January 27, 2020 by Stephen L Wright
Why did Blues win yesterday? Was it because they were playing a Championship team? No. Was it through better training and conditioning? No. So, what?
In her post-match review, Marta Tejedor said “When we had those injuries to players at the back [Harriet Scott] was forced into a position which was not natural for her. This was the first day we could get her back to full-back and she was willing to do that and wanted to play there so I was so happy to see her give such a good performance.” Now, I am but a lowly amateur pundit. Yet, even I can see huge contradictions in Marta’s words. Contradictions that give substance to comments that have been made in this column and by other fans.
So, why did Blues win? Because the players were in their comfort zone positions (CZP). Of course Harriet was willing to be FB because that’s her CZP. Consequently, she and her teammates played the game for which they are best suited and got the result. There was no reason for not playing Harriet at FB last week against Man City. Neither was there any reason for not putting new signings Emma Kelly and Georgia Brougham in the Starting XI. When they were put on they were in their CZPs and added depth and strength. So why all change yesterday, for the better? I’ll just park that there.
From the whistle Blues played to win. I don’t agree with Marta Tejedor that “…it took some time…to read the game.” As they could have done last week (https://madeinbrumfanzine.com/2020/01/20/getting-stuck-in/), had they been in their CZPs, Blues took the game to Sheffield in what wasn’t going to be a walkover. Sheffield United are second in the Championship League and could still be promoted to the Super League. They’re a tough team and they held Blues to a no score first half, despite the fact that Blues dominated the midfield and, more importantly, the Vital Third (https://madeinbrumfanzine.com/2020/01/05/a-game-of-two-thirds/) and the goal area.
Blues came out fighting again in the second half. The constant pressure resulted in a positive outcome as they chalked up three goals – two by Harriet and one by Lucy Stan. Job done.
So, Change nothing is my advice. Blues’ next four games see them taking on the three teams around them in the table – Liverpool (A), Brighton & Hove (H), Bristol (H) – and current third place Chelsea (A). In theory they should come away from these with nine points at least. Time, and Marta Tejedor, will tell.