Bela’s the fella

Andy Munro watches Blues draw 1-1 with Rotherham United.

Afer an uneventful first eighty-seven minutes Jeremie Bela certainly made his mark in the closing stages of this game, clumsily giving away a penalty with three minutes to go, dispatching an excellent spot kick equaliser of his own in the dying seconds of normal time and then being denied a last-gasp winner when his final touch let him down.

In truth, it was a scrappy game played in a swirling wind but after a ropey first half-hour, Blues probably deserved to edge it but couldn’t really complain at settling for a draw.

The game is all about opinions, but in the second half I would probably have brought on Dan Crowley and moved Bela to a more central position up front, rather than bring on Jon Toral. Crowley’s eye for a defence-splitting pass could have unlocked the door to three points. However, who am I to say when it was Toral who earned us the penalty.

Although Blues weren’t at their best, there were some positive points. Colin and Sanchez are becoming an excellent combo reminiscent of the successful Caddis/Cotterill partnership a few years ago. Etheridge looked safe and secure in goal when Rotherham launched their party piece set pieces. Friend and Clayton were again influential and Scott Hogan, when he was on, looked as if he can resurrect his pre-Covid partnership with the Juke when Karanka uses 4-4-2.

Perhaps the only minuses were Blues moving the ball around far too slowly in the first period and the defensively shaky left flank starring Pederson and the mercurial Bela. A home point against the Millers is not the stuff of dreams but in the EFL anybody can beat anybody so the result is not necessarily something to be sniffed at.