Often Partisan

Defeat maybe but the promise is still there – SC Braga review

Here are my match reflections on the home game vs SC Braga in the Europa League:

1) The Result

After the euphoria of the last couple of home games, it was a bit deflating tonight to go down 3-1 at home. However, it’s not the end of the world – SC Braga were a very good side technically and I don’t think we embarrassed ourselves. There are plenty of positives to take from the game, and as such I don’t feel massively unhappy after the game.

2) Marlon King

How long has it been since we had a striker who can control the ball as well as Marlon? He won most of his headers, he was great at getting the ball and shielding it from a defender so he could turn and face on goal and when the ball went to him you knew that it was unlikely he’d lose out from his first touch. Throw in the fact he was everywhere in the pitch wanting the ball, and you have a top class performance – and deserving of the MOTM award in the stadium.

3) Guirane N’daw

It was a bit of a curate’s egg of a performance from our on loan Senegalese midfielder. He started off slow, looked out of sorts and gave away the ball. Yet as the game went on, he grew in stature a bit, and started playing at least the simple stuff to an acceptable standard. He reminds me of an articulated lorry; he needs a massive amount of space to execute a 180 turn but when he starts running, it’s going to need a lot to stop him. He’s not at the level Gomis is, but I think with time he could be useful for us.
4) Pablo Ibanez

Pablo had a bit of a weird game too; he made some mistakes early on but as the game went on it became clear he can read the game fairly well, he can tackle fairly well and he can defend fairly well. Unfortunately, his passing was a bit wobbly, but he’s another player who I think can and will improve. I suspected he’d get a start because he’s a continental defender but his style of play turned out to be much more British and no-nonsense.

5) Nathan Redmond

I felt a bit for Nathan; for the first hour or so he’d get the ball and instead of making a run, he’d check back and then look for options, which was a shame because Braga clearly didn’t like people running with the ball at them. As the game progressed and Blues were looking for an equaliser, it appeared Nathan got the bit between his teeth again and he was unlucky with the one shot as it viciously dipped towards the far corner.

The whole game could have been much different if Adam Rooney had slipped that shot early on the right side of the post; the keeper was beaten all ends up. Alas, he didn’t, and in truth their goal did kill momentum early on. There are positives there though, and the experience will aid Blues as they continue their Championship campaign at St Marys on Sunday.

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18 Responses to “Defeat maybe but the promise is still there – SC Braga review”

  • SCT says:

    Great assessment of tonight’s performance.

    I think a special mention has to go to David Murphy. Frozen out at St. Andrews due to injury and the past manager preferring Ridgewell, he has shown his quality in our two European home games in particular.

    Look solid tonight, made a good free kick effort and even showed a touch of Brazilian flair!! Hopefully he continues to get a good run in the team.

  • emlyn hall says:

    Felt we were a little one dimensional in the middle of the park tonight and had the same sort of feeling against Millwall. Thought Beausejour would’ve been perfect in there tonight with spector or that big wardrobe! Would liked to have seen Redmond switch flanks every now and then until Burke came on and added something to our game. Real learning curve for an hour too from a side that have a decent pedigree at this level. One of the big games out the way, bring on the smaller two teams at home and see what happens. KRO.

  • alexjhurley says:

    Largely agree although I thought ndaw went from utterly dreadful to dreadful. That said, it was his first game and he will get better. I hope.

    Nice to come away from a home defeat having enjoyed it and had a go. Braga clearly are a level above us, but in the 2nd half after the subs I thought we matched them.

    Gotta mention elliots corner into the tilton. Funniest thing I’ve seem at stans since enclkemen. I’ll let sue barker know…..

  • ScudMuffin says:

    Marlon King was helping orchestrate the attack with Carr, standing slightly off side and pointing out places the ball should be going for other players to be fed. N’Daw (Ewok) was hopeless, wouldn’t say he was playing to an acceptable standard by the end though he did manage to connect pass’ before he came off. Ibanez got better later into the game but still looked stringy. Carr was dogy first half, better in the second. Rooney should still be playing as a CF to MKs striker position. The right winger should have been centre midfield all night, he looked good there.

    Aside from that a sloppy game till the Subs came on for Blues, too much give away and bad passing. It was always going to be tough though the team made it harder on themselves.

  • pedantic_pete says:

    We have to face it they were better at passing the ball and keeping it than we were. We came up against a stronger side and lost, but lost with our pride intact. Well done lads on a good overall performance.

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    I felt we handicapped ourselves with the starting XI put out. I know it’s a squad game and the Championship is the priority but ,for me, making 6 changes from Sunday and giving 4 players their full Blues debut introduced too much disruption and led to the disjointed performance which was only improved when we put the two subs on. As someone who has waited 44 years for European football and expects that we may not be gracing Europe for another 44, I would like the manager to give this competition a bit more focus. It’s a difficult balance but I thought with a slightly stronger team from the off last night we could have got something from the game.

    • BeeGeeBlueBoy says:

      Yes I feel very let down by the team selection. Having now heard CH post match comments it’s clear he thought any XI would have lost so save them for Sunday. Now we’ll not know what could have been and if we dont get three points on Sunday it will have been a futile gesture

  • Bradley says:

    This is the first time I have seen the blues this season, unfortunately it was from the comfort of my sofa.( as I work overseas ) I couldn’t believe the change in style, I have been reading so many blogs about the different style of play under CH and was pleasantly surprised, if we can play like that all season then we will make the playoffs and if we had played like that last season then we wouldn’t of needed the playoffs.

  • Mark says:

    Sometimes you have too take on the chin, from what I could see from the match fairly correct account of the match Almajir Blues gave a fair account of themselves even at 3-1 they continued to play attacking football. CH obviously aware the amount of games come up and made the changes he felt needed. They were simple better than us on the night……………..But if we had taken our chances maybe the game would have been different?…………..

  • Masaccio says:

    It was a good performance on TV, Redmond, Murphy, Burke, King etc. Even the commentators were very complimentary towards us and we didn’t have stanley collymore giving us his thoughts – an excellent night I say!

  • glyn rees says:

    I was disapointed that we put the reserves out to start last night. The first goal should have been saved by overhill and as for the second i might be old fashioned but how the f….. was that on side even with the second phase rule and of course the third would not have happened because we would be 1-0 up.
    Overhill- has cost us a lot of matches already, would rather see the kid play.
    Carr – Worst display by him by far , give him a rest
    Murphy- Impressed and when he controled that through ball that was world class
    Pablo- For first game i was very impressed.
    Ridge- Back to his best
    Elliot- not impressed until he moved into middle.
    N’Daw- Looked very slow , might come good.
    Spector- Very poor through out.
    Redmond- Give him time , top notch.
    Rooney- Looks raw, tries hard will only be fourth chioce and should have scored.
    King- Motm looked top class, very impressed.
    Burke- Should have been on from start. Looks good and can go past people.
    All an all thought we were unlucky to lose could have been so different. But pleasing KRO

  • bluenoseneil says:

    I think the comments made so far say it all. We have played against arguably the hardest side in our group and not embarrassed ourselves. The result was a shame but the positives are we had no injuries, the new boys all got a run out, and King looks like the legend he should become for us this season.
    Let’s take positives into the Southampton game and get climbing up the league.
    I don’t think Bruges or NK Maribor will be anywhere near as tough, so second in our group is a very strong possibility.
    KRO.

  • bluedan says:

    I watched the game on TV as couldnt make stands. shame on me! what i did notice is the cat is now well and truely out of the hat with regards to Redmond. Lets hope we can keep him!!! he got a constantly great review from the commentry team and in post match analysis.

  • jaffa says:

    Just heard of some new investment at the blues from an inside source that has been passed by the bank.could be pie in the sky but could you do a bit of digging almaj!!

  • hugh-g-rection says:

    did anyone notice the pies were served luke warm last night instead of the usual piping hot?


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