Something better change

Adrian at the Carling Cup final at Wembley in 2011

Birmingham City 0 – Bristol City 3

Saturday, March 13 2021

A horror of a performance from Blues, as Bristol City had to do very little to run out easy winners at the Trillion Trophies etc. Change is clearly needed, and it needs to come soon. If it doesn’t we’re going down, as simple as that.

A Groundhog Day of a game I feel I’ve seen about 50 times in this, the worst season I’ve had supporting Blues since 1974. No pace, no passion, no inventiveness, shorn of confidence and peppered with individual mistakes – this was a microcosm of the whole season.

More changes. Any momentum we might have had from beating QPR and a feeling of a system and a team that we could play regularly thrown away, as Karanka, again, was more interested in countering the opposition than making them worry about us.

A typical sluggish start, where Dean managed to ably demonstrate twice why it is folly that he still gets picked over Clarke-Salter, as he first inexplicably ducked under a long ball and then gave the ball away in a dangerous positions for Bristol City to break on us. It wouldn’t be him who eventually made the costly mistake, but he certainly laid the template and took the lead as captain.

Individual mistakes this season haven’t all been about defenders, there’s been blatant misses as well and Hogan’s been mainly responsible. His shot against the post, after Bela scuffed effort, fell right into the category of easier to score. that’s was after 8 minutes, and he repeated the trick on 33, although his flicked header from Bela’s cross was a much better effort.

Needless to say, in this season of calamities, soon after Hogan’s second effort thudded off the post, Bristol City went up the other end and scored. Two season recurrent themes here – the inability to score when on top and the individual mistake. Harper, who I’d just foolishly praised on Twitter, gave the ball away allowing Palmer to race through one-on-one with Etheridge before slotting home on thirty-five minutes.

The wind visibly drained from our sails. Confidence is so fragile at the moment that it can’t even withstand the conceding of a goal – QPR being the surprising exception to that rule.

Apart from a little flurry after half time, Blues never looked liked getting back into this one after the first was conceded. Even that brief post-break quickening of tempo was soon snuffed out by a joke of a goal given away.

Pedersen woefully under hit his back pass and Etheridge, who’d also been demonstrating another season theme, his poor kicking, slammed his clearance into the on-rushing Semenyo. It bounced off the Robins’ forward and into the net. Funny, when it isn’t your team doing it.

We’d given the opposition a two goal lead and there was no chance of a QPR-style comeback. And that’s the feeling about the whole of the season now. Having flirted with relegation so many time over the last few years, it feels like there’s no coming back from this one, and that we probably deserve it. It’s painful to see the effort and commitment that other teams around us are putting in to get themselves out of it – even little Wycombe, so far adrift don’t capitulate in the way that we do.

A third goal from the newly arrived O’ Dowda rubbed salt in the wounds – at least they had to make it for themselves.

“‘… he’s gorra go, Tom”

Not a great one for getting rid of managers – that’s part of the reason why we’re where we are today – but to save our season, I think, ‘he’s gorra go, Tom’. He just can’t get this bunch to play.

MoM No one – all useless.

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