Often Partisan

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Rotherham Review

Birmingham City beat Rotherham United 2-1 yesterday in match that was not without incident. Goals from Robert Tesche and Clayton Donaldson took Blues into a 2-0 first half lead before Matt Derbyshire pulled one back just after the interval.

As games go it was a decent one – Blues really dominated first half and for a while were playing some really good football in the midfield. However, as they have done a lot of late they tailed off second half and Rotherham manager Steve Evans maybe had a right to feel aggrieved that they didn’t get anything from the game.

The Good

Clayton Donaldson was immense yesterday. Made one, scored one, held the ball up well and brought other players into attacks. No matter that their defenders were continually all over him without reprisal or that he was wrongly flagged offside more than once, he kept going and in reality Tesche should have scored one of the two he laid off for him late on; had Donaldson been a couple of inches taller he’d have got to Dyer’s low cross too.

Lloyd Dyer has had a lot of criticism from me (and was booed coming on as a sub which is just wrong) so I think I need to balance it out now when he’s had a good game. Yesterday was what I’ve wanted to see from him – direct running, challenging the full back, getting behind and threatening the goal. There was a chance to score which seemed to get caught between his legs and having lost the ball Dyer chased it back 50 yards at breakneck speed to try to win it back. More of this please, Lloyd.

Robert Tesche impressed me too. I think he’s genuinely the best passer of the ball we have and he coped as well either deeper in midfield or in the more advanced position when Shinnie took his customary substitution. His goal was perfectly representative of what I like about Tesche – rather than blasting it he placed it perfectly. I really would like us to sign the German on a free in the Summer.

The bad

The Rotherham goal came from as bad a mixup in defence as I’ve seen – Randolph seemed to get caught in two minds and it was the easiest tap-in ever for Matt Derbyshire. We were lucky not to concede more in the second half – our defence was a bit pinball at times and they were guilty of not marking up properly, allowing Rotherham players too much space in the final third. I know Rowett doesn’t believe it was a penalty but I think Kiernan was a lucky boy – I’d have been fuming if we had not been given that.

The ugly

Steve Evans. I know that this is the pot calling the kettle black but he looked like a heart attack waiting to happen on the touchline and sounded like the annoying fat bloke who sits behind you in the stands yelling “gerrit forward”. I will admit to not liking Evans due to his ahem, controversial past and in some ways I’m glad Rotherham was denied a penalty purely because of the moment it inspired on the touchline. Evans in a state of apoplexy ranted at Rowett about the penalty not being awarded – only for the Bromsgrove Mourinho to shrug his shoulders. It didn’t go down well…

So – three points in the bag, fifty on the board and now five away from mathematical safety. Blues face a tough away game to Bournemouth on Monday and I’d like to see a little bit of rotation – the impressive Dyer for the tiring Gray, the new boy Fabbrini for Shinnie and maybe Davis for Gleeson to further solidify our midfield.

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82 Responses to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Rotherham Review”

  • Tony E says:

    I like Shinnie, but felt that yesterday he was not strong enough. He was knocked off the ball far too easily and possession lost. I think he needs to be taken out of the team, both for a rest and a kick up the proverbial.

    • richardm says:

      And in Fabrini we have the perfect replacement I think – suprised he wasn’t given a chance yesterday, even off the bench (i.e. – why did we bother to sign him??)

      I’m not a fan of Gleeson who delivers very little in my eyes, and Tesch is a better passer of the ball anyway – so Fabbrini and Davis in for Shinnie and Gleeson please.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        If you’re going to have a luxury player in the team, he’s got to be a good ‘un. Shinnie often flatters to decieve. He looks good on the ball, but only if he’s given room to play. Stand on him and he’s fecked. I’m hoping, also, that next season, he’ll be able to last 90 minutes.

        • steve says:

          slag him off as much as you like. I’ve seen a lot of him this season,and i agree he is a bit lightweight,but he is a different player under the Bromsgrove Mourinho. He has added a lot to the team since GR came in and he deserves his place in the side.

  • Dorgie says:

    Ha ha the Bromsgrove Mourinho, he only lived there for a year when he was a lad.

  • fingles says:

    Cannot agree Dan, yes we were a bit sloppy at times but we had 4 absolutely clear chances in the second half and did not score any of the. On another day we would have won 4-1.

  • Peter Bates says:

    Gleeson one dimensional Davis far better also wish we had better left back than grounds thought he was poor yesterday also think cotterill needs to think a bit more about the free kicks 3 wasted opportunities wasted by him

  • Jaffa says:

    No moaning please people.Fifty points reached at this stage of the season with an average squad at best will do for me.

  • Dave mann says:

    I can’t agree with the dyer ‘ had a good game’ brigade!! .. He ran around like an headless chicken and wearing those orange boots doesent do him any favours what so ever , yes he put one good cross in but ‘wow’ so what! .. Though I must say he was slightly better than gray who again does my head in though some will say that he’s only 18 and played three games in a week for England u19s so I will leave that one but I think fabbrini and Davis will start at Bournemouth and even with my stick obout gray I would start him at Bournemouth purely for the transfer saga we had with them and the fact that he might want to prove himself and he might actually play well Monday .. We’re see!! . My opinions understand so others will have there own insight in to the game yesterday and Monday . Kro

    • steve says:

      He had a good last 10 minutes. that’s not enough for the time he’s been here. Get rid.

  • Mitchell says:

    Yesterday’s player to catch my eye was Ben Pringle of Rotherham. This midfielder ran spots of any of our midfielders. He reminded me of a younger Savage. Mark my words, this player will be snapped up by a bigger club. Pity GR cannot get him but who knows after reading my comments,together with any other bluenoses who follow my admiration of Pringles he may well take notice. Yes he is quality but cannot see us taking him long term. Keirnan is a gamble I fear, but squd player maybe.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Cannot agree with your assessment of Ben Pringle. Even Lee Clark didn’t buy him and he fits Clark’s criteria i.e. Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne and played for Wallsend Boys Club.lol.

  • Mitchell says:

    Last comment on the quality player I was referring to was Tesche.

  • Ian says:

    Rowett looks like he will use these remaining games very shrewdly – A chance to convince the likes of Tesche to join us permanently, try some different systems and most importantly have a settled squad to start next season without the excuse of bedding new players in. If Rowett rotates key players for the Bournemouth game I believe it’s a smart move. It’s more evidence of how fortunate we are to have an intelligent manager. I was delighted to see the team playing with good tempo and looking for goals up to the 95th minute when it could quite easily have been a game where they were thinking more about their summer holidays.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Dyer, facing goal, is an assett. Dyer, with his back to goal, is like most wingers.. ineffective. I still fail to see what Gray brings to the team. No goals, no real assists, just the odd mazy run and a shot wide or over the bar mostly. Certainly not enough to warrant a regular place. £5m is looking good business.

    Donaldson has been immense this season. Working with your back to goal the whole game is one of the hardest jobs in football. I’m convinced that, if he’d had a partner up there with him this season, he would have doubled his present goal tally. But you can’t knock the guy.

    It would be nice to sign Tesche and Fabbrini permanently, but do we really need Kiernan next season? We’ll have Morrison and Gunning, with Robinson and Spector as back up… and I personally would move Grounds inside and buy a new left back. I think Rowett will radically reshape the squad next season, but, this lot have done the job of staying up, so well done to everyone for that.

    Finally, Steve Evans is a character for sure and the game is running out of them, especially without the likes of Neil Warnock to entertain us. I love watching the antics of those type of loonies. :)

    • La la la says:

      I Agree with Staffs, Donaldson has been great for us and even made some crucial defensive clearances from corners yesterday.
      Keep up the hard work Clayton….KRO

    • steve says:

      Donaldson has been average. He spends too much time looking for free kicks.He’s a big lad and he needs to be stronger.he is not a target man imo.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree with your last point. Donaldson would have been twice as effective if he hadn’t had to play with his back to goal all season.

    • Tms blues says:

      If we wanted £5m as I said at the time we should have taken it in the window. Any bids now will be less than half that methinks! He’s not that good Redmond was so much more talented and dangerous.

  • Tony says:

    We were all over the place at the back and Randolph showed once again he is not the answer, I thought he was poor.
    Fabrini and Davis must come in Gleeson is too light weight as is Shinnie.
    Rotherham had chances to score yesterday, against a better side we would have lost that one.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    A big well done to all the players for reaching 50 points. Now let’s go on and make it 60 and end the season on a high.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Ide be happy with 60 to staffs but lets get to 55 first because that’s the cut off point so wins at Bournemouth and Wolves will do the trick!! .. Lovely jubbly !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      3 winnable home games and the odd point away will do it Dave. 60 is such a lovely round figure. :)

      • steve says:

        Every game is winnable,but i don’t think we’ll beat the dingles.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          You never know steve. We drew at their place.. and we’re a better side now. I think it could be another draw, maybe 2-2.

          • steve says:

            I think the new manager effect has disappeared now Staffs and they’re in better form than they were then. I hope you’re right,because i hate losing to them.

  • Dave Mann says:

    It’s 5 unbeaten at home now so if we can take that unbeaten record through to the end of the season that will be a good job done … How many of us including myself and maybe you staffs would have said we would have got 6 points more than last season and still have 7 games left ?? .. Not one of us if we’re being honest so though I do criticise more than most deep down were all happy with this season on the pitch .. If we can sort it out of the pitch who knows what next season can bring !! Kro

  • JuicyLemon says:

    I think some are being very over critical, enjoy the rest of the season. I thought Tesch was tremendous, plays a simple pass but is strong in possession and reads the game well. Donaldson held the ball up well, Shinnie and Dimmi linked up fantastically well in the first half and were by far the two most creative players on the field. Morrison and Kiernan looked very comfortable in possession, second half went a bit belly up for 15 mins, but with GR’s expertise I believe we’re on to something good! Looking forward to seeing Fabrinni against Bournemouth

    • steve says:

      Agree,after last season just relax and enjoy a stress free end to the season,because if things don’t change at board level,we’re in for another stressful season next time.

  • Thanks for meeting me and signing the book Dan. Yesterday’s game & result were good for me. And I Agree No Blues Fan should be booing Dyer or any other player when coming onto the pitch! Can we stop this nonsense it belongs across the City! Donaldson again was awesome, KRO!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Booing your own players weather you agree or not that dyer came on his disgraceful .. I just wish that those who boo would stay at home and not bother because your not doing anybody any favours including yourself , pathetic weather you pay your money or not .. It’s like a cancer that needs destroying and quickly , really pisses me off !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Booing the opposition, fine. Booing your own players, mindless. What better way to encourage an off-form player than to boo him. Not.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I don’t boo any player or anyone in general .. It’s like spitting in someone’s face . It’s cowardly and uncalled for whatever the situation . It shudders me to think that people do it .. It’s childish and done in jest by young school children , for adults to do it his just shows intelligence or lack of it !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I agree. I can understand booing the opposing team, but I never boo, it just encourages opposition players, and discourages your own.

  • oldburyblue says:

    I was very disappointed to find that Fabbrini was not playing from the start but was amazed that he did not come on for the 2nd half when Rotherham were clearly there for the taking. I kept looking at the subs bench thinking that GR was going to break him in gently after 60mins, or “LC’s favourite” 70mins….but nothing! I was hoping after the game that we might be told that he had a slight injury to explain his non-appearance but again nothing. I just hope that he hasn’t fallen out with GR already as he has obviously done at Watford previously.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Gary rowett as no reason to explain why fabbrini did not play yesterday .. It’s his decision and he’s manager .. Let him decide and leave of at that ! Kro

    • oldburyblue says:

      I like GR very much and will always be grateful for what he has done so far. However, he is not perfect and I reserve the right to criticize his decisions/tactics when I feel appropriate…..like all paying customers. I am sure that some fans attended yesterday expecting to see Fabbrini after what GR said about him in the press before the game. Am I wrong?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I must admit, I was slightly surprised too, considering Shinnie was supposed to have back trouble. But, maybe he wanted the guy to watch us in action first before throwing him in. I’ll be more surprised if he doesn’t play against Bournemouth though.

    • steve says:

      What’s the point of blogs and forums then Dave if we can’t have our point of view? People like you watch each game in Blue tinted glasses.

  • Dave Mann says:

    How can you critisice his decision if you don’t know the reason ? .. As a paying customer you go to see the team not one player and we won and fabbrini didn’t play because ….??? .. He’s one player not a saviour so lets not go overboard on this one .. We all have a dig now snd then but until rowett gives you his reasons then we should leave it at that . Kro

    • oldburyblue says:

      Hang on Dave…do I listen to your 3.14pm where you say GR “as(sic) no reason to explain”….or your last one where we should leave it until he gives his reasons? In my original comment I stated that I was HOPING for an explanation. Am I wrong in that? Communication is a wonderful thing don’t you think?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Could Fabbrini and Shinnie play in the same eleven? The only way to find out is to play them.
    My team for Bournemouth in 4-1-4-1.
    Randolph
    Caddis, Morrison, Kiernan, Grounds,
    Davis,
    Fabbrini, Shinnie, Tesche, Cotterill,
    Donaldson.

  • Dave Mann says:

    oldburyblue, rowett can tell us when it suits him weather that’s straight after the game or later today or tommorow .. We can’t keep slagging him off for his reasons until we know the facts about not playing a player .. It’s no big deal and he will communicate with us when he’s ready and not because we didn’t see one particular player who’s on loan .. Keep it real !! Kro

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    Best entertainment for ages from a manager ( and let’s not forget his assistant! ): what a shame Mr Evans did not get given the Vile job and a bunch of fans who deserve him.

    Vile Park is also an apt home for those who boo their own players before they even get on the pitch.

  • oldburyblue says:

    Anybody else disappointed not to see Fabbrini yesterday?

  • Yes, I think many of us are but maybe we will see him on Monday. On that subject, I have a spare ticket for the game. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t managed to get a ticket but would like to go? If so leave a contact and I’ll get in touch. Bazza

  • Thanks to those of you who responded to my comments on Not Booing Blues Players. And agreeing that there is No place for it at St.Andrews. Leave it to the Vile fans across Our City!

  • philip says:

    this is garrys record

    pos pld win drwn lost for agst pts

    9 25 10 9 6 33 28 39

    6 25 13 5 7 46 31 44 ipswich record

  • andy says:

    Donaldson has been immense for Blues on more than one occasion and for me would deserve the clubs player of the season.

    • richardm says:

      I know I sound like an ungrateful moaning old git when I say this,I like Donaldson but bloody hell, he’s missed some sitters, reminds me of Heskey a little – needs 6 chances to score one.

  • Mitchell says:

    I would like fellow blues fans to spend a few minutes looking at Fabrinni career to date. Then perhaps it makes sense that GR is cautious about playing him in tight games such as yesterday. I am not being unkind but have to criticise the hype loaded on this player. Being 3-0 up then yes but he is not a player to change games. GR has to be careful here as he already has one loan player who gets booed before kicking a ball. He doesn’t want two. All I say is don’t be too keen to get him on the pitch.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      You say we should look at Fabbrini’s career to date. I note that he is a full and under 21 international for Italy. You say he is not a player to change games, but he was certainly influential in Millwall’s win at St Andrews’ earlier this season and was the best player I have seen this season.
      Other than that I agree with you 100%.

      • steve says:

        Completely agree Richard. And why bring him in so close to the end of the season and not play him? You can’t blame lack of game time,and it’s not that we’ve been that good that nobody deserves to be left out.

        • chris says:

          two games in three days thats why, similar reason Davis was rested, though Tesche and Gleeson are doing ok too.
          May play all three vs Bournemouth??

  • oldburyblue says:

    Gary has now explained via Tatts why he didn’t play Fabbrini on Friday and it makes sense so I accept his reasoning. It would appear that the early 2nd half goal conceded scuppered his plans. No pressure on him if he gets a game on Monday or next Saturday then!

  • chris says:

    On the replay, no way it was a pen, but Evans added some spice and passion even though i think he was wrong.
    Since Rowett has come in Blues have averaged 1.56 points per game and over a whole season that’s 72 points.
    We’d take that next season, but with the summer changes who knows what sort of squad we will have depending on E&Y decisions.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Fabrini looked a class act at our place and worth a look on loan. I do worry though that people are expecting to much and want to see him walk straight into the side irrespective. All new signings start on the bench first game and I think he would have come on if Rotherham hadn’t come back into the game. There is also the question that if he really is that good,why is he nowhere near the Watford squad?. Does anybody know his appearance record for them or why he’s not considered?

  • Dave Mann says:

    Just had a big English breakfast in my hotel in poole and looking forward to the day out on the harbour and then all systems go for our revenge match in Bournemouth tommorow .. Enjoy your Easter guys , I certainly am !! Kro

    • steve says:

      No fighting this week Dave ;) Travelling down tomorrow.

      • Dave Mann says:

        No problems Steve , my sons in Florida and its just me and the wife having a weekend away in poole then driving to Bournemouth tommorow which is only 15 mins away from where we are and enjoying the day .. As long as no one try’s to attack me then I will be fine and be on my best behaviour.. Are you coming down ? Kro

        • Dave Mann says:

          Yeah , sorry Steve your coming down tommorow … Enjoy pal!! Kro

          • steve says:

            Got family down this weekend Dave otherwise i would have been down for the weekend myself.Hope we get something tomorrow but don;t think we will. Just glad we’re safe.

  • Mitchell says:

    Replying to Hillfield Blues..Fabrinni record at Watford and Millwall is so poor with appearances and only 1 goal for Millwall that I am lost ast,o why GR has taken him.I would love GR to turn to me at season end and show me how wrong I am. By the way Fabs. worth in Europe is valued at 880k. It was 2 years ago 2.3m euros. by his agent and parent Italian club.I just hope Gary has unearthed something no one else has believed in.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If GR is looking realistically at a top six challenge next season he will have to replace, IMO, Randolph, Grounds, Kiernan, Dyer, Shinnie and Gleeson from yesterday’s XI for his new first XI. Quite a tall order.

    • steve says:

      Shinnie is a different player under GR and Grounds improves every week.Agree about Randolph,no better than Doyle imo.I would try and get Shay Given next season. too good to be a No 2.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Sorry Julian but grounds and shinnie should be part of our squad next season but the rest fair enough , not a criticism just an opinion .. Enjoy your Easter pal! Kro

  • Mitchell says:

    I feel that Tomorrow’s game will tell us a lot about GR. I cannot see him playing Gray for obvious reasons. Also,likewise Fabrini. Too much of a gamble and it could be a heavy defeat. Eddie Howe has quality back room staff that have all the know how as to rely on varying tactics whichever the game is going. Having said all that, if I am wrong and he plays Fab.and Gray and comes away with a result then to my mind GR is the manager to watch.Survival has been great,respect has been restored this season. Tomorrows test is about GR personally,and I don’t know how he will approach the game. My feeling is that of an unchanged side with the hope of 1-1.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    What’s the ‘obvious’ reason not to play Gray or Fabbrini. I think the team wil be R CMKG T CFDG D

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I thought their penalty shout in the second half was nailed on but having just seen it again the ref got it right – no way was it a penalty. I have seen them given though. Kiernan was at fault for their goal though. I can’t see us getting anything at Bournemouth. I think it will be the footballing equivalent of the Alamo.
    It wasn’t good to hear Dyer getting booed when he came on. He has been poor but he didn’t deserve that. Shame Donaldon couldn’t get a toe to his cross as a bit of confidence can make all the difference.

  • Mitchell says:

    Thanks Julian.I feel Gray is under enough pressure to produce any kind of performance at the moment let alone trying to cope with an unfair price tag in front of Cherries fans.Fabrini against them is not his debut game believe me. Don’t get carried away by the romance of Bournemouth and their sudden rise. They are a monied squad that will emulate Swansea and backed by a quiet multi monied group. If not up to matching their quality which we cannot, then put 11 players out ther who can match the physical. Don’t rule out Robinson for this one.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I would play either Dyer or Novak on the left tomorrow. Francis and Ritchie are relentless down Bournemouth’s right, so we need to be tight down that side. It might even be that Shinnie nor Fabbrini will get a starting place. It’s possible that Gleeson, Davis and Tesche might get the nod, to keep the midfield tight too. I would go, Randolph, Caddis, Morrison, Kiernan, Cotterill, Gleeson, Tesche, Davis, Novak, Donaldson. The Don might have to take his deckchair, iPod and shades with him. :))

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If we put out a team that just tries to stop them them I’m glad I’m decided against going. It will end in tears

    • StaffsBlue says:

      But we played an attacking line up, with 2 up front, against Ipswich… and that certainly ended in tears. We’re going to have to win that midfield battle if we’re to get anything out of the game.


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