Often Partisan

A point gained… Blues v West Ham match reflections

Here are my reflections on the game against West Ham United at St Andrews:

1) A point gained rather than two lost

After going behind to such an early goal, I really feared for the team today. West Ham have a good team, some really top-drawer players for this league and I thought it would take something special from us to get back into the game. Credit to the Blues though as they got back into it, and started to dominate at times. Once we got the equaliser it did feel that some of the urgency that had built up dissipated, but all in all it wasn’t a bad performance and it was quite an entertaining game. I think a draw was about the fairest result, and as such it didn’t feel like we’d dropped home points.

2) Keith Fahey

Keith has taken some real stick over recent weeks, and I think he’s responded to it positively. He’s not the kind of midfielder who makes Hollywood passes, or busts a gut to run seventy yards to get on the end of a cross/make a goal-saving tackle, but what he does do and did do quite effectively was show for the ball, break up play and make good short passes to start attacks. With a good central midfield partner he could really do well for us; having N’Daw by the side of him allowed him a bit more room to move around to receive and pass the ball. Kudos, Keith.

3) Chris Burke

I think we’d really be lost without Chris Burke on the right at times; in the first half he wasn’t as effective as he has been but in the second he really did well – he was often the lynchpin of our attacks and I felt confident every time he carried the ball forwards that we’d get something out of it – a corner or an attacking throw in at least. He tracked back as well to help out Spector (who I also thought had a decent game), and his running was one of the main reasons we got back into the game.

4) The killer instinct

The one problem I think Blues suffer with is a lack of killer instinct in front of goal; something that was typified in the difference between Carlton Cole and Marlon King. When King received the ball with his back to goal, he often found himself losing the ball because he had men on him or that he had to lay the ball back because there was no way through; Cole however was much more confident in being able to turn his man and move in on goal. Blues lack a striker with that sort of confidence and movement, who can receive the ball, shield it and get goal-side of his marker. With our central midfield not as close to the front two as maybe we’d like, it leaves players like King fewer options and invariably leads to the attack breaking down.

I said before the game that I couldn’t see how we would win it, and I feel vindicated for my belief in the result that happened. In saying that, I’m not disappointed and I think it’s evidence of where we are in this division – we’ll stay up comfortably, but nothing more as we don’t have the finances to bring in the players to compete with the top end. It’s not the greatest situation to be in, but until a knight on a white charger comes into view it’s the way it’s going to be. Que sera sera.

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18 Responses to “A point gained… Blues v West Ham match reflections”

  • BowThai says:

    having just come back from watching the Blues for 6 matches being disapointed with our tempo of the games in the final 3rd,i had an idea the WH game would be a better one.only listened to it on the blues player but we seemed to give it a go.somehow knew it would be cole to start off the scoring.the confidence of our front 2(whoever they be)seems shot with King playing his part in games but not on the finishing.(the less said about the Big One the better!)You are right.this is our lot and i just cant see us finishing anymore than mid table(if we dont get stuffed with 10 points!) I had a great time with all the Blues lads from Braga to Palace.Wish all our supporters Happy New Year,keep the faith and KRO.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    Agree re Cole, the ugly big fucker makes a habit of scoring against us. Was pleasantly surprised in the 2nd half yesterday. If Redmond could emulate Burke on the other wing our attacking strength would be massively increased. Sadly he avoided too many challenges for me yesterday and was ineffective. Seems CH likes to have spoilers in the middle of the park and attack down the flanks which is fine by me. Worked well yesterday and Fahey was close to MOM again following on from his performance against Palace. Had to shout down some moron in the second half who kept waiting for the slightest mistake by Fahey so he could shout abuse. These wankers ain’t Blues in my book and belong down the filth.

    All in all a good game especially 2nd half when at times West Ham had no answers to us especially Burke. In fact for a lot of the game they were long balling it. Bought me Millwall tickets but ain’t going to Peterborough so KRO you Blues.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    Madge we need a godamn edit function on ere.

    Meant to add I loved that double booking in the 2nd half.

    Well done ref for manning up to the little cockney twat

  • I Roth says:

    My wife says put the defenders on the forward line and our attackers in defence. makes perfect sense to me.

    • ScudMuffin says:

      Worked with Kenny Burns. Beaudejour, Ridge and Murphy have all played as forwards and were pretty decent from what I hear, Murph has excellent ball control too.

  • Oldburyblue says:

    Agree with most points, other than Spector. I thought he had a very poor game today, was outmuscled almost every time he was up against (granted much bigger and stronger) strikers, and it seemed to me as if every time he had the ball he gave it away. I don’t rate the guy at all.
    However, I thought Keith fahey was excellent yesterday. I feel no shame in admitting that I’ve been one of his biggest knockers – all I want to see from him is more quality and effort, and to be fair in the last two, he’s shown it in abundance. Keep it up Keith, don’t lapse back into old habits…
    KRO, WADOATOT

  • AR says:

    Agree totally about Fahey, not just in this game but at Crystal Palace as well. I thought N’Daw gave us a bit of physical strength in midfield & one of these days one of his powerful shots will go in. But I’m surprised you didn’t mention Zigic; I thought he had the best game I’ve seen him have since Wembley. He won the ball in the air, often coming from the wrong side of his man & caused their defence a lot of concern. He has been dreadful, but give him credit when he plays like this.

  • Poppa999 says:

    Wonder what it would be like with N’Daw up from? Missed Carr and Davies yesterday.

  • Blooflame says:

    Had to vent my spleen after the game somewhere and so posted on the preview, but here’s some obsevations. Marlon King scores the odd goal, it’s his job but if he played as a team member and brought others into the game we would get more. Good goal Murphy but he is an Average championship player. Redmond has arrived in the real World and is making little impact, but he does have to learn so should get games. Myhill is a poor keeper in my view and Ibanez is an average championship player. I really can’t see what Spector brings, his decision making is really poor. Caldwell destroys any options for playing from the back, if he ever does play a forward ball, it will be a long one (possession lost). Other than that the future is rosy!!!???

  • AL- LAD says:

    Few Rose tinted glasses today fella’s, in the 1st half we were poor, improved in 2nd but only looked like scoring when we started to play with urgency. Ibanez looked poor, Fahey didn’t really do a great deal, neither did Zigic. Myhill did what he needed to do, and kept us in the game with an amazing save, and Murphy was probably our best attacking player, so find some of the comments on here strange. Or was I watching a different game?

  • BeeGeeBlueBoy says:

    More than once King was screaming for an early ball from Burke so he could run at the centre halves but was ignored as the winger kept his head down. King needs the service

  • AR says:

    Should Blooflame read “Claret&Blooflame”?

    • Blooflame says:

      What are you on about ..idiot!!! it’s clear we don’t see eye to eye on a couple of things, but mate I was a bluenose probably befor you were born. Don’t even joke about Aston Vile

  • BowThai says:

    his glass niether half full or half empty…just got a bloody big hole in it!

  • jeff says:

    happy with a point.ibaniz made a mistake and they scored.the lad tried hard to make up for it.lesser men would have gone off after the two whacks he took.fahey was superb.if we get a foward in with any pace who can run in behind we,ll see the best of his passing range.spector did ok in my eyes.i would say that as he didn,t bomb on all day long like car it made it possible for one of the centre mids to push on more.im ok with where we,re at.if we win the games in hand we,d be level 6th.we have lost away games that should have been drawn but when we had that good run there were games that we just shaded.this league is anybodies,in particular the p.o places.all in all iv enjoyed this season footballing wise a lot more than any since barry frys days in what was div2 or league 1 today

  • Bluesmandan says:

    I dont think King will score us the goals we need to clinch a playoff spot. We need a striker who will gamble on the excellent work from Burkey on the right. I really hope we get some backing from the board in Jan. Def miss Carr and Davis. KRO SOTV

  • jeff says:

    we need a forward who can go behind defences.that said im not saying the other forwards havn,t got a part to play still.

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    Perhaps Burke doesn’t have the confidence in our forwards to put the ball across early?

    That was the impression I got during the West Ham game. I hope that isn’t the case but there were several times in the second half where he should have whipped it into the area between the penalty spot and the 6 yard line. Especially when Zigic came on. Obviously our strikers need to be in the box ideally with the midfield bombing forward to sweep up any loose (cleared) balls around the edge of the box.
    Burke is great at running at full backs but being right footed on the right wing doesn’t really allow him to cut inside which is what he did a few times. It looks great but going outside a bit more and making that cross will get us more chances on goal (in my humble opinion).

    Having said that, Burke has been the real difference for us this season. He does so much damage when he has the ball.

    With regards to Fahey, he does look much more comfortable with a big strong ball winner next to him. Every team needs a ball winner in the middle and neither Fahey or Spector fit that role. Being required to play an un-natural game perhaps had an effect on their natural game (stay with me). N’Daw seems happy flexing his muscles in midfield and he has also begun to make a real difference. He needs more game time though to fully settle in. He is still a little in-and-out of the game. Very effective when ‘in’ the game though, good vision and makes good decisions on the ball.

    Stay positive.


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