Often Partisan

Beaten By Own Errors – Reflections on Blues 1 v Antwerp 3

The final friendly of the 2012 pre-season brought Blues down to a bump as they went down to Belgian second division side Royal Antwerp 3-1. Here are my reflections on the game:

1) Antwerp didn’t beat Blues – Blues beat themselves

Goals aside, this was a fairly even game. Scrappy in midfield at times, the chief difference between the teams was the standard of the finishing – and the mistakes made by the respective defences. All three of Blues goals were fairly easily preventable – Butland dropped a clanger (and the ball) to gift them their first; Ibanez had no reason to move his arm anywhere near the ball for the first penalty and Mitch Hancox had a rush of blood to the head for the second penalty. A bit more assuredness in defence coupled with a lot better finishing up front and Blues would have romped home easy winners.

2) Ravel Morrison – a schizophrenic performance

Today was our first look at Blues new loanee from West Ham United – and in my eyes we got to see why he’s both rated by and frustrating to managers. His goal was a moment of proper finishing – launching himself full-bodied at a cross to absolutely bury the ball past the keeper. His touch was good, and he clearly has an eye for a pass and a bit of trickery about him. He’s also got the red mist – chopping down one or two players and whinging at everything that went against him. Every. Single. Thing. He plays continually with the panache and verve shown, he’ll be loved. He moans on and on and gets himself continually carded… and it’ll be a different story.

3) Zigic and Rooney

Two more frustrating players. Both played well linking up the attacks, making good runs and moving the ball around – but their finishing was just woeful. Rooney dinked one wide he really should have buried one on one with the keeper; Zigic seemed to lay everything off rather than take a shot on and both were guilty of missing Redmond’s fizzing cross when all needed was a tap in. On another day, they might have got a couple each – such is life.

4) There is a reason why Mitch Hancox isn’t in the first team yet

Going forwards, Mitch looked decent. He ran at the Antwerp full back, he did his best to whip in some crosses and he looked useful. Defending was a different story though – he was under pressure a bit in the second half in particular and he showed his inexperience by lunging in with the Antwerp playing going nowhere to give away a penalty. Hancox definitely needs game time out on loan. I’m still confident he could make it, but he needs the match practice so he can make the next step up.

5) Morgaro Gomis and Wade Elliott

With Darren Ambrose, Keith Fahey, Hayden Mullins and Ravel Morrison in the squad I think it means that neither of this pair will figure that much in the Blues team – and based on today’s performance, that might not be such a bad thing. Elliott started brightly, but he slowly faded out and he struggled to impose himself on the game. He wasn’t capable of breaking forwards and Antwerp found that by pressing enough they could keep him out of the game. Gomis was worse; losing the ball frequently and fouling Antwerp players as he couldn’t get a grip on things. He’s not had the best of pre-seasons and I fear for his Blues future.

On the whole, it was a frustrating day but it’s not one to be disheartened over. There were enough spells of decent play and enough openings created for me to think that with a first choice team in place we’ll be fine. It’s one to put to the back of the mind whilst Blues focus on the real deal – Barnet on Tuesday.

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Pre Season 2012 sponsored by August Windows & Doors

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22 Responses to “Beaten By Own Errors – Reflections on Blues 1 v Antwerp 3”

  • Chris says:

    I didn’t get down to see it today, shame to hear about Gomis, every time I saw him last season he seemed to have a good game, controlling the midfield and making some great passes.

  • Blucksdiee!!. says:

    I went to go see the blues game today and from
    What I saw I think we could do with atleast one more defender, Rooney very poor needs to go back to the Scottish 2nd division, and Zigic well he’s shocking, ravel Morrison looked very good a premier league player easily

  • crotcha88 says:

    can someone tell ravel to sit on a throne or a barstool dont waste your gift make the most of it

  • tony says:

    we lost our shape to many times in midfield when chasing the ball(or lack of chasing with elliot).The 2 donkeys up front were woeful .Redmond looked bright when he came on and the away supportes turned a drab game into something watchable but only just.

  • Chris says:

    Disappointing result yesterday but it seemed to highlight the fact that LC maybe shouldn’t be finished with the transfer market, imho

  • Chris says:

    Sorry mesage went before I finished, I was about to say I think LC would have been better off keeping Carter & getting rid of Gomis, also move Rooney on as he’s just not good enough & try & do a deal for James Vaughn. & possibly bring in Dave Kitson who is a free agent to replace Zigic & move him on
    Just my thoughts!!

  • Dave Sherlock says:

    I thought Ravel looked great his touch and finish was superb. I also thought when Mullins cam on blues looked much better… We basically saw the reserves today and Barnett on Tuesday will hopefully be a different story… More importantly Charlton next weekend

  • Bluenose Pete says:

    I agree with what you have said – it was a very scrappy game with Blues lacking any sort of penetration. I thought Packwood did OK coming on as an early substitute for Carr but let’s hope Carr’s withdrawal was no more than a precaution.
    What did surprise me was the enormous police presence – you would have thought we were playing Cardiff in a cup-tie rather than a pre-season friendly against a Belgian second tier side. Presumably the police knew something that I didn’t.

  • Tamuffblue says:

    I think yesterday proves what everyone knows that we are in for a really hard time and its not gonna be pretty but I am sure that all things point to November and once that millstone is cut free then the real Blues will be able to perform both as a team and club KRO 1875 SOTV

  • Blue blood says:

    Ravel wil go back to whu, when he has made his name for blues, it’s just annoying that we won’t be able to sign him permanent if he shines, it deffo looked like the 2nd string, but I feel a 3-1 coming on in the Cup against Barnet lol KRO

  • Paulo says:

    I went dowm the blues to see this game, and man was I dissapointed. Credit to Royal Antwerp, they came here to play and win. Their communication with each other was so good at times, they just knew how to read the game. Let’snot forget that they put 5 balls past Butland ..2 pens, 1 class goal and 2 dissallowed. To put simply, our DEFENSE was all over the place and Butland suffered. Their fans were up for it as well, and I heard it that they were trying to kick off before the match, so lets just say …this was in no way a friendly match as far as Antwerp fans or players were concerned.
    As for Blues …well, a low turnout for fans, massive lack of atmosphere ..to the point where there actually was no vocal encouragement at all. It was dire.
    Our squad had the kids and LC seemed to field a bunch of players for the sake of them gaining pitch time. Carr came off after 9 mins and it all seemed to be too reminiscent of scrappy ad-hoc performances where in reflection, we know there was more skill out there to put a game like this to bed and go and grab a pint. I have a feeling that this will be repeated until we ‘again’ find our formula and stick to it. I agree with the comments about Zigic, he was our No1 striker out there and wasn’t reading the passes at all. Sadly, his best shot was a dissalowed goal. I do think that the others played well, but individuals saw red mist or made blatant mistakes ..and the result fell into Antwerp’s hands. The absence of fans and atmosphere must have made a contribution to that as well.
    Blues did it to themselves, and didn’t turn up.
    What else can I say???????

  • Julian Glass says:

    With the new midfield additions we can afford to move one of these two on and they are distinct poorer than A M R and F.

    As for the rest of yesterday it looks like we’re not going to get a full season from Carr, Ibanez showed again he is our Darren Purse, Rooney is not good enough in front of goal, Zigic blows hot and cold as ever and Butland needs a season between the sticks here before any Premier team will give him game time.

    Butland plus the Plymouth team is a very decent first XI. I hope CH doesn’t shoe-in Ravel at the expense of Redmond and Ambrose wide left. A big mistake in my opinion

  • nick wicky says:

    went to the matchand thought it was awful. blues couldn’t string three passes together after they scored. Packwood and morrison looked good,and of course he made a blooper for their first goal. he also doesn’t have doyles luck with penalties. maybe if it meant the difference between winning a match or drawing you could sub him for doyle if there was the needto face a last minute pen! Rooney was awful but Zigic looked frustrated at all the missplaced passes. he probably missed redmonds cross because he wasn’t expecting it to reach him?

  • Blueboy88 says:

    We need cover at Centre Back, & another Striker.
    Or play Redmond Off King & bring Morrison in on the flank who looks bright…

  • Blueboy88 says:

    We need cover at Centre Back, & another Striker.
    Or play Redmond Off King & bring Morrison in on the flank who looks bright…

  • AR says:

    Mitch Hancox may make it as a left sided midfielder, but he has too much to learn as a full-back. Rooney is not a goalscorer & Zigic does not have a shot on him. Butland so far is making too many errors for my liking to be no.1 ‘keeper; today’s error was awful & the one that went through him for GB was pretty terrible. I’m beginning to think £6 million could be better used. I was impressed by this Belgian 2nd division side’s 2 strikers; I didn’t catch their names but compared to Rooney & Zigic they were so much better in every way. I wonder if they could be bought for a reasonable amount.

    • Blueboy88 says:

      Good call on Hancox .
      Gareth Bale started as a left back with Southampton , before Redknapp moved him to wide left midfield, & the rest is History…

  • Chris says:

    JULIAN GLASS i’m mot sure if you’re aware but CH isn’t our manager anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Martin says:

    LC must be sure the “first team” have had enough time under there belts to not start them all, i expect to see a strong side against barnet tuesday night which will be our real warm up game for Charlton on Saturday, i think some have read to much into yesterdays game, i am optimistic about our chances for the season ahead..KRO

  • skareggae72 says:

    Congrats to Jack Butland,now the number one choice for England in goal this week due to Harts withdrawal.

  • DoctorD says:

    You know what, sod the Olympics. Roll on the new season. Bring it on.

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