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Andy’s Blues Blog

A VILE EXPERIENCE

15-09-2009

Go easy on him. Andy Munro is still bruised by Blues’ derby day defeat.

It had all started off so well ,with my prematch preparation already spot on. I had phoned the Forge Tavern in Fazeley Street and asked if they were opening before the match and the almost incredulous reply was ‘we will be opening at 8 am!’

Being a lightweight (and a driver),I turned up at 10.30 for a couple of congenial pints served up by a bevy of bluenose beauties wearing the team colours…it was almost like a David Mellor scenario in reverse.

Down to the ground, I picked up a copy of the Made In Brum fanzine as I made my way to my seat in the heart of the Tilton Road which was a veritable cauldron of noise.

The match itself was a real tactical battle but to call it scrappy would be unfair.Both back fours were dominant with Roger Johnson superb for the Blues and new signing Tianno in an unfamiliar full back position not far behind. To my mind the Blues ran the midfield and it was great to see the players so comfortable in possession with the Steve Bruce ‘hit it and hoof it’ days a distant memory.

Unfortunately the good news ended there and whilst I’m not going to knock Gary O’Connor (it’s not his fault that he’s mediocre at Premiership level), he rarely threatened having to rely on Lee Bowyer for forward support…whilst Lee was a candidate for man of the match he was never going to be able to burst consistently into the box at his age.

I don’t blame McLeish for matching the Villa’s five in midfield formation until the Villa brought on an extra forward in the shape of Carew. At that stage, Blues should have done likewise to put real pressure on the opposition defence. Similarly when Frank Queuedrue started to tire and his hamstring started to tighten then there should have been a proper alternative in the shape of Espinoza.

Surely after several weeks he must be ready for Prem football and it was obvious that despite a great performance Monsieur Franc would tire badly.

McLeish has got to start being bolder against our relegation rivals and I don’t buy his theory that the five in midfield formation works at the top clubs so why not the Blues. The difference Alex is the quality of the lone forward…Drogba v O’Connor is a case to consider!

However it was a heartening performance overall but I worry that McLeish’s job survival plan is to never get hammered but we lose most of our matches ‘unluckily’ by the odd goal. He can then claim that he is doing a sterling job despite a paucity of resources.

 
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Andy Munro would like to point out that 'my views are personal and not those of the City Council'

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