Often Partisan

Dull and Scrappy; reflections on the Hull Game

Here are my reflections on the goalless draw with Hull City at St Andrews last night:

1) A result we deserved

I predicted a scrappy, dull goalless draw and we got a scrappy, dull goalless draw. This wasn’t one for the football purists; to be honest it wasn’t really a match I’d recommend to any football fan. Blues started the game weakly, were second to every ball and were lucky to not concede when Mutch headed one off the line. In the second half they stepped up a gear from dire to just “meh” but they only created one chance of note when Davies nodded a free kick against a defender. I tweeted before the game that I was unhappy with the lineup and unfortunately my pre-game fears were spot on.

2) The left side problem

Jordon Mutch isn’t a left midfielder. Wade Elliott can just about play there, Nathan Redmond is okay there – but Blues do not have an out and out left midfielder since they sold Jean Beausejour to Wigan Athletic. It’s seriously unbalanced the team; opposition sides know all they have to do is shut down Chris Burke and Blues have no creativity whatsoever. I am amazed Hughton persisted with starting with Mutch wide left; at least in the second half he switched him over with Elliott but why did he take so long to bring on Nathan Redmond? By the time the young winger came on there was no chance for him to make an impact.

3) Marlon King

I thought it was a mistake playing Marlon; he’s not been fully fit and he didn’t have the best game today. When he wasn’t caught offside the ball just bounced off him; nothing would stick and as a result it was hard to build up attacks as we had no presence up front. He tried, but he visibly tired and he appeared to pull up with fifteen minutes to go. I know some people don’t rate Adam Rooney but I think the Irishman would have given us a bit more tonight, and it would have allowed King to recuperate fully.

4) Keith Fahey

I’ve praised Keith in the past when he’s had a good game so he’s got to take the brickbats when he has a poor one. I’ll give him the fact that he had Spector alongside him which I don’t believe helps his game but Keith was pretty awful tonight. As Blues improved in the second half Keith just tailed off and he capped off his performance by grazing the roof of the Tilton with his one shot. Honestly, he couldn’t have caught the ball on the up any more perfectly.

I suppose the positives are that we didn’t lose or concede, but the fact remains that Blues are desperately short of bodies and need to bring someone in. I hope the news that Lewis McGugan is coming on loan is true as he would give us more going forwards and maybe give us another option behind the front man but the fact is we need more; a genuine left-sided player and a striker would be a good start.

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24 Responses to “Dull and Scrappy; reflections on the Hull Game”

  • DoctorD says:

    Lewis who?

  • Bluenose69 says:

    I’d like to see us go for Portsmouth’s Greg Halford on loan. I thought he had a good game against us last week in giving Burke nothing and getting forward well. A natural left back and big bloke, he could give us cover for Murph and be a possible option for centre back if needed. He could also play left back whilst Murph could be tried at left mid – a more natural choice than Jordan/Wade/Keith.

  • skareggae72 says:

    This is why Chris Hughton should never ever manage a football club again(tongue in cheek of course)

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    Having read yesterday that Portsmouth received their payment of £16 million parachute payment I am curious as to when we are to receive our £16 million or even news of when we are to receive.
    Te PR at Birmingham as to what monies are available or when we are to receive it is morally wrong & open to accusations of wrong doing.
    We only see fees not disclosed when players are sold & debts due but none of the positives.

    • almajir says:

      PJ – they didn’t, you read it wrong. They received an installment of about £1mil, about a month in advance.

      From that you can infer we might get a mil next month.

  • Kelly says:

    I actually thought Fahey played well yesterday. Yeah, he gave the ball away but no more than any other players. To me, he seemed to be in the right place and didn’t shy away from putting a tackle in.

  • jaffa says:

    Is it Lewis McGugan from Forest!

  • Oby says:

    Yes Jeff !

  • Ash says:

    Almajir, you get to see the reserves every now and again. What news on Valles? I thought he was meant ot be a left midfielder wasn’t he? Do you see him progressing to a first team start?
    That said, I guess it’s hard to put too many lids in the line-up when we’re in the play off places. If we lost, CH would probably get a tanking for playing to many inexperienced players!

  • Oby says:

    *Jaffa*
    Bleeding auto correct :-)

  • Nick V says:

    Well you predicted it spot on fair play.

    Would love to see Lewis McGugan down the blues very exciting player and has got a decent shot on him, surprised he has’nt been linked with other clubs as well as he is a very good Championship player.

    Also Caleb Folan training with the blues, not exactly prolific goalscorer but he is a handful of a forward and would be a decent back up.

  • Steve G says:

    I thought we got knocked back with Mcgugan a few weeks ago? Does he play on the left? And as for Caleb Folan – no thanks…

  • Al Toner says:

    I didn’t think Keef had that bad a game – put himself about, got a few good tackles in. For me, Spector looked more uncertain in midfield, misplacing passes and falling over a lot.

    That said, Fahey’s bizarre attempt at a throw in in the last minute was a sight to behold

  • JohnR says:

    I agree wtotally with your comments. I hate to say it but CH got the selection and set up wrong.

    As you rightly say Mutch cannot play on the left of midfield. I’m very surprised that CH picked him their and then took 45 minutes to realise he’d got it wrong. Second half Mutch was a different player.

    Why bring Carr back and put Spector in midfield, he’s done well and didn’t deserve to lose the shirt. Again CH got it wrong, Spector is no midfielder.

    Should have played a midfield of Elliott, Fahey, Mutch and Burke with Redmond playing behind the striker.

    In my view two points lost against a decent team but one we should have beaten with the right team selection and set up.

    • JohnR says:

      Oops, there not their.

    • Lichfield Blue says:

      Couldn’t agree more about Spector not being a midfielder. CH has constantly preferred Spector to Gomis – presumably for his defensive qualities – but I do wonder if we could get away with a more attacking midfield line-up when we’re at home? I guess N’Daw is the preferred selection and appreciate the boss didn’t have that choice last night.
      I thought Fahey got better as the game wore on [the shot into the Tilton was laughable – it landed several rows up from me and I’m halfway up the stand]. As you say, Mutch improved when he wnet in the middle of the pitch, but he looked a bit off the pace last night. What I like about Mutch is that he never hides – he always looks for the ball even when he’s not having the best of games.
      Saturday’s team selection will be interesting given the game next Tuesday – I hope the kit-man has got a squad number!

  • Macca Salop Blue says:

    I too thought Fahey had a decent game and he showed up well in the Portsmouth game . Yes not everything came off 100% (the shot into Block 11 & the dreadful throw in at the end) but he certainly put in a shift covering in defence as well as supporting any attack involved in most of our play. People have have been too quick to criticise him this season and whilst the booing seems to have subsided by the same token no one is really applauding now he’s found some form which is disappointing. I guess he’s one of those players that the fans will never accept no matter if he puts in the odd 5 star performance. I thought he was easliy MOM for Portsmouth game, Redmond got it then mainly due to the instant impact made when thrown on.
    I was suprised Mutch got it last night I thought he was very out of sorts and irratic in his play, Caldwell or Davies should have got it. Let’s give Fahey some credit going forward subject to similar performances in the future.

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    Totally agree that Blues now look unbalanced and that the threat from the right is diminishing now that teams have realised we have no potency on the left. A tricky situation for CH to resolve as it is clear there is no natural option for him to pick and it’s a case of square pegs and round holes! Finding a loan player who can just slot straight in may not be easy either so its quite a critical period in Blues season to see if they can get around this. Fahey for me did OK last night. His main failing is when he tries to hit a killer ball which he inevitably seems to overhit but his general play was quite tidy. N’Daw was a miss last night as he disrupts the opposition midfield by closing them down quickly and last night Hull had time on the ball. Spector has improved immeasurably at right back but despite a lot of effort and willingness last night he still struggled as a home midfielder. I still think it is a measure of how well CH’s team are set up that we can play so badly and have players out of position and still end up not losing. I hope like others he can add a few to the squad soon that might help to make a positive difference.

  • Stevie Blue says:

    Most posts on here sum up how I felt last night. It may be churlish to knock CH, but he did IMHO get it wrong last night. Spector, Mutch and King were all wasted for differing reasons. Why not wait until Saturday to bring back Carr/experiment with the line up? Why not at least play Gomis on the left after he did so well there at Leeds? Furthermore, like another poster I’d like to know what is wrong with Enric Valles? Surely the time to try unproven youngsters is when the team is doing well?

  • Bluehobba says:

    Couldn’t string passes together last night and decision making was awful. As you say very unbalanced which really subdued the crowd for long periods. I still never understand why we only play One up front, I think you have to take the game to the opposition and in the first half we certainly didnt

  • Richard Mountford says:

    Suprised by your comments about Fahey – I though he had a good game, better than Mutch who got man of the match. Fahey was busy, put some great tackles in, and generally looked to get Blues moving whenever he had the ball. I don’t see the Blues that much (living in Liverpool) but if that’s a “bad performance” I shudder to think !!
    Agree team line up was wrong, I felt it was done to accomodate Steve Carr – leading to 4-5-1 with a clearly unfit King and Spector who looked poor and lost in right midfield. Should have been 4-4-2 with Spector at right back, Elliott out left and Rooney up-front with King (at least to support the guy!)..


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