Often Partisan

Positivity Monday

Birmingham City now know that they will face Swansea City at home in the FA Cup fourth round if they can beat (or lets be honest even get to face) either Crawley Town or Bristol Rovers in the third. It would be a chance for the Swans to avenge the 3-1 defeat they suffered at St Andrews earlier in the season in the League Cup third round.

After the doom and gloom I was feeling on Saturday it’s quite a nice feeling to know Blues are in the fourth round draw of the cup when the Baggies, Wolves, and the mob from across the expressway aren’t – even if we’ve not managed to kick a ball in anger in the cup yet. I know it’s unseemly to engage in Schadenfreude but it’s been good to update the song to “18 years” and I’ve been quite happy to remind members of the pink and baby blue entourage that the most successful club this millennium in the city is Blues.

However this good feeling has been tempered by the realisation that it now looks unlikely that Dan Burn is coming back to St Andrews and that whilst I have no doubt Lee Clark will be able to source some sort of replacement loan centre back it’s back to hoping players can gel again. With Aaron Mclean scoring for Hull on his return (along with confirmation in the Birmingham Mail that it’s unlikely he will come back also) it means Clark and his backroom staff will undoubtedly be busy this week trying to plug the gaps left.

I’m sorry to see Burn go; I thought he’d matured well in the Blues team and whilst I’m not sure he’s quite ready for the Premier League I do think there is a good defender in there. I’m a bit more ambivalent about Mclean – I didn’t see enough to impress me although I will readily admit that he offered options that weren’t available from other players such as pace. In an ideal world Akwasi Asante would be the one to step up there but Asante has suffered injury niggles all season without wanting to be too down on the lad I think his chance might now have gone.

Whilst I think players will be brought in I think it’ll be interesting to see if any more youngsters make the same step up as Reece Brown and Demarai Gray have done this year. I suspect Will Packwood will be much more involved now in the first team squad in defence but attack is much more tricky. With Blues realistically now using only one main striker I think it’s more likely that if a player is to break through it will be another attacking midfielder/forward type who can play supporting the front man. With Koby Arthur seemingly a little out of the picture now the player I can see making the step might be 18-year-old Liam Truslove, who signed his first pro deal at the end of last season.

Truslove is a midfielder by trade but he definitely can pass, likes to get forward and has scored a few for the development squad this season. With Blues playing this system of three forward minded players supporting the lone targetman there is room in the side for a player who can pass, attack and shoot in the middle and there may be an opportunity for the youngster if he impresses in training if Blues can’t find anyone else to get in.

Blues do have a break until Saturday and we have to draw the positives from that too; whilst a break in a good run isn’t normally a good thing it will allow fatigued bodies to rest and maybe allow the sickness bug that had broken out in the camp to die down. With a bit of luck we’ll see a fully refreshed and raring to go squad take to the field at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on Saturday, hopefully making it  five wins out of six on the road.

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67 Responses to “Positivity Monday”

  • dave mann says:

    yes its us and coventry fliying the west midland flag in the fa cup this season, ime
    just dissapointed that if we do get through crawley or rovers, and thats not a give me
    with our home form lately we wont be playing man utd in the 4th round and a sell out
    st andrews or about 27/28,000 crowd and now be playing swansea who we beat in
    the league cup with a second half display that hasent been bettered this season home
    or away, but i suppose it gives us more chance of getting through to the 5th round though
    some fans will see it has a destraction which i find mind boggling to be honest.KRO.

  • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

    Good to see you’re back on track Dan, the positivity should be high right now given the decent run we’ve put together. I agree it’s gonna be tougher now we’ve lost players and will probably have to blood me kids add to that potential sales from the transfer window and yep it’s gonna get tough.

    The fantastic job Lee is doing is about to get tougher.

    PS Can you take the awaiting moderation brake off my posts as it puts my remarks out of context by the time they get through and reduced my OP experience. I stayed away to avoid rows and sniping so don’t plan to start now. Cheers and Happy New Year

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m not too worried about midfield or up front so much. We’ve lost Lingard (who only scored 2 goals in his last 12 games) and McLean (no goals in 7 appearances,) so basically, we’ll go with what we’ve had all season… Zigic, Novak, Lovenkrands.

    It’s the defence that worries me more. Whichever way we look at it, we’re down to Mullins, Packwood and Robbo. The thought of Mullins and Robbo in a back 4 scares the hell out of me. With their lack of pace, they could be constantly done over the top or through the middle. Packwood and Robbo is untried. So, unless we get someone in pdq, I’d go for all 3 in a 3-5-2. At least it would provide a bit of protection at least. Fingers crossed that Lee Clark can pull another rabbit out of the hat before the Brighton game.

  • Poppa999 says:

    Although Brucie has said this weekend that McLean will move this window, I think it is unlikely Blues will have the funds or want to find it for a player who won’t add much to the side.

    Pity we didn’t get United, it would have been a sell-out with the prospect of a replay being a massive bonus too. I don’t think The Swans will be as easy this time around.

  • chas says:

    Darren Purse is looking for a new Club,according to Sky Sports.

  • andy says:

    Losing Kyle Bartley to injury is the major blow for Blues, if only the funds were there to sign him permanently. I think Lee Clark needs a lot of praise for the way he goes about his business, with the off-field farce still going on its nothing short of amazing how he steers a team to a 10 game unbeaten run. Its Clark that makes me think anything positive at the moment.

  • StevieW says:

    I think Will Packwood will do a fine job at Centre back.

    We have been in worse situations and survived and Im sure we will again. One thing LC is good at and that is getting kids to perform above their weight and he will do the same again.

    does anyone remember Purse playing a lone striker role some years ago because of lack of fit players, perhaps the call for Ziggy to sit in the back four may not be such a far cry aswell.

    • Dino Tiltoni says:

      I remember Purse up front, and making little impression. Zigic defends well but whether he has the concentration to do it full time is a big question mark

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Well, Swansea won’t be happy playing us. Too many Premiership clubs have gone down to lower league teams for it to be a bye for them – and we’ve already proved we can crush them on the day.
    I’m more worried about playing the previous round against a team incentivised to beat us in the same way. Let’s take our games one at a time. KRO

  • Keep the faith says:

    I am not too worried about the loan players returning to their clubs . We have four less players on our books now including short term contracts. I don’t like loan players unless there is an agreement to buy if all goes well. I would sooner have two players come in on six month contracts where they are playing for a longer deal. We may be able to afford better players as four leave and say 2 arrive. Lee Clark appears able to find players and while some have not worked others have. I believe we are safe from admin at this point in time and in any event we have a good enough nucleus of a squad to achieve 60 points this year.

  • chas says:

    We haven’t got to play Swansea, we are playing the winners of the Bristol/ Crawley tie.. And Crawley are no easy pushover. Take one game at a time .

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Lee said he needed to offload players to bring in new blood. He may well have released McClean in any case, though Burns is a blow, however we just might get him back yet as he has a meeting with his manager tomorrow and he could decide that half a season at Blues is better than warming the bench at Fulham!


    So our priority has to be a central defender. PS pulled off a 110-1 accumulator Saturday including the deafeat of the Vile! KRO

  • I agree Chas. Beating Bristol Rovers or Crawley Town is NOT a foregone conclusion especially with our home form and the fact that we will perforce have to put out a much changed team for the tie. It is interesting how the media slant yesterday afternoon was that Manchester United had drawn Birmingham City in the fourth round of the Cup before they had even kicked off against Swansea. The rest is history as the Swans deservedly won at Old Trafford. Football has a funny knack of taking the complacent and arrogant down a peg or two; we should beware and accord whomever we face in the third round, appropriate respect.

  • dave mann says:

    thats what i mean chas whos to say we will get through rovers/crawley with our
    home record.KRO.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    I’ll feel more positive when the current club owners have departed.

  • dwarf1962 says:

    Do you remember Kidderminster. We thought that was going to be a walkover. Happy new year to us all

    • Dino Tiltoni says:

      Remember Altrincham? one of our darkest days

    • bluenose50 says:

      That game against kiddy still sends shivers down me mind u the thought of Barry fry still gives me sleepless nites so playing rovers or Crawley I am worried with that game forget swans at the moment pity we weren’t playing away I would be bit more confident

  • Chris W says:

    I am of the same opinion re Burn, he has matured well and been pretty solid with Bartley, though I still hate it when he lets the ball bounce past him to chase. He wont be so lucky in the Premiership as he is slow and can be easily turned.
    Packwood should fit right in as he knows the squad it just depends on the psychological factor but he played well for Bristol Rovers.
    I didn’t think McLean had a decent enough run and when he did play he didn’t exactly excite me the same as Lingard does when he gets the ball.
    Have you any info on why Koby Arthur has been snubbed this season, he looked promising but lacked the physical strength at times?
    Is there any news on Asante’s fitness or is his hamstring still causing problems and there is no mention of Lingard coming back, do you know how likely that would be?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t suppose we’ll know much until toawrds the end of the window. Lingard and Burn are possibilities… but can we afford to wait on them? They may decide not to let them come back, then we’ll be left high and dry with all the best loans gone. I think that’s Lee Clark’s biggest decision this month.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    McLean’s best position is as the front man in a lone striker role, the role Zigic is playing. He doesn’t operate as well in a support role and that is why he seems not keen to return to Blues.
    I am ambivalent regarding Burn’s departure. He may develop into a Premier League defender, but, because of his height, he is slow on the turn and prone to mistakes.
    Asante is an enigma. He has all the attributes of a good striker…..pace, touch, physique etc…… but has had a hamstring injury for seemingly a year. When will he be fit?
    Truslove, Brown and Gray are for the future and are not ready for Championship football. I look forward to seeing them play in our exceptional Youth Team this season, particularly next Tuesday in the next round of the FA Youth Cup at Goodison Park versus Everton.

  • dave mann says:

    we just have to get on with it staffs but ive got an incling that burn and lingard will come back
    because there guarranteed first team football at blues with lee clark and not at threre real club,
    if not then i put my trust in lee to find suitable replacements, it would be ashame to change
    personell and formation when were on a 10 game unbeaten run but that sums up our fortunes
    over the last 3 years to be honest so whats new!!!!. KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    we just have to get on with it staffs but ive got an incling that burn and lingard will come back
    because there guarranteed first team football at blues with lee clark and not at threre real club,
    if not then i put my trust in lee to find suitable replacements, it would be ashame to change
    personell and formation when were on a 10 game unbeaten run but that sums up our fortunes
    over the last 3 years to be honest so whats new!!!!. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Burn and Lingard coming back would at least keep the status quo. Or, as I said yesterday dave, maybe a couple of new faces will give us a lift and turn some of these draws into wins. It’s all down to Lee Clark now and whatever he decides. Good luck to him I say.

      • Chris W says:

        In Clark we trust, I should think he will know already if any of the loans are coming back, if not he will already be on the phone looking for replacements, one thing about Clark is seems to find some decent loans, can’t think of too many who have not thrived on coming to Blues, Scott Allen being the current loanee not getting a look in and no one seems to know why.

  • phillip says:

    All the comment seems to be about Burn and McClean and their possible return for the Swansea [possible] match,,,,,has any thought ben given to the idea that if fit Bartley also might be missing for this game as Swansea might not want him to play against them or be Cup Tied ?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think at the moment, we have to assume that Burn, Lingard and Mclean won’t be back and that Bartley wouldn’t play in the cup anyway. We need other plans in place I think. A plan B.

  • dave mann says:

    if those 3 dont come back then we defenetley need new faces at centre half and up front
    so we can keep this same system of 4-2-3-1 because the present team is now getting
    use to it and its showing over the last 10 games more so away from home so like for like
    as far as ime concerened, i just hope plan B is plan A in disguise and who he brings in
    just slot into place niceley. KRO.

  • Steve Evans says:

    Even if they were inclined to let him play, loan players are not allowed to play against their parent club, so that rules out Bartley against Swansea – if we get that far.

  • dave mann says:

    just a thought but after brighton saturday were have 5 home games in a row if we win the
    3rd round game….bristol rovers/ crawley, yeovil, swansea, leicester and derby…….time i
    think to put the home draws into home wins and fly towards the fa cup 5th round and playoff
    contention….anythings possible so keep the faith fellow bluenoses! KRO.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Former Blues’ favourite defender Roger Johnson has signed on loan for West Ham from Wolves!

  • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

    Sully and Gold doing to Hammers the same as they did to us in our second season in Prem

  • dave mann says:

    bang on trevblue, the relegator has cursed the hammers, there down no danger. KRO.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    We need to play

    Caddis Packwood Robbo Fergy

    at the back. Once Bartley comes back I’d play Packwood further up alongside Adeyemi. I’ve heard good things about Fry and Bell and I hope they can make the step up.

  • tmsblues says:

    What’s happened to Koby Arthur then? He looked useful then I assumed he’d got a long-term injury to be missing so long. What is his position.?

  • Bluehobba says:

    Evening all, anyone know when Spector will return KRO

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I’m pretty sure I have only seen Packwood play at right back and I thought he was ok. Robinson is on 9 yellow cards and one more away from a two match suspension. It won’t take him too long to achieve that! Mullins could only play centre back in a three. I am sure the manager’s priority will be a centre back on loan. We’ll I for one would have loved to see Roger Johnson back especially in this mess. Yes he did fall apart after the Carling Cup Final but so did the rest of them. He was fantastic for us before then with Scott Dann. Some people have very short memories.

  • Tony says:

    Your right again Shirley, he was good for us with Dann alongside him, he threw himself in front of everything, a decent player who started believing his own publicity

  • mark says:

    Daniel really happy the mob over the expressway believe in their own hype………..good to here their own fans singing they are going to win f**k all…….that about sums them up…………..
    to be really honest i have stayed positive from the start of the season………
    What clark is trying the do should be commendable, every which way he has turned he has took a knock in the bollox. But he has simply refused to buckle, imo we have in the making of a young manager who has grown in to his position………..taking on loanee was always going to be a element of risk, unfortunately its come to fruition…………

  • mark says:

    johnson was a good servant while he was with blues only in good times…………then he decided to jump ship and believed he was better than he was oh not premiership player obviously… and what the blues could offer championship football…………where are wolves now ha ha……..so good luck westspam you are dooooooooooomed olympic stadium in the championship oh dear………..just my thoughts

  • mark says:

    gather burns is having a heart to heart with his manager on tuesday come on danny boy we want you back kidda……………………kro

  • mark says:

    look like aaron mclean told he can leave hull……i wonder if he will return………….blues are still keen

  • mark says:

    Daniel the best opportunity to play our younger players would be the upcoming FA cup game just maybe 2 or 3 giving them game time and experience…….. i am not a great believer in wrapping up our younger players in cotton wool………..where simply never a right time………i believe this to be the perfect time imo……..

  • Mo Jamz says:

    Young players and exciting prospects such as Truslove, Gray and Arthur should be given a start or some sort of game time in the fa cup provided they perform of course and impress LC what do you guys think?

    • almajir says:

      I saw Gray play against Forest and think that showed that he is still very very very very very raw. Arthur has gone off the boil and have you even see Truslove play?

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I think given we have a decent gap from the bottom three we should put the strongest side we can out against Crawley/Bristol Rovers, get a home win and stay in the Cup otherwise this season is in danger of going to fizzle out. Swansea are not going to fancy coming to us much and might not play their strongest team. We need some excitement down there.

  • mark says:

    oh dear man utd slip up again staffsblue maybe i should have not have wished what i wish for…………

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