Often Partisan

End of a Run – Forest match report

Here are my reflections on the match against Nottingham Forest at St Andrews:

1) A deserved result

Well, I said I would put the mockers on it didn’t I? To be absolutely fair to Forest, I don’t think Blues deserved much from that game. The midfield were too slow to the ball, too slow to challenge and couldn’t retain possession for large chunks of the game. Although Blues did step up a gear (which led to the equaliser) the second goal knocked the stuffing out of them. I felt that Forest were well set up to cope with Blues; Elokobi in particular impressed me on the left as he bullied Burke out of it for long periods. Whilst there did seem to be some niggly fouls against King and Zigic the ref didn’t give anything and the Blues front two should have been more cute in the way they tried to win the ball.

2) The new boys

It’s a difficult thing to judge players on one performance when you know they’ve had at the most two training sessions. Townsend looks like a proper winger; he stayed wide and looked to take on his man, get around the outside and cross the ball – something Blues have lacked on that side. Conversely though, he’s not as defensively well drilled as Beausejour was for instance, and that left Murphy a bit more exposed. I thought Huseklepp looked useful when he came on; he’s strikes me as the kind who will benefit more from good slide-rule and reverse passes from midfield than balls banged into the box. He’s definitely different to what we have though and I think he will give us a new dimension.

3) Keith Fahey

Today exemplified everything frustrating about Keith. He hits a beauty of a cross-field ball in the run up to the goal, and was unlucky not to score with a screamer of a shot that hit the bar, bounced about a foot off the line and then away; and yet so many of his passes were behind the man or out of play. At times he and Mutch were powderpuff in the middle, with the Forest players just strolling through with barely a challenge. There is definitely a decent player in there; people were rhapsodizing about him against Barnsley away but he’s not producing it at home. I wonder if playing in a four just doesn’t suit him as much as a five.

4) Marlon King

I’ve seen some criticism of King online, and some of it mystifies me. I thought he had a decent game; his touch was sublime at times and he’s one of the most intelligent and hardworking players we have. Yes, he didn’t have many efforts on goal but he spent too much of his time with his back to goal trying to shake off defenders paying him close attention without as much support from the midfield as he deserved. Like Fahey, he was unlucky not to score at the end as Camp made a decent save from one effort, and then there was the one that bounced through that somehow was deflected wide. One of the better players today.

So the run comes to an end, as does our home unbeaten record. In some ways it’s a massive shame – in others it might be the kick up the rear end needed to push the Blues onto bigger and better things. It’s not the end of the world but Blues must kick on now.

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20 Responses to “End of a Run – Forest match report”

  • BowThai says:

    So we lost.,I like you had a funny feeling about this game.When i heard the team i thought it was spot on,so no commplaints there!Listened to the game on Blues player and went to bed dissapointed But this morning i was cheered just reading the comments in the Frail from those fools across the road-never bothered reading the repots just the comments-go on cheer yourselves up have a look!Mcjudus is doing a fine job.Oh they so deserve each other! retail park will soon be empty.So,lets look on the bright side that we have CH and look forward to him leading us forward-Bring on the rest of the seaon.KRO.SOTV.

  • BowThai says:

    Sorry about the above light heartiness,just wanted to cheer all your readers/followers up a bit.I think if Townsend(great first name,not so sure about his surname!) is going to play then i think Fahey might have to lose out for one of our two stronger lads to beef up our midfield and give that bit more of a balance.KRO

  • Julian Glass says:

    I too had a bad vibe before yesterday.

    I wondered before the game how we fit N’Daw in. Now I know – with Fahey and Mutch in a five and with one of them in four. If he’d been available we’d have won the midfield battle

  • NashyBoy says:

    I had a dodgy feeling about this game too. Everything had just been going “too well”.

    The point about Fahey is spot on. As part of a four-man midfield, he’s not up to scratch. He’s too ‘lightweight’, and he needs infinitely more space to play his game. If we’re going to play four in midfield, leave him out.
    If we’re going to play five in midfield, however, Fahey can be infinitely more effective. The issue, is who to play in the middle of Fahey and Mutch as a break-the-play-up kind of midfielder. N’Daw is first choice for me, purely for the fact he’s built like a complete tank and scares the jesus out of everyone he comes across. Gomis breaks play up nicely enough but is, like Fahey, a bit ‘lightweight’ for my liking. He does a decent job if N’Daw is unavailable however, not going to overly criticise one of our more consistent performers.

    All in all; a blip. A blip that’s caused a massive shame in the loss of our unbeaten home record/our unbeaten run, but I think a blip nonetheless. Hughton will get it right and we’ll absolutely batter Derby.

  • Bluenose_68 says:

    It amazes me that fahey is getting the criticism on here- when Mutch was woeful. Absolutely woeful.

    Funny really that a year or so ago we were chanting ‘4-4-2!!!’ an now arguably 4-5-1 is so much stronger for us!!

    • Bluenosejohn says:

      Spot on re Fahey being singled out. Both he and Mutch were left isolated in the middle far more than for ages hence they would inevitably struggle. Hughton and Trapattoni both consider Fahey is worthwhile which should give his critics a clue that he must have a bit more about him than they give him credit for.

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    I cannot understand how the likes of CH & co could not see how kicking the way we did in the first half aided the fullback by blinding Burke with the sun blinding him to any of his fellow forwards.
    I sit in the stands on the halfway line & it was impossible to look across the pitch to make out any players so helping the fullback stop any penetration down the right.
    We started out at too slow a pace and could not pick up our play after going behind other than when we equalized when Forest visibly lost confidence & were there for the taking.

  • Blue Steve says:

    Totally agree with the comments above. If we are going to play Townsend and Burke (2 very offensive wingers) wide in a midfield 4 in the future then it has to be N’Daw alongside Mutch or Fahey. Yesterday we were probably better off going with a 5 in midfield due to the injury to N’Daw. Though with us being at home and playing lowly Forest!! I think CH though it would be a OK. Hindsight is a great thing. KRO

  • andy says:

    This was always going to happen, the run at some point was going to end and, as i feared, would be ended by a struggling team. Having said that, Blues were their own worst enemies yesterday. Unusual calamitous defending for the winner and as Forest looked set to capitulate towards the end, Blues failed to find at least, an equaliser. What we must do is put it down to a bad day at the office and start another good run next week and look to cement a play off position.

  • Loadsablue says:

    I had a feeling we would slip up here! I’m not sure that mentally we took them to lightly and how many times have we seen teams doing this and paying the penalty!

    Just a few hours to go now before we aint the League Cup Champions anymore! KRO

  • JohnR says:

    I thought King was MOM yesterday particularly in the second half. I wasn’t impressed with the long ball tactics and we definitely improved when Zigic went off. I totally agree that we have to find room for N’Daw. Townsend looked OK but he has to learn to track and defend better. Although we lost we gave both goals away by sloppy defending yet we could have got a point at the end. Notts Forest may have bossed mid-field but they didn’t create that much. A bad day at the office we need to make Derby pay for that.

  • DoctorD says:

    This is where the management team earn their crust: sifting through the evidence of what the two new signings can do, what they can’t, and what formation works best. I’m trying not to be too downhearted: look at Blackpoool, who got truly thumped mid-week at home and then got a fine 3-1 away win. Everything’s posible. Isn’t it?

  • Smokin says:

    Disappointed but not bothered. We lost, but we had to at some point. Now that we have lost our proud home record we can really have a go at Cardiff, Boro, and Reading when they arrive. If we want to go up, we need points from those games.

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    I dunno, we help them get rid of a manager they didn’t like and this is the thanks we get!!!

  • skareggae72 says:

    Im glad that our unbeaten home record has gone,as it can become a hinderance and the focus can go into staying`unbeaten`.
    With the record now gone we can go out to `win` games,at all costs instead of `protecting`our outstanding home run.Its over,now we move on.

  • Sophie Bane says:

    Disappointing not to get the 3 points yesterday, but all good things must come to an end. At least it wasn’t a promotion/ play-off 6-pointer, I’d rather give extra points to Forest than to any of the teams in the top half.

    I’m hoping it will be useful in the long run – complacency is a very dangerous thing, as I’m hoping we can prove to Chelsea in the replay. We need a few shocks like this every so often. Confident we’ll bounce back though, especially as the new boys start to settle in.

  • Alan Watton says:

    King’s tiuch sublime? there were time when he had the legs of a billiard table. he was worse at barnsley. Annoyed with the boss for changing the formation. fahey and Much need the scavenging of elliot and Gomis. At barnsley these two were always an out ball wheras against Forest giving it to Burke king or Ziggy ended posession. In a few minutes we will no longer be the holders of the carling Cup sad week end!!

  • denis thwaites says:

    in hindsight it is easy to see that the switch from 451 to 442 cost us on the day but also inevitable that the system would be used given we had natural width both on the left and right for the first time since Beau went..It was just one of those days when for whatever reason quite a few performed below their best,.Forrest to me looked one of the better teams we have faced and we were never going to grt given anything. The test is how we react to this setback as games now just come thick and fast and we just have to keep the faith in CH et al to get us up and running again.

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