I’m not not sure you will want to read about it, but unlike the side yesterday – Bazza has some commitment by sending his final home game report. I’d normally say enjoy, but I genuinely don’t know what to say.
I’ve just got back and it’s 23.30 and time I was thinking about bed as like many I’ve got to get up in the morning. I have experienced low moments watching Blues over the years but I cannot recall the last time I felt this down. We have gone from a position where I thought we would survive, albeit just about, to looking highly likely to get relegated next Sunday.
From the moment the team was announced I knew we were in trouble. Yet another injury, this time to Cameron Jerome meant that our only two fit strikers, Derbyshire and Phillips, who are hardly an ideal pairing, had to start up front. Parnaby at left back again, Jiranek and Johnson in the centre with Carr at right back with a midfield of Larsson, Fergusson, Bowyer and Bentley lacked the guile and pace to prise open a large and muscular Fulham back line who probably could not believe how simple their task of beating Birmingham was.
The first goal was a simple, unchallenged header by Hangeland from a corner that itself resulted from a last ditch desperate save from Ben Foster who just about diverted a massive kick from his opposite number that so nearly passed over his head into the net. Only four minutes gone and it was game over. Blues were simply shocking. There is not one single positive thing to say about the performance this afternoon which was by a country mile the worst produced all season and there have been some pretty dire efforts to compare this one to believe me.
We never looked like we were going to score all afternoon and we didn’t create a single worthwhile chance to trouble Schwartzer in the Fulham goal all day. The Fulham fans started singing as early as the fourth minute when they were 1-0 up “We’re winning away, we’re winning away; how s**t must you be, we’re winning away!” This just about summed us up; Tom Ross on BRMB after the game was angry, upset and for someone who accentuates the positive was a negative about this hapless Blues performance as I have ever heard him and he was absolutely right to be so.
Fulham could and should have won this game by far more than they did. They systematically outplayed Blues and were the better side in every single department of the game bar none. Their second goal also by Hangeland came four minutes into the second half also from a corner which once again wasn’t defended properly. Prior to that Andy Johnson glanced a header just wide and after 30 minutes Zamora crashed another header against the post. The same player should have scored early in the second period when he headed straight at Foster when not flagged offside. He then tried to chip the keeper when clean through and Sidwell slammed a shot against the post and all this in the four minutes leading up to Fulham’s second goal!
We had a flick by Jiranek against the post in the first half from Parnaby’s left wing cross as our solitary effort on goal. Add to this, forced substitutions of Beausejour, Davies and Hleb for Bowyer, Jiranek and Parnaby all for injuries before Hleb was cynically tripped by Gudjohnnson and had to go off for the final 13 minutes leaving Blues with only ten men for the third week running.
There you have it; no drive, no passion, no commitment, no ideas and no pride. We were absolutely hopeless and there is nothing that I can say to give even the remotest glimmer of cheer to this sorry spectacle. Yes, we had a weakened team out there blighted by injuries and suspensions but there is no excuse for the performance which lacked any semblance of professionalism or plain old fashioned guts. Whilst we have matters still in our own hands our fate is going to depend upon the shortcomings of others rather than our efforts. Our best hope is that we don’t lose to Spurs next week by a greater margin that Blackpool and Wigan do against Manchester United and Stoke respectively. On this performance if we do go down we will deserve to. I think Daniel Powter’s song sums up my feelings right now:
There’s nothing left further to say and I’ve had enough. Goodnight fellow noses; I’m going to bed!
The Good: The gang (Will, Chris, Gayle, Little Jack, yours truly, Jonny, Ben and three Canadian Aircraft Enginners working on a salvage job at Coventry Airport) went to the Punjab Paradise Restaurant in Balsall Heath for a curry. We apologised to our North American guests for the standard of the game but I think they enjoyed the company and the banter.
The Bad: The manner of this defeat.
The Ugly: Little Jack’s haircut! Like most six year olds do at some stage he cut his own hair in the week and his Mohican is missing the front bit! 😀
Birmingham City: Ben Foster 5, Stephen Carr 6, Lee Bowyer 4 (Alexander Hleb, 50, 6), Roger Johnson 4, Seb Larsson 4, Kevin Phillips 4, David Bentley 4, Barry Ferguson 4, Matt Derbyshire 5, Stuart Parnaby 4 (Jean Beausejour, 56, 6), Martin Jiranek 4 (Curtis Davies, 67, 5).
Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Keith Fahey, Jordon Mutch, Akwasi Asante.
Fulham: Mark Schwarzer 6, Carlos Salcido 6, Brede Hangeland 8, Steve Sidwell 7, Andy Johnson 7, Danny Murphy 6 (Dickson Etuhu, 71, 6), Philippe Senderos 6, Aaron Hughes 6, Clint Dempsey 8 (Zoltan Ger, 89, N/A), Bobby Zamora 8 (Eidur Gudjohnsen, 50, 6), Jonathan Greening 7.
Subs not used: David Stockdale, Stephen Kelly, Zoltan Gera, Gael Kakuta, Matthew Briggs.
Bookings: Johnson (60), Murphy (66), Gudjohnsen (78), Dempsey (88).
Goals: Hangeland (5, 49)
Referee: Peter Walton: Northants 5: Whilst Mr Walton was overall competent he was far too lenient. I cannot understand how Sidwell wasn’t cautioned and arguably dismissed. Gudjohnnson was lucky to get just a yellow for a blatant kick on Hleb that resulted in the Blues player having to go off. The only reason Blues received no cautions is that they hardly put a decent tackle in!
Attendance: 27,759 (1,064 Fulham fans)