Often Partisan

The Mclean Situation

Steve Bruce has confirmed that despite scoring for Hull City in their FA Cup third round tie against Middlesbrough former Birmingham City loanee Aaron Mclean is likely to leave the KC Stadium in January and that Blues (amongst others) are interested in his services.

Mclean made seven appearances for Blues, two of them being starts but failed to find the back of the net in any of them. He was played up front and wide left in his spell at St Andrews and I think struggled to make much of an impact in a formation that didn’t necessarily suit his style of playing.

I think it’s a big call if Blues were to bring him back in. For all his pace and ability in the air I didn’t actually think he offered us enough to be a starting player and I’m personally against the idea of taking someone on loan to sit on the bench – if Blues are to bring in players on loan I’d prefer that they were going to be starting week in week out; we have our own youngsters and fringe players who can fill in the remaining spots. It’s also a financial question – my understanding is that Blues weren’t paying a massive amount of his Hull City wages whilst he was on loan and I would suspect that if he was released by Hull he would want a roughly similar wage to what he is on in Humberside – something Blues cannot match.

However, for all those bad points I am reminded that Mclean offered us quite a bit that wasn’t in the squad – we don’t really have anyone with any kind of pace and having someone who can run at defenders and beat the last man on the counter is something that is valuable to have in the squad – particularly if you consider how much of a counter attacking game Blues play away from home. If we don’t (or indeed can’t) take Mclean back Blues really do need another option up front as a “plan B” and with both Nikola Zigic and Peter Lovenkrands being old and somewhat injury prone there is no doubt in my mind we will need a full complement of strikers within the squad to remain competitive this season.

I get the impression Lee Clark has a tough month ahead of him; with Burn currently back at Fulham (and no guarantee he will come back), Robinson one booking away from a two match suspension and Bartley ineligible to play against Swansea should we get to face them in the FA Cup 4th round (as he was when we played them in the League Cup) Blues are going to be desperately thin at centre back. Clark is going to have to juggle what finances he has to ensure that he has cover for that position and for up front too – which means that some of the more obvious names that have been suggested (such as Kevin Phillips) may well be out of Blues financial grasp. Although Blues did manage to bring in Paul Caddis in the summer for a fee that was primarily due to money received for Foday Nabay – money has to come in from somewhere to be spent elsewhere.

It’s not a situation I see being resolved quickly (although I hope it is). It seems evident from what Bruce said that Mclean has options on where to take his career and he might decide that his interests are better served somewhere other than St Andrews. The hope has to be that Lee Clark is anticipating this and has other irons in the fire that he can utilise should he not be able to regain the services of the Hull City striker.

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81 Responses to “The Mclean Situation”

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If LC asks McLean back and the striker prevaricates I would pull the plug immediately because as he knows us now its easy to say no if he wasn’t happy. We want players chomping at the bit so I’d want an immediately yes and not be used as a club of last resort.

  • Big Al says:

    In the article I read Brucie hinted Bitty wants to go elsewhere. No lose in my opinion.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I personally would not want Mclean back on loan. That said however, what a plonker Steve Bruce is! Why on earth did he cup tie a player he knew he was going to let go in the same month???

  • Chris W says:

    I personally think that a defender has to be a priority, up front Novak is beginning to show his potential and as long as Ziggy is fit he will be first on the team sheet. We also have Lovenkrands and Reece Hales to fall back on.
    With Robbo almost certainly to get a two match ban sooner rather than later we don’t have many options in defence, Packwood is obviously one who is a natural defender and Ferguson can play there, Mullins might be an option, but again my personal opinion, I have not rated Mullins, he looked promising but for me he gives the impression he only wants to pick up his wages.
    I believe LC will come through and wouldn’t be surprised if Hong Kong find a few bob to assist him.
    KRO+DNM

  • Agent McLeish says:

    I like to look of the Sheff Utd player Ryan Flynn. His contract expires in the summer and he is only 25 years old. Scored a great goal against the Vile last week but his all round play was composed and tidy as well.

  • TonyE says:

    If Hong Kong come up with a few bob I wont be surprised, I will be amazed! I am seriously worried about the immediate future because we clearly need both defenders (central) and a forward who can give us something different. Trouble is, with the financial restrictions regarding the £5k per week limit, any decent player will be offered more elsewhere. Also, a special thanks to Albion helping us out in our hour of need by refusing to cancel the Scott Allen loan, that’s money going out each week we can ill afford.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Tony, loans are intended to be of mutual benefit. Albion loan us a player and in return we develop that player by giving him match experience. WBA may have taken a dim view of the lack of opportunity that we have afforded Allen despite his good performances at the start of this campaign. They are entitled to determine that we have destroyed any value in the player.

      • Pete says:

        I wonder how the player feels. On loan at a club that is not interested in him and forced to stay there by his parent club.
        I hope he has a good agent trying to move things around for him, what I saw against Plymouth was a talented footballer with a quick brain and feet to match. Not sure what he did but LC tends to make his mind up about players and stick to it

  • andy says:

    I think I am right in saying that Birmingham signed Scott Allen on loan with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season so I can understand WBA not taking him back. As for McLean, he did nothing to impress me but he possibly is the best of what Blues can sign at the moment. U tend to be lucky to find a decent striker for a big fee, never mind scraping around the bottom of the barrel, which Birmingham are having to do because of the owners dire situation. I would much rather see the clubs youngsters get the nod over loan signings, but Lee Clark is doing his best and very admirably too.

  • Sheldonman says:

    I was interested in your quote from paragraph 2 :
    “a formation that didn’t necessarily suit his style of playing”

    Do we actually have a formation, other than the headless chicken variety ?

    • mike ware says:

      Disappointing comment, while you can argue that the players are not good enough there is no doubt that they understand the formations they are being asked to play. Give LC a break I think he is doing wonders in the circumstances

    • Chris W says:

      I think that is unfair, 10 game unbeaten, no money and having to scrape around for any morsels he can get and that is not taking into consideration injuries, especially in defence.
      Give credit where it is due, LC is doing a remarkable job given the restraints not to mention the financial problems the club has and the fear of Administration is still a shadow over all of BCFC and supporters.
      KRO+DNM

  • Mo says:

    It early days still but i would want to see Mclean back for blues he did give us the thing blues lacked up front with both ziggy and Lovenkrands is pace… Mclean just needs game time like Novak did and he will come goods for us… KRO BLUES!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    We could do with taking the begging bowl to one of the big Prem teams. We used to have the Bruce-Man U, Brady-Arsenal connections. now we have Clark-Newcastle, but again he may have burnt his bridges over Ferguson??

  • StevieW says:

    If he comes, he comes it is no biggy either way. I dont think we can play to his strengths anyway.

    More importantly is the defence, I thought Burn was having a chat today about what he is going to be doing.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Well summed up. One thing we’ve done well over the past three seasons is develop players like Ravel and Townsend. Maybe we could find a niche as The Incubator Club?
    BTW, Humberside doesn’t exist anymore, Hull is a borough in East Yorkshire!

  • dave mann says:

    sheldonman, 4-2-3-1 is the formation thats took us 10 games unbeaten, not bad for a bunch
    of headless chickens dont you think, mclean or zigic as the front man….zigic is our player
    mclean is not, thats why we dont suit is style of playing …….simple if you think about it!!!!
    KRO.

  • Sheldonman says:

    I accept it was a bit of a flippant and possibly unfair remark, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of games I have actually enjoyed watching this season. I know LC has an impossible job, but I think the players are better than we give them credit for and I think the coaching staff have a lot to answer for, particularly as we can’t get the basics right ie pass to a blue shirt, move into space, cross a ball beyond the first man etc. – not rocket science and what any professional should be capable of.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      There have been good games vs Yeovil, Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea, Millwall, Stoke, Huddersfield, Barnsley, Bournemouth and Blackburn. How many fingers do you need on one hand? ;-)

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Hi Sheldonman, from one ex-Sheldon man to another, I understood your flippancy and it made me chuckle. Under these pressing circumstances we need to keep our senses of humour. That said, Lee is trying out many permutations as he is dealing with constantly changing variables and the League will not stop the season whilst he sorts it out. This will lead to confusion and tactical and formation dabbling as trial and error is an inevitable strategy under these trying circumstances. I am deeply concerned about the potential mess that the necessary loan situation could drop us in, but remain confident that Lee will prevail and keep us up this season. That is all I ask for. KRO and Keep Smiling!

    • Chris W says:

      You do make some valid points, however, once the players cross the white line they have to take responsibility for their own performances.
      Some players have made some vital mistakes and I agree that one or two have difficulty making even the simplest of passes, these and crosses should be worked on during training.
      A 10 game unbeaten run in any league has to be applauded and with all the off field events, injuries and the youthful age of this group playing against some very experienced pro’s has to earn some recognition from even the stubbornest supporters.
      If you venture to the away games you will see a different side which is frustrating to watch at St Ans, knowing what they can and have done away from home.
      KRO+DNM

  • StaffsBlue says:

    As much as I’m not a great lover of 4-2-3-1, I think the players are used to it now and, as dave said, it’s taken us to 10 games unbeaten. So, we need to find players who will fit comfortably into that system, be they loans or within our own squad.

    If McLean feels he should be the main striker, then he’s got his work cut out, because Zigic has practically made the position his own… which means McLean has to fit in either on the left or the right of the front three. If he can’t/won’t do that, then another club will probably be his best option. Thanks and goodbye. What we do need, more than anything, is a central defender. Packwood may be the answer, but we won’t know until he’s played a couple of games. It’s definitely our priority at the moment.

  • tony says:

    bloody hell give lee clark a break with what he hasto put up with and the fact he does not bleat about it but rolls his sleeves up and gets on with it yes he makes mistakes all managers do its not managing when you can spend millions on a replacement yet we class these people as great managers lee is a young man in a hopeless situation full of will to try and succeed get behind him and until the men from tenko are released or sent down back him up with your vocal support we are all in it together k r on from wales where they know how to bleat

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There are 10 new managers/coaches in the Premier this season, with Albion still to appoint a new man. Which proves that, even with millions to spend and the cream of players to choose from… there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it right. Lee Clark with do for me every day of the week.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Ten opportunities for Premier League chairmen to take Clark for relatively little compensation. Did they? Why not?

  • Sheldonman says:

    Ok I give in and consider myself well put down.! I sometimes wish I had never gone to my first match versus Barcelona in the Inter City Fairs cup all those years ago and maybe I wouldn’t have been hooked on the club and still caring about what goes on, Despite all the rubbish going on at board level, this is still football and in my opinion LC , even under dire circumstances, is not my cup of tea

    • StaffsBlue says:

      No one’s putting you down mate. Just different ways of looking at things. We all have opinions and not always the same ones. :-)

    • tony says:

      i agree he was not my cup of tea but all respects to the man he has got these kids and cast offs playing and lets see with another tough situation for him what he does k r o

      • Chris W says:

        I have been quite vociferous towards LC especially last season. his season I said I would give him a second chance, though I am not a fan, I do admire the way he has gone about his job, no money, no leadership from above, a bunch of cast-offs, loans, has-beens and kids.
        He has got a squad who turn out and give 110%, something those so called hero’s who won the cup failed, thus dropping us in this situation today. These same bunch of misfits have beaten premier opposition and excelled against Stoke, they have been kicked and lambasted but still put on the shirt with pride. For all this LC deserves nothing but praise and deserves his place as Blues manager he is a Blues Hero…
        I to am ex Sheldon and saw my first game in 1961, and remember the Roma and Barca games, both up their with that glorious day at Wembley beating Arsenal.
        KRO+DNM

        • tony says:

          i live in wales now and they cannot believe how passionate i am and blues fans in general when i explain ortry to what the hell is going on and how many loan players and young kids we have they think we are barmy most of them now know keep right on and listen with glee to the stories i tell them about bunking off school to hitch hike to carlisle to watch blues get thumped bob hatton scoring for them then signing for us. but my best day was getting promoted at leyton orient with fans buying the balconies off the flats to get a glimpse and even a bomb scare could not move a blue nose i got sacked the next day for turning up directly after and drunk mad they say yes we are mad but its marks and spensors mad keep right on

          comment edited

          • Bluenosesol says:

            I remember that game well. I recall us Bluenoses being rushed whilst queuing to get in by a mob of Millwall fans who were anticipating promotion if Blues got beat. Ha ha, they didn’t get promoted and they also had to beat a hasty retreat when they discovered Bluenoses are no pushovers!! Not the last time that these Cockney bad boys were to be denied promotion by the exploits of BCFC!! KRO.

          • tony says:

            we spent a few hours in some blokes house god knows where cause our mini bus took wrong turning and went down his drive god knows why he let us in but by the time we left he was a blue nose those were the days

  • Mo Jamz says:

    LC is a good manager given the limited resources he had to work from but what is fustrating among me as a bluenose fan is the constant draws we get at home… We need to change the formation and the system at home rather than just sticking with the same style 4-2-3-1. I honestly would like to see a more direct approach a 4-4-2 system with both ziggy and mclean playing up on top if Mclean comes back.

    • almajir says:

      Last time we played 4-4-2 we lost.

      • tony says:

        i can only listen to matches at the moment but we always seem to create chances. i am not a fan of zigic but clarkes hands are tied on that one as an ex centre forward and centre half for his size he is useless in the air and draining the money out the club lets get shut and get fresh legs in

  • psmith says:

    I am always pleased to see players come through from the development ranks as this usually guarantees enthusiasm and keenness. But the downside is the Allardyce complaint of trying to ask boys to do a man’s job something which LC is obviously not prepared to risk. So let us see what transpires in January when an experienced player may be obtained. KRO

  • Bob Your Uncle says:

    Bit off topic, but Blues gave me a free ticket to yeovil because I didn’t renew my season ticket. Anyone else get this?

  • tmsblues says:

    I think McClean has a better offer. His loan end was also reportedly related to the fact he had a hamstring injury. Wow what a remarkable recovery he made, coming off the bench to score for Hull in the cup. He’s ‘under offer’ and considering options as far as I hear in these parts of East Yorks. Can’t see returning to Blues being one of them !

  • dave mann says:

    talking of managers the vile will be looking for one saturday night/ sunday morning if they loose
    the weekend…..and so will poor old hammers aswell…keep up the good work roger the relegator
    and lambert the not bothered!!!!!KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    ignore that previous blog, lambert sacked monday night after arsenal defeat…..should have
    checked dates before posting shouldt i….KRO.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Whenever he is sacked Dave, not hearing the usual In Lambert We trust drivel from the pink and baby blues!

  • bluenose08 says:

    I don’t like the style of play blues are playing at the moment but i understand the problems lc Has and he has at least installed a good work ethic in to the current team. I just wonder if we Could get them playing the way CH managed as I really enjoyed watching blues then it was good entertaining football. K.r.o. delay no more.

    • Chris W says:

      The problem with that is the personal I think, I agree that Blues were good to watch, we now have a different style of player and LC proved he likes this style when he was at Huddersfield. This is why I think he is doing a great job now but would he be able to take the club forward given better resources.
      He works tirelessly for the betterment of BCFC and I cannot think of a manager who would have stuck around, AM and CH soon jumped ship when they fund the shackles they were having to wear.
      KRO+DNM

      • blueviper says:

        MClies jumped ship but CH got a better offer from prem club which he had earn’t during his time with us and Newcastle

        • Chris W says:

          In my book he walked, any offer would have been better than what he faced, he knew the score and went looking for another club.
          No matter how you dress it up he walked away from St Andrews, and yes, unlike Mcjudas, he could hold his up.
          KRO+DNM

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Having found a formation that the players seem comfortable with, you can understand why Lee Clark is loathe to change things. Maybe if things start to go wrong, he’ll have another think. Until then, leave well alone. I know it’s annoying with all the home draws, but at the end of the day, we’ve still taken 18 points from this ten game unbeaten run. It could be worse… we could be Barnsley.

    • Chris W says:

      I must admit, at the end of last season until the start of this I thought that was how we were going to go. Fair play to LC and the team for excelling more than most thought, I said mid-table and thought I was being ambitious. With all that is going on I reckon mid table will be a great season, avoiding relegation will be a good season.
      I still maintain that LC will achieve that even with another string to his bow breaking.
      KRO+DNM

  • Tony says:

    Couple of things here you say Clark could have done a runner but chose to stay. well whos going to employ him? his record is abysmal especially at home. Tony says he makes mistakes you bet he does.mistakes most of us would not make.
    Some of hiis team selections are baffling in the extreme, he cant motivate,his tactics are clueless, why would he walk hes on a years money he knows that, he has the safest job in the country, as if that was not enough hes getting fat, he and his sidekick Terry Mac need to do a few laps at wast hills. My opinion of him will never change he is third rate, but I accept we can do little about it for now.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Your comments are out of step with the vast majority of comments on this blog, and in my opinion most Blues’ fans.
      You say he makes mistakes most of us would not make……Most of us, indeed all of us, have never managed a professional football club and never will.
      We are all entitled to an opinion on Lee Clark. but to state he makes mistakes most ordinary persons in the street would not make is erroneous.

    • Art Watson says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Problem is at the moment most fans are happy to accept second best and get excited with a few draws and a couple of away wins.

      Hovering down the bottom of this league appears to be acceptable.

      • Chris W says:

        I don’t think the supporters are happy with second best it is more a realistic approach.
        Like LC, we have no control over the finances or the running of the club, so we have to accept that this is the best we can afford under the present regime. Until they sell out or a financial benefactor is found things are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
        LC is doing his best and the majority of supporters appreciate his efforts and that of the players, never world beaters but they give 110% for the cause.
        KRO+DNM

        • tony says:

          well on the bright side we could be portsmouth or coventry i dont think so i still say he has done a great job

          • Chris W says:

            I think he has done a fantastic job under the circumstances, I’m not knocking him.
            I go to home and away games and I love every minute, I just wish we had the same atmosphere and banter at home as we do away.
            KRO+DNM

          • tony says:

            and there lays the problem maybe dont expect too much away and players more relaxed feel the tension at home

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Roger Johnson to West Ham on loan….relegation hat trick!

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Home record this season and last over 35 games, won 9, lost 11. Away over 35 games won 13, lost 13. Average home crowds over the same period have gone down from roughly 20,000 for the Chris Hughton season, 17.000 last season and I would imagine it’s going to be lower this season. Not sure what point I’m trying to make here but it’s pretty tough going being a home match only supporter like me since Clark took over. Does anyone go to St Andrews now actually expecting to win? Do they do away season tickets?

  • andy says:

    I wonder if signing Leroy Lita on loan again is a better option than McLean?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Gary McSheffrey scored three goals for Scunthorpe reserves today. HE is looking for a new club, because Chesterfield are not renewing his contract…..and he is only 31.

  • PeterD says:

    Lee Clark’s 43 match unbeaten run at Huddersfield comprised 25 wins and 18 draws…and he was sacked soon after it came to an end. There seemed at the time to be differing opinions about him amongst the fans, much as there clearly are now. Not losing is good; not winning at home isn’t!

    • tony says:

      you are forgeting the disasterous situation we are in we are pot less he has been amazing you go to work or drive your car with hands tied behind your back and see how far you get i was not a supporter of clark but credit due

      • PeterD says:

        Tony, I was just highlighting the similarity between the situation at Huddersfield and our current unbeaten run. I think the background circumstances are very different but the fact seems to that at both clubs different people see things in a different light. Personally, I agree with you that he has to be given credit for what he has achieved for Blues with such limited resources. The present situation with injuries, likely suspensions and loans ending presents him with another challenge. I just wish that I could look forward with optimism to a home cup-tie against lower league opposition.

        • tony says:

          well i just think as blues fans we just get behind him and the team and wait for the day when some decent people run the club i would love the swupporters to run it if possible it seems to me as a he is a geordie he has taken to the club thats how he comes across i just look at other clubs before us in our situation with bigger known managers just fall apart and stay there he is learning his trade i hope

    • StaffsBlue says:

      93 points from a possible 129 sounds like success to me. Some people are never happy. I’d take that any day.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    I meant Prem relegations, he is the Premier League Albatross! West Ham relegated, Hughtons mob relegated and the Vile, perfect.

  • Hong Kong bluenose says:

    We could have got roger Johnson back, hes apparently gone to west ham on loan

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I hope we go for it against Bristol Rovers/Crawley at home and put out the strongest team possible. We definitely don’t want a replay. The Swansea game would give us some much needed cash which might help get players in on loan.

  • adam says:

    i have heard on the leicester city grapevine that LC was looking at Waghorn.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Waghorn is a decent player. Different to anything else we’ve got. Has got a goal in him too.

      • Agent McLeish says:

        Wag horn? Is that when you get turned on by a footballers wife?

      • Chris W says:

        As a striker he doesn’t have a very impressive record 25 goals in 148 apps, and is prone to hamstring problems, the only reason I think LC is looking at him is he is a fellow Geordie so they will understand each other. But LC has an eye for a bargain, apart from Allen he hasn’t done too bad to date and I think Allen could be useful if he played, no one seems to know what has gone so pear-shaped there.
        KRO+DNM

  • andy says:

    Whatever has gone on with Scott Allen, and its just possible he doesn’t do enough in training to get picked, he needs to get his head down and force his way back into the team. What I did see of him, particularly against Plymouth in the League Cup, he looked a decent player so its strange, a bit like Ambrose in a way. These guys need to step up to the plate and force their way back.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Scott Allan has been at Albion for 2 years now and in that time, he’s had 4 loan spells at 3 different clubs.. with nothing really coming of any of them. Now Albion have refused to take him back. I do find that a little strange, considering there’s a new manager about to be hired soon. I think at 22, Mr Allan needs to knuckle down and make a career for himself.. before it’s passed him by.

    • mark says:

      dont think he in the same class as ravel or as naughty………if there is one manager who could iron him out for
      me thats clark…………if clark has got in his head and the player still refuses to listen when maybe there not a lot clark or his coaching team can do……………….scott alan if you read this blog sort yourself out quickly, and prove to yourself if you got any quality….


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