Saturday, October 17, 2020
A deserved win for Wednesday from an undeserved penalty in a performance we’ve seen all too often over the last few years by Blues.
The main concern with Blues for a long time has been about attacking. It was the case under Rowett and Monk and now with Karanka. While everything is nice and secure at the back, where are the goals going to come from?
And this game was a case in point. Lacking creativity in midfield, lacking penetration up front, Blues left it until the 86th minute to make the Wednesday goalkeeper, Dawson, make a save, and that was an easy one as Hogan fluffed his lines when the ball drop over his shoulder and he found himself on his own near the penalty spot with only the keeper to beat.
Indeed, we’d had to wait until the introduction of Leko for the ineffective Bela on 66 for any sense that Blues were even going to get into the last third.
Clayton had his worst game in a Blues’ shirt, giving the ball away in dangerous positions, particularly in a first half where the game was run by Reach, rather than the expected Bannan who was relatively quiet.
I had suggested the other week that it would be a good idea to get Gardner, with his ability to run with the ball and make runs from midfield, into the team at home to give it a more positive feel. Karanka thought so as well, as Gazzer made his first start of the season in place of Sunjic. But, on today’s evidence, we were both wrong, as Gardner was virtually anonymous throughout, joining Dan Crowley in that category.
Reach’s domination led to a number of chances for Wednesday, while we created zilch. Yet they had to wait until just after half time to take their deserved lead. The winning goal came from a penalty that never was as the ref fell for Paterson’s fall under non-existent contact from Clayton. Bannan duly converted the kick.
Only Leko, and Etheridge for a couple of smart saves, came out of this with any credit. The former Baggies’ man added the movement that had been so desperately missing up to the point of his introduction.
Leko’s introduction resulted in Blues spending the last 15 minutes or so in the final third and chances were created – and missed. Blues could have snatched an unwarranted point.
So, the puzzle’s still not solved about how to graft creativity and threat on to a solid base. A puzzle that been unsolved by Blues for the best part of a decade now.
Blues 0 – Sheffield Wednesday 1