has also to be borne in mind. Additionally there is a concern that the latest signing of Ferguson goes the same way as Mullins, Ambrose and Wes Thomas, the latter apparently nicknamed at Bournemouth as ‘Barn Door’ for reasons which are starting to become obvious. Clarke doesn’t help himself in this respect by making everybody sound like a marquee signing when they’re more like a camper’s tent.

Tom Ross and his accompanying band of ex-players suggest that the poor hand dealt to Clarke is a significant reason for our current malaise and that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It is with this latter sentiment that I take issue because a good manager can make his players overperform. Clarke is patently unable to do this even though some of his players are comparatively household names compared to the Barnsleys of this world. Let’s face it, Blues probably have more players with international honours of some kind than most in the Championship.
Our late flourish, which admittedly weren’t bad goals in themselves, was too little too late and merely achieved damage limitation to our goal difference.It’s all an ever-growing concern.

Food for thought

  • Is it a waste of time playing Zigic as a lone striker?
  • Should Darren Ambrose be given a chance to redeem himself?
  • Are we now back in the relegation mire?