Often Partisan

Ninety Minutes of Dross – FA Cup 3rd round review

Here are my reflections on the FA Cup third round match against Wolves at St Andrews.

1) Ninety minutes of dross

We all knew beforehand that this match wasn’t a priority for either manager, and so it transpired with an insipid display from both teams. It wasn’t that everyone played poorly – indeed, there were a few really good performances in the Blues ranks, but more there was a lack of sparkle of pizzazz on the pitch. After a total of fifty three shots on goal in our last three games, this was like watching football on mogadon. The end result is we got the one we really didn’t want – another match (we’re now up to a guaranteed 57 this season), and more congestion in the fixture list. On the plus side we get 45% of the gate receipts for the replay, so it may bring in a bit more cash.

2) Guirane N’Daw

Another game, another cracking performance from the big unit from Senegal. His passing is just awesome; he slides the ball forwards beautifully for our frontmen with a grace that belies his frame. He tackles like a mobile brick wall, players just bouncing off him. I’m glad we’ve extended his loan – I can honestly see N’Daw being a cult hero before the season is out, he’s that kind of player. Let’s hope to goodness he doesn’t pick up an injury in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon.

3) Adam Rooney

I felt desperately for Rooney – alone and isolated up front, he ploughed a lone furrow and did his best to bother the Wolves centre-backs. He actually did okay; he was able to hold up the ball and lay it off a few times and the scraps of service he did receive didn’t help his cause at looking to trouble De Vries. With Chris Wood now back at the Albion, and Asante and Jervis out on loan we’re down to three strikers at Blues. I think we’ll be seeing more and more of Blues playing this 4-2-3-1; I hope the attacking midfielders can do a better job of getting forward in future games.

4) Colin Doyle

I’ll admit, I was disappointed to see Jack Butland not given his first start. I don’t massively rate Doyle – he’s got six months left on his deal and I think it’s time he was told to find another club. However, the one time we really needed him, he rose to the challenge. Despite rarely being troubled by Kevin Doyle and Sylvain “Offside” Ebanks-Blake, he didn’t let his concentration slip and the double-save he made at the end was absolutely top-drawer. Kudos, Colin – his second clean sheet in a row isn’t bad bearing in mind we’ve had so few this season.

5) Liam Ridgewell

It was bad news seeing Ridge going off injured early in the second half – not because he was missed in the team but because it might put someone off buying him – that being if his performance hadn’t. Ring-rusty, lapses in concentration and hoofing it forwards – Ridge had it all. I like Ridge normally, I think last season he was probably our most natural finisher in a lot of games but right now I think he has to go because it seems to me his head is not right. One other thing I think this performance proved is that there is no way Liam Ridgewell is worth three million quid.

So, Blues get to do it all again in nine days at the Custard Bowl Molineux, by which time they should have a good idea of who their opponents may be if we get through to the next round. I wonder if the managers will be any more bothered; after seeing today’s attendance, I wonder if the fans will be bothered.

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16 Responses to “Ninety Minutes of Dross – FA Cup 3rd round review”

  • Paul says:

    The performance overall wasn’t bad we just lacked that cutting edge in the final third , i agree totally with your comments on Ndaw ,Ridgewell and Rooney .

    I felt for Rooney he is not a target man and is not suited to the loan striker role , i believe Wolves who were very poor (who was the premier league team ?) were there for the taking ,however for CH got his tactics wrong the FA Cup is special and i would love us to progress further i just feel we have blown our chances now.

    But back to todays game i felt we controlled much of the game but as i said earlier lacked any conviction i do believe if King would of got game time we wouldn’t be going to dingleville in 7 days time we would be awaiting our next opponents .

    But another clean sheet and a excellent double save via big Colin .. KRO

  • skareggae72 says:

    Didnt really get the tactics./Inconsistency 1-the selection of the team suggested that this game is of minor importance,and we dont need the fixture backlog/Inconsistency 2-the formation 451 along with our home form suggested that we are looking to not lose(& that is what we have=another fixture at least)
    OK,we are short on strikers,why not keep hold of Jervis for a few more weeks,& give him a go up front with Rooney yesterday?

  • jeff says:

    we played ok.draw seemed fair to me.c.h was going to bring zig on but n,daw was struggling according to c.h so he needed replacing.hence sir keith coming on.my g/f is wolves so today `all ego,s were left intact.also she commented on some of our whinging fans in the area we sat.all people who don,t normally sit there.we put a side out with lots of changes.players need resting and we still drew with a prem side.there were more pluses than minus,sa win wed night is needed and if we do we,ll be two points off the play offs.i have faith in c.h and the boys.

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Looks like CH doesn’t think Butland, unlike Redmond, is good enough yet so Doyle is worth his money as the main backup. As such he needs to get games under his belt too.

  • prewarblue says:

    Think Ridgewell has made his feelings perfectly clear regarding staying by throwing his shirt away into the crowd,,,,at least one person [the young lad who caught it ] was happy with the performance.

    As for the rest only N,Daw and Murphy seemed to want to win the game,,,Redmond was on the pitch,thats all you could say about his showing,,,,I was expecting him to be pulled off when Beausjour came on,,,,there was a mall improvement then ,not much,but better..

    When I saw the team selection just knew it was going to be a game to forget as soon as possible

  • Ian B says:

    I was interested in the fact that Hughton was not concerned about cup-tieing potential transfer targets such as Ridgewell.

  • tony says:

    Having heard the team selection before the game it was clear that the game was of little importance and so it proved to be with a sparse crowd.I myself chose to think like CH and stay in the pub and watch it .With the squad we have i just don’t think playing a lone striker works for us and so it proved again.Overall i think it would have been better to have lost than have a replay but lets hope playing the 11 we did benefits us on wednesday when it really matters.

  • Trev N says:

    On the whole it was not a bad performance against poor premiership opposition , all I will say is at least have a go up front and attempt to win the game it is no good just trying to contan the opposition and trying pinch a goal. I think all the paying punters would of preferred a 5-4 defeat rather than a drab 0-0 draw so it begs the question WHY ! persist up fiont with a lone striker when at least for the last 25 mins we could of gone with king and zigicup front .
    If this was never going to be an option the fans who did attend are been conned as obviously the result was of no importance.

  • Stevie Blue says:

    I douldn’t make the game, but all I’ve heard and read has not been favourable. I’m afraid I’m critical of the clubs position. Can anyone give me conclusive evidence that fielding a waeker side in the cup helps to focus on the main goal i.e. promotion or relegation? Not always. In 2008 McLeish fielded a weakened team at Huddersfield, we lost 2-1 in the 3rd round and still went down! I don’t want to support a team that’s onlty interested in prem survival or promotion. Where’s the glory or romance in that? Or are these values completely devoid from the modern game? Cups are Blues only realistic chance of success and as such we should set out to do as well as we can in them. Even if we lose to Wolves are our chances of promotion increased? No! Another cup season wasted. Didn’t 27th Feb 2011 mean anything at all?

  • jeff says:

    we,re still in the cup.we did,t play bad yesterday.i think we can beat wolves in the replay

  • AuldBertie says:

    As one of the 12,000 Blues fans who attended the game I thought, even with a half strength team, we were by far the better side and largely dominated throughout. The attacking tactics were more akin to those deployed by our friend McLeish though. Rooney had no hope of getting onto most of the balls lumped up to him. Unless Burke was injured why did he not get at least a place on the bench? I agree with those who say that if we’d have shown attacking intent for the last 20 minutes the win was there for the taking. I can’t understand why CH was more concerned about propping up our midfield with N’Daws substitution than actually going for a win which would obviate the need for yet another game we scarcely want. Anyway, to have had any chance the substitutions needed to occur at around 70 minutes not 82. I only hope now that his cautiousness is justified by 3 points against Ipswich on wednesday.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Let’s get this into perspective. We’re still in the Cup. The Dogsheads didn’t beat us even when they brought on their big guns and we started with Doyle. Redmond got a full game. Nobody appeared to pick up an injury. CH experimented with Rooney up front and it didn’t work, but we haven’t lost points in the table by it. We only had 12,000 fans, but the songs and chants unsettled Wolves to the end. We’re getting there, the glass is half full. We can build on this and go forward to beat the Dogheads next time, and the Blades thereafter. Six months ago we were looking down the barrel of the gun, meltdown loomed. We may not go up this season, we may not get beyond the quarter finals in the cup, but that doesn’t mean we should get downhearted. KRO!

  • jeff says:

    amen to that wingman blue

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