by Alex from the birminghamcityforum.co.uk
I’ve just got back from Elland Road and first hand witnessing of todays latest display and unfathomable tactics of Lee Clark and his Birmingham City team.
Lets be straight for a moment here and say Lee Clark is working under extreme circumstances with no working capital to speak of and a summer revolving door which has seen good players leave the club. No one is under any illusions about that. However Clark in my opinion has a team quite capable of playing in this division, yes some are on loan but these players are professionals
I really believe Lee Clark is making a difficult situation even harder for himself when he has the tools at his disposal to field a team quite capable of playing Leeds or Bolton at home for that matter. I’m not one of these fans that shout from the stands that I want a manager out and I think I would be less likely to do it to a man who is as I have already said working with Loanee players and youngsters. However there comes a time when fans need to start speaking up with valid criticism.
As I travelled up to Leeds today I was filled with some degree of optimism, I mean what fan goes to an away game and has no hope. I wondered if the two week break had given Clark and my boys in Blue time to iron out some of the issues that had reared their ugly head against Bolton Wanderers. My hopes were somewhat given a jolt when I saw the team that Lee Clark was fielding, Spector was out Injured (this I knew), Adeyemi was ill and Clark had opted to once again change the back line with Robinson, Bartley and Dan Burn all included with Murphy and Caddis as the wingbacks. In midfield he had included for a debut Olly Lee. I started thinking what was so special about Leeds away and the sudden inclusion of Olly Lee? Burke and Elliot were in and so was recent four goal hero Jesse Lingard and Lee Novak completing an altogther somewhat light looking side. Left out to keep warm on the bench were Andrew Shinnie, Lovenkrands, Shane Ferguson and Callum Reilly and the one player I believe Blues should be including in a starting line up away from home Nikola Zigic. Yes I’m not a massive fan but he has that annoying knack of scoring goals.
As we took the field I heard some fans start to wonder if we was going to get a right good hiding and within the first five minutes that looked the case. Blues were all over the place. Leeds were cutting us up like a peaky blinder and no mistake. Diagonal balls threaded between Caddis and Dan Burn seem to be the main ploy or floated balls to the far post. Blues were in trouble and most of us expected Blues and Lee Clark to change it but he didn’t and by half time the game was virtually over with a horrendous three-nil scoreline. My Dad started telling me about the 1972 cup game with the Great Don Revie Leeds team of the seventies, trouble was I was to busy thinking this isn’t a great Leeds team and this could end up Five or Six-Nil. To cut a dreadful story even shorter than I care to write about Blues made some impact in the second half with Burke having a few chances, Shinnie hitting the side netting and at fulltime us driving back to Brum with that empty no hope feeling in the pit of my stomach as once again I felt let down.
I could go on all evening about how some of the players didn’t look up for it, some didn’t look like they knew where or what they was supposed to be doing this afternoon, but I won’t. What I will say is this, Lee Clark is somehow making a sows ear worse than need be. His beloved wingback system may have shown in glimpses what it can be like against a second string Swansea or an out of sorts Millwall but when it boils down to it, Birmingham City have not got the players to play it… There I’ve said it, what I have been meaning to say all post. Lee Clark has not got the players to play a wingback formation. Its a luxury and Blues haven’t got luxuries we’ve got run of the mill honest to goodness players who on their day can play. Today could have been their day if they all knew what was required but Caddis is a right back, Paul Robinson is a left back, Dan Burn is a central defender that works alongside one other…not two, can you hear me Clark? Blues have the players, where are Hayden Mullins, Kobi Arthur, Darren Ambrose, Akwasi Asante. Have i mentioned Will Packwood yet? best not he’s on loan.
Lee Clark needs to go back to a clean slate and the basics and pick 4-4-2 home and away, sure you can change it for various situations and tactical ploys but on the whole Blues should be laid out 4-4-2 and let the opposition worry about Niikola Zigic or the blistering skills of Chris Burke, or David Murphys free kicks or dare i say the dried up goal prowess of Jesse Lingard. we have the players to destroy teams but Clark is on a one man mission to carve his name into Blues folklore of possibly being the worst manager we’ve ever had.
Once home dad asked “want a cuppa Alex?” ooh yeah lovely dad go on. as I took a sip he said its Yorkshire tea…he was very nearly wearing it! Keep Right On