Andy Munro on a dramatic debut at St Andrews.
Before the start of the match against Wednesday I turned around to my neighbour on the Tilton and we both chimed at the same time, “Why do we do this?”
Our gloom then deepened rather than lightened when we saw that Caddis had been left on the bench and the Blues appeared to be playing one up front (if you presume that Jesse Lingard was more of an advanced midfielder). In fact early on, for the first time this season, we looked bereft of confidence as if the results, particularly the humiliating reverse at Burnley, had finally hit home. Yet all that changed when Jesse L hammered home the opener from close range but in a position the likes of Shinnie, Novak and Allen had dismally failed to score from previously.
The main instigator was Chris Burke and if you can run a four goal hero close for Man of the Match then Burke nearly achieved that honour as he terrorised the Wednesday defence all afternoon. Now, we’re used to having a Jesse up front, although currently he’s still out injured, but the new Jesse’s finishing was something else. Incidentally he also battled back in a way that previous loanees like Morrison and Hall frequently failed to do.
Fair play to Matt Green who ran himself into the ground which helped give Jesse L some room and after a slow start the midfield took control with Adeymi putting in a Muamba-like performance – ungainly yet full of energy and commitment. While Dan Burn and Bartley were also impressive, the other real star was the returning Smurf who continually powered down the left whilst spraying some great balls around.
Now it’s obvious that Wednesday are no world beaters but they certainly have power and pace and it was good to see the Blues players standing up and being counted. The crowd, at last, had something to shout about and paltry sized though it was, they really got behind the team – respect, mind you, to a vociferous Wednesday contingent even though their team were getting an old-fashioned tatering.
Some say we scooped Jesse on the back of Fergie (still in the background at Old Trafford) being a closet Blues fan. Either way, things look a deal brighter especially with the prospect of the two Jesses up top!