Often Partisan

Lack of Home Comforts – Boro Match Reflections

Here are my reflections on the game between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at St Andrews.

I’m a bad fan

Okay – confession first up. When Kyle Bartley scored the equaliser, I was already on the bus home. It was cold, I was tired and didn’t feel well and I’d gotten to the point where I thought that if Blues were only going to turn up for twenty minutes a game I didn’t see why they should have ninety minutes of my time either. I didn’t think we’d get it so I guess it serves me right that they did; and I suppose on the balance of how I thought we played it’s a point gained.

The trouble is, home draws aren’t good enough. It’s one thing when a crowd is frustrated at how badly a team is playing but we seem to have gone through that – although there were boos I think some fans have just given up on Blues doing well at all and go out of some obscure masochistic sense of loyalty. As soon as Caddis was turned inside out I knew we’d concede; when Randolph let a ball go out from a corner after Dan Burn (who had a shocker of a game with his head) inexplicably headed it into space for the Boro winger to run onto I knew it would happen again. I could sense it. And yet, Boro seemed determined to throw away the win they deserved – a penalty (which probably shouldn’t have been given), a near own goal saved by the post… maybe I should have stayed because it was probably inevitable Blues would get the equaliser.

The front four

Having four strikers on the pitch in the 4-2-3-1 formation doesn’t work. Jesse Lingard looked well off the pace and struggled to get involved; Aaron Mclean was ineffectual through the middle and worse wide left and Lee Novak couldn’t get into it on the right. Bringing Burke on allowed Blues to look much more balanced; I can sympathise with people who think Shane Ferguson should be played on the left. If that means dropping Jesse Lingard and potentially pissing off Manchester United I think we should – as good as the kid can be I think there has to be a line whereby we pick players when they are good enough, not just to ensure that we can keep them.

Dudka and Reilly

Poor Callum Reilly has struggled of late. One cannot fault his workrate or his tackling but he really struggles to pass a ball to a Blue shirt – and right now with so many players up front we need the midfield to be creative. Dariusz Dudka wasn’t much better – and clearly is still not match fit as he looked like he was blowing out of his arse when he came off. In contrast, Olly Lee looked very capable when he came on and there was a spell when he was making some great through passes to Chris Burke and Lee Novak as Blues pushed Boro on to the back foot. With Reilly looking out of sorts and Dudka not looking fit enough I wonder if Lee might have done enough to put himself in for a start against Bournemouth.

Dan Burn

Today was one of those days when nothing quite came off for Dan Burn. To give him credit, he did work hard, he did make some clearances but he looked like he had a 50p for a head because nothing was going straight and often he was putting Blues into deeper trouble by heading it straight to a Boro player. I wonder if he will find himself back on the sideline with Kyle Bartley coming in – or if God forbid Mitch Hancox has picked up an injury if we will have to go with Burn and Bartley at the back and Paul Robinson at left back.

In short – whilst we didn’t lose, we didn’t win either. If Blues are to get rid of some of the malaise at the ground they need to start winning home games – this run cannot continue because it’s sucking the life out of the club at St Andrews. Whether it be luck or judgement, Clark has to win some home games soon – if only for my sanity.

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76 Responses to “Lack of Home Comforts – Boro Match Reflections”

  • Mark1875 says:

    It’s not home games that are sucking the life out of the club. That’s just a part of the bigger picture. Try going away where we have been good. Lingard is not consistently reliable nor is Burn. Both are kids and Burke has been awful for a while until Saturday.

  • Sh*t on the villa says:

    Asif you left early!

    bad,bad fan indeed !

  • DoctorD says:

    Could Dan going home on the bus be our turning point in the season? I hope so.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    The manager and coaches are not getting the best out of the players. Simples

    • Mark1875 says:

      Any manager would struggle with the standard of players we have got at present. Sell all the family silver this is what happens. Simples

      • chris says:

        four strikers up front doesn’t work and he had to change it at half time proving that point.
        who else plays four strikers up front?
        McLean is a striker not a winger, same goes for novak.
        But then he puts novak with ziggy and the pacy players who could play off him one is moved to the wing (lingard) and the other is subbed (mclean).
        just play players in their best roles that suits the players around them, but he’s always tinkering.
        with four up front that leaves space for the opposition to play in
        seems like his playing his favourites in any position to keep them happy

      • BhamCityJulian says:

        You dont think Alex, Arsene or Jose would make a better fist of it? Get real

  • Chris W says:

    I have to admit I was tempted to leave early, but this is Blues, expect the unexpected, so I stayed.
    regarding the 4 strikers, it is ambitious, we are creating chances but not converting them, Novak just isn’t having much luck, and that is one thing strikers need, he is also lacking confidence, Ziggy is all flailing arms and tumbling legs, when he does win a flick there is no one able to capitalise on it.
    I enjoy our away performances, we play with confidence and fluidness, at home, they are strangers at a party, want to be enjoy themselves but not show themselves up.
    Central midfield is another area we lack creativity and ambition, Reilly as good as he can be is struggling to pass to a team mate, he is growing in confidence though, Dudka I said earlier is lacking fitness, but does appear he can be useful.
    The crowd in the first half and up until we scored were sombre too, unlike the singing party atmosphere we have on the road.
    LC’s record at Huddersfield was similar, he was a draw expert, managing to snatch draws from the mouth of victory, one of the reasons he was sacked. He seems to struggle to alter things, or convey that to the players on the pitch, I doubt anyone would do much better in the circumstances.
    Mitch Hancox is growing game after game, he is young and adventurous, this does leave us exposed somewhat, but he gives 110%, just hope his injury is not too serious.
    KRO+DNM

  • Stephen says:

    Shane Ferguson on the bench Tuesday, not in the squad today, Clark worked hard to get him back this season and now doesn’t seem to like him. Novak works hard but doesn’t provide anything more & Clark is insistent on playing him even it seems out wide where he is completely ineffective, it must also be hard for him having to keep changing roles so I do feel for the guy but he works hard and that’s all we can ask…..although he is frustrating.

    The simple answer today as well as Tuesday was to do a straight swap with Novak off at half time for Burke then Lingard pushed up front with McLean replaced with Ferguson (on the left). Zig & Lingard up front, big man little pacey man (who can finish).

    Agree Olly Lee looked bright so give the kid a chance. I’d also like to see Brown, Gray & Arthur coming off the bench more often in the last 15-20 mins when we need some pace & enthusiasm to liven the team up. Reilly May need a rest but he will improve & he is still learning so we need to support him & the other young lads more.

    Hancox, so much heart and backed up with energy and a decent cross, hope his injury is only a little knock because Robbo can’t play left back (too slow).

    Anyone know what the deal is with Allan? & any news in Assanti’s injury?

  • Stephen says:

    Plus I think Doyle needs to get a chance because of Randolph’s clangers, another one today in the build up to the 2nd goal, good shot stopper but the mistakes need to be cut out.

    • chris says:

      just what i was thinking, he does it with certain outfiled players so lets see some fairness and competition for places and give doyle a chance till he makes mistakes etc, etc.

  • Peter bates says:

    No shape lack of ideas cant pass to a blue shirt what a shambles and the blame in my opinion shouldbe on lee clark and his coaches

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think the difference between home and away form is all in the head. It’s not that the players aren’t good enough – Millwall, Sheff Wed, Swansea and Stoke prove they are. It’s not that Lee Clark and his staff aren’t preparing them properly – it’s ridiculous to think that they aren’t. But at home, we seem to have a mental block for some reason. They seem scared of upsetting the fans, which makes them nervous, which makes them make mistakes, which makes the fans angry, which makes the players nervous, etc, etc. Away from home, the difference is staggering. Maybe it’s because the support is better and the pressure is off a bit? We have players with some skill, but do they have it between the ears? I’m not so sure. I think it’s time that Lee Clark began to choose the players who are mentally up for it.

    I think it’s time to give Colin Doyle a run. I agree with Stephen, the rickets Randolph has been making recently have started to worry me. 5 or 6 times in recent weeks, I’ve seen goals go in and thought, “Shouldn’t he have stopped that? He should have done better with that shouldn’t he?” I may be over-critical, but I felt he should have stopped both the Blackpool and Doncaster goals.

    In defence, Caddis is brilliant at going forward and attacking, but he’s caught out too much in his defensive duties for my liking. Similarly, with Hancox. That’s why I think we should play with both Burke and Ferguson. It gives the full backs extra cover. Burn, he was great in the first couple of months, but he seems to have lost something with those few clangers he dropped a few weeks ago. He admits himself that he lost confidence. I think it’s getting too much for Robbo, to concentrate on his own job, plus the captaincy, plus babysitting Burn.

    Centre midfield, I believe, is our biggest problem.. our big weakness. We have no one who can put their foot on the ball. Someone with a calm head, to break up the opposition attacks and play it simple. Reilly can do the first, but is woefull at the second. I’m hoping Dudka can be that man, but he’s certainly not up to speed yet. We also don’t seem to have anyone in their who can regularly pick a pass. Adeyemi does his best and has some good games, but he’s not the finished article just yet either. So, we need to have more strength in there, while we play down the flanks.

    Up front, Zigic has one great game and 3 bad ones. Whether you like him or not… we tend to be one-dimensional when he plays. It’s not always his fault, I have to say. It’s often down to what’s between the ears of the players who contantly lump diagonal balls up to him. It’s well-documented how Zigic likes the ball to his feet… but then, doesn’t every striker?

    Novak works his bollox off every game, but hes never going to get more than 10 or a dozen goals in a season. As for Lingard, I must be the only one who’s not having orgasms over him. He’s played 10 games and scored 6. He got 4 in his first game (3 set up on a plate,) but only 2 in 9 games since. I think we’re relying on him too much. He may be from Man U, but he’s not that good that we can pin all our hopes on him.

    I can’t say too much about McLean yet, because he’s not been here long enough, but I do know he’s a decent player with a good scoring record…. but then, we’ve had a lot of those come to St Andrews over the years… and faltered. I think he deserves a bit more time. I’d like to see maybe McLean and Lingard paired together up front.

    As I said…. I think a lot of our form is between the ears… that’s where we need to improve most. Ok, go on everyone… rip that lot apart. ;-)

    • mark says:

      well-done ;-0

    • Chris W says:

      One of the things I like about Dan’s Blog is the time and construction people take to offer constructive criticism or opinion, we are all Bluenoses, and from most comments, all attend most games some home, some away and some both.
      Therefore I think we are all qualified to voice our opinions any shape or form and Dan allows us that platform.
      Staffs, I agree with all you have written, it sums Blues plight in a nutshell.
      Our main area for concern has to be central midfield, Reilly and Adeyemi are certainly putting in a shift but need someone with experience just to take control, a Savage or a Barry Ferguson in or around the midfield area, hopefully Dudka can be that calming influence, he showed some good touches both Tuesday and Saturday but is definitely not up to match fitness or use to the physical side of the Championship.
      Up front I am at a loss as to why Novak keeps getting picked, strikers are rated on the goals they score, I think you are being generous if you think he will get 10 or 12 goals, yes he works his socks off, runs the channels etc but doesn’t actually do anything, he should now be use to Ziggy’s flicks and knock downs and feeding of them.
      Lingard was better when he was given a free roll to wander but appears strangled, he still excites me when he gets the ball and you feel something could happen, McLean has a good record at Championship level, but again looks to be struggling with both fitness and playing with 4 strikers.
      The problem I see with Lingard and McLean together is a lack of weight and height, both seem easily pushed of the ball, when they are caught, so, though I think Ziggy is lazy he does bring something to the game, so with that in mind I would go Ziggy and McLean with Lingard free running behind, Ferguson and Burke out wide.
      Doyle deserves a chance in goal as Randolph has now made several mistakes and I have watched the Middlesboro goal and cannot understand why he chose to punch, the only player around him was a Blue shirt.
      Burn is a weak link by allowing the ball to bounce and does seem to have 50p shaped head as you never know which way the ball is going to go, but he has made some vital tackles and blocks and does give 100%, as do all the players, we just need some composure on the ball.
      At home the ball becomes a hot potato and no one wants to hold it,just a hoof up to Ziggy.
      That is how I see it and like you will leave myself open to being ripped apart.
      LC may tinker a little too much at times but at least he is trying and can’t be faulted for his effort either. He was at Derby on Wednesday watching Boro, he could have sent a scout or just watched a video of the game. He may not be the best, but he is the best we can afford.
      KRO+DNM

    • thejudge says:

      Agree with most of the comments about Colin Doyle, deserves a chance now IMO. But I think people forget Randolph has been good for us this season and some of the saves he’s made have been the difference between picking up points and not.

      I remember not so long ago a lot of people were raving about him and saying Jack Butland who?

      KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Randolph is a good keeper and has done well for us, but maybe he’s a bit too sure of his place. He could maybe do with a few games on the bench to buck him up again. It seems to have worked for Burke.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

    Dan, that’s what I like about your blog you don’t bullsh*t. You didn’t have to tell us you left early but you did and fair play. I like that. If I could just take you to task on your comment that some of us go out of some ‘obscure masochistic sense of loyalty’. It’s not obscure or masochistic at all, it’s very clear, we go because we love our club and right now they need us more than ever. It does not cause us any pain on the contrary we look forward to it. Every man who went yesterday and Tuesday, and I include all the moaners and the booers and the bloke in front of me who watches Sky on his mobile all through the match, has my respect.

    I’ve said it time and again this season, to a degree it doesn’t matter who we play and in what formation. Having replaced our better players with less skilled and obviously less expensive ones it gives us a squad of players who are just about up to this standard and some who are not. Accept the obvious fact that this means inconsistent performances week in week out. Consistently performing players are not at our club right now as we can’t afford to sign them. Also any who look the part regularly will probably get sold. This happens when the club is broke and half its so called supporters have deserted. We must be hovering around going broke right now.

    The reason we can’t find a consistently delivering team is just down to that – the personnel. Given this Lee has to try to put a team out each week with the best chance in his opinion of doing the job. Forget any notion of a settled team, we’d be relegated. This is one of Lees strengths where he changes the side and claws us points; time and again his substitutions have paid off. We are all managers I understand that but Lee works with the players all week so recognises who he thinks are the best bet to deliver on match day.

    From a formation point of view I think Lee plays this 4 strikers thing in the hope that the two on the flanks can deliver a few goals so not having to rely totally on the central two. I believe he does this as he realises just how weak all our forwards are. Thank God for the defenders at the minute. Agreed it’s looking weak right now so needs looking at again but it has worked in the past and has bought the best out of Novak. I don’t know how people can say Novak can’t play there, he’s much better there than down the middle. The idiots who tried to ruin Novak booing his name on the sheet etc… should hang their heads in shame. After Novaks recent performances they turned on to Olly Lee as their new hate figure, should never play for us again, only playing cos the manager is a mate of his dad etc…All these know alls must hate constantly being proven wrong as Olly Lee shone yesterday and hopefully will start next week. Wonder who their next target will be? The other reason I think he plays this is because playing 4-4-2 puts a lot of onus on the central midfield and the central strikers both woeful areas for us and with this squad I don’t think it’s a formation that would work regularly but as I say we have to chop and change and not write anything off.

    Agree with the poster re Lingard, he should have gone off again yesterday just as he should have on Tuesday night. Maybe Lee was afraid to take him off given the boo frenzy on Tuesday when he ran round all game delivering nothing.

    So the unbeaten run continues and it’s onto Bournemouth. Am looking forwards to it as I haven’t been there for some time. I think we’ll win a closely fought game

    • mark says:

      wonderfully put in a nutshell mate

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Seconded.

        • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

          Good luv in guys…. Do you honestly believe a central striker is better than a winger when played on the wing? We have a 6’8″ forward we gets in the box sometimes so surely you play wingers on the wing to get decent crosses in? By playing 4 forwards this puts pressure on centre midfiled and I’m sorry people who say the problem is centre midfield are wrong because they are always up 4-5 midfielders strikers can’t tackle can’t bully players off the ball so play Fergie, play Grey, play Koby BUT DON’T PLAY STRIKERS IN THE MIDFIELD, because the centre mids are trying to play across the whole of midfield it means Caddis and Hancock have to defend brilliantly all the time because they have 2 players going at them because guess what Strikers dont track back. Clark is trying to score more than they let in which is admirable but it isn’t working and will never work. And sorry Doyle isn’t a good as Randolph.

    • JohnR200 says:

      Good post, I entirely agree.

  • Jaffa says:

    Clark got it wrong with his team selection.how you can have Novak on the wing and leave Burky on the bench is beyond me.

    • Mark1875 says:

      Why? Burke has been rubbish for the last few weeks, Novak has been excellent. Clark got it right with his changes when it wasn’t working.

  • paulo_bcfc says:

    ‘Borough deserved it to be honest. I knew it would be tough when I saw that Leadbitter and Emnes were on the pitch – both players that were instrumental for them. I was just as fed up with watching moments of potential, rather than a continual pressure from us. Although Burn maybe had an off day(?), with his passing, I would say without him we would be battered. It might be me, but if our back line are being continually ridiculed by most when at home, we should be looking at our midfield, which for the most is scattered and not marking anyone (of late – not just this game).
    If Randolph had of caught that ball instead of doing a Butland and punching it, we would’ve been more secure, and that goal wouldn’t have happened.
    But really, it just looks like there’s no gelling going on lately ..and it looks like a game of tennis with that bloody ball up in the air all the time, get it on the floor and get it where it should be.
    As for pissing off Man U …well, I think David Moyes is doing a pretty good job of that all by himself.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    To really click, we need partners all over the pitch, e.g. Caddis/Burke.. Hancox/Ferguson.. Bartley/Robinson. We need to find working partnerships for centre midfield and upfront. When these partnerships work, the team will click. We’re not that far off.

  • mike b says:

    hi all…………….what a good bunch of comments today…very articulate…if only clark would take notice!!!
    get better soon dan…………..

  • bluenoserob says:

    Staffs how long did it take you to type all that? i think it was all true ,but lifes too short brother.

  • Blue Steve says:

    The 2 players that play wide in the 3 of the 4-2-3-1 have to be winger cum striker types. There is no way Mclean is that type of player. For me its either him or Zigic in that formation. I hope Adyemi is fit for Bournemouth!

  • TommyBlue says:

    I know Lee Clarke has got an incredibly difficult job but he just isn’t getting the best out of the players. Us Blues fans are a pretty realistic bunch and don’t expect anything this season but with constant tinkering with personnel and formations and some embarrassing substitutions we are less than the sum of our parts.

  • mark says:

    bournemouth beating reading at reading say it all ……………………….point gained by blues even if you are not at the races………………….unbeaten in 5……………seaside here we come……………kro

  • mark says:

    sorry Daniel to here you were not feeling well ……………..well done for turning up…………more than I can say for some………………..lets hope the kids for quid for the forest game can bring in more than the 13.000……………….. atmosphere dire………….my two hamsters make more noise spinning around their wheel………..lol

    • steve says:

      Why don’t you stop having a go at the fans? Every fan has a choice whether to go or not.If i wasn’t a STH,i don’t think i’d be there every week. Like yuo i prefer the away games.The rendition of KRO after the goal was loud enough,so it’s not the lack of numbers that is the problem.The team don’t get the crowd excited and eventuall it goes quiet.Tell you what,bring your hamsters to the Forest and see if they improve the atmosphere.

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      bored……………

  • mark says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsrgXmV7HQo Dont you just love magic Johnson………………….

  • Bob Your Uncle says:

    That was appalling yesterday, the atmosphere is dead and so is any creativity in our team. Caddis and Hancox have to have cover as they push forward very well but will only work with a covering midfielder. Ferguson has to be played with Hancox, at the end of last year them two had a great partnership.

    An actual right mid has to be played with Caddis not Novak. I’m sorry for the ones that say he gives 100% effort, yes he does but that’s no excuse to be a footballer. I could give 100% to being an accountant it wouldn’t make me one. Burke should be partnered with Caddis and if he starts looking like he’s just about to leave play Gray or Arthur which would still keep a balance within our side.

    Dan Burn gives effort but isn’t ready for the championship too many mistakes and gets turned so much. I believe that Bartley would be a better choice reflecting on his last few games. As regards to the two in midfield one has to be good on the ball and not just able to break up the play. Reilly, Adeyemi and Dudka are all too similar so I think only one should play, the other place should be up for grabs for a player that can actually pass whether that be Lee, Brown or Allan.

    I believe Lingard should just play a free role, he won’t have top performances every week as he is so young like we saw with Redmond and Morrison but he is clearly very talented and is the type of player that can make things happen and has a great touch. Up front I think Zigic is our only bet within a 4-2-3-1 formation, to really be able to use him effectively the players around him have to read his flick ons. In the prem he knocked it down and there was Gardner, Bowyer, Ferguson running onto them. Whereas now we just lump it to him when we have no other option. This is just my opinion but I pay every week to watch this rubbish so I deserve to have my opinion heard.

    Keep Right On!

  • Tony says:

    *Obscure masochistic sense of loyalty* That was the phrase i was looking for to describe the happy clappers who after being constantly hit over the head with a mallet only to rise with an innane grin on their face
    Sums quite a few up on here.. Daniel you should have stayed in the warm mate they wont come and see you when you are ill why go to see them?.Of all Clarks peculiar decisions regarding team selections this season and last this match has to go down as a classic in the coaching handbnook.

  • Peter bates says:

    Lee clark is a very dour individual and you only have to see him interviewed to see he couldnt motivate anyone he bores everyone to death and the constant whingeing about not having this or that to work with is just as boring I would love his job for one week and he come and earn my 7.50 an hour he doesnt inspire anyone full stop

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Expecting a different formation at Bournemouth along with a good old sing song and three points.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just looked at the Mail Online. They have reports on 11 of yesterday’s 12 Championship games. No prizes for guessing which match they left out. P*ss-takers.

  • fletch says:

    burn is a dangerous liabilty… randolph is not top class … novak is a good worklike player but not a regular scorer… zigic can go asap …. lingard plays when he feels like it ….. bring back packwood now …. kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s a good call fletch. You tend to forget the players who are out on loan. Will Packwood has done well at Rovers, including a couple of Man of the Match awards. It may be time for him to step up.

  • thejudge says:

    To be fair I’d love to see Olly Lee given a chance in the starting 11, Zigic does nothing to justify his wages except give me a chuckle here and there. Think its interesting to see Scott Allen frozen out of the team, shame we’ve got some big earners who aren’t playing. I’d also like to see Asante fit and given a chance in the first team, at this rate I don’t think he’ll be with us next season. Get Packwood back after his loan, I like Burn but he blows hot and cold.
    I really hope we can hold on to Burke in January, problem is whether his head gets turned by more attractive teams looking for promotion.
    KRO DNM

  • mark says:

    home draw in FA CUP Well done teddy……………………………..

  • DoctorD says:

    Some great comments today.

    That’s the beauty of football — the manager has to pick 11 players, choose a formation, decide on tactics, give the team belief, pray for a bit of luck, mull over the opposition, charm the fans, keep squad members left out happy, talk to the press, deal with his coaching staff, and be nice to his missis when he gets back home after losing.

    It’s tough — let’s get off Lee’s back.

  • mark says:

    i would like to make some further comments that we have 7 or 8 players who have not played in the championship before…………………………..so credit where its due………….inconsistencies will happen they are young players, so give them a break, and get behind them, they are playing their hearts out for you…………………..kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It’s just a shame we can’t blood them slowly mark. Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. But, hopefully, whichever of the new players are here next season, they’ll be better for the experience.

      • mark says:

        absolutely right staffsblue manager does not have that luxury, what fans need to in get in their heads these are100% bluesnoses Callum,hancox, and they have run though brick walls for us………..;-0

      • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

        Agreed,but they won’t be playing in the championship next year if our home form doesn’t get better. Great to see Gray get a contract but why when the kids coaches are saying he is better than Redmond isn’t he getting game time, still I suppose a 1-5 games striker playing on the wing is a much better bet? Oh what a tactical genius our manager is……. I think he is going for the world record of how many games he changes the team, didn’t Rafa go though 40 odd games at Liverpool.

  • Rob Simpson says:

    Leaving early, booing your own players, bemoaning the managers decisions and groans from the crowd on a stray pass. All the features of fickle “fans” who have forgotten what being a supporter is.

    Everyone talks about the great managers who know when to put their arm around an under performing player. How about the home crowd that puts its arms around their team who are in trouble?

    “Never, never, never give up” – Winston Churchill

  • glosblue says:

    It was definitely the midfield that was to blame for Boro’s 1st goal. They passed the ball about 20 times without so much as a challenge from any of our players. They literally ran rings around us in the build-up and when the final ball came over they were queuing up to score. We really need a strong man in midfield who can break up such moves and Reilly had a nightmare. I would have taken him off at half-time, brought Bartley on and moved Caddis into a more attacking position feeding Burke, who I would have had on from the start. BUT this is simply another opinion and, as always, if you ask 10 supporters for their starting line-ups you’ll get 10 different answers.

  • Evesham blue says:

    It won’t get better until the regime changes. So not anytime soon. Until then every point is a bonus.

  • Mario says:

    How has Callum Reilly come all the way through the academy just on hard work without the slightest bit of technical ability? Good luck to him but what an advert for British academy football he is!! Terribly ungifted player without any skill or ability on the ball and here he is with a championship contract!!! Unbelievable. We can’t stay up with players like this in the team

    • mark says:

      whether you like or not give the kid a break he made 29 appearance and about 8 ROI U21 appearances what he needs if he can is to score more goals……………..

  • Blue92 says:

    Play Doyle and Packwood, what’s happening with Asante and whys Ferguson even at the club?? Got no wages so we give it to players who aren’t going to play

  • mark says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25301272? who know’s how long Hancox going to be out for ??…….imo bell could be a excellent re-placement….he do well at the boro….kro

  • mark says:

    Daniel having time to reflect regarding this blog normally i missed a goal when i taking pee, maybe i a bad fan.lol

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Could we play 433

    Randolph
    Caddis Bartley Robbo Hancox
    Burke Adeyemi Fergy
    McLean Zigic Lingard

    Or is our midfield too lightweight and we’d need to have 3 ballwinners in front of the back four and push Burke and Fergy further forward

    Randolph
    Caddis Bartley Robbo Hancox
    Adeyemi Dudka Reilly
    Burke Zigic Fergy

    This would essentially be 451/433

  • Knowle Blues says:

    Another observation – not once did full backs overlap. With no natural wide midfields in front of the full backs we resorted to launching hopeful balls into the D looking for Zig.
    Burkes width made a difference on the right in the second half but who was playing left mid?!?! Lingard was trying to make things happen by looking for the ball but loosing the teams shape. Not a natural left mid. Four strikers didn’t work. Playing players out of position doesn’t work. Burke gave us shape down the right we need to balance him up on the left with ferguson. This would also give reilly more time and options to find a player. We should even consider pairing both natural pacey centre halfs in burn and Barkley. We have the players just need a team formation.


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