Often Partisan

A Lucky Point – Brighton Reflections

Here are my reflections on the Blues v Brighton game at St Andrews

A Lucky Point

It took a goalkeeping mistake of villa-esque proportions to gift Blues a point that they scarcely deserved. I’ve seen that Lee Clark thought we deserved more but I can’t agree – if anything I think he’s lucky that people were either too cold, too bored or too apathetic to sing for his head because for long periods Blues looked dire.

It didn’t even have to be that way. To pick a team without a recognised striker when you’ve only got a non-contract player and a 17-year-old first year scholar available is one thing – to do so when you’ve got £80,000 a week’s worth of talent sat on the bench is unforgivable really. Blues lacked an outlet up top – Redmond and Hall ran about gamely but neither can hold the ball effectively to take pressure off the defence and consequently the ball just kept coming back.

The midfield

I know this won’t be a popular opinion but quite frankly I thought we missed Hayden Mullins today. Callum Reilly chased about but is still just a 19-year-old rookie with all the limitations and nerves that brings and Morgaro Gomis once again looked poor. Brighton went over us, around us and through us and on another day would have racked up a few goals because Blues really were that powderpuff in midfield. Throw into the equation Chris “Can’t tackle, won’t tackle” Burke who admittedly looked okay going forwards but did nothing off the ball and Wade Elliott who drifted so far infield from the left flank so often that the Brighton right-winger developed agoraphobia… well, you get the picture.

Jack Butland

One day, I suspect Butland will be a great keeper. Unfortunately for us it’s not right now – whilst he made a world-class save at the end to deny Brighton snatching victory back his command of the area today was just poor. I feel for the lad – he’s 19 and still developing, still ironing out the kinks in his game and yet he’s caught up in a relegation scrap with a defence in front of him that seem intent on making his life as hard as possible. He’s got a difficult burden on those young shoulders and I don’t think Blues will be offered anywhere near what they want for him because he’s just not quite ready yet.

Zigic

I think it speaks volumes when within 40 seconds of coming on he’s won two flicks and a corner and got us on the front foot attacking wise. He’s not always the most graceful of footballers but he gave the Brighton defence a lot more to think about and gave us an outlet to look for – giving the defence at least a moment to catch their breath after hoofing it fifty yards before having to defend again. Yes, he was lucky to score but on the flip side how many other Blues players got into the position to be lucky? I think that a lot of luck is created by being in the right places and doing the right things and Zigic did that. He’s got a knack for important goals and that might be one of them as it got us another precious point.

All in all, a fairly poor game played in front of a fairly poor crowd with the end being a fairly poor result (taken into context of what we need). What worries me is that Blues fans seem resigned to the Blues not winning again – and thus instead of anger they’re just being apathetic (or worse not even attending) and that without the resignation of Clark or the Board Blues may well end up feeling resigned to relegation. It’s no longer about good performances, or “that little bit of luck” – Blues need to win games. Pure and simple.

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55 Responses to “A Lucky Point – Brighton Reflections”

  • fozzylou says:

    clark = reelegation

    it’s not just starting with no striker today it’s about blues having no style of play. we are a team of individuals who have no idea how to control a game. the passing and movement is plain shocking never mind the lack of movement at throw ins.

    This issue lands fairy and squarely at the feet of clark, the chuckle brothers and the other none entities clark has surrounded himself with.

    Without any type of structure you only win games at under 11 level which is where all the above mentioned should be plying their trade.

    I will always go and watch Blues no matter how bad it gets but watching incompetent bafoons drag the club down is plain heart breaking and by that i mean the owners and clark’s management team.

    clark maybe a grafter but without talent what are you left with other than a labourer.

  • Woodlands says:

    I wish I could disagree but I cant. I didnt want to be there – I went without hope, particularly after I saw the starting XL. Does Clark really think Redmond and Hall are strikers? And as for his interview screened before the match – he closes his eyes, bows his head and mumbles….. he looks like a man devoid of enthusiasm and ideas – what a way to gee up the fans – cannot imagine what the players feel. What a difference when Zig came on and why does he wait till the fans chant for King before bringing him on – his cross for the equaliser was class. A point, but we need wins. Burnley could be very dispiriting next Saturday.

    • chris says:

      agree, i feel the players pick up on his rhetoric and lack of tactical ideas and they resemble Clark on the pitch.

  • Murph says:

    Fed up of saying it !!!! He chose king in one game in 3 now , one striker !!! I tx my bro and told him on way to the game no strikers spec zigics on bench , you know what he said ? He’s not playing cos he’s not match fit !!! My bro is brain washed too !!!!! Fed up with it n hope aliens come n take Clarke home , kro et

  • Chris Smith says:

    Personally I’d have had Ziggy and Redmond up front from the start, subbing with Lovenkrands and king for Redmond and Hall. The team were half and half today, they played as well as Brighton in many respects. Likewise I think your reflection is as accurate as a centre backs striking ability.

    Agreed that the lack of proper forwards probably cost blues goals, but redmond and Hall stick with and panic the Brighton back four more than Lovenkrands and King. I assume the lads are supposed to get the ball worked up the pitch and disrupt the defenders for the midfielder to score goals. That would make sense, though it isn’t happening.

  • Dan Brazier says:

    It’s actually such a shame that after all of the rallying crys from the board, the manager & the players for unity from the fans it’s taking inept performances and poor managing decisions & team selections to give everyone the unity amongst fans they was looking for, the majority of us on here have been @ St. Andrews during a relegation season (all be it from the prem to the champ) and I’d be interested to see how many of you think or feel that this season feels like one of those seasons did???
    I hate to say it but for me it does feel like one of those seasons, as mentioned above there’s already an air of depression, disillusion and disgust sweeping through St Andrews & I fear it’ll only continue if things aren’t changed @ either management or board level room soon.
    I think out of all this the one constant positive in the performance and play of Paul Robinson, whilst I was concerned about us taking on such a player I took my usual stance of backing anyone in a Blues shirt and I am mighty glad I have as he’s offering everything I want to see from a player in a Blues shirt, he’s committed, professional and a beast in the tackle, I only hope we do have @ least some financial room to keep him on once his current deal ends as he has been more than a worthy cover for the injured Murphy

  • Tilton10 says:

    Clark would not get away with that team selection on a sunday morning! Seeing three experienced strikers warming up together without a single striker on the pitch deserves nothing more than the sack! No excuses no more bull shit from fans backing him!! No strikers on the pitch! Four games in a row thats four games no wins! How does it work then? Somebody please tell me! Do the maths no wins = relegation! CLARK RESIGN YOU CLOWN!

  • Murph says:

    Yes chris , agreed give our 50 k a week striker a half and swop things and let them worry about us to start with , why is he paid so much in the first place ? Cos he’s rubbish? No cos he is a decent striker who isn’t played and can’t understand why we wouldn’t play king and him from the off then think of changing if its not working , listen to this , fergie buys van Persie n leaves him on bench !!! Mr Clark do one and go get Atkins , someone who knows football and least all knows a striker !! Lambert etc

    • Chris Smith says:

      [b]50K a week for 6 goals.[/b] King has 13. Redmond and Hall are faster.

      To be fair, I said I can understand playing hall and redmond up front. I’d prefer to see Redmond and Lovenkrands or Hall and Ziggy (leaves either Hall or LK free for the left wing).

    • chris says:

      need to play to zigic’s strength’s which were exampled in that west ham semi

  • Bluehobba says:

    Yes pretty good summary. As made in Brum posted on twitter LC should live and die by results but we’re not in that situation. There were people on here saying give him a chance, give him 10 games etc and I have never called for his head. He has had horrid performances, horrid injuries and hardly any money since pre season to spend but it’s wearing thin now. However 3 strikers on the bench and to try to bolster the midfield at home to me seems like a “don’t lose at all costs situation” so in hind sight he got a result. I just feel he doesn’t help his cause any more and I’m struggling to back the manager now. I totally understand he picks the team but when at home what makes you go with 11 without a recognised striker. Okay fitness may come into it but would have rather started with Zigic, give him 45 and if he was fading swap him for King. Its time to go back to common sense and basics. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow….when I have had time to reflect. PS best days are away from home as I don’t expect us to win, roll on Burnley and Charlton.

  • Johnners says:

    The goalkeeper is a key part of the defence and I am glad this post speaks the unspeakable that Jack Butland may be a great shot-stopper but his ability to command the box and marshal the defenders in front of him reflects the harsh fact that he is a 19 year old rookie. Our problem this season has been shipping goals, lots of them – can Butland escape some responsibility for this despite other wonder saves? It won’t be a popular thing to say but if we can get a few million for him and give Doyle a run inbetween the sticks then it will be really interesting to watch how that affects our goals against column. I agree we were lucky today but we were unlucky against both Huddersfield and Cardiff (Butland?) so that is fine by me. It keeps us five points clear of danger and that’s what matters for now.

  • Sirharry1875 says:

    I try to defend Clark, I really do but starting without a recognised forward whilst having 3 on the bench is just wrong. Its up there with Burke in midfield and Gomis on the left at Coventry! With the right team selection we would have won that game with ease.

  • givenupblue says:

    The reaction and gestures of King and Zigic said it all after the goal. The Manager is a clown at best not playing a recognised striker. We had a chance to dump him off to Blackpool but it shows the board don’t care about the future. This is relegation if he stays in charge………….FACT

  • Trevor Francis Tracksuit says:

    I am honestly astounded. I’ve kept quiet/supported the team and even Clark when all evidence suggests I shouldn’t, but I really think this is the worst decision he’s ever made: Christmas is over, there is no fixture congestion; we’re close to relegation, and yet our expensive, goalscoring or quality options are left on the bench? There’s tactics, and there’s idiocy, and I cannot understand Clark’s tactics at all.

  • theguvna says:

    I wondered if Zigic gets a bonus if he sfarts a game? Given the contract he appears to be on, any appearance bonus for starting a game is likely to be substantial.
    We are in dire financial straights, so nothing would surprise me.
    Gomis was dire, should have never have started after his abysmal performance against Leeds.

  • Murph says:

    Hear hear tf !!!! Why pay a player 50 k a week in the championship n leave him on the bench ??? Clark your a idiot you couldn’t get Huddersfield up but the new guy did in months , please leave us as think you believe your manager ing in premiership !! Tactics etc , 3 of the best on the bench n you don’t play one from the start ???? Please explain if they are not match fit injured etc ??,

  • Giblets says:

    If king and ziggy were both fully match fit and he decided not start with at least one of em , then I got no idea what Clark is upto – for his own good i hope he will come out and explain why he chose to play 2 wingers upfront

  • Blue Steve says:

    Have to agree about the lack of a recognised striker up front today. They may not be match fit but at home it seems to me that we should always go with King and Ziggy as long as they are available. Now Burke has run into some better form I can understand his inclusion so why not play Hall on the left? He’s left footed and we have 2 big lads up front!! As for the centre Gomis is not a long term answer and whilst Mullins is not the best I would’ve had him in today. I now look at the Bristol City, Peterborough and Barnsley results after every game. Maybe there poor form can save us. Not sure we can do it ourselves. KRO.

  • macca salop blue says:

    Agree with most comments made, everything about today had a sense of “resignation” to it. The poor crowd, the poor atmosphere, the poor performance of the team, poor weather, can’t remember the place feeling so depressed for such a long time (ok maybe Tuesday v Leeds) can’t see any style, craft, approach to the game being applied, seems like they’re a bunch of strangers just thrown together and are basically hoping for the best, seems to be par for the course now, the rot has well and truly set in. Such a mismatch and yes well and truly baffled why King & Zigic we’re on the bench. Interesting to see how many shots we had today especially 2nd half, can’t remember Kusczak having a save to make apart from last minute blunder … must have either been Zigic putting spin on the ball with his header or his gloves were frozen! Want to be positive, but how can you after that, Brighton weren’t much better, maybe we dragged them down to our level!

  • kopite says:

    So to summarise all of the above “we’re shit andwe know we are”

  • Bluehobba says:

    We have two problems now that need to be addressed….. ownership and management. If I don’t perform in my role at work I am scrutinised so Peter Pannu stand up and be counted. I have narrowed it down for you and you only have two issues to sort. Please show your worth!

  • garyblues says:

    the biggest problem is clarke, i,ve been to as many games as i could afford this season and deeply resent watching a inept manager ruin a half decent team then blather on about “character”, i go to a match to enjoy a decent game from a team i have supported for 30 years, not the crap clarke serves up.

  • Tony says:

    Does anyone still support Clark?

  • Sirharry1875 says:

    Full credit to all diehards who turned up today. We have no direction, we have no leadership, we have no money, we have nothing to look forward to, we are watching the club we love die slowly but at least we were there.

    Hold your heads up high, this is Birmingham City, it’s never been easy, it never will be but at least we didn’t turn our backs on our club.

    To those who went to Wembley two years ago but can’t be bothered now, your Club is on it’s knees. Only it’s not yours anymore, you stopped caring. It belongs to us, the Loyal. And I couldn’t give a sh!t if I never see you again.

    For the Boys in Royal Blue.

  • Tony says:

    even his facial gestures annoy me, hes a buffoon, clueless idiot, inept as the day is long, he must be working for our opposition.

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    Sorry folks, Clark ain’t going anywhere. Pannu wouldn’t even take an off your hands for nothing offer from Blackpool unless they paid up. And who else that you want is going to work with the current board and financial set up?? KRO and keep the faith

    • John says:

      Quite right bluenosejohn,he aint going nowhere, because Blues won’t sack him cos Pannu has stated, he is not interested what the fans think. Also it will cost money to sack him. Clark has not helped himself by having McDermot and Fazackerly with him (the 3 stooges) who are quite clearly not interested. Has anyone seen either of them get out out of the dugout during a game. Only the fans can help the players now,so we have to get behing them all we can. It seems possible to me that Pannu would gladly see us relegated,mainly to spite the fans ! KRO

  • Tony says:

    Carry on saying that Sir Harry when were in conference, its gone beyond Clark being useless hes become a danger maybe a danger to himself

  • Blues1875 says:

    What can we do as fans who have to witness the inept decisions week after week we all know what will happen if we are relegated LC will leave the club along with tweedle dee and tweedle dum and the fans are left with league 1 football with LC moving to another club gaining plaudits for the great job he did at Blues under the circumstances from so called experts (ex football players & managers)
    Zigic or King are not the best we’ve seen at the blues over the years but lets be honest it may well be these guys who keep us in the championship (not holding my breath though)
    Fingers crossed LC may well actually look at the players he has and suddenly realise you should use the letters at the end of their names as a hint GK = goalkeeper LB = left back
    and S = striker the clues are there please look LC

  • andy says:

    I would imagine Poyet was telling his team at half time not to get carried away as Blues had more quality on the bench than out on the pitch! Lee Clark was asking for criticism leaving 3 strikers on the bench and in particular Zigic who should be out there earning his huge salary. Im not quite sure what on earth is going on, the whole place seems in complete disarray.

  • Sirharry1875 says:

    When we are in the conference I’ll be there. It’s not about the manager, he’ll be gone in a few weeks. It’s about a Club thats dying.

    • Bluemaximus says:

      If you went to a shyte gig, would you go again. If you get poor value for money in Sainsburys, would you shop there? If you got a quote from a family member, who happens to be a builder, quoting a scandalous amount of money, but you know his work was poor, would you still pay it due to family loyalty? Tell me, what is the difference between loyalty and plain stupidity because your posts are clouding my own judgement. The facts are the only people turning up are season ticket holders, and I know a good few of them are only persevering due to the little fact that it was paid for months ago. The club dont care about us, weve had all our pants pulled down for years. If they cared, theyd listen. Clark is inept. Pannu taking taking taking, and the players play where they can get the most money. The game has gone. The Club has gone. If we were to do a Wimbledon or FC Manchester you could gain back or even take back a club that is rightfully our ours. Money, Sky, and businessmen have taken our club, our game, our feelings. I applaud the optimism of some. But please, dont keep asking where the fans are, because I for one have had enough of being raped by a club I loved, still loved, and probably always will. Unfortunately, a relationship needs there partner to love them back.

  • Tony says:

    Sir Harry I applaud your loyalty but I can go Back to Merrick, Astall ,Kinsey, Brown ,Murphy Govan.
    not to mention Kenny Burns, Trevor, Latchford brothers.
    This side is no where near that lot but they Are no where near as bad as Clark makes them look

  • Pete says:

    When you play with no forwards at home you are asking for trouble.
    If you keep 3 senior forwards on the bench at the same time you are looking for trouble.
    When your team has not kept a clean sheet for 14 games you are almost guaranteeing defeat.
    Is he some kind of masochist?

    LC obviously hasn’t got a relegation clause in his contract

  • nuneatim says:

    Pleased in the end with a point today but like everyone else my patience has finally run out with Clarke today. I don’t shell out for a season ticket and make a 120 mile round trip and expect to see 3 fit strikers on the bench whilst he plays 2 wingers up front at home when we so desperately need 3 points. A change of ownership and a new manager can’t come soon enough.
    KRO

  • Tony says:

    Well IV Not touched a whiskey in 3 years. but tonight maybe, I just hope Clark reads these posts tonight, and realizes what people are feeling about him, I just cant believe he is so thick skinned.

  • DoctorD says:

    Probably Clark feels a loyalty to his younger players because he knows they will be the real crux of the team next year once those whose contracts run out in the summer have gone. So if I am feeling kind, that can be the only reason he left his strikers on the bench. Still doesn’t condone him playing people out of position though.

  • daddybluenose79 says:

    get adkins now!!!!!!!!!!

  • DoctorD says:

    By the way, can someone come up with a witty caption for the photo of Terry McMuppet and Lee Clark in this link from the Leeds game. I can’t see what’s so funny.

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/birmingham-city-1-leeds-united-1210859

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Clark is a symptom of the how far this club has fallen over the past two years.
    all being equal he wouldn’t have been anywhere near the honour of being the manager of BCFC

    Sadly he is because of the total lack of decent governance of this great club.

    Until we are rid of CY PP LC & all their cronies the club will continue to spiral downwards in ever decreasing circles..

  • Aussieblue says:

    Not defending the weird starting line against Brighton but, with 18 games to go, no resources other than existing ones and a 5 point cushion against the drop zone; maybe Clark is preserving forwards so they last the season. One more injury to the big Serb or King and we’re rooted. I’m not saying its the best management strategy but maybe it is at least a strategy to stay up – just. Then we can play the Vile next season!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Folks, we are all entitled to express our huge displeasure at the situation we find ourselves in and vent our spleens at the incompetence levels throughout the club, but things are going to have to follow due process before anything gets resolved and that spells a very rocky ride for us all. LC isnt going anywhere, no one will buy the club this season and it is beginning to look like we are not going to be able to fund the “black hole” with significant sales. In the meantime, all we can do is keep right on to the end of the road. That means support the team to the last game of the season and pray that at the end of this road the Phoenix rises from the Ashes! KRO..

  • Daddybluenose says:

    Well it’s official Clarks lineup works and can score goals….amateur setting fifa13 blues vs shamrock rovers. Other than that I can only think wtf!!!!!

  • Louise says:

    There is just no defending Clark anymore, he’s ran out of excuses. He needs to put his hands up and admit he took on a job that’s just too big for him, then resign.
    Keep him and we’ll be league one next season.

    Times running out, we need to get someone in before its too late.

  • Mortonsblue says:

    I am now convinced that Lee Clark is clinically insane and living in some parallel universe where they play football without the need for strikers! In 50 years of following Blues home and away he is by far the worst manager I have ever seen in charge of my club.

  • bluenose1949 says:

    If you do your job at work so poorly,you get a weeks wages and the sack. Why is is so different for football managers that they can do a job so poorly that to sack them cost so much money to be paid to them.Where is the fairness?

  • Paulo says:

    I’ve said it in the early parts of this season, I’ve said it before Pannu’s last bombshell (and through some of previous ones), I’ve said it when others kept on saying ‘give him a chance’, I’ve said it when I’m sat there at St Andrews watching something that resembles a non-starter, and I’ve said it when I’m listening to the away games..
    LC and his choice of backroom staff (Terry Mac & Fazerkerley) never were and are not what we need to succeed.
    That is not saying I want Clark out, it is saying Clark has surrounded himself with no-one from the outside world who can see what is going on. Clark should of been a number two and learned from mistakes made by others, because he cant see how to rectify his mistakes the way things are at blues (and at Hudds ..same backrom staff I am led to believe).
    It is always a fight for a draw and it’s always too late when he subs. The players just seem so frustrated and the body language is obvious, in that they know they can do better, but they are being held back in some way. I know we have a limited team, finances are shocking, a head honcho that is now more ridiculed and scrutinised than our owner, ..and an impending trial against our owner to boot. I know we have a massive section of the fanbase that is targeting LC, and to be honest, the negativity from this large section may have done some damage in key peoples confidence already.
    ..but we could get together and make our voice heard. I think it’s up to us now to get behind the team, as support for them from above has all but dissapeared. Now ..it’s about back’s to the wall, unbelievable pressure and survival.
    We do have a good team. They have just been let down and so have we.

  • danny in devon says:

    Fact is Guys the club is so broke that they can not afford to sack Clark so stop moaning and support the boys in blue they need us sing’ keep right on to the end of the road’ shout and make the players hear you if we dont we are doomed the manager is no good but we do have some decent players out there give them your support verbally LOUD.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I can’t see us getting the money from player sales to keep us going. Perhaps the likes of king are being protected from injury by not being played in view of a sale. Administration looms and almost certain relegation. Hopefully this will mean we can be bought out by someone competent.

    • Pete says:

      I agree with every single comment about Clark- and whilst the situation does not help he has the same players in Davies and Caldwell who were rocks last year and Burke who was absolute class. Least said about Fahey the better. But what I cannot acceot are the comments about certain relegation. We are 5 points in front of the drop zone. There are several teams above us within a couple of points. We need to support the team. If they have no manager, no organisation then these same players (in the main) who were so superb last season need some support. We have the luckiest manager in football, who we cannot afford to sack, but we do have a front line of King and Zigic, we have a player in Chris Burke who can be class, Fahey to come back, and 2 centre halves and a right back as good as any in the division. We need to sort out things and support the team- because there is no reason why we should not stay up.


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