Often Partisan

An impressive start

Apologies for the paucity of updates – due to a lack of an internet connection in Germany it was impossible to update this site as regularly as I would like. However, that will now be rectified over the next few days.

The first match of Lee Clark’s reign pointed to what could be a very good year for Blues when they played Borussia Mðnchengladbach yesterday. Whilst the draw might have flattered Blues considering the amount of spurned Gladbach chances, the performance was one of a good quality for the first game back after the summer break and showed signs of promise.

I’m not going to write a match report per se as it’s a bit late now but I wanted to write about what impressed me and who I think should be watched for. The game itself was a bit scrappy in places, which wasn’t surprising bearing in mind the  hard and slick pitch and the fact the ball sounded ever so slightly flat. That being said, Blues did put together some good moves and there was clearly an effort made to keep the ball on the deck and the direct passes to a minimum.

David Lucas was very impressive when he came on; he wasn’t expected to be playing but a sickener of a collision forced Doyle off with blood dripping from a cut. He was very commanding in his area, barking out instructions to the defence and you can see the leadership qualities in him in the way he marshalled things. He made some good saves – a couple of which at point-blank range and in honesty I can believe he was a former England u21 keeper. His kicking was a little suspect, but I hope that will improve as he gets some time training under his belt this year. One thing I picked up from my vantage point in the press area was that Lucas’s starting position is further forward than Dave Watson was coaching the keepers to do last year; I’m curious to see how and if that will have any effect.

I think we’ve certainly got a decent player in Hayden Mullins. He might be a little on the older side but he’s clearly up to the pace and I thought that his whole-hearted tackles and sharp distribution of the ball will win him fans amongst the Blues faithful. I expect Mullins to be starting the majority of games to begin with and I think Morgaro Gomis has got a fight on his hands to shift him out of the position.

Darren Ambrose showed his quality early on in the second half with the ball for Curtis’ goal. I don’t think wide is his best position because you can tell he’s got that tendency to drift out the game a little – however if we can get him playing his favoured free role I think he’s a player Blues have lacked for a long time – like a Bryan Hughes or maybe a David Dunn.

The kids who got a run out all had good spells; I’m a big fan of Mitch Hancox and whilst I agree that maybe he’s a bit too inconsistent to be a defender I think he’s got the makings of a good left winger. He needs some time out on loan getting game time now to kick on a level and show what he can do.

Likewise Will Packwood was assured on the ball; despite being well out of position at right back he didn’t acquit himself badly and you could tell how much running he’d done when he went down with cramp. Training in the morning and then ninety minutes of a game like that is a big ask fo the American but he showed that he may well have it. Again, another player who needs a loan spell.

Whilst Asante didn’t get much chance to show his muscular running he showed that he can finish – he took his chance well, slotting it expertly past the keeper and with the kind of panache that you can’t train. He’s raw, and again, he needs gametime – but I have high hopes for the young Dutch lad. He certainly showed up the Brazillian-Belgian Igor de Camargo on the other side – if de Camargo could finish as well as he could act when tackled he’d be world-class.

All in all, very promising. Roll on Shrewsbury and the Greenhaus Meadow on Tuesday.

Pre Season 2012 sponsored by August Windows & Doors

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17 Responses to “An impressive start”

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Thanks for your insights on these newer players for us, No mention of Dearman,?. How did he perform,?.

    Ambrose, Lucas and Mullins, seem obviously to be good buys for us, Experianced and with some much needed quality, to go with the good players we already had,!!.

    No mention about Jake Jervis at all, I thought he was with the squad,?. Is/was he injured,?.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Sounded like an ok game,plus some of the youngsters coming into the squad sound promising,did you see but land perform Friday night for team g.b……all good…..

  • AR says:

    I only saw the match on the internet (American commentators believed Butland was in goal!), but thought Packwood could well be in our squad without going out on loan. I sincerely hope you are right about Asante, but apart from his quick reaction for the goal, I didn’t think he did much else except try very hard.

    • gareth says:

      I agree. I thought one of the positions we needed a new player was right back (Carr getting on in years and injury problems, Spector not a dedicated right back, but still decent), but I think Packwood would be a decent enough back up.

    • tmsblues says:

      I watched the same stream. The American commentators certainly added to the entertainment. Butland had a remarkable game considering he’d played in Middlesborough so well the night before !! On a more serious note there were some good performances Lucas was impressive as was Mullins. Of the youngsters I thought Packwood certainly has potential to provide cover at the back. Just a little concerned that Lovenkrands, had to be left out for ‘fitness reasons’ I believe. Hope he’s not got longterm injury issues.Does anyone know the issue?

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I was really impressed with Hancox in the first half Deaman and Packwood had solid games too. Lucas did well but I thought his kicking was dodgy. Was impressed with our passing game and feel really positive about the new season. We still need to work on our finishing.

  • andy says:

    The full back positions certainly need to be strengthend, but i suppose there is the loan market route if Blues get caught out. Im wondering what is happening with the kid Turner from Chelsea?

    • Pete says:

      Dont think it is turner? I think he is a 21 yr old called Gordon and he has (aaccording to Sky- so probably not true) agreed to join us. To be honest though, he had 2 appearances for Peterborough and then went back, so think he would be back up at best. Would like to look for a couple of loans who could improve the players we have now, rather than just add the numbers.

  • jeff says:

    vantage point in the press area.you,ve arrived bro.hope to see you tuesday

  • ChrisG says:

    I too watched online & had to chuckle at the fact Lucas has now turned into Jack Butland. I thought Packwood had a very good game & considering the 2 teams that Lee put out were probably not that used to playing together with the mixture of youth & newcomers, I think there’s real optimism for a relly good season.
    Just wondering if we have done something to upset Sky tv as there was no mention of the result not even on the info bar on screen. They managed to mention all of the games involving lower division teams though

  • John says:

    Borussia finished 4th in BUNDESLIGA.We did OK.
    So glad to see HERTHA BERLIN who got relegated last year knock off Norwich 3-2.
    First loss of many more I hope for CH.
    He could have been a legend.

  • Casper says:

    On another matter, did anyone see the GB game on Friday? Butland looked rather assured in goal!

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