Often Partisan

Return of the Wessiah

with thanks to @ThePiqasso for the title of this blog

Wes Thomas completed his return to St Andrews on a Bosman free transfer from Rotherham United, signing a two year deal twelve months after completing an eleven game loan spell with the club.

It’s a move that has divided fans somewhat; may remember Thomas struggled for goals at times at Blues and in honesty I can clearly remember saying that I was thinking of having “I saw Wes Thomas score at St Andrews – TWICE” T-shirts printed up to commemorate something I never thought would see. That being said, he is definitely quick, he has a bit of power about him and I would rather see him in the team than a disinterested Peter Lovenkrands.

What the signing of Thomas continues to show is two things -firstly, I think it continues to back the notion that Clark is trying to bring together a team that is owned by the club rather than loanees – yes, the team might end up having fewer players in the squad but I think that’s a better thing for Clark and will make it easier for him to pick a consistent team. It’s my understanding that Clark has continued to receive the full backing of the board and he’s convinced them of the merits of operating the team utilising less of the loan market.

Secondly, the market Blues are shopping in. I’d have loved us to have taken on Macheda permanently but when you hear Cardiff offered him £35k per week to join the Vincent Tan revolution in the Welsh capital its easy to understand why we didn’t have a chance in signing him; Thomas will have cost us 1/7th of that maximum in wages and until investment comes in this is the way it will be.

I think people are under the impression that as we’ve cut Zigic’s contract from the books we can go out and spend that money on other players but it’s just not the case – Blues are looking to reduce their wage bill from an estimated £18million last season to about a third of that – and that means if we save £3mil annually from Zigic’s wages we can’t spend any of it on other players.

Zigic is unlikely to sign a new deal with the club – but he hasn’t actually rejected the offer made by Blues; he’s not responded at all. Indeed, it appears he’s blipped off the radar completely as from what I can gather no one has seen hide nor hair of him since he went on his hols and it’s entirely possible his lack of response is as much from just being incommunicado as it is him looking elsewhere. Blues can’t wait forever though and I feel they are planning for a future without him; I have this comical notion in my head he’ll report back for pre-season training at the end of this month oblivious to the contract issue only to be pointedly told he’s with us any more.

With a frontline of Novak, Thomas, Green and one other I think those positions are sorted; Edgar and another centre back to come in would satisfy me in defence (particularly as I don’t think Will Packwood will stay at the club either); I think it’ll be down to picking up a couple of wingers with Arthur and Gray to back them up and we’ll be almost there. Yes, it might be a bit of a scratch team and it might not be what people want but if Clark can gel them together you never know – The Championship is a strange old division.

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252 Responses to “Return of the Wessiah”

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I’m probably in a minority of one, but I love the Championship and the uncertainty of it all. You never know from one season to the next what’s going to happen, who’s going to be successful and who is going to struggle… unlike the boring Premier League, where you can guess within a couple of places where every team will finish.

    I think Clark has done well with his recruitment so far. He’s addressing areas where we were woefully short last year. What more can the guy do with the budget he’s working to?

  • Lil Jon says:

    Just wondering why you don’t think Packwood will stay at the club. Do you think he will get picked up by a bigger team? I’ve watched him all season and i think he is one of the worst defenders I’ve seen down at blues. Always out of position, slow and looks uncomfortable on the ball.
    I believe if he wasn’t an academy product he would get absolutely slated by the blues fans. Wouldn’t surprise me if you see these defenders in the lower leagues like Sadler and Painter in a couple of years.

    • Tony says:

      Packwood like almost all the other much heralded youngsters is not going to set the world alight. lets get that much straight. Reilly,Arthur,Hancox same thing they make a living in div2 but that’s about it we have to be realistic and honest with ourselves.

      • mark says:

        I actually disagree with you there Reilly and hancox are more than capable in the championship… Arther has yet to prove himself unlike gray and brown.

  • Gary says:

    Waste of space he’s rubbish I was reading about him the other day even Rotherham wouldn’t offer him another contract yet blues give him a two year contract we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Never thought I would say this but I’m getting fed up and bored with blues.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      What calibre of striker are you expecting when Clark has no transfer kitty and can offer a maximum salary of £5k per week?
      I would love (and I suspect LC would love) to sign Troy Deeney and Harry Maguire, but it would cost millions that we haven’t got.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I think there are still some who need a reality check. The fact that we have NO money to spend on transfer fees seems to escape a few. Baffling.

      • Tony says:

        Richard it would be nice to have a striker who could hit a barn door from a range of 8 yards, Over the years we have had players who could cover 100mtrs in a little over 10 secs Mike Hellawell comes to mind only problem was he forgot to take the ball with him.
        Pace is an important aspect of being a striker. but the ability to hit the target is the most fundamental thing and this guy cant do it often enough.

        • Chas says:

          So you didn’t see the Burnley match where he destroyed the (then) England Left back ,scored two and set up three ? That match got him into the England Team, but we will leave it there( you are right really, ‘Hit’im with yer ‘Andbag, Mike,’ was the chant at the time./:-)

    • Alan Moore says:

      According to the “Sheffield Star” Thomas was offered a new contract by Rotherham but turned it down to join Blues.

      • Blueboy88 says:

        And that’s what we have come too due to this continuing under investment..

        What an Epitaph – He turned down Rotherham for Blues..

    • dave mann says:

      then why do you bother? start supporting the ladies because they are quality,
      i do and ime well proud of them. KRO.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    One of the most important skills a striker needs is a quick turn to goal when receiving the ball with his back to goal and a defender on his heels. I observed this skill in Thomas in his few games for us.
    With the help of a run of games I believe he will have a good goal return next season.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      That’s something we’ve not had since Marlon King left. King wasn’t the quickest, but he could turn the defender and get in a shot. Sometimes, all you need is that half a yard of space.

    • Chas says:

      Richard, I think you might have something there. I saw him on TV (Ok, I know, but you get a better view) and he made a few chances for himself even if he didn’t finish them properly. He can improve. I am willing to give him a chance.

    • tmsblues says:

      A run of games ! Which players get that with Clark picking the team !

      • Tony says:

        Clark will no doubt pick him as right back

      • Agent McLeish says:

        Randolph – 46 appearances
        Robbo – 40
        Burke – 37
        Adeyemi – 32

        Caddis – 35

        I could go on….

        • Staffs Blue says:

          … and Zigic played more under Clark than he ever did for McLeish and Hughton. So that argument doesn’t hold up either. People seem to forget, Zigic only missed one game because of his discipline. He was also injured for lengthy periods.

        • Pete says:

          Although I am not agreeing with the original sentiments, it must be said Clark would drop players one game and bring them back the next. In fact though it was the reasoning and feeling that he was searching for an answer because he did not have a clue how to improve things that got me.

        • paule says:

          Whilst you are going on, apart from Randolph was those players consistently in the same positions?

    • Gary says:

      You mean one game

  • Chas says:

    By the way Dan, your comment about Ziggi coming back to be told he wasn’t supposed to be with us actually happened to me once. Whoever allocated the Jobs out fixed my transfer to the back of the sheet and it was overlooked. Bloody embarrassing for all concerned .:-)

  • mark says:

    Daniel absolutely right about consistency… Our own players it getting Better all the time, St selling nicely, clean slate, happy fans , well we nearly getting there lol

  • mark says:

    I actually believe wes will do a lot better this time around knowing he here for good…

  • mark says:

    Love your positivity Daniel at the end of your blog…….you do for me…….

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Hopefully Spector will stay injury free this season to bolster the team. IMO he is a very underrated player.

  • Gary says:

    Whether he was offered a new contract or not just because he opted to join blues doesn’t make it any better in my opinion our fans are so easily pleased I’m not having a go at you OP you do a great job mate but I’m not going to say it’s a shame because we have no money so we should except any old trash I’m not one of them fans mate.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Living as I do now 200 miles from Birmingham I am desperate to justify the repurchase of my two season tickets. Its not a money thing. I would rather spend my cash on Birmingham City than anything else other than my Grand Kids. Even 12 hours on train and bus is not such a big deal. I know why any takeover wont be overnight and where Lee Clarke is doing his shopping .
    The Wes Thomas purchase is really a deal breaker for me. How ever good he may have become in the 18 months since we ended his loan he is not going to move us forward. He will not even help us tread water. I cannot see us scoring a goal with whatever combination of Green, Novak and Thomas, Clark comes up with.
    Please OP contributors give me something to encourage me.
    Still Journey on!

    • AussieBlue says:

      You’ve already got all the encouragement there is Alan; Grandkids to enthuse about what a great and noble football club is BCFC; a club that has endured more adversity than most others and yet kept right on. Ownership changes and passes into history; supporters like you and your Grandkids go on forever.

  • mark says:

    Looks like to centre halfs signing today inclarkwetrust

  • Geoff S says:

    I’ve just read that Blues are close to signing Gavin Gunning and David Edgar. Edgar may be okay but Gunning has apparently just failed a medical at Sheffield Wednesday so why should he pass one with the Blues physio?

    • Snoopster says:

      It happens fairly often – Ba failed medicals for Stoke but now he is on the books for Chelsea, for example.
      Gunning could have a long term risk of injury and Wednesday weren’t willing to offer him the terms they had agreed, now perhaps we’re offering less and a shorter contract so we take on less risk with him?

      • Geoff S says:

        I accept your point, Snoopster.

        I am concerned about this medical thing but Blues did sign Peter Ndlovu from Coventry some years back now and did so on a match-to-match basis because the then Blues manager Trevor Francis and the club’s owners (Gold, Sullivan, Gold) sorted out some sort of alternative contract because Ndlovu had a knee problem but he did pretty well at Blues.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          There was also the case of hole-in-the-heart Asa Hartford’s move to (was it?) Leeds falling through. Then he goes on to play into his 30s. I recall too, a Wolves player (Derek Parkin?) who was similar.

          • Geoff S says:

            Perhaps I jumped the gun a little with the medical thing, or maybe not. I’m not sure but I know Hartford played for Man City and the Baggies and Parkin was Wolves’ first choice left-back for many years.

          • Tony says:

            Staffs who was that player who failed a medical at WBA and went on to have a brilliant career? Was it Asa Hartford

          • Tony says:

            Had an irregular heartbeat or something.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Yes Tony. He had a hole in his heart. But it never stopped him. Went on to have a great career and won many Scotland caps. As I said earlier, I think Derek Parkin had the same condition, and look how many games he played for Wolves and Stoke. The medics don’t always know best. :)

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Is that the Edgar who played for 6 of the top clubs in Europe….Ajax, AC Milan, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Barnet? Oh no that was Edgar Davids!

      • Geoff S says:

        Richard.

        As I said, David Edgar maybe okay but what about Gavin Gunning?

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Apparently, Gunning was an almost ever present for Dundee Utd last seaon, plus, according to the BM, Blues will only proceed with the deal if they are satisfied that Gunning’s problem is not a major one.

          • Chris W says:

            Close staffs, he played 26 league games out of 38 or 32 out 46 including cup games. Mind he did receive one straight red so that takes out 3 games.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Robbo will have to give him lessons. lol

          • Chris W says:

            Or take it in turns, Robbo took a few yellows for the cause last season.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            What is the precise nature of Gunning’s medical problem?

          • Chris W says:

            I have heard he had a cruciate problem a few seasons back.
            Rangers were keen to sign him too according to heraldscotland.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Can’t be that bad, because he’s already been signed.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Oh dear, just read the Dundee Utd boards and the concensus is, that Gunning is a loose cannon.. a bit of a mentalist. :-O Been bought to replace Robbo then lol

  • mark says:

    Gunning and Elgar definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel…kro

    • Geoff S says:

      Is that Edward Elgar? He died about 80 years ago but David Edgar may be okay.

      Re Gavin Gunning. What about the report in today’s “Birmingham Mail” where it is claimed Sheffield Wednesday were lining up Gunning but he failed the medical at Hillsborough?

  • Hong Kong Bluenose says:

    looking at his history of goals he averages approx. 1 goal every 3 games

    • Staffs Blue says:

      There aren’t many strikers who average many more than that tbh, except the ones who cost millions. I think Horsfield averaged about that iirc.

      • Geoff S says:

        I never saw Jimmy Greaves play but I know he was widely regarded as one of the best goal scorers in the business and I seem to recall he reckoned an average of about 1 goal every 2 games was a very good standard.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Greaves was the best out-and-out striker I ever saw…. and I did on many occasions. His scoring was phenomenal, including a goal in every debut he ever made… Chelsea, AC Milan, Spurs, West Ham, Barnet…. even every level for England. Genius. Type Spurs v Man Utd (1965) into You Tube to see him at his best.

          • Geoff S says:

            Who’s your top Blues striker, Staffs?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Got to be Sir Trev (Francis not Brooking), if you could call him a striker. He was more a Wayne Rooney type, only much better. :)

            I also loved Bob Latchford and Bob Hatton and before them, Barry Bridges. Since, it has to be The Horse and Stevie Claridge.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            … both of whom came up from the lower leagues I might add.

          • Geoff S says:

            I rated all the ones you mentioned (with Francis top). Jimmy Greenhoff and Frank Worthington were very, very good and I thought Mick Harford would always do the business.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Frank was another genius with the ball, with a wand of a left foot. I remember Mick doing Kenny Dalglish in one game (fractured cheekbone I think)… and I never thought Dalglish was the same player after.

          • Geoff S says:

            Staffs.

            For what it is worth, my All time Best Blues XI based on players I actually saw play (4-2-4):

            David Seaman

            David Langan Steve Bruce Colin Todd Mark Dennis

            Howard Kendall Johnnie Vincent

            Jimmy Greenhoff Trevor Francis Frank Worthington Barry Bridges

            Plenty of other really good players but I reckon that XI would have handed out a few tankings!

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Off the top of my head, these – but if you asked me tomorrow, I’d probably pick different players.

            Coton

            Page Gallagher Hynd Green

            Hockey Wylie Taylor

            Francis Latchford Hatton

          • Geoff S says:

            Roger Hynd and Kenny Burns were my heroes but didn’t quite make the XI. For solid reliability Michael Johnson gets a shout.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I liked Johnson as a full back, especially at Notts County, but as a CB, he was limited.

          • Pete says:

            Michael Johnson? A hero player for a certain period of time but him ahead of Purse, Cunningham and Upson? And no Duggary?

          • Geoff S says:

            Pete.

            The problem is you can only have 11 in your best XI.

          • Pete says:

            Geoff it is about opinions, fair enough. But the fact that Jonno never played at top level for us perhaps suggests that Jonno was not our best centre half out of him, Cunningham and Purse and Upson.

          • Geoff S says:

            Pete.

            Of course you are right to say it is about opinions. I only said Johnson was solid and reliable. To be fair, Cunningham was too, but, as you say, at a higher level. He marshaled the defence marvellously and paired up well with Upson.

            I thought Purse started badly when he first came to Blues but improved quite a bit.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Duggary was a one-season-wonder. A clever one, but just that. I know people love him, but he wouldn’t make my list of heroes. Sorry.

          • Geoff S says:

            Limited but reliable.

          • Chris W says:

            I’d probably go
            Kelly
            Lynn Page Smith Hynd Green
            Hockey Wylie Murray
            Francis Latchford Vowden
            But there are so many permutations, Bridges, Greenhoff, Hateley, Pickering, Wealands, Seaman just to name a few.
            Obviously seen too many seasons.
            My Grandad reckoned Blues always produced top quality Keepers, and he was a staunch Villain.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Exactly Chris. This is why I said if you ask me tomorrow, I’d probably choose different players.

          • Chris W says:

            I’ve thought of another two or three just watching the news…
            KRD+NM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Bennett.
            Hall, Gallagher, Smith, Green.
            Hooper, Hennessy, Auld.
            Francis, Latchford Hatton.
            Just like you, Staffs, Probably a different side tomorrow, lol.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Yes Trev was a class of his own. Also Bob Latchford for work ethic – went to primary school with him.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Aussie;, So you were a Kings Heath lad, then, ?.
            I was a Cannon Hill kiddie, myself, — Just down the road.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I lived in Stirchley. Went to Wheeler’s Lane school in KH. Small world eh? :)

          • Chris W says:

            My Nan and Grandad lived in Stirchley and my Uncle went to Wheelers lane, around the same time he is about 65. I sent a lot of time over that area as a kid with hm.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            1964-65. I lived off Pineapple Road, in Brent Road. King’s Heath Park was at the end of our back garden.

          • Chris W says:

            Uncle lived in first house in Lyndworth Road of Cartland Road, Most of my cousins lived in Ashbrook Road so was in kings heath park and bluebell woods regularly around that time too. Had my first pub pint in the Highbury, spent many a Sunday evening at Selly Park RBL where my Nan and Grandad always sang on the free and easy.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            A small world. I was in the Highbury at the bottom of Dad’s Lane just the other day.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I was only 12… a bit too young for a pint back then. :)

          • Chris W says:

            Me too, but my Uncle gave me and a few cousins a pint one christmas when I was about 14. It was a family tradition that all the family met up christmas eve in the Highbury and exchanged presents… This went on until about 1974, but started after the war sometime, before I was born anyway.
            Had many family weddings there, a couple of wakes, I wasn’t at the wedding but my Mom and Dad had their reception at the Dogpool Hotel.
            KRO+DNM

          • Richard Granfield says:

            My Grandma & Grandad lived at 65 Cartland Road Stirchley!

          • Chris W says:

            83 Lyndworth, so you must have been close to the junction then.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Yet another ” local ” Ha-Ha.

          • AussieBlue says:

            What a nice walk down memory lane! The B30 boys eh? All within a tadpole-hunt’s distance of the River Rea! (or the cut). I may well have met some of you as when I came of drinking age (15) I used to get around to the Dogpool, Cartland Arms, Old Mill (for the Northfield station prefab man), Three Horshoes, Selly Park Tavern, Breedon Cross, Cross Guns (King’s Heath), Red Lion, Maypole, Man in the Moon, The Bull’s Head and many more. I was a very keen photographer and have a treasured photo of a frozen canal taken from the bridge over the canal opposite the Breedon on Pershore Rd, looking towards Lifford. You can see the spire of St Nicholas’s Kings Norton in the distance. Not sure if I can post scans here but happy to do so if its possible.

          • Geoff S says:

            Wasn’t ‘cut’ another name for a canal rather than a river?

            Cartland Arms, Breedon Cross and The Maypole long gone and Dogpool is sometimes open and sometimes not.

            Cross Guns is now The Goose but the rest are still open with the names you listed.

            Aussie B, did you mean the Bull’s Head on KN Green?

            Old Mill has also gone. May dad drank in there years ago as did I in later life before the pub was knocked down.

          • Chris W says:

            The Dogpool became the Hibernian a few years back but I noticed it was changed back to The New Dogpool when I was down there a few weeks back. My Nan worked in the bar at The British Oak for many years, so probably served most of you.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            The Dogpool has had a few name changes. I remember it being called The Finn (or Fly) and Firkin at one point.

          • Chas says:

            And even ‘The Elizabethan Days ‘ for some reason.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Ta Geoff, yes, ‘cut’ is canal…excuse my ambiguous syntax; I meant seeking taddies at river, or cut. Wow, all those watering holes gone! Old Mill was Ansell’s I recall and the Great Stone up the Hill was a free house/M&B. Had a few games of darts at OM..might have played your Dad! Yep Bull’s Head on KN Green near Saracen’s Head. Bit posh but a nice pub. Nearby was the Navigation Inn (next to ‘cut’) my Dad liked that one.

          • Chris W says:

            Use to work at Cotteridge bus depot and popped into the Grant quite often on my way home, but that was in the 80/90’s
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            Know the depot (and fire station with shop ‘Under the Clock’ next door – used to sell us Woodbines in ones and twos!) but by 80s I was was already chasing dingos. Grant Arms was a nice pub frequented by an old school chum and fellow band member Steve Bennett. Fantatsic guitar player and a Bluenose. Lost contact 35 years ago!

          • Richard Granfield says:

            You visiting all those pubs…What a day that must have been lol.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Lol Richard. “Sssshure washhh offisher….”

          • Oldbluenose says:

            As I lived the other side of Cannon Hill Park, — Half a mile from main entrance, Behind Edgbaston CCC, in Eastwood road.
            Knew Cartland rd, — Dads lne and Pineapple rd well,!!.

          • AussieBlue says:

            There was a well known rag-and-bone man in Stirchley and I kissed his daughter one or twice…wish I could remember his name.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            HIS name? Are you sure it was his daughter? ;)

          • AussieBlue says:

            Haha Staffs…I meant family name. His daughter way Gaynor I’m sure of that!

          • Pete says:

            Was not Williams was it…?

          • AussieBlue says:

            Hi Pete, not ringing a bell as Williams. Something telling me Harker or Harkness, something like that. We’re talking late ’60s here! (but I’m wearing well)

          • AussieBlue says:

            Actually Kings Norton but was always going to or through Kings Heath. Mate’s Dad was gaffer at a pub there and my Mum liked the shops there. Later, I played at the Red Lion folk club which I think is still going. Cannon Hill! I once ended up in the big lake in the middle after a good night out. Taking a short cut we were.

          • Geoff S says:

            Here’s one for AussieBlue and Oldbluenose.

            The first Blues away match I ever went to was at the The Hawthorns in 1972. There were three Latchford brothers on the pitch that night; Bob and Dave for Blues and Peter for the Baggies. A 2-2 draw and Blues turned out in that famous “German flag” strip.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Yes;, Peter was the youngest brother, — Also a goalkeeper, [ On our books before joining WBA ].

          • Chris W says:

            Never remember him at the Blues, at the Baggies before he moved to Celtic and had a pretty good record too.
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            Lovely memory Geoff. Wish I’d been there but I’d already begun my wanderlust.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            There was Dave and Peter too (both keepers.) Did you know them too?

          • AussieBlue says:

            I actually knew Dave better than Bob as he was my age. Peter too as ‘little brother’. They lived in a prefab not far from us and were a smashing family.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Prefabs. Those were the days.

          • Chris W says:

            Listed buildings now Staffs, the few that are left.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I was always surprised how homely the were inside… like little bungalows. I remember there were a lot of people who didn’t want to leave them when the councils started getting rid of them.

          • Chris W says:

            I had an aunt who lived in one, I couldn’t wait to visit her, she was moved into a tower block on Chelmsley Wood when they moved her.
            Never the same visiting again, and she became withdrawn too… very sad.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It was the advent of housing estates that wrecked society as we knew it. Everyone knew everyone else in the old streets, but once the council estates came in, you wouldn’t even know the people in the next block. Sad.

          • Chris W says:

            When we were growing up there was still the wartime community spirit in the older areas, the tower block certainly killed that off.
            We could roam the street and see a beat bobby who always knew your name and where you lived.
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            Chris….and gave you a clip around the ear if you mucked up!
            We had allotments too…I used to love going down there with a couple of bob to fetch spinach an spuds for me Mam. The smell of the greenery, soil and fertiliser and pipe tobacco and always a couple of free extra spuds ‘for the pot’

          • Chris W says:

            I had a few clips myself, then told to run home he be along to see me mother soon. so you got home early waiting for the knock and trying to explain why you were home early. Mother always knew so you got another one for lying.
            We were brought up with respect too in those days.
            Everyone either had an allotment or a family member did. My grandad and Uncle both had a garden and an allotment, my grandad could always be found selling his produce in the Highbury on a Saturday of the Three Horseshoes Sunday Lunch for nothing more than free ale.
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            So true Staffs. Communities are created by people, not buildings. We moved into brand new maisonettes in ’58 but did make some nice friends – including the lad and his Dad who took me to my first Blues game. But gradually gangs formed on the estate (I refuse to mention its name); crime increased, social issues formed and my old man moved us out elsewhere.
            Oh, I forgot..Villa supporters moved in as well ;-) That was the clincher.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It only takes one viler to bring an area down. lol

          • Chas says:

            Leyhill Farm Road was like that

          • AussieBlue says:

            Knew it Chas, but didn’t live there. Notorius hard place and around Shenley, Frankley, Weoly Castle. On one of my trips back many years ago, thought I’d have a pint at the Beeches and found it had been torched! Looked like the Luftwaffe had just been through the area.

          • Geoff S says:

            I was born in a prefab on Coley’s Lane, next to Northfield railway station.

            I believe there are a few left at the Billesley end of Wake Green Road in Moseley.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Sorry I’m late in due to time diff. and watching Australia-vs-Chile :-( We had 2 clear penalties that were overlooked! Cahill’s shirt being pulled away right in front of goal…would have turned the game. Anyway, back to prefabs. I believe most were constructed by POWs during and after the war. They were actually very nice and modern inside, far better than the average slum terrace. A housing policy that actually worked.

            BTW, Australia reminded me a bit of seeing Blues play…plenty of heart and action but (apart from Cahill), lack of killer instinct in front of goal. Chile had that and not much else, so they won 3-1.

          • Chris W says:

            Score flattered Chile, as we saw in the Brazil match there were some dubious decisions and I feel they are going to favour the South American teams.
            Back to prefabs, they were better than some of the modern shoe boxes being built today too.
            As for Blues, I think we will see more heart than technical ability this season too. Hopefully LC can find a season long Macheda as we won’t be able to afford anyone half decent as things stand.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chas says:

            If anyone who doesn’t know what hey were like is interested in seeing one, there is a lovely example at the Avonscroft museum, Bromsgrove. Fully furnished as well.

          • Chris W says:

            An excellent day out, well worth a visit and at the end of June there is usually an Austin day when models of all Austin cars are on display. Plenty of interesting days throughout the summer for all the family looking back at days of olde.. Use to be a regular on the calendar when I was a coach driver.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            I lived in one back in the early 60’s, Reaside Cres, off Branwood end Rd, Lovely place, !!.

          • Chris W says:

            was that at the back of the ressa? Lifford Reservoir?
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Here’s another trip down Memory Lane.

            Remember the Pavilion Ten Pin Bowling Alley (and Cinema) on the junction of Cartland and Pershore Roads? My mates and I used to get the 27 bus from Northfield and had some good times at that alley.

          • Chris W says:

            My cousin worked there as her first job for many years she is 63/64 now, so would be there around our era, lived in Ashbrook.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Been there, — Done that, [ ten-pin bowling ] and loved it, lol.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Chris W,– Correction from me, It was Brandwood PARK road, but yes, you are correct, Lifford was behind it.

          • Chris W says:

            If I’m right we use to cut that way to go fishing on the canal around the park there, I know it was near Breedon cross area but not on the main road
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Down Vicarage Rd, from Kings Heath high st, Just before Fordrough, bear left into Allenscroft, continue down past the school, Road takes a very sharp left, [ I did a 360 degree skid there one winter ] 63, methinks. Anyway, — That becomes Brandwood Park rd, and Reaside Cres, was 1st right.
            Here endeth geography lesson for today, folks. lol.

          • Chris W says:

            Just in case I ever go that way again thanks, I’m idle these days just pop in to TomTom and away I go.
            Must be close season and all quiet down the blues…:-)
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            According to Tatt’s, We are just having a breather until the next batch arrive.
            I am told [ on good authority ] Messi, Ronaldo, etc are on their way, — Chuckle.

          • Chris W says:

            With our budget it will be more like the chuckle brothers :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            You weren’t that far from the Latchfords then OBN! Can’t remember the street but it was Lindsworth way.

          • Chas says:

            My first Love lived in the Prefabs down that end. Yvonne Jones, I think her name was. I was about 8ish and she was younger.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            When I was there in the very early 60’s, I had to travel a bit at my job, so never really knew many folks except near neighbours, and I was then 20+.

          • Chas says:

            Aussie, they liven on Monyhull Hall road, in the last of the Houses by the Hospital. I lived just down the road from them, Dave Latchford is the reason I wasn’t a World Champion at Badminton, he hammered me the first time I played and I was years older than him. I have never forgiven him.:-(

          • AussieBlue says:

            Hey thanks Chas…that’s it – Monyhull Hall Rd. Yes all 3 were very athletic and built out of bricks! Sorry about the Badminton mate but you lost to a good ‘un. I was more of a runner/jumper, joined Sparkhill Harriers , also played basketball for years even after moving to Oz. The AFL players used to keep fit off-season with basketball and they were a rough lot I can tell you, didn’t know it was a non-contact sport! Happy days.

          • Chas says:

            It was my first ever match (and my last). When I saw this Fat ??? young Lad I was playing, I thought I would have no trouble. He never broke swat and I was lying on the floor gasping half way through.

          • Geoff S says:

            I once met John Latchford who I think was the eldest of the brothers. He was not a professional footballer but certainly was a keen Blues fan.

      • Geoff S says:

        Phil Summerill got a fair bit of stick from Blues fans but that didn’t stop him from scoring over 50 goals in 118 appearances for the club in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

        That’s a good strike rate.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          One of the best sights in footy at the time, seeing Summerill take off on a run. Happy days.

          • Geoff S says:

            With his back hunched down and his trusty left foot ready to let fly…

            There were a lot of happy days at Blues back then, although the bad times were never that far away.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            They never have been that far away, which makes the good times even better!

  • dave mann says:

    lee clark trying to sign daniel sturridge, raheem sterling , luis suarez, yaya toure,
    wayne rooney and sergio aguero……thats what all you fans out there that live in cloud coockoo land expect him to go for…..get real and just remember where we are and where we could have been if not for THAT goal, wes thomas, stephen gleeson, jonathan grounds, gareth hall are the calibre of players we can only go for because weve got no MONEY…..5K a week is massive money to the average person but it aint gonna get you any of those 6 aboves toe nails so lets get on with it and stop bloody moaning!!!! KRO.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    David Edgar has signed. Official on BCFC.com

  • Gary says:

    The new defender sounds ok but fans make me laugh the way they talk about players only being offered 5k a week as if it’s peanuts I wish I was on 5k a week I would run through a brick wall for that.

    • Chris W says:

      I’d play for £500 a week. At least we will have a team we can call our own this season. Lets hope they all gel and hit the ground running. A decent start might get some of the missing fans back and put some coffers in for the transfer market come January.
      Looking forward to see how things shape during the pre-season friendlies, though shouldn’t read too much into them really.
      KRO+DNM

  • EddieBirmingham says:

    We’ve just signed Gavin Gunning, who is he and wheres he from?

    • Geoff S says:

      Dundee United. I read that Sheffield Wednesday lined him up but he failed their medical.

    • Chris W says:

      Centre back from Dundee United, seems a bit injury prone and a proposed move to Sheffield Wednesday ended when he failed a medical.
      He played 82 league games in 3 seasons out of 114.
      KRO+DNM

  • Raymondo says:

    Would anyone like Clark to stay on as assistant manager and does anyone think he’d be willing to? Or would it be a case of hurt pride if he was asked to. I think he could be useful in such a role. But I think we need someone with more tactical guile as the main manager.

    • Pete says:

      No I do not think he would. But then again, I would like to see an appointment I do not think would happen either. Chris Hughton to come in a do work as a defensive coach, a bit like McLarren did for QPR last season. I really think this could make a huge difference- but do not see Clark wanting somebody new in. The coaching is my big concern, as if we have a certain standard of player we need a coach to organise and get the absolute best out of them…. Just my opinion.

    • Steve says:

      No. Sooner he leaves our club the better.

  • Pete says:

    I cant help but think if Lee Clark might be aiming to play 3 at the back next season. He wont have to accommodate Burke anymore and he could then play a 3 man midfield with wingbacks (which suits Caddis and Hancox). He has Grounds, Hall, Gunning, Edgar and Robinson as well as Packwood if he re-signs and Fry. He has clearly detailed wanting a mix of left and right sided centre halves. Any thoughts?

  • williammorgan says:

    Tony and chas ,I also remember mike helliwell, wasn’t the greatest dribbler of a ball so used hit the ball between a bunch of the opposition and ended up like Lee Clark at the end of the Bolton match with everyone trailing behind , great thrills ,,,nice to see the height of the new players as took the average height of the team up,,.Should be interesting at corners ,we need a proven striker now

    • Chas says:

      You are right.,WM. Once the opposition placed a Defender behind the Full Back, Helliwell was finished, the second bloke always got the ball. Great Speed but not much else.

  • EddieBirmingham says:

    I’m watching the Brazil Vs Croatia game and its like they’re playing a different sport to what we watch, so so so so different

    • Chris W says:

      Some dodgy refereeing though, but as openers go it was an entertaining game.
      KRO+DNM

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I had no intentions of watching any games other than England’s, but I thought “opening game, host nation… they’ll put on a display.” I’d given up and switched over to Big Brother by half time.

      I’ve gone back to my previous opinion of only watching England’s games.

  • Geoff S says:

    Colin Tattum said in “BM” today that Blues could be making more signings – maybe another four to go with Grounds, Hall, Gleeson, Thomas, Edgar and Gunning.

    Realistically, although there is a wage-cap and the signings are all Bosmans, where is the money coming from to pay the wages?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Possibly the money saved on the wages of the higher earners and such that have left. Basically, they’re just replacing like-for-like, but on lower wages. Just a theory.

      • Geoff S says:

        I understand what you mean about how the wage bill will have fallen with a lot of players leaving the club and the like-for-like replacements but I didn’t think these dreadful owners had any money.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          They obviously don’t… or don’t want to spend what they do have. If we finish towards the middle of the table this season, Lee Clark will have pulled off a miracle.

    • OftenPartisan says:

      Geoff – from the money saved from players leaving at the end of last year perchance?

      Save a massive amount in wages, pay a bit out for new players (at much lower weekly rates)

      • Geoff S says:

        I understand what you say, OP, but where is the current (lower) transfer budget coming from if these owners don’t have a pot to you-know-what in? Could it be some of drip feed loan?

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      BIH are putting in what they think is the minimum to stay in this division. They almost got it wrong last season and may be wrong this season. The board of BIH are able to manage the finances of BCFC to the extent it can be self sufficient and fund BIH too.

    • Fortinbras says:

      Season ticket sales?

      • Chris W says:

        Only sold around £500k so far, that wouldn’t pay a months wages.
        This new sponsorship deal must be pretty good though, never heard of them myself and as an oldie don’t understand all these apps things, a phone is for just that, phoning someone.

        KRO+DNM

        • Geoff S says:

          Agree with Chris W on his points (apart from the fact I think mob phones are also good for text messages!)

        • Pete says:

          What does that tell us if we are desperate and the sponsors have never been heard of….. Cant see it being huge. More likely it is enough to keep us going for a couple of months. Also, remember 1300 season tickets does not reflect on income as upto half of them could be free ones for Under 11’s.

          • Chris W says:

            True Pete, but it wouldn’t be in the clubs interests to include the free tickets as sold, so I think we can be pretty certain that the 1300 odd tickets are all cash sales.
            KRO+DNM

          • Pete says:

            Why would it not be in their interests to make fans want to believe that tickets are selling as before and you should buy them. 1300 season tickets is not the same as all paid for. If trying to persuade people to spend you would want them to believe everyone is getting them. I wager anything they are not all cash sales.

          • Chris W says:

            Not sure of your argument Pete. I have said that all 1300 tickets are cash sales. You questioned the total included free under 11’s in your original post.
            KRO+DNM

          • Pete says:

            No I am saying I reckon the 1300 includes under 11’s with no cash to pay for these. I do not think they are all cash sales.

          • Chris W says:

            Thanks, I get it now.
            KRO+DNM

  • Geoff S says:

    At Man U or the B6ers? Perhaps the medics at the latter were not as thorough as their Old Trafford counterparts but I am just guessing here.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      His knees were wrecked for most of his career. He rarely trained in the end, they just wheeled him out on match days lol

  • williammorgan says:

    Why have the HKSE waited over a year to make enquiries into Carson’s dealings at a time when blues are close to selling the club ,and signing new players ,..its time the British football authorities got in touch with Fifa to enquire into what really is behind all these delays that is dragging our great club down into poverty,,

    • Geoff S says:

      WM. It seems to me the authorities you mention don’t much care or refuse to countenance the possibility unacceptable things are going on at football clubs.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Thanks Aussie Blue that was really nice. Very encouraging. Its still 2 months to the season enough time to find goal creators and goal scorers

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Today marks the end of SMW’s three week exclusivity period to invest in BCFC.
    Can we infer from the silence emanating from both SMW and BIHL that Jeremy Wray’s venture to invest in Blues is over?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Probably over the day after Wray opened his gob. I agree though, the silence is ominous.

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Bearing in mind, Daniels latest blog this morning, ?. What is going on behind the scenes could be overshadowing every thing else, ??.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          It could be that Wray’s lot are going over everything with a fine toothcomb. Let’s face it, wouldn’t you? I wouldn’t trust the present mob to look after my pet goldfish (if I had one) let alone millions in investment.

  • Matt says:

    Although it now does seem very unlikely, I really do hope zigic re-signs for Blues we desperately need him.

    • Chris W says:

      I’m not sure desperate is the correct terminology.
      When he played we became one dimensional, big hoof up field had hope someone would pick up the flick on.
      With the new signings he could be useful, if we played the ball on the ground and through the midfield he would definitely be a valued asset. But never desperate, but as you say it seems unlikely.
      What will be the more likely outcome, he will sign for someone like Norwich or Ipswich who know how to use a target man and he will come back and score an hat-trick in front of the Tilton. Most old boys usually do score against us and there will be a few of them next season, Redmond, Mutch and Burn to name three.
      KRO+DNM

      • Matt says:

        He’s played huge parts in our biggest moments and has proved he can produce when it’s most needed, I believe we need him because we don’t have the money to get a player who can make a similar impact.

        • Chris W says:

          Not for me, he has been lazy and expensive. Our biggest moments, two goals one at Wembley and one at Bolton.
          we don’t have the money for him either, that was one reason we could not afford any loan fees because of his £70k a week.
          Admittedly, on the odd occasion he turn up and played he was influential, but those occasions were rarer than rocking horse doodah.
          KRO+DNM

          • Matt says:

            being expensive is not his fault blame our joke of a board for that (is that libel?), who wouldn’t turn down 70k a week?

            http://www.smallheathalliance.com/read.php?1,1469877

            this shows how important he is to us.

          • Chris W says:

            I never said it was his fault, and no I wouldn’t turn it down either. As for the link to another blog/forum, not sure what I was suppose to look at. At the end of the day, it is down to opinions and mine are, he wasted his time at St Andrews and didn’t put in enough effort, apart from the two examples mentioned I will not waver.
            If he stays we have to play to his strengths, then maybe we will see the benefit of him, but LC won’t as he doesn’t know how best to play him.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            Play the ball to his feet. He has a lot more ability than people give hinm credit for.McLeish said that when Zig played in Spain he hardly ever headed the ball. He scored against Villa in the Carling Cup.He turned the Semi against West Ham in the Semi.Scored and set up the winner Against Arsenal.Scored and set up the equaliser against Bolton.Just a few of his big moments.

          • Chris W says:

            Thats what I said, play to his strengths. He was never a target and never has been.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            The link tells you that we’re better with him than without him.

    • mark says:

      well if he settles for £5000, i bet his agent wont be suggesting it ………

  • Raymondo says:

    As I thought the club was more or less broke I’m a little suspicious as to where the money is coming from to provide wages for all the Bosman transfers and other new signings. It looks as if he’s still going for more, in addition to the six he’s got so far . maybe as many as ten altogether, according to Colin Tattum in The Mail. Perhaps it’s all above board but is it possible somebody else is already chipping in with money from elsewhere?

    • Chris W says:

      I don’t think that would be legal without being disclosed on the HKSE.
      It is obviously a concern and the powers to be should and probably are watching closely.
      BIHL would be stupid to get involved in anything unless it was above board. Just seems strange that when you think they are broke and heading for Administration they come up with some money, in this case a whole lot of it.
      KRO+DNM

  • Staffs Blue says:

    According to the BM, the consortium are ready to do the deal. Details to follow. Sounds like good news at last.

    • Geoff S says:

      Staffs Blue.

      What about this latest stuff about BIHL, the HKSE and more problems apparently surfacing about the long delays in providing financial records from 2011?

      • Staffs Blue says:

        If this is a problem, then it was probably a problem last week and the week before. I’d be surprised if this has come out of the blue.

        • Geoff S says:

          I see what you mean but it makes me wonder why this revelation has come out now. Has this news been surpressed by BIHL for yet more dodgy reasons?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Time will tell Geoff. But, the consortium seem to be happy enough to go ahead, so fingers crossed.

    • Steve says:

      Not if HKSE are investigating BIHL it might not be. How can they be the preferred bidder if they haven’t agreed a price.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Perhaps they’re the preferred bidder because they’ve offered £10m more than the other group? It’s a thought.

        • Steve says:

          Where did you here that ? I would have thought they would have snapped their hand off if that was the case. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

        • Steve says:

          When Jeremy Wray started talking in the Mail,didn’t BIHL say they weren’t the preferred bidder?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Do you know any other group that is doing due diligence at the moment? Can’t say I know of anyone else.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    “Subject to the price being agreed”. Is the key phrase in the Takeover!

  • Fortinbras says:

    Personally, I think it is a very real positive that some sense of sanity has been established with regard to wages.

    Those high wages certainly didn’t do Garry O’Connor much good:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/ex-birmingham-city-striker-garry-7236006

  • Raymondo says:

    As the latest amazing revelations cannot be commented on for legal reasons let’s concentrate on who LC is going to buy next out of the money I’m surprised to find we have for the wages needed .

    • Steve says:

      He’s got the money to pay wages because of the money saved on players leaving.It’s fees he can’t afford to pay.

  • Raymondo says:

    I was surprised and saddened to hear today that Ian St John has had his bladder and prostrate removed in the last 6/8 weeks and still has to have treatment for the dreaded cancer. My prayers go to his family. I used to love his Saints and Greavesy programme on TV where we heard that footballs a “funny old game”.

  • Geoff S says:

    Daniel.

    When was the last time a single blog on here attracted over 240 comments? I know some of ’em were “Memory Lane jobs” between various South Brummies but that is still a good figure.


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