Often Partisan

Battle of the Blue

These are my reflections on last night’s game against Manchester City

1) Zigic may just be the new messiah

Well, maybe not but he certainly is now starting to prove his worth. As he did against West Ham, the lanky Serb showed why we paid £6million for his services; he won most headers; his control was good and he showed good footballing awareness bringing others into the game. I’m glad he got the goal (although it might well be Bentley’s) because his recent play deserves rewards.

2) The King is dead, long live the King

I’ve compared Martin Jiranek to “King” Kenny Cunningham before, and last night again he showed his class. Yes we were a bit shaky at first, but Jiranek is growing into the role more and more and I can see Curtis Davies having to wait a while before he gets his chance in the first team. In the first half there was a moment where he had the ball about halfway between the box and the centre circle, with only a Man City attacker for company. He could have maybe passed back to Foster, or knocked it out for a throw but Jiranek just dropped a shoulder, and turned away from the defender with the ball. A simple skill, but a moment of class all the same.

3) Jerome needs goals

I can’t help but feel sorry for our unsmiling forward. He runs hard, chases the ball a lot but it just isn’t going for him at the moment, and his confidence looks a bit shot. I actually thought he played okay; there were the same old moaners around me but no one takes them seriously because they moan about everything; on the whole I think the crowd appreciated his efforts. After Jerome went down after a clumsy challenge in the second half, you could see he just wanted to come off. I’m not sure if he’s carrying a knock but the body language wasn’t right and whilst he gamely chased a couple I think he was relieved to see his number go up on the subs board.

4) The Carlos and David show

Previous to this match, I’d considered Dimitar Berbatov to be the best player I’d seen at St Andrews this season. I’m going to hand that accolade now to Carlos Tevez, although David Silva will take a close second to the scarred Argentine. Tevez is the kind of player dreams are made of; his control is breathtaking, his ability is amazing and he works as hard as any player I’ve ever seen. Coupled with a range of passing that even has Barry Ferguson in awe, you’ve got probably one of the most complete players in the Premiership. Both Tevez and Silva showed time and time again that they ARE worth the money that they were bought for; there was one pass in the second half from the outside of Tevez’ boot that had Silva sprinting away down the Man City right that had me applauding.

5) Money can’t buy me wins

The fact is that when you have a team bought for £100million plus, you’d expect them to stuff the likes of little old Birmingham City; what the Sheiks who own Man City haven’t bought though is team spirit – and that is what keeps us on a level playing field. Walking back with Andy (owner of smallheathalliance.com) post-game, he made the assertion that if all of Manchester City’s players worked as hard as ours do, then they’d walk the league. I think he’s right – whilst there are undoubtedly a fine collection of individuals playing for the blue Mancs, they’re not yet a tightly-knitted team.

6) Penalty

And finally, I thought it was against the rules for us to have a pen in the Premier League? I’m glad Gardner scored it; we probably won’t get another now until next season.

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