Absolute shit show

Adrian at the Carling Cup final at Wembley in 2011

Birmingham City 0 – Derby County 4

Tuesday 29 December 2020

There are defeats. And then there are defeats go above and beyond in terms of embarrassment and ineptitude. This was one of those as Blues handed a thumping victory to a gleeful Derby County.

For the second home game in a row Blues conceded four. All three of Derby’s goals were down to basic errors, three individual and one collective.

But, even more of a worry was the lack of resilience in the team, again. After conceding a goal they go to pieces – confidence, shape and commitment just go out the window. And captain Dean is the leader by example.

After Etheridge’s Groundhog Day error, dropping a corner under no pressure, instead of calming things down and taking ten minutes to get back into the game, Dean loses discipline and charges around like a chicken with his head cut off. In this, he is reminiscent of Roger Johnson after Scott Dann got injured in the last great Prem relegation debacle, running around like a maniac as if it just down to him personally to rectify the problem.

This time Dean barged into a Derby forward to give them a penalty a couple of minutes after the opener compounding his team mate’s earlier error. That’s bad leadership.

Soon after, the team seemed to forget that Juke wasn’t on the pitch to head away near post corners and a simple flick on allowed Kazim-Richards to bundle it in on the back post. The game was only half an hour old, but it was already up for the Blues.

Mass half time substitutions made no difference as everyone went through the motions, knowing that the result was already beyond doubt.

Watching on, not by any means for the first time supporting Blues, it was a half to be endured, hoping against hope that it didn’t get any worse, as it showed no signs of getting better.

A fourth Rams goal just made that feeling in the pit of the stomach get worse and the will for the final whistle to go grow even deeper. Again another basic error, Colin not recognising there might be opposition players on the pitch, contributed to our downfall.

“One of those games where you wonder why you bother”

One of those games where you wonder why you bother, where it feels that the sorrows far outweigh the joys.

The fact of the matter is that this was far from a one-off. Apart from brief periods under Rowett and Monk, we’ve been dreadful since Hughton’s days, suggesting that the problems run deeper than just who the manager is at any given time.

Nobody on the Blues side came out of this with any credit and they were embarrassing – not an emotion that you want to feel about your team.

Joys

  • The game eventually ended
  • Not all Marc Roberts’ fault, then

Sorrows

  • Everything

Player ratings

Etheridge – 4

Terrible. That dropping the ball from an easy corner thing is now becoming a habit. Nonsense about the lights, should be able to catch those ones with his eyes shut.

Colin – 4

Terrible. Lapses in concentration where he allows someone to score from his blind side are also becoming habitual. Offered nothing going forward.

Pedersen – 4

Terrible. Does he want to play for the club? Has he wanted to since that move to Norwich was vetoed? Pantomime after half time illustrated his commitment to the cause.

Dean – 3

Terrible. Giving away that rash pen was the main thing that cost us on the night. Could have recovered from one mistake with a bit of calm. Instead, the captain blunders in.

Friend – 4

Terrible. Very disappointing that we can’t now even blame confidence crises on Friend’s absence. As bad as the rest.

Sunjic – 6

Terrible, but no idea why he got hooked at half-time when Clayton remained on the pitch.

Clayton – 4

Terrible. Either too old or not fit. Derby ran rings round him in midfield.

Gardner – 5

Terrible. Did have a dangerous shot in the second-half, though. I was hopeful that he could do a job after his substitute appearance on Saturday, but this proved not to be the case. Looked lost and out of position.

Sanchez – 4

Terrible. Absolutely no impact. Blows very hot and cold.

Bela – 4

Terrible. Absolutely no impact. Blows very hot and cold.

Hogan – 5

Terrible. Mitigating circumstances that he go no, and I mean no, service to him whatsoever.

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