Blues failed to get the new season off to a flying start. Andy Munro was present.
Although Blues’ bright new dawn clouded over rather quickly, they can generally be proud of the way they battled against a team who were effectively in their second season of understanding and had been expensively assembled using that strange currency called ‘money.’ In contrast , the Blues couldn’t even muster the paltry £250,000 for Caddis so the odds were heavily stacked against our team.
There was a decent crowd, helped by a healthy Watford contingent, but both before and during the match it was noticeable that the home crowd stuck with their team through thick and thin with deafening renditions of Keep Right On.
Blues actually started off the brighter side but gradually Watford’s class began to tell with their tricky and fast left wing back causing all sorts of trouble, as he did last time we played. This eventually led to the first and only goal with the ball being moved slickly to Brummie Troy Deaney who coolly slotted home. He then proceeded to display his undoubted ‘Broad Street’ pedigree as he celebrated in front of an angry Tilton.
We continued to look uncertain in defence (the impressive Randolph excepted) with the three central defenders too often in an ‘After You Claude’ mode. We also were a bit disjointed in midfield and, in fact. it was going forward that we were at our most impressive with Novak and Green combining impressively on more than one occasion. In the second half we continued to threaten and after hitting the crossbar, came close on several occasions but it just wasn’t our day. When he came on, Burke caused Watford all sorts of problems but unfortunately it was too little , too late by the time he was given his chance from the bench.
Steve Clark deserves to be given some slack but this doesn’t exempt him from criticism.For example, playing three at the back doesn’t really work because we lack mobility with two of our central defenders , Burn and Robinson, comparatively pedestrian , although Robbo’s ‘they shall not pass’ mentality must be commended. In fairness Burn improved a lot as the game wore on but he jumps about as impressively as Ziggy despite his height. The wingbacks are also not working. Eardley is no Caddis and hasn’t the pace or skill to beat a man although on a positive note, he seems generally defensively sound. On the other flank, Fergie was wasted with his wing back responsibilities hampering his attacking aplomb.
Midfield was a mish-mash with Elliott awful and good in equal measures , Shinnie (and Allen subsequently) showing some lovely skills without stamping any authority anywhere. My view is both are better suited to playing in the hole away from home .
In the centre, nobody had really heard of Tom Adeymi before he arrived at St Andrews and now I understand why. Over six feet with an allegedly superb engine, he struggled disappointingly and, on this evidence, I would play Reilly any day instead.
To me, it must be 4-4-2 with room for Burke and Fergie playing as a proper winger. Away from home it can be 4-4-1-1 but that one up front needs to be Matt Green who time and time again turned poor to mediocre balls into good ones. That’s not to take anything away from Novak who looks a good foil. Any way with Plymouth and Yeovil in store, hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
– Ziggy or Novak to partner Green?
– If we play 4-4-2 who would you play in the centre of midfield?
– Is Burn any better than Ibanez?