Birmingham City 0-1 Manchester United – Report By Jake

Posted on September 30, 2007 
Filed Under Reports By Jake

So near and yet so far. The result may show a single goal defeat against the reigning Premiership Champions, all the Blues fans at St. Andrews this evening and watching worldwide know how close they came to witnessing their team come to achieving what would have been arguably their finest Premiership scalp.

For the second week in a row Blues matched one of the “big four” clubs in a heartening display. What caught the eye even more than the heroic defensive display at Liverpool was the style of play and willingness to take the game to one of the best attacking teams in Europe.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a defeat and the lack of goals may become an issue eventually yet when was the last time you saw a Blues team so confidently take on the bigger teams in the Premiership? Form will fluctuate and there will undoubtedly be twists and turns a plenty. I sense now, for the first time in maybe three seasons, the majority of fans believe this team can grow and show enough consistency to survive this season and progress.

Once again there were many excellent displays within a team performance. The spine of the team is starting to have a settled look and who have said this would involve Djourou, Nafti and Jerome? The on-loan Arsenal centre half is the vital link in my opinion in the back four. Liam Ridgewell has proved to be an excellent signing, it is Dojrou with his pace and power that has made the extra difference recently. The only down side is the shoulder injury he picked up in the second half. Blues cannot afford to have their key players missing for too long. Mehdi Nafti has probably played his best three games for the club in recent weeks. He has deserved to keep his place and is now showing the consistency and unrelenting, unselfish work ethic that has become the trademark of a Steve Bruce side. Cameron Jerome gave the Manchester United defence as hard a time as any striker this season. It is easy to forgot at times how young he still is and consistency in front of goal will only come with experience. Playing as a lone striker has helped Jerome with his all round game and Blues should endeavour to give him as much of the ball when he is facing the goal rather than with his back to it.

The biggest encouraging individual display though surely belonged to Gary McSheffrey. I like McSheffrey’s attitude. Throughout his loss of form he has never hid and just the extra confidence a goal can bring was all that was missing.

We can talk about all if the “What If’s ..” and most will be directed at Franck Queudrue for his dithering that led to Ronaldo scoring the only goal. Blues harassed United’s back four into more errors in the first half. United took their one chance and that is the defining difference between both teams.

The team’s reaction to Ronaldo’s goal impressed again today. Unlike at certain times last season Blues didn’t let the goal affect them and this resilience will be required in coming months.

Liverpool and Manchester United were always going to looked as “bonus” games for Blues in terms of points. After the performances expectations have risen for the forthcoming games at Blackburn and the home clash with Wigan. Can the team maintain the level of recent performance? In what is arguably the toughest of Premier Leagues we are about to find out.


4 Responses to “Birmingham City 0-1 Manchester United – Report By Jake”

  1. justwondering on September 30th, 2007 12:09 pm

    There would be two changes that I would make to the side that played yesterday and the side that will be facing Wigan Athletic. I’d drop Taylor in goal because when Ronaldo was dancing the ball around him why the hell did he not try and grab it? Doyle’s got to come back in goal for me and I don’t see why he was dropped.

    Secondly Quedrue is awful he’s made two balls up this season vs Chelsea and now United if he was not good enough for Fulham how’s he good enough for us? I’d replace him with Sadler.

  2. peter r on September 30th, 2007 12:20 pm

    Changes ? You must be joking. Taylor was blameless yesterday adn has been since his return. Quedrue was not fit for thie first game of the season. Since his return his has been part of a settled defence. Yes he made a mistake yesterday. Every player in the blues team will at some point this season – let’s drop them as well shall we ?

    Can’t see why Doyle was dropped ? he made two clear mistakes at Chelsea, by your own logic he shouldn’t be playing !

    Two great performances against Liverpool and Manchester United, something to build the team on and not change them I’d suggest

  3. justwondering on October 1st, 2007 6:39 pm

    But in the game he played vs Chelsea it obviously was not just fitness was it? It took him 3-4 matches to get back into the side again you can’t use that as a excuse.

    Doyley may have made a few mistakes but as far as I’m concerned every time Taylor plays we concede a goal its the same with Northern Ireland as well.

    You need to keep players on their toes freshen things up.

  4. peter r on October 3rd, 2007 10:58 pm

    Quedrue went away for two weeks fitness training after the Chelsea game ! The benefit is clearly there now even though it takes any player up to half a dozen games to get totally match fit at first team level.

    Taylor hasn’t made the mistakes this season Doyle has. Doyle may well be the better keeper eventually but why drop a player who has performed very well and been part of a better defensive performance recently including our first clean sheets of the season ?

    You do need players to compete for a place, don;t rule Kingson out as he has done little wrong so far either.

    You earn the right to stay in a team.

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