April 13, 2024

The latest dull tie against a very ordinary looking Bristol City squad was a huge turn off for the fans who endured the chilly weather to put on a back footed performance that impressed no one.

Some sloppy defending early on went unpunished by a lackluster visiting attack that failed to register a single shot on goal despite dominating possession throughout the game.
As it turned out, the Sanderson/Aiwu combination, as well as the return of Drameh, helped to strengthen up the defense with the assistance of Sunjic and James. If Rooney believes his tactics would succeed at Leeds, he may be in for a harsh awakening.

The supporters properly turned on Rooney at the end of the game, which visibly affected him during the post-game interview when he stutters through a series of incoherent replies. It was embarrassing from the Blues’ manager, who appears to be at a loss for answers and ideas.

To be honest, unless he gets his act together soon, the writing may be on the wall for him. I have previously supported Rooney, but this performance revealed a lack of tactical awareness and inexperience that is becoming a major concern.

I’d want to remind out that he inherited a team of ordinary players, and while there have been glimpses of form against Leicester and Ipswich, the standard of play on the pitch has been appalling. I expect him to remain in charge until the end of February after bringing in up to five new signings, and let us hope they hit the ground running; otherwise, patience will wear thin and he will be gone.
A new goalkeeper is required. I know that playing out from the back gives us butterflies, but it is the way most managers and teams play, and it will not work unless you have a goalkeeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet.

 

It's time for me to leave the club' - Wayne Rooney steps down as manager of  Derby County - Eurosport

 

Opposing teams, as well as Blues defenders, can perceive Ruddy’s uneasiness. Some of the best goalies are giving up goals while playing out from the back, but they do provide an extra defender who can manage the play behind the defensive line, which Ruddy problems with when the ball is at his feet. It has absolutely nothing to do with age. I was just watching Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who will turn 38 in March and has just signed a new contract with the club. This guy could easily play as a defender; his poise on the ball is unrivaled, and the opposition is well aware of it.

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see anything other than a thrashing loss to Leeds, which will push Blues even further down the table, towards the bottom three.

With 21 games remaining, there is still plenty of time to go up the league, but if Rooney is to stay, he must get control of team selection and instill urgency in their performance, or else adding someone like Messi may be futile.

Finally, I’d want to thank all of the numerous readers of my column for your support and criticism of my views. I enjoy reading them all and learning about the passion and love that Birmingham City fans have for the club. I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year and hope that the tide will turn in our team’s favor.

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