Often Partisan

Positives in defeat

Well, it wasn’t a cricket score. Although Birmingham City have now fallen at their first hurdle in the defence of the Carling Cup, it’s not anywhere near as bad as it could have been; if anything Blues have come out with a bit of credit from the fans who did go and we’ve one less thing to worry about in our action packed season.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t an option for me to go up to the Etihad to see the game, and I only caught the last fourteen minutes from an online feed. However Spike, a very knowledgeable forum user over at www.smallheathalliance.com has graciously allowed me to lift his comments from attending the game as some background for this piece.

I think the first positive has to be the return to action for Nikola Zigic. I have to admit, I didn’t expect him to ever play for us again, so it’s pleasing to see him fit and raring to go. The little bit of the game I did see online did allow me to see our lanky Serb in action, and he looked the same player I remember – decent in the air, nice little touches and up for it. If we can maintain his fitness he’ll be a massive boost to the team over the coming weeks.

The match also gave valuable game time to Guirane N’Daw and Pablo Ibanez. I know a lot of people decided after the Braga game that N’Daw was worse than useless, but I think that to judge him on his first 45 minutes for the club is just wrong. In the second half of that game he came into his own a bit, and as Spike commented on SHA, in the second half of last night he started to show glimpses of what he could offer us. It’s always going to be a settling in period, and last night was a good no-pressure environment for him to get used to Blues and the style of play in England. Pablo was at fault for the first goal having given the ball straight after making a good tackle, but he’s still bedding into the team too, and as he gets more minutes he should improve a lot.

Colin Doyle came back between the sticks, and again, it’s a positive thing. I saw his excellent double save from Tevez and Kolo Toure in the last ten minutes, and judging by reports from people who were there he did fairly well – maybe he’s put some thoughts into Hughton’s mind about Myhill’s continued place? Competition for places is a good thing and hopefully he’ll keep Myhill on his toes enough to inspire our Welsh American to achieve better performances for the team.

It’s a shame to bow out of the competition, but there is no shame in losing to Man City – a team who’s second string would probably do pretty well in the Premier League. We didn’t take a hiding, we did work their keeper once or twice and we’ve now got more slots to fit in league games that have been postponed, like the Leeds United one. It’s a distraction out of the way, and now Blues can get on with their league campaign in particular to push on up the table.

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7 Responses to “Positives in defeat”

  • johnnymarr says:

    negative in defeat = ridgewell will probably stroll back into the team against barnsley
    we should play the strongest eleven available to us for the rest of the league season, not continue playing the bloke who was largely responsinble for two relegations already

  • AR says:

    I think johnnymarr is very unfair on Ridgewell. For the last 2 seasons he has performed creditably as a left-back &, indeed scored some very important goals. He may not have done so well this season but may still be thinking about the fact his transfer request was turned down. In any case, obviously no club came in with even a half decent offer for him or else I’m sure his request would have been granted. But we should lay off him & perhaps he’ll return to being a pretty decent player. We need all of those we can get.

  • Sam says:

    I agree that Ridgewell should be dropped for the Barnsley game. He’s not playing terribly, but he’s not working hard enough and is making errors that are probably due to the fact that he doesn’t want to play for us anymore. Murphy is looking fitter and is playing better this season. He’s looked far more convincing when played.

  • hammy says:

    the problem with ridgewell is that he thinks he’s better than what he actually is….murphy is far better suited to this league, and i believe, would make a better option….

    i guess the thing we all have to remember is that this team has only played a handfull of games together, so, if we are around middle by xmas, i for one, will be well happy….

  • pedantic pete says:

    I’ve been disappointed with the press assessments of the Blues performance. I can understand them going on about Hargreaves, but they seem to write us off as having been rubbish. I wasn’t there and only saw the very brief highlights, but accounts from fans and on the Blues website seem to be more positive. Why can’t they give us a fair crack of the whip?

    • almajir says:

      The way I hear it, at the post-match presser Mancini was bombarded with questions about Hargreaves – it was the angle the nationals decided to take. Unfortunately the idea of actually reporting on what happened in the match and then asking the manager about what went right/what went wrong seems to have died.

  • Thedoctor says:

    Liam Ridgewell should be dropped for those ridiculous tattoos if nothing else.


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