Saturday, 1 January 2011

The negatives outweight the positives, so why am I still smiling?

You might as well laugh. It's either that or cry. I honestly don't get how we can play well in the first half and then look like we can't even be bothered in the second. We looked tired and even uninterested at times, and that's just not like us at all - especially not at home.

We did start well and the crowd really made the place intimidating, but a seemingly dodgy (I haven't seen replays but that's what it looked like) free-kick gave Arsenal the lead after just 12 minutes, which really knocked us. In all fairness the first half wasn't even bad, Cameron Jerome ran the line brilliantly and won everything in the air; the last two games he has been an improved player, we just need to find a partner for him and hopefully one will come in the January transfer window.

However much you hear Blues fans moan about today, you can;t take anything away from Arsenal. As much a it hurts me to say this - and believe me, it hurts a lot - big, big credit to Arsenal because they were superb and really cut us open quite a bit, which teams like Manchester United and Chelsea didn't do in their games at St. Andrews recently. Nasri annoys the hell out of me but he is a brilliant player, no doubt about it and will be a contender for player of the season indefinitely. The rest of the team are great as well; great counter attacks, won the midfield battle and their closing down is brilliant. When a blue shirt had the ball they'd get three men on him until they won the ball. When a red shirt had the ball, we might as well have stepped aside and offered him a free passage through on goal for all the work we were doing. We didn't turn up today and it has been coming.

I think from a Blues point of view; the less said about the second half, the better. Absolutely nothing would work when we tried, and that wasn't very often. They all looked like they'd been out on Broad Street the night before and were feeling the effects of the day after. It really was horrible to watch and it was so un-Blues like I was starting to wonder who these eleven strangers on the pitch were - I didn';t recognise a single one of them.

There has been a lot of talk about exactly what has gone wrong at Blues this season. We do have enough to stay up, and there certainly are teams in this division who are worse than us. A lot blame the manager for everything. I'm a fan that's firmly on the keep McLeish bandwagon, because to put it plainly, lose him and we are fecked. Even more fecked than we are at the moment and at 19 points from 19 games that is suitably fecked. But why oh why do we bring Zigic on so late into the game, why oh why did we get Derbyshire on loan if he is never given a chance let alone a start, and what dear Lord above is the point of bringing Kevin Phillips on with 5 minutes to go. We've done that a lot: it doesn't work, it really doesn't. Alex, I love you, but you need to change something.

However, he needs investment. We need to get those two or three quality players in January that will keep us up, but the only way we are going to secure the services of the likes of Robbie Keane is to be able to pay their wages or the fee if they are permanent. I honestly don't care how we do it, but we were told we had 40 million to spend in last January's transfer window and we haven';t even spent half of that in a year, so Carson; put your money where your mouth is and lets keep this club up.

Apart from those little moans, I can't really say much else about today. We were outclassed by a much better team and I guess it's taught us a lesson that we can';t just keep expecting to do well at home; we can't keep thinking we are going to get these draws against top clubs; and most of all we can't go on not creating chances but expecting to get something out of the game. Chances make goals and goals win games, and without the midfield giving the strike force anything, we could have Drogba and Anelka playing for us and we still wouldn't score.

Just one more thing: Hleb. That interview. To be fair on him, the ESPN (also known as Arsenal and Liverpool TV) swayed him to what she (rather, they) wanted him to say. But it doesn't make the situation any better. He stated he'd rather be at Arsenal than here, and he said that "Birmingham cannot play like Arsenal" and mumbled something about Manchester and "other teams." I honestly do not care if he would rather be back at Arsenal or not, but disrespecting the team you're at now, not the brightest thing to do. It wasn't even the biggest insult he could have made. I agree we can't really play like Arsenal, but why say it?! The whole interview was Arsenal. It was like he didn't even care about Blues. And now he has angry Brummies and a few confused players on his case... good luck mate! Want your plane back to Barca now, or wait until May so your "best friend Cesc Fabregas" can go with you. Hmm.

It's not slit your wrists time yet, but if this is an insight into what 2011 holds for Blues, then it's going to be a bloody long year! Chins up, look onto the next game. No point looking back now.

Full Time: Birmingham City 0-3 Arsenal

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