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VB Weekend Winners and Losers



Yes we really did do it again. Time and time again we seem to talk a good game heading into a trip somewhere other than Ewood Park - we get in the pitch and do the business, setting ourselves up a storm for a good result... and then blow it!

Sloppy defensive errors, a combination of shoddy composure and the usual misfortune contributed to send us back down the motorway with less than three points, or even one for that matter.

But there were reasons to be optimistic that we can improve on last seasons' away showings.

Here are your winners and losers for Birmingham City away.

WINNERS

Chris Samba -
Excellent. As solid as they come and a fine choice as the new captain of this football club. Personally I felt that taking the on field duties off of Ryan Nelsen could have been a unnecessary luxury but it already looks as if I was wrong.

Samba lead the line extremely well (Save for their first goal) and absolutely bossed the even taller Nikola Zigic, turning the lanky Serbians home debut into a personal nightmare.

Did not deserve to be on the losing side and is already a front runner for player of the season. (Yes, I know - two games you reactionary fool.)

Nikola Kalinic - The job of a forward is a thankless task in 2010. Strikers in most teams now find themselves isolated in a 4-5-1 or a 4-2-3-1 formation and don't really bag as many goals as they should.

Strikers have found themselves needing to trade in other striking commodities . Namely standing tall, holding the ball up well and putting in the the hard yards.

In all of these attributes Niko was superb at St Andrews. The fact he continues to struggle in front of goal is turning into a joke and not a very funny one.

He seems to get into some great positions, he is even hitting the ball well (please see his stern left foot drive that Ben Foster did well to turn away) but he doesn't have that little spin of the ball that he needs to go on a goalscoring run.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, he hit the post AGAIN.

If he keeps playing like this his luck will turn as he has been cracking, if a little short of full match fitness, in the opening two games.

Morten Gamst Pedersen - His new contract seems to have had a positive effect on Morten as has his continued presence in a more central position on the field of play.

Pedersen's remains a constant danger at set pieces and his delivery on Saturday from corners, throw ins and free kicks caused all sorts of havoc.

He did manage to sneak in his one mandatory scuffed cross but apart from that he was a danger.

Rovers will always pose threats from set plays if Gamst continues to deliver like this.

LOSERS

Brett Emerton -
What has happened to him?

The all singing, all dancing, all action Aussie from the World Cup has turned into a lamb.

He was bought on to replace Jones in midfield and went missing.

He was full of running as he always is but looked off the pace when on the ball and scared to put a foot in when we were on the back foot.

Will the real Brett Emerton please stand up?

Paul Robinson - Robbo looked great on the whole but no matter how much moaning he does one simple fact remains.

That was a hideous mistake for Craig Gardener's second goal and a harsh reminder that his long range shot deficiencies are not a complete forgotten memory.

Keith Andrews - Could the more cynical Rovers fan be about to have their dream come true?

Jones' promotion to defensive midfield has pushed the Irishman to the outside and as an effect, the third choice player in his position.

That's all this week's folks, sorry for the slightly late edition but if airlines wouldn't go bust then we would all lead happier lives.

Join The Vital Debate
The Journalist

Writer: Mikey Delap Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 24 2010

Time: 9:27AM

Your Comments

When i think of Saturday all I can think of is frustration!!!
Mikey Delap
Good article, Mikey. In regards to Samba, I hate to say I told you so this early in the season. But I did call him for this years player of the season, let's hope he continues this form! It's good to see Gamst playing well again. We all know how talented the lad is, but for whatever reasons he seemed to go missing over the past couple of seasons. Hopefully now he is settled, he will get back to being the Pedersen who excited us all in his first season as a Rover. Niko has been very unlucky indeed. His luck has to change soon, or so we hope. Playing as the lone striker is thankless task, yet he plays that role so well. I still think Big Sam needs to give him a strike partner to play off for us to see his full potential, and hopefully he will do so when he makes his 2-3 signings before Friday. Robinson has always been suspect on long shots. It's a real shame because he is so good at shot stopping and every other area of his game. I am surprised that E. Diouf was not included in your winners list. It sounded like he played very well on the radio.
roversfanben
Yeah i've only heard good things about EHD this season!! I really feel that this is an exception to how our away results are going to be this season, the likes of Blackpool, WBA and teams like wolves are there for the taking!!
bennipoo
Good read sas - however I think you were a bit harsh on robbo - if the defence back off and allow the opposition to shoot rather than closing them downthe goalie will always be underpressure. Poor defending as well as keeping in my view
FreidelNo.1
Good read Sas?! Good grief he is on holiday and still claiming credit for my work!!! ha ha!!!
Mikey Delap
I agree with that EHD like Pederson has reinvented himself this season and im glad to see the form he showed in Sydney has kept going! He was player of the tournament over here for me. And it's great to see him on the ball showing bucket loads of confidence!!
oziroversfan
Gr8 article as always Sas . Peds had another gr8 game last night playin up front same as in Australia. Emo had another terrible game by all accounts, is it world cup jet lag or is he carrying an injury?
mutts nutts
Good stuff MIKEY!! Haha. Emo was one of the few shining lights of the Aussie team at the WC yet he seems to have come back a different player. Could just be he needs to find his rythym again but I hope he finds it quick!
fransavarese
Lets hope so cause at brum he was nowhere near what we have seen before.
Mikey Delap
Don't think it's WC jet lag, He looked sharp in Sydney and even managed to bag a nice goal, Let's hope he gets back to the Emo we love to see asap!
oziroversfan
 

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