December 8, 2012 by Made In Brum
Wolves 1 Blues 0
‘Its all about going on an unbeaten run’. That really worked out. Examine this derby in segments and you find that Blues didn’t actually play badly. But again, going a goal down, rather than a goal up has killed them.
For large parts of the first half, Blues bossed the game but were fruitless in the final third. Rob Hall gets into very promising positions but lacks an intelligent final ball, Nathan Redmond must have been stroking a dog on the sidelines as he wasn’t involved in play at all. It was a crying shame really as Lee Clark’s men showed plenty of endeavour in the opening half, but for all their tippy-tappy stuff, couldn’t muster a real opportunity.
Wolves were there for the taking today, just like their manager, they looked stale. But they got their noses in front against the run of play after Marlon King proved that he does always score goals, but not always in the right net.
The first half display from Blues was more than decent but you always thought that if they didn’t find the net when in the ascendancy, they wouldn’t find the net at all. And that was case.
Hayden Mullins has taken a lot of stick, but he did the mucky work well today but after being booked, will miss the Palace game. Unfortunately for Blues, their main attacking threat was from a defender, Paul Caddis. His overlapping play was with intent, if only more could follow his example. Too many times, Blues passed their way through Wolves with ease but suffered from cold feet in the final third.
Then ten minutes before the break, Bakary Sako’s free kick was swung at by King, but as lady luck would have it, the ball went flying in, own goal. The visitors continued to ask questions of Wolves, but again, the final pass, the killer ball, wasn’t good enough.
Jonathan Spector was forced off with an ankle injury at half time, he was replaced by Ravel Morrison. You’d think that the introduction of Morrison would help Blues’ cause, but if anything, it hindered them. Spector’s competitiveness was missing and Wolves started creating chances in a half that they were by far the better side.
Christophe Berra rushed a volley from a corner and blazed it over. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s blocked shot was blasted over by Sako. Curtis Davies headed onto his own crossbar as the home side started to up the ante.
The pattern of Blues’ play had started to become three passes to the side, then one forward before losing it. Or a long diagonal that is over hit or miscontrolled by our wide men. Hall’s affect in the second was limited, Redmond’s was non-existent. At one point, Redmond was played in for a one-on-one, despite being offside, he still fluffed it.
Jack Butland made a tremendous stop from Bjorn Siguardson to keep Blues in it.
The biggest problem of all was Blues’ midfield couldn’t cope with their muscular, quicker, more intelligent counterparts. Sako, Karl Henry and Tongo Doumbia at times simply pushed a blue shirt off the ball before starting up yet another attack.
Peter Lovenkrands was thrown on in place of Redmond as Clark altered the shape to 4-4-2. But even then, the ball was never in or around the danger area’s long enough for King or Lovenkrands to carve a chance. Chris Burke was the final throw of the dice, he replaced Rob Hall.
Burke was as much use as a chocolate tea pot. Three times late on, he had all the time in the world to put a cross in with blue shirts queuing up in the box, but two were severely over hit and one was easily taken by Ikeme. The Scot looks a shadow of his former self.
Somehow, Blues remain only nine points from the top six. It really is baffling. All this season, its been bad result, followed by a couple of positives, followed by another negative result. Is it fair to say the season hasn’t really began? Or is this where Birmingham City are at now? Two home games against Palace and Burnley are approaching, with St. Andrews hardly being a fortress this term, it is hard to see maximum points.
Blues ratings- Butland 7. *CADDIS 7. Caldwell 6. Davies 6. Robinson 6. Hall 6. Mullins 7. Redmond 5. Spector 6. Elliott 6. King 6…SUBS USED- Morrison 6. Lovenkrands 5. Burke 4.
Match report by Rob Wildey.