Tussle with the Tics

I tell you what, that Wigan game eh? Phew! When Che Adams did that… and when Mrabti kicked the.. erm.. ball, well I never…! OK, I wasn’t there since I had to work so I have virtually no comments to make about the game itself but by the sound of things, I didn’t exactly miss a classic!

Alas, fair reader, your humble writer has a family to feed and must occasionally spend a wet, windy Saturday grafting and miss out on the one thing that truly brings him joy in life – watching 11 blokes kick a ball of air at each other for 90 minutes whilst I shout obscenities at them.

In fairness the game against Wigan was actually the first home game I’ve missed all season and if ever a game could be deemed to have absolutely zero importance, this was it.

So the question must be asked; why were people so angry at the performance?

Well I guess the main reason is that thousands of fans paid to be entertained and were left feeling rather underwhelmed. I’ve never really thought of the Blues as being entertaining though – I’d say I suffer them rather than enjoy them! However, I completely understand that if you pay for entry, you expect a show.

As I’ve said, I wasn’t there so I can’t fully comment on the performance. My opinions are based on those of others and the little morsel of BBC WM commentary that I could stand to listen to. I’ve been informed that there was a severe lack of effort from the boys though and this is the main cause for fans’ disappointment.

According to my sources (mates) the second half was particularly dour and we simply lacked the spark that carried us to safety over the last few weeks.

Allow me to pose a question though. How many fans were aware of Harlee Dean’s groin injury prior to the official announcement? Hands up!

I’d heard about it but it was only a rumour at that point and a vague one at that.

OK, next question; how many other players are carrying knocks and niggles? Who knows? I don’t.

It’s been a long, gruelling season and we’ve got one of the thinnest squads in the league. It could be argued that the lads have earned the pleasure of taking their feet off the gas for the last couple of games. Hell, there’s not many teams that hit 50 points TWICE in the same season!

In addition to this, last week’s game saw the additions of Marc Roberts (who I SO wanted to do well!) and Wes Harding. Both have barely featured this season yet were expected to fill the huge boots of Morro and Harlee.

Again; Marky-Boy didn’t see the game, but I can imagine that switching out both centre backs for a pair that only managed to touch the St Andrews turf during warm-ups probably has a pretty damning affect on a team.

For clarification, that’s not a dig at Wes or Robbo in any way – I really like both of them. But an element of trust and reliability is surely ripped out of the team when two stalwarts like Morro and Dean are suddenly absent.

Does this excuse a poor performance? Probably not. It may go some way to explaining the lacklustre display though. I’m a big believer that footballers are just blokes. They’re not Gods, they’re not special, they’re just very talented (or in N’Doye’s case very lucky) people. They have their off days like you and I and no matter how professional they may be, when a game is a dead rubber that ‘extra 10 percent’ may seem like more effort than it’s worth…

Maybe it’s not even a conscious thing? Who knows?

Here’s hoping the Reading game is a bit more of an enjoyable watch though. The tussle with the Tics may have been a nothing game but I’d like to think the boys will come out wanting to give the away fans something to cheer for. We have a strong contingent of away-day regulars and they deserve an enjoyable final day for once!

So as the season draws to a close, I’m left with a funny old feeling of… well, I guess you’d call it contentedness. I think that’s a word? My spellchecker’s telling me it isn’t, but I’m sure it is. Either way, it’s the most apt summary I can give you.

We’re not in trouble for once and our biggest worry is where Che Adams will be buying his next house. Dare I say, I’m even a LITTLE BIT excited for the summer transfer market to open…

So as we contently head into you final game of the season with the equally content Reading, I hope you’ll all contentedly join me in a content fuelled smile of appreciation for the fantastic job the squad and coaching staff have done this season.

Here’s to Sunday afternoon and a few more rounds of Keep Right On before the summer sun returns to scald my pale, ginger body. Next year could be a BIG one for us and that happy thought will get me through the break.

Editor’s note: No, the supporter in the photo is not a Blues fan, as we couldn’t find a photo of a Blues fan snoozing, surprisingly!

Mark Watson is a blogger and opinionist. He was a finalist in the Football Blogging Awards in 2018 and his work has appeared on numerous websites and match day publications. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkWatson1875

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