Often Partisan

The Return of the Brummie Bashers

Birmingham City are closing in on the Bosman free transfer of Clayton Donaldson from Brentford to bolster their frontline. The 30-year-old striker would be the seventh signing of the summer if he does come to the club following the Bosman captures of Jonathan Grounds, Stephen Gleeson, David Edgar, Wes Thomas and Gavin Gunning along with the loan signing of Grant Hall.

With the potential of three other players coming in this week, it seems evident that Lee Clark is looking to get his squad together quickly. It’s also evident that Blues are concentrating on having players that they own rather than loan signings – and although the majority of players are making the step up from League One it appears to me that Clark is trying to get players on the “upward curve” of their careers, at the right sort of age.

Another thing that seems evident is that there is an emphasis on height and on battling qualities. I think Clark must have noticed how small we were last year and how our lack of physicality cost us defensively; thus it makes sense to bring in players who are going to add some muscle to the midfield and some height in the box (at both ends). Kyle Bartley was a good example of what a tall defender can do, being a useful defender once he settled down and a threat at set pieces at the other end.

Admittedly, we’re going to be lacking maybe a little bit of quality due to the fact we’re having to ask players to make a step up and I think Clark has decided to replace that with a side who will battle and fight instead. This isn’t a bad thing – I can see the crowd getting behind a team of “Brummie Bashers” and it might be that if we can out-fight teams in the middle we’ll have a chance of picking up points from just battering them into submission.

What it comes down to is consistency. If we have a small tight-knit squad there will be less temptation for Clark to tinker; he will have to use what he has and maybe stick with plans for longer rather than panicking into trying outlandish ideas such as using Tyler Blackett at centre-half. If we can have a consistent tactical formation – say something for “home” games when we’re expected to be the ones to put pressure on and another plan for “away” games when we’re more expected to try to nick something on the break then players can grow into the roles they have been assigned. I’m a big believer in building partnerships – a solid centre-half partnership, a central midfield unit who can link together in attack and defence and a strike partnership who instinctively know each others runs and moves – and if Clark can get everyone in quickly hopefully those partnerships can gel over the pre-season ready to hit the ground running come August.

I know that many people (admittedly myself included) wanted managerial change but it’s not going to happen any time soon. Clark has been given the tools he thinks he needs to improve the squad; hopefully he can show that with a settled side he can at least have us in lower mid-table until investment finally does come in.

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129 Responses to “The Return of the Brummie Bashers”

  • mark says:

    What Daniel Clark still there shocking ain’t it lol

  • mark says:

    Sound good to me bring on the brummie brashers, we were definitely weak in the centre of midfield ! Football a funny old game we could surprise our this season.
    With your thoughts on Clark tinkering he better placed now with players who slot into other positions if need be…kro

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Yep, that sounds about right………he seems to be doing his best in difficult circumstances. I agree that you need good partnerships in key areas (something we didn’t have last season and England didn’t have on Saturday).

  • mark says:

    Daniel I believe Clayton on honeymoon so this deal might not be sorted until the next couple of weeks…..

  • Alan Watton says:

    I think ” upward curve” is a bit hopeful but I agree with the concept of owning the players. One of the fears that was prevalent during last seasons run in was that the loaners did not care. As it happened they and the players who were ending there days at Blues were professional enough to care.
    If when we have our permanent squad set up we add some quality loanees we can maybe move forward. Then if we lose them it wont be the disaster that it was last season. (Bartley & Dann would have kept us in mid table).
    2 weeks till season ticket renewal I am looking more to signing up than not.

  • dave mann says:

    with six in, another one in at anytime and 3 or 4 more to come soon lee clark
    obviously as the trust of BIHL to carry on bringing the numbers up with big,
    powerfull and relatively young players who hopefully might supprise a few of us
    and get a settled squad together before pre season begins. i know the manager is not eveybodys cup of tea but he will defenitley be our manager at the start of next season and lets atleast give him a chance to see what hes put together and how these new signings do! ….if were bottom six by xmas then i will be one of those who
    will be wanting change although ive always tried to support lee clark but new investment might mean new manager. KRO.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I have to agree with that. I think Lee Clark deserves to be able to build a team without it being ripped apart mid-season. This will be basically the 5th team he’s built. Let it be and let’s see how they get on for a whole season. Like you say dave, if we’re in or close to the bottom 3 at Xmas, we can make a change then in time for the window to open.

      • dave mann says:

        the thing is though staffs, come xmas and a change having to be made ide like to know what names some of our fans can come up with. KRO.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          You’ll get the usual ‘stupid rota’ of Zola, DiMatteo and the like. We might get a decent manager if we’re willing to pay the kind of wages to attract that sort of quality. But you’ll probably need to pay compensation on top. This lot definitely won’t… but the new lot might.

        • Steve says:

          If your’e talking about change of manager Dave,you never know until the job becomes available.

      • Steve says:

        And the previous 4 haven’t been very good.Fifth time lucky hopefully.

    • Steve says:

      Nothing to do with trust Dave.They can’t afford to sack him.He’s only spending some of the money he’s saved.

  • weaponsguru says:

    I’m also in the “we really need a new manager” camp, but I am also willing to give LC a chance with some players who are actually “owned” by the club and who will feel a little loyalty towards us.
    I’m actually quite impressed with the players he’s bringing in – OK, they may not be “potential world beaters”, but I reckon they could probably do us a good job, and you never know – maybe we can surprise a few people – certainly in the early season matches :)

  • DoctorD says:

    I suppose if all we can afford is League One type players, then Clark is doing the right thing by getting them in now, rather than later in the close season when time and opportunities are tight. It would be nice, tough, if there was at least one player with some fairy dust to sprinkle on the squad.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I think if we can get Donaldson in and a good wide man, we could be ready to start pre-season. There would still be time to take a look at how they shape up in training.. and add another one or two if needed before the window closes.

  • Oldburyblue says:

    Recruiting Div 1 players does not worry me unduly as I don’t think there is much difference in quality between them and the average Championship player. Had we gone down, our team of “better” players would still have struggled against most Div 1 teams.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Brummie Bashers… or Peaky Blinders. :)

    • toneekay says:

      If Clark’s planning to send them out with razor blades stitched into their strips for ‘use’ at critical moments, I’m definitely getting a season ticket. KRO.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    If Alex Ferguson was Blues’ manager given the same financial circumstances as Lee Clark (no transfer kitty and a wage cap), then I am sure he could have done no better than the players Lee Clark has brought in.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      This is what I’ve always said, all the so-called great managers have millions to spend. Could Mourinho have built Chelsea on Loans and Bosmans? Could Ferguson with Man U? How about Pelligrini? You don’t prove you’re a great manager by buying all the best players and lobbing them into a team. Great players don’t need great coaches/managers.

      • Matt says:

        how do you think mourinho got to where he is???? because he earned the right to be chelsea manager. He won the champs league with porto, a much weaker and poorer team compared to the big teams. these managers you mentioned all have a track record of being a great manager starting from a smaller club they didn’t just turn up at the big clubs.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Yes, they started at smaller clubs, but they still needed money to win things. If you’re trying to tell me Mourinho could do a great job at Blues under these constraints, sorry, I’d take a lot more convincing than that.

          • Matt says:

            He still needed money? Porto are a selling club, they sold more than they bought look it up. And let’s remember Mourinho started as a translator… I don’t need to convince you because there is clearly no hope. When you say you don’t think he would do a great job, are you trying to say he wouldn’t do a better job than clark?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I don’t need you to convince me of anything. I’m quite happy the way I am thanks.

          • Matt says:

            Good to hear, thanks for the non-football related reply. did you avoid my question on purpose?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Mourinho might be able to do a better job… but we’ll never know will we?

          • Matt says:

            but you just said “If you’re trying to tell me Mourinho could do a great job at Blues under these constraints, sorry, I’d take a lot more convincing than that.”and now to say”Mourinho might be able to do a better job” than Clark who you always back and say he has done a fantastic job…I think i’ve convinced you :).

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I said might, not would. I’m not arrogant enough to claim my opinions as fact. They’re just my opinions.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Btw… I don’t remember using the word ‘fantastic’ to describe Clark. I think he’s done a good job in the circumstances… but he could do better, especially with a bit to spend.

          • Steve says:

            7 home wins? That’s a good job? Mourinho MIGHT be able to do a better job? Brilliant.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            … and the away wins? I suppose Mourinho could park the bus and get a few. ;)

          • Steve says:

            It’s home wins that will get the fans interested.And get us up the table.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I don’t disagree. The home form has to improve dramatically this season, or there will be no hiding place for Mr Clark this time.

    • Matt says:

      that’s a very bold statement. they haven’t played for us yet though so we will have to wait and see if they are top class signings, let’s hope they are.

      • Oldburyblue says:

        True top class is Messi and Ronaldo which we can only dream about. As long as our players are the best we can afford AT THIS TIME, Clark is doing his best recruiting job. Of course the real test now will be how he uses them.

    • bluenoserob says:

      yup , but once you have your players you have to coach/manage them , this IMO is were LC starts to have problems , even with his 100% commitment.

  • Hong Kong Bluenose says:

    goals per game ratio stats of the 3 strikers from their history of goals and games ,
    wes Thomas 1 goal per 3 games
    lee novak 1 goal per 4 games
    clayton Donaldson 1 goal per 4 games

    • Staffs Blue says:

      You might find that most of our strikers over the years have had a ratio of about 1 in 3. Maybe Francis and Claridge might be better… 1 in 2/2.5? I couldn’t be sure without checking the stats.

      • Hong Kong Bluenose says:

        well judging by the stats it will be interesting to see if Wes would be top scorer next season instead of Novak which is achievable considering last seasons top scorer was 11 goals I think

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I think this is why Clark is buying pace up front. I’d be very surprised if one of Green, Donaldson or Novak didn’t beat 11. But you never know.

      • Richard Granfield says:

        Trevor played 280 league games for Blues scored 119 (2.35)
        Bob Latchford 160__68 (2.35)
        Bob Hatton 175__58 (3.01)
        Forssell 101__30 (3.36)
        Claridge 88__35 (2.51)

    • Richard Granfield says:

      I don’t know how you get Donaldson’s stats.
      He has played a total of 355 games for York, Hibs, Crewe and Brentford and has scored 139 goals.
      That is 1 goal every 2.5 games!

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I would be surprised if the likes of Horsfield, Forsell, Phillips etc, had a rate of more than 1 in 3 tbh.

        • bluenoserob says:

          forsell scored 30 goals in 101 games i think , but a bunch of them in the prem , which makes them worth more IMO

      • Hong Kong Bluenose says:

        I’ve included all his games out on loan as well
        total games played 377 total goals scored 144
        rounded off to be around a goal per 4 games

        • Roy Flowers says:

          144 goals in 344 matches gives, according to my calculator, 1 goal every 2.61 games.

          • Neil says:

            agreed my maths matches yours, incidentally and not entirely relevant but Thierry Henry a genuinely world class player 1 in 2.1 whiich is considered an AMAZING goal to game ratio.

          • beegeeblueboy says:

            HKB is the accountant for BIH. Now we know why the accounts get qualified :-)

    • Matt says:

      Their goal ratio will probably drop to lower than that now they have moved up a division

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Or possibly… just possibly, it might increase, playing with better players. Time will tell.

        • Matt says:

          I hope you’re right. I hope it does it increase because it would be great for us, but it’s usually not the case.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            If they fail, they wouldn’t be the first or the last. St Andrews has been somewhat a graveyard for strikers over the years. I just wish them luck and hope they do well.

      • Hong Kong Bluenose says:

        well judging from the stats , Wes will potentially be the most consistent plus he has played in the championship and with us already to beat Novaks top goal tally of 11 for next season lol

        • Staffs Blue says:

          TBF HKB, Novak did well, considering he was playing as a left winger for most of the season. How many did Burke get from the opposite flank? I think he could be a good foil for the strikers this season.

  • AussieBlue says:

    It’s good to see some ‘carrying on regardless.’ As this summer progresses, I am forming better and better opinions on Clark – there’s some hard, thick bark on him and he’s resiliant – just what we need if it translates to the new players also. Give him a fair go I say.

    • mark says:

      i could really like you aussieblue he not cracked once, not moaned once, he could pull off a potentially a wonderful season…the stans faithful need to get behind him……

  • ian says:

    once this club has new owners, i will buy my season ticket,
    but with 3 absolutely piss poor renditions of keep right on per home game,
    in a half empty ground
    perhaps it is what we as fans deserve,
    and more importantly, it is what we have got,
    lee clarke, the owners, poor signings,
    its always someone else’s fault.
    true all seater stadiums has reduced the atmosphere at many clubs,
    never thought it would happen at blues,
    but this has been going on since the second season in the prem under brucie
    but lets carry on blaming the owners,manager and signings.
    slagging off our own players and generally putting out a welcome mat for away teams.
    i actually heard with my own ears blues fans being out sung by Reading.
    there was a time that no team in the UK could have done that.
    so before having a pop at lee clarkes £5000 a week bosmans,
    perhaps we as fans should match the passion lee clarke demonstrated.
    that might inspire the players, to make the run, tackle or track back.
    wouldn’t hurt to give it a try, would it ?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Thoughtful post ian.

    • bluenoserob says:

      sad but true .

    • Euston 9:15. says:

      Good post Ian
      We couldn’t sell out St Andrews last time in the prem against the vile.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      So more singing is the answer Ian? Pathetic

    • Chris W says:

      I agree that the atmosphere at St Ans has been dire to say the least, but then we haven’t really had much to excite us either. You are right, we need to out sing the opposition and hopefully come the new season we will start afresh and make St Ans a fortress again.
      The atmosphere generated away was brilliant even when we were beat, I never had a despondent drive home from away games unlike from home games I just couldn’t wait to get in the house.
      The season ticket issue has to be personal choice and I am wondering if it makes any difference, BIHL have found some finance for these current Bosmans, and though no fee has been paid they still have to ensure the wages can be met.

      KRO+DNM

    • fingles says:

      I think we have literally had so many disappointments and watched so much dross we are numb.It is easy when you have some hope, but when there is none,dispondency sets in. It’s very easy when you have a decent side, playing good football, and winning.I have seen this apathy at other clubs. We can and will come back from this.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        The way fans feel at the moment is understandable, considering the last few years. But, this is a new season, with many new players… if we want to get off to a good start, we have to do our bit too. :)

        • fingles says:

          Of course I agree, it would be great to have a packed stadium full of noise, but which comes first the chicken or the egg?
          Bolton could have been full of despair, but it was the exact opposite,and yes it undoubtedly lifted the players.

        • Chris W says:

          I use to begin every season expecting to win the league, over the last 3 seasons my expectations have dropped to just mid table consolidation.
          This season I am beginning to get my excitement back but my expectation is merely survival and anything else will be a bonus.
          LC has put together yet another squad of players who, individually have had some success in the lower leagues. They are experienced in their respected positions and offer alternatives if needed. LC now has to mold them into a team who, as with past players, are prepared to battle for BCFC, the badge and us, the supporters. All they want from us is a bit of commitment and an atmosphere to be part of.
          KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            That’s a pretty fair appraisal. It’s all about the squad gelling, so if we have the majority of the squad in place by the time PST starts, it should be to our advantage.

        • river says:

          again staff well said do they think man united would have dominated for so long with 10k fans

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We’ll have a lot of new players who are going to feel a bit nervous at first. It will give them a boost to know the fans are right behind them.

    • hammie40 says:

      maybe if all of the stay away fans got back down to the ground and gave there all then the stadium would be full. It is to easy to keep blaming it on the owners I never miss a home or away game. As it is the team we support and they need us all behind them more than ever. Forget the little chinkey china man his day will come. Get back down the ground. If we got to a cup final then 40,000 blue noses would turn up saying they never missed a game, well if that is the case St. Andrews would be bursting at the seams every home game. So get down there and support the team and Clarke.

  • Blooflame says:

    I’ve criticised him ad nauseum last season. I really do hope things do work out. His emotions at the last game was genuine. From your report, I like the train of his thought for players on the up. He was found wanting and at times it was embarrassing, he will have learned from that. Perhaps things will change for the better, who knows?

    • Tony says:

      Bloo lets no forget last season was his second not his first, I really cant see him learning anything.I get sick of banging on about him, everyone knows my views I really do think he can do no more for us. Better to have a clean slate owners, management the lot. No matter how I try I still have nightmares about that Barnsley match, Also the Blackburn team selection and many others almost as bad.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Viv Solomon-Otabor, the 18 year old academy winger has today signed his first professional contract (a year with a year’s option.) Well done that lad!

  • Hong Kong Bluenose says:

    looking forward to see more of the youngers next season too, Reece brown , Demari gray and maybe even koby Arthur :)

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    I hope we don’t become Brummie Bashers but rather we were City Slickers

    • Tony says:

      Arguably the best league side I have ever seen were Leeds of the 70s they were magnificent, but also the dirtiest side I have ever seen. They were not averse to a fist fight on the pitch almost every match.
      Hunter, Giles, Bremner, Madeley,Charlton, they were all street fighters who could also play all internationals too

      • beegeeblueboy says:

        Leeds were snidey cheats managed by a coward. Nothing to be proud of or what you would want to emulate. Not forgetting the infamous Wolves match

        • Tony says:

          Yes Beegee a coward who destroyed us in the 56 cup final. I never said they were pretty but they were very effective and they all could play every one of them.

    • Alan Moore says:

      I was brought up on the original “Brummie Bashers” in the mid fifties. They took us to 6th in the top division and a Wembley Cup Final! Don’t knock it too readily!!

  • Paul Unitt says:

    I have to give credit to Lee Clark, insofar as he has been dealt some realy bad cards and has never given up I would like to see him suceed, for one very good reason. He is passionate about the club and even in the present situation is doing his best to make sure we have a good start to the season. If any man can have a better attitude than Lee, then let him stand up and be counted

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Return of the Brummie Bashers would be a huge retrograde step..English football has moved on.

    Teams like Swansea, Southampton, & Norwich have shown you can return to the Prem on smaller budgets playing a high tempo passing game.
    Not kicking lumps out of the opposition & by passing the midfield with long balls.

    Dinosaur coaches like Allardyce & Lambert are the past..Clark is the same.

    Lets at least attempt to play the game properly..even the England national team are now on that bandwagon..then the fans will come back & the atmosphere will return.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I don’t think anyone is advocating the Wimbledon approach. The point was, we need to get tougher in midfield and stop the opposition cruising through us, like they did last season.

      • Blueboy88 says:

        Phrases such as battering them into submission… fill me with dread..
        Its a slippery slope to League 2.

        We need a coach who will encourage the players to pass to each other consecutively…that was the bigger problem last year we could not retain possession comfortably.

        We don’t need a tougher midfield, just a smarter one..

        • Staffs Blue says:

          We need both imo. No matter what permutations we used in midfield last season, we were always lightweight. We just need to not roll over and have our belly tickled, that doesn’t have to mean kicking lumps off people.

          • mark says:

            What clark has done he has not only add height, but some bite in the midfield,to allow the box the box players more time. gleeson is not only a play maker but also a terrier with bit of a bite as well. imo a few terriers in midfield stop that under belly, and lie down, and take mentality………..

        • Chris W says:

          I’d be happy to have a team that can pass to each other regularly, something all the players were guilty of last season, especially in midfield.
          KRO+DNM

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Can I just add, that Clark has been playing 4-2-3-1 for a season and a half now. I notice a lot of Premier teams have adopted the formation too… so he’s not such a dinosaur.

      • mark says:

        Jürgen Klinsmann also use this formation with USA…..INCLARKWETRUST…….

        • Staffs Blue says:

          England are playing a similar formation too, with Gerrard and Henderson the sitting midfielders… with Rooney in the Lee Novak role (only Novak does it better.) :)

  • williammorgan says:

    Being a good football manager is one of the hardest jobs there is ,,as you have to rely on the affordability of a certain player needed, whether he wants to come to your town or club ,whether home sickness effects his game ,whether he turns out to be injury prone ,whether his attitude disrupts the team ,there is a lot to put up with with so many players to rely on ,we have had many star players here that have turned out to be average team players ,its a team of robbo,es that the fans need at blues,,I think the gain in height with some of the new players and ability to give 110% will aid the bright young starlets that blues have to be nurtured into the team. …it looks like blues fans are to get our club back soon ,,,let’s not forget. these last three years ,let’s cherish what we do have ,and be grateful ,,,let’s make the first day of every season BLUE NOSE DAY in memory of this dour period .and let’s give this new season stink …..kro

  • James says:

    I think this club is in shambles at the moment at the hands of Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu however i do acknowledge the great job LC has done last season and especially that moment against Bolton where his passion was there for all to see to be honest … besides does anyone know who is going to be LC’s backroom staff for next season? lets just hope LC gets his tactics right more often and the squad challenge for the playoff’s and at least achieve mid table #Blues #KRO

    • Tony says:

      This is what really worries me with many of our fans, who seem to think that because the guy shows passion and cries like a child he is satisfactory. Sorry but it takes a lot more than that it takes nous, man management, tactical awareness, knowing how to combat the oppositions tactics and a host of other things.
      Any mug can make a spectacle of themselves running down the line and jumping into the crowd, then texting his wife in floods of tears.
      I may be in the minority but I found the whole thing unedifying and acutely embarrassing.
      Its obvious these actions have endeared him to some of the fans but it cant make up for his so obvious inadequacies and severe limitations.

  • Steve says:

    Bruce.

  • river says:

    staff gotta share this with ya just said to the missus have u seen rita sue and bob too she replies no but I think ive seen the first one lol

  • Poppa999 says:

    What do you think of the chances of Liam Ridgewell coming back?


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