Saturday, 20 November 2010

Conclusions from Ashton Gate

Bristol City

Pitman 57
Clarkson 90+1
(HT 0-0)

  • Some matches can just be awful. The first half of this afternoon's 'entertainment' was one of the worst I've ever listened to. It was dull, lacking in pace and spirit and failed to captivate the imagination. Even the penalty that could have set-up the Foxes for another good win didn't work out. It's on days like this you really feel sorry for the fans that travelled the hundred-plus miles to follow their team.
  • The cutting-edge is still not there. It was again the inability to take chances that was the downfall of Leicester City this afternoon. Howard's penalty miss was the epitome of a game that for all it's one-sidedness in Leicester's favour was always going to be a dull affair edged by a mistake or a piece of class. In fact, we had both as Bristol eventually finished as 2-0 victors. That we conceded again from a set piece without response from one of our many corners is what has been costing us all season.

Steve Howard
He failed to score a penalty but still Howard stands-out as a leader and key man on the pitch. Today his inclusion here is as much down to others' failings as much as his playing a good game, but that should not undermine Howard's claim to remain in the starting XI.

Sven Goran Eriksson
Sven cannot be criticised following this defeat for two reasons. He made all the right calls as we chased the game in vain, making the right substitutions and strategic calls as he has done since he took charge. Tactically, we were sound today and created plenty of opportunities; clearly, the manner in which Leicester are playing at present is good. However, a dodgy free-kick, a bad error (plus a glorious finish) and his players' finishing let him down today. We were undoubtedly the better side for ninety-two of the ninety-four minutes but those two minutes were pivotal.

David James
After a calamitous error in the first half that saw the England keeper live up to his nickname and gift a penalty to the visitors, James never looked back. He saved what was a good penalty from Steve Howard and was relatively untroubled for the rest of the match.

Chris Weale
A poor clearance from the ex-Bristol keeper gifted the home side their second goal that destroyed any chance of a Foxes fightback in the dying minutes. Yes, the finish from forty-odd yards was exquisite, but it was Weale's error that gave Clarkson the chance to score. Weale will be moving aside for Chris Kirkland sooner than he would have imagined.

Martyn Waghorn
Waghorn failed to score yet again, making it still just two league goals in fourteen appearances for the £3 million striker. Whether he lacks confidence in front of goal - he too often looks for the pass instead of shooting - or there is something else affecting his game, it needs sorting quickly if he is to fulfil his promise.

The Foxes' Promotion Push
A defeat away from home may not on paper look like the worst result but in reality, at a side whose home form is poor, it is disastrous for the long journey to the top six. Games like these are the ones we should be winning without exception, and whilst Chris Weale will take the brunt of the blame for his error to ultimately concede defeat, it was the failure of the strikers to challenge David James that cost the Foxes victory.
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