Often Partisan

Season 2012-2013 Review Part V

The final part of the season review looks at the months of April and May and some of the statistics of the over all season.

April started badly for Blues. The first visitors to St Andrews were Wolves, who like Blues were in the relegation mixer and desperate not only for bragging rights but for points in the Championship as well. Unfortunately for Blues, seventeen minutes of defensive madness in the first half saw Wolves score three times and despite the best efforts of the front line, Blues were not able to restore the score to parity. It wasn’t that Blues didn’t make chances – they did, and fairly frequently but Wes Thomas in particular struggled to convert any of them.

Millwall came next, and probably the most bizarre moment of what was a bizarre season anyway. The Londoners thought they had scored early on, only for the ref, the linesmen and the fourth official to be involved in a four-way imbroglio over the earpieces which saw the ref rule it as a goal, as offside, as a goal again and then finally offside again. Blues again only managed to pick up a point in a drab game that was highlighted once again by the mercurial talent of Ravel Morrison – a point closer to safety but the dreams of the top flight were receding as rapidly as they had come to the fore.

A trip up the M69 saw Blues claim another point at Leicester City – although it has to be said Lee Clark’s men were thankful for some shoddy finishing from the Foxes frontline and David Nugent’s suicidal challenge to give away an injury time penalty.

However two wins in two games by a single goal against Bristol City (which sent the Robins down) and Leeds United ensured Blues would be seeing second tier football for the 2013/14 season finally as the relegation picture finally started to sort itself in full. Blues rounded off their campaign with a defeat to Ipswich Town at Portman Road and a last-day draw against Blackburn Rovers which saw Ravel Morrison round off his season at St Andrews with a goal.

Statistically, it was the poorest finish for Blues since 1995-1996 when they finished 15th in what was then Division One under Barry Fry. However, based on how things looked around the midway point it could have been a lot, lot worse.

However I think perceptions of how bad it was could be coloured by the way people were angry about some of the results. Whilst it’s true Blues were never higher than 10th they only spent four “rounds” of the Championship in the bottom three and spent the last ten games no lower than 14th. To give an even more incredible statistic, Clark’s win/draw/loss statistics are exactly the same as Ian Holloway’s after he took over Crystal Palace – in the 32 games that followed, both men won 11 games, drew 12 and lost nine with their respective clubs. It makes it even more painfully obvious that the poor start Blues had was a massive reason as to what cost them any chance of promotion from the division.

From my perspective, whilst it wasn’t the season I hoped for – I thought we could have a shot at promotion before the season started – with all that went on it ended being about right. It has to be said it wasn’t pleasant suffering as many home defeats as we had – bearing in mind some of the unbeaten runs we’ve had at home in recent years – but I don’t think any manager of Blues has been as successful away as Clark was last season in recent times either – Blues away goalscoring record was the third best in the division (in comparison to the home record which saw them 20th). In a table of purely away results Blues placed 6th (again, in comparison to at home where they were again 20th).

I also have to say that whilst I walked away from some games feeling real anger, I enjoyed quite a few games too and there were spells in games where Blues played football that was really, really good. The consistent inconsistencies in defence killed us though and it’s going to be interested to see how the new season’s extensively remodelled defence compares.

(stats via Statto.com)

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26 Responses to “Season 2012-2013 Review Part V”

  • sutton apex says:

    lee clark has done his apprenticeship now, time to start putting his own team out and producing results. If we can keep morrison, davies and big zig a tilt at the play offs is achievable (i assume in that scenario marlon is going, what a hguge mistake mr pannu/ mr clark )

  • Retired&Weary says:

    A big lesson for us fans was that we don’t really know how good or bad potential signings are until we see them play for us. I’m sure most of us thought Mullins, Ambrose & Lovenkrands were good signings last year. How wrong we were! So when you hear us being linked with a player, please don’t come out with the “wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole” type comments. We have, whether we like it or not, to trust the management team to make the best acquisitions for the budget available.
    Another big lesson was that 442 is not viable unless you’ve got a team of top class players. 433/451 is the way to go in my opinion, made up of young & old hungry players.
    Of course the biggest thing we need is new ownership with access to reasonable levels of investment.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    I think the series of Reviews of the season has highlighted the inconsistencies of the team; to a certain extent that may have been created by the relative youthfulness of the team, but it cannot be entirely to do with that. I think Elsie struggled to sort out his best team early on [not helped by injuries] and this contributed to the demise in some games and perhaps did him no good in terms of the players belief in him? I wonder also if he was deterred from playing his preferred formation at home, knowing the fans tendency to tell the manager what to do!! Was it inexperience, or just poor judgement? The poor atmosphere at home, a horrible combination of anxiety and apathy cannot have helped anyone and yet he’s never had a go at the fans.
    I have not been Elsie’s biggest fan in terms of his team selections (and I thought he handled the Zigic thing badly) and choice of tactics/formations. However, his passion for the game and, importantly, for the Club are great qualities and I think he deserves the fans giving him a bit of a chance next season; let’s judge him after 10 games and give him our full backing in the meantime.
    Finally, is the King situation Clark’s fault? I do not know if he has initiated it, or if the financial situation has made it necessary? If it is his call, I do not know whether that is because Marlon is disruptive; if he is, then it is a brave, but correct decision. If not, I’d be mystified.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Only one thing I would disagree on, is that you only give the guy a 10 game time frame? That would probably cover about 5 weeks. He’d have to be superhuman to have a “new” team gelled and playing consistent football by then. Jeez, even Hughton took until nearly Xmas (a slight exagerration I know.)

      I have said that I will give Lee Clark until Christmas. If, by then, we are in, or close to the bottom 3, then I’ll accept that maybe it’s time for a change – even then, it depends on circumstances.

  • dave mann says:

    of the subject , but whats all this in the mail about sammy yu and is consortium wanting
    to buy blues, and have apparently already been shown round st andrews.
    dont no weather to scream with joy or anger, and he said that carson or pannu will
    not be involved with the club if they takeover!
    that part is music to my ears.KRO.

  • Blues for life 71 says:

    my say on Marlon King because i can – yes he scores goals but and i am no sad statistician……. how many has he missed ?? does he not hold some record for the most offsides ever ?? how many games did he play last season and he is now 33 surely at that age and undoubtedly a decent size wage we can ill afford he is probably best let go. Thanks for your efforts Marlon if you are here next season all well and good as a Blues player i salute you…. if not thanks for the goals and i wish you well. Youth is going to be the way forward whether we like it or not so lets keep fingers crossed for the right lads etc … and for the record my season ticket has been renewed KRO one and all.

  • dave mann says:

    here, here blues for life, good shout.KRO.

  • DoctorD says:

    What hurt us this year was that we only once got more than two wins back to back. The team needed to “go on a run” but didn’t ever. Some good results lifted hopes that were then dashed by horrible reversals. It was painful stuff

  • @ The Flying Pig – Think we need to give him more then 10 games, his got another new team practically to bed in and potentially some very raw recruits.

    My take on the difference home vs away form is the feelings and turn outs at our place as supporters we need to look at ourselves a little on that front. Felt we were playing the season with the exact opposite of home advantage!
    Next season we have to do our part to make it a fortress whether its 15000 crowd or more/less and from the whistle not only when the teams playing.

  • TracyKRO says:

    Only one thing got to me last season was how long it took Clark to drop Caldwell and Mullins I thought we were weak in these areas but I did still support them because they were wearing the blues shirt. I agree with Zigic wages been to high, but I rather him play than to sit on the bench like, Ambrose, Lovenkrands ,Fahey did its about 50 odd games per season in championship.

  • david mann says:

    good shout on mullins and caldwell being dropped tracy, they were useless.
    its not zigic fault he gets paid what he does, those wages were premier league
    and carling cup winning days before the carson gate.
    om mightybluenose point, ive enjoyed the away games more for atmospherre
    and support, the home crowd anoy me with there moans and groans, and
    need to get real on the situation were in, drive me scatty sometimes.KRO.

  • TracyKRO says:

    I will be there to support them again this season, just hope we stay up, anything more is a bonus, I will be singin again for the boys in blue as I did last season.

  • Blues for life 71 says:

    Elsie = LC i like it

  • david mann says:

    you keep singing tracy, its very rair i come out of the ground home or away without loosing
    my voice, but woundnt change it for the world.KRIO.

  • Marky mark says:

    Nice review of the season Dan couldn’t really argue with anything you detailed.

    In my opinion LC took a little to long to find his feet, plagued by injuries and a joke of a board, but in the end delivered, all managers should be judged at the end of season and I’d give him 7/10

    As for our home support, I can only hope it returns!!!
    The place used to be a fortress and a joy to visit but sadly our own fans turned it into a cauldron of despair. Still I will be there singing next season just hope I can be heard.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t think the season was the disaster it could have been, with a lesser manager. Even the “mighty” Hughton admitted defeat after one season!

    Our record was W15 D16 L15 F53 A69. A lot of people look at that as us only winning 15 games. I look at it as we only lost 15. We actually didn’t lose 31 games. I think you can see that it was the defence, of whom ‘hero’ Davies was a regular, that let us down badly. Whether 4-4-2 / 4-3-3 / 4-5-1, neither Lee Clark, his backroom staff, nor the board were responsible for the fact that our defenders couldn’t do their jobs properly. Mr Clark is obviously of the same mind, hence the, hopefully, new defence next season. Buying the right players (defenders + defensive midfielder) could mean the difference between mid-table and the Play-offs.

    That’s my twopenn’orth for what it’s worth.

  • David says:

    Announced on blues website that we have signed Blackpool right back Neil Eardley. Good signing imo.

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