Ennui

Adrian at the Carling Cup final at Wembley in 2011

Coventry City 0 – Birmingham City 0

Friday, November 20th 2020

Well, we didn’t lose. That’s about the best you can say about it as Blues played out a bore draw against the tenants. If you were looking for excitement, you came to the wrong place.

It wasn’t until the 75th minute that Blues mustered a shot on target and that’s not the first time that that kind of thing has happened this season.

Coventry wasn’t much better as they changed to a flat back four in a successful attempt to stem their recent flow of goals against. Both teams had one upfront for most of the game as Karanka reverted to his tried and tested 4-2-3-1.

It wasn’t until Cov changed to their usual wing-backs with two up front that the game opened up and a few chances started to appear for both sides.

In a really dull first half, Walker running behind our two big centre-halves seemed the most likely route to a goal. One bad Jukey miss from a lovely San Jose cross was about the best of it for Blues.

“It doesn’t matter what system you play, if you play Jukey you have to play to his strengths”

It doesn’t matter what system you play, if you play Jukey you have to play to his strengths and get the ball into the box from out wide. The wingers just didn’t do that – not that they had a lot to play with – and when it did open up and the ball did come in from wide it was Colin delivering. That created one-and-a-half good chances for Jukey. One of those chances he should have buried, not allowing the Cov goalkeeper to make a very good save.

Toral for McGree on the hour also improved things. Toral gives another focal point the lighter weight McGree and Crowley lack. McGree is joining Crowley, Bela and Sanchez as players who flit in and out of the game. We need more creative consistency in midfield or the lack of chances created is going to continue.

Could have won it with chances in the last fifteen minutes, but not enough creatively and going forward throughout the game to deserve it.

Joys

  • Solid at the back. Apart from Walker running in behind in the first half, Coventry didn’t trouble the back four much.
  • Good and creative dead ball routines.
  • San Jose’s cross for Jukey’s missed first-half chance.
  • Sunjic gets through a game without being booked.

Sorrows

  • Not enough from the creative players, the wingers and McGree, particularly in the second half.
  • Two headed chances which you expect Jukey to bury.
  • Lack of use of options of the bench.
  • Not enough bodies in the box when the ball does get there.

Player ratings

Etheridge – 6

Not a lot to do, apart from a good reaction save from Walker’s chin in the first half and a good claim in the second

Colin – 6

Better defensively in a four. est quality from out wide came from the Frenchman, particularly in the last quarter-hour.

Friend – 6

Bit of a mixed bag on his return after injury. Cool and clam defensively, but a few loose passes out of defence.

Roberts – 6

Solid. A couple of last-ditch tackles after Walker burst through in the first period. Still the long throw pays no dividends. 

Dean – 6

What he said about Roberts, without the bit about the long throws.

Sunjic – 6

Does what he does well. But still feel he can contribute more going forward, as he showed when he got forward more towards the end of the game. His instinct is still to pass sideways or back rather than looking forward.

San-Jose – 7

That cross for Jukey gains him an extra point. Would like to see him picking the ball up from back four more and dictating the play, which he can do.

Sanchez – 6

Very quiet game. Surprised that Leko wasn’t given a run in his place second half.

McGree – 6

A pattern emerging of some nice stuff early on followed by a drift out of the game before being substituted. Never got near enough to Jukey, like Bela and Sanchez.

Jutkiewicz – 6

Should have scored with at least one of those headed chances. Kept at it, as he always does.

Bela – 6

Good dead-ball delivery, but out of the game for long stretches, as per usual. Frustrating given his natural ability.

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