Often Partisan

Continuous Improvements

Instead of endlessly going on about the financial situation at Blues, I thought it would be nice this weekend to talk about football for a change. After all, that’s why we’re all here, isn’t it? I’ve been reading through some of the stuff Chris Hughton has said about players pushing on and I thought I’d put my own take on it.

I was intrigued about what Hughton said about Jean Beausejour. To my mind, our stocky Chilean winger has been a bit of a revelation this season – he’s shown he’s got the tricks, the skill and more importantly the nous to be an important player for us. He’s been asked to play in his usual position on the left, in central midfield and “in the hole”. He’s even filled in at left back when injury has decimated us in a game. In short, he’s been versatile. Rightly, Hughton has given him a lot of praise – but he has also asked him to do more, to score goals.

Beausejour got three for us last season; a tap in in the 3-0 demolition of Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, one from close range against WBA in the 3-1 defeat to them and the opener in a 1-1 draw against Everton when he had to take over from David Bentley in the hole position. I think the key in all the goals was that he’d got into goal-scoring positions to get them – in his current role as a proper winger I don’t think he gets to the back post enough to be the last man on a right wing cross (much like Stan Lazaridis did). In saying that, I think if he is to add goals to his tally this is the season he’ll do it, because of the sheer weight of chances Blues seem to make now. There seems to be a lot less fear in taking shots from range or putting the ball “into the mixer” – and it’s simple probability, the more you put the ball into the box the more chances you’ll create and the more you’ll score.

Hughton has also urged Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Fahey to push on a bit in the central midfield position. I know Keith takes a lot of criticism from some sections of the support – and to be honest, quite a bit of it this year has been justified. There is no doubt that he’s got skill and a bit of talent but he doesn’t seem to use it as much as he could. This is a division where you don’t need two holding midfielders, and thus I’d like to see him push up the pitch more when we have the ball and take pot-shots with his cultured right foot – after all, he has been known to score good goals in the past from range. With Jordon Mutch now only maybe a month or so away from return from injury it’s down to Keith to show he’s worth his place; a few more anonymous performances and he may find himself shoved down the pecking order and out of the first team.

It’s good to see Hughton not only talking continuous improvement, but talking about how and where he’d like to see improvements. Reports from within the game point to Hughton being a very good coach as well as a very well respected coach and I’m starting to think we may well have a very good manager at the club who can rebuild us after the nightmares of the summer. He’s made some mistakes, but he’s learning about us as much as the team are learning from him; the key always is to learn from your mistakes and I think Chris Hughton has shown that he can change things tactically – three comebacks in three games point to a man who has the famed “plan B”. If Hughton can continue to improve the players he has – well, this team of scraps may become much more than that.

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7 Responses to “Continuous Improvements”

  • Mark says:

    Actually right too much time spent on the financial position, we appeared to forget what CH has achieved so far. Players he bought in, players still there trying to mould a team within a short place of time. He does appear to have a plan B and these players mentioned in your article have improved greatly under his stewardship. For blues it about scoring more goals from all areas of the team, not just the forwards. To get into the playoff’s or win league you got score may 80 to 100 goals. My question to you would Steve or Alex done any better in your opinion with this team !!!!!

  • Dan says:

    Spot on as usual. I really do think that it is crucial to keep Hughton around for a few years to really reshape and rebuild the squad.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Liked your analysis of beau and fahey,!!. plus just how much we need to give C,H. time to help us gell,!!.
    Unfortunately, there does seem to be far to many international breaks,?. We all wnat a strong England team, but eafa and fifa, are intruding to much into our domestic season,!!. Which is not helping us have the time together to gell,!!!!!!!.

  • prewarblue says:

    Agree totally with you and Oldbluenose,,,,,,one minor point,,,Fahey may slip down the pecking order ?,,,,,,,if he does not drop down the pecking order there is something drasticly wromg,,,,Blues cannot afford to have players who are inefective and missing from play 90% of the time,,,,I have made a point of watching him in the Ireland games where he has come on a sub,,,,just to see if he is any different playing with “better” quality team mates, the answer to my mind is no

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