Blackburn Rovers v Birmingham City
21st November 2004 at 16:05
Ok, let’s stop hiding from the issues. They aren’t going to go away and they are better out in the open even if it’s just for the purposes of discussion. We are a poor side so far this season. There is something wrong with the team, the tactics and/ or the commitment. I acknowledge that it is early in the season and we need to give new players time to gel etc etc etc blah blah blah. The blatant truth is that we are not a pretty side to watch and entertainment is not high on the list of priorities. And to think that the longer the season goes on and the more desperate we become the more the emphasis will be on grinding out draws and sneaking wins. Yes folks this is about as entertaining as it is going to get!
In our Premiership infancy we accepted this as we battled and scrapped for every point to ensure survival. Each season though we have improved and Bruce has made some super signings to take the club on to the next level of Premiership existence. Patience is a virtue.
I am not going to knock a single player. They play to the best of their ability, I hope, and to the plan outlined in training and on match days. We were lucky against Liverpool, for most of the match we defended manically and versus Everton it was a case that neither side deserved to win.
Brucie claims that we need a bit of luck and that the rub of the green is against us? How many supporters agree with that? Is it simply a case of luck? The great Bobby Charlton once said that he didn’t mind if one of his shots hit the back of the stand because he knew that meant he was one opportunity closer to scoring, based upon his shots to goals ratio. Last season the lack of chances was acceptable purely because the Mighty Finn Forssell had the quality to convert enough to win points for us. Bruce claimed that playing for Birmingham had improved Forssell as a striker as he had to learn to be more clinical as so few chances came his way. To last season’s squad we added a target man and two wingers, all to help the Albino Assassin shoot his way to immortality.
In true Birmingham City style though the saviour proved to be human after all and the other players now tend to drift around like they are looking for a lost pet, slowly getting more morose the longer the futile search continues.
Time to revert to Plan B.
Picture the scene. Wast Hills. Brucie and Black chatting with their hands covering their mouths.
Black: The Force has gone back to Chelsea boss. What are we going to do about scoring goals?
Bruce: No problem. Go and get Morrison, he’s always strutting around claiming he’s a thirty goal a season player.
Black: Injured boss, playing for Ireland.
Bruce: Ireland? Who does he think he is? Paul McGrath? Where’s Yorkie?
Black: Said he’d gone clubbing.
Bruce: Seals? Go and get Stern.
Black: We’ve sent him to Coventry.
Bruce: Why? What did he do?
Black: Coventry City
Bruce: Damn. Ok you’ve backed me into a corner. Get the Argie Fig Roll.
Bruce: The Horse?
Black shakes his head.
Black: He’s got homework to do.
Bruce: So what’s the answer?
Black: Michael Owen?
Bruce: If you can’t be serious you can go and coach Wales with Bowen.
They wander off into the distance with Bruce mumbling names and Black shaking his head at each one.
No one disputes that Bruce and every other Tom, Dick and Harry can see the problem. They all watch the same game that we do. No one can disagree that given the right player our most respected Chairman will produce the club cheque book and save our season. The painful part is the waiting and the turmoil of watching the other players act like they are in some school play rehearsal, shuffling around pretending to be interested.
Dullard fan watch part 2: I should emphasise that each week this will be based upon the same fan, Tilton Block 13! Blues v Everton, Blues kick off and Savage plays the ball out to the left wing. Gray stumbles down the line and is brought down for a free kick. Our dead ball maestro (his words, not mine) Savage whips a cross from the far touchline into the crowded goalmouth and the ball is headed wide. Cue the Neanderthal fan who stands up and shouts at the top of his voice ‘For f**** sake Savage that’s c***. You’ve gotta hit the target from there!’ Have our standards risen so high that we expect an average midfielder, just about a Welsh international, to trouble the goalkeeper with a free kick from 40 yards out in the first fifteen seconds of the match?
So to Blackburn. Those of you fortunate (ahem!) to have Sky Sports can listen to the gentle soothing tones of yours truly as I gently whisper an hour and a half of beautifully eloquent commentary on Sky Sports’ Fanzone.
My predictions are wildly inaccurate but undaunted I will try and confuse fate yet again, I think an exciting 0-0 draw is about to occur and some Irish peasant will win X Factor.
Keep Right On.