Often Partisan

Reflections on Blues v Bolton

nb I watched it on Sky

Things we have learned from today’s game

1) Jussi Jaaskelainen doesn’t like people challenging him for the ball.

This is the only reason I can think he had for slapping Roger Johnson. I do think Roger Johnson fouled him but it was a challenge for the ball, not something malicious. Jussi can have no complaints with being sent off, he raised his hands, slapped Johnson and went to elbow him.

2) Cameron Jerome had a good game, despite what his detractor say.

Yes, he probably should have done better with the shot at the end but for bearing in mind he was a lone-striker for a large part of the game, he did really well. Two good assists; the second IMO was brilliant as he could have gone for goal himself, but recognised rightly that Gardner was in a better position. I’m not saying he’s another incarnation of Drogba, but I do believe he’s much maligned and he’s actually a decent enough player for us.

3) Craig Gardner is looking a very good purchase indeed for us.

Three goals in his last two league games, and two of them because he was at the right place at the right time in the box. I like Gardner a lot; he may not be the most creative of players, but he’s got a good engine, gets up and down the pitch and importantly gets into the box to support strikers. As we don’t have a 20 goal a season striker (and are unlikely to have one for a while) we need our midfielders to chip in with a fair few goals, and I think Gardner (like Bowyer did last year) will continue to score more.

4) If Nikola Zigic needs to adapt to the English game, Kevin Davies would be a good role model.

Kevin Davies is one of those players that when he’s against you, you hate him but he’s great if he’s in your team. He’s big, he’s strong, and he seems to attract a lot of fouls from defenders by some wily backing in. He does foul a lot of defenders, but he seems to be cute enough to get away with it half of the time. Zigic could do with watching how Davies uses his upper body strength and height/jumping advantage to his own ends; this is how I think Zigic should play.

5) Foster still has a lot of work to do.

I praised him after the Blackburn game, but the second goal was a massive result of poor positioning and poor wall placing. It left Blake with a massive gap to the right side of the goal, which he exploited with a beautiful effort. Foster did play well for the most of the game; making a couple of excellent stops from Elmander and Davies, but as with all goalies, one mistake can cost dearly. Evidently, it’s something he’ll need to work on with Dave Watson.

I said before the game I’d take a point, but now I feel a bit disappointed with it. In the long term view of things, despite it feeling like two points dropped it’s still a better result than we got last year – and it puts us into the international break in a decent position. We’re scoring goals (which was a major issue at the beginning of last season), we just need to tighten up again at the back and we’ll be fine.

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One Response to “Reflections on Blues v Bolton”

  • gavin says:

    Jerome has a lot of qualities, finishing isn’t one of them. Could get an England call up on that basis as the new strong powerful type who couldn’t score in a barrel of fannies.

    Keith Fahey is pants, get rid.

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