Blues 1 Fulham 0 .. Ron's Report

Last updated : 23 November 2009 By Richard Barker

Indeed, Fulham's visit to St Andrews was one of the least spectacular games that I've ever seen.  Still, they always say (and "they" always know best) that winning when you don't play well is a good sign, and that's certainly what Blues did here.
If ever there was a case for neither team deserving any points, this was it.  After Blues took an early lead through Lee Bowyer, they created literally nothing, whilst Fulham enjoyed plenty of possession and passed the ball beautifully sideways across their midfield, but barely tested Joe Hart either.  It was pretty dismal.  In fact, there's not a great deal to write about.
One person I will write about, however, is Bowyer.  I've said a few times in recent weeks that, to me, he's arguably been Blues' best performer this season.  The likes of Roger Johnson, Stephen Carr and Barry Ferguson (who was poor here) have all had their plaudits, but Bowyer has been absolutely immense.  His energy, both in getting forward and tracking back, has been magnificent - I swear that at Anfield he must have run more than three miles more than anyone else on the field.  Add to that the fact that he seems to be enjoying the same sort of goal-getting form that he enjoyed at Leeds when he was just about the best midfielder in the country, and Blues currently have a real player on their hands.
Bowyer typifies an apparent "new breed" of Blues players.  Again, leaving Anfield last week that Blues have a set of players now that I think fans feel that they can associate with - it's been a while since we've been able to say that.  Suddenly the grit and the determination and the attitude is back - it's verging on the Blues of 2002/03.  The likes of Bowyer, Carr, Johnson, Scott Dann and even Liam Ridgewell (who lacks quality, but possesses an admirable attitude are not dissimilar in their approach to the game to messrs Savage, Cisse, Grainger, Kenna and Horsfield.
Forget the new takeover, as much as anything's going to win the fans back, it's having players out there who you know are giving 100% and are throwing themselves at balls and going into challenges with no intention of losing out.  Blues fans have always appreciated teams like that - it's the nature of the club really.  That's not to say that quality, such as James McFadden's ball for Bowyer's goal, or Bowyer's excellent finish, aren't appreciated, but the attitude is a big thing.
So, in a game when Blues' performance was well, well down on recent standards, the fact that the players did what they did in holding on to the lead and restricting Fulham to so few opportunities themselves, in a way, that's as much to their credit as a stunning 4-0 win would be.
A game that is very much one to forget, but the result won't be forgotten - it's in the record books and the three points have been added to the tally for the season.  And maybe, just maybe, a team is being developed that won't easily be forgotten too.