Often Partisan

Height, Pace and Ability

There has been a relative absence of news stories linking Blues to players that they are trying to sign and as of the moment there seems uncertainty as to what the squad is going to be like this season. With this in mind I thought I would offer my thoughts on what we should be looking for.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t watch other teams play much at all and as such I think me naming players as targets wouldn’t work; I don’t know enough to know lesser-known players and at this moment in time I think that’s what we’re looking at  – so I thought it might be easier to look at general attributes and work from there.

One thing I would definitely be looking for in new signings is height. I had a flick through the details of the squad on Wikipedia, and using their stats only Tom Adeyemi and Callum Reilly (at 6’1″) of the retained outfield players with contracts are taller than 6 foot; Lee Novak, Jonathan Spector and Matt Green all come in at 6′ with every one else less than that. I’m not advocating a basketball team of beanpoles but it does strike me that the Blues squad is relatively short, and I think at Championship level that is a handicap. Obviously if Will Packwood (6’3) and Nikola Zigic (6’8) re-sign then there is a bit more in the team but I would hope we are looking at plenty of height and strength in new centre-backs particularly.

I think it’s fair to say as a team Blues lack pace too; if Chris Burke doesn’t re-sign our current wide options are Koby Arthur (who’s not been near the squad since August) and Demarai Gray (who isn’t 18 til next moth). Whichever formation we decide to settle on, I think having a player or two who can run at defenders at speed with the ball, forcing them to commit to tackles and potentially make mistakes is an important attribute to have in any side and I do believe that lack of consistent creativity cost us last season. Jordon Ibe showed against Bolton just how much damage someone positive can do to a team at that level – I’m of the firm belief that his introduction massively swung that game for us because he was positive and he scared the Bolton defenders.

It has to be said that height and pace alone a footballer does not make – ask Tyler Blackett. It seems obvious we need to bring in players with ability; however I think it’s more complex than that. As an example Andrew Shinnie looked very good in Scotland before coming to Blues but I think he struggled to adapt to the way the Championship is played – we need players who can adapt to the hustle and bustle of the second tier. Tom Adeyemi was an example of a good signing for me – he was raw but after settling in he looked a very good acquisition and I think he will blossom further. I’d much rather see Blues take punts on players like Adeyemi and build a young, talented squad that will grow together and organically than the QPR approach of throwing money at it and hoping it works.

Obviously, it’s all up in the air at the moment – I don’t think Lee Clark knows what his budgets are – or if he’s going to be in charge come the first game of next season for that matter. My hope is things can be sorted quickly and then we can look forward to debating specific players who are linked with the club.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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49 Responses to “Height, Pace and Ability”

  • mark says:

    in total agreement with you daniel with the regards to your quote I much rather see Blues take punts on players like Adeyemi and build a young, talented squad that will grow together and organically than the QPR approach of throwing money at it and hoping it works…..spot on for me kro

  • John Ramsay says:

    Dan,that’s a very good article. I agree with every word. Every team that came to us last season were bigger than us and we were out muscled in so many matches. I think this was one of the reasons we lost so often. Height, pace, ability is exactly what we need but can we afford to pay for the players who have it?

  • mark says:

    to add to that further Daniel this might take a few years in the making, highs and lows and all that…..fans need to understand this and grow with it……………

  • bluenoserob says:

    everyone ,there is a good quiz for all blues fans to try

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/b

  • bluenoserob says:

    everyone ,there is a good quiz for all blues fans to try

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/b

  • Big Al says:

    Total agree – someone made a good point that it was worth picking Zigic just for his height when defending corners. We made that big donkey playing up front for Leeds look like a world beater.

  • Gary says:

    I agree what I noticed most if not all of our players were useless in the air they couldn’t jump they struggled to pass the ball & struggled to keep the ball half the time I actually wondered if they did any training together. I think most if not all of them players need to go doesn’t matter how many times they say in the media we will do things different has they did most of last season and they are doing again they are just not & never will be good enough. Though the way things are going we will be stuck with this lot next season worrying times ahead for blues I think.

  • Chris W says:

    I agree that we need to look at more players like Tom Adeyemi, we need to build more or less from scratch with some experience to help the younger players to develop.
    In my opinion Chris Burke has had his day and probably will still attract a half decent fee, he lacked pace and failed to beat the first man with most of his crosses, he was predictable and visiting teams defused any threat by marking him out of the game and LC didn’t have a plan B.
    Lee Novak was a mini disaster when he first played but he stuck to it and I feel he became the most improved player all season, he linked well with Macheda and knocked in a few important goals too. I think Andy Shinnie can make an impact this season, as you say some players take more time to settle, but they also need game time too, Lee had that and Andy didn’t.
    We definitely need two tall centre backs even if Will Packwood does re-sign, a younger Burkesque type player and another Macheda, but one we can call our own.
    I would like to see us play through defences rather than hoof it and chase, if Zigic re-signs then play to his strengths, on the ground,
    KRO+DNM

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    May 30th is fast approaching. If there’s no simple business plan to prove we are viable throughout the season then there’s no league to play in. We should be worrying about a Mexican stand-off being acted out with no fall back plan from BIH (more financial loans) if all the bidders drop out. Who fills the shirts is not relevant this month.

    • Gary says:

      Well said I think you are right I think these people want to keep a hold of blues & I think they would be happy trying to get people to keep giving the club loans to keep it afloat.

    • Chris W says:

      I think the 30th May date is where they have to produce the interim financial documents and players retained list which have to be finalised and accepted before the new league fixtures are announced.
      As you say it is worrying as it can lead to expulsion, worse case scenario, or a points deduction.
      With no news and only speculation to go on things look even bleaker than they did last season, the draw at Bolton might seem worthless.
      I dare say Dan can offer some clarity on this, but I am sure I have read the Football leagues regulations correctly.
      KRO+DNM

      • beegeeblueboy says:

        That it right. If they don’t think our plan (to be able to play all our fixtures) they can throw us out.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      The new wage cap will be more than £5k if we get new owners

  • RichardM says:

    One player I’d like to see us go for (and I think we could get) is Craig Davies, the 6’2″ striker who bagged 4 of the 5 goals in our infamous collapse to Barnsley the season before last. Still only 28, has a decent scoring record in this division, and seems surplus to requirements at Bolton (spent later half of season on loan to Preston in Div 1 where he also scored goals). I seem to recall he does have connections to the area, and may even be a bluenose himself?

    • Gary says:

      No he was loaned out by Bolton for a reason he’s useless we just made him look good which we do with most players when he scored the goals against us I was reading a lot of write ups about him and how people were shocked that he had scored them goals against us because he was such a shocking player so no way would I have him. If the club do get sold & that’s a big IF we should aim higher than that sort of player I think we have had to put up with enough rubbish over the last couple of years.

      • RichardM says:

        Fair enough, although I wouldn’t call 23 goals in 2 Championship seasons “useless”. Also, who do you realistically think we can tempt with a wage cap of £5K per week?

        • mark says:

          i wondered if clark ask the question to Macheda availability…full season in the championship would do him no harm, and first and foremost he out and out striker…..with every possibility of scoring 20 goals for the season in this league……….

        • Gary says:

          I see where you are coming from Richard I would have him if we don’t get new owners & don’t have anything to spend but if we do get owners with money I think we should aim higher. I see we have lost out in that defender this delay is going to wreck our chances again by the look of it so annoying.

  • the one giannisawyer says:

    I could probably still do a job and I’m 6’2″?
    Have a word Dan, I’ll give it 110% on that pitch and no less!

  • Oldburyblue says:

    Football is all about hope rather than expectation. My hope for next year is that we will see the best of Matt Green and Neil Eardley after their long-term injuries. I think both were badly missed last Season.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      Eardley was poor. Slow and didn’t support Burke. If he’d been fit we have been in the doodah’s with no Caddis to save us!

      • Oldburyblue says:

        I loved Caddis to bits even before he became a legend with his last minute goal. However he was, and always will be, a liability as a full back because of something beyond his control….his lack of height. Other managers and coaches are not stupid so took advantage with balls to the far post to players much taller who were able to knock back dangerous balls in front of goal. Eardley is the better traditional defender, Caddis a proper wingback that improved Burke 100% by MAKING him work. Ideally I would prefer to see Eardley play as 1 of 3 tall defenders with Caddis and Hancox playing further up the field but able to track back to make a back 5 when necessary.

  • jason says:

    With the players clark has been looking at i would be excited it all depends on if we can actually bring them in. Shaun hutchinson 6’3 would be a good free signing at centre back and only 23. Tom beuglesdijk another free centre back also 23 and 6’3 impressed me all season last year and would be a great signing. Then theres jonathan grounds over 6 foot too for a left back would be pretty tall. Other free transfers such as tommy rowe at left midfield and stephen dawson centre mid would really stablise the squad. Just could do with finding a few forwards. Watching veton berisha this season its clear hes the type of forward we need. Shame i doubt we will have a million to spend on him.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      We’ll only be able to sign players on contracts of 50p a week while Pannu lives it up in HK on his fat salary and ‘consultancy’ fees.

  • EveshamBlue says:

    My worry is that we are caught between a rock and a hard place. We don’t know where which market we are shopping in until the ownership issue is clarified. If it keeps dragging then we won’t get in players by pre season which spells disaster when rebuilding a totally new squad. E.g. If you were Zigic you would hang fire to see if new owners could pay more money?

    That Dutch defender others are in for him. We will miss out on players like that the longer this drags…..

  • mark says:

    Daniel slightly off topic you mentioned Carson appeared back in court on you blog on the 5th May, with two weeks to sort out his defense regarding debt owned!!….has anything come of that yet??

  • edd77 says:

    So the dutch defender has joined a German team, how embarrassing that Clark couldn’t even formally offer the chap a deal, it’s getting worse,some of the names being mentioned are not going to happen start thinking players released by bristol rovers Torquay or maybe if we are really lucky walsall

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Just highlights what LC has had to deal with all season. We’ll struggle to even compete with 1st and 2nd division teams with wage demands while the BIHL muppets remain in control.

    • Gary says:

      And whether we like it or not it’s the reason thousands of fans are staying away and most probably won’t come back & you can’t really blame them I love the blues but I must admit I’m getting a bit fed up with the whole situation if they want to get fans back through the turnstiles they need to start moving fast because if we have another season like the last you will get next to nobody down the blues & the fans will never come back it’s just getting pathetic & out of hand.

  • Andy W says:

    The bottom line is, unless we hear something from HK before the end of this month in regards to a Memorandum with a preferred bidder, we won’t need to worry about which market we’re in because we won’t be able to attract anybody to come and play for us or even manage us. People will look at us and judge us on last season with no hope of any investment/improvement and say thanks but no thanks. I mean, would you come to us in the same circumstances? I think edd77 makes a similar and valid point.

  • Art says:

    Very good point.

  • mark says:

    sorry dahttp://www.bcfc.com/news/article/20140521-a-thank-you-from-the-gambia-1568234.aspx?daniel could help this, this such humble thing by bcfc near bought a tear to me eye……..

  • darren astley says:

    wouldn’t mind agard from Rotherham mellis ( Barnsley) if we could attract those sort of players. lets hope this SALE happens doubly quick how can a manager plan ( if he remains our manager) for the season ahead when he don’t know what he’s got to work with.

  • Gary says:

    Belgian coach Jose Riga has sparked rumours he could be heading to Blackpool or Birmingham after confirming he will not be in charge of Charlton next season.

    Read more at http://talksport.com/football/riga-targets-blackpool-or-birmingham-move-belgian-coach-leaves-charlton-14052192252#yO8OTPk1wh2uSrm1.99

    • Gary says:

      Could Clark be on his way out of blues.

    • mark says:

      Hi Gary, just been on charlton forum their fans think highly of him, lot of them will be dismayed why he not got a extended contract for what he done for them??

      • Gary says:

        It’s a strange rumour why would he want to come to blues in the state we are in plus we still have Clark in charge he will probably go to Blackpool.

        • mark says:

          maybe the the question put to him got a little twisted, if there was a vacant position available he would probably be interested…..just a thought…Ferguson left Blackpool

  • Gary says:

    I think blues should go for other teams captains because the players we have are all to quiet & timid we need players that are not frightened easy that will put themselves about players that are not scared to have ago at each other when they are playing bad.

    • mark says:

      i think like a gobby midfielder maybe like robbie savage…………

      • Gary says:

        Yes just like savage like I said the players we have are a bunch of wimps and we need a few hard players that are not afraid to shout a lot.

        • AussieBlue says:

          Here here! Gobby Robbie but without the jobbie. Always hustling; always disrupting, shouting the odds, arguing with refs, feeding players…king of the midfield.

  • Daniel Collins says:

    Got to go with youth. 18-22. As the club will be in a selling situation for the time being it may benefit the club with wins and also financially if you prove out some younger talent. I’m a new Blues fan so help me out here. What is the clubs style? Known for defense, attacking flair, short passing game, etc.? First decide what the club wants then build the pieces of the puzzle. With the current situation I would focus on building the best back four and copying Athletico Madrid’s defensive posture. That would ensure at least mid-table next year while we bring younger attacking players along.


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