Saturday, 13 November 2010

A well deserved point

Us and Man City. We're quite similar, really, if you think about it - obviously not including the money or the fame - but we are similar. Both Blues and Man City fans have had to endure years upon years of disappointment, albeit with the moments of success, like Blues' brilliant season in 2009/10. Both teams are seemingly 'inferior' to their nearest but certainly not dearest neighbours in Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively. We are both seen as the noisy neighbours. We are both seen as smaller clubs in terms of our rivals. We've both not won or even done much in the last few years. But now Man City have the money and the big stars, you'd think the gap between us and them would be a big one. Not on this afternoons game. No way.

In all fairness, I wasn't expecting much. Last time I went there was last season and we lost 5-1, and their team is better now, with even bigger stars like Yaya Toure to boast about. Fortunately for us, not only did we play brilliantly, Man City just simply didn't. I would have bitten your arm off at the start of the game for a point, now I'm thinking we could maybe have even cheekily snached all three.

The first half was your average really, especially upon viewing Blues' previous few performances. Man City got the ball, tried to pass it into the net, and the defence dealt with it. Repeat a few times, then add in a couple of snail-paced Blues attacks and you have your first half. Oh, and add in a cheating little Argentinian, and you definitely have today's first half.

If an impressive new ground means that it turns into a complete library, then I am quite content with little St. Andrews, thank you very much. It was pretty dire for 40 odd thousand, and when a travelling support of around 1,000 that you're mocking for coming 'in a taxi' are out singing you, well, you look pretty stupid singing about their support being crap, really.

The second half was backs to the wall type stuff from Blues. A real brilliant performance from the back five, especially Roger Johnson who is still to be called up to the England squad, and God only knows why as well. Carlos Tevez who? Roger had a field day defending against him. The midfield kept calm and did try to attack, but we ended up just passing it around a bit before losing the ball. Jerome and Zigic ran a fair bit, won a few headers; but you couldn't really see us scoring.

And that was pretty much it really. Hleb came on to inject a little bit of class for the away side, and he really is a joy to watch when he plays against the more passing teams of the division, like Man City today, because he gets the ball. He's so intelligent and perfect, it's just the fact the rest of our team aren't. They're good, good players. But not as technically able as Mr. Hleb.

Of course, this match report can't go without a mention for one Joe Hart. He played his part brilliantly today and he loved every minute of it! Being sung to by the away fans more than he was by the home fans; laughing and smiling as he tried to concentrate on the game; making a mistake and being serenaded with 'England's number two!' and then coming over to applaud us at the end. He is a class, class goalkeeper and I wish him all the best. He really is a Blues legend, and we both still have love for each other. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the game when him and Dave Watson, the man who has helped to further his career, shared a hug. It was a brilliant moment.

A resilient, great away performance from Blues today at one of the hardest places to pick up points from in the Premier League. And how do we get rewarded? A lace in the bottom three! But, the league finishes in May not November, and the target now is to make sure we're not here come the end of the season. And I've got faith that we will be a few places above the drop zone by then - or 17th, I'm not fussed!

Full Time: Manchester City 0-0 Birmingham City

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