Often Partisan

Using Every Tool

Birmingham City were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough yesterday to extend their winless run to four games, with the club having only taken nine points this calendar year in thirteen league games.

As I didn’t travel to Sheffield I can’t comment on individual performances or on the game itself; all I can say is that it can’t have been great as I was texted by people who left before the final whistle in disgust. Games against Burnley and QPR at home are tough for Blues in the current situation but one would hope that they would get more than a tanking away to Sheffield Wednesday who are in a similar boat.

What shocked me was that Lee Clark went with the same team and formation again against Sheffield Wednesday. It’s one thing to call for consistency but it was plain to see that the formation just didn’t work in midweek and it was only when Macheda was introduced and Blues went to more of a 4-4-2 that we actually started to look dangerous. Why Clark went with it again remains a mystery – especially as there are players available who he could have brought in who are in form.

One player who could make a difference for me is Scott Allan. Allan has been frozen out of the team completely for some time but I’m starting to wonder just how much longer he can remain that way. It’s clear to me from the midweek performance Shinnie isn’t good enough and I’ve never believed Olly Lee is good enough. Callum Reilly is returning to fitness, Shane Ferguson looked lost against QPR and Albert Rusnak hasn’t looked up to much when he has played. I know Allan might have annoyed Clark somewhat but there comes a time when one has to swallow their pride and at least give him a chance to prove his point.

With ten games left I reckon Blues still need thirteen points to have a good chance of beating the drop – and the way we are playing currently I can’t see us picking them up. We’re at a point where we can’t bring anyone else in and Clark needs to use every tool at his disposal to ensure we don’t fall down the relegation trapdoor. It’s true that teams like Yeovil, Millwall and Barnsley as well as Blackpool who are one place above us are all in similar crappy runs of form but it’s too much to expect that to continue forever. Blues need to pull themselves out of the mire while they still have destiny in their own hands.

I think we’ll be okay but I’m not sure – for every rousing fightback like the one against Burnley there seems to be a few steps backward like the match yesterday. Kicking advertising hoardings is fun for the night we got a point but “pashun” means nothing when it comes to points on the table. Blues desperately need to start winning games – and winning games at home. I only hope Clark realises he has to use every tool he has to achieve that – and if it means recalling someone from the sidelines in spite of how bad it could make him look – so be it.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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