Often Partisan

Victory and Loanees

Birmingham City completed what was only their second league win of 2014 with a 2-1 comeback victory over Blackpool thanks to a brace from Lee Novak. The win sees Blues maintain a nine point barrier with the relegation zone in sixteenth place.

It’s difficult to say anything about the game when what I saw was restricted to a two minutes highlights package on Youtube; being out in Hong Kong divorces one somewhat from the situation and whilst I feel like it was a good result and something to be happy about I can’t say with any conviction that is the way other people feel back home. Jordon Ibe looked useful from what little I saw of him on his debut and Clark was fulsome in his praise of the young winger – hopefully the Liverpool youngster will give us another option wide with Shane Ferguson seemingly completely out of favour despite scoring one and setting up another in the last development squad fixture.

It was good to see Spector named once again in the line-up. I like the versatile American and I think including him at right-back might serve to give Paul Caddis a bit of a kick up the backside. When a player knows that they will be in the team almost regardless due to  a surfeit of options it can be easy for them to become complacent and judging by recent reports I think that had happened to the former Swindon man. Whether Spector will retain his place for the visit to Portman Road on Saturday remains to be seen but I think it’s better for Clark if he has player competing for slots.

My one concern is that with Ibe coming in Blues are now at eight loanees; with Thorpe out for the forseeable injured it means that two others are definitely going to have to miss out of the matchday squad. Scott Allan has been bombed out for sometime and it appears Shane Ferguson has joined him. It’s documented that WBA won’t take Allan back and I’m beginning to wonder how much money is wasted on the young Northern Irishman from Newcastle as he can’t seem to get a look in – I’m not a fan of Blues loaning players to bulk out the squad and we’re certainly not in a financial position to do so.

I think this is the problem with loaning players; of the ceven we had prior to the signing of Ibe only Emyr Huws looks to be a certainty on the team sheet every week; Federico Macheda has started to wane somewhat and could lose his position to the resurgent Zigic, Albert Rusnak hasn’t played since the Watford game, Tyler Blackett hasn’t played since his debut against Derby and will struggle to dislodge both Hancox and Robinson and then you’re down to the injured Thorpe and the forgotten Allan and Ferguson. Loaning players isn’t good for the long-term future of the club and one wonders if it’s also hindering squad consistency in the short-term.

All that being said, it’s good to start the week with three points and the renewed hope that the season won’t be as bad as it has been feared. It’s nice to be talking about football too with all the stuff that has gone around the club; hopefully soon we’ll be back in a position where what happens on the pitch is the crux of discussion.

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61 Responses to “Victory and Loanees”

  • DoctorD says:

    I wasn’t at the game but it made my weekend. Great result, especially as one of my friends is an ardent Blackpool fan. She was most dischuffed.

  • Evesham blue says:

    It’s good that Packwood has kept his place. I agree we need to play our own players where possible first choice. All these loans will go back come the end of the season.

    I think LC is looking for the X factor with all these loans as he can’t sign players of the quality we require permanently.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Unfortunately, the highlights of the game were provided by Match Highlights, instead of the far superior Blues TV. Match Highlights usually tend to be slanted more towards the opposition. The highlights from Saturday’s game showed numerous Blackpool chances, but what about Macheda’s 2 chances, or Zigic’s, or Chris Burke’s? The editting on MH is very poor too.

    As for the squad, I think we’ve got competition for all areas now, which is a good thing. That hasn’t always been the case this season (or last.) Unfortunately, some players have to miss out on match days. As Clark pointed out, that’s no real reflection on the players left out, it’s just that he can only pick 18 players for the squad. But every manager has that same dilemma come match day.

    It’s ok us saying pick the best team and stick with it, but I don’t think there IS a best team. When you think we’ve found it, they go and let you down badly. In my opinion, other than, perhaps, Randolph, Burke and Huws, there are no certainties for the first XI. Most of the players have good days and bad days. I’m afraid when you have to rely on loans and freebies, that’s what you’ll get… inconsistency. All we can do is support whatever team is picked on the day.

    • mark says:

      your points raised staffsblue are excellent, this simply why Clark cannot pick 11 players week in week out on consistent basis………….. The continual moaning about keeping the same 11 is clearly thrown out the window…………… this why Clark gets my backing when picking his team it must like a mine field caddis form dipped a little recently as expected specs has come in done a lovely job on his return. Every player got the right not to be dropped providing they are playing consistently week in week out definately the two players named Randolph, Huws thoughtfully deserve their places in the team…………

      • StaffsBlue says:

        If Burke is out, Clark might play Ibe on the right. If not, Caddis might be worth a punt, with Spector behind him at full back… with Ibe on the left. Centre midfield is still a bit iffy, with Adeyemi not back to his usual high standards since his injury. It could well be that Lee and Huws will be paired up against Ipswich.

        • chas says:

          Just seen the highlights on Sky Sports website..There was a peach of a pass from Zigic to Burke whose shot was saved by
          the goalie .

          • mark says:

            chas when ziggy on top form this the kind of player we should be seeing week in week out …….he should be unplayable in the air for his side………..i would be happy to see ziggy next year, but do you really think he take a £5000 grand week next season contract with the same effort……if he does that do for me…………………kro

      • mark says:

        sorry staffsblue i equally forgot player injuries bloody hell we must have a full team in the injury room lol

  • Brian king says:

    The fact of the matter is that championship and lower division side are becoming premier clubs development sides. With the vast majority of wealth belonging to the top prem clubs we will all be feeder clubs.

    Sent from my iPadi

  • Richard Granfield says:

    In my opinion Clark’s strategy of signing loan players is not only the right one, but the only one in the present financial climate. The alternative is to go with free transfers or our own players. Due to injuries, lack of form and a dearth of suitable freebies it hasn’t been possible.
    Clark’s identification of the best prospects from Man U, Man City and Liverpool should mean Championship survival this term and he should be congratulated for securing their services.

    • Luke says:

      I agree.

      Hopefully, at some point in the future Blues will once again be a club capable of signing promising young players. Until then, using the loan system to bolster the squad and keep our heads above water is the right strategy.

      You would hope that, in the majority of cases, Blues aren’t paying 100% of the players’ wages.

      • TommyBlue says:

        Absolutely right. The extra quality they possess is what’ is going to make the difference and keep us in the Division. I’d rather get them on the way up than on the way down (Ambrose, Lovenkrands. Mullins…)

    • mark says:

      well said that man :-)

  • wayne says:

    This is what our fans used to be like. Nobody’s stopping the fans from being the same again. It’s about time we all got behind the team and.stopped moaning. Then somebody may wish to buy us

  • dave mann says:

    game of two halves, first half poor, second half very good, i bet on 2-1 and won £ 48 and
    even at half time i told fans around me we would win 2-1 and they though i was bonkers
    but i kept the faith and champagne super novak came to the rescue with a great second
    half performance and a cameo from zigic who was superb second half…..by the way
    as i said earlier the police were a dissgrace and prevoked a lot of trouble inside the ground
    by throwing fans out for no apparent reason and setting of fights between police and
    stewards and fans and all hell let loose inside the portacabin toilets with massive fights
    and damage going on….the place was recked and blackpool deserved it for there stupid
    policeing of the game…..no sympathy with me ime afraid, got what they deserved!!!!! KRO.

    • chas says:

      Dave, you comments about the trouble are perfect reasons why Standing should not be brought back at football grounds. Can you imagine the trouble there would have been if the Fans could move round freely?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To be fair, there hasn’t been any trouble from Blues fans for a few years now, e.g. the Vile incidents. I don’t think one (provoked) incident should stop us seeking improvements to the game.

    • Steve Northern Blue says:

      I can honestly say that from what I saw of the incidents off the pitch, the problems were caused by bad stewarding. I saw one blues fan pushed out of the ground by a pumped up steward. I did not see him do anything wrong, that said he might have done something but he was man handled beyond his resistance.
      The stewards stood in front of the fans blocking their view, I had taken my 6 year old daughter to her first game and she had to stand on her seat just to get a glimpse.
      The police were not the issue, they reacted to situations that had already developed for reasons already stated. I can say this from a somewhat biased and professional view as an officer myself !!!!

  • dave mann says:

    chas, i was at yeovil first away game where we all stood as it was terracing, there was no
    trouble and the stewards kept there distance along with the police and it was trouble free,
    at blackpool the police were all over blues fans from start to finish, jumping in whenever
    it suited them and provoking trouble amongst the crowd just to prove a point…..they were
    a dissgrace and if i would have been one of those thrown out i would be on the phone
    to my lawyer and suing the police for wrongfull dissmisal……..there would have been a
    few police and stewards waking up sunday morning suffering from injuries and pains
    but thats there own fault…..if they piss us off and cause trouble then your asking for

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Nothing changes Dave. I recall playing at Blackpool in the early seventies. There were about 100 of us Bluenoses playing beachball soccer. Causing no trouble as it wasnt the height of summer and the beach was quite bare. Along came the Blackpool Bill and set alsations on us. A lot had to run into the sea and a few suffered dog bites. They also lashed out at us as we made our way to the ground and also came into the pubs where Bluenoses were drinking on the night. Seems they havent lost their penchant for aggravating the fans.

    • Steve Northern Blue says:

      Dave, the police react to the situation before them, I have already stated on another thread that the problem was with the stewards. I was there to watch a football match and had no trouble with the police or stewards, in fact the police looked after my 6 year old daughter whilst I went to the toilet.
      To quote Newtons law every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
      You get drunk shout obscenities and behave in an aggressive confrontational manner, chances are you might have a run in with the law. (not aimed at any individual)
      And as far as contacting lawyers, I wouldn’t waste your money as you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

      • phillip says:

        Steve NBN
        There have always been a few officers in any force that provoke trouble, many years ago I was queuing at Lutons ground [ that tells you how long ago it was a “Div2” game !], a chap and his daughter were walking down the road as due to the queue they couldnt get on the pavement, a mounted officer grabbed the bloke by the hair and threw him into the queue, he didnt have any colours on show, Blues and Luton fans were enjoying Banter, no trouble, but this “officer” certainly was looking to cause some,the chap he threw into the queue wasnt even going to the match !. a mixed bunch of Luton and Blues fans complained and reported the officer for his agressive attitude and heavy handed treatment of an innocent passer-by
        Another incident occurred at “Orients” ground [ the infamous bomb incident while playing Millwall] after the game heading back to the station and home, a gang of Millwall fans came after us, I can laugh about it now , a dog-handler with the biggest alsatian I have ever seen told us to go away [or words to that effect] as he didnt want his dog hurt !!
        Old Traffoed asking an “officer” which was the away end as we didnt want any trouble, he walked us to a turnstile waited until we were all in then left,,,,yep, he directed us into the “Stretford End”

        • Bluenosesol says:

          Philip, I attended a match at Cov in 1977. We were directed by the police into the away end. Naturally the Cov fans turned on us as soon as we arrived. I was ejected by the police who waded in and picked out Bluenoses at random. Kicked unconscious, hospitalised, Complaint to the DDP and despite 13 witnesses advised no charges. Apparently the police on duty were drafted in from Walsall. In those days, the biggest thugs in football were the police!. Hopefully today, the vast majority of police are good guys. Just hope we are not trending back to the 70’s!!

  • Mrs Crosby says:

    We win more often when Zigic is on the pitch. The stats prove it over the years. Other strikers have come and gone, some loanees, some our own players. As much as people want rid of him, we may miss him more than those people think. He confuses and distracts defences and provides a useful defensive player at set pieces. We shouldn’t judge him purely on value for money as it’s not his fault we offered him a long lucrative contract. Of course he has his faults but seriously is he any worse than others on a bad day? He has been and always will be a scapegoat when it suits, that’s purely based on his wages.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t use him as a scapegoat, I just expect more effort from him that’s all and would, even if he was only on 5 grand a week. As I said earlier, he’s very useful for nuisance value, but only off the bench. In my humble opinion, he doesn’t offer enough over a full 90 minutes. If he put as much effort into playing, as he does at throwing his arms up and complaining, he’d probably be a permanent fixture in the side. You’d think he’d have learned by now, he ain’t gonna get owt off the refs.

      I for one will be glad to see him leave at the end of the season, if only to put to bed the constant discussion over his merits or lack of. Has there ever been a Birmingham City player that’s divided opinion as much as Nicola Zigic? I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

      • smudge says:

        Agree with you Staffs I have said for a couple of seasons now that Zigic is not and never will be a 90 minute player. At best he will give an hour and need to be hauled off or bring him on for the last 30/35 minutes when the opposition defence should br tiring. I honestly dont think it matters now as he will be gone at the end of the season. As an impact sub i still think he would be an asset for another year maybe two (dependent on injuries of course).

      • Andy W says:

        I agree Staffs. He is paid to score goals as the front player. How many times has he missed gilt edged chances this season? That’s why he doesn’t represent good value in my opinion. Yes he is good defensively, and he does have some ability on the floor, but he does expend far too much energy in complaining to refs and throwing himself on the ground every time he goes up for a challenge. He has been something of a character, and of course he has given us great memories, but we can’t afford to keep him for what we get from him, and I don’t believe we should be looking to build a team around him. I think the time is right for him to go.

    • blueboy88 says:

      Indisputably we are more successful with Zigic in the team regardless of peoples opinion on his form or ability, , so on that basis alone he should be the first name on the team sheet..


  • dave mann says:

    second half we dominated the game and when young ibe came on his pace was electric,
    zigic won everything, novak took is goals well and huws just gets better and better, burke
    teared them apart and we defended well when we needed to……it came good in the end
    after a poor first half and another 3 points at ipswich saturday will do nicely. KRO.

  • Tony says:

    Very true Mr Crosby Zigic is a class act on his day, looks like Clark has finally realized we are better with him in than out.

    • Mrs Crosby says:

      Thank you Tony, I agree, he is a class act on his day, which I have to say isn’t anywhere as often as we’d all like. But rather that than a team full of headless chickens putting in 100% effort but possessing no guile, skill or threat. I don’t remember Kevin Phillips being slated for coming off the bench and making a difference? Maybe when he’s gone we might have the benefit of hindsight when judging Zigic? And it’s Mrs Crosby btw, don’t confuse me with my other half! We don’t always share opinions.

  • rhees says:

    As i have previously said the loanees have done us proud
    but i hope next season we have finances to purchase our own players

  • Rich P says:

    You know loaning players may not be such a bad thing. We clearly have a reputation as one of (if not ‘the’ – I haven’t checked other Championship clubs’ loan statuses) places for the top clubs to send their youngsters.

    I think this positions us well such that if our financial situation improves, any individuals on loan who are great footballers but simply won’t cut it at a Champions League club may well want to stay on permenantly

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think it’s also a prudent policy in our circumstances, taking players on loan or short-term contracts. At least, if we do come into a bit of money, we won’t be left with dead wood for two or three seasons like we have previously. If we’re allowed a couple of million next season, at we’ll start from a good base. It would be good for any would-be buyers too.

      • mr_crosby says:

        Do you know how many players are out of contract in the summer?
        We lose Zigic which will free up money but do you think that’s going to be spent on the team.
        We have only just managed to keep ourselves in this division this season, with no long term planning and just relying on loans and frees it’s a recipe for disaster.
        Unless we are sold it’s a slow slow slide down the leagues.

  • andy says:

    No of course it is not ideal having the amount of loan players Blues have, but it was imperative that they were bought in. Lee Clark has no choice but to work in this area and he is doing a very admirable job. Bringing in any player on loan is a risk, some work out, some don’t. Zigic actually pulled his weight at Blackpool yet looked a big oaf against Yeovil, and if I am honest, he has looked a big oaf in more games than not and maybe bringing Macheda in has given him yet another kick up the backside, not that he should be needing one! Until these owners go and allow someone to come in and invest in players, these loan signings will continue just to help put out a half decent team.

    • Auld Bertie says:

      Zigic’s poor (or apathetic) performances seem to coincide with him starting matches. He seems to try much harder when brought on as an impact sub but to be fair to him I think he needs at least 45 minutes and not the 10, 15 or 20 mins etc he has been given in other games. As long as he tries I have no truck with him: his performance and lack of effort against Yeovil was despicable.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Would agree with all points there. I said earlier, Zigic’s biggest impact is from the bench, when teams are tiring. The biggest drawback with him, is that defenders know now, that they only have to rough him up a bit and his game goes to pot. He spends all his time waving his hands and moaning at the refs… where, instead, he should be getting his own back by scoring/setting up goals. As long as they give everything for the shirt, I have no problem with any player.

    • Tony says:

      Its not a kick up the backside he needs Andy but for the team to play to his strengths, he is a quality player on the ground , his areal ability is not that great. What do you think it is like for him playing with what is essentially 3rd division players led by a fourth division manager.
      They may run around and put in a lot of effort but they are just triers not much more.
      How many people on here were saying hes history and would not play for us again,? well hes here and now.
      Clark made a monumentous mistake in casting him to the wilderness, not even putting him on the bench to give the opposition something to think about.
      Thankfully hes back i would prefer him anyday to the comic Terry mac and his unknown mate, pl;us the coal miner

  • sappy sad says:

    loanies are needed at moment ..we need lc to build us a team
    the young players we have are gaining in stamina and skill
    the older players are showing the way …these top young
    loanies are showing what skill is needed to our young stars
    and our young stars are showing them that true grit and a
    will to be winners can keep them out of the team ..if we
    can keep getting seven shots on target per game then we will thrive
    as long as we keep tight at the back

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Let’s not get carried away about Blackpool. They must be the worst team in the division on recent form. Ipswich will be a different proposition and not somewhere we have tended to get much joy. Then a run of very tough home games.

    There are a few out of contract in the summer other than Zigic. Ambrose, Mullins, Lovenkrands and I think Elliot and Murphy as well. I would be surprised if any of those are offered new contracts. That could be upto £6m in wages. There may be a window of opportunity there to significantly strengthen the squad with players at the right age.

  • andy says:

    Ask any supporter at St Andrews if they get carried away after an away victory I think the answer is in the atmosphere down there at the moment.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I hope the Zigic knockers are noticing that Zigic has provided the knockdown that has resulted in a goal in the last two games. He may be on stupid money and some fans are moaning. Next year Zigic (the last survivor of our cup winning squad) will be gone and Peter Pannu will probably give himself a 55k a week payrise.

  • Tony says:

    Ambrose has scored more goals in three games for his new club than he did in two years for us, wonder why.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    We don’t miss Zigic as much when he doesn’t start because Macheda’s there. Next season when they’re both gone we’re in trouble

  • Chris W says:

    I have to disagree with your comment re Zigic, I wouldn’t say resurgent, not by a long way. Macheda offers a lot more than route one football, he also isn’t frightened to go where it hurts. I said in an earlier post I would be happy if Zigic never played again. Yes, he is our own player, and they should have priority over loans and yes, we are not exactly over-flowing with strikers.
    The loan situation regarding Allen and Ferguson, we should be able to return them to their parent club, as with Bartley and Burn were both recalled and we had no say, despite it having to be agreed by all three parties.
    Ibe looks a better prospect to Rusnak on Saturdays showing and certainly had the Blackpool defence falling over themselves, better than Sterling, I would say he will be the better end product.
    Look forward to Fridays Blog report, enjoy the Hong Kong hospitality.

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