bestkinky

Five things we learned: Millwall 1-0 Cardiff City

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

#1: Holloway picks the perfect time to recall Shittu

Danny Shittu told Ian Holloway weeks ago that he was fit and ready to return to action.

Holloway, though, kept him waiting on the bench. The Lions boss did consider starting the big defender at Wigan in midweek but had second thoughts.

“A wet Tuesday night or a game in front of the cameras?” was Holloway’s dilemma, and in choosing the latter he made the right decision.

Because Shittu has always risen to the occasion. In 2013, he scored in a televised FA Cup tie at Blackburn to send Millwall to the semi-finals.

So Holloway wound Shittu up just the right amount before unleashing him on the big stage, knowing he would relish the chance to send out a message.

And Shittu did just that with his performance in both boxes.

He leapt two feet above Cardiff’s Federico Macheda to head in the winning goal but was equally formidable at the other end of the field.

Defensively, he made nine clearances, one tackle and one interception.

There was one nervy moment when Shittu slipped and the crowd held its collective breath as the ball deflected off his flailing arm, but the danger quickly passed.

The 34-year-old’s future at the club looked far from certain in the summer but this display has re-established him in Millwall’s first-team picture.

#2: Missed chances shouldn’t deter impressive Gregory

When the final whistle blew on Saturday, all of Millwall’s players, bar one, punched the air in jubilation.

But Lee Gregory’s head was bowed for a moment as he reflected on two missed chances in front of goal.

Later he tweeted that he was “gutted” not to have got his name on the scoresheet.

But Gregory, who eventually joined his teammates in celebrating a vital win, should not dwell on what might have been for long.

The striker lobbed one narrowly over the bar before firing wide after a rebound came to him quickly but his overall performance was encouraging once again.

With Gregory running in behind opposition defences, Millwall have posed much more of an attacking threat in recent weeks.

He impressed again with his movement but also with some neat one-touch passes and flicks in tight areas to link the play.

The striker will rue his loose finishing but this was another step forward for a player who last season was plying his trade in non-league.

He’s already scored twice for the Lions and if keeps getting into dangerous positions, he will score a lot more than that.

#3: Shaun Williams finds his killer pass

He’s arguably been Millwall’s most consistent performer this season, but Shaun Williams has shown in his last two games that he can step up another level.

Always neat and tidy, always reliable with the ball and always trustworthy in possession, Williams is the ideal deep-lying midfielder.

But occasionally he has shied away from the blockbuster pass or the Hollywood through ball.

In August, Holloway backed Williams for an Ireland call up, but added: “He’s got to play more like a midfielder than a centre half.

“Nicky Bailey plays like a midfielder doing defensive duties but Willo has been a centre half for the last two years.

“Part of being a midfielder is creating and I'm expecting him to do that more. He’s got a range of passing that nobody has seen yet.”

Well, we’ve seen it now. Against Wolves, Williams floated a wonderful chip into the path of Lee Gregory, who calmly finished into the bottom corner.

The duo almost repeated the feat at the weekend as the midfielder’s raking 40-yard through ball found the striker before he lofted his shot onto the roof of the net.

Williams has always had that killer pass in his locker but with Gregory hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, he now has someone to aim for.

His stats against Cardiff? 68 touches of the ball, 53 passes and an 83% accuracy rate. Not bad at all.

#4: Lions hunt the ball down in packs

Millwall’s pressing game was back to its best against Cardiff. The Lions closed the ball down in numbers but they never lost their shape or became ragged.

Lee Martin and Scott McDonald led by example again, displaying seemingly boundless energy to win possession back nine times between them.

Millwall’s best performances and results this season have come when they’ve chased the opposition inside their own half and forced mistakes.

They did it brilliantly against Leeds and Fulham in August but let things slip during September.

There was little bite or purpose to their pressing at Ipswich or Huddersfield.

So far, the Lions have only turned this on in the big games. But they need to use the same tactic against the sides around them in the league.

#5: Forde save was as important as a goal

This incredible double stop from David Forde deserves a special mention – it was just as important as Shittu's winning goal.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

9 thoughts on “Five things we learned: Millwall 1-0 Cardiff City

  • October 27, 2014 at 12:08
    Permalink

    Yep,the 5 x things above says it all ( or nearly ), MILLWALL FC are back as a 'FORCE' , we are Millwall ! All those great Lion songs can be sung again with Joy & Passion by the Lion - Fans. ' we are evil' - we're the best behaved supporters in the land' - we' re proud of you Milwall' and last but not least. - NO ONE LIKES US, WE DONT CARE! ( Coyl ).

    Like (132)
    Dislike (3)
    Reply
    • October 27, 2014 at 12:31
      Permalink

      @BUSHWACKER!$
      I agree with what you say,Forde great double save was my moment of the match,but i still think he should have held the first shot LOL
      Before every one gives me stick im only joking
      PP1

      Like (26)
      Dislike (0)
      Reply
      • October 27, 2014 at 12:34
        Permalink

        Sorry BUSHWACKER14 i forgot to take my finger off the shift key its old age setting in.

        Like (0)
        Dislike (0)
        Reply
  • October 27, 2014 at 12:29
    Permalink

    #6 Hopefully after this performance, Ollie has now finally realised Dunney's best place is on the bench as a stand in RB. Don't get me wrong he has been a great servant, gives 100% and his effort cannot be questioned but he has been exposed the weak link at centre back especially against strong powerful forwards.

    Overall was a fantastic team performance, Shittu won everything, New lad Wilkinson looked rock solid, Williams passing was superb, Martin worked his b*****ks off and was especially impressed with Gregory's movement, he is going to be a real handful. Just keep it consistent Ollie and stick to the same, settled team. With Bailey, Martinez and fitness permitting Gueye to come back soon our bench will be strong and give additional guile and flair to break teams down and win tight games.

    Heading to Watford on saturday with a bit of cautious optimism, hopefully at least a draw there followed by six against Blackburn/Brentford, I will gladly take 6 points from 9 going into the next break, onwards and upwards, COYL!! MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!

    Like (8)
    Dislike (0)
    Reply
  • October 27, 2014 at 12:49
    Permalink

    P.S Can't believe forgot to mention Fuller, brilliant hold up play and also put a great shift in, perfect striker partnter for Gregory IMO.

    Like (4)
    Dislike (0)
    Reply
    • October 27, 2014 at 14:14
      Permalink

      @Jimbobwallmk: if only fuller can master the art of not falling on his face every 2mins.he'll be mustard

      Like (4)
      Dislike (0)
      Reply
  • October 27, 2014 at 13:24
    Permalink

    Forde's double save was critical to the whole result and performance. Brilliant.

    Like (4)
    Dislike (0)
    Reply
  • October 27, 2014 at 14:28
    Permalink

    big test this weekend, i'll be at watford to cheer the boys on, early crimbo prezzie please boys!! this league looks similar to 2 seasons ago, when anyone could have ended up or down with 4 weeks to go. a nice run now could see us cemented in the top half of this league.

    Like (0)
    Dislike (0)
    Reply
  • October 27, 2014 at 18:49
    Permalink

    away to Watford is tough but Ollie has to play to our strenghs which is what we did against Cardiff...lets attack them with the same team and win or lose 3 2

    Like (0)
    Dislike (0)
    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *