Often Partisan


As Birmingham City finalise their preparations for the tour to Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, I thought I’d take a look at where we are right now.

It looks like our search for a new first team coach is over already, as Alex McLeish looks to push through a deal for a replacement for Dubai-bound Roy Aitken within the next 24 hours. Colin Tattum writes in the Birmingham Mail today that it is looking very likely we’ll be hiring Ricky Sbragia, who is currently Chief Scout at Sunderland following a brief stint managing them. I posted last week about the search for Aitken’s replacement, and I reckon Sbragia fits the criteria I guessed that would be needed quite nicely. Sbragia started his playing career with us some thirty six years ago, and I think it would be quite nice to see him return to his “roots” as it were. Sbragia has been a coach at Manchester United, Bolton and Sunderland; and as manager saved Sunderland from relegation from the Premiership in the 2008/09 season.

Over the last few days there have been reports from St Andrews that we are still in the hunt for players to bolster what is quite a small playing squad, but the recurring theme being put out by Peter Pannu is that “we won’t be held to ransom.” Whilst I think that financial prudence is probably right in the current climate, I am of the belief that if this had been our previous board a fair few fans (probably including myself) wouldn’t be at all happy. It’s true that there are seven and a bit weeks left of the transfer window, but in an ideal world we need to ensure that all our new signings get a decent pre-season and are fully integrated into the squad for the season’s start on August 14.

The thing is, the squad is very light; we are short of cover in my mind for right back, and left back; one injury would cripple us at centre back; we have no pace in midfield and we’re probably a striker shy too. Admittedly, signings like Nathaniel Clyne from Crystal Palace and Paul Konchesky from Fulham would go some way to easing this, but we seem no closer to making any headway with signing these players than we were a couple of weeks ago. As much as the board don’t want to be taken for mugs the time has come now to get the chequebook out and sort out someone – if not Clyne and Konchesky then backup targets need to be sought quickly and signed. We’ve also got the loan system to take advantage of, and I would like us to maybe look at a young centre back on loan to bolster our back line – my suggestion is Havard Nordveit of Arsenal who has had a fair bit of experience on loan at places like Salamanca, and at 22 is in need of full first team action now.

I don’t want to sound pessimistic; I want to believe that we can improve on last season’s excellent finish and push onwards and upwards but without at least three or four new signings who will fit into the team well we’re going to struggle to even stay up in my opinion. However, I have trust in McLeish; I hope the board will back him and open the purse strings to allow McLeish to continue doing the fine job he is doing.

Tags: ,

One Response to “Chequebook”

Leave a Reply

Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating