Often Partisan

Scrapping Against The Terriers: Huddersfield Match Reflections

Birmingham City extended their unbeaten run to a fourth game but it was no classic at St Andrew’s yesterday. A Joe Lolley effort from close range cancelled out David Cotterill’s opener and for much of the game bad passing and poor ball retention cancelled out good play from both sides.

Is it just possible that Blues have got to the point where they know they are safe, where promotion is impossible and so the season is just going to peter out? I can understand Rowett saying he wants intensity and commitment from the players but I don’t think it’s there – and with nothing in reality to play for but pride I’m not surprised.

For some players, not playing with commitment isn’t an option. Take Clayton Donaldson – who again ran himself into the ground harrying defenders, running the channels and holding up the ball on his own against defenders who wanted to hold his hand (or his shirt) throughout the game. Paul Caddis has really grown into the skipper’s role and once again he was trying to drive things forward down the right and lead by example.

Dimmi Gray had one of his better games too; although his outside of the foot pass to Donaldson to lead a break didn’t come off he did make some good runs and Shinnie was unlucky to see Smithies claw out his header from a Gray cross. That cross in particular showed what Dimmi can do; without much space to work in, he twisted, turned, made a yard of space towards the byline and hit a peach of a cross in. Yes, some of what he does isn’t going to come off but we need him to play without fear and with freedom to see the best of him and that means we have to accept sometimes he’s going to try something outrageous.

I think Rowett will be disappointed how we dealt with long throws; the equaliser came about as Blues couldn’t deal with one and in fairness I thought defensively we were poor throughout. As the long ball came in, Kiernan mistimed his jump and failed to head the ball and then Spector failed not once but twice in clearing it, allowing Lolley to smash it home from four yards. Huddersfield had three or four balls fizzed across the six yard box which should have been converted and Butterfield has got to be unhappy with his first half effort when all alone and ten yards out he hit the ball across the goal and wide of the far post.

I was a bit disappointed with the bench that was chosen too; Hancox got the vacant slot with Reilly loaned out despite being very poor against Coleshill for the development side; Dyer has offered us nothing since he has joined the club and I’d like to see us try out someone different; Brown wasn’t much better in the Senior Cup but he is with us next season and I think he could play the Shinnie role if he displays the right mental attittude.

There was a bit of an air of staleness around St Andrew’s and I think that this lack of a rollercoaster end is actually not helping; Blues fans come together best when there is something at stake (as I guess every other team does) and inevitability of mid-table mediocrity while being a good result for us this season isn’t conducive to giving us something to think and worry about.

I was pleased to see the reception Karen Carney got when she was inducted into the hall of fame; to have attained 100 caps for England is something else – only six women previously have done it for England – and I can’t imagine we’ll see another Blues player make that milestone for either the men’s or the women’s team. Devoting the cover and main story of the programme to Karen shows how important women’s football is to the club and I think as that game becomes more commercialised (and more men’s teams pump money into it to aid their FFP results) it’ll expand further and further.

So, onwards and upwards. With no midweek game this week hopefully we can go to Cardiff City next weekend with a refreshed team but also closer to mathematical safety – and hopefully a little bit more experimentation from Rowett. I think all we have left to be excited about is to see who is going to break into the team next.

with thanks to Tim Andrews and Hollywood Monster

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51 Responses to “Scrapping Against The Terriers: Huddersfield Match Reflections”

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    As the Huddersfield goal showed Spector is a disaster at centre half and Wigan know what they are doing not having Kiernan I their matchday squad.

    Morrison aside Gary hasn’t covered himself I glory with his signings. If these have been first choices I’d be worried about his judgement

    • John Ramsay says:

      Being very harsh on Rowett there. I think both Keirnan and Tesche will turn out to be good loans for us and i hope we can sign them at the end of the season. The only player I have been disappointed with is Lloyd Dyer who hasn’t shown me anything yet.I think lack of communication was the problem in defence yesterday which is one of the best things that Morrison has brought to the team.
      Dan’s right yesterday the team played without any real desire or intensity (apart from Donaldson). It will be interesting to see if Rowett is true to his word and drop players who seem disinterested.

    • almajir says:

      Harsh on Kiernan, he’s looked okay. Tesche too.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      At the end of the day he can only add to the squad what is available to him in the sort of market he’s in,which is more Primark,not Harrods. Dont loose touch of the situation we are in here!

      • I Agree Hillfield Blue “We need to have a reality check here. The situation for GR- his staff and the players remains difficult to say the least. Carson Yeung Will not sell Our Club why? Loss of Face to the Chinese is a big issue. Also there are a lot more underlying issues that we still don’t really know about. I remain very concerned by the statement from Ernst & Young that the Sale of the club will be a Last Resort!!!! – This really is The Long Long Road. We Blues Fans – As Always will stay Loyal to our club KRO!

    • RichardM says:

      I think we’ve realy missed Morrison at the back, and had he stayed fit we’d be comfortably top half by now.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think that as Rowett has used (mainly) the same players throughout the last 4 months, they put everything into getting us out of the predicament we were in and now, they don’t have much left in the tank, mentally or creatively. I don’t think the pitch is helping too much now either, as atested to by Cotterill after the game. He said that Wes Thomas’ miss late in the game was due to the ball bobbling just as he hit it. He was closer to it than me so I’ll accept that. Still, although it’s not the storming end to the season we would have hoped for, I think we’d all have taken this last season.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Me and my son can vouch for that staffs becsuse he would have scored otherwise no danger, we both looked at each other and said at the same time ” look at that bounce ” and even ronaldo would not have scored that so he’s forgiven by us anyway!! Kro

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I noticed a couple of weeks ago (think it was the Brentford game) that the wings were terrible. I said to my son at the time that it was gonna be dodgy for the wingers and full backs. But, we can’t complain with only 4 games left to play on it.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    It’s a very unusual scenario we are in not fighting for anything and it’s only human nature the foots going to come off the gas and motivation becomes an issue. Having said that let’s not loose sight of the fact that it’s still an incredible achievement to be where we are when we were nailed on for relegation before GR’s arrival.

  • AndyP says:

    Jules,think ur a bit harsh on Rowett ,it may be a bit different if he actually has time and proper resources to identify players he wants. What he has done in the short space of time is get a team together that competes in every game and not be out of a game by halftime! I think some players are tiring now as we don’t have the depth to rotate.
    As for yesterday’s game I think even the fans are going through the motions now,the main talking point in pub yesterday was the Gypo’s that have set up camp outside Bainsy’s bar

    • JulianBhamCity says:

      Andy, I well aware of his achievement overall, but doesn’t prevent me from disheartened that he may have a weakness in player judgement that takes us backwards.

      ps I may be called many things by her indoors but Jules is not one thank you

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I thought Kiernan was one of our better players yesterday and generally has done well since he joined us. I am looking forward to see him partnering Morrison. Tesche has generally done well since he joined too. It’s only really Dyer who hasn’t worked. It’s always going to be a bit hit and miss wth getting loan players in on low wages. Morrison made all the difference when he came into the team so I think you are being very harsh with your comments. The other loan this season was Bret Shea and he really was dire!

  • nicko says:

    yes very harsh on kiernan ant tesche i thought they were o/k davis was man of the match but the sponsors gave it to cotteril they must have been on the pop the whole game. i thought he had a poor game. grey was in and out needs to use his left foot more. kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    We looked as though we’ve done our lot and are happy with our position but me and my family are going to Cardiff next Saturday and ime pretty sure with the great support we will get there that they will up there performance because our home support which I’ve said on many occasions was again very poor .. It’s chalk and cheese with home and away fans it really is!! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Talking about chalk and cheese, that sums up Cardiff in a nutshell. They’re either good or pretty bad and I wouldn’t like to guess the outcome next week. I just wish Cardiff didn’t have a game on Tuesday… it means that Macheda will be available next week. You just get this feeling what’s gonna happen don’t you?

    • garconsavage says:

      Why should it be chalk and cheese? Don’t the “away ” fans make the same kind of noise at home games? In my experience it could be that most of us when we travel away treat the whole day like some kind of “Jolly Boys’ Outing”.

      Or are we still talking about the same stupid “scenario” when we have fans who prefer to support our rivals financially than pay to go to St. Andrews?!!

      If this is the case those misguided souls have no right to complain about the standard of player we are able to afford!!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    I didn’t see it as a ‘on the beach’ performance. Huddersfield busied and harried us. Passing from both teams was very poor throughout.

    You could also see why Thomas doesn’t and shouldn’t start any games.

  • Dave Mann says:

    As I’ve said Thomas was unlucky with the bounce but I will admit that he did seem to back out of it also which was a bit annoying and Julian , I hope next weeks performance is a ” not on the beach ” performance but there’s every chance if the weathers ok that I may be on the beach at Barry island mate! Kro

  • Tony says:

    At the end of the day we have to accept that we are not a good side,.most of them are league 1 bought by Clark, the fact that Rowett has them playing above themselves is the reason for the improvement.
    After the disaster of Clarks management its a wonder we have not joined Blackpool in relegation certainties, it looks as if we will be OK thats as much as we can hope for this season.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    It is very frustrating watching Blues. We play the same system (4-2-3-1) as Arsenal, but there the comparison ends. Arsenal play through midfield, retain possession, play short sideways passes when appropriate and play one-twos in the penalty area.
    Blues’ tactics seem to be to hump the ball forward from the back four to an outnumbered Donaldson at every opportunity. This means we lose possession quickly and have no fluidity in our play. How many times yesterday did we pass to a blue shirt 3 times in a row? These tactics must lie at the door of Gary Rowett.
    When will we see Blues’ play attractive football?

    • SuperKRO says:

      Arsenal spent £15.67 million in the January transfer window; so lets get real for a bit. GR has done an incredible job with an inherited team. Yes the football isn’t the most attractive but what do you expect when it isn’t his players. GR knew he had to keep us up so played the style he knew and its worked. If you thought we would be playing 1 2 football all over the pitch and winning 5 – 0 every game as soon as he walked in you must have been having a bit to much pop. As Raymondo said, lets be glad we are where we are and GR is getting a feel for who he wants and the football he wants to play. As the song says, joys and sorrows too, so lets just back GR and the players as much as possible and hope E&Y can revile the truth of Carson ASAP.

      • spot on with those comments of we are where we are. “I said on here a few weeks ago that we must get Real and Not Carried away as to where we would wish to be.” The people at St.Andrews running the club day to day are doing a great job! In very difficult circumstances”. We are not Arsenal with millions to spend. “My Sons and I are getting fed up with the comments at home games from Fans who really should know better. – I say it again Get Real – Support GR his staff the players and staff at St.Andrews. Let us not get to be like the muppets in Aston on the The Dark Side of Brum. They’ve won a game scored a couple of goals and get carried away very very easy. As stated previously “We Are Who We Are Because of what we are. Birmingham City Fans – With more passion than any other football fans that I have known. Stop moaning at the Home Games Get Real Stay with your club – KRO!

  • Rich says:

    i thought Kiernan was solid enough again, him and Morrison will make a good, solid partnership in my opinion. Cotterill did his usual pass inside to the opposition that again almost caused a breakaway goal (he seems to do that every game).. On the whole a point was a fair result we didn’t deserve anything more. I thought Davis again was good, he doesn’t look quick but whenever he loses the ball he always gets it back. He has become a player we can’t afford to lose! Caddis deserves a mention in his right back berth he has shown he is more than a good enough championship right back. I still have nightmares over Clark playing Spector and Caddis as our central midfield duo.. Also I’d like to thank Dan who met me yesterday so as I could buy a copy of his book, should be good reading on my hols! (Thanks for signing it for my lad too!)

  • Dave Mann says:

    Tony,we are a good side it’s just that were not a very good side , to be the 35th in the league ladder of English teams tells us that surely! .. I think we were all hoping that we would be safe this season and we’ve well achieved that so our hopes are fine as I see it mate but agreed that next season there will be changes but that will have to start by getting rid of Carson and is parasites before we can get championship players to do well and then premiership players when we eventually get back into that league !! Dog eat Dog Tony. Kro

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Its a fact that GR has got a team which sadly lacks Championship quality punching above their weight and has us all but safe. That is as much as we can expect until we have owners prepared to provide us with the same financial playing field as the rest of our opponents. Whilst the parasites are in charge, we will stagnate and next season will be no better than this. Sadly for us loyal ones, this means we are destined to spend another season, whereby we find ourselves wishing we were at home rather than witnessing the awful performances from the stands. Oh how I pray for light at the end of this endless tunnel. C’est La Vie, Keep Right On!!

  • Dave mann says:

    A bit harsh on the awful performances but besides that its pretty much what ive already said bluenosol … If this seasons been “awful ” then dont expect to much because your going to be awfully dissapointed next season as well pal !! Kro

  • tonyc says:

    I thought we looked poor in defence and couldn’t keep hold of the ball often enough.Gray looks like he needs a break and I thought his passing and keeping hold of the ball was very poor yesterday.Rowett has done a great job lifting a poor team up to relative safety but I think the last few weeks our performances have been dipping and let’s hope in the summer we can shift some of them and improve the team.

  • Dave mann says:

    tony c, bang on. Kro

  • Raymondo says:

    We’re a Championship team with mainly Division 1 players and due to the intervention of a very good manager we look like staying up. Be glad. it could have been much worse. Ask Blackpool.

  • bluenose08 says:

    First game for awhile due to having to work on match days. My view was from the tilton and yes spectre did make a couple of mistakes but so did all the other players.But I thought spectres distribution and some of his tackles were first class. No mention of ziggy on here yet I thought when he came on everything he did was class. The last game I saw was when lc was manager so I saw a big improvement. kro

    • mark says:

      oh okay ziggy is class then why is not at the top of the managers thoughts and playing every week destroying championship teams week in week out since his return….. ah he happy he staying in the country because lov it here…. he probably thinking it not worth getting up for peanuts I earn….. sorry to say simply gone pass hes sell by date……..off loaded in the summer taxi

  • BigAl says:

    Unfortunately we are what we are an average championship side, with average players. If Clark had continued in charge we would have been relegated. Rowett has done a remarkable job, he brought organisation, played the same players, and did what was necessary to keep Blues in the division. What else can you ask, expections have to be realistic, there may have been some dire games but there you are it is not the end of the world. Rowett brought in Morrison who was a great influence in Blues unbeaten run, so he can spot a good player, some players come off some don, t, in our present situation we are unlikely to be able to sign world class players.Unless money becomes available we will only be able to perform as we are, and of course with premiership teams coming down next season it will be hard for championship sides to compete with their resources.We can only hope and pray that new owners with money to invest come in to change things.

  • mark says:

    1-1 draw say it all two less yellows no reds absolutely no cutting edge……. next

  • People, thing we need to remember, is if we’re not sold,in the summer, we’re in serious trouble, because the money runs out, there’s only one scenario, administration, let’s hope we get sold,sooner before its too late, KRO

  • Captain Blues says:

    It had the air of an end of season match between two mid-table sides, which is not far off what it was I suppose but another point gained on the positive side.

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