Often Partisan

And The Blues Keep Marching On – Crystal Palace Match Reflections

Here are my reflections on the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at St Andrews yesterday.

1) A great result

A win is a win, but to win by two more goals for the thirteenth time this season, to score three or more for the eleventh time (and incidentally record our third 3-1 win on the bounce and our fifth 3-1 win of the season) is a great result to continue building momentum to the playoffs. My only disappointment is that Blues didn’t score more; for a short while it looked like Blues were going to bury Palace in front of what I believe was the largest league crowd of the season at St Andrews. Still, Blues can take a lot of positives out of the result and hopefully the belief will be there that they can take down West Ham tomorrow.

2) The midfield

Jordon Mutch and Keith Fahey came in for a little bit of criticism from me when paired together a few games back so I think it’s only fair I talk about how well they played together yesterday. Pre match I was concerned about them being a little “powder-puff” without an enforcer like N’Daw in there but I got it totally wrong; both Fahey and Mutch made some great tackles, played some lovely balls to get attacks started and Fahey can be rightly proud of his goal – an absolute pearler into the corner which left Speroni clutching air. Both players are hitting form when we need them too and I hope that they can show us against the Hammers just how much quality that they possess.

3) The strikers

Despite not getting onto the scoresheet, I thought all four forwards used helped us to some degree. Marlon King never let the defenders get any rest, chasing everything and bringing the midfield into the attack with little lay offs and runs. Nikola Zigic wound the back line up a treat and I did wonder if he’d been taken off for his own good at half time such was the animosity that he was attracting. Erik Huseklepp made two great runs which could have both (and probably should have in the second instance) in red cards for the Palace defenders who had to bring him down to stop him being one on one with the keeper. Even Adam Rooney who made a short cameo held up the ball, ran gamely and did what he could to try to extend the scoreline.

4) The Backline

I’ve seen Peter Ramage get some criticism but I thought he did okay against one of the better players he will play against at this level in Wilfried Zaha. Admittedly Zaha got past him once or twice but the fact was the Palace winger was about twice as quick as Ramage; the fact that the on-loan QPR man kept him out most of the time is testament to how well he coped. Murphy on the other side is fast turning into a cult hero; three goals in three games, marauding down the left side with absolute intent and defending like a trojan. It’s well recognised Murphy is our key player and we have to keep him fit now for the remainder of the season. Davies managed to get through the game without getting the booking which would have seen him cop a two match ban and with Spector and Ibanez returning to fitness, things are definitely looking up.

All in all, a fantastic win in front of a decent crowd; morale is high, form is good (second best in the division over the last six games now) and Blues are in a position where playoff contention looks to be secured. Let’s hope we can carry this over into our next match and maybe give the Hammers the heebee-geebees over the playoffs.

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10 Responses to “And The Blues Keep Marching On – Crystal Palace Match Reflections”

  • poppa999 says:

    I agree with you particularly with more goals. With the final placings being crucial we could do with overhauling West Ham’s difference at least. It isn’t like Blues to not score in the final third of the game.

  • Evesham Blue says:

    I dont think playoff contention is secured just yet…. West Ham, Bristol City,Brighton & Reading have all got something to play for! West Ham are chasing automatics, have had a day extra rest and looked very good vs Barnsley albeit they are not so good at home. Bristol won away at forest and are scrapping for their lives – Chris Wood could come home to haunt us? Brighton need to secure their own play off spot and Reading could well be going for the Championship on the last game of the season. Draw West Ham and beat Bristol then maybe that would be enough with a 6 point buffer? We need to finish 4th really to give us a chance with the return fixture at home. Best to avoid the 6th placed team looking at history. Anyway if we dont make it – it’s not the end of world. CH has worked miracles just to be here

    • NooBloo says:

      The team to avoid in the play offs is blackpool, so I woiuld like to chase west ham for the third place and keep blackpool for the final when they would be easier to beat over one game than two

  • Jaffa says:

    The best first 45 minutes iv’e seen this season.Like you i thought it was going to be a cricket score,but the goals we did score were class.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Hats Off to all the staff , players , & mamagement at BCFC.

    Genuinely dont think I have enjoyed a season more for attacking intent by Blue shirts since the rather maverick days of the legend Barry Fry.

    The difference this time is the organisational skills CH brings to the team.

    Really want to beat West Ham , get into the play offs & premier promotion.
    With the basis of this squad & some shrewd close season signings I believe we could do a Norwich or Swansea……

    Failure to acheive that I fear will lead to the breakup of this squad, possibly CH’s departure,
    & staring down the barrell of the Coventry City, Portsmouth scenario..

    So lets keep the faith for the next few weeks , & trust we will be celebrating at Wembley for the second consecutive year..KRO

  • Oby says:

    Just before Burke scored and a little after, I commented to my mate we were watching some of the best football we have ever seen at St Andy’s, it was simply fantastic !!

  • Evesham Blue says:

    The playoffs are a lottery. There are 3 other teams with the same ambition. I wouldnt pin all your hopes on winning at wembley again if I was you. We just dont know what will happen if we dont go up and what the ramifications are. Lets just see how far we can go and worry about the rest later… either way we have had a great season and I for one wouldnt be too worried if we didnt make it this time. Financial caveats aside – I dont want to be doing a Wolves next year if we did go up as I doubt CH will have any money to spend. this team has been put together on a shoestring but the Prem will catch you out. We have no divine right to be in the Prem. If we get there then we deserve it. I would prefer going up automatically something maybe we could have done without 20 plus players going in and out and all the off field problems and extra games we have had this year.

    If we dont make it and have to sell players – then we get transfer fees and we rebuild again. I doubt we could keep Burkey for instance. But considering we cant even fill our own ground that may be a fact of life.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Evesham Blue;, Most of your comments, I totally agree with mate. We are indeed none the wiser as to what will befall our club next season, whether we stay in the Championship, [ or even get promoted ]!!.
    I gain comfort from the fact that back in the Summer, all I was praying for was that we would NOT get relegated,!!. and here we stand, in the play-off positions, [ at the moment ], having also tasted a decent F-A cup run, AND been in Europe with distinction, [ If I may be so bold ],!!. who would have forecasted that, eh,!!.
    Inshalla,!!. — Whatever will be — Will be, Let us just enjoy this marevelous season with hope in our hearts,!!.

  • bluenose08 says:

    I agree with all the above comments and the football we played in the first half was breathtaking. I honestly believe we are a better side than west ham and wouldnt swap any of our players for theirs so lets hope we at least nick a point but see no reason why we shouldnt get 3. The atmosphere was a lot better against palace as the crowd really got behind blues. k.r.o.

  • tait&lyle says:

    great times at stans,good to off your seats and clapping,singing etc….the goals from saturday wow!….dont think anyone can knock the players manager or fans as a whole this season as theyve been a credit to the club………the board well thats another thing.

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