Often Partisan

A Spicy Affair; Forest Reflections

Here are my reflections on the match between Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest at St Andrews yesterday

A Fair Result and an Entertaining Game

Although I did hear a few boos at the final whistle I thought it was a good point for Blues; Forest were no mugs and despite being reduced to ten men they gave a good account of themselves. The game was a good one; lots of good passing moves from both sides and I think it was only a world class save from Karl Darlow that kept out Burke’s first half thirty yard effort.

My only criticism of Blues is that we didn’t create enough chances; although at times we had some slick moves in the middle we huffed and puffed a bit up front and Ziggy had one of those games where he possibly could have done more – mind you he was again being fouled a lot. How refs can continually not see defenders pulling his shirt and holding him back I don’t know.

Spicy Affair

I think the Forest fans were aggrieved at Henderson’s sending off but they had no right to be. Robinson was facing me when he was challenged and it was a disgraceful, shin high lunge that could have done some real damage. I think Robbo was lucky to only be booked for his reaction in some ways but Henderson deserved his sending off. It got very tasty after that; Randolph and Lee could have been in much more trouble than they were but I think the fact the ref had let a lot slide beforehand meant by that time he’d almost lost control of the game. I like to see full blooded challenges but it has to be fair; it was starting to get silly and after Henderson was sent off every challenge brought about Forest players wanting to ruck which was silly.

Kyle Bartley

I thought Bartley was very impressive yesterday. He wasn’t only strong whilst defending but also winning the ball being pushed forwards by Forest and then striding into midfield. I think he’s starting to mature as a centre-back and I think the shirt is his to lose at the moment; he looks calm and assured and I think there might just be  very good defender in there – it’s taken a while but I think he’s finally showing the promise he had at Arsenal as a kid.

Olly Lee

I have to admit I didn’t think Lee had a great game; I thought he misplaced too many simple balls but a lot of people online disagreed with me. He does seem to be able to mop stuff up and he can play it short or long – I think it’s worth remembering he’s still only fairly young too (22) and as such is just making his way in the game. He’s a bit of a bonus player in that I didn’t expect much from him but he’s doing well and keeping out far more experienced players. It’s a good headache for Lee Clark to have.

All in all it extends the unbeaten run to seven and whilst it’s another home game without a win it didn’t feel like it was a bad one to draw. There are most definitely positives to take from it and hopefully we can continue to push on and away from the dropzone.

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  • Steve

    Have to say i thought Henderson was hard done by. I’ve looked at it several times and to ne he went and won the ball fairly. It was Robbo who looked like he was going to dive in two-footed before he thought better of it and pulled out. If that had’ve been a Blues player making the tackle i’d be fuming at the sending-off.

  • JohnR

    I agree with you. Bartley was my MOM and like you I didn’t think Lee was very good. I’m not convinced by Shinnie but there again he’s not a left winger. What’s happened to Ferguson and Elliott? For a 0-0 game it was entertaining but it was a game we could have won. Their goalkeeper was the busier of the two.

  • fingles

    I thought Henderson’s tackle was a bad one, he sythed Robinson down. Robinson jumped up and confronted him, but had his arms by his side, so I thing the ref got that one right.

    I did think Lee was lucky only to get a yellow, and I thought Randolf’s was just a collision, nothing wrong with it.

  • Rob Simpson

    Another great result for the lads. Let’s see if we can make it 8 unbeaten. KRO

    • steve

      Sorry Rob,i think your wrong.The away results are great but home draws are not imo.We’re not gonna keep winning away so we need to start winning our home games.This was elsies problem at Huddersfield.

  • Richard Granfield

    We really missed Hancox’s attacking instincts down the left flank. Robinson played as a wide central defender and rarely crossed the halfway line. That meant any attacking threat down the left was down to Shinnie who IMO was played out of position. Clark tried to remedy this by bringing on a natural winger in Gray who couldn’t cope with the pace of the game. This meant the only creative threat came from Burke and Caddis down the right and Burke laid on two beautiful crosses for Zigic who should have scored from them.

  • mike b

    hi all………..yes well worth the money as a spectacle!!! and great that we performed for a change in front of a large crowd………….
    shinnie..lee…and the two subs were the weak links in an otherwise top notch performance……

  • Chris W

    A fair result, but we were one sided and predictable, Lingard and Shinnie combination is not working, we need Ferguson back.
    Lee his working hard and getting better, but will never be world class and will find himself a regular in the lower leagues.
    Gray has a long way to go yet, he is raw and talented but not quite ready up to speed for the championship, though I don’t think he being given a proper role except to go and enjoy himself and earn some experience, against lesser opposition he has more freedom to roam.
    Bartley is definitely the star player at the moment and deserved MOM…
    Henderson’s red card was a correct call but I don’t think we could have complained if Robbo had followed him for his reaction.
    Randolph, though in excellent form is beginning to cause me some concern, he is deciding to punch to often but rarely gets any distance on the ball.
    LC seems devoid of ideas on how to change things when a game is heading for a draw, something that cost him his job at Huddersfield….. That is my only criticism.
    Darlow was the difference between a win and a draw and I thin k bot sides can be happy, bring on Wigan

    KRO+DNM

    Merry Christmas one and all

  • Dodger

    Dont you think that if we get too 10 or 15 points clear of the bottom 3 then the club may think its time to put us into administration?
    And if so would it be 10 or 15 point deducted?
    Also could the FA take them off next season instead?

    • almajir

      a) Administration doesn’t work like that
      b) it’s 10 points
      c) it’s the FL, it’s got nothing to do with the FA.

  • steve

    me and my partner john thought henderson was very VERY nasty, he certainly won’t be getting a christmas card from pauly robinson this year! Gosh!

  • SirHarry1875

    I heard the booing at the end. Absolute disgrace. Probably from the ‘supporters’ who have”nt shown there faces since the play off semi against Blackpool.

    No doubt its back to the ‘boycott’ for the Barnsley game. Until the next £10 game of course.

    • John

      The booing Sir harry, was for the referee,who had a shocker,making a series of dreadful mistakes.

      • Bluenosesol

        Absolutely John, the booing was against the referee for his shocking performance and a lot of it emanated from the Forest end. A bit naughty for noses to imply this was the usual disgusting boo boys as it was not.

    • Peoples Republic of Finlan

      Sir Harry Has it occurred to you that people turned up for the match because for once it was affordable to them? cannot believe that you are having a go at people because they cannot afford to go every week. There are lots of blues fans out there who have to decide on paying electric bills getting Christmas prezzies, feed and cloth their children?
      Look at the bigger picture and stop being bitter

      • Sir Harry 1875

        So we’ve got 15,000 + supporters struggling to feed and cloth their kids or pay the bills? Thats shocking. My apologies, I really did’nt think things were that bad. Strange how them down Aston way dont seem to have any. Or them from Wolverhampton or from West Bromwich.

        Its a good job we’re not going to Wembley anytime soon or else there would be some poor kids going without food for a few weeks.

  • StaffsBlue

    Robbo did nothing but jump up in reaction to the tackle. He was guilty of nothing else. He kept his arms down and his head back. So a red card would have been a total injustice. I didn’t think he deserved a yellow either.

    • mark

      This why staffsblue I thought the ref had a very poor game…….robbo acted the way he did because the tackle was potentially a leg break or a possible career ending tackle imo.

    • Chris W

      The standard of refereeing this season is the lowest I can ever remember, going back some 50 years.
      Their is no consistency or common sense, rarely at least, 90% of Robbo’s yellows have been for “What the referee wanted too see” rather what actually happened.
      The game is calling ney, screaming out for a radical change in the role of officials, the 4th official is a joke and a posh name for a time-keeper, with instant replay available, almost in real time, let the 4th official view it while the ref is blowing his whistle, report what was seen and act upon there and then, no need to stop or delay the action.
      KRO+DNM

  • john

    Olly Lee is only here because his dad is mates with Clark. He couldn’t get in barnet first Xl yet is in and around ours? no-one else wanted him yet he’s here. He is another player living off his parents reputation.

    • almajir

      Take it you’ve not actually seen him play John.

    • Blue in Spain

      Yes, some no mark player kept him out the team, What was the blokes name… Edgar Davids…. The majority of comments on here were the same when he was signed, however most people have moved on, some just can’t.

  • mark

    As previously mentioned I was well pleased with the result, I thought the booing was directed we the time wasting by forest. Also some of the play acting to try and stop blues high tempo game……..

  • mark

    *at

  • http://OftenPartisan Shirley Blue

    Is Shane Fyrguson injured or just out of favour? If he is fit I just don’t get him not even being on thr bench. Gives us balance on the left and good dead ball taker which I think we lack currently.

  • http://oftenpartisan Tony

    He has probably upset Clark Shirley, I can see no other reason for it.

    • almajir

      Or the fact he’s not played well this season?

      That’d be shocking wouldn’t it Tony?

      • http://oftenpartisan Tony

        He would not go from being an outstanding player last term ,to not being in the squad this year Dan.

        • almajir

          Sure Tony, cos players never lose form…

          • http://oftenpartisan tony

            Form is temporary, Class is permanent.

  • Blueboy88

    We have not won at home for 3 months, which is huge concern.

    Take 10 points off for administration & we would be right in the smelly stuff,

    Big fan of the reduced entry…the old place was rocking again at times..there was a tangible energy & passion coarsing through the stadium..which can only help the players perform in 2014.

  • StaffsBlue

    Agree on the standard of refereeing. It’s definitely at it’s worst standard in my lifetime. Would the old refs be conned by a lot of the things that go on today? I very much doubt it.

    As for Ferguson, I agree, he did gives us a great balance on the left hand side, especially in tandem with Mitch Hancox. But that was last season. He’s been no great shakes this season to be honest and needs to get back to the player he was. It’s up to the lad himself, if he was in form, he’d be in the team.

  • jazzzy786

    Usually teams win at home and an away draw is considered a good result. We seem to be doing the opposite. The end result is we are still picking up a healthy amount of points. 13 points from 7 games is just under 2 points a game.

    We played very well yesterday and should’ve won in all reality. I suppose it was karma for the Bournemouth game which we should’ve lost. The next two games will be really tough against Wigan and Blackburn. Three points from these two will IMO be a good return. Onwards and upwards. I wish all the bluenoses a very happy Christmas and a much better new year hopefully with new owners.

  • http://OftenPartisan Shirley Blue

    23.000 yesterday and let’s say 3.000 more away fans than the last home game so that’s 7,000 more than the last home game vs Boro. £10 for adults is probably not financially sustainable but I think they should keep going with £1 for kids. It does go to show that whatever is going on off the pitch and with recent home games not being great in terms of results and performances people will still go if the price is right. My old season ticket seat in block 27 has been anything from £20 to £40 this season depending on categorisation. £20 is ok but I am not paying £40.

    Season ticket prices have not changed much since we were in the Premier League. It’s something they need to have a good think about before next season. Prices should be set to maximise revenue and give people decent value for money. The championship is an inferior product to the Premier League and season ticket prices should reflect this.

    • mark

      i believe the prices for the season tickets do reflect where we are………..next season under 10 do go free with a full paying adult…….. Maybe Daniel can explain the match day prices……are these set by the club or the FL???

  • mark

    Daniel got to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year., your excellent blogs…….also wishing fellow bluenoses the same here in UK and aboard…………please stayed tuned for the best blog by absolutely miles…………………………kro

  • bcfc1975

    Daniel can i comment on a few players giving their shirts away to the fans at the home game this was a marvellous gesture.

  • Frankie

    Agree about Bartley, he has great potential, a Premier league defender in the making.
    As for Lee, again he has potential and you have to remember that he is playing at the his highest level right now and developing pretty well.
    Was going to say I didn’t hear much dis-satisfaction from the fans, who were tremendous.
    These reduced price admissions are the way forward.

  • http://newsnow.co.uk JbfromOz

    Game was on live down here in Oz.
    Surely a bigger gate makes a massive difference.
    Gold & Sullivan said 10 pound games were a waste of time financially.
    I reckon 13,000 people is terrible for the player’s also.
    Cannot understand how Ref’s miss the constant fouling of Zigic.
    Happy Xmas to all Blues Fans.

    • AuldBertie

      They also failed to see Darlow produce a fine save from Adeyemi in the first half which I could clearly see from my seat in the Tilton. Both the the ref and the linesman signalled a goal-kick when it had clearly been tipped around the post for a corner. You can forgive them missing certain things but when they miss things so obvious as that then their ability to be officiating at this level has to be questioned and the ref has even officiated in premier league matches!

  • paulo

    I was disappointed. Apart from defence I thought it was poor, scrappy, we gave up possession too easily with misplaced passes, there was no threat from the left at all with only about 3 crosses and onky Burke being creative on the right. Shinnie and Linguard were inifective. Ziggy was a nuisance but missed a sitter .
    Thought the fans were nervous by and large, and only got noisy 2 or 3 tines and there was no aappetite to sing “we dont care about Carson”, probably because they just dont care!! KRO

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