Often Partisan

The Great Escape

An injury time equaliser from Paul Caddis for Birmingham City against Bolton ensured that it was Doncaster Rovers and not the Blues who were relegated to League One. In a “Great Escape” Steve McQueen would have been proud of Birmingham City stayed up by virtue of a superior goal difference to Paul Dickov’s men having come back from 2-0 down against Bolton.

I will admit here and now I was absolutely convinced we were gone; when the Bolton second went in I thought “that’s it, there is no coming back now”. What I had forgotten of course is that Blues is a team of last minute goals – in recent times we’ve had Stern John to bring us back from 2-0 down against the mob from across the expressway; Obafemi Martins scoring at Wembley to win us the League Cup; Chris Wood scoring in the 98th minute away to Club Brugge – in each occasion sending a massed throng of travelling fans delirious. Therefore was it not fated that Blues would do it the hard way and do it in that manner again?

The game isn’t one for analysis really; much of it was a bit of a blur and the last fifteen minutes especially so. That being said, I’d like to point to two things that swung the game – firstly, the introduction of Federico Macheda and in particular Jordon Ibe who was excellent. I think it was telling after the soundbite from the skipper about loanees letting the side down that it was a loanee who really pulled us up by the bootstraps. The second thing that swung the game was when Blues finally started to succeed with crosses – as that brought the big man Nikola Zigic into play.

I will unabashedly admit I love the lanky Serb – in big games he always rises to the occasion (if you pardon the pun) and he seems to have a knack of scoring important goals. The first decent cross Blues hit in the game was the one Mitch Hancox swept in, pinpointing Nikola Zigic who planted the ball firmly in the back of the net. It’s unlucky he was only credited with one goal – I thought the one that Caddis finally finished had initially crossed the line when Ziggy headed it. Novak’s prod in after a Ziggy knockdown in the first half was also unfairly chalked off as I do not believe (and neither did Alan McInally on Sky Sports News) that Zigic committed a foul.

I think it’s important to realise just how important that goal was. It’s my firm belief that goal will have saved us a year or three of heartache in League One and will help ensure that we get back onto the right track under new ownership sooner rather than later. I’m not surprised Panos Pavlakis went to the dressing room to give Caddis a hug because that goal will no doubt make the Greek director’s job in selling the club just a little easier – and should ensure that all the bidders who were interested remain so.

Colin Tattum recorded a rather emotional video in the press area at the Reebok after the final whistle, where he talked about the emotion and the support – and affirmed that this should never again happen to us. Never again should an owner leave us on the brink of League One because of a lack of investment and a lack of enthusiasm in bringing investment in; never again should the club be forced to rely on loans, kids and journeymen to try to compete in the Championship. With the season over and the worries about where we will compete are gone, the time has come to sell up and move on. Mr Pavlakis and Mr Pannu, it’s over to you.

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45 Responses to “The Great Escape”

  • Kazakblue says:

    The Big Man would love to stay at the Blues I am sure of that, what chance a 1 -2 year contract, drastically reduced wages of course, Zigic knows in his own heart that his days of a huge weekly salary are over. An adopted Brummie for certain.

    • harbsbleu says:

      You could make him captain, pay him £2000 week with £20000 per goal in winning matches, get a bit a fitness into him and yep we would all do well!

      • Kazakblue says:

        Harbsbleu,
        A fantastic idea, I think the Big Man would thrive on the responsibility, but if would pay him £5000 a week and £10000 a goal in winning matches, and a bonus when we lift the championship title.

  • Jaffa123 says:

    Like you Dan I gave up ap at 2 nil.I turned the radio off the tv and my phone but I could’nt help myself and at 90 minutes I turned everything back on.Well when that goal went in I neally smashed the house to bits.Now all we need is a complete sale.Thank’ s for all your information over the season Dan.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Yesterday was a credit to all who pulled the shirt on & gave of their best, to give us long suffering supporters our pride back in this great club.

    Now that should be a line in the sand, new owners, new manager, fresh start.

    We have been offered a chance for redemption..lets not mess it up Mr Pavlakis.
    As that would be unforgivable..!!

    .

  • Steve says:

    what a fantastic day.That was up there with Wembley.How many gave us a chance at 2-0? I didn’t.But we kept going and got what we deserved on the day. I think that yesterday proved that we were at least a mid table team and most of our problems are down to the clark and the board.Hopefully now,we can get new owners and a new manager and look forward to a brighter future.Absolutely brilliant support yesterday,i felt proud to be a Blue.I went with the club coaches and when we got there,the coach company hadn’t paid to park there and had to move.Luckily it was sorted before the end of the game.Could only happen to us.KRO.

  • Allan says:

    Dan, thanks for another of your concise views (as always) of yesterdays ‘great escape’ – May I also thank you for your great posts on SHA over the past season. Without your regular input we ‘Blue Noses’ would, at most times be left in the dark with the ‘goings on’ within our club. Long may your efforts continue.

  • Chris W says:

    Talk about putting us through the mill, I have never been through so many emotions in all my 50+ years as a bluenose, maybe I am getting too old.
    After the storm we can now plan for the future and it must not be with BIHL at the helm, in any capacity. Whoever buys the club must insist on full control from the outset, even if they purchase 25%, that must be the controlling rights.
    The next big task is to secure a playing squad and negotiating contracts, whether Clark stays or not, personally I think we should start afresh, a totally clean sweep with a whole new broom from top to bottom.
    I am going to recharge my batteries and hopefully enjoy a successful world cup before we go again in August.
    KRO+DNM

  • Rhees says:

    I am so relieved its untrue. Would love ziggy to stay on reduced wages would be great.
    new manager and owners number one requirment then who knows.
    fresh sart renewed hope and lift off.

  • Rhees says:

    Is there any news on bidders or sale dan
    and so as you know i live for your posts

  • Art says:

    Dan..like so many I am so relieved and looking forward to a better future.The only way forward is a complete clear out from top to bottom with a fresh start.

    Hopefully Lee Clark will move on and I wish him the very best of luck.

    • RichardW says:

      Yet it seems harsh to be talking today of moving Clak on . . .who could not warm to the guy’s emotional response to yesterday’s events . ..yet some of those team sheets in the last few weeks. I really am torn.

      • Chris W says:

        I agree to some extent, his passion was for all to see yesterday and like you, stared in bewilderment at some of those team selections, including his starting line-up yesterday.
        If BCFC are to move forward then all shackles on the manager have to be removed and he has to be able to buy players.
        I was of the opinion that Lee Clark should be given the chance, but now feel that we should sever all ties with BIHL and those who were employed by them and start afresh.
        If the new owner thinks Lee Clark is the man then I for one, will support him, as I have done all the managers down the 53 seasons I have followed the team.
        KRO+DNM

      • Art says:

        Can’t deny his passion and work ethic -(based on his results) it’s his ability that concerns me.

        I don’t think for a moment that new owners will keep him on .

  • phil smith says:

    Unbelievable …. So proud for all the team, staff and for every bluenose where ever you live!!! Keep right on ……..

  • Mineheadblue says:

    I have to be honest and say that I thought we were gone before the game too…….but you gotta love the big guy!!!!
    Chris W; sorry I didn’t reply to an earlier post. You’re right, it is a beautiful part of the world down here and ironically, my son currently works at Butlins and is a fanatical blue nose! KRO

  • Gary says:

    For the first time in a long time the Blues played to their potential, while I am delighted with staying up a lot of questions need to be asked of the players and some tough decisions made regarding the future of some who seem to be dead wood now.
    I don’t believe Clarke is the right man for the job at Blues but the question is who would want to work for Blues with the current shower as owners.
    Hopefully new owners and a new manager will see the good times return

    • Geoff S says:

      Good post, Gary. Unless I have missed something I reckon new owners may have to come before a new manager.

  • Nose23 says:

    Simply brilliant! I feel on top of the world, it still hasn’t sunk in yet and what made it even sweeter is seeing all those horrible Vilers on twitter planning our so called relegation party, made me sick and I just want to say…UP YOUR VILERS! sorry if I crossed a line there but I’m beaming with pride, they take you through all the emotions but you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way

    KRO fellow Noses

  • fingles says:

    One thing you forgot Dan. The Fans.

    None of those players could have been in any doubt about the passion for the club. The noise level when they walked out,and then after each of the Bolton goals was immense.

  • Blooflame says:

    First time I’ve ever seen zigic lift more than 3 inches from the ground! All season ~I said we were going down and clark should go…the team played quite well really and displayed bags of character..mmm that was a nice piece of humble pie!! This near miss surely was a red light to the board, thay must sell now because if there are no players or money next season the club will be bought for pennies and they’ll have a big loss. Bye Bye Pannu, bye bye Yeung, I loathe the space you occupy.

  • ijaz hussain says:

    What a game of football. I shed tears of joy when Caddis made it 2-2. The scences of jubilation at the end were unbelievable. I love how Lee Clark dived into the crowd and all the coaches joined in the celebrations. It was great to see Zigic score and get a fitting farewell. If we can keep him on a wage in line with everyone else we should keep him. Well done to Lee Clark and the team. Lets hope for a buyout now and a upward turn in fortunes.

  • paulo_bcfc says:

    Absolutely amazing roller-coaster of a day. From the early hours of getting up, spotting the blues fans in town – half asleep & carrier bags of cans, everyone just slightly playing it down on the way to Manchester ….and then we get to Piccadilly and we just took over! All it took was ‘one’ lad in a vile shirt and we lifted the roof off. (It has to be recorded somewhere, loads were recording us from down below). That was the start of the buzz. The sardine two carriage to Horwich and the walk up was just exiting. By the time the lads came on, it all made sense and it was just a match that explains blues to a tee ..just full of everything. The second goal was electric and the biggest noise I’ve heard all season, and it was just weird that no matter who surrounded me, no one cared and everyone was in it together and just went mental. The final whistle to having ‘another’ beer back in Brum …that was the blur really. I admit, I didn’t like our chances from the Leeds & Wigan games, but I don’t think any one of the 3,800 noses who went to Bolton wanted to see relegation at all. It was so bitter sweet when the ‘obsessed’ were more concerned with us, and for us it felt like a promotion more than a survival …strange!

  • mel says:

    Dan your posts have been a pleasure to read. They are the ones I always read first. I too would like Ziggy to stay on a reduced wage. He has scored and made some of the most important Blues goals in his time with us. Is there any chance you could set a poll up for all Blues fans to have there vote. Ziggy stay or go. Would be interesting to see opinions. Keep up the good work

    • Nose23 says:

      I’d love him to stay, he always comes through for us when it’s needed..Ohhh Nikolaaa Zigiccc!!!

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    I would expect all the bidders will want it know if they are chosen one asap so that they can start the rebuilding.

  • Andy W says:

    Like may others I guess, I thought we would go down, particularly at 2-0. A truly magnificent effort from the players, and an emotional outpouring from the manager that convinced me that he actually does have his heart and soul in the club. Now is the time for some sensible reflection by all, as some serious decisions have to be made. And no doubt we will all be posting our views when anything comes to light.
    I think there are two particular “thank you’s” that should go out at this season end.
    The first is to the incredible away supporters, who have made me proud to support the club throughout the season with their never waning optimism and enthusiasm. You are a credit to the club, all of you, and I salute you!
    The second is to Dan, for hosting this site, allowing us to share our often different opinions, and providing us with vital information when it has been available, in a sensible and responsible way at considerable cost, and risk to his own personal and professional reputation. Please keep going Dan. I know it’s been hard this season, and sometimes you have been let down and placed in very difficult positions by your passionate followers who may have overstepped the mark on occasions. But I believe this is the best BCFC site available, and the only one I ever post on.
    Now let’s take a deep breath, and wait to see what happens? KRO!

    • Chris W says:

      Well said, the new voice of reason.
      I, also think this is the best BCFC site for up to date information, especially what is happening in Hong Kong.
      If there is an award for such sites then Dan deserves.
      We all have to sit back now and wait to see what transpires in the forthcoming weeks, re contracts, players and of course, the sale of BCFC, which should be interesting.
      KRO+DNM

  • bluesbot says:

    I just hope BIHL sell the club quickly so that we can hit the ground running before the season starts, after all there isn’t that much time between seasons and there’s a huge amount of team building to be done, and quite possibly a new management team to find.
    I am like most others torn on whether to give clark another chance, he really was up against it this season with regards to player intake considering the money available and losing our defensive lynchpins made a massive difference.
    However in trying to halt our disastrous form he seemed to panic by trying all manner of tactics – some of them mind boggling.
    On saturday I was incredulous with his starting line up and went nuts when he substituted Burke, who had been our only creative spark during the game, but this time it didnt back fire for a change.
    And although this chapter is over (thank god), I am sure the next one will be full of drama.
    KRO

  • mark says:

    Maybe not every ones favourite but well done to Lee Clark…..looking forward to you getting your teeth into next season……..need to shift some of the dead wood.
    Dust our self down get refreshed and go again……..so excited cannot wait for august to come around………. Like you said how will keep their money in their pocket, and continue with their moaning……….3800 found their money and their voices…….

  • mark says:

    I love been bluenose what ever the situation, we are born to take the sorrows and the joys……..kro

  • lappy1967 says:

    What a Day!!! Even Alan Mcinally seemed genuinely pleased that the Blues had stopped up. I reaaly think that this is a massively significant result for the blues ( much more significant than the Carling Cup) and anticipate changes before the start of next season. I supported Lee Clarke all season, right up to the Forest game but then lost all hope in him and the team and din’t see us getting another point as both the manager and the team seemed to have lost the plot!!! but yesterdays emotional Barry Fry crowd dive and the images of him sitting on the bench in tears showed that what this all meant to him. And i have to admit that if new owners do come then I hope he’s given a chance. You really can’t buy that kind of passion ( having said that we can’t buy anything at the minute!!)

    • Chrisg says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I think LC deserves a chance under the new owners, whoever they may be. He’s made a few mistakes but he’s the only manager to stick by us through all this and he obviously loves the club.

  • Steve Downunder says:

    It was late night over here and i was in a hotel room with live updates in my ipad, like everyone else at 2 nil down i almost turned it off and went to bed but i had a gut feeling there would be late drama. At 2-2 I was dancing around the hotel room waking everyone up in the process!! What a massive result for the club, lets hope the poison at the top can be weeded out during the off season and hopefully get new owners and some investment for next season. KRO!


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