Blues 0-2 Portsmouth – Report By Jake

Posted on November 26, 2007 
Filed Under Reports By Jake

Any Blues fan who thought the 100 year old curse on St. Andrews had been lifted must now wonder what else is left that can plunge the club into a bigger mess than which it currently resides in.

The only consolation is fans can watch Premiership football. How long that will be for is debatable. Like many fans I am fed up with everything. Today’s match was same old same old. I do not blame Eric Black, he can only work with the tools given, though I was puzzled why Seb Larsson was an unused substitute. The football was rubbish, the atmosphere was rubbish, the weather was rubbish  and the excuses from the club are rubbish.

Did you know Blues have created the least number of chances this season bar Derby? Today was no exception. Bar one Mikael Forssell effort in the first half and a Liam Ridgewell attempt in the second David James could not have had a more comfortable afternoon. Blues simply aren’t going to score if they don’t create.  I have felt Steve Bruce had been at the club for too long and the apathy amongst the fans, boardroom and management team began in our third Premiership season. Since then the club declined slowly despite all the soothing words spoken by the board.

The fans aren’t fooled anymore. We know the board only spend what is earned through tv deals etc. We are still waiting on the infamous big screen television from last Christmas. Does David Sullivan honestly believe that we think even if Lippi, Scolari or Jol joined they would be given money to spend like today’s visitors or our local rivals have ? Are these claims from the same Mr. Sullivan who wants out as soon as possible ? You can fool some fans some of the time …

Steve Bruce may have been given peanuts to spend, that should not make him indefensible as one local radio presenter seems to think. I look at this Blues team compared to our relegation squad and wonder if Mr. Bruce did actually learn the lessons he claims. All I see is a younger version. We must have the slowest back four in the league and a midfield bereft of creativity. There is so little pace in the team we are too predictable. Tactics? Play for percentages seems to have been the only one in recent seasons. If we are “only as good as our strikers” as the previous manager claimed can someone please explain to me why we lost Bendnter, Campbell and Cole in the summer and replaced them with just O’Connor? It does not take a genius to work out that with Cameron Jerome in his first season at the highest level he would need a break at some point whether it be due to injury, suspension or loss or form. That leaves just Mikael Forssell, an injury prone striker. Three strikers going into any Premiership season is simply not enough. Lessons learned?

This takeover saga is no-ones fault but the boards.  Everything this season stems from that and I am not interested in them blaming anyone but themselves. For such clever businessmen they have dug a hole for the club that only they can sort out. Whichever way you look there seems to be more questions than answers. If they truly have the club at heart we will see in the next few weeks if their actions outweigh their words.


4 Responses to “Blues 0-2 Portsmouth – Report By Jake”

  1. justwondering on November 26th, 2007 7:28 pm

    If Eric Black had won the game on Saturday we’d be hailing him as the next Birmingham City Football Club manager. But just because he did not against a tough Portsmouth team who had pace in every department people are saying he should not be in with a shot at possibly becoming the new manager. Blues had a ton of injuries to think about as well.

    The performance itself was not bad though people are saying it was awful. I was at the match Ridgewell should have had a penalty and Ridgewell’s goal should have stood. I disagree Portsmouth were the better team we batterd them in the first half and second.

    The goals were unfortunate but Kingston should have another chance. I don’t rate Taylor at all and if Doyle’s not injured then why did he not play? I can’t see why Doyle was dropped after the first couple of games either that was a strange choice by Bruce.

  2. Lost in Kate Winslet on November 27th, 2007 9:55 am

    I was at the game as well justwondering and feel that you’re over-egging the performance. My viewpoint as a Pompey fan was that Blues huffed and puffed but otherwise were pretty ineffectual. Pompey didn’t play that well but we have qualities which Blues lacked. To not play that well but pick up three points away from home is the sign of a decent team.

    As for the Ridgewell incidents, its telling that Eric Black stated it wasn’t a penalty. Television replays showed that Pamarot played the ball. Also, the television replays show that Ridgewell initially played the ball from an offside position when he headed the ball back towards the penalty spot. Good decision by the officials on that occasion.

    Saying all of that, I don’t think that Blues are that far away from survival in the premier league. A side which isn’t blessed with pace needs to be able to keep the ball and have a bit more craft. I wasn’t convinced by your wide men on Saturday. McSheffrey doesn’t have the pace to trouble defenders at this level. If he wants to remain at this level, he needs to adapt his game to being a one/two touch player and using his ability on the ball to create a half-yard of space and crossing. De Ridder looks better than he plays and I’m not convinced as to the level that he can affect a game.

    Two pluses for you were the performances of Forssell and Muamba. Forssell looked lively and kept Campbell and Distin on their toes, Muamba showed his potential (particularly in the start of the 2nd half). The team’s work ethic cannot be faulted either and your defence isn’t the worse I’ve seen this season (Newcastle…).

    The question is can Blues stabilise their situation on and off the pitch. I hope so.

  3. Aff on November 27th, 2007 3:21 pm

    Nice post and a fabulous name!

    From the highlights I’ve personally seen and the copious amounts of reports I’ve read, it sounded as though Pompey were good value for the win (we had just one shot on target and just two off it) and why shouldn’t they be? They’ve outspent us by huge amounts. You expect an expensively assembled team to be able to outplay and eventually overcome a side put together with gaffer tape.

    For the record, I didn’t think Ridge’s goal should’ve stood and I didn’t think it was a penalty either.

  4. block 17 - the ref on November 28th, 2007 11:55 am

    I believe the blues supporters and the players were suffering from a post bruce hangover… I agree with a lot “Kate” said – why didn’t larrson get a game – his work rate is good and delivery of the ball is better than most of the team… I can not recall beating the first man at any corner!..

    from a refereeing point of view..

    1) the Penalty claim – Martin (atkinson) was 15m from play and closed the play down to 7.5m according to prozone… the closest any supporter could be is 35m approx… and the direct of the ball told me the ball had been played.

    2) Offside – Ridgewell was just to slow getting out… prozone states he was 2.5m offside.

    come-on justwondering – be objective!

    I think kingstone will never be a keeper at this level and i sense the middle pair – think the same…

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