Nothing doing for Blues down by the Riverside

Middlesbrough 1 – Birmingham City 0

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Blues fell to a disappointing and probably undeserved deafest at the Riverside last night, losing by a single first half goal sloppily conceded from a set piece.

Eustace started with the same eleven that earned a hard-fought draw at Sheffield United where Blues displayed an admirable resilience, coming from behind against the then league leaders who hadn’t dropped a point at home all season. 

The thinness of the squad being what it is, apart from youngsters Eustace didn’t have a lot of options to change things. But you worried about the energy levels after the effort spent to bring the point back from Bramall Lane. 

This lack of usable numbers may come back to haunt us in October, as Blues look to cram in seven games, with another three at the start of November, before the ill-judged winter World Cup in Qatar. 

Energy levels didn’t seem to be a problem when Blues started the game well, taking the game to their managerless opponents. It was only after Boro scored that the problem became more apparent with, unlike Saturday, the response to falling behind being distinctly lacklustre. 

Blues did perk up again just before half time and the second half effort was better. This was in part due to the introduction of Hannibal for the anonymous Bacuna at half time. Hannibal added much needed energy if not accuracy to Blues play.

The amount of ball and pressure that Blues had in the second half created a good case for at least a share of the spoils. That we went home with nothing was, once again, down to missing chances, often good chances.  

The main culprit in that department was Hogan. It’s feast or famine with Scott at the moment. There was no sign of the clinical finisher from the Hawthorns last night.

Most are agreed that a pacy poacher is the priority in January, if one exists in our price bracket. It was, though, a bit of a surprise that when changes were made that we didn’t see Leko after his hat-trick for the Under-21s recently.  

The goal conceded on 23 minutes which ultimately lost the match was similar to that at Sheffield on Saturday in that the main striker was left on his own in acres of space following a set piece.

Roberts has his detractors and limitations, generally he can’t pass a football, but these two goals show what he is good at and brings to the team – organisation and the ability to mark players and win and clear the ball coming into the box from set pieces. It’s no coincidence that we’ve conceded these two goals when he’s been out of the team. Given that he seems to be out for a lengthy time, it raises the prospect of a recall for Harlee Dean, who is of similar ilk. That would be some comeback. 

“Best player on the night, not for the first time, was Bielek”

Best player on the night, not for the first time, was Bielek, whose class stood out among the hustle and bustle of what was, truth be told, a reasonably poor Championship match. 

Any defeat sets the alarm bells ringing nowadays and panic seems to set in almost at once on Twitter. To step back, we’re doing better than expected both points wise and league position. And we’re playing as a team with a sense of purpose and degree of togetherness not seen at St Andrews for a while, and there’s also just a bit more class knocking about, particularly in the midfield. But the lack of resources at Eustace’s disposal at the moment threatens to undermine the fine job he’s being doing so far. 

Recent blogs

Blues unlucky in defeat but not dispirited 

Birmingham City 2 – Sunderland 1

Blues finished their strength-sapping three games in six days marathon – thanks EFL and Sky – with an unlucky defeat at the hands of Sunderland at St Andrew’s last night.

Rate this:

Last-gasp Deeney snatches point for Blues

Birmingham City 2 – Swansea City 2

A patchy performance from Blues saw them maintain their recent unbeaten home record with a late draw against one of the best sides seen down St Andrew’s this season.

Rate this:

If you can’t win it, don’t lose it

Birmingham City 0 – Millwall 0

Nothing much doing at St Andrew’s last night as two committed sides battled against each other and the elements, canceling each other out and failing to produce the quality needed to enliven a dull game.

Rate this:

Something for the weekend

Birmingham City 2 – QPR 0

Another exhilarating night at St Andrew’s as Blues turned over would-be league leaders QPR in front of a noisy crowd that is also rediscovering its mojo.

Rate this:

Something stirring in B9

Birmingham City 1 – Burnley 1

A single point only, but the most competent of team performances for years from Blues as they held and almost turned over probably the best team in the league.

Rate this:

Blues cruise at Hull

Hull City 0 – Birmingham City 2

Blues had what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon in Hull, winning their second game in a row and pushing on into the top half of the table. 

Rate this:


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: