Often Partisan

After the Lord Mayor’s Show

Here are my reflections on the Birmingham City v WBA game. Due to illness, I was at home watching this on Sky Sports 2.

1) David Bentley is going to have to improve

As things stand, I don’t think we can afford him anyway, but on today’s performance I wouldn’t sign him. He has got some nice touches, but his set pieces were poor, his overall play was poor and I thought went completely missing for the last twenty minutes. I understand that wingers do drift in and out of games, but I think they also have to contribute far more when they’re “in” and Bentley just didn’t. I think we’d be better off agreeing a deal with Seb and sticking with what we’ve got.

2) Beausejour is growing into the shirt

I thought our Chilean winger did a fine job when he came on last week; and he deserved his start today. He’s not a flying winger like Bentley, but he is a grafter like Seb and I think we need the graft more. People have said he was powder-puff, and he pulled out of challenges but I didn’t see that; I saw someone who tried to get involved, who tried to create and was the only Blues player to gamble and make a run which saw him score our goal. I hope he keeps it up.

3) Fahey isn’t a bad central midfielder

Fahey was tasked with the Barry Ferguson role today, and it’s never going to be easy to fill in for our god-like Scots midfielder – but Fahey did fairly well. With our midfield one short of WBA’s five, we were always a little over run but I thought Fahey did well in his distribution; he was always looking to receive the ball and to move it forwards or across the pitch. He was unlucky not to clear Scharner’s flukey header that Foster palmed into the net; and was again the man behind Foster when Scharner tried to chip him – in short, doing the work Fergie does. A good performance in all by the Irishman.

4) Davies and rustiness

It was a poor debut by the ex-V***a defender, and his rustiness showed (again, in comparison to Jiranek who has been positively breathtaking recently). Jiranek has never been one to dive in to a challenge, and the way Davies committed himself allowed Morrison to break through to get their second. As a defender, doing that is never going to work; get the player and it’s a pen; miss the player and you’ll just as likely miss the ball. I felt for him, because he looked okay in the first half, but he is going to need to get better much quickly if he wants to keep the shirt.

5) Strikers

Much has been made of our lack of goal-scoring prowess; I think the strikers were starved somewhat by a lack of service; Jerome was unlucky with a couple of efforts whereas Martins and Phillips were much less involved. I think we missed Zigic a lot; I hope he’s fit for Wednesday to line up alongside Jerome. Zig has been in form recently, and we need his presence up front.

All in all, a poor performance, and one that doesn’t bode well for staying up. It means we’re going to have to ensure we get better results away from home; Goodison hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for us recently (although we did beat Everton in the cup there last year) – we need another top performance or we’re going to be well and truly mired in the bottom three.

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3 Responses to “After the Lord Mayor’s Show”

  • Scoobers says:

    Re Bentley/ Seb, the latter has had some shocking games over the past three seasons. I agree Bentley was poor yesterday however he was no worse than many others. Also Bentley is being asked to play on the left whereas he started brightly on his better position, the right, for me

    Whilst improving over time IMO Beausejour still flatters to deceive too often. One peach of a cross is followed by passing the ball backwards too often. There’s potential there and he may benefit more from a full pre-season this summer.

    Fahey was fine yesterday, wasn’t afraid to look for a forward pass and showed he can play a bit and do the defensive side. When was Davies last full Premiership game ? I agree he looked okay first half and the opposite in the second. He need games.

    We never used our strikers strengths yesterday – pace. Too much play in front of West Brom’s defence who to be fair were the better team from the first minute to last.

    Great blog by the way Sir

  • Boynose says:

    Bentley’s biggest issue for me is that he appears determined to turn through 360 degrees before he crosses a ball which can get frustrating.

  • […] my Albion review, I said that Jean Beausejour was slowly growing into his position. I couldn’t believe that […]

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