Things went from bad to worse for Steve Cotterill and for Birmingham City yesterday, and the club fell to yet another away defeat without scoring a goal. The atmosphere in the away end turned toxic with chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” coming throughout the second half. Here are my player ratings from the game.
Man of the Match: Kuszczak – 6
You have to feel for Kuszczak at times. God knows what is going through his mind when his defence is crumbling in front of his eyes. So many times yesterday the Blues defence was sliced open as if it wasn’t even there, and thankfully for us Kuszczak made some good saves yesterday to keep it only 2-0. Finally, at the end of the game, he was the only player that held his hands up and apologised to the fans.
Nsue – 4
Nsue didn’t have one of his better games for Blues yesterday, he struggled to cope with Barnsley’s attackers. He was part of a defence that completely crumbled, Barnsley were opening them up throughout the second half and they were able to find space all over the place. It doesn’t help that Emilio Nsue has no real run in the team, he only seems to come back for the odd game if there is an injury. If he is to fill in for Colin whilst he is injured then there needs to be a much higher standard of performances.
Roberts – 3
I’m really struggling to see how Marc Roberts is currently still starting games at Birmingham City after his recent performances. Yet again today, he was dreadful. He should have opened the scoring for Blues after 1 minute of the game but directed his header straight at the Barnsley keeper, and that was about as good as it got for him. He looked weak defensively, his clearances were all over the place, and it just looked like he has no composure on the ball. He really needs to start to improve… and fast.
Dean – 6
It say’s a lot about how a team has performed when one of the only players that has taken the ball and ran at the Barnsley defence is your centre half, and that was Harlee Dean. Fair play to him for actually caring and trying to get Blues going. Defensively I didn’t think he did too badly, although I’m sure he will feel that he could have done better with the first goal – it looked like he could have maybe blocked the cross. I’m certain that he will keep his place in the team for the next game so hopefully he builds on this performance.
Grounds – 6
Once again you know what you will get with Jonathan Grounds, he might not be the best player but he will give it his all. He wasn’t the standout performer yesterday but did what he had to do fairly well. He was definitely one of the better players on the pitch for Blues. Since he has come back into the team under Steve Cotterill he has performed really well.
Davis – 2
I’m honestly running out of ways to describe David Davis’ performances lately – he has quite simply been dreadful. He should be no where near the first team, yet was made captain… His performance yesterday was pretty much summed up when a ball was going out for a Barnsley throw in on the halfway line, Davis attempted to keep it in… and it went straight out for a Barnsley corner. Shocking.
Kieftenbeld – 6
Another of the few players out there yesterday that deserve a little bit of credit. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t have as much of an effect on the game as he has been having is recent weeks but he still produced a gritty performance in the midfield. Watching Kieftenbeld you will soon realise that the one thing you can not fault is his effort, every game he runs himself into the ground – and for that he deserves credit.
Cotterill – 5
A rare start for David Cotterill. The Welsh winger certainly helped to improve the team from set pieces, his free kick in the first minute was perfect and should really have resulted in a goal. David Cotterill often frustrates Blues supporters when he plays, however when he is on the pitch there is no player in the team that creates more chances. This was the exact same yesterday, most of our chances came through Cotterill. In the second half there was one breakaway where Cotterill played a lovely ball through to Jota who should really have done better.
Jota – 4
A game that Jota didn’t really impact at all. When he was on the ball you could see that he was trying to make things happen but it was just one of those days where things didn’t go his way. He looked slightly weak on the ball on a couple of occasions so will have to work to improve this.
Gallagher – 6
I for one felt sorry for Sam Gallagher yesterday. He is currently being asked to play out of position by the manager, despite it being clear for everyone to see that he would be a lot more effective in a front two rather than out wide. Even so, he still gave it his all yesterday and produced some good moments for Blues. In the first half he picked the ball up on the halfway line and ran at Andy Yiadom winning Blues a corner, and it’s glimpses of talent like that which show you that he definitely has something. We just need to make sure that we get the most out of him, and playing him out wide will not do that.
Jutkiewicz – 6
Another who worked tirelessly for Blues up front on his own yesterday. He dropped deep on a couple of occasions to try and increase Blues attacking threat, and this showed with one lovely backheel in the second half which created a chance for Blues. He really needs to receive a lot more service if he is to be played up front on his own; he spent a lot of time yesterday working off long balls which is never going to be productive. There needs to be much better build up play from Blues with crosses going into Jutkiewicz from out wide.
Adams – 5
Should have been brought onto the pitch at half time… infact he should probably have started. He showed a few glimpses but by the time he came on the game was pretty much away from Blues. Very little opportunity to have any real impact on the game.
Blues fans were chanting Jeremie Boga’s name at half time and quite a few times throughout the second half to try and get Steve Cotterill to get Boga onto the pitch. He was finally brought on in the 75th minute, which gives a player very little opportunity of having an impact on the game. When he did receive the ball though he was not scared of running at the Barnsley defence and he caused them a few problems – needs to start the next game in my opinion.
Barnsley Fans – 5
Attendance: 12,946 (1,848 Blues fans)
Considering how well their team player, admittedly against a very poor Blues team, there wasn’t too much noise from the Barnsley fans. 90% of the noise inside Oakwell yesterday was made the Blues fans who were venting their frustrations at the rubbish they were being made to watch on the pitch.