Thrown to the Wolves

Blues lost the first local derby of the season to Wolves on Saturday. Andy Munro was a witness.

It’s difficult to know where to start after such a comprehensive drubbing but one thing is certain, we were playing a side who were distinctly average on paper and not in the flair class of the Wolves that used to sport Sako, Afobe and Dicko. Yet they completely outworked us and showed a passion sadly lacking from most of the Blues team.

Gary Rowett reckoned that we were “okay” in the first half but he must have been watching a different game to me. In fact, Wolves would have been out of sight by half-time if they had taken their chances.

Rowett’s mantra that we get stung whenever we commit players forward is becoming tiresome. Perhaps he should introduce a new phrase into his team talk, something much used at less sophisticated levels of the game – chasing back. And, by the way, committing men forward didn’t seem to threaten Wolves solidity; cue the sight of three Wolves attackers bearing down on two lonely Blues defenders in the first period.

So what is wrong? Blues have some very talented players but the manager doesn’t seem to know his best side and whatever players are picked are shoe horned into a rigid formation. Furthermore, the team lacks passion with Rowett’s fairly low key and measured approach backed up by the likes of Summerfield, who comes across as the proverbial wet weekend. Compare that to Walter Zenga and his animated performance on the touchline.

Other issues include the fact that Cotterill seems the only man capable of taking a dead ball kick and when he’s off colour, we’re in a dire situation. Included in this abject ball kicking scenario is Kuszak who may be a decent shot stopper but is a long way off the supposed new breed of sweeper/keeper.

Overall, a very bad day at the office and the concern was that whilst we were awash with options in midfield there was a lamentable lack of choice at the back, Morrison excepted. Shotton again played like Bambi on ice and Spector and Grounds failed to convince in either half of the pitch. The only bright spots were a fairly decent performance from Tesche, an excellent strike by new boy Che and our new Scottish wideman who looked both hungry and talented..let’s hope he now gets the game time to properly show his skills.

As many of us suspected, lower middle table already seems to beckon.