As We Journey On #5: Derby Despair, Meeting Millwall And Everything Inbetween

This week hasn’t been the best for us bluenoses. We had Derby day and we will get into to that next. We just came off the knockout blow from Huddersfield in the cup and it started to seem that we were going back to how we were before the new year. I’ll start off with the Villa game but because of what happened I will try to keep it minimal as we all don’t want to remind ourselves of it   

Victorious Villa…   

Sunday had us bluenoses making the short trip to the dark end of Birmingham, as we played Villa in the 2nd City Derby. Derby Day is always an event that gets us bluenoses hyped, no matter what the situation we find ourselves in, no matter how we have been performing, you always know Derby Day will always mean the most to us Blues fans. We as Blues fans just want our team to show the passion and effort we would show if we were playing the Villa but, once again, we were let down, and big time.    

The game was set up to be a good game, Villa had won six in six and Blues were in good form as well. We both had strikers, Sam Gallagher and Scott Hogan, who were in fine form and Villa had recently got John Terry back from injury. Blues fans were looking to celebrate a victory at Villa Park for the first time since 2004 and we went in believing this was the time we did. However, the players and manager obviously didn’t have the same thoughts.   

The first half was pretty lackluster. Hogan hit the bar with a volley that luckily bounced up to him and, other than that, the first half was just a boring half of football. Blues’ passing was atrocious, Ndoye was having his worst game yet, and most of our influential players, such as Keiftenbeld and Maghoma were silent. That was until Gallagher had his golden chance. Every Goddamn game we play Villa one player misses a one-on-one. Maghoma did it a few years back in the cup, Jota did it the last time we played and it turned out it was Gallagher’s time. After Terry slipped, Gallagher ran through, hit a low shot into the far post that bounced straight back to him and he smashed the rebound straight over the bar.       

Now, I said this as soon as Gallagher missed this and I got a fair amount of stick. I said that we were going to lose after the miss, and that’s what happened. The first half ended just after that and Blues looked awful, credit to Villa they played like a team who is where they are in the table.    

The second half started and all we wanted was our team to wake up and play with some passion. That didn’t happen and Villa carried on dominating. The ball finally went in for Villa mid-way through the second half as Albert Adomah. He picked up the ball and smashed one in off the post from around twenty yards out. 1-0 and Blues didn’t look like getting back into the game.    

Villa got a second goal later on in the game and, to be fair to them, it was an absolute banger. The ball came out to Hourihane who chests it and then smashes a twenty-five-yard volley into the far corner. 2-0, game over and Blues were utter crap.    

There was one last bit of drama and a positive for a lot of Blues fans, with Ndoye getting himself sent off. To be honest, he’s a Blues legend for what happened. Jedinak tried to pull him down in the box, kicks out at him and angers Ndoye. Ndoye was having a go at Jedinak and up stepped the absolute mug of a human John Terry. Terry ran over to Ndoye and they got into a tussle. Ndoye grabbed Terry around the throat and unfortunately couldn’t get his head in there and knock the melt out. He got sent off and that was the game over.    

Another mentionable moment involved Ndoye as he accidentally stamped on Grealish’s leg. Now, I’m not saying it’s a good thing for someone to stamp on someone else but I did enjoy watching it.   

After watching the game, I wasn’t too bothered about the result. Villa are 2nd for a reason, they’ve spent more on two of their strikers than we have in the past three or four windows, but it was the performance that bothered me. Not one player gave their all in that game and the one thing I can see that coming down to is what Cotterill said before the match. No offense to Cotterill but he just isn’t inspiring and his build-up to the game gave the feeling that he wasn’t trying to hype the players up for the game. His substitute decisions were awful again. We conceded around sixty minutes and Cotterill waited to bring Jota on till seventy-five minutes, with Adams coming on just after eighty minutes. It was just poor all over and I just hope this doesn’t put our heads down for the remainder of the season.       

One thing I want to say is that I took the loss a little more softly due to the fact that Steve Bruce has been through so much. Losing his dad and his mum being in hospital must have been so hard to deal with, with such a big game to prepare for, I can’t begin to imagine what it felt like. Take the win with pride Steve, you deserved it and I am sure your dad would have been loving it from above. RIP. 

Maghoma’s Renewal…   

Blues broke the news on Wednesday afternoon that winger, Jacques Maghoma had signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract. This is great news as he has been fantastic this season. The partnership he has made with Sam Gallagher is brilliant and hopefully, it doesn’t break up at the end of the season.   

Talking about loans not ending, reports came out earlier this week that Blues are trying to extend Jeremie Boga’s loan to the end of next season. This would be brilliant for Blues as Boga is a quality player and he has shown this in games this season Hopefully if this is true, he can feel at home at Blues for the second season and really push on,   

Another piece of transfer news, which is surprising with it only being February, is Krystian Bielik wants to re-join Blues in the summer. For people who don’t know, Bielik was on loan this time last season and he performed well. However, he went back to Arsenal and we didn’t hear from him until January when he joined Walsall on loan. In a recent interview, he said that if he was to leave Arsenal in the summer then he wants to come to Blues as he feels at home here and would love to play for the team again. To me I would love Bielik back, I feel like he was underrated for the part he played in us staying up and he formed a decent partnership with Morrison at the back. If he was to join in the summer then I would more than happily welcome him.    

Meeting Millwall…  

Due to myself having a busy week and, to be perfectly honest with you, still being fairly annoyed about the Villa game I have had to cut the loan watch part out. Don’t worry, it will return next week.  

Anyway, Saturday has Blues staying at home as they have Millwall visiting St. Andrews. Blues will be wanting to win the game as they aim to pull further away from the bottom three. Millwall will also want the win because they could be pulled back into the debate for relegation with a few losses in a row.    

Blues go into the game on the back of two tough defeats to take. They haven’t looked their best and they really need to pick themselves up after the Villa win to place some confidence back into the fans and prove to us that they aren’t going to be negative for the rest of the season.   

I expect a well-fought game as both teams are known for their physicality. The game could go either way and I’m not going to predict the scoreline as I don’t know how Blues will respond but hopefully Blues come out on top and leave with the three points.   

That’s where I’m going to end it and apologies for cutting it short, if you knew what was going on behind the scenes you would understand. Hopefully, I come back next week after us beating Millwall and our loan players have had a good outing for their teams over the weekend. See you next week and remember to always Keep Right On!  

About the Author

Stephen Beavon
Just a young football fan who likes to get his opinion across to others. Love Birmingham City, although it is difficult at times.