No barnstorming for Blues

Andy Munro reports on Blues’ defeat at Barnsley.

It’s a heartbreaking thing for a Bluenose to say but one of the few benefits of COVID has been that I haven’t had to endure in person the Aitor Karanka-driven tin hat strategy, hoping that we might get lucky on the occasional break or from a set piece.

The manager has to start taking full responsibility for fielding teams that seem frightened to play with any freedom. Four changes were made following the decent draw against Huddersfield, who were easily the better side against promotion-chasing Cardiff on Friday night. For Blues’ visit to in-form Barnsley the formation also changed, the obvious conclusion to be drawn being that we were concerned about containing the home side rather than letting them worry about us.

Although it wasn’t a shocking performance, the team unsurprisingly showed little ambition until the last ten minutes when it was realistically too late to get anything from the game. Two headers from a defender throughout the whole ninety minutes just isn’t good enough and, if we continue in this vein, as we surely will with Karanka in charge, to use the words of the inimitable John Laurie, we’re doooomed.

Incidentally, to only bring on two of our most talented players, Ivan Sanchez and Jeremie Bela, in the last twenty minutes and our new signing Sam Cosgrove for the last five smacks of parks manager desperation rather than substitutions made at an earlier and braver stage. Perhaps that says it all.