Six games into the Championship season and the stats don’t make pretty reading for Birmingham City. 75 shots, 4 draws, 4 goals, 1 two goal lead thrown away and a 93rd minute equaliser form a garbled and not entirely fair picture of the season so far.
Despite the small size of the squad and lack of transfer activity, the performances have been dogged and for the most part, encouraging. Birmingham were a goal keeping mistake away from taking all 3 points in a decent away showing at the City Ground whilst Swansea were played off the park in a game that the Blues dominated but ended up settling for a frustrating 0-0 draw. The players have a right to feel aggrieved, minus the dreadful performance against QPR, the boys in royal blue will feel like they haven’t had their share of luck.
Very concerned for us, especially with the next three games coming up.. #bcfc
— Tom Craven (@TomCraven93) September 1, 2018
Defensively, they look sound. Morrison and Dean have continued their solid partnership, Pedersen looks a canny buy while Colin is probably the best purchase Redknapp made. After Wes Harding’s brilliant introduction at the back end of last season he’ll frustrated to have only featured a handful of times so far this campaign, but the Frenchman is so consistently excellent it’s hard to have too many complaints.
Going forward has lacked any real cohesion but you can’t fault the effort. He might constantly look like he’s on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion but Jutkiewicz is an absolute workhorse who never stops battling for the team. Che Adams’ finish against Forest was nicely taken and we’ve already detailed how dangerous Maghoma can be.
If this run happened in mid season no one would be that concerned played 6 ,lost 2 ,drew 4 ,we've just got to stick with it FFP has made the season difficult .
— Colinfarmer (@Plawustiak) September 3, 2018
But, there’s always a ‘but’, the latest match at St Andrews does raise a question. Is there reason to be worried after that dismal performance against QPR? For starters, calling it a performance is generous, it was easily the worst performance of Monk’s tenure so far with barely 5 passes strung together and seriously made this writer question if he even likes football full stop.
It was a bitty affair with 41 fouls given by the referee culminating in a solitary tame effort on target. A lifeless showing. You could argue that this was QPR’s plan all along, to frustrate the blues, restrict the out balls to Jota and Maghoma and stop them building up any rhythm. QPR quite easily frustrated Blues and in doing so only highlighted the lack of a Plan B.
With the next 3 fixtures being against free scoring West Brom, a tough Sheffield United and Bielsa’s rampant Leeds, it’s definitely concerning. If we can’t show any tactical variety and break down the probable whipping boys of the Championship, when can we? Maybe the next 2 weeks on the training ground will help the sharpen the players but the likelihood is it will be a good few weeks until they get the 3 points they really need.
There’s a chance I’m being overly negative and here’s hoping the QPR game (honestly, it was such an awful game, how the club got nearly 10 minutes of highlights out of it is baffling) was nothing more than a blip and not a sign of things to come.
The performances have been there and averaging 12.5 shots per game bodes well. Now that we all love the England National team again we forget about the Blues for a couple of weeks and look ahead to the Baggies game knowing that we’re definitely going to give them a game.