I was buzzing about this game since leaving Portman Road last Saturday with 3 points, and when finally the day came my girlfriend Dannielle, (she'll get mentioned a lot in this blog, hehe) was coming straight to mine from college. It was my day off so I took the day easy, then around 5pm, went and met Dan, before going back to mine. We chatted about our day's before jumping in the car about 6pm and headed to the Ricoh Arena.
As neither of us had dinner, we went to Burger King and quickly finished our meals before walking the short walk to the ground.
Here are my player ratings and general thoughts on the game. :)
A draw would have been a fair result, not because I’m looking at it through sky blue tinted glasses but because the game was changed in the third minute by a blatant bit of play acting by the only one of Cardiffs strikers not getting abuse. People may compare it to the Watford one but the ref told the players any more holding in the box and he would give a pen. On Tuesday night Chopra had time to get to his feet and ask for the penalty and the weak linesman gave it, if he had flagged as soon as Chopra had hit the floor then I would have no complaint but he was obviously bowing to the name player.
However, even after the goal you still felt there was something there to play for and how nice was it to see us score just before half time? Things are changing but we need a little more creativity and variety in the final third.
Heh, chin up, we lost but played well and it was a good learning curve for Turner, Keogh and Juke at this level.
HOW THEY LINED UP
Coventry: Westwood, Keogh, Cranie, Turner, Wood, Gunnarsson, Carsley (Cpt), Clingan, McSheffery, Platt, Jutkiewicz,(King 70)
Subs Not Used: Ireland, Cameron, Doyle, Baker, McIndoe, O’Donovan
Booked: Turner, Clingan
Goals: McSheffery (44)
Westie - 7 Got sent the wrong way for the pen and could do bugger all with the winner. Has started to vary his distribution more and was willing to release Keogh.
Keogh - 8 Ignoring the bit above about his naivety, I’m Aidy will put him straight, Keogh had his best game in a Cov shirt. He kept Bellamy quiet in a good one on one battle and still had the awareness to get forward and offer the width on the right that the tactics require. His enthusiasm and work rate have never been in doubt but whether or not he was disciplined enough to protect the right hand side of the defence and show the intelligence to really make the step up wasn’t really clear. However, that is just one game, he needs to continue in the same vein on Saturday.
Cranie - 8 Solid as a rock at left back and even ventured forward.
Turner - 6 Left a couple of things for Wood and really seemed to suffer with the penalty decision, he needs to learn to put these things behind him and get on with the game, let us buggers in the crowd grumble about the injustice on his behalf whilst you get on with the game. Betty is a very good player, why do we boo him out of interest?, he moves his body into line with the ball and has a great leap and was very much on top in the first half. In the second half Turner changed his line of attack and started to win more and more of the high ball.
Wood - 6 Like Big Ben, Dick Wood took a while to get to grips with Betty but he prevented any ground balls getting to Chopra. Went up for the final ten minutes and tried to make a nuisance of himself, but like his defensive duties he isn’t really as dominant in the air as I would like.
Gunnar - 8 When he drives at the opposition he is a threat, by being allowed a fair amount of freedom in movement it was his run from a more central position that led to the equaliser. He tried to get in and around Platt for the flick ons and when he is in the right mood, as he has been for a week or two, he tries things. My mates theories is that when he is involved in the game a lot he really steps up his game, he tries things and is really happy, when he isn’t involved as much he tries too hard to force things and it doesn’t come as easy. One extra thing to note from Gunnar is that he is spending less time getting needless treatment this season, there is a new maturity to him and that can only help his development and ours.
Carsley - 8 Been very critical of Carsley recently but I though he was excellent on Tuesday night. Along side Clingan I felt he ran the midfield and he was even bombing forward and more than once a different run of the ball would have put him in some very good positions. They both pressured that slightly higher up the pitch and he kept the ball ticking over nicely and if we had the same offensive options on the left he would be looking even better.
Clingan - 8 Carried the ball forward a couple of times and has stopped trying the impossible pass when the receiver is under pressure before the ball lands. Releasing the ball wide quickly and always covering the space left by Keogh and Cranie, when the latter moved over the half way line. Liked others, needs to continue to play like that as there is no doubt he has the ability to get us going but he still needs to work on his set pieces and be more probing with his passing into the strikers feet.
Sheffers - 6 Scored a nice tidy goal and, well okay that was it. He doesn’t look to get the ball in the box early enough, how many times did Juke or Platt have a ball to attack in the area? Needs to have an end product and be a supplier of chances as much as scorer of goals. Worked hard defensively in the first half, but tired badly in the second half and probably could have been replaced before he was over run by Burke.
Platt - 6 Dominated in the first half by the Cardiff centre half who used means fair or foul to ensure he didn’t have an easy flick on. Is showing more with his feet but is pretty slow and more than once he managed to turn his centre back but just doesn’t have the pace to get away. As the game wore on he won more and more in the air and did link very well with Gunnar. If you were being mean you could claim that his badly under hit three yard pass to Carsley when we were on the attack led to the winner. Gunnars throw ins, Platt takes a position at the near post, Cardiff put Betty in front of him and a defender behind him, he was the meat in the metaphorical sandwich, it happened every time and every time Platt let it happen. One of Dublins strengths was that he never stood in the place he was going to flick the ball on from, he always moved in to the position, its easy to mark a tree its harder to mark an ent.
Juke - 6 Change your boots buddy, there is no point controlling a ball to your chest or feet and then when you go to move away from the defender you fall over because your studs are wrong. Likes the ball to feet but sometimes when you are playing with a striker like Platt you need to gamble on the space behind the defence, you need to move the centre halves around and help Platt out by occupying the thoughts of the defenders. Faded badly but should have been replaced a little earlier to give MK9 more time to get into the flow of the game.
MK9 - Didn’t do a fat lot to be honest. Needed to have been one of two subs with Sheffers making way for McIndoe or Baker.
Boothroyd - 7 Getting the midfield to pressure higher up the pitch and looking to get Gunnar and Sheffers into more space in and around the box. Probably should have replaced Sheffers as the game wore on as his influence was disappearing in front of our eyes.
Cardiff are a good side and with QPR are the two teams who on their day are going to win regardless of how the opposition play, we are part of 15 team chase for 3rd to 6th and we need to make sure that at some point we turn single wins into runs of wins.
IMO, our full backs won their battles, the centre backs lost theirs, Gunnar won his, as did the central midfielders but Sheffers and the strikers lost theirs.
In short. There is something there but we need to going on a ten match unbeaten run and we need to learn the dark arts before another season passes us by.
Sorry if i dragged on a bit their. :')
Sorry if i dragged on a bit their. :')