Often Partisan

Not a Sausage for the Wolves – Match Reflections

Birmingham City derailed Wolverhampton Wanderers promotion bid with a 2-1 victory over their neighbours thanks to goals from Rob Kiernan and Demarai Gray. Wolves had taken the lead when Benik Afobe scored in the 10th minute after a defensive mixup but a vintage performance from Blues helped them to secure a big victory.

I have to say that today’s game was probably the best I’ve seen us play under Gary Rowett. Blues were dynamic in possession, stroking the ball around and trying to create space while they harried and hunted the Wolves players when Rowett’s men didn’t have the ball, creating openings as the pressure started to tell.

Diego Fabbrini looked a real player on debut. Elegant on the ball, spinning away from defenders with a grace that was reminiscent of Dugarry and with a range of passing that opened up a whole plethora of opportunities in the final third. Unlike Andy Shinnie, Fabbrini didn’t need space to operate in – he made space with intelligent runs and movement off the ball. With Donaldson battering the Wolves defenders with another beast of performance Blues were able to deliver an attacking performance to bring the Tilton to it’s feet.

Donaldson is fast becoming a hero of mine. Despite having to plough the lonely furrow up front as a lone striker he’s bagged fifteen this season – not to mention the games like this where he didn’t score but contributed heavily. He holds the ball up, he shields it from defenders and lays it off – and despite being manhandled week in, week out he never seems to moan or whinge about it. When the votes are being counted for player of the season, he has mine.

I was so happy for Dimmi too that he scored. He’s been quieter in recent weeks but today he was trying hard to open up the Wolves defence, to harry the fullbacks and get in behind them. The corollary of this was that when the big chance fell to him as he broke from a Wolves corner, Scott Golbourne was pushed into a mistake and allowed Dimmi to get the ball back before he slotted home past Ikeme. Hopefully he will remember how he played without fear because that was what made him so exciting.

I think I could rhapsodise about most of the forward play – Tesche was strong and intelligent in the middle; Gleeson did give the ball away a few times but fought like a tiger to get it back. The only fly in the ointment for me was David Cotterill, who picked up his eighth booking of the season early on lunging in when if he’d have been less lazy he’d have won the race to the ball with ease and then proceeded to bottle challenges and allow his man to beat him continuously. Cotterill is annoying because I know he can be one of our best and most dangerous players but some times he’s just a liability and I was surprised he wasn’t brought off.

All in all – a good win that secures mathematical safety and gives us bragging rights over our canine friends. It’s something to build on for Tuesday and gives me hope that there could be a real team built here by Rowett – there are glimpses of quality coming through. There was a distinct lack of sausages on show though – maybe that banger of a performance (groan) distracted people from chucking their chipolatas?

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56 Responses to “Not a Sausage for the Wolves – Match Reflections”

  • Richard Granfield says:

    A very pleasing performance today. For once we dominated midfield all of whom played well particularly Tesche. Tesche puts in a lot of work that may go unnoticed to the fans, but is appreciated by his teammates. He has become an automatic pick and I hope we will see him in blue next term.

  • Tony E says:

    Totally agree re performance and Cotterill also irritates me, yes he could have reached that ball and avoided a booking. I thought both Caddis and Donaldson were immense, just shows what a bit of organisation can achieve. A big thank you to GR and his coaching team.

  • zxcv says:

    Good summary Daniel, we must now show some consistency on Tuesday would also be nice to finish in the top half 10/11th and that will do for me. kro

  • markymarc says:

    There were times earlier this season when all hope seemed lost relegation seemed certainty, useless manager and a club in dire straits, but then the arrival of the messiah Gary Rowett, take a bow GR

    What a great day, and Fabrini just a class act, so looking forward to the future, don’t u just love football

  • Mitchell says:

    I have had my doubts recently on GR and his loan signings of Keirnan, Tesche and Fabrini. However, after today do I think we should try and sign them.? Well perhaps we should. That leaves me with Dyer who again had my doubts.Against Wolves I feared the worst once I heard the team news. I expected a heavy defeat. Now I realise how little i know or trust in GR. Did any other fans feel the same prior to kick off when casting our eyes on the starting eleven?

  • nicko says:

    no to be fair Mitchell i liked the look of the team the midfield took control from the first minute.what does get up my nose and it is a pet hate for me cotter-ill tends to bottle a 50/50 and that to me is wrong as my old teacher used to say if you want a broken leg pull out of a tackle.but that was the only fault on a great day for us noses kro

  • Shirley Blue says:

    What a great performance against a good, on form Wolves side. The fact we could leave Davies out and had the luxury of bringing him on tells you how we have come on. Once he got his studs sorted out at HT Febbrini was a delight to watch and he is a notch up from Shinnie and will take pressure off Donaldson. With regards to the latter he is my player of the season and we might struggle to keep him thid summer as he is perfect for the lone striker role as GR said after the game. Defensively we kept them to very few chances. Very pleasing and very encouraging. It would be great to get a top half finish – that would be a massive achievement after 11 points from 14 games the Rowett revolution.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    10 minutes into the game, the power and quality of the Wolves looked as though it was going to be another Bournemouth encounter. Then our own quality began to shine through. We were winning the midfield with some classy one touch passing and Fabbrini gave the forwards options every time we were on the ball. He must have been pulled down a dozen times, but popped up and ran rings around them. Also great to see some of the more ordinary squad players heeding GR’s warnings and playing out of their skins. If we can keep Fabbrini Kiernan and Tesche next season and add another 3 of similar quality, then we can make the play offs with limited financial support. If we can sell the club, get the idiots out and investment in, then the sky is the limit!!! KRO.

  • zxcv says:

    I thought the team selection was pretty much okay maybe i would have picked Davis but no the team selection was good today. I am feeling even more satisfied about that performance as the day goes on, Can`t wait for Tuesday now, and would be even better if we have some good news from HK.. Can`t help but think that we surly must be an attractive proposition for some decent purchasers.

  • Rob Midd 1875 says:

    Couldn’t agree more with all of that. Davis had player of the season wrapped up for me, but I now think Donaldson would probably pip him to my vote. Cotteril is infuriating. I don’t always think it’s laziness, sometimes he just plain bottles challenges; match winner on his day though. Thought Caddis would get torn a new one today but he was class. Not enjoyed a home game as much as that for a couple of years.

  • Roysie says:

    On the way up from London I mentioned that the one thing GR hadn’t manage to solve was the tendency to play well for only half a match. Well today they played well and competed on equal terms for the whole 96 minutes. Well done.

  • SuperKRO says:

    Such a complete performance and a really great derby game. Thought we kept the dingles front 3 quiet considering they are good players and we bossed the midfield. Donaldson worked tirelessly for 90+ mins, Tesche read the game so well. Kiernan was solid and I was very pleased he got that goal. Fabbrini really shone today, was really pleased for the guy considering he spent most the time being held back and knocked about. Lets hope we can put in another performance like that on Tuesday and keep Fabbrini, Kiernan & Tesche for next season. KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Best 90 mins this season from us and everyone done great today but Fanbrini again for the second time at St. Andrews was head and shoulders the best footballer on the pitch , he made us tick and everything went through him particuly second half , our movement was superb and the dingles got away with 2-1 so onwards and upwards now and roll on Tuesday …. Chuffed to bits!! Kro

  • andy says:

    Dan, i cannot understand why it has taken so long for Donaldson to start becoming a hero of yours! For me he is Blues player of the season by a mile.

  • steve says:

    Wasn’t sure about the starting line up,but what do i know ? GR got everything spot on today and the team were brilliant. Shit support from 4000 travelling dingles. Congrats GR,you’ve kept us up comfortably in the end. Unbeaten from now til the end of the season would be nice though.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The only real surprise, was the omission of Davis from the starting line up. Every other position was as expected. Cotterill’s not the bravest by a long way and he’s easily the most frustrating player we’ve had down Stans in a long time…. but I think Rowett prefers to keep Cotterill on the pitch because he can always come up with a goal or an assist… that’s why he comes across as a cocky so-and-so.

    As for Donaldson always being fouled and getting nothing from the refs.. isn’t there a pattern there? It’s happened to Zigic season after season.. and Marlon King too. We’re just not flavour of the month… any month.

    Congratulations to all players and coaching staff on reaching safety. Now we should be able to play without any tension for the last 5 games.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Donaldson is my player of the season no danger with Davis, Morrison and grounds following behind but with those 4. And keeping Tesche , Kiernan and Fabbrini there’s a nucleus there of a promotion challenging team and not forgeting cotterill and gray and a few new signings in the summer then the future don’t look so bad after all does it !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I said at the start of the season that I thought we had a decent squad and that I expected us to finish around 10-12th. I wasn’t that far off and it’s still a possibility, if we have a good run in.

      I think most of the first XI will be here next season and like you, I believe with the addition of Kiernan, Tesche and Fabbrini, plus a few others, we could easily have a tilt at the play offs (at least) next season.

      Randolph and Grounds have played 40 league games… Caddis, Cotterill and Donaldson (39) Davis (35) Robinson and Gleeson (30.) Considering the injuries we’ve had this season, those appearance figures are pretty good.

      • staffs is never wrong says:

        you also said that Bournemouth would fall away.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Yes I did… and I was wrong. Well done you. You can retire and celebrate now.

          • Dave Mann says:

            The thing is staffs there’s a lot on here who have a lot to say and just slag others off without having nothing posetive to say themselves .. A lot of them retired 4 years ago when we got relegated and give opinions on other fans views because there not there themselves , pathetic really!! Kro

          • StaffsBlue says:

            No worries Dave. It’s been tried by experts, so this joker has no chance.

          • staffs is never wrong says:

            Dave,who are you to criticise anybody?You’re full of it. staffsblue,you’re an expert that hardly ever watches Blues.

          • Blues Girl says:

            This is all rather childish!

      • Tony says:

        But Staffs we would have been relegated if the imbecile was still in charge you would have been miles off

        • Dave Mann says:

          But he isent and he wasent ? Kro

        • steve says:

          We would have been down by christmas with elsie in charge.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I said it was a decent squad Tony and should finish top half. I never mentioned with which manager. People have this impression that I followed the previous manager blindly. Not true. I supported him whilst he was manager, which I felt was the right thing to do, just as I do the present manager. Now the previous manager has gone, I couldn’t give a monkey’s about him.. as I won’t when Rowett goes. It doesn’t matter a jot who the owners, manager or players are… I support Birmingham City FC. No personal agendas. Simple.

  • Art says:

    Fabulous result today and congratulations to GR and the backroom boys for guaranteeing our place in the Championship.

    The future under GR is bright.

  • Sean Thomas says:

    It was pleasing that when we went 2-1 we did not sit back and defend the lead, like the old LC days and to be fair I have also seen this tactic used by GR. we grabbed the impetus from Wolves and they had no answers nor was they up for a battle the knew they couldn’t win. I have to agree about Cotterill, this was a bottled performance which was more highlighted by the way the rest of the team shed blood and guts.

  • La La La says:

    Nice to see us come back from a losing position and nice to come home with a sore throat!!
    Well done lads .. KRO

  • Hullblue says:

    No-one has mentioned the solid Randolph yesterday…..getting close and low balls every time.

    Fabrini has the ball skill of Francis……hope Watford dont want him back !

    GRs Blue Army roll on !

  • Nick Ingram says:

    Possibly our best home performance of the season. Caddis and Donaldson were outstanding, but Fabrini stole the show for me, prticularly in the second half. If we could secure his services for next season i would be more thn happy to hand over my season ticket cash!
    Only thing i disagree with is Cotterill, i dont think he’s lazy at all,he lacks any kind of pace, and probably isn’t the bravest player ever, but for me he more than makes up for that with his outstanding delivery which Donaldson has benefited from greatly this season, and he’s chipped in with more than his share of goals too…the stats don’t lie!

  • Tony says:

    One thing stands out we need to do everything to sign Fabrini, he really stood out as quality.

  • Bluefire says:

    Easily the best performance at St. Andrews under GR, just bettering his first home game v Watford. Rowett has given the team cohesion, confidence and a trusted style of play. Just goes to show that spending big isn’t everything. My one fear of a takeover is that people will expect us to spend our way out of trouble and not necessarily build a team in the right way. Frankly if Wolves, who lets not forget were in league 1 last season, can be around the play offs then so can we. Keeping Tesche and Fabbrini I agree with though I’m not sure about Kiernan. Get rid of the deadwood replace them with 3 or 4 astute signings. Ryan Donaldson from Cambridge would be worth a punt for me.

  • putneyblue says:

    I came up from London for the match like a comment above and was obviously delighted I did.
    The only sad thing was there was less than 20,000 to see the game – derby, sunny day and we assured safety..its a shame more didnt make it to the game…nevermind

    • henrybloo says:

      The reason why there were less than 20000 is quite simple ,£35 on the Kop and £30 in the Tilton .

      • Dave Mann says:

        It will be those prices in the premier league if we ever get back there and £35? .. If its man utd or villa or Chelsea suddenley by majic blues fans find £35 and there’s 25,000 .. Stop making excuses about the prices .. ‘Fans’ don’t go because they don’t want to but then a pair of trainers or a nice t shirt is money better well spent ? , my opinion and that’s it !! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s the problem putneyblue , nice day , local derby and safe from relegation and we still can’t get over 20,000 because of the owners ( apparentley) and fans won’t turn up till there gone .. Well when they have gone lets see if that changes for the first game with new owners … I think not putney as its excuse after excuse and that’s the way it is mate but as I’ve said many times its part of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the sake of other people’s opinions or stance so ime just glad ime not that way and can be proud to say that ! Kro

    • steve says:

      Dave,why do you concern yourself so much with fans that don’t go ? you pay your money and go,that’s all that matters.We never sold out when we were in the Prem last time. If i wasn’t a STH,i wouldn’t pay £30 – £35 for Championship football.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Steve, your a season ticket holder and you have my respect for that and yes I do get pissed by fans who give it large but don’t go but that’s the way I am so were leave it a that but …. ‘staffs knows it all ‘ yes I am full of it pal … Full of passion, love and attendances to my football club , your just full of rubbish and childish guestures that embarrass you everything you post .. Ime sure there’s a brain there somewhere but god knows where , idiot!! Kro

    • steve says:

      Suddenly become a big man eh Dave?

      • steve says:

        Sorry Dave,just re read your post. Thought it was aimed at me.

        • Dave Mann says:

          Steve , I don’t aim it at genuine supporters like yourself mate , you have your posts and I have mine and we’ve got so much in common that we care so Much about blues and were gonna have difference of opinions but you care and I care and some one like ‘staffs knows it all ‘ just comes on here and talks drosh , total dipper !!! Kro

          • Shirley Blue says:

            The pricing did have an affect on yesterday’s crowd. I don’t have a ST any more but I do go to pretty much every game. To buy a ticket where my old seat was in block 27 in the top middle of the Kop was £40 yesterday. That is ridiculous so I paid to go into the Tilton. I think categorising games in the Championship actually has a negative effect on attendances. There is logic to in the Premier League because there is a completely different type of demand.

          • steve says:

            It’s 10 quid on Tuesday. They should have made Saturday a cheaper game.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It’s utterly pointless replying to personal barbs. I support the club/team, the way I want to. Nothing anyone thinks or says makes a jot of difference to that. I pay other supporters the same respect. Whether they go down every game, selected games, or watch from their armchair… that’s their business and nothing to do with me. I will always discuss football with other fans, but won’t reply to anything personal.. because it means sod all to me. :)

      • Paule says:

        Staffs i read yours and all the comments on here regularly & agree with a lot of what you say, if supporters come on here & disagree with others opinions either put up a reasonable reply or don’t bother, insulting opinions of fellow bluenose’s in the manner i have read today is just childish & in some cases they should read what they put on here only a few weeks ago!!! I have my season ticket but respect supporters who don’t go for whatever reason, Also i have several friends &some family who won’t go whilst these idiots are running the club and I know 100% they will be back when we get sold that’s their way of demonstrating against BIH & i respect it.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Good post Paule. I always respect other posters views, whether I agree with them or not. I would never deign to tell another poster that he/she is wrong. I just offer my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    There are all kinds of reasons why fans don’t go to matches financial,work,family or otherwise. This however doesn’t stop them from having an opinion on this blog no matter what some may think.
    Just because you hold a season ticket or go to away games it doesn’t make you any more entitled to air your views about things Blues does it? I’ve been to every corner of the country following the Blues for many years but I don’t run around wearing it like some big badge. What difference does it make to me wheather you go or not?……..absolutely nowt!

  • ndf says:

    Teams coming to St Andrews have definitely done their homework this season and know that when we are on the ball in midfield we will turn back with it and they then press us. What a revelation that every time he got the ball Fabrini turned forwards and started another move.

    Unfortunately he caught his teammates out sometimes as well and the options were limited but once they get used to each other there should be goals from him and more from the likes of Donaldson plus when teamed with Thomas some good tap-ins. An essential signing for next season if a deal can be done.


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