Blues stung by Hornets


February 16, 2013 by Made In Brum

Blues 0 Watford 4.

Where to begin? Blues have played poorly, they have been taught a footballing lesson and have lacked invention. Gianfranco Zola’s Watford side are a very good footballing team, they knock it around well, they get in your faces and they stop you from playing. But Blues’ biggest problem this afternoon was giving the ball away. Morgaro Gomis, who I like and have a lot of time for, had a ‘mare. Everything he touched went to a yellow shirt.

With the controversial decision to publicly criticize Nikola Zigic and then leave him out is fine, do what you have to do as a manager. But why leave out a 6 foot 8 striker and still play long ball?? It is baffling stuff. For those who know me, you’ll know that I am completely 50/50 on Lee Clark. I think the bloke has had a very difficult job, circumstances haven’t helped with injuries and the adverse working conditions behind the scenes, but he doesn’t help himself. Today, Blues were giving the ball away and couldn’t feed the strikers, who worked tirelessly, the game was crying out for a Ravel Morrison or to a lesser extent, a Callum Reilly, someone to inject something… anything, into the middle of the park. But that change wasn’t forthcoming and the game fizzled out.

What did Blues do well? Not much. Jack Butland didn’t put a foot wrong… or a glove wrong, he made some great saves. Wes Thomas and Peter Lovenkrands battled and fed on scraps, Chris Burke was decent. But that was it. We are now firmly out of the play-off picture, if we were ever in it, and all that is left now is to stay up and secure our Championship status.

Ironically, Blues’best chance came just seconds before Watford broke the deadlock. Thomas chased a ball down the flank before cutting inside the area and firing inches over the bar. Watford duly went up the other end and took the lead through Brummie and Blues fan Troy Deeney.

A sign of how frustrated and fed up Blues fan are could be judged by the crowd, with tickets at ‘kids for a quid’ and adults £17-18, still only 18,933 turned up. That includes a 3,500 strong Watford contingent. And Zola’s men treated the travelling faithful to a near-perfect performance. Ikechi Anya, who is apparently Scottish, is the best full-back I have seen at St. Andrews this term. He passed the ball well, attacked and defended well and topped it all off with a goal (Watford’s second). In comparison to our two Paul’s, Robinson and Caddis who both looked suspect when defending, Anya was superb.

Blues lacked any real composure and carried little threat. Anyone that gets on the strikers backs after today has to watch the game back. How can an attacker do his job without the ball? Thomas, although he doesn’t look confident in front of goal was full of energy and determination, Lovenkrands was always available, but was rarely picked out unless it was in the air.

In the second half when we all expected an early Blues tirade of attacks, the Hornets passed it round like it was a training game. Seven, eight, nine passes, followed by one Blues pass, then the ball was Watford’s again. Too easy. Too predictable. Other than on guilt edged chance when Lovenkrands streched out a leg but couldn’t get a touch on Burke’s cross, the home fans had little hope or excitement to cling on to.

The belief remained on the terraces until Deeney scored their third, and possibly the easiest goal he will ever score after 62 minutes. After breaking up a Blues attack, the visitors attacked, and with Steven Caldwell backing off and doing his best to impersonate a lorry reversing, the ball was pulled back to Deeney who tapped it in.Game over. 

The introduction of Nathan Redmond didn’t change anything. Rob Hall who was anonymous (and he needs to work on his dreadful corner kicks) was replaced by Redmond, who wasn’t much better. Mitch Hancox came on for Robinson, who picked up a knock.

Restoring pride was the order, Blues had one or two chances before Almen Abdi blasted home Watford’s fourth. From a neutral’s point of view (that’s what I am where Clark is concerned) I have been thinking about where he has gone wrong today. I won’t comment on the Zigic situation, because quite frankly, if the player hasn’t been pulling his weight, then Clark is well within his rights to leave him out. But the defence has been pulled apart on several occasions today and we lacked any sort of spark. But the biggest criticism I have of the manager today is his lack of ideas. At 3-0 down, twenty minutes to go, I like to see a boss shouting orders, encouraging the team, but Clark was sitting down with his head in his hands looking clueless, similar to the players…

Blues ratings- *BUTLAND 7. Caddis 5. Caldwell 5. Davies 6. Robinson 5. Burke 6. Elliott 6. Gomis 4. Hall 4. Thomas 5. Lovenkrands 5… SUBS USED- Redmond 5. Hancox 5. 

Match report by Rob Wildey.


5 thoughts on “Blues stung by Hornets

  1. Blue4Life says:

    Agreed Robbo was poor, Gomis did some good things, but also gave ball away too often. Their full back was good but had no neck!!

  2. That was a new low for BCFC and the manager… absolute shambolic.

    On this evidence we have not got a scooby- doo against sheff wed on tuesday night.

    Relegation zone here we come.

    KRO to the end of the season.. it can’t come quick enough

  3. Vic says:

    You don’t get many chances to score the first goal against Watford and few can come back after conceding as we have seen this afternoon. Being forced to open up and look for an equaliser invariably plays into their hands and when you do they hit you from everywhere. I think the tactics were right though Thomas’s miss proved to be costly though hardly a mistake. However point proven or not, dropping Zidic altogether was rash by Clark, there are other ways to gee up under-performers surely?

    If there’s one positive it is that it’s all over, most of the clubs around City still have the pleasure to come.

  4. tony says:

    We gave the ball away far to much and ball watching at times was laughable.Davies was the only defender that wasn’t poor and Burke looked the only midfielder with any clue what to do when we had the ball.Hall and Robinson were dreadful.If Clarke had played the lumbering lanky lump i don’t think it would have made any difference as when he has started games hes been poor most of the time and we didn’t create much for the forwards anyway .All in all we looked clueless and inept and if we lose tuesday then god help us because the manager seems clueless too.

  5. Alistair says:

    A very fair report. Without wishing to rub salt in to your wounds i feel it only fair to point out that the hornets were in fact a little below par in their efforts . They have played much better in previous outings and the defence was a last minute adjustment by zola. Enjoyed the day in brum, stewarding was friendly and bcfc ticketing helped out with cash sales at last minute. Less joyful was the betting clerk doing a runner with our winnings at full time..!

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