Nail Biting Time – By Cliff
Posted on February 23, 2007
Filed Under Articles By Cliff
It’s been a funny week, we have drawn a game that was always going to be tricky and we played without a player that a lot of people do not like, but did we look any better?
Before the game against Sunderland I would have taken the draw, during the game I would have taken a narrow defeat! Second half we played better but for the initial 45 I thought Sunderland simply looked a better and sharper team than us. Personally that’s the best team I have seen play this season and I think they will be in the top 2.
Then onto the game itself, Johnson did not play. I sway with Johnson like the wind, but we missed him I think. Larsson did not play too good and looked lost sometimes, one thing about Johnson I think is that he cannot play central, now I am not sure if I would want Larsson or Johnson on the right.
One player who is concerning me is Bendtner, not his work rate which has always been suspect, but his positional play. Over his last few games he seems to be playing more and more like a midfield player, dropping deeper and deeper. Maybe that’s just to get the ball as the service is poor I do not know, but when we then play the ball forward Jerome is on his own.
After the game people have been saying that Campbell should start, Blues fans (maybe all fans) at the moment seem very knee jerk. Yes Campbell came on and scored, but does that make him a starter? I think his best role is off the bench, he has pace and that last twenty is ideal for him. I am not sure he is a first choice player, now or maybe ever. I think any defence is going to be physically tested with Jerome’s movement, then Campbell can come and push them further!
One small issue at the moment is goals, Jerome for all the best will in the world is not that great at finishing, so he needs a partner to notch some up. Bendtner has not scored now for quite a while and I cannot remember him having missed many chances. I am not saying Bendtner should not be playing but I do think he needs to get back in and around the penalty area and not in his own half looking for the ball.
Prior to the game I wondered if the older hands of Taylor should have been recalled but I think Doyle played well. I do worry slightly his decision making is not quite right but he is young and his shot stopping looks to be superb. Saying that I am still not too sure what Taylor did wrong really.
Looking at the league table we are now in a superb position, weird since we have dropped a place! Games in hand are not ideal but win them and we are top and the others have to chase us again. The bookies have put us back as favourites in a league which no doubt will have a lot of twists yet. Before the season I said to myself at least we will not be worried about opposition teams coming here, I was against Sunderland, maybe nerves are now coming into play.
People keep saying that 90 points will take you up, well on that basis we now have to average 2.07 points per game, looking at the remaining fixtures we can afford a couple of slips I reckon as they look ok. Hull and Leeds provide the next tests and they are going to be very tough games, both clubs fighting for survival. Realistically if we are going to go up we have to beat the teams down the bottom.
Then we have Cardiff followed by Derby, two games which could shape our final position no end, Cardiff appear to be playing a lot better again, personally I think Derby may now have a dip.
At the end of the day, before the seasons started we would have taken this position at this stage, now we need to finish the job off, let’s start with three points tomorrow!
Hull 0 – Blues 2.