BUGGER! Brummie Bull Ring botherers bully brittle Boro in scrappy slapstick swearmageddon soft-centred show lacking heart, energy and teeth. Grrrrrrrrr.
Three defeats in a row to bottom eight sides of limited ability but far more functional form. Three lack-lustre and low-tempo and low-thrills shows from a side lacking confidence and any sign of a spark. Grrrrrr.
Looking back, for all their empty huffing and puffing, Boro had some good spells of sustained pressure and plenty of chances. Scott McDonald twice got into the box but failed to hit the target, a siege of second half corners couldn’t force a way through as George Friend put one looping header onto the roof of the net and Jonathan Woodgate had another blocked at the post. Then Adam Reach – “the dissidents’ icon”- sent a speculative ball bouncing through the box that sent Butland scrambling across to tip from the far top corner. Plus one that went in but was offside. Grrrr.
Birmingham were just as bad but several times caught Boro on the break, took advantage of some comical/suicidal defensive errors and forced two good saves from Jason Steele before a player who shouldn’t even have been on the pitch scored. High rise hitman Nikola Zigic had already been booked when he committed a deliberate handball which caused the ref to go and talk to him but he somehow escaped a second yellow. Naturally he was the one that stumbled the ball home soon after. Grrrrrrr.
It was very, very diisappointing – as much for the apparent lack of passion and drive and urgency as the defeat – and any play-off hopes are disappearing rapidly over the horizon for a side that has shrivelled into mediocrity in a matter of months. And no doubt the frustrated spleen-venting will intensifyas we have a festering two week international break now to tear ourselves apart in. Grrrrr.
“Sprinkle some ra-ra fairy dust on that [expletive deleted], Vickers” I was challenged on twitter. I won’t be doing that. There is very little that can be said in mitigation after such a poor show. But the result and the continued slither away from the play-offs – and the anguish of seeing a season of early promise evaporate – doesn’t change the big picture.
The chairman will continue to back the manager because the club are midway through a long term rebuilding project which is, recent results aside, making steady and important progress off the pitch. The foundations are slowly but steadily being rebuilt, the finances have been restructured and the key people in the club share a perspective for the short to medium future. A kneejerk bout of emotional demands for dug-out blood-letting as an appeasement for fans frustrated at the fizzling out will not serve the club well.