Often Partisan

Like Watching Two Lee Clark Teams: Blackpool Match Reflections

Birmingham City ground out a second 1-0 win in five days last night against a Blackpool side that is now all but relegated. An Andrew Shinnie header was all that seperated the two teams in what was a dour encounter.

I’m not going to lie, last night was not the most thrilling of games to watch. However, with a second successive win in the bag and 45 points on the board (one more than we squeaked it with last year), one has to think that we’re almost safe – barring a catastrophe of titanic proportions (or the Football League getting heavy, which I think is incredibly unlikely). Anyone who thought we were going to bury Blackpool under an avalanche of goals will have come out of that game severely depressed – but the main thing is we won. I suspect under Lee Clark last season that is the kind of game we would have lost – as Blackpool did.

Debutant Robert Tesche provided the one moment of brilliance in the game – a beautifully hit forty yard ball that picked out Andrew Shinnie who had burst through the static Blackpool back four, and who timed his jump to perfection to loop the ball over Elliot Parish in the Blackpool goal and into the net. It was a moment of true class; and celebrated as such by the team (and by a few players on twitter  – more on that in a bit). Otherwise, it was a scrappy, dour game that at times looked like it was being played between two Lee Clark teams.

Evidently Shinnie’s goal had done well, as former Blues loanee Scott Allan immediately tweeted that he was pleased that Shinnie had scored against HIM (Allan’s capitals) – with Mark Duffy following up with a tweet about a “mickey mouse” player scoring. Allan subsequently deleted his tweet but I think that shows some of the animosity between some of the players and Clark; I suspect some others might have been a little bit more discreet but were celebrating in a similar fashion

Clark had sprung a bit of a selection surprise (where have we heard that before), recalling Elliot Parish in goal in place of Joe Lewis who didn’t travel – Clark stating that it was to give Parish a run as Lewis won’t be at Bloomfield Road next season with the more cynical Blackpool fans noting that Cardiff a due a fee after a certain number of appearances made by Lewis – and by playing a system that Blackpool hadn’t played before this season. Evidently rumours of the transfer of a bingo machine from Birmingham to Blackpool last October might not have been untrue…

Rowett on the otherhand went with tactical consistency, resisting calls for a 442 formation and making one sole enforced change. While it did get the required result I do think that Blackpool could have been there for the taking and but for a bit more support for Donaldson in the first half we could really have done much better. That being said, we have to thank Darren Randolph for two point-blank saves that kept Blackpool out when attackers were through on goal and which could have definitely turned the tide of the game.

Defensively, while there were odd scary moments Blues looked fine – some people thought I was unfair to Spector after the Brentford game and in truth, he looked okay enough in this one; he made one great sliding challenge to prevent a break in the first half and he didn’t give away any unnecessary corners unlike on Saturday. Rob Kiernan looks to be tidy on the other side of defence and I think a back line of him and Morrison could be a very good prospect.

I should mention the ref, Stuart Attwell, who was by and large appalling – missing two big calls. Firstly, David Davis went down to a forearm smash and despite being 5 yards away, Attwell consulted his linesman and then gave the free kick to Blackpool. Then a few minutes later, Clayton Donaldson went down under a heavy challenge in the corner and got stamped on – both incidents being perpetrated by former Wolves man Jamie O’Hara. Again, Attwell consulted his lino and again, no card. Finicky, whistle-happy and seemingly unable to count to 10, it’s probably a good thing Attwell hadn’t reffed us for a few years previously.

When all is said and done it’s three points in the bag and we can move on. It’s rapidly looking like we are going to finish midtable and hopefully Rowett can start to look at players for next season; bringing in any youth prospects he thinks might be able to make it on the bench and dropping out those he really doesn’t want to keep. There isn’t the massive money differentials for higher placing in the Championship and while pride is at stake I can see (and hope) this season will peter out a bit into some dead rubbers and a relaxing finish instead of the last day trauma and redemption of last year.

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46 Responses to “Like Watching Two Lee Clark Teams: Blackpool Match Reflections”

  • Dan says:

    Given last season and especially how bleak everything looked at the end of Clark’s spell I have to say I am quite alright with a mid-table finish and dead rubber games.

    It’s just sad that the shenanigans at board level force us to be this un-ambitious.

  • Eddie says:

    It was horrible last season, But, a very exciting end.

  • ChrisG says:

    Getting 6 points from the last 2 games has hopefully set us on the road to safety & with us playing Derby away on saturday, who totally thumped us at home, they were a vital 6 points. Hopefully we can get at least a point against Derby who have faltered somewhat the last couple of games

  • Adam True Blue says:

    It was the last thumping by Derby that halted our decent run of form after G Rowett took the reins, I hope things will be different this time around, I still feel this season will have a twist in the tail. Kro.

  • Tony says:

    It was horrible, showed a real lack of ambition he should have gone 424 Im sure we could have got a hatful.
    Never the less another three points we should be ok now, what is more pleasing to me is we have done our part in consigning Clark to league 1.Hopefully our paths will never cross again.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’ve gotten to the point now where I expect us to win most games we play. I don’t get too downhearted when we lose, because I expect us to probably win the next one. What I don’t expect, is to be massively entertained. This team is functional at best… but very effective with it. I think that’s the best we can hope for this season, which, after last season, is quite acceptable.

    We won’t really see what Rowett is capable of as a manager until next season, when he can strip the club of dead wood and assemble, primarily, his own team. Until then, a quiet end to the season and a mid-table finish will do for me.

    • steve says:

      Until we get some investment,GR won’t be able to bring in the quality players we need to advance. I,m afraid until that happens we can expect more of the same.

  • Bluenose1 says:

    i agree with you about the ref he was awful but we were totally outplayed by Blackpool it was just like the millwall game we made them look like a top two team. Our style of play is terrible and boring though I’m glad of the points why is it most of our players are rubbish at heading the ball even Blackpool’s smaller player’s were beating our’s in the air and our players constantly hoof the ball up and give it away I feel sorry for Donaldson he’s up their on his own trying to set other players up but there are never any players around him that are running on or crating space and talk about players panicking ours are expert at it. I will probably get slated for this but I was impressed with Delfouneso I wouldn’t mind blues going in for him but I must admit I think grey has been awful since he scored his hatrick He needs to try a bit harder I my opinion.

    • des says:

      I certainly agree about Grey! fizzled out completely since his `TRICK` However because Dyer has been so Dire, sure that Gr will give the young un more game time.

      KRO

  • Bluenose1 says:

    Sorry it’s go on twice.

  • Nick says:

    I agree the ref was appalling – the 9 steps and the a little one standing on the spot was bizarre if nothing else… also giving the indication of no foul with his two arms crossing below his waist and then the linesman flagging for a foul and the ref changing his mind – how to make yourself look a dick in 1 easy lesson.

    How hope we never cross paths with this ref either!!!

  • The Purple Cow says:

    Personally I’m looking forward to some mid-table mediocrity. It will be a blessed relief.

    Onwards and upwards,

    • Singapore Brum says:

      We have always been either pushing for promotion or fighting against relegation. This is the blues and I don’t see that ever changing, so mid table mediocrity will be something of a novelty, especially if that happens in the premier league.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    34 points from 21 games under GR. Over a whole season that is play off form. Shame we wasted the first 14 games (11 points) under that dope Clark. Good riddance. Great technical goal from Shinnie with the run and finish from a great ball from Tescher. Not sure who Mark Duffy is calling a Mickey Mouse player. He got sent back from Chesterfield didn’t he? I think he will be looking for a new club in the summer.

    • Nick says:

      I think he was referring to someone calling Shinne a mickey mouse player (maybe Clarke??) – taking the pi$$ like

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I got you. Can’t believe even Clark would be stupid enough to call a player that. Anybody I am sure Shinnie really enjoyed that goal.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The only Mickey Mouse player out of those mentioned, is Scott Allan. A complete waste of talent and someone whose ego is bigger than his b*lls!

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Agree the ref was dross. The linesman was even worse. I thought it was a dour game but the better team won. You did forget to mention the great saves from Randolph (an unsung hero for me).

    • almajir says:

      Did I?

      I’m sure I wrote “That being said, we have to thank Darren Randolph for two point-blank saves that kept Blackpool out when attackers were through on goal and which could have definitely turned the tide of the game.” above ;)

  • Brummieallmylife says:

    All the top teams win ugly, when they’re not playing at their best.

    If that’s what we need to do to secure our Championship place for next season, and the funding that goes with it, then any win is a good win.

  • andy says:

    That is exactly what I said during the game Dan, it was like watching two Lee Clark teams against each other. it was in a way but it was boring stuff very poor.

  • tonyc says:

    A poor game with a good goal and 3 points closer to safety and Lee Clark got to see blues win at home !!

    • AndyW says:

      I tend to agree with Staffs as I have to say I was disappointed somewhat last night. I was hoping to see some fluidity in our play, as we have seen on many occasions recently. Instead, I couldn’t help feeling we were back in 23rd place and a few points above our opponents. Of course I am grateful for the 3 points and the current mid-table position of apparent safety. Who wouldn’t be? I just feel we missed an opportunity to demonstrate that we have moved on and are a better side than we were since Bournemouth. We looked laboured, lacking confidence, and void of ideas for most part. To be honest we looked tired? I was hoping after such a good hard fought result against Brentford we would have been much more positive. I agree with the trimming down of the squad in general, but we could really do with freshening up, particularly on the flanks. Messrs’ Cotterill and Gray need a spell on the bench?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        One of our main problems, is that our system relies heavily on the wingers.. breaking at pace and creating chances. The trouble is, our wingers (Cotterill, Gray, Dyer) have been way off form these last few weeks, so the system is breaking down at that point… hence Donaldson being isolated quite a bit. I’d like to see Duffy given a proper chance (something not afforded him since he came to the club.) He set up both goals for the development team on Tuesday, after returning from loan. Rowett could do a lot worse.

  • Captain Blues says:

    I agree with much of Dan’s summary and said as much after the match, the negatives being a really poor performance by and large and if we had being playing anyone in the league but Blackpool we would most probably have lost, however on the positive side we are now looking as good as safe (pending any points deduction) and that is a huge relief and Gary Rowett and his backroom team deserve huge credit for getting us to 45 points with 10 still to play. In many ways that is exactly the type of home performance we could have done with last season (unspectacular, below par but gritty) and the value of a second consecutive cleansheet after shipping in 8 at Brighton and Ipswich should not be lost on us.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I texted my mate sunning himself in the Canaries “Blues 1-0 Contender for worst of the season!”. As an aside, as we pull away from the relegation zone and then some, if a 10 point deduction is potentially looming, wonder if we have the means to make it happen this season rather than next, as at this rate we could take the deduction and stay up!?? Maybe hypothetical BS but just wondering???

  • Raymondo says:

    I just hope we can get through Saturday’s game without being trouncewd by the young Derby side. I live next door to a Derby supporter and I’ve had to put up all season with how “great” they are. Hope they do get promoted so they’ll get beaten every week next season as Leicester are being now.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think were do a lot better than 4-0! This time and the teams at the top including Derby are having dodgy spells at the moment and were two wins on the spin and two clean sheets so not a certainty for Derby by any means Raymondo…. Lets hope your neighbours sick and tired of your joy ofa blues victory come Saturday afternoon … I say 1-2 blues, that will do nicely !!! Kro

    • Raymondo says:

      Thanks for your opinion Dave, as your so often right, I hope you are this time. Would be nice to hear him quiet in the local village boozer because we had won! I could dine out on that for the rest of the season. KRO

  • liam says:

    The new lad Tesche was our only player to show any guile or intelligence.Shinnie got the goal but apart from that was awful as was Grayas was Cotterill.Yes I know we won but we were truly dreadful against the whipping boys of this division’and yes I agree Delfounso looked good.

  • Dave Mann says:

    One point more than the whole of last season and still 11 games to go … I think the majority of us would have taken that last may coming back from Bolton … Enjoy the rest of the season now without having to worry about relegation and going to Bolton again last game will be a stress free experience for once . Kro

  • andy says:

    Gary Rowett has already pointed out that Blues tend to struggle when a midweek game comes along after a Saturday. He will know it isn’t good enough because players should be able to perform in every game. The squad is limited and needs investment, fingers crossed, that will happen come the summer.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      People used to comment how unfit the players looked under the previous manager, but it doesn’t seem to have improved much 4 months on. Let’s face it, if players struggle to cope with 2 games a week, there’s something amiss somewhere. It’s not as though we go hammer and tongs at the opposition.. we mostly sit back and close down. There are still players, like Shinnie and Gray for example, who rarely finish a game.

  • Sheldonman says:

    Enough has been said about the performance and the much appreciated 3 points. I will probably get some stick, but I thought O’Hara stood out as one relatively class player on the pitch and bossed the midfield. Obviously too good for Blackpool and not good enough for the premiership, but effective in this division

  • duchess says:

    Dan… what is your opinion, given we are 4/5 weeks away from EY giving their verdict, on the chances of Blues beginning the next pre-season under new ownership? Personally I would like to see Jeremy Wray step up his interest now!

  • bluenose52ri says:

    Im more than happy after last nite result we wernt good by any means but we still got 3 points id b happy if we play awfull everyweek so long as we pick up points derby sat well they realy got more to lose than blues have we can go into that game all relaxed

  • Ian Ambrose says:

    Poor game blues bad performance last night and Strike player name is Donaldson without no score he not good enough score !! New player name is Rob Tesches is good pass ball….. I wishing buy new player bring on here name is Luke Freeman young player in midfield from Bristol City KEEP EYE MK Don strike young player he good player from loan spurs!!!

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    No complaints from me. Rowett has long since surpassed expectations with the players he has inherited from LC and we’re safe from relegation. I admire the way he assessed what he had at his disposal and played to our strengths with counter attacking football as opposed to the passing game I don’t think we have the players for.Tactically and motivationaly he ticked all the boxes for me.
    It would be nice if he could now move on and really be able to express himself by being able to construct a squad he can call his own which is a true test of a manager. Fingers crossed he can!

  • Evesham blue says:

    A win is a win which was crucial. Mission accomplished 6 points at home. Don’t knock it. We also had a new player on the pitch. Team won’t gel straight away. I am pretty confident GR is trialling out prospective signing who are young with some quality. Bagged Morrison already. Hopefully get Tiernan and the new forest bloke. The squad is wafer thin. We have kept our prize asset to Grey. Young kids will always go off the boil and their form dip. System works we don’t want a panick Tinker man back in charge do we? Steady the ship and count your blessings!

  • chris says:

    for some reason better known to the players they just don’t perform at home against teams in the bottom three or there abouts.
    something else Rowett needs to sort out, in his long list of issues.
    they need to approach the game as though they were playing Wolves, Derby or Norwich and not just go through the motions and think they can perform at 3/4 effort levels.
    shows 5 or 6 need moving on in the summer and hopefull some better quality free’s will be able to be snapped up, but i doubt it on the wages we can pay.
    can’t see next season being any better at this point in time, unless GR can work more miracles.

  • Mark fewtrell says:

    We’re a tired outfit based on last night . Our flair player needs a rest, what I do not understand is why we should be so devoid of confidence . The way we are tacticly set up has served us well while our wingers were playing well but now Grey is burning out and Cotterill is half on the beach then Donaldson who by the way I thought was excellent is to isolated and unless Gary can get an infusion of quality in the side I fear that we will get found out next season . Having said that I think we have performed miracles to be where we are in this league . we don’t care about Carson we care about BCFC KRO

  • cannock blue says:

    I think GR has already worked miracles to be fair with a group of players devoid of any confidence let alone tactical awareness when he took over. We would be where Blackpool are right now if Clark was still at the helm and would of been chuffed with a scrappy one nill win over the tangerines. He has made us difficult to beat and if we have to win ugly then that’s fine. Factor in that he’s working with a team of players he inherited a lot of them lacking experience of the championship. I believe he has to play this system to protect the liabilities at the back Robinson and the makeshift spector, when Morrison comes back and plays alongside keirman. Maybe then he can set his team up more attacking knowing they will mop everything up at the back. We have a very good manager in rowett and next season he will have a whole season to be judged on and hopefully backing from new owners if E&y can get their job done without any interference.

  • Raymondo says:

    We’ve come a long way since LC’s sacking on October.People are now complaining when we win two on the bounce at home! Hiarios. We’ve got a few players of Championship quality and a lot who are not! We’re lucky to be where we are. Enjoy it and leave the managing to the manager.With the greatest respect to you all, all the amateur managers on here, despite meaning well, are not qualified as managers.We’re very lucky to have GR and if he makes the odd mistake now and then so what?. He’s a better man for the job than our club’s owners deserve. Only hope someone else doesn’t try to snap him up before, and if, we get new owners. KRO.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Dan,a few of my comments have been erased 15 mins after being posted recently. Is this the spam filter problem you mentioned?

  • copperfield says:

    agree with raymondo


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