Billed 'the biggest game of the season so far' by some; it's a shame no one told the players that then. Or if they did, I'd like a nice explanation of their performances today - individually and as a team. We imploded today after Wigan's equaliser. End of. The highs of the Carling Cup win are now firmly behind us, so to is the spirit and drive shown in the final. If someone finds them, please return them to St. Andrews immediately!
Last Saturday against Bolton we lost but there were so many positives to come from the performance, you could sense a real fight and that we were going to stay up. Fast-forward to a week later and we're 19th in the Premier League after losing in the 90th minute against bottom of the league, after showing no fight at all.
The first ten minutes were as good as it got. We scored an early goal thanks to Liam Ridgewell, and we looked like we could score more - and we nearly did. Soon after the goal, which came after just six minutes, Jerome had a shot cleared off the line and Wigan seemed to be all over the place; Blues more or less in control. But, one lapse of concentration from the defence (where was Ridgewell?) and Wigan were back in the game through Tom Cleverly. And that's when Blues fell apart.
It was an end to end game in the second half, and neither team could get hold of the ball long enough to mount a real attack. It really was two poor teams in a relegation six pointer, and unfortunately it was Blues who looked the team that lacked the fight and the inspiration to push forward in search of a goal.
Jerome worked his little legs off. But whenever he won a header, he knocked it down to no one because no one came to support him. Martins hid behind many a Wigan player when he got his chance and David Bentley flattered to deceive. The midfield were none existent and the whole team performance lacked fight and battle. All in all, it was a performance to forget.
But a point, yeah, a point would be good after the way we had played. We'd wanted all three before the game started, but now, a point would be great. And then Wigan go and spoil the party. It was really cruel, a horrible way to lose such an important game in the 90th minute. I suppose it would have been worse if we had played our hearts out all game and then lost it in the 90th minute... but then again, if we had played our hearts out today: we definitely would have won. Because Wigan were no better than us, they just wanted it more and when they saw we didn't want it; they went in for the kill.
Bemoan the 451 formation all you want but even when we went 442 we didn't look convincing enough to go on and win the game. We lacked everything you look for in a team today, but now we've got a couple of weeks to get everyone fit and raring to go for the home game against Bolton - which we need to win, desperately.
It's so, so tight at the bottom and although today felt like the end of the world it's going to go right to the wire. Would we have it any other way at Blues? (in fact yes, I'd like the easy 09/10 season back please!)