Often Partisan

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – Boro Review

Here are my reflections on the Birmingham City v Middlesbrough game at St Andrews:

1) A great result, but…

In the end it turned out that Blues romped to a great victory against their playoff rivals, and I think the team should be applauded for the aplomb in which they created and finished the three goals. However, this game was demonstrative of the fine lines between success and failure. I was fearful for Blues when Ibanez came on for Ramage; we were only one goal in front and I thought having either Davies or Ibanez at right back would cost us. Within five minutes of the change, the ball was in the back of the Blues net – thankfully, the lino had flagged the Boro left back as offside and it was chalked off. In the next move forwards, it was a tackle from Ibanez that got the ball moving out wide to Burke, and blam – 2-0.

2) Keith Fahey

It wasn’t just about his goal – although that was a bit special, running 70 yards at the Boro defence before sticking it in the net – Keith Fahey was pretty sensational. The first goal came from a killer 5 yard pass that Fahey played to Burke, setting him clear of the Boro defence and giving him the time and space to cross for Zigic. Time and time again, Fahey broke up Boro play in the middle; he played nice passes to build Blues attacks and he showed us again why he’s in contention for player of the season.

3) Nikola Zigic

It looks like the big man is hitting form once again when we need him to. A well-taken goal, some great link-up play and passing stood out, but I think you also have to look at how he caused problems in the Middlesbrough defence – centre backs at this level just don’t like playing against him. Once again, the ref seemed to give free kicks based on the fact Ziggy is four inches taller than most players which didn’t help, but credit to the big man, he just kept playing and kept winning the headers. If Blues are to go up we need him to continue this imperious form.

4) David Murphy

Blues have looked unbalanced without the former Boro man in the team, and I think it showed just how much he gives to the team that on his return we return not just to winning ways but keeping a clean sheet also. Having a proper left back in position allowed Andros Townsend more freedom in getting forwards, and gave the on-loan Spurs midfielder an option on the overlap too. It was a solid performance from the Blues left back, and again, he’s a key player for Blues to keep fit in our promotion charge.

All in all it was a great win, and I left the ground feeling cheered that Blues were back in fourth place and looking once more like promotion contenders. I also think that the clean sheet was important too; it’s reassurance for the defence and the keeper that they can get through the game without making a mistake.


Like every other Blues fan I’ve heard from online, I was saddened by the news that Fabrice Muamba had collapsed at White Hart Lane, and I’m distressed that he is fighting for his life. Fabrice always played with a smile on his face for Blues; someone who clearly enjoyed playing football and always gave their all for the shirt. My thoughts are with him and his family and I am thankful for the brilliant work done by all the medical staff.

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9 Responses to “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – Boro Review”

  • BowThai says:

    Great win!Listening on the Blues player(with places and goals scored shown on line) the league was all over the place as the matches went on.Teams up and down over the top 10.this will go on now till the season end so keep it up Blue Boys ,all to play for.After the Blues game ,i watched the Spurs v Bolton game and was shocked to what happened.All the very best Muamba.All football is thinking of you and hoping that you pull through.KRO.

  • Oby says:

    Yep, great win, having Murph back made such a difference, and Fahey was superb all game,…Again.

    Get well soon Fabrice, prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Julian Glass says:

    Ditto FB. So shocking.

    Typo fifth word, Murphy para

  • Russ says:

    unbalanced without murphy in the team i think you meant :) Our promotion charge is back on track. Win against Portsmouth and Cardiff and playoffs almost certain. Keep winning two in three, we could be up in top two. Keep believing. Do it for fabrice.

  • andy says:

    A fantastic and vital win for Blues. I also believe Zigic will be the key to our promotion hopes and Fahey was excellant yesterday. So distressing to see what happened to Fabrice Muamba, a player that is unspoilt and is grateful for what he has, a credit to his game. Get well soon Fabrice.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Spot on – Murhpy’s return behind Townsend redressed the balance of the team once again.

    When Fahey has a good game we win…EOC

    Fabrice always came off the pitch with mud on his shorts & sweat on his shirt ,
    as a supporter you will always forgive a lot when somebody has given there all for the club.
    Hope you have a quick recovery .

  • Wingman Blue says:

    First thoughts with Fabrice… hope he pulls through…

    Like many others I’ve slated Keith Fahey this season, but he’s been a different player recently… great acheivement.
    Murphy for me has to be the player of the season – just. Many others work as hard, but his absence shows his worth. In Steve Carr’s absence he’s provided backbone.

  • Paulo says:

    Awesome game, created chances, took them and finished them! Bit on tenderhooks when I saw Pablo come on ..and go to the back! But all in all, the back was ‘operating’ and it was good to see. Well done to Myhill ..superb shift! Good goals by Zigic and King, but praise I think goes to Burke to setting them up perfectly! Keith Fahey was on top form and fair play to him for that goal, just what the team needs and is a good message for the confidence at Blues.
    Hope this keeps on.

    Was so bad hearing the news about Fabrice Muamba, especially on such a day where Blues hammer home a long deserved win, players and CH were on a high (even of CH didnt show it ha ha) and it was Paddy’s day!
    Can see it has had an effect almost everywhere, and just heard he is recovering very slowly, although not out of the woods yet, but I’ve said my prayers for him and I can see he has the best helping him, and around him.


  • jeff says:

    first off prayers for fabrice and family. great lad .good all round performance from the team..king keith sublime.glad to see murphy back .ziggy looks up for it .lets get 6 from next 6 and the gap at the top may appear less daunting this time next week .if it is the play offs for us then lets try to go in on a wave of good form

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