Wednesday, December 1st 2020
A fair result as the Tykes took the three points home to Yorkshire after yet another bitterly disappointing evening at St Andrew’s.
Another game and another change of formation. Again a 5-3-2/3-5-2 but this time with one defensive midfielder, San-Jose, and Sanchez playing further forward to partner the recalled McGree.
But again the change in style didn’t work. Although there were more attack-minded players in more attacking positions the intent to go forward was again lacking and there seemed to be little idea about how to use the system.
This lack of intent was at its most acute after we’d taken the lead.
After yet another drab first half where the only attacking threat came from the away team, Blues did something that was very much out of recent character and scored a really good and creative goal.
Ten minutes into the second half, Leko’s lovely back-heel released Colin in the box and his cross found Hogan. The centre forward scored with the kind of instinctive finish that we’d thought he’d forgotten.
Instead of this being the cue for renewed confidence in their attacking abilities, Blues reverted to current type, fell back and invited Barnsley on to them. The more progressive Tykes didn’t need asking twice to accept the invitation.
Both the goals when they came did have a degree of misfortune about them, but the overall result couldn’t be argued with after such a negative response by Blues to taking the lead.
Karanka was about to shore it up even further when, on 71, Pedersen hardly touched Brittain in the box. But the fall was enough to convince the referee to give the spot-kick. Woodrow clinically scored the penalty, giving Etheridge no chance.
The winner came on 83 when Styles’ shot from the edge of the box was going wide until it clipped Leko’s calf and diverted inside the post. It was, however, the culmination of another period of sustained pressure by Barnsley as Blues switched from holding out for the win to holding out for the draw.
This should have been a turning point for Blues. A lovely goal gave them a chance to press home their advantage and, literally, move forward. Instead it was the same old, same old.
- The goal – creative and most out of character
- Bit of Sanchez in the first half.
- That’s it
- Retreating into their shell when the goal should have given them to confidence they needed to finish Barnsley off. It means that their character is under question, especially being so hot on the heels of that Wycombe defeat in the same manner.
- Another poor game for Pedersen at left wing-back. Bored of the sound of my own voice going on about Seddon being loaned out.
- San Jose racking up a number of pedestrian performances.
- Very little going forward – again.
- Gardner again sitting on his backside all game. The team is crying out for his drive and enthusiasm.
Etheridge – 6
Couldn’t fault him fro either of the goals. Little else to do.
Colin – 6
Still under performing in that wing back role
Pedersen – 5
Not sure he got much on the forward for the penalty. Nevertheless, coninuing the bad form we’ve seen from him since the end of Lockdown 1. Shame as he started his time with the club so well.
Clarke-Salter – 6
OK. Got caught bring the ball out of defence a couple of times but generally sound.
Roberts – 6
Along with Dean, poor positioning and leadership for Barnsley’s winner. Their inability to push out left Chaplin with all time in the world on the edge of the box to get his shot in.
Dean – 5
He’s the captain. He should be rallying the troops and stopping them going back into their shells. He isn’t.
San Jose – 5
Becoming a big worry. Here’s a guy who you thought with his experience would be able to dictate the play. At the moment, he’s hardly able to keep up with it. And his passing’s gone to pot. Not worth a start ahead of Sunjic as defensive midfielder atm.
McGree – 5
Not sure he was actually on the filed most of the time.
Sanchez – 7
Best of a bad bunch and only in the first half. Still not playing high enough up the park to create chances or take shots himself. Bela a better dead ball taker.
Leko – 6
Many seemed to suggest that he looked like he couldn’t be arsed. Didn’t see that myself and saw a few nice bits of movement and trickier in the first half. Like the rest, very little in the second.
Hogan – 6
Encouragingly good finish for the goal to show that he’s still got it in him. Apart from that, nothing.