Date: 31st January 2017 at 12:15pm
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Ah, home sweet home. St. Andrews under the floodlights, there is nothing better. But tonight will be different. Reading arrive in B9 for what will be a pressure cooker of a game for Blues and Gianfranco Zola. Nine winless games in charge would always crank the pressure up a notch. I`m not going to say ‘tonight will be the night` because I have been so wrong about this kind of thing previously.

After Saturday`s defeat to Norwich City, Zola stands on the brink of entering double figures without a win as Birmingham City manager. The law of averages would heavily suggest that a win is due – but football doesn`t work like that.

In between both penalty areas, Blues have been decent. But defensively, we`re abject and from an attacking point of view we`re toothless. It could have been so different. At Carrow Road, the Juke rattled the crossbar seconds before Cameron Jerome put the hosts ahead. At Blackburn, Ryan Shotton was denied a last gasp winner by a superb save. Football is a game of fine margins – Blues are constantly on the wrong side of the margins though.

We all knew that Zola was an attack minded manager so, to a point, defence would be sacrificed as a priority. But Blues aren`t scoring enough goals to allow them to do that. Seven goals in nine games is not a good record but conceding ten in the same period has given Zola a mountain to climb. In some respects, he`s been very lucky. Down the road at Vile Park, they would have had the bed sheets out long before now. Blues fans seem to be a more patient bunch – yet that patience will not last forever.

Reading are flying high in the Championship and their genuine promotion aspirations make them a tough prospect. Like Blues, they like to play football on the deck and attack the opposition. Perhaps that may suit Blues better than a team who comes and parks the bus; it may give them the opportunity to create gaps and little pockets of space.

The formation has been a big talking point recently. Since taking over, more often than not, Zola has opted for a 4-3-3. Historically, he seems to prefer a 3-5-2 which would create a wing-back system largely untried and untested with the current squad. Do Zola`s transfer dealings suggest he`s eventually aiming for that sort of shape?

Football is funny old game with ups and downs. While there has been more downs recently, a few wins would give everyone hope. I can`t see that being tonight though.

As always, Keep Right On!

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3 Replies to “Match day musings #10: Blues v Reading”

  • Problem is Rob that we as fans no longer expect us to win. This is so like the days of Lee Clark. Since December we no longer have faith in the team,the format or the bottle. Sad days.

  • Come on the team need to focus on goals …Frei round-the- back crossing behind the defence with bodies in the box …COME ON. kRO…

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