I’ve decided to break away from my usual weekly round up today, and have a natter about the season so far and how it could have been.
There is no doubt that with his hands tied behind his back, Garry Monk has done a marvellous job. However, after a last gasp equaliser Tuesday evening in Wales, it had me thinking about other games this season where great chances have been wasted or taken from us.
So, we start with Norwich on a super sunny day at St. Andrews. Blues were arguably the better side in a tight affair. Blues took the lead through Viv with around 5 minutes to go and Blues should really have seen it through.
95th minute equaliser and a couple of points dropped.
We were never in the game at the Riverside, fine by me. Robbed at Bolton away, we absolutely battered them, not sure how we failed to score and then a cheeky handball hands them the victory.
Swansea at home? Blues were amazing. Swansea had no idea and somehow managed to sneak off with a 0-0. Blues registered more shots on target in this game than we did in the whole of Steve “this lot are no good” Cotterill’s reign as manager.
On to Forest, a trip to Hooters on a Saturday afternoon is lovely. And so was the City ground until about 75 minutes. Blues 2-0 up and seemed to be cruising. The arch nemesis Lolley comes on and changes the game to be fair to him. (A very nice young man even if a big viler ). But two late goals and a draw. Another missed opportunity to get our first win.
So that was August, and it looked as though we were going to continue our issues in front of goal from what seems like the last decade. Moving into September and West Brom dragged themselves across town. Jota put the Blues 1-0 up and had a chance with a penalty. Saved/missed, call it what you want. I can never understand why a man that can barely kick a ball hard enough to knock over a Coke can from 10 yards, is taking the penalties. Jury still out for me on our Spanish “magician”. See how I forgot the QPR game, I’m sure all of us want to. Awful, awful game.
Brammall Lane and another game that we’d be happy to take a point from the start. But when Gardner (G) hits the post and Mahoney has a one on one chance saved all in the last eight minutes, you do start thinking “we are never going to win”.
Then, finally, a win. Top of league, Leeds away from home, this is why I love Blues so much.
Then back to St. Andrews against the side bottom of the table. Ipswich were poor, but only a draw. Didn’t play well so will take it. On paper though, more dropped points.
Brentford and a combination of a refereeing blunder and Neil Maupay’s theatrics got Dutch Mike sent off just as Blues were beginning to dominate the game and looked like the only side going to win. Another “happy with a point before the game” match. But, in truth, could or should have been two more.
Then came four wins in a row. And the boys showing exactly the same levels of performance they had all season, but with a few goals thrown in.
Derby at pride park and that sodding drum. Decent first half but never in the game in the second. No complaints. Hull at home was a disaster in my humble opinion. Gifted a couple of goals and 2-0 up at half time, having to battle back for a draw late on should never have happened.
The next disappointment was Bristol City at home. If not for an injury to The skipper, I think it would have ended in a dour 0-0 with no complaints.
Then we come to Boro at home. A great second half performance. Back to 1-1. This is where I have my only major criticism of Garry Monk to date. When Che scored I was thoroughly expecting Vassell to be sat back down. But credit to Monk he still sent him on to go for the victory (even tho we were pressing and looked the only team likely to win with how we were set up), it backfired. Second best at Norwich, no doubt.
So that leads us nicely to this week. When Pederson was sent off before half time. Once again I would have taken a draw, but going into the final 30 seconds of the game you have to believe you should hang on.
All these incidents just show how brilliant a job Garry and his backroom staff have done. Just under 12 months. For around two years I could count on two hands how many games with have “been in”. We’ve been totally outplayed and our season end position in this division shows that. What I believe this also shows is that if we can get ourselves out of embargo and give Garry funds in the summer, (keeping our best players … tick tock on the window closing) we can go into next season with high spirits and expectations that with a larger squad, more competition in key position and consistency in defence we can really push the so called big boys in this division and push on to who knows where.