Often Partisan

Small Steps

Birmingham City returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Charlton away at the Valley. Goals in either half from on-loan Federico Macheda secured what was the team’s first league win of 2014.

Isn’t it nice to wake up Monday morning to talk about a Blues win? I have to admit this is another game I’ve not seen (scarily due to work and family commitments I’ve not managed to see a game since New Year’s Day) but I think the result speaks for itself. A first league win in six games since the 3-2 win over Blackburn on December 29; a first clean sheet since the FA Cup 3rd round tie against Bristol Rovers on January 14 and the first league clean sheet since Wigan on Boxing day.

Because I didn’t go I’m reliant on the views of others; however I’m pleased that I’ve seen so many comments about how well the spine of the team played – players like Will Packwood, Aaron Martin, Emyr Huws and Tom Adeyemi. Whilst it was useful having a pairing of Dan Burn and Kyle Bartley playing well in the centre of defence it’s better for our long-term future if that can be replicated by Packwood and Martin as both are signed to Blues on a permanent basis – although neither has a contract after the end of the season at this moment in time. Whenever I’ve seen Tom Adeyemi I’ve been impressed and I honestly believe he could be the best signing Clark has made. It’s just a shame that we’ve only got Huws temporarily because there is every indication he is a Premier League quality player.

The result leaves Blues in eighteenth place but crucially nine points clear of Charlton in 22nd – which whilst not a great position to be in is one I’d take right now as a finishing position. With seventeen games left this season a point a game would leave us with 50 points which most seasons would see us stay up – although last season that wasn’t the case. I think a point a game from hereon in isn’t too much to ask for – hey, if we were really lucky we might just pick up a third home win…

Tuesday sees Blues travel to Vicarage Road to face a Watford side that I honestly thought would be pushing for promotion but finds itself down in fourteenth place, two points ahead of Blues. Normally I wouldn’t be that hopeful of a Blues win away from home but the bald fact is this season we’ve been much better on our travels and it has to be said, despite Clark having to reshape the team again he seems to pulled in the players who can score the goals and get the points for us.

I will admit I’ve gone through stages of being positive followed by fearing the worst but right now I’m back to thinking that Blues could well be okay this season. If the team can finally get a home win to break a streak in the league running from October 1 against Huddersfield on Saturday maybe we can relax a little bit more. It would only be a small step back on the road to getting up the table but every point is another small step to consolidation in this league and the hope that next season can be better.

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74 Responses to “Small Steps”

  • Chris W says:

    I like the look of Martin and Packwood and think we can have a solid defence, from having virtually nothing LC is in a position where he is spoilt for choice, we still have Murphy to come back, Hancox and Blackett all fighting for the left-back position.
    Midfield is also strong, if we can keep Adeyemi fit, Huws looks as if he can command his place, it will be difficult for Rusnak, Howard and Shinnie to dislodge them.
    We still have the heavy pitches so we can at least swap things and keep the team fresh.
    I fancy something from Watford, happy with a draw but the way we play away from home a win wouldn’t surprise me.
    At the moment things look rosy for a change.
    Not heard any rumours re Ziggy apart from Albion might be considering a loan depending on Anelka’s ban, have you heard anything Dan?

  • Chris W says:

    Not sure what happened there sorry for the repeat

  • ray says:

    With the Vile getting spanked on the same day at home whilst we won away it was a very satisfying week-end all round. I’d be happy with a point at Watford. Isn’t that the team that has more loanees than us? Mostly from Italy?

  • Blue Steve says:

    Almajir. When Packwoods contract expires at the end if the season do we have a years option?

  • AussieBlue says:

    Great win! We’re so chuffed here in Oz. Macheda is an inspired loaner, and Huys.
    2 things:
    1) Dan, I am sure everyone who enjoys your site will understand you can’t make every game with your current workload. You’re a real grafter and with the book being finalised soon it must be a hard time for you..KRO mate!
    2) With loans, discipline, risks and blood sweat and tears, Lee Clark has built a team that will stay up in the Championship. It’s a remarkable achievement given the circumstances. Every result in the last 17 games won’t go our way but we should all get behind Lee Clark, win lose or draw.

    Anyone know where I can find footage of the game online please? ESPN Gamecast is all I could find, no video.
    Cheers all

  • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

    Charlton was great, a real good turnout and performance. These loan signings Lee has made will keep us up and I fancy another win on Tuesday. Once they get used to each other I expect more victories. The second goal was sublime and right in front of us too. Great to hear all the fans singing Clarkys name, he really has unearthed a few gems especially Huws.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Although they pressed I thought Charlton were really poor. Adeyemi and Huws were indeed excellent and lovely quick feet for the second goal from Kiko. The side looked well balanced and I’m feeling positive about Tuesday night now.

    It’s looking like Barnsley and Charlton are the ones to go down. Along with Millwall they’re the poorest sides I’ve seen this season although at least Charlton had a go. I believe we’ve got more than enough quality to stay up and hopefully be safe post-Easter.

    Fantastic atmosphere again at the game. Our away support is something we can be very proud of. Superb day out, great result and (hopefully) good times ahead.


  • dave mann says:

    as i said saturday away days are where its all happening for blues this season and cant
    wait for blackpool a week saturday…….cant make watford tomorrow cuz of work commitments
    but 3 points there another point at home to huddesfield ( because we cant win at home ) and
    3 more at blackpool and relegation will be nothing to worry about for the rest of the season so
    come on you blues. DNM & KRO.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      It was indeed a cracking day out although my lkiver doesn’t agree. An added bonus that the Vilers got beaten at home again. Their home form is as shocking as ours this season – must be something in the water. As an aside although I don’t think it will happen I got them at 10/1 to go down. Every year there is a team that nobody expects to get sucked in that does and I think maybe this year it could be them. They’re diced with death too often over the last 2 few seasons so here’s hoping.

      However, the main focus is another good performance and perhaps 3 points at Vicarage Road on Tuesday. Let’s hope for another decent turn out to back the lads.


  • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

    Just another word about the disgusting racist chanting again.

    Not all by any means but a sizeable minority singing songs about ‘Chinese Bastards’

    We need to cut this out otherwise any protest will just be looked on as racist based.

    • almajir says:

      Absolutely Mr Carter. Couldn’t agree more

      • alexjhurley says:

        Seconded. I was there on sat and whilst it was barely noticesble down at the front i did hear some of it. Can people please realise its not only unacceptable but as pcvor rightly states it will only hinder our cause. Kro, Dnm & sotv

        • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

          Look at the expressions on the faces of those singing it.

          Pure hatred.

        • Ali Duncan says:

          I was right at the back so was right by it and what troubled me most was who the people were that were singing it.

          • chas says:

            Who were they. ALI ?if you know where they sit at St.Ans , report them.

          • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

            We have to be careful about this as we’ve had instances of homophobia too with 2 of ours getting slung out at Brighton for it. I know what you mean Ali, certain ‘faces’ starting it off urging youngsters and anyone around em to join in. Bit of an element creeping back in at the moment.

    • Pete Flamingo says:

      well said, if we had a shite english board, they wouldnt be singing ‘english bastards’ would they

  • sappy sad says:

    its time to get packwood and martin signed up on new .
    contracts …on the view of loanies it is a good thing that .
    loanies are used as long as blues are slowly building a .
    good side of permenant players. as even with five loanies
    you still need 10 quality players that are permenant and plus
    your youngsters ..and then strive to get all players
    permanent to get the consistancy needed to succeed… as
    for P.Ps not done no wrong comments .it was the failure
    to get the figures to the stock stock market so that blues
    could get relisted and sold if the need had arrisen that
    caused me most stress

    • RichardM says:

      Sappy what are you talking about? He’s a HIGH POWERED EXECUTIVE don’t you know, and we’re very lucky to have him – or at least – that’s what Peter tell us. Actually, I’m just worried we won’t be able to hold onto him, I mean, such a HIGH POWERED EXECUTIVE is bound to be in demand, and if he gets an offer that BIHL can’t match (his words) then we should expect to see him leave. I mean, you can’t knock his HIGH POWERED EXECUTIVE credentials – look at the 4 year Zigic deal he signed (£60k per week rising to £70 – without a relegation clause), pure genius!

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    I noticed goals for and against at home is 16, net difference of 0, yet we’ve lost so many more than we’ve won. Just shows how close many of the losses were, and with a bit more luck and application could have been draws.

  • BlueBlues says:

    Great result at Charlton and superb away support as always loved the caps! Now on to Watford anything there will be a bonus. Saturday is the important match we need a home win and the same vocal support as the Derby game. I feel this is on off the most important games of resent history as potential new owners and the press will be monitoring the crowd for the next stage in the protest. Just because Carson has gone does not mean every thing will be ok we need maximum support on Saturday, so Fill the Tilton get behind the team and let your feelings been known about PP and Carson


  • Peter bates says:

    Win was important good performance the vile lost and arsene I hate birmingham city wenger got hammered wonderful weekend kro

  • Evesham blue says:

    I was pleased LC played 2 loanees out of 5. It’s important we play a core of our own players as first choices. Also Macheda was an inspired signing for us. Dare I say he might be available? All quiet on the Mr Zigic front. Could he have played his last game for us already?

    • chas says:

      This is appoint I made on Saturday evening. Some posters were moaning that we HAD to play these loanees, seems like it is up to Clark who plays and no-one else.

  • dave mann says:

    i think weve seen the last of ziggy to be honest as macheda and novak are ahead of him
    in the pecking order and because of clarks stubenes which ime not arguing with by the way,
    lees loans this season have been superb and his reputation for bringing young hungry players
    through his gaining respect by the week but i do agree with Evesham blue that the loanees
    should be limited and we should pick our own players which hes doing now and try to get
    the team consistent and cut out the chopping and changeing unless its absoluetly needed
    but lees doing great and those of you who keep calling for his neck should be going down
    to games more regually and then you might just appreciate what a job hes doing.DNM& KRO.

  • Blue Stuey says:

    Great support for the lads on Saturday. Agree with several of the above comments, in particular:
    1) Please stop the Chinese b******ds song. No need to bring race in to it. We want Delay No More to be supported in the right manner as this is the only way in which it can force change.
    2) We must continue to support LC. IMO he is doing an amazing job all considered and really values the support of fans. Its been very evident in the last few games how much he values our support.
    3) Adeyemi could well be one of the most astute signings we’ve ever made. Why Norwich let him go I have no idea. Great bit of business by LC. His engine is fantastic, gritty and has good qualities. For the second goal he could have had a go himself, but rightly set up Macheda instead showing good awareness. He also put himself in some great positions. In the 2nd half Burke should have pulled it back to him rather than trying himself from a tight angle, but minor point all considered.
    4) Huws is excellent. Good stuff again from LC to pick him up on loan.
    5) I know it has been said already but I’m chuffed to bits for Packwood. I know we can’t hand out new contracts because of the financial situation but we really need to hold on to him. We can rebuild successfully is we retain the services of such promising yound talent.
    6) I’m personally a fan of Zigic, mostly because of the Cup Final goal, but I heard that LC has told him that he will never play for the club again due to his attitude. I agree with this stance from LC and he should be commended for insisting his own high standards are maintained re effort and determination. I think we will hear shortly that Zigic will retire at the seasons end. Obviously has no money worries in view of his income over the last few years!
    7) My liver is still struggling from the weekend! ;-) Great weekend in London!

    Bring on Watford, fancy another three points tomorrow night!

    Keep Right On.

    • Auld Bertie says:

      With Ziggy off the wagebill at the end of the season hopefully we will be able to offer contracts to our two current centre halves at the season’s end.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Redmond from Blues to Norwich for a few million.. Adeyemi from Norwich to Blues for nowt. I think that was a very astute piece of business by Lee Clark.

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    The Peaky Blinders away day was fun with many wearing flat caps.

    The support was excellent but the racist chanting is embarrassing. I’m sure the old Ooh Adebola could now become Ooh Adeyemi.

    Would like to be proved wrong about Packwood but I’m not sure he’s going to make the grade in this division.

    Looking forward to Vicarage Road tomorrow KRO DNM

  • ErnieD says:

    well I have my doubts about LC but fair play to him, he got us a massive win the weekend, it could see us stay up…and if he keeps us up, it will be a turning point for the club… there is a long way to go when you see the fixtures but this was a crucial step…well done lads!

  • dave mann says:

    i think the next official peaky blinders tour is bolton last game but ill be there with mine for
    blackpool and any other away games i go to after that……i dont wear headgear of any
    discription normally but the peaks are a great way of showing unity and support for
    our long lost brothers of small heath and fellow bluenoses, and if we keep picking up
    points on the road then keep those peaks going and let everyone no what were all about.
    DNM & KRO.

  • AndyBlue says:

    Fantastic result and has given us a little breathing space at the bottom of the table. I run a bit hot and cold about LC but fair play to him for again rebuilding the side with loans and free signings. With all the problems he has had with the financial constraits we really could not blame him if we got relegated but that starting to look less likely now but there is still a long way to go.

    If it is the last we see of Ziggy then it is a sad end to his Blues carreer. It is not his fault that someone at the club did not put a relegation clause in his contract but he is responsible for his attutite and if it is not right then LC is absolutely right to kick him into touch. I would not be entirely surprised to hear in the coming weeks that he has agreed to leave the club by mutual consent. We have to pay him and if he is not going to play then paying him off might suit everyone.

    Could be a cracking game tomorrow at Watford. Hope we can make it back to back away wins.

    Agree we need to lose the racist chanting.

    Come on you Blue boys!

  • dave mann says:

    i agree about the racist chanting being out of order but some fans think that only the
    colour of your skin and not where your born is racist but we inteligent breed no
    different…..lets cut it out because it will put any other foreighn buyers off and you
    never know we might get a billionaire owner being put off by it!!!! DNM& KRO.

    • Blue Stuey says:

      Very good point Dave. Personally I dont want a Billionaire owner, just stability. I quite like WBAs model and how they operate financially. They have a very prudent approach, or they did anyway prior to appointing Pepe Mel.

      Forgot to put in my last post how impressed I was with the ref on Saturday. Credit where credit is due, we usually give refs a very hard time. I thought he was outstanding on Saturday and got all the key decisions right. A good ref shouldn’t be noticed……… and he wasn’t. Fair play to that man!

  • pierre says:

    i agree chas just listen to radio wm football phone in!

  • Tonytiler says:

    A great win with only 3 loanees in the starting 11 well done blues.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Adeyemi was surplus to stock for Norwich and wasn’t ever going to play in their Premiership first team. I don’t know if he’s the best ever signing by LC for Blues as I think Randolph is. Yet again he put in a superb performance. The new look side looks good and hopefully we can quickly get the points required to keep us up.

    Wasted opportunity by the press, the sports headlines should’ve read MACH3

  • Chris W says:

    Looking forward to Watford, suppose to be a good bar near the ground called Oddfellows near the visiting entrance, however parking seems to be a problem near the ground, unless anyone knows otherwise?
    Though it was barely heard where I was at Charlton, we really need to stop the racist chants. As is usual in these cases, those who are around the culprits can and will be ejected and face the same fate if the stewards or police decide to take action.
    We are doing the right thing with the protest so lets not start to alienate ourselves, the protesters honoured the wishes of Charlton FC and covered the translation and so were allowed to display them. Sing about the team and anything BCFC but regards anything Chinese or parentage has to be dropped.

  • mark says:

    imo that’s why i am anti-protest because there will be unfortuately we have mindless idiots who want to take their egotistic behavior one step further. I would very disappointed if element of these are trust members in sheep clothing…………. Also I gathered that the banners were only allow in via permission from charlton, and they wouldn’t allow the Chinese version in due to the offence it would have cause…….
    On to the match hopefully this new bunch will give it a really good go and see how far we can get..
    imo absolutely no fears of relegation…. Blues are much better united as one……..kro

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Another great away win but something has got to start to happen at home. There are a lot of people who fork out for their season tickets and can’t go to away games for whatever reason and the home form has been appalling not just this season but the previous one too. I think we will stay up comfortably due solely to the away form but there will be a good few who will think twice about renewing if it doesn’t get better PBQ.Not going to be easy as still QPR, Burnley and Reading to visit.

    I still think the treatment of Zigic is somewhat of an over reaction by Clark for one really bad game. He should be on the bench because he is still better than Novak and Lovenkrands put together. We might as well get something for the £1m we will still have to pay him whether he plays or not.

    • Royalblue says:

      It’s not just about Zigics’ performances, which have been abysmal, it’s about team moral.
      We want players fighting for the shirt, prepared to work their socks off. This breeds a common attitude right through the team . Novaks work rate has been outstanding and Macheda is the real deal. I can’t wait until Zigic leaves and we don’t have to have talk about him anymore.

  • mark says:

    macheta came to brum destroyed Charlton……kro

  • andy says:

    About time the home support chanted Lee Clark’s name, we should all let the off field situation sort itself out and start showing the visiting supporters what a great club this is.

  • AussieBlue says:

    How about: “Lee, Lee, Lee Kuan Clark!”
    Seriously, agree the Chinese racism stuff is not nice, not necessary, not true anyway and does a great disservice to Blues. Bury it now please.

  • chas says:

    It is no good pleading oj here for it to be stopped, someone needs to bring the perpetrators to the Stewards/Police attention. Failing which, photos could be taken unobtrusively and sent to the Club

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