COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
Pretty in pink as the Blues wreck Brum?s home record in a win that brought joy, relief and a large dose of joined-up footy ? aided by a performance of confidence, grit and spirit.
The game started in open fashion and evidence soon emerged that the likes of Osman, Arteta and Fellaini would relish this sort of occasion. The sight of Jags playing the ball out short instead of 50-yd aimless punts boded well as our teamwork started to take hold and we had the home team on the back foot.
Osman on in place of the injured Pienaar was instrumental in most of the good moves which had the Brum rearguard flapping. Yet is was the home side that had the first clear cut chance of the half when Distin stretched for a clearing header only to loop it into the path of Jerome who controlled well but shot horribly wide when well placed to have done much better. We responded almost immediately when the Yak pounced on a slip by a defender and had a strike on goal cleared from the line.
By now we were well on top with Baines and Osman combining well down the left and, with one interchange, Baines had a great run into the box and a loud roar for a penalty from the travelling fans and players alike arose as he appeared to be tripped in the area. Referee Dowd merely waved play on.
The Yak was looking a little better today and, in one neat passing movement with Osman, saw the latter fire over. Brum were getting forward less now and any threat at all was soon mopped up by the back four or the impressive Fellaini. As the half was drawing to a close, we were dominant but that goal we all crave would just not come as, in keeping with the season so far, all the good approach work failed to deliver that killer ball that parts a resolute defence.
H/T and a lot of chat about our good play and dominance and how we had looked more like a home team in that half but many worried at our inability to create more in the box.
The second half started in the same vein as the first as the ?Pinks? tore into Brum with clever controlled football which belied our early league table position. Just ten minutes in, that man Osman was again involved as he twisted and turned his way into the box and put in a dangerous low cross that saw a defender put the ball into his own net. 1-0 and pandemonium broke out, all the players hugged Ossie and the travelling faithful hugged, kissed, and cheered ? after all, it was our first away goal of the season.
Brum now had to show some attacking skills where not much had been shown previously when they were content to thwart us and hope for something from a break or set-piece. They did pour forward but we stood firm and in one attack the speedy fullback Carr looked to be out-pacing Baines who seemed to bring him down in the box but again Referee Dowd remained consistent and waved away the appeals for a penalty.
The Brum manager then sent on two strikers, one of which was Zigic who seemed to stand 6 feet 28 ins but Fellaini dealt with any threat that height might bring. Brum powered balls into the box but, with Jags marshalling well and all around him responding, nothing much came of their effort. It was us now using ?on the break? tactics and our quality was of a superior class to anything they had shown.
The travelling faithful were in such voice that the players seemed to sense they dare not surrender the lead and the manager responded as well to ensure we got 3 much needed points when on the 80th min he replaced the Yak with Heitinga, making it a true 4-5-1 with Cahill who had worked tirelessly all match putting in another extra 10% in the lone role up-front. Midfield got up to support him as fast as they could.
With 5mins to go Bilyaletdinov replaced the shattered Coleman and we remained confident and in control no matter what the opposition threw at us. Into injury time and we tried our best at keep ball and worked our way into the corners. From one of these moves in injury time we got a corner and predictably played it short to Baines who exchanged passes with Arteta and on looking up spotted Cahill in the middle of the goal and delivered a peach of a cross that the Aussie did what he does best and buried it with some force into the net. 2-0 away, the final whistle and party time began amongst the travelling faithful. Would you believe the home team, having gone a year without defeat, were booed off by their fans.
Overall I thought we put in a good determined shift that contained some footy of high quality and we had a bit of the rub of the green for the first goal but you have to work the opening for that to happen. If we can get that bit more savvy and clinical in the business area, I think we can do well.
Looking for a MotM, my nomination would be Osman who, until tiring toward the end, had been outstanding and he had to be to edge out players such as Fellaini, Baines, Jagielka, Arteta and Cahill. I have to say I don?t think Coleman is the answer to the right midfield problem nor Yak the striker we really need but until we can address these positions then at least both look like our best bets.
I am sure the players will have appreciated the support from the travelling fans today as they cheered and sung throughout. All the songs were there: Royal Blue Mersey, ?Istory, and the Moyes song amongst others.
Let?s not get carried away ? one win on the road is just that... but somehow you can just sense that, if we keep playing the way we are, then other favourable results will follow and none would be sweeter than in the next home game. See you there.
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 03/10/2010 at 09:02:43
One thing though - it was Baines who crossed to Cahill.
Loved Cahill's new celebration. Where he gestured to all us travelling fans, as if to say 'That's for you'.
2 Posted 03/10/2010 at 09:30:36
lynn , exchanged passes means Baines passed then got it back.
3 Posted 03/10/2010 at 10:12:50
4 Posted 03/10/2010 at 10:22:32
5 Posted 03/10/2010 at 12:57:09
6 Posted 03/10/2010 at 13:43:01
Need to give the lad a go, as he was the only one yesterday who really did take on players (until falling over...doh!)
7 Posted 03/10/2010 at 14:21:57
Sorry to bang on about it but Donovan would be the perfect player for us at RM, pacy and can cut inside leaving oceans of space for Coleman to bomb into and he?s also got the work ethic to fill in the gap that Coleman leaves should it break down, not getting Donovan close season was a huge mistake and we should have moved heaven & earth to make it happen.
The last point, which is slightly off the subject, what?s happened to Saha? He?s not listed as injured on the OS, maybe he needs a holiday to get over his holiday.
8 Posted 03/10/2010 at 14:44:25
9 Posted 03/10/2010 at 15:47:35
On Coleman, think we need to give the lad space. Don't think he's a midfielder; it restricts his game because he's already high up the pitch on the defender. He's more effective coming from deep and running at people - an overlapping full back.
10 Posted 03/10/2010 at 17:20:01
Osman deserves credit, if he is to be played out wide maybe the left will suit him better with his instinct to cut inside, and the superior support offered by Baines compared to Neville. Thought Felli showed signs again that he will become a truly world class holding midfielder, it was simpl a crime to play this lad out of position. Also thought Arteta had a better game, moving things along nicely, hopefully he will be on a upward curve now. The Yak needs a goal, but at least unlike Beckford he still manages to influence the game in a positive manner, his link up play at times was very good. I thought Baines was outstanding, his skill to beat his man and whip a cross in was Ronaldoesqe
After being embarrased by Blackpool at home, all I ask is we go into the derby without the inferiority complex that has dogged Moyes team in derby matches, we beat them lot and this season really could still be salvaged.
11 Posted 03/10/2010 at 19:31:52
12 Posted 04/10/2010 at 01:14:39
13 Posted 04/10/2010 at 02:34:03
14 Posted 04/10/2010 at 13:10:33
Also how can you defend the tactic of withdrawing your only forward ? Talk about inviting the opposition to launch long balls into your box or what. They had one tactic and Moyes's decision played into their hands. We've all heard the addage attack is the best form of defence and the second goal demonstrated that. When a team is pushing for a goal they are vulnerable at the back, to play with only Cahill negates that vulnerability because of his natural tendency to drop into midfield.. If it wasn't for the excellent Baines wanting to attack and get forward we would have continued to sit back inviting pressure.
A great result and some decent play, which is reflected in your report, but perhaps a little more objectivity. Maybe the euphoria of the win clouded your view a little bit !!!!
15 Posted 04/10/2010 at 13:55:29
16 Posted 04/10/2010 at 17:07:57
17 Posted 06/10/2010 at 14:58:04
18 Posted 07/10/2010 at 00:52:46
As far as the discussion about Coleman as RMF vs RB, when he's RB he tends to pass the ball inside and move down the wing to receive - a fairly normal attacking RB function - then he has some speed up and either crosses or moves in to the side of the box or the goal line and crosses. At RMF he already has the FB behind him and is waiting on the wing for the pass, often has to turn having received the ball facing our goal. if he cuts in from this relatively static position he's usually one on 2 or three defenders without picking up much speed and there is only Pip wide of him for an escape route pass.
I like the lad's style and determination but some coaching on this and some support on the right wouldn't go amiss.
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