Often Partisan

Rammed by a Ref; reflections on the Derby game

Here are my reflections on the match against Derby County at St Andrews:

1) Two points dropped

I’m disappointed to have come away from that game having seen Blues draw. Two lapses of concentration in the defence allowed a Derby side that hadn’t scored in ages to come back from two goals down; for too long the Blues team huffed and puffed but didn’t really show that they were the superior side. Once again the midfield didn’t look like they were in the game and Marlon King (and later Nikola Zigic) both struggled against a defence that was clearly trying to rough them up.

2) The ref

I don’t normally complain much about refs, but I’m going to right now. Mr Paul Tierney was an absolute disgrace to the profession. He missed obvious fouls and blew up when he didn’t need to. He booked Zigic for getting booted in the knees and King for being obstructed; I’d love to know where in the rules it says a defender can climb all over a strikers back or hold them with an arm across the throat. He was consistently poor for both sides too; Derby fans weren’t impressed with him either from what they sung at him in the second half. Judging by his stats on Soccerbase, he’s not reffed too often at this level this season and he’s a bit card happy. I sincerely hope he isn’t picked for one of our matches again.

3) Andros Townsend

Townsend was nominated MOTM by the sponsors, and I have to fully agree with them. He was clever with the ball, he was willing to beat players, make runs and play useful passes. He created both goals with clever bits of play; the first with a change of body angle and shifting it to his weaker right foot giving him a yard on the defender which allowed him to shoot – from which Erik Huseklepp knocked in the deflection – and then the run and more importantly, the sublime pass to King setting the second up on a plate for Marlon. Bearing in mind he had the out of position Jonathan Spector behind him I thought we’d be weaker on that flank, but Blues looked okay – if anything, it was the middle that let us down again. More of that please.

4) Erik Huseklepp

From what I’ve seen of our new Norwegian striker I like a lot; he’s artful, he’s actually fairly quick and he clearly can play a nice pass or two. I thought he linked up fairly well with both King and Townsend and I felt we were quite threatening going forwards with him on the pitch. The only slight criticism is that he seemed to tire easily, but I guess he needs time to work with the famed fitness coaches at Blues. Very promising.

5) Jordon Mutch

After so many good displays in January it appears it’s caught up with Jordon a bit and he’s been poor in the last couple. I’m not sure if he’s just tired, or if it’s because he isn’t as good in a midfield two as he is in a three, but he’s just not been quite at the races. It’s not that he’s a poor player – he’s young and still developing and thus he’s going to have a few off games. Hopefully, Hughton can put an arm around him and rest Jordon for a match or two without the kid thinking he’s failed; he hasn’t – it’s asking a lot to rely on a rookie 20-year-old and there is nothing wrong with him sitting out a couple to get back into it.

It’s not the best of results, but it’s over and done with now and Blues have to move on to the next one – Chelsea. With Huseklepp, Ramage (who was solid today), Townsend, Folan (if he was fit enough) and Cian Hughton ineligible; Carr definitely out and Fahey and Murphy injured today, the team selection is going to be very interesting.

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22 Responses to “Rammed by a Ref; reflections on the Derby game”

  • sp says:

    Its very difficult for any team other than the big 4 or 5 to compete on all cup fronts as well as a long europa campaign, and history proves most other teams run out of steam come february or march. it will take a big effort and excellent manegerial skills by ch to keep the run going to make the play offs. on a side note with the accounts being delayed 4 months is this a gamble in hope of makimg the premier league for cash flow, because obviously there is no cash.if promotion is not gained then with the debt i assume that is being delayed (accounts) which will be substantial does this mean administration?

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    Thought we missed Fahey in the middle…

  • chris says:

    completely agree, two lapses in concentration definitely cost us, especially the first goal. Townsend definite MOM and good performances from Huseklepp and King also

  • JohninNZexile says:

    The last two weeks have shown that no games are a given. This league is very difficult to get promoted from and Blues will do exceptionally well to swcure a play off birth. It will be a bit of a lottery then depending on injuies etc. as to who makes the promised land. Ouer situation is more precarious than most but a rturn to the prem would probably be followed by arelegation battle…again a lottery depending on other clubs short comings. With all that is going on. I just want to enjoy the football (thanks CH) and see what transpires. Of course it doesn’t stop me feeling we should have beaten an average Derby side! KRO following from downunder KIWIBlues

  • Parisblue says:


  • alexjhurley says:

    I think tiredness (mental & physical), 3 New players and a few more arguably not match fit (king, ndaw) did for us, along with the rub of the green factor. Burke is totally knackered and it was disappointing not to see Redmond on a bit earlier.

    On a more positive note, zigic’s “back pass” is the funniest thing I’ve seen at stans for ages. Now I know why he’s on 50 grand a week!

  • Bluehobba says:

    Yes 2 lapses in a game cost us. All 3 new guys slotted in well and to be fair to Derby werent in it till they scored and having 2 cleared off the line, Ndaws effort and hitting the bar, Blues could have have won very comfortably. The ref and the linesmen were all poor. Was Colin Doyle injured as he came out for the warm up but wasn’t named on the bench.

  • andy says:

    Well thats two games running Blues have shot themselves in the foot at the back. Unusual yes because we have looked solid, but throwing a 2 goal lead away at home against a side struggling to score is a poor showing. Like the previous game against Forest, it was mayhem in the Derby box as Blues tried to rescue something, one point out of a possible six at home now puts us on the verge of dropping out of of the top 6 if Cardiff win today.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    Just watched the BBC Football League Show highlights. Should’ve won it.

    Can I just say that Mike Sewell has been a BBC commentator and football expert for many years, yet he knows our Senegalese Midfielder as GUINANE N’Daw (pronounced GWINANE!!!!)…… that’s just indicative of the sloppy reporting that BBC (and other media outlets) have afforded us this season so far.

    Tsk tsk…


  • John says:

    The biggest worry at St. Andrews at the moment,is not administration (if there were money problems, we would not have brought in an assistant manager and 5 new players )it’s the fact that Blues are short of supporters. That is, until we get to a cup final, or,hopefully a play off final. Then we will see people complaining, that they can’t get tickets and how “unfair” the ticket allocation is. Derby who are an average middle of the table team,get 25,000 watching them at home. Come on you stay away Blues fans,get down St. Andrews and support your team.

    • NooBloo says:

      I totally agree

      Birmingham has a population of around 1 Million people. if you assume that 75% of them have no interest in attending a football match that leaves 250,000

      Then assume that 2/3 are of the ‘other persuasion. That leaves 83,333 and from that, if you assume that 60% either cant make it to or do not want to attend the match. it is not to much to ask the remaining 40% to attend each week, which would leave us 33,333 ; with a people scrapping for tickets every week, given we need to accommodate away fans and a capacity of only 30,000

      So i totally agree, some people need to get off their backsides and get to the match. And if any tickets remain unsold by Friday afternoon, there should be a policy in place for them to go to adult and child waiting lists for free . OR to groups of schoolchildren so that we secure the fans of the future……….Thats the way forward because when groups of schoolchildren are let in free to matches, they are very vocal all the way through the match, which makes for a great atmosphere.

      That then helps the players because they get more vocal support during the match and can translate into more positive results.

  • skareggae72 says:

    The good : The loan players looked useful
    The bad : Our defending/marking/offside trap was shocking for Derbys 1st,almost as bad for their 2nd,unlike us
    The ugly : Refereeing was shocking & probably cost us 2pts

  • Bluehobba says:

    AVB SACKED, roll on Tuesday, More importantly, Role on Saturday against the sky Blues. I hear we have up to 6000 tickets if we want them. Lets roar the blues on to a welcome win!!

  • DoctorD says:

    I wonder what AVB being sacked will do for the game on Tuesday.

  • AR says:

    Are we better playing 4-5-1 even at home? I think so. I do not like criticising players but I haven’t yet seen what some supporters have seen in Huseklepp. I hope I do soon. Ramage to me didn’t seem too safe against Tyson so I hope Murphy is not out too long & Spector (or preferably Carr) can move back. Townsend though was very good.

  • Dug says:

    Yep i also think were a game too late, betcha Terry and Lampard pick the team, what they have wanted all along,
    Going to be a hard game im afraid, just hope we dont get embarrest as were on tv.

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