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Well, they never said that it would be easy…

Well, they never said that it would be easy…
Jerome going close after a few minutes and we looked set to continue from our good performance away at Bristol City and we looked nailed on favourites to win the game. If only Jerome had put away one of
the two chances he had in the first half.

In the end it was a sucker punch which resulted in Blackpool taking the lead after terrible defending. First time round, Kelly managed to bail out the defence by making a last ditch challenge, but the second time, Kelly wasn`t there to save the day. The gap between the central defenders was so great that the proverbial double decker bus could be driven through it.

The game always gave a sense that Blues would get close, but not close enough. We had half decent openings but never got going properly. In the first half, when the ball was put into Jerome, the ball never stuck with him, as loose touches let the defence take the ball away, and this meant that we didn`t manage to attack as much and as often as we would`ve liked to.

After half an hour McLeish did try to change things by switching from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2, with Agustien and McSheffrey filling in on the wings, but this made no real difference. Blackpool did a tremendous job and managed to overcome this change in formation with relative ease as they continued to frustrate us and play good football themselves.

While in the first half Carsley and Murphy shone in particular for me, Jerome and McSheffrey struggled. Jerome could not be faulted for effort through the first half but the final touch never came, and McSheffrey…Too often he drifted inside and at times he ran around like a headless chicken.

Half time came and went and we saw McSheffrey replaced by Bent (a surprise to me as I expected Quincy to come on), and Blues put Kemy Agustien on the right wing with Larsson and Carsley in the centre.

Then it happened. Poor communication and defending between the members of the Blues back line allowed Taylor-Fletcher to sneak in and place the ball home, but the goal wasn`t without controversy. It appeared to many, including me in the Kop that Taylor-Fletcher used his hand to get the ball under control but the ref "never saw it"…he never does.

After that, Blues toiled as they tried to break down Blackpool, but they were met with a blockade of Blackpool players. Blackpool defended with a dogged determination, and Blues lacked the creative spark. When Quincy came on, he did try his best to get the crowd off their seats but even he could not do enough to help the plight of the team.

Reflecting on the performance, it appears that while 4-5-1 can work in certain situations, it is clear that Blues are at their most dangerous when they were on the counter attack, running at pace against opposition defences. When the opposition half is packed with opposition players, Blues find it hard to find the space to create the opportunities.

Looking at the team, special mention goes to Carsley and Murphy for their first half performances, Maik Taylor for one fantastic save in the first half, Jerome for his work rate, and McFadden for his willingness to create something, even if it wasn`t his best game for Blues. It wasn`t our best performance ever, far far from it in fact. But at least this performance taught McLeish that we can`t play 4-5-1 at home, and if we do, our passing needs to be much slicker and the movement off the ball needs to improve. Hopefully after this game, McLeish will change tack and reinstate Quincy to the starting line up in place of the luckless, poor, McSheffrey.

Now we move on to face Cardiff in what will prove to be a tough game to follow this one. With our next two games being away from home, it`s important that we can try to get at least 4 out of 6 points from the next two to keep in touch with Wolves and to try and pull away from the chasing pack.

Well, they never said that it would be easy…



by Akvbcfc

Writer:Foxxy
Date:Monday September 22 2008
Time: 10:48AM

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