Verdict on yet another appalling home performance
Carl Ikeme: Make no mistake, we were appalling tonight. Did not deserve anything out of the game. But up until the opener, Blues were no better at all. It was a shocking match between two shocking teams, and then our goalkeeper gifts them a goal with a piece of play that you wouldn’t have your mate down the park. Appalling. So thanks Carl, you probably cost us that game. And it happens all too often with him. Lucky we gave him a four year deal recently.
Conor Coady: It’s inconceivable really how someone can come through the Liverpool Academy and have so little footballing ability. Can’t control, pass or cross a ball whatsoever. Yeah, he’s not really a right back, but as a career midfielder you’d think he would be at least reasonably comfortable in possession (at least in theory, having watched him for 18 months I wouldn’t trust him with the ball any more than I’d trust Scooby Doo in my pantry). An absolute black hole of possession.
Danny Batth: Often you talk about players giving the opposition a headache. Well, Danny certainly gave Ryan Shotton a headache tonight. But only in the literal sense of endlessly booting the ball straight onto his ludicrous dreadlocks. Outmuscled and outdone once by Che Adams despite having a three yard start and about two stone on him. Ordinary at best.
Richard Stearman: Did his usual pashernate flinging himself around and firefighting but in truth, had little to do defensively for most of the game. Looks like he should be able to carry the ball out of defence, can’t actually do it in reality.
Matt Doherty: If you ever want a microcosm of Matt Doherty’s game then just watch the second Blues goal. Out of position to start with, he then ambles a full 30 yards, getting further and further away from the play and then they score. He is never in the right place. He cannot defend. Seriously, his defending is still League of Ireland level, six and a half years since we signed him from the League of Ireland. You could argue that it isn’t his fault that he’s totally shite, you could certainly say it isn’t his fault that he keeps getting picked. The attitude element is all on him and he’s an absolute disgrace. I must have said it two dozen times over the last three years but I’d be delighted if he never played for us again.
Jack Price: Sometimes he looks kind of neat and tidy and plays a nice little 5-10 yard pass. It’s not enough though, is it. He doesn’t really protect the back four, he never hurts anyone with his passing and he doesn’t get around the park well enough. Nice guy and nice beard but nothing like the level we need.
George Saville: Game totally passed him by and hooked at half time. I think we’ve probably seen enough now, he can never be more than just a bit part player for a low end Championship club at absolute best, there are too many fundamental weaknesses in his game and that just isn’t what we’re after.
Dave Edwards: Same old problem with Dave. If he doesn’t score then he doesn’t do anything. Totally anonymous as a #10 as we all knew would be the case; most teams put their most creatively gifted player in that position, we put one of our least skilled in that respect. Will I ever question his attitude or character, no, but he’s got the same flaws and limitations that he had in 2008. How none of our managers have sussed that out, I don’t know.
Andi Weimann: A curious type of wide player who rarely takes a player on, rarely joins up with the front man and can’t really cross the ball. He looked good for a while for Villa in a genuine 4-3-3 but we don’t play that way (nor can we really, we’ve tried). As a wide man in this system he doesn’t justify a shirt.
Helder Costa: I’m not really sure why we played him on the wrong side for most of the game (it didn’t really help us out, albeit he created the goal from there); when we did get it to him he did pretty well, as you would expect from one of the best players in the division. We didn’t do it nearly enough, hardly at all in the first half and it was an off day for him set piece wise.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson: Managed to do what we’ve been waiting nearly 20 years for and got Paul Robinson a red card against Wolves. Otherwise…well, not much. He always tries hard but he is nothing like a target man; he’s not especially good in the air and when he does win it, his flicks are mostly aimless. Goal threat is as good as non-existent.
Nouha Dicko: In one of the few positives of the night, got his goal finally, a smart enough near post run and finish though he was probably marginally offside. Could have had another but put his header too close to Kuszczak. We just have to hope this sets him off on a run of scoring, in truth we were playing too long and too aimlessly for him to do much in general play tonight.
Paul Lambert: That midfield is never going to work unless you’re asking them to do a yard dog job against the likes of Chelsea or Liverpool, we need some footballing ability in there and the absence of Romain Saiss remains baffling. Given that we had all the possession after the red card surely it would have been better to bring on Ben Marshall rather than Coady, we have surely signed him to provide more quality from that area? Was it not worth giving Bright Enobakhare 15 minutes at the end? The Anfield success was based on us getting the ball forward at the first opportunity and breaking and that was great…for that game in isolation. For a month now our defence and midfield seem to have been instructed to just lamp the ball forward first time at every opportunity and it doesn’t work. We simply must start playing more football or we’re in real trouble, there’s no excuse for this style as it isn’t even effective. Get the ball down, pick some proper full backs (or at least better than the two clowns we have there at the moment) and we might have a fighting chance of picking up some points through what looks like a tough March. Don’t and we’re going to be in the bottom three this time next month. Up to you Lambo.