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Match day thread: Birmingham

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  • One thing I've not seen mentioned yet (sorry if it has and I missed it), was that end 10 - 15 minutes where it was relentlessly going back to Rocky and then pumped up field again, with the Birmingham players barely ever leaving their own half. While not pretty, it was actually a lot of fun to watch. It reminded me a little of a boxing match where one fighter is completely out of it but somehow managing not to go down, while the other is tired but focussed and landing blow after blow - every long punt was another body shot to wear them down, then we landed that uppercut. Our second half performance was ruthless.

  • Of longer term significance perhaps has been Matt Bloomfield being alongside Dobbo for these last couple of matches.

    The knowledge and experience he picks up from it may well prove vital in years (hopefully still a few years away) to come. If you're going to learn from anyone learn from the best

  • What a difference from the side I watched against Watford a few weeks ago - especially pleased for the management team!

  • I don't think you mean Watford

  • For me it was only against Swansea and Blackburn that we looked totally out of our depth...check back to see which threads had the most 'men against boys' comments from previously silent partners 😁

  • My wife, two rooms away, appeared just after 9.30 and said β€œI know Wycombe scored twice. Did they win?” I’m rarely that loud or excitable but that was β€œsomething else”.

  • @micra said:
    My wife, two rooms away, appeared just after 9.30 and said β€œI know Wycombe scored twice. Did they win?” I’m rarely that loud or excitable but that was β€œsomething else”.

    My 2 dogs are still getting over the 2nd goal

  • Brilliant performance second half and let’s not forget JJ’s Ricky Villa-style mazy run (one for the older posters!) and superb free kick. We also had two valid penalty claims for fouls on Kashket and Bayo in each half.

  • Yes, JJ just fractions away from a quality brace. On another night...

    (He had even more to do than Ricky Villa)

  • @eric_plant said:
    Of longer term significance perhaps has been Matt Bloomfield being alongside Dobbo for these last couple of matches.

    The knowledge and experience he picks up from it may well prove vital in years (hopefully still a few years away) to come. If you're going to learn from anyone learn from the best

    Bayo and Blooms stepping up where needed, you just know that Dobbo and all the other coaches were certain to make sure no detail was missed with Gaz being away. Special people continuing the ethos, making sure they keep doing what they have done.

    Btw @glasshalffull does remembering Ricky Villa really make you old now? Actually don't answer that.

  • JJ looks capable of getting a Wales call up....

  • Sorry Strongest Team, but for the benefit of those who don’t remember the Villa goal, it was for Spurs against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final, 39 years ago.

  • Exceptional second half performance, not sure why Birmingham sat back, but I wasn't convinced we'd have the quality to punish them for it... Glad I was wrong.

    Horgan had his best game yet, and Kashket looks like he's at home at this level, he's an absolute pest to defenders and is by far the best in the squad at reading Bayos knock ons and benefiting from the general chaos that the big man causes

  • Agreed on Horgan, and I think the floodgates could open as soon as he gets that first goal. Hopefully another ROI call-up coming up.

  • For all his obvious talent Horgan has struggled to get enough of the ball for me. He certainly corrected that last night and is benefiting from Bayo's return with the ball sticking more often up front.

    Just getting towards the end of Close Quarters and Bayo talks about how he thinks it takes him 10 games to get up to speed. He was well marshalled last night but more game time gets him nearer his prime.

    A really good performance last night and back picking up late points like in previous succesful seasons. JJ's run and shot would have been a real goal of the season.

  • The thing Horgan seemed to do differently last night compared to earlier games was hold on to the ball for longer - which he seems to be very good at. He gave the whole team more thinking time by doing so, which led to some much better positioning and runs from his teammates.

  • I did not see the game last night so cannot really comment on Horgan's performance, but I thought (possibly like @drcongo) in earlier games he tended to get shot of the ball a bit early and often quick passes to slower reacting team-mates were being easily cut out. I think as confidence grows some of the better ball players will start to carry it forward more rather than lay it off. I'm really pleased with the recruitment so far myself and here's hoping McCleary slips effortlessly on and we can push on. Great result. Are we allowed to say JJ, Bayo, SK, Thompson and Wheeler are NOT being found out at this level yet? And do you reckon after two wins without him they are telling the gaffer to take his time coming back? :smiley:

  • edited November 2020

    Who ever thought Wheeler would be 'found out' at this level??

  • @chairboyscentral said:
    Who ever thought Wheeler would be 'found out' at this level??

    Of course, strike me down for Wheeler @chairboyscentral but you get the gist?

  • edited November 2020

    @Wendoverman said:

    @chairboyscentral said:
    Who ever thought Wheeler would be 'found out' at this level??

    Of course, strike me down for Wheeler @chairboyscentral but you get the gist?

    Yeah, just surprised he'd fall into that category - a player signed by a club at this level before and who only really found himself down the leagues again because he got injured and the new manager didn't want him. And arguably our most consistent performer last season!

  • @drcongo said:
    The thing Horgan seemed to do differently last night compared to earlier games was hold on to the ball for longer - which he seems to be very good at. He gave the whole team more thinking time by doing so, which led to some much better positioning and runs from his teammates.

    Almost Kevin Betsy like. Having players who tge ball sticks to certainly make the whole game easier

  • @glasshalffull said:
    Sorry Strongest Team, but for the benefit of those who don’t remember the Villa goal, it was for Spurs against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final, 39 years ago.

    Still prefer Steve Mckenzies volley as the better goal of the tie.

  • @chairboyscentral I’ve realised that I watch the game very differently at home to the way I do in the stadium. I never really understood what David Wheeler added before but can see how utterly wrong that view was.

  • I do think Wheeler has become less critical to us compared to last season at times, but that's because the players around him have stepped up, not that he's struggled at all.

    He's so disciplined and incredible in the air, he does sometimes look a little clumsy on the ball (especially compared to the technical level of wingers in the this division, including our own Fred and Horgan), but makes up for it elsewhere, and he knows he's not a player who is going to dribble round his opposite number so plays to his strengths, usually plays the sensible pass and then gets into the next best space.

    He must be a dream for a manager to have, it's fairly obvious that one of our plans is to use his aerial ability (particularly when Bayo isn't on), but even last night with bayo on, the amount of times Wheeler got onto the diagonal on the opposite side to his starting side to give us 2 aerial threats rather than just Bayo was really noticeable, and not many attacking midfielders/ wingers have the discipline or work rate to be used like that.

  • @arnos_grove said:
    @chairboyscentral I’ve realised that I watch the game very differently at home to the way I do in the stadium. I never really understood what David Wheeler added before but can see how utterly wrong that view was.

    That makes sense tbf - I think having to watch on a screen is also making us pick up more on poor officiating.

  • @glasshalffull said:
    Sorry Strongest Team, but for the benefit of those who don’t remember the Villa goal, it was for Spurs against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final, 39 years ago.

    Dad was lucky enough to be there

  • @glasshalffull Thanks for reminding me of Kashket's penalty shouts.

    Consensus on here seemed to be that the first was definitely a penalty and the second wasn't. I'm an old-timer, so for me the first was a legitimate shoulder-to-shoulder easing out of the way by the keeper. I thought the second was a cast iron penalty, with Kashket hurtling through the gap, quite clearly and deliberately sandwiched by the 2 defenders. But to be fair, when I watch football on the telly these days, I feel like I no longer understand the rules.

  • Bayo does not get decisions because he is too big and Kashket does not get decisions because he is small and irritating. These are not direct quotes from the EFL referee handbook, you understand, I am paraphrasing. :smile:

  • @Wendoverman: On the evidence of last night’s game (and other recent games) I think we look capable of becoming a lower mid table club this season. I think that most (all perhaps) of the 14 players who contributed so impressively to that famous victory last night could justifiably claim to have avoided being β€œfound out”.

    I’m not sure whether the management really did regard the first two or three games as friendlies but, in effect, that’s what they were. We’d barely had any pre-season, whereas our opponents (other than Rotherham) had been playing competitive games in the Championship until a month or so (??) before this season started.

    Interesting that you should jest about GA staying away because I couldn’t help wondering whether we would have adopted quite such an attacking approach throughout the second half if he’d been in charge. It reminded me of when John Gorman took over all those years ago and, as his first match in charge got under way, people were looking at each other and making comments in surprised tones to the effect that we were β€œplaying football”. As a result of the way we played last night, the possession stats were near to 50/50 and, at least in Josh Smith’s eyes we only committed 7 fouls to Birmingham’s 12. No yellow cards either.

  • If Dobson has used some creative license and tinkered with Gareth's gameplan, hopefully he will take it onboard and adopt it. It's been to good effect!!!

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