When you sell out the away tickets and form close to half of the crowd at a ground where the hosts have not won all season, an own goal after 90 seconds is not the best idea. All the advantage, expectation Blues had was wiped away. I am always wary about the connection between crowd and the team. I am sure the team should inspire the crowd as the crowd can turn in moments. Blues fans on Saturday got behind the team in spite of the performance but defensive ineptitude lifted the Posh fans in a way they were not expecting. Hence the Blues fans power evaporated.
Which Blues player came through with any credit? Well, none really, although Sanderson’s league debut was passable. Three games now without a win. 2 goals for 8 against. We are approaching Karanka territory.
The coming weekend
Its Preston on Saturday and the lilywhites have enjoyed themselves at St Andrews recently. As I said last week form, history, omens and bogies are overturned weekly in the Championship. Wholesale changes in formation will not occur because we have started getting those injuries and suspensions that manages are always ‘planning’ for. Maybe if we had not surrendered our League cup place, we would have had a chance to formulate new formations and players would be getting serious game time.
Preston are in form, and we have to come up with something new. Chong needs protection because he makes us tick. Virtually every tackle on him is a foul. So, we must get him involved much higher up the pitch. In the old days players would ‘sort out’ the opposition if there were any fouls on star players. I remember Roger Hynd (RIP) running half the length of the field and grabbing Cardiff full back John Carver by the throat when Trevor had been hacked to the turf by the defender. In today’s climate a little more subtlety may be required. There are still ways and means.
The big debate at the moment is the striker pairing. Troy Deeney seems to be the number one choice and, in my opinion, Scotty Hogan is his natural partner. He sniffs out chances and scores in the box. He is our leading scorer and as such deserves dibs on the slot.
Saturday’s game is now a must win. Anything else puts us in the ‘bad run’ category and see us in the bottom half.
A sad loss
While on the subject of penalty box predators I must mention the greatest of them all, who passed away last Sunday. Jimmy Greaves was the greatest scorer of goals – ever. Scored on his every debut. He averaged a goal every one and a quarter games and I am happy to say, I saw him in the flesh at Blues. When I played at St Andrews in 1965 for Birmingham Boys, at the kick off remembered thinking, “Wow Jimmy Greaves stood here”. Sadly, that’s where the commonality ended.
Blues fans loved him as a commentator on Central as he knew Gary Newbon was well disliked I these parts. He would micky take none stop especially if we were doing well.
“Well Garee, I ‘ave t’say,….. Berrrminum deserve the points” James Peter Greaves R.I.P