Andy Munro talks about Blues on and off the pitch.
The jury will be out for a few weeks and, to most Bluenoses, the way Gary Rowett was ruthlessly cast aside leaves a bad taste in the mouth. This, however, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get fully behind Zola, who is not responsible for the machinations of the Chinese owners.
In fact, I can safely say that despite unluckily losing, Blues played the brightest, most attractive football I’ve seen down at St. Andrews this season. Zola obviously likes to play a pressing game higher up the pitch rather than Rowett’s cat and mouse tactics and seeing the Blues under the new regime gives me plenty of hope for optimism.
If Kleftenbeld had scored a chance that you would have backed most of his teammates (and indeed most of the crowd) to score then it could have definitely been a different outcome. However, despite this awful miss, Blues played some expansive football with Stewart particularly impressive and Jutkiewicz showing he’s not just an aerial threat…although his goalscoring header was sublime.
I suppose, a bit like Klopp and Liverpool, a high pressing game requires real fitness and that may take time to achieve. In fairness, until the last twenty minutes, Brighton never looked a threat and, if I were to take issue with Zola on one thing, I would have brought on Maghoma or Otabor for Stewart to keep the visitors on the back foot. Bringing on the young full back Cogley handed Brighton the initiative as he continually funnelled back near to Spector instead of trying to cut out Brighton’s wide threat at source.
Still, we were desperately unlucky to lose and, if Zola chooses to use Fabrini and Caddis, we will have the equivalent of two new players. Add to that the transfer window and maybe a new full back and a mobile goalscorer and we may yet still end up in the Play Off game. Maybe, after all, it will be a case of “The King is Dead, Long Live the King”.