Just a quick note to wish all readers of Joys & Sorrows a safe, happy and prosperous New Year. Let’s hope it’s the year we rejoin England’s elite… make 2007 the year of the Blues!
Happy New Year, everyone!
We’re mentioned quite frequently in the BBC gossip column today. Most of the stuff has been mentioned before but it’s worth noting down to see if any of it is accurate or whether it’s pre-silly season overdrive. I love this time of year.
The first story comes from the Sunday Express and concerns Arsenal’s on loan Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner. It claims that he’s attracted interest from top Italian clubs “including AC Milan.” I first blogged that story on December 5th and you can read that by clicking here.
Meanwhile the News Of The World has today put Matthew Upson on the wanted lists of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Newcastle United. The paper makes no mention of Chelsea despite claiming that the London club have a budget of £35m for the window. This could be to do with the fact that John Terry is now back in training after a back operation. You can read some quotes from Upson’s agent from the NotW by clicking here. He claims that Upson wants to leave and will refuse an offer that the player can’t refuse!
I’ve made several blogs about interest in Upson over the last few weeks. You can read the Tottenham Hotspur inquiry blog here and the supposed interest from Chelsea here. Meanwhile the Sunday Telegraph has rehashed a quote from Bruce about taking “one hell of an offer” to tempt anyone away from the club, not specifically Upson.
There’s quite a few bits and bobs floating around about Blues target David Nugent. The Sunday Mirror claims that Middlesbrough watched the player again in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland in which Nugent notched the winner. Meanwhile the News Of The World claims that Sheffield United would be willing to smash their transfer record and bid £5m for the striker in January.
You can read more about Nugent and see some of his goals by clicking here.
The News Of The World also claims that Watford are set to bid £3.5m for Fulham striker Collins John – a target for Blues in pre-season. No-one has mentioned the player as a potential target in January before now. He rejected us pre-season due to us not being in the Premiership. With us looking strong at the top of the division and Watford looking in danger of the chop, a move to Blues might now appeal.
And finally the Sunday Mirror has claimed that Manchester City – and not Blackburn Rovers – are set to swoop for Blues midfielder David Dunn. That said, the article that claims this also claims that Blues paid £7m for Dunn so it’s probably not the most reliable of sources!
Dunn was also linked with Manchester City at the beginning of the season.
Sometimes in life you don’t get what you deserve. When that happens in football take what you’ve given and be grateful.
A lethargic Blues were out fought and out maneuvered for the majority of the game by a spirited Luton side. The visitors showed the composure and determination required on a deteriorating pitch to warrant the win yet to Blues credit they showed the resilience that will be required for the rest of the season to snatch a point deep into injury time.
In this league you have to earn the right to play your football. Some Blues players gave the impression in the first half they just had to turn up to win the game. Luton started the game on the front foot and in Rowan Vine had a forward who gave Blues’ centre halves problems all evening with his pace and movement. Having already hit the post with a header Vine scored his teams equaliser on the stroke of half time after Blues had taken the lead against the run of play through Gary McSheffrey, undoubtedly the player of the season so far.
The second half was similar to the first and when Luton took the lead their play warranted with a quarter of an hour to go it looked enough to win the game. Blues didn’t register a shot on target in the second half until the stroke of full time and by their own standards too many players had a game to forget.
Much of the game bought back some memories of the Norwich game in October. The crowd were very quiet for a near full house and maybe could have been more supportive. The fact is we won’t win every game between now and the end of the season and they have to play their full part as well.
Niklas Bendtner had probably his least effective game for the club. The best players at the best clubs are there not only because of their skill but because of their work rate and attitude also. Whilst we must remember he is still learning his trade in his first full season Bendtner needs to keep working at his game to help him achieve the consistency required for his skills to flourish. Cameron Jerome was unlucky to be the one substituted unless he was carrying an injury. Whilst he didn’t have his most effective game Jerome at least showed a battling spirit in the second half. Likewise Mat Sadler who never hid despite poor distribution at times. And this was the difference from Norwich, despite having collectively and individually poor games the team at least didn’t give up.
DJ Campbell made a positive contribution also in a role that probably suits him best at home games – in the Supersub role and using his pace when the game is stretched.
This will be a good point if we get a win at Ipswich which I think will be one of the toughest games in the second half of the season. In the circumstances tonight was a point win. To be at least six points clear going into the New Year is worth remembering too.