That was pretty disappointing for us. Credit where credit's due though, Birmingham did all the right things, played a very deep line, played nice and tight and let Carra and Sami to their own devices while pressurising us in the important areas.
I thought we really missed Agger on Saturday. We missed a ball-playing centre-back because, god love 'em, Sami and Jamie are very much hoof merchants. There were a number of times when they were playing the ball very tidily between themselves, no Birmingham player within 20m of them and when it was time to play the final ball they either hoofed down the channels for Pennant or the very disappointing Babel. It was either that or playing it so short that Voronin and Kuyt had to drop back into the midfield to take the ball, after which their appalling first touches would bring them back even further from the goal.
Like I said, I thought Babel was disappointing but so was Gerrard. If ever a game needed someone to drop deep and take some responsibility over starting attacking moves, it was this one. Rafa says he was tired so don't expect to see him against Reading.
I'm not sure if I'm disappointed in Kuyt and Voronin or if they just weren't on the right wave-length. Both played poorly but their games are very similar to each other's. For me, I'd like to see Crouch and Voronin play together and then let Kuyt play with Torres. I definitely thought Crouch should've been on from the start though.
I know I was pretty harsh on Steve Bruce before the game, but I don't think this result should vindicate him. We were good enough to win, and win easily, but when we didn't get an early goal, we started to get more and more nervous. We started very well, I thought, but the turning point was when Arbeloa kicked the ball out of play to allow Oubina to receive treatment on his knee. It looked as if we were about to rip through the Birmingham defence for the second time in five minutes and that, while it may not have led to a goal, would've put a lot more pressure on them.
Next up, Reading away and Wigan away. Thankfully the Wigan match will be on Setanta here in Canada so I can watch it with a nice Egg McMuffin meal and start the weekend off right.