Often Partisan

Humble Pie

My reflections on the game against Bolton:

1) Maybe Kevin Phillips IS worth a start

It’s time for me to eat a bit of humble pie; a few weeks ago I argued here that Kevin Phillips wasn’t worth a start. Yesterday, he did really well; not just scoring a goal (although that’s a massive reason to play him anyway) but linking up well with the midfield and giving us a better option going forward. My only criticism of KP is that when we’re under pressure he’s not as good an “out ball” as someone like Zigic is, but you can’t argue with someone who continually finds the back of the net.

2) It’s a long way back for Curtis Davies

You’ve got to feel for Curtis a bit. It’s tough to make the move across the expressway to Blues from our Claret and Blue neighbours; it’s doubly tough when you’re a bit ring-rusty and your first couple of games are marked by horrendous mistakes. I think McLeish did the right thing in not playing Curtis yesterday, and it must have been a hard pill to swallow for him to see McLeish prefer playing Seb Larsson at full back instead of shuffling Parnaby to his preferred position and bringing him on. I hope AM can organise a couple of reserve friendlies to get some game-time for Curtis, to try and give him some time on the pitch and to try to iron out some of the sloppiness from his game.

3) Frustration

I had hoped Jerome would kick on after scoring against the Trotters in the cup, but with his one big chance yesterday he blew it terribly. I watched it again on Match of the Day, and it was a pretty bad miss – there was possibly an option to square it to Phillips, or to maybe have gone to the keeper’s right instead of scuffing the ball horribly across the face of the goal. The problem is he is an asset to the side; his running allowed us to break, and chases lost causes better than anyone – but he just can’t score. As much as it pains me to admit this, the summer may be time for us and Jerome to part ways.

4) Injuries

I bet I wasn’t the only person to think “eek” when Stephen Carr went off, feeling his hamstring. Carr has been Mr Dependable for us, and whilst I think Stuart Parnaby is an able deputy I think we’d miss Carr’s leadership, his bombing on past Larsson and his tigerish attitude when our backs are to the wall. We cannot afford much more in the way of injuries, and I hope the fact we don’t play again for a week will help allow him and Martin Jiranek to come back to something like full fitness

5) Three much needed points

What a difference a win makes to the table, eh? We have three more matches at home now, and are all are what I’d call “winnable” – three points from each of them would keep us up. I thnk Eck has to target wins in every single remaining home game, and yesterday might give the team confidence to do that. The away game to Blackburn (a place we haven’t won at in donkeys) is not so much of a “must win” game now – let’s hope that the team can carry what they did right yesterday forwards into the next few fixtures

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4 Responses to “Humble Pie”

  • will says:

    Glad to see you’ve seen the light re. CJ. :)

  • almajir says:

    I still think he’s a decent player, but I feel it probably won’t be for us.

  • MrMustard says:

    Disagree about Jerome. I remain a fan. Yes, it was a bad miss, but no one else in a blue shirt would have got near enough to that ball to have made a chance. Also, who played the perfect pass for Gardner’s vital goal?

    • almajir says:

      It more bounced off Jerome than him playing the pass.

      You know me, I like Jerome. He ran hard, he chases lost causes and without him we looked sluggish and dropped back. I’ve just come to the conclusion that he’s never going to be able to do it for us – not because of him but because of the Blues not making the chances.

      You watch, he’ll go to Stoke or Bolton and score a shedload.

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