Often Partisan

The Ravel and Jack Show – Leicester Match Reflections

Here are my reflections on the game between Birmingham City and Leicester City.

1) A Good Point or Two Dropped?

Before the game I’d have happily taken the draw but with Blues having conceded a late equaliser I can’t help but feel a little bit robbed. If I’m honest though I don’t think Blues were that worthy of a win – if we had have won it would have been an absolute smash and grab job and I guess their equaliser was just deserts for a decent performance from them. Blues played well without ever really breaking above a 7 out of 10 performance; the defence was a lot more stout than it has been and th team didn’t look anywhere near as powder-puff in midfield. It wasn’t a breakout performance but it was an encouraging one.

2) Ravel Morrison

I had got the impression Clark was hinting at including the on loan midfielder before the game and the former Man U trainee got his first complete ninety minutes under his belt. He looked a proper player – a great first touch, caressing passes to other players and putting himself about looking to win the ball. There was a flash of petulance as he jumped into one challenge and some of his passes didn’t quite work out… but he did look a shade above what has been on offer recently. As with all young players the challenge now is to maintain that level of performance and hopefully he’ll get a run of games to show he can do it – it’s clear he has a talent but other talents have fallen by the wayside because they couldn’t keep doing it and Ravel has to guard against overconfidence.

3) Jack Butland

Today was the Blues game where young Jack came of age in a Blues shirt. His shot stopping was brilliant, he commanded his area and he came for (and won) everything. I saw him play in midweek for the England u21s and he had a similar sort of game and I wonder if the confidence from knowing he can win the ball in the air in that match when it’s crossed in has rubbed off on his performances for Blues. Although Ravel got the man of the match award on the tannoy I thought Jack deserved it more because without him today we’d have been thumped. Keep it up lad.

4) Curtis Davies

Whilst he did make a couple of small errors today Curtis was much more like the Curtis of last season; making brilliant blocks and tackling like a tiger. When he’s on form he’s as good as anyone else in the division and he showed it today; I didn’t think Nugent, Vardy or Futacs were that effective up front and that was largely down to the Leytonstone-born defender. Davies also got James Hurst out of the hole once or twice and was doing what he could to ensure the young Baggies right back was positioning himself properly and kept the line right.

5) The Ref

It was a bit of a bizarre performance from the ref; Lovenkrands went down after an elbow and nothing was done but Spector gets booked two minutes later for an innocuous challenge. Then he gives a free kick as the fans scream for a pen, debates it with the lino and changes his mind… for a goal kick. At times he looked like he was trying to be sensible with the cards and at others he looked card-happy. Wes Morgan was allowed to climb all over the back of Marlon King for most of the game and there were continual little pulls and niggles that the ref completely missed.

All in all – an encouraging performance but one that needs to be built on. With Spector missing the next game and Lovenkrands potentially injured the team will be stretched even further at Millwall but the chance is there to push on and start to push up the table. Clark and Blues need to seize the opportunity.

I’d like to also put on record my thanks to James Hurst for giving my daughter his “Kick it Out” t-shirt.

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24 Responses to “The Ravel and Jack Show – Leicester Match Reflections”

  • Jaffa says:

    I don’t like playing with two wide men and I thought we were out done in midfield but let’s give some credit to the manager and the team today it was much better

    • fingles says:

      I don’t like two widemen either. We just get over run in midfield, and with any opposition who have runners from deep, wev struggle.

      4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 is best for us and what most teams play now.

      Yesterday Burke and Lovenkrands were pretty ineffective.Only when Elliottcame on did we start to look more secure. Also would like to see Redmond given a run at Right wing.

  • suenoble says:

    come on, credit where its due, they were far better today, so lets build, morrison, butland, murphy, davies, all looking better, promising,

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Better yes , but I agree Butland MOTM ,which sort of puts everything in proportion .

    More battling than Brilliant…

  • RUPERT says:

    Big WELL DONE to Lee Clark today! We were so much better against arguably the best team in the league.

  • andy says:

    Butland was top drawer today with a couple of outstanding saves. For me, he has been Blues’ best player over the past three home games and on current form the big fish will be sniffing around come January. Lets hope we have new ownership by then and securing our best young talent on decent contracts.

  • tony says:

    Against better teams you have to be in their faces and deny them time on the ball ,we never did that at all.I thought we gave the ball away in the first half as much as we did against huddersfield.It took 38 minutes to make their keeper make a save…It was a good result under these circumstances but it was a good performance but it was better than the last 2 home games and hopefully something to build on.

  • theguvna says:

    I have been very critical of the team this season under LC, but credit where credit’s due, we gave it a go today. We were more ambitious today and with Ravel and Nathan in the side, we seemed to have more craft.

    We faded a little in the second half, as some of the players appeared to tire, but that was the first game this season that I actually enjoyed, aprt from the disappointment of the late equaliser.

    I do feel that we will benefit from Spector’s suspension, as he was truly awful again. He looked slow and ponderous, kept getting caught on the ball, and constantly misplacing passes. If we’d had Fahey on from the start, I think we would have had more control in midfield.

    Young Hurst struggled today, although I seem to recall him laying on a fine pass in the lead up to our goal.

    Jack was imperious today in goal. He looks to be ironing out those early season errors and is looking top class. He was very unlucky with the goal. Off both posts and on another day, it would have stayed out. A great save at the death to earn us a point.

    To be honest, Leicester, although the kept the ball quite well, were no great shakes. In fact, I haven’t seen a great side this season. If we’d played as well this season as we did last season,I’m sure we’d be top now.

    I do have to say that I thought that Leicester’s right back looked a superb player and kept probing time and time again.

  • Art Watson says:

    Being happy with a home point reflects the current demise of the club.

    The clubs position in the league says it all.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Agree with all the comments on Morrison, JB and Curtis. I thought we looked more solid in midfield once Fahey came on. There goal was unfortunate after Lita got caught in possesion and their player who netted did my head in running towards the tilton holding his ears. Would have been a brave man do that some years ago.

    All in all much better, still have my concerns over Kings recent performances and also though Nathan was a bit erratic.

    Anyone else training it to Millwall? Then the big one at Leeds so a couple of good days out there. If we bring 3 points home from those 2 I’ll be more than happy.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I didn’t go today but from what I’ve read today’s performance sounded encouraging.

    Looking forward to Millwall and Leeds and I’m hoping LC plays an attacking formation at the Den with both King and Lita starting. That is a game we can realistically get three points from and I will be disappointed if its not all out attack, I agree with the comment above regarding Spector, pleasing that Fahey will start in his place.

  • jrff says:

    the team loked fitter .you cannot close a man down if you are 6ft away from him without the energy to get to him..hopefully lee clark has saw how unfit compared to other teams they are/were and done something about it

  • tony says:

    I’m reading some of these comments and thinking did people actually go to the game.It’s easy to be pleased after the last couple oh home performances but get real.
    Hurst was awful and lucky not to be sent off.
    The midfield gave the ball away to often
    ,morisson was the best there but faded complety in the 2nd half and spector was dreadful
    Redmond never quite looks up to playing 90 minutes for me,
    Burke was anonimous again and never got in the game.
    Butland came for everything and pulled off some good saves and looked the only class player on the pitch for us and finally looked the finished article and deserved mom in my opinion.
    All in all we poor against a team that i thought weren’t the best team weve plat against this season but the result overshadowed this to some degree.

  • jeff says:

    make the last one from jeff..;-)

  • jeff says:

    opps ,my post hasn,t made it..anyway i think the team lookes fitter/sharper y,day.i.m.o we have lookes very sluggish fittness wise compared to other teams

  • Carl says:

    Murphy deserves a mention. For me, MOTM was between Morrison and him. Murphy did his job very well, up to speed despite not playing much recently, and also mopped up in the middle when Davies didn’t.

    A bit harsh on the team to say we’d have got thumped if it wasn’t for Butland: we may as well say Leic’ would have got thumped if we’d tucked away our 2nd half chances, of which there were a few decent ones.

    Most importantly, we didn’t look a soft touch for the first time in weeks. We actually competed in this game and threw bodies in front of goal bound shots – you don’t concede 5 when you play like that.

    Promising without being fluent.

  • sheldonman says:

    A better performance and LC nearly picked the right team. I do have my doubts about Spectre though -can’t pass, can’t tackle and little pace, hardly a midfield enforcer – rather have Gomis. The 3 players you highlighted had a good game, but Redmond was a bit quiet, or was he just kanckered?

  • clubclassblue says:

    To me it looks as though we are getting to play like a team again but still have a way to go. Its a great pity that we are going to have to make changes to the starting line-up again on Tuesday, we could really do with getting a settled side together and have a run of games with some consistency.
    Most entertaining game so far this season (ok, not much to compare with so far) so the signs point to a move in the right direction on the pitch. Perhaps if things start to happen at board level we may have something to look forward to at the important end of the season.

  • FoghornGleghorn says:

    Hello. Enjoyed the game. First one i have this season (not difficult, i guess). Thought the team did well, showed a level of improvement……However….Spector Spector Spector!! OMG. How on earth does he get a game? Plus, he gets paid handsomely(compared to the real world) for doing what, exactly?

    Yet a manager, who plied his trade as a centre midfielder, and a useful one at that, picks him for every game. He is probably our first choice in there! That’s on the basis of LC’s teamsheets this season….

    He cannot pass, tackle, dominate or is an influence in any way and my question to LC is; why? Why do you pick him? Fahey is better. Clearly better. Mullins is better, contentious maybe, but i am offering my opinion. Elliott is better. Ambrose is better. Catch my drift? So please LC…have him as back up right back or left back…..and back up at best!!!

    However, his Missus is beautiful! Off the field, excellent work Jonathan!

  • Paulo says:

    Agree 100% that Butland should have got MOTM ..full stop. In my opinion, Morrison did what we all knew he could do, and he did play hard and he was good to watch. For ages we’ve been screaming that LC should have played him and just accept that he is like a timebomb ..we’ve had numerous players like that and they all fitted in. Good to see Murphy and Davies connecting between JB and midfield and I admit Leicester have way more possesion which meant we were so exposed at times and they were the better team. But we were up for it and it did feel like a good atmosphere was starting to show around the stadium. The ref however, decided to be an idiot and handed Leicester the momentum, his decsions were crazy, and although blues did do a few ‘nail biting’ tackles, it did seem like we got away with a few things ourselves. However, I dont think that can justify the ludicrous decision to send off Spector for a run-of-the-mill challenge, let alone him giving them a goal kick after Lovenkrands went down.
    Personally, I thought it was a good match (compared to what we have seen this season) although it was reminiscent of us surviving on the strength of the goalie.
    I still think behind the scenes is a big problem, and training, tactical advice and not bringing in players for ‘vacant’ positions is hurting us. As for McDermott and Fazerkerley …thay have no prescence on a matchday, they might as well be stewards. CH gave us that extra 25% to get everything out the players individually and give us that belief we can do it, and come back from being 2-0 down ..and many times we did just that.
    If we are 2-0 down now, under LC, I just can’t see that happening. The body language of most just says ..I’m shattered, I can’t do anymore and it’s impossible ..and that includes LC.

  • Downpour says:

    Don’t knock Terry Mac, he makes a great cuppa!!

  • Jason says:

    overall a point wasn’t that bad a rteurn considering recent results and performances.

    on the plus side Davies was back to the form of last season, Murphy was solid and Morrison a breath of fresh air.

    Whether it’s a good thing that Butland is starting to show why he’s so highly rated i’m not sure. A few more performances like the Leicester game and come January we’ll struggle to keep hold of him.

    A major worry must be Burke who unless an attacking RB is backing him up he looks completely lost. The sooner Caddis is back fit and playing the better.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    I think Elliott should have done better in tracking back the player for their goal – he ambled back and left Murphy and others exposed and Murphy always struggles when players run at him. All in all, a better performance albeit not a great performance.

    Although I don’t like to to say this, we have to learn how to win fouls. One of the differences between the two attacks was that Marlon was mauled by both their CH’s but refuses to go down, whereas their forwards went to ground very easily and kept winning kicks. I don’t approve of players diving, but when you have a ref who will only give fouls when players go down we have to learn to ‘do a Ridgewell’.

    The decision by the Ref to allow the Lino to over-rule him was baffing and compounded by the fact he then showboated and threw the ball to their Goalie and allowed them to take the kick whilst we were not ready having pushed players forward for the anticipated free-kick.

    Butland clear MoM – i would expect to see Pappa replace Spector [i did wonder if “Spectre” is perhaps more apt after a poor display] at Millwall.

    David Nugent got Spector dismissed – it was appalling how he ran 20 yards to tell the Ref what to do; worse still that he appeared to get his way as the Ref didn’t initially go to his pocket.


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