Often Partisan

Don’t Panic (Just Yet)

Well blow me, the sky is falling in. Blues lose 4-1 to Pompey and all of a sudden the doom-mongers come out saying our season is over. Having taken an early lead through Nikola Zigic (who incidentally became the fourth Blues player this season to hit double figures goal-wise after Wood, King, and Burke), it all fell apart and we’ve taken a tanking. Is it time to reach for the razorblades and valium?

I didn’t go to the game last night, so I can’t comment on individual performances however much I’d like to. I would like to say that from the sounds of what I heard on Bluesworld, the ref Brendan Malone (reffing only his fourth game at this level in four years) had an absolute shocker – but you’d be better off reading a match report from Tatts who was there to corroborate that.

What we do know is that David Murphy will now miss the game against Cardiff City on Sunday through suspension, leaving Blues with a grand total of four available defenders (Ramage, Ibanez, Caldwell, and Davies), of whom none are true full backs. Hughton will have the choice of either slotting in Ramage at left back and playing an out of position centre back in at right back; bringing in his son for his league debut for Blues at either right back or left back and playing Ramage on the opposite flank; or the really scary options of Gomis, N’Daw or even Valles or Townsend playing out of position at left back – or changing the system altogether. None of them bode well for what could be a promotion six-pointer.

The one positive to take is that we haven’t really lost much ground; of the eight teams who started in the top eight positions of the Championship tonight, only Southampton won. In some ways it goes to show that this league really is full of teams at about the same level; there is very little difference between many of the teams that are going for the playoff places. If Blues can win their four home games then a solitary win away would probably see us guaranteed a play-off place. There is no way the chance of going up has been lost just yet; the fat lady hasn’t even arrived on stage yet let alone warmed up her vocal chords.

What is important now is that the Blues players pick themselves up, dust themselves off and forget about the Pompey game, and concentrate on picking up a win against Cardiff. Furthermore, the team cannot look at what is going on around them; destiny is still very much in Blues’ hands and as such it’s down to Blues to pick up points. I’m still of the belief it can be done but it’s not going to be easy. Chris Hughton has shown at times this season that he can be very astute and that he can get an extra ten percent out of his squad. The time is coming for him to prove that once again.

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31 Responses to “Don’t Panic (Just Yet)”

  • mitchell says:

    Great article mate – they’ll be a few moaning bar stewards who’ll be itching to have a pop, but this puts it into perspective.

    Having Murphy out is a real blow as we look very composed with him in the team, but as usual, CH will have to make do and get the best out of the squad.

    Sunday, as with all of the remaining games, are massive – it’s on the box so if any of the P/T support feel like making an appearence, feel free to get down to Stans!


    PS – Do you know how many noses went last night?

  • JohnR says:

    CH is definitely blaming the ref. Tatts reported that he has never seen CH as angry as he was last night with the referee. I seem like a broken record but we have had some appalling refs this season.
    I agree with you about the fans, where do we get these doom mongers from. Everybody knows this is what you get for being a Blues fan.
    I do worry about the lack of cover in defence, maybe we should go with three at the back and play 3-5-2 against Cardiff.

  • The ref was bad but Blues weren’t great, match thought at thelonglongroad.wordpress.com

  • prewarblue says:

    I Blame the ref and YOU for this result,,,,,leave the prediction,s out of your blog,,,,,,it,s not the first time you have predicted a Blues win and we have lost,,,,,,,,,dont predict a result or you will put even more mockers on the season,,,,,bloody JINX,,,,thats what you are

  • AuldBertie says:

    Once again thwarted by an inept referee! If I had a pound for every time I’ve said this over the years I’d be a rich man now. What is it with Blues and referees? They say decisions even out over time but in my 49 years supporting the Blues I am yet to see this happen. I listened to the match on Gold so expect bias from Tom Ross. However Darren Carter, who has often shot down Ross’s one-sided refereeing decision opinions in the past, was equally as resolute in his condemnation of the ref. “I’m sitting here with my blood boiling Tom, how the players must feel I don’t know”. A string of contentious decisions that definitely altered the course of the game and probably the result. Whilst looking for info about our new friend Mr Malone I found this which at least made me laugh :) http://associationfootball.wikia.com/wiki/Brendan_Malone. Fair play to the (somewhat illiterate) bluenose who constructed this spoof page.

  • John says:

    You should never blame the officials for losing you a game,but the standard of refereeing and linesmen/women has been poor this season. The Pompey player player quite clearly handled the ball before he scored their 2nd goal,with the referee,no more than 10 yards away ! On Saturday,Burke crossed the ball and a M’boro defender, handled the ball with the linsman looking directly at it,again from no more than 10 yards,but no foul was given. What could be the worst decision made in all football this season,was when Zigic was CLEARLY KICKED by a Derby defender and the referee,who again was in close attendance, not only refused the obvious penalty,but stupidly booked Zigic,for diving. It would appear,that no checks are made,on the competency of officials and it could be as a result of this,some players resort to cheating on more often.

  • Paulo says:

    Listened to the game last night, first half seemed to slack off towards the end, but good goal by Zigic (saw it on sky sports this AM) …then came the second half! …were blues playing 12 men? Well, for CH to lose his rag (he never does) then he must have a valid point. From what i could make out, the ref (and his lino’s) handed the match to Portsmouth on a golden plate.

    Lap it up Portsmouth, you might not have a idiot refereeing your following home matches.

    We’re not out the running yet, it’s just disheartening, that’s all! It almost feels like a conspiracy at times, with all those decisions against us ..what was that debate on here about referees / penalties / free kicks / red cards? ..I know it was about Southampton, but is it me, or was last night a good indication of what Birmingham City are up against?

    Enough ranting, the result will stand ..although I doubt the ref be would if it was at St Andrews last night.

    Keep the faith BCFC

    • Paulo says:

      *apologies for a cpl of typo’s ..still fuming!

    • AuldBertie says:

      Totally agree Paulo. It does seem that as a bluenose, referee paranoia is justified! I see we have Andy D’Urso for sunday’s match. In the past I’d have been disappointed with that choice but given the performance of Malone and his unknown cronies over the last few games, I ‘ll happily accept this appointment.

      • Portsmouth & Proud says:

        I think it is really funny, seeing you all blame the referee – our first goal was a blatant foul by your player for the free kick, the second – you should have played to the whistle! And the red was two correct yellow cards – even if they weren’t, your player shouldn’t be giving the ref a chance to send him off! And your Zigic goal shouldn’t have stood – Zigic fouled Pearce in the build up! And we should have had a penalty. (p.s. I WAS at the match!) However, the ref was not too bad, he was consistent in his decisions, even if they were wrong. And at half time, I thought what you are all thinking/saying – the ref has cost us this game! Are you all not capable of just saying “well done Pompey”? Refs shouldn’t be blamed – because if you play well enough (like Pompey did last night!) then you’ll win anyway – just accept that the better team won!

  • bluenose08 says:

    Portsmouth and proud i agree if you play well enough and score the goals you will win regardless of the referees decisions but if you are honest i am sure portsmouth have been in games where a referees decision has cost you points.For portsmouth i hope you build on that win and you escape religation and your football club still exists next season. For birmingham we have to bounce back again!
    Please,please get all your friends,kids,relatives down to st andrews on sunday and roar the team on we need your support. k.r.o.

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    I am disappointed about the result but It is diffo not the end of the world!!. Look, things did not go our way (fair play to Pompey) but we can bounce back. We have slipped of late however we are not in a worse off position then any of the other teams around us, who are also struggling for form!.

    We have some very winnable games coming up and when playing well can beat anyone. It’s been a long long grind of a season but I’m sure the team can dig deep and produce a run that’ll get us over the finish line. Another 16 points should give us a real change off making the playoffs.

    KRO Boys, lets believe it can happen.

  • m says:

    Portsmouth & Proud, well done mate, hope that you stay up and that your football club keeps going. Up to Blues now to pick themselves up and keep on going, onward and upward.

    • AuldBertie says:

      Portsmouth & Proud fair play on your win and I hope you stay in existence but yours is a very one-eyed view and you deilberately omit other valid points to suit your argument. The first goal, the so-called foul by Davies on your player was nothing more than him anticpating the ball before Varney who admitted as much after the game. If either of Murphy’s fouls warranted a yellow card then how come your player wasn’t booked for scything down Townsend in the first half? That foul was far worse than either of Murphy’s. Then there was the incident where King was held in the box and the free-kick given on the edge. You also fail to mention the blatant handball by your player before the 2nd goal. So it defintely seems a case of pot, kettle, black :)

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Strange as it may seem, I think this result and this specific match could be a blessing in disguise.

    A 100% shot of adrenaline into a tiring body. At exactly the right time.

    If anything is going to bond and commit the players and management, even more than they are already – it is this match and this result..

    I don’t think we’ll do a Reading, but I do believe that we have now been re-fueled and instead of ticking over, we will now be revitalised.

    Thankyou Pompey, and good luck. And thankyou Malone.

  • NooBloo says:

    At the end of the day, Birmingham are still in a play off place.

    That was a freak result last night. The sending off then trying to chase the game always meant we would be susceptible to being caught on the break.

    If Leicester win tonight, that would mean that the 5 clubs directly below us and chasing us for the play off place would be Blackpool, Cardiff, Hull, Leicester and Leeds. So I had a look at the remaining games of all of those clubs and the all five of them are due to play Millwall in the run in.


    So given I get to go to their matches in a work capacity, I get to support Birmingham in a 3 pronged indirect route. Then I get to go support Birmingham in the play off final, where we win promotion to the Premiership.

    So the run in to the the end of the campaign is looking great for me

    • DoctorD says:

      NooBloo — you mean you get to say Milwall in a work capacity? If that’s your first prong, what are you other two?

      • DoctorD says:

        Er, I mean you get to *see* Milwall in a work capacity? What are you a copper or something?

      • NooBloo says:

        The three prong is metaphorically triangular. By supporting Millwall against the 5 clubs chasing Birmingham for a play off spot. I still get to support Birmingham in their quest for promotion.

        I had a chuckle about the being a Policeman but No I am not. I do see many other clubs through the course of the year but geographically, it tends to be them – Lets go no further than that

  • Stevie Blue says:

    We’ve been surrendering leads all season (Derby away, Watford away, Hull away for example) so I refuse to accept its tiredness. More recently (Derby home, Leicester away and last night). Is it more a case of complacency?

  • andy says:

    A half time report last night said that Birmingham were 1-0 up without having to come out of first gear, and here is the problem. Blues should have gotton out of first gear and put the game beyond Portsmouth, being complacent just because we went 1-0 up so early against the bottom club struggling to score. I said before the Boro game that Blues will have to win all their remaining home games if they are to make the play offs and if im honest, i dont think we will. What we have achieved so far this season, in the Championship, is what CH set out to do, and that was being competative at the right end of the table. We can only keep fingers crossed that Blues pull something out the bag to achieve a play off berth.

  • bestcover says:

    as a southampton based bluenose season ticket holder, one blessing was that for a change it was just a short drive home.
    Blues first 15 minutes were good – thenthey thought they could walk the ball in. Pompey played well on the break – reffing was awful but nothing new there! Murphys second yellow was no booking – yes he did send him flying but it was actually shoulder to shoulder which is not a foul, last time I looked. linesman was only 10 feet away.
    No doubt about a penalty in the 2nd half – Marlon was 2 yards inside the area when he was pulled back.
    keep right on

  • Paulo says:

    I am sticking to my guns ..the referee was a muppet and he handed the 3 points to Portsmouth!

    Any Portsmouth fans disagree with me then bugger off. ..you had a good night on the back of wrong decisions and it gave you the game ..and you know it.

    Your still in the drop zone and on the bottom, and if you have many more clowns refereeing your home matches then you might climb up. It’s a shame what happened to your club, and I wish you all the best anyway …but dont get too one sided hey? (Portsmouth and Proud) You were handed the best chance in the league and you knew it.
    We were handed a kick in the teeth and a confidence battering.

    ..and so, on the back of hitting the deck, rolling around like you’ve been clattered by N’Daw, handballing, and having an extra shirt in your dug-out with name ‘Malone’ written on the back ..i say ‘well done Pompey’

  • My report on Joys and Sorrows is yet to be posted but let’s be clear here; yes the referee was very poor but we lost because we coasted through the first half against a team there for the taking, we lost because we didn’t take the chances that did fall to us and we lost because over the whole piece we put in a lazy, complacent, lack-lustre and slow tempo performance. We learned nothing from the first half and conceded a soft equaliser because we were feeling hard done by about the original award which was wrong but frankly you could see it coming. Portsmouth are a depleted and diminished side but they showed more heart pride and commitment than we did and deserved their win in the end. Murphy should not have been sent off but he was and had we put Pompey to the sword in the first half as we should have done it would not have mattered. There have been too many games where we have failed to win because of poor application; Watford away, Hull away, Derby away and home, Brighton at home, Peterborough home and away, Leicester last week; the list goes on. I conclude that whilst we may still make the play offs I don’t think we’ll come through I’m afraid. I think we have run out of steam through too many games. Sadly I don’t think we’ll get promoted but would love to be wrong. There you have it; one man’s opinion (I was there by the way)

  • mitchell says:

    Fair comment Bazza. Although based on all those games mentioned did you expect us to win them all??? CH is a cracking manager but he can’t walk on water. No team puts in perfect performances week in week out so to highlight all these games is a tad harsh.

    Agree that we may have run out of steam, but with 10/11 games to go there is still a lot of points to play for and a win on Sunday will see us back in the top 6.

    How many fans went to the game? It looked like 500ish


  • roskoe says:

    It looks to me as though we dont have the capacity to go on another run of good results anymore and that for me will be the reason we won’t make it through the play offs, if we get in them that is. I agree with the posters talking of complacency. It is frustrating that after a good ten minutes at the start that we can think we can stroll it against a team fighting for their lives at their ground too. Say what you like about Big Eck but he did seem to have the knack of getting the team out on fire for the second half of games…..

    • Paulo says:

      think we just simply dont have a solid back line really ..which is hurting us! and I read on Colin Tattum’s match report that both of the last 2 goals pompey scored were from where Murphy was supposed to be!
      But Chris Hughton is far better for us and although we have some tough games coming up, I hope both him and the squad can pick themselves back up and go for it.

      • roskoe says:

        Oh definitely CH over Eck any day of the week. I was just mentioning that as that is one of the better management qualities that Eck had and it seemed relevant. Keeping CH is a must.


  • When my mate Chris bought our tickets for the three of us that went, Blues had sold 504 as of Tuesday morning. Mitchell mate, of course we may not have won all the games listed but many of the games were in fixtures where we were in winning positions. I’m suggesting that we have dropped a lot of unnecessary points and you will notice I didn’t mention the Forest debacle! Loss of the points mentioned have definitely cost us a tilt at the top two but at the end of the analysis, we aren’t good enough tired or no.

  • mitchell says:

    Fair enough Bazza – I think my expectations levels have risen somewhat over the last few months, so I might be clutching at straws in the hope we make the play offs!


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