Often Partisan

Smells Like Team Spirit

England’s faint hopes of making it into the second round of the World Cup were extinguished yesterday when an out-of-sorts Italy lost 1-0 to Costa Rica. It was a first exit in the group stage for England since 1958.

I’m not normally a fan of international football but the World Cup is something different. Since the start I’ve managed to watch almost every single game; I’ve stuck with it even though it’s meant losing a bit of sleep because by and large every single game  has been entertaining. There has been goals a-plenty and much to think about as some of the less fancied teams have shown that they can play on the world stage.

Chile was one such team – dumping out the World Champions Spain after beating them 2-0. What impressed me was they did that despite having a centre back trio made up of two midfielders who played for relegated clubs (Gary Medel of Cardiff City and Francisco Silva of Osasuna) and Gonzalo Jara who was released by Nottingham Forest at the end of the season just gone. On paper, Spain should have cut through that defence like a knife through butter but neither Diego Costa nor Fernando Torres could make the breakthrough.

It’s like the Costa Rican team. Before the tournament, Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell aside how many of their team could you name? I’m not sure I could put a name to a face in that side even now but they made Italy look ordinary and completely stifled Andrea Pirlo in a way that England completely failed to do so.

Watching this got me thinking about Blues, and about our present line up. While I can understand that people are unhappy that we’re signing players from League One at the moment I think it’s unfair to write them off before they have kicked a ball. From looking at the signings we have made we have picked up players which addresses the problems of last season – a lack of height and strength defensively and a lack of pace and creativity going forwards. If (and it’s a big if) those signings could be moulded together into a tight-knit team, I think we could be in midtable mediocrity. They’re all (barring Hall who can’t be recalled) ours, they’re all of a good age (mid-to-late-twenties) and they all (touch wood) have decent records when it comes to injuries.

What it comes down to now is Clark. I’ve said before that I think he’s limited, that he’s overly-emotional and unstable and I think one of the big tests for him is if he’s learned from the mistakes of last season. If he can pick a fairly consistent first XI, a fairly consistent tactical set-up (with tweaks for individual games sure but in the main the same sort of formation every game) and most importantly instil in the players what their roles are and what is expected of them we could be okay. There have been a few teams in the Championship (Burnley spring immediately to mind) who have punched above their weight because they have kept their squad together and built an ethos that the players have bought into.

In years gone by, we might have gone out and bought a player from one of these weaker nations based on a World Cup performance (Aliou Cisse anyone?) but that’s beyond our remit right now. If however we can learn that spirit and doggedness – well, I’ll gladly take that for next season.

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150 Responses to “Smells Like Team Spirit”

  • dave mann says:

    the world cup as been a breath of fresh air, totaly entertaining and plenty of wonderfull goals, with upsets and england failing again, though to be fair i think
    weve played better in those first two games than most england teams in the past including when we got to the semi- finals in 1990 so its not all doom and gloom on the international front and may i also say on the blues front aswell, good young signings and more to come with clayton donaldson comming on tuesday so ime told from sources so chin up and lets get behind the team and squad and let lee carry on bringing in his new players and roll on august the 9th and a nice trip upto the riverside to play middlesbro’ ……..cant wait!!! KRO.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    This was going to be the first season in decades that I hadn’t renewed my season ticket. I sympathise with the view that we need to hit the voiceless ones in the pocket by cutting off the money supply, however, when push comes to shove, I cant stand it any more so I’ll be renewing this week ahead of the cut price cut off!! KRO!!!!

    • Mr Crosby says:

      Is this why all the take over talks have gone quiet waiting to see how much take up there is on season tickets? I haven’t renewed mine yet and certainly won’t be renewing all 6. I know what you mean though it does get harder to resist the closer it gets to the new season.

      • Alan Moore says:

        I doubt if the people representing BIHL even know what a season ticket is!!

        • Mr Crosby says:

          They might not know that but they certainly know about the thing used to purchase them.

          • dave mann says:

            they no about it but havent got any themselves….money makes the football world go around weather we like it or not. KRO.

          • Pete says:

            Season ticket money counts for practically nothing in terms of keeping club afloat 5000 season tickets at an average of £300 each is £1.5m and the wages alone are multiple times this.

          • mark says:

            zig wage alone would have wiped that out completely…….

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Leaving aside the England matches, [ apart from hoping that Roy, perseveres with the more attacking style with the youngsters ],
    I think that despite only Bosman signings being available to us, In the main it is going to be a more Taller and strongly built bunch of players and we MUST give them all a chance and NOT pre-judge them before a ball is even kicked, !!.

  • Luke Bowen says:

    Pre-tournament expectations for England were very low and, whilst the results haven’t been good, they have entertained us and are showing good signs for the future.

    Expectations are also low for Birmingham this season – I for one am expecting us to finish in the bottom eight. Hopefully, Blues can emulate England in some regards – play expansive football and entertain (especially at home).

    I say good luck to the squad for the season ahead. Yes, there are some negative comments out there, but most fans will be right behind any player who gives it his all.

    • Steve says:

      You’re right Luke, most of us will be behind the team on the opening day.Unfortunately some people on here don’t like you to make negative comments.I think if Elsie struggles at the start of the season then the knives will be out for him.Like you i expect a season of struggle,unless we get new owners.As for England,play the kids in the last game and see what they can do.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of Lee Clark too. But, I think we all know his shortcomings now and, hopefully, he’s learned from his mistakes…. like we all do. The thing I don’t like, is the idea that some people (and we all know they’re out there) who will be waiting for a couple of losses at the start just so they can stick the boot in. We have to remember, we’ll have practically a new team, so they need to be given time.. and so does Clark.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          As for England, there are players who deserve to be given a chance… and others who deserve to be dropped. Let’s see if Hodgson has the bottle… I doubt it, but you never know.

        • Steve says:

          .I never have,or will hide my dislike for Clark. But i’ll always show my dislike on here and never down the game.

        • mark says:

          it will start from the first pre-season match that they judge lol

          • Chris W says:

            As with last season we have to look at about 10/12 games then we can assess how good or bad they are.
            I’m optimistic for the new season and not setting high expectations that way I can’t be disappointed. I do expect to watch a team that is committed and avoid relegation, above that will be a bonus.
            I would not be surprised if LC falls flat on his face and replaced before Christmas, unless he has learned from his mistakes of the last two seasons, which I doubt. However this is a new season and we all start with a clean slate, we sit top of the league, albeit in alphabetical order, so lets get behind LC and the team and see where this rollercoaster takes us.
            As we have seen in the world cup, with the right spirit unknowns can take on world beaters and walk proud ans even overcome.
            KRO+DNM

    • Tony says:

      Luke we were abysmal, we were let down because he left one of the best left backs in the world sitting on his backside at home We had two centre backs who were caught out twice against Italy and Uruguay, they had no pace whatsoever and they were beaten in the air By man a good 6 ins smaller.
      Golden boy Gerrard is a liability he has been for a while he over hits almost every pass he has to go.
      Hodgson goes on about teams worrying about our pace, but Italy did not have great pace they let the ball do the work. Costa Rica swarmed all over Italy whenever Pirlo had the ball he had three men around him so was infective.
      Same goes for Chile .It has to be faced these teams have now caught up with us They have done it by superior tactics, by flooding the midfield and by working in a way we are incapable of doing I could; go on and on but will be accused of being negative lol

  • ian says:

    i remember alberto tarrantini, world cup winner, cost us a lot of goals though,
    if we can’t spend like man city the answer long term has to be developing kids,
    butland, mutch, redmond, and in my day the 16 year old Francis, with england sterling and Bartley prove that skill is more important than just running like headless chickens for 90 minutes
    the problem is, if this deal fails, or BIHL continue to control the club, how long before our current youngsters are sold.
    as for tactical tweaks, in my opinion, it is always the weaker team who have to tweak.
    mike kelly,
    roberts hynd, harland, pendry,
    taylor page, campbell
    francis latchford hatton.
    i can honestly say i don’t remember who the sub was, he never came on
    the football was brilliant, the crowds were 30k plus, we attacked everyone and won more than we lost, and didn’t draw many either, finished 10th and then sold latchford.
    anyone who doubts it should try and watch the liverpool blues game from anfield
    when hattons goal was unfairly disallowed, and that was during the liverpool peak.
    the only time i saw it fall apart was the leeds semi-final but that was a pretty special
    and extremely dirty leeds side.
    there is nothing in the rules that state you have to play 4-5-1.

    • Steve says:

      I don’t think we’ve got anybody left to sell.We won’t get much for the kids we have left.I don’t rate them that highly tbh.

  • dave mann says:

    england have played good football but look like finishing bottom of the table, playing good football and finishing bottom of our table will not do for me as a blues fan, i dont care if its ugly to whatch as long as we stay out of the bottom three, a crap 1-0 win we do for me than loosing 3-4 in a classic…anytime ,anyday, anywhere, no argument.KRO.

    • Steve says:

      McLeish got dogs abuse for his style of football,yet it was our most successful time.

      • dave mann says:

        to true steve absoluetly bang on, our home record under mcleish was staggering and he got results how ever, what ever , it didnt matter about performance as long as we got 3 points or fought for a draw…
        ide take that now thats for sure, were birmingham city we fight to the end was very relevant more so under mcleish than clark. KRO.

      • Stan031 says:

        Yes but that was the prem and the fast counter attacking style with Chicho and Jerome got us on our feet! LC is all about generic boring, tidy players who over pass and bore me personally to tears.

        • Steve says:

          McLeish got abuse for being boring and negative.

          • dave mann says:

            our best manager for some time steve but some blues fans turned on him for going to the vile when carson yeung was messing him about….ok we got relegated but that was more down to the players switching of than mcleish and is so called boring and negativity…be carefull what yiou wish for comes to mind dont you think.KRO.

  • Retired&Weary says:

    I find it difficult to believe that people are getting optimistic over loads of lower league signings, including a few 6 footers. We’re saved!
    Let’s be honest we don’t know if they are good or not, most likely the latter if I were a betting man. More signings to come as well; how long will it take for all these players to gel in to a proper team? Several months probably.
    The lesser South American teams have shown fantastic work rate & team spirit. Good coaching perhaps?
    Burnley? Lots of fairly unknowns, yes, but quite a stable group of players in the main.
    The one thing we do all know is the current manager’s track record, worst ever home record, etc. Can you really see that changing?
    I wonder if in the few short weeks since the great escape, fans are missing it so much that they’ve forgotten all the suffering. Absence makes the heart grow fonder & all that.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      There’s always hope and expectation at the dawn of a new season, it’s only natural. If you don’t have that, you may as well give up.

      • Retired&Weary says:

        That’s the big issue, until reasonably wealthy new owners take over, there is no hope, if we are being honest. Blind faith & hope are different. The lack of hope is the reason the ground will likely be half full next season, unless …….

        • Staffs Blue says:

          No R&W, I’m talking about the excitement of a new season, with new signings (not everyone’s cup o’ tea admitted) and the buzz that it all brings. The first time you walk into the ground and take your seat. Who owns us has no effect on any of that for me.

          • dave mann says:

            it dont effect me also staffs, siiting there in YOUR seat ready to support your team is all that matters…..but theres 15,000 emptyseats at most home games that obviously dosesnt buzz everybody else and doesent bring them the exitement it brings us….such a shame. KRO.

        • dave mann says:

          the thing is Retired& Weary even with new investment in before the start of the season st. andrews would still only get 15,16000 for brighton on august 16th, were sell out our quota for middlesbro and i will be there because our away support is superlative but untill BIHL go away completley this will be the case for next season cuz fans dont want to give them there money, or so they believe so its a long long road before we see st. andrews anywhere near full again KRO.

    • Stan031 says:

      Not sure if anyone will agree but the more direct style of football, pacey attacks and lots of crosses seems to paying dividends. Hopefully, LC will take note and drop his ideal of this slow possession type game that bored us all witless! I could go on about about letting Ziggy go, but I won’t……

      • dave mann says:

        if he would have dropped is wage demands Stan031 i to would have loved ziggy to stay… always be a legend for me no matter what other people think. KRO.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I think Zigic would have thrived on the crosses that Duffy can provide. Ah well, his loss.

          • Steve says:

            Why his loss? If anything it’s our loss. I heard no offer was made to Zig. Probably wrong but that’s what i heard.

          • mark says:

            Both zig and Burke were offered renewed contracts at lower terms…….

          • Steve says:

            Not what i heard about Ziggy. He has told somebody that he has had no offer to respond to.

          • Pete says:

            Oh well if you heard it from someone who asked Zigic and Zigic tried to blame the club when asked by a stranger about it rather than saying £5,000 per week is not enough- it must be true….. Honestly!

          • Steve says:

            Its been mentioned on a couple of forums as well. Just saying what I’ve been told. In future I’ll say nothing. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Why would the club state that offers were made to both Burke and Zigic, if it wasn’t true? Either player could turn around and say they weren’t offered a new deal and make the club look like liars… but they haven’t. Why? Answers on a postcard.

          • Steve says:

            I trust the person that spoke to Zigic.He knows lot more than you think you know Staffs.As i said,probably wrong but it’s what i,ve heard from a trusted person.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Regardless of who spoke to whom, it just doesn’t make sense for the club to say that he’s been offered a contract if he hasn’t. Sorry.

          • mark says:

            Staffs contracts were also confirmed in bm that both players were offered..:-)

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Steve, I don’t think I know anything, I’m just going on what I’ve read officially, not tittle-tattle.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            “Nikola won’t be returning,” Blues manager Lee Clark told BBC WM. “We made an offer, but neither Nikola nor his agent see that as being an offer that’s acceptable.

            “Chris Burke will probably go down the same route.
            We’ve made him our best offer, but I’d imagine every other club in the Championship is in for him.”

            That’s good enough for me.

      • mark says:

        We are letting zig? Maybe to do with not wanting to play for £5000k?

        • dave mann says:

          do you blame him ? if your use to earning 50/60k are you going to take 5k, its a lot of money i know but its like us earning £600 a week and then being told we want you but we can only pay you £50 a week…think about it before criticise him….he said he loves blues and is settled here but dont believe everything you reed. KRO.

          • mark says:

            Sorry Dave I don’t have any emotional regards to players wage demands…but iyo would you think he would be any more productive been on a low wage……kro

          • dave mann says:

            propably not, but again thats not is fault, did he demand 60k a week, NO , he new blues couldnt mach it so life goes on and i for one will miss him, think of the good times. KRO.

          • mark says:

            Of course dave I grateful for his contribution , but now zig in the real world me personally very disappointed he is choosing to leave, I would like to see what he could do on lower wages….

          • Tony says:

            Dave I agree, I know some didn’t rate him but for me he scored the important goals, Arsenal, West Ham ,Villa and others could not Handle him.

          • Poppa999 says:

            Where is he going to earn £5000 today. He is settled in Birmingham.

          • Bluenosesol says:

            If I robbed a bank of 20 million pounds and got away with it, I wouldn’t expect to get a job paying £60k per week, I would expect to be back in the work place on average wages to match my average skills

      • Staffs Blue says:

        To be fair, Lee Clark has never had a “slow possession” philosophy. He’s always talked about playing a high tempo game… unfortunately, the players weren’t good enough to produce it. That’s why he’s bringing speed into the squad, with the likes of Thomas, Duffy and Donaldson.

        • mark says:

          agreed staffs Clark has always tried to get the players to play high tempo game, even in our U21 this is very much implemented into their style of play….

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think we’ll have more pace and ability in the side this season, looking at the signings so far.

          • mark says:

            http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/birmingham-city-richard-beale-enjoying-7305493? i also believe its about players buying into the ethos of the club, and what the manager wants from them. richard gives a good insight into clarks character…i wonder why some people wish to character assassinate…..without having the true depth of feeling of someone..kro

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Obviously, people outside the club know much more than those inside the club… or so they would have us believe.

          • mark says:

            127 players have revolved through the stans doors in three years incredible we only need 11 to play….lol

          • mark says:

            Staffs what gets me how on earth can he form consistent approach let alone attempt to orchestra things on the pitch year in year out with that kind things happening in the background……
            Still hopefully this season can be a beginning of new chapter.. the feeling of new of the season is coming dont think.
            anyone know when new home and away kits out? kro

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The squad should be stable for the first time in a couple of years. We have a senior squad of around 20 atm. Add another couple, plus a few of the kids and we should be ok. And the bonus is, we won’t be losing any of them (unless someone needs to be sold in January of course. Always possible.)

          • AussieBlue says:

            The mark of a true leader is the ability to shape ordinary people into a cohesive and effective group. I’m 100% behind Lee Clark and his obvious strategy to do just this. So should we all be.

          • Steve says:

            Playing players in their right position might help.He’s not capable of forming an effective group from ordinary people.He’s had enough ordinary people to practice with.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Your opinion but never say never Steve. Let’s all hope you’ll be eating those words come Christmas.

          • Chris W says:

            One of LC’s problems, he never had a plan B, in his favour he was restricted with options due to injuries and suspensions, especially in the second half of the season.
            He was also let down by some players who could and should have done a lot more.
            Looking at the new crop of players he seems to have covered the above frailties with added options, as you say pace. I think we will be defending higher too as we shouldn’t be beaten with balls over the top with such regularity.
            KRO+DNM

    • mark g says:

      David seaman
      Paul caddis
      martin grainger
      tom adeyemi
      liam daish
      michael johnson
      paul devlin
      bryan hughes
      kevin francis
      steve claridge
      jose dominguez

      a blues team all signed from the lower divisions

      • Retired&Weary says:

        All at the same time? I don’t think so. No objection to giving lower league players a chance, but a whole new squad of them?

        • mark g says:

          think you will find 7 of them played in the same team i want us to buy better players but this is where we are so we might as well get behind them

      • bluenoserob says:

        800k for KF, 350k for Cladga ,hughes i think was 700k , even Jose was 150k , we cant even afford those bargins without 15 years of inflation.

        and jose was signed from benfica……..lower league?

    • Pete says:

      You just said it- we do not know how they will perform- so why so negative about them either?

  • williammorgan says:

    I never judge a book by its cover ..football is to unpredictable to say yes or no ..,what I do see in the new signings is that although some lack a bit of passing ability and scoring ability ,there strength ,stamina, pace will get them in front of goal at one end ,and winning the ball in front of goal at our end …what these new players do have is true grit .we do need Donaldsons swagger to get the team over the line against over defensive teams though, as there is no worse strength sapper than giving 110% and not scoring ,..but HEY these lads are going to give their all as a blue nose ..I can’t see blues winning the prem this year ,but we can sure try and get there….kro

    • dave mann says:

      we certainly wont be winning the prem this year as were not in it but i will be happy to see eveyone giving 100% and fighting to the end which our song suggests, as for donaldson, bang on, hes got swagger and confidence and if we get that one over the line he will exite blues fans….thoughs that go ofcourse! KRO.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I note that Morgaro Gomis has signed for Hearts today.

  • AussieBlue says:

    I can only agree with the sentiment of ‘let’s wait till the kick off against ‘Boro.’ We may not be a team of champions but we can be a champion team. Well it’s what it’s all about innit?

  • mark says:

    Well Daniel states he limited, overly-emotional, unstable probably better if Clark just stays in the dug-out with his pure spring water lol

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I didn’t renew my season ticket last season and I won’t be this season either. I am not a Clark fan (in fact I think he is a joke) but the main reason is that they expect me to fork out £575 for it. How anyone can seriously expect me or anyone else to pay Premiership prices to watch a effectively a Football League 1 team managed by a Football League 1 manager god only knows. I will still go when the price is right and when it suits me like I did last season. Wake up commercial department – it’s three seasons now since we were relegated.

    • BluesBlues says:

      Shirley Blue, Don’t blame the prices my ticket is £340 just under £15 per game which is very good and a lot better than most in our division. In regards to the commercial department they have tried nearly every thing to encourage fans back but unfortunately the days of supporting your team have gone unless you are in the premiership. At the end of the day it is up to each individual if the attend games and can fully understand those that don’t due to the circumstants of our owners.

      Anyway keep up the away support as you have said on most occasions it is something special

      KRO

  • mark says:

    Their seems to be a short memory loss for some people Clark has also taken a step up from a division…he will have a chance now to grow and develop himself, he should not deem himself a manager with little experience now he has been a manager for the past 5years. It a difficult one to appoarch this season would mid table be a success in his eyes or just achieving status again. I would like to think we could make the playoffs
    KRO

    • Shirley Blue says:

      You must be on something to think we are going to get anywhere near the play-offs. Jose Mourinho wouldn’t be able to get this group above half way. I struggle to see how we are going to get to 50 points and safety with LC in charge.

      • Pete says:

        Shirley let me get this right. You do not go to games, you slag off Lee Clark and are stating even one of the best managers in the world could not do anything with these players. So how can it all be Clarks fault if the players are so bad?

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Who said I don’t go. I don’t have a season ticket any more but I still went to about half the games last season. I go when it suits me and I get tickets at what I consider to be reasonable value to what’s being offered down there lately. I think with the quality of the squad he has now I can’t see us being out of the bottom 8 all season. Even if he does sort out the defence I think we are going to struggle to score goals. He still had a very good squad to work with in his first season with us and we were a shambles until the last third of the season. I think he is extremely lucky to still be in post and he should have been sacked after the Barnsley debacle.

          • Pete says:

            Shirley- you make some fair points. But my point is this the club is in a shocking state due to 3 factors:
            Owners- killing the club off and leaving poor players.
            Management- who despite my points about budget seem to make odd decisions.
            Fans- deserting the club and being part time fans who support and go when it suits them, meaning there is no atmosphere at home and fans there make the young players play on edge. Only supporting if they are winning, and the moment a goal goes in they are on the backs or just not there to support them at all.
            Before you bemoan the management, why not look at whether fans (other than Bolton and Wigan) could actually do their bit week in and week out.

          • Chris W says:

            You make some fair comments, but I think you are wrong regarding the supporters.
            I sit in the kop and apart from a couple of players or their performances, on the whole the supporters never really got on their backs.
            Some supporters don’t go because of various reasons and some use excuses, one thing you can’t argue with, we have not been given value for money at home, personally I don’t think any game should be more than £20/25.
            The same supporters go to away games and a decent atmosphere is generated.
            When a goal goes in it is not just the supporters who’s heads drop, you can see it on the pitch too.
            This season we will have a team we can call our own and will have every right to get on their backs it they underperform, but we have to give them a chance to prove they can step up t0 the Championship.
            KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          Doesn’t Clark bring the players in ?

          • Pete says:

            I am not his biggest fan, but he brings the players in on the budget of zero he has. If Shirley reckons the players could not be better this season with a great manager, how come it is his fault for everything. I think she made one perfect point- the football in the first season was poor and should have been better, but since then he has not been able to show what he can do.

    • Art says:

      The club didn’t take Clark on as a development manager -He’s not a trainee he’s paid circa of £300k pa to get results.As for getting to the playoffs -dream on Mark.And as for memory loss -Check out his appalling record over two seasons.

    • Steve says:

      Play off’s ? Mid table will be an achievement. Do you ever wonder why he isn’t linked with other jobs ? All these pundits and experts that say he is doing a wonderful job in difficult circumstances,why is he still here ?

  • Will Viles says:

    Fantastic post. We all know we’re not going to have the silkiest footballers in the division this year – but all we can ask for is to see a settled team that we know is ours. A team which we can relate to and get behind for the duration of the season.

    One or two loan players is all well and good to add a bit of youthful quality to the team (especially in the final third of the pitch), but players with permanent contracts will surely play with a bit more passion and fight for the club they’re contracted to.

  • mark says:

    If we can get into win mode early anything happen as proved when we went 10 unbeaten last season keep the faith…..inclarkwetrust

    • Steve says:

      What are you on about ? We went 10 unbeaten and stayed up because Doncaster lost on the last day of the season.

  • Alan Richards says:

    I suppose many, like me, have wondered how a team like Costa Rica, with probably not a single player who would have been selected by Roy, could beat Italy. I believe it is because the tactics which Roy employed, (let them bother about us and not try to annul the opposition’s main threat) were crucial to our losing. The amount of room Pirlo was given, lesser players would have looked world-beaters. Contrast these tactics with Costa Rica’s, who harried and chased and allowed Pirlo no time to pick where he wanted to pass. Then there was Roy’s refusal to see that Italy was tearing our left flank apart when it was clear to all and sundry. Why wait to do something till half-time when it was clear that something needed to be done after 10 minutes? Other managers get up and walk in their technical areas and tell their players what needs to be done. Meanwhile Roy sits glumly on his bench as if by changing anything would mean he had chosen wrongly in the first place and he couldn’t admit that. Then there was his reluctance to bring on substitutes, and, when we are needing a goal, he brings on midfielders including Wilshere who scores every blue moon. What was Lambert there for? I think the media has given Roy an easy ride, mentioning his vast experience; but what has he ever won (a Swedish second division maybe?). Tactically he has cost us dear. Our players are better than going out of the tournament at this stage and he is too conservative to win anything. I wonder how much the Costa Rica manager gets paid compared to Roy. If we beat Costa Rica, comparing the two squads we should do, but I wouldn’t bet on it with Roy in charge. He says he won’t “quit”; would you if you were paid £3,500,000?

    • Raymondo says:

      Tonight I watched Ghana give the Germans the fright of the tournament and damn near beat them. If the Ghana player had passed horizontally to someone better placed instead of shooting himself after a brillliant run near the end they might well have won. They showed the opposition no respect and just played to their own strengths. Just as Costa Rica did against Italy. England should have done the same instead of confusing themselves with too much tactical mumbo-jumbo. It’s a simple game. Get at the opposition and let them worry about you! The Blues should do that as well with the new team we have got IMO.

  • mark says:

    Iran lads nearly ….one messi

  • Tony says:

    Think we need a little competition here Taylor was the Turnip,McLaren the wally with the brolly what can Hogson be?.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      19 hours and still no one can think of one. Trouble is, Hodgson is so bland. I’ve never been convinced he’s the man for the job tbh… and I’ve seen nothing so far to convince me otherwise. We need someone with big ba11s, someone who will throw out the Gerrards and Rooneys and all the others who have failed us in recent years. The young players will never be good enough if they’re not given a chance. We have 2 years now to, at least, start to bed them in.

      • Tony says:

        Quite agree Staffs Rooney, Gerrard. jagielka, Johnson, all have to go our best prospect is Lallana Stirling, Wilshire if he can stay injury free.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Not forgetting The Ox. I think we missed his running power. It might have made the difference. I’d love to have seen what him, Lalana and Lambert might have done. We’ll never know now.

          • Chris W says:

            Ross Barkley looked good when he came on, The Ox has been injured Staffs.
            Be interested to see who plays against Costa Rica, a chance to blood the kids and leave the Roos etc in the hotel.
            Regardless of the result as we can’t change anything, only got personal pride to play for now.
            KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          I think i agree with Paul Scholes about Wilshire. He hasn’t improved as he should have.

      • Chris W says:

        Hodgson had the chance when he took over and I thought he was going to be different when he included the likes of Butland from the U21’s.
        He has had 4 years to build something but when it came to the crunch he thought he would play it safe with the old hands.
        We need a new young manager with fresh ideas to bring the best out of the kids, but someone who knows the English game.
        Nigel Pearson, Sean Dyche are two candidates and they have to have time and freedom to experiment too.
        When you look at all the managers there isn’t a lot of choice.
        KRO+DNM

  • BluBoi14 says:

    Last Seasons Burnley FC promotion winning players and where they were signed from proves success can be achieved with lower league players. The key, as Dan says is the managing and coaching them to play as as team. Time will tell what happens to us this coming season.

    Tom Heaton – Bristol city

    Kieran Trippier – Man City – nil games (Previous season loan at Barnsley)

    Danny Lafferty – Derry City

    Michael Duff – Cheltenham

    Jason Shackell – Derby

    Ben Mee – Man City – nil games (Previous 15 games for Leicester)

    Ross Wallace – Preston

    Deam Marney – Hull (pre premier team)

    Sam Vokes – Wolves

    Danny Ings – Bournemouth

    Junior Stanislas – West Ham

    • Mr Crosby says:

      Their manager is a different class to ours.

      • BluBoi14 says:

        Prior to Burnley Sean Dyche previous managerial record at Watford 49 – W17, D17, L15 finished 11th in Championship

        • Mr Crosby says:

          Clark
          Birmingham City. 26 June 2012 Present 102 30 30 42 29.41
          Dyche
          Burnley 30 October 2012 Present 85 40 26 19 47.06

          • BluBoi14 says:

            I’m not agreeing nor disputing your claims that Dyche is a different class. And I’m not a LC fan; but I’m trying to be fair to him. I don’t think Dyche had all the problems LC has had to endure – selling any playing with a transfer value, relying on kids and loans etc.

          • mark says:

            he might get in the end lol

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think the only big player they lost, was Charlie Austin.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Dyche didn’t have to deal with Douche-bags above him!

          • Mr Crosby says:

            He was forced out of Watford due to Zola arriving.
            He got Burnley promoted and Clark missed out on getting us relegated on goal difference.

  • Chris W says:

    The England kids started brightly, Rooney was given the task of keeping Pirlo quiet, which he failed to do.
    The squad was good enough to get out the group stages and with a little luck quarters or even a semi. Instead they failed miserably and the manager will take responsibility. Sadly, the players live to fight another day. Personally, and I said this back in 2010, the squad had their chance, start from scratch now with exceptions of the young players. Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and Milner are finished, they were disappointing at the last world cup.
    Give the job to Stuart Pearce and lets rebuild for the euros.
    Birmingham City are doing just that, with the exception of the manager, and this is a sink or swim test for LC.
    We have to let the team gel and that would take about 10/12 matches before we can really access where we are. Hopefully they will hit the ground running and maybe one or two will take a little longer, much the same as we started last season..
    I don’t have too high an expectation, give 100% for the badge and the supporters, look to consolidate and finish above the bottom 3, anything above that will be a bonus.
    I think also that this will be break or make time for LC, he has been given a free hand to bring in the players he wants within a strict wage structure. He has sold BCFC and put together a group of players he believes can do the job, now we will see if he has the coaching skills to develop them into a force to be reckoned, consistency is the key and hopefully LC has learnt from the last two seasons that tinkering is not the way forward.
    As we have seen during the world cup, the underdogs can overcome, admittedly they only have a few games we have to do it consistently over a 46 match season.
    KRO+DNM

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Rooney started on the left so wasn’t in a position to keep Pirlo quiet. Starting with him, Sturridge, Wellbeck and Sterling was crazy and was always going to leave us exposed in midfield. I think Hodgson knew we were going to concede goals and were going to need to score at least twice to get anything. We haven’t got one top class defender in Brazil and arguably the best two were on their holidays – Terry and Cole. Agree on the subs – chasing the game we only had Rooney and an exhausted Sterling on the pitch at the end. Couldn’t understand him bringing Wilshere on either.

      • Chris W says:

        According to all the pundits and papers Rooney was suppose to snub out the midfield threat and didn’t.
        I agree with Cole but I have never been a Terry fan. If Hodgson wanted goals why didn’t he bring on Lambert sooner and why didn’t he start him against Uruguay, the South Americans hate our style of a big centre forward to aim at, Rooney had never scored a world cup goal until Uruguay and he has played in something like 14 games over three world cups, is that the record of a world class striker.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I think the same as Shirley Blue, Cole and Terry should have been there. A back 4 of Johnson, Cahill, Jageilka and Baines was always a recipe for disaster. Only Cahill can defend. Someone in midfield should have been detailed to sit on PIrlo and continually try to push him back. Give him something to think about instead of giving him the freedom of the park.

          And Sturridge, Rooney, Sterling and Welbeck as a forward line were never going to score goals. As you said Chris, Lambert should have been used much earlier instead of being wasted.

          As Glen Hoddle said…. England don’t possess a world class player anymore, be it defender, midfielder or forward. One thing I’m utterly convinced of… England will never win the World Cup again in my lifetime.. if at all.

          • Steve says:

            John Terry was asked but turned down the offer.Cole has been our best player in every tournament he’s played in.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            If that’s true about Terry, it’s a shame. Our central defenders now amount to Cahill, Jagielka, Jones and Smalling. Doesn’t fill one with much hope really does it? Also, we really must find an alternative to Johnson. Surely there’s a better right back out there somewhere?

          • Steve says:

            Phil Jones was a very good centre half before he went to United.Then they started playing him in midfield.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’ve never been convinced of Jones, a bit too erratic.. but I’m open to persuasion. Smalling and Jageilka are Championship standard at best.

          • Chris W says:

            I’m not convinced with Terry,but that is just personal choice.
            As with Blues, the experienced players have let the youngsters and the nation down.
            Rooney plays well for Man U but can’t produce the goods at national level, Gerrard is a leader and influential at Liverpool but not for England, we haven’t got a leader on the pitch, that was something Terry was good at, if not in the team he should have been involved with the backroom staff, better than Neville.
            At least we have seen England win the WC, I doubt my grandchildren will be so lucky.
            Can still see Nobby without his teeth holding the cup and doing his silly dance.
            KRO+DNM

      • Tony says:

        Quite right Shirley,Hodgson knew we would concede goals so gambled on us scoring more than we let in.

    • bluenoserob says:

      you lost me at Stuart Pearce , i loved him as a player , but not even stuart Pearce thinks Stuart Pearce would make a good england manager.

      • Chris W says:

        Did a fair job with the U21’s, certainly has passion running through his blood and fire in his Belly. Without looking abroad, I cannot think of an English manager who could take the team to the level where we are successful.
        Be interesting to see you the FA have in mind.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Here’s a name for you… if he could be prised away from league football that is: Brendan Rodgers.

          • Chris W says:

            Would you leave Liverpool for the England job?
            He is from Northern Ireland, so I would l think if he wanted the national job that would be his preference Staffs.
            I was just looking at someone who has represented his country, this country with pride and passion, who has had success as a manager.
            Other players could include Beckham, Shearer, Sheridan, but have no or limited managerial experience.
            I bet “Harry” is laughing his socks off, will he be offered it this time, and would he accept?
            KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          I think the England job is a poisoned chalice.Some of the best managers have failed.I don’t like him but they should have give it to Harry.

          • Pete says:

            Never want him in a million years. Unless he can spend a fortune and bankrupt clubs he has nothing.

      • Milton Keynes blue says:

        On the England front and finding capable Englishman what about Glen Hoddle very tactically aware and passionate only real mistake before was his personal beliefs and he would have learned from them

        • Bluenosesol says:

          During Hoddle’s stint as England manager he proved himself to be mentaly unstable with his rantings. We don’t want this madman at St Andrews thank you

  • Bill Walker says:

    I agree buying big money players does not always work anyway and we have too at this time cut our cloth accordingly just please stop moaning all the bloody time we would be top of prem in the oooh we are doomed league

  • andy says:

    I cant believe you are knocking the players as well as the manager before a ball is kicked …… So what if it takes 7-8 mnths to mould a team …. I think we will find out what defenders we will use from the training ground to pitch quicker than that we have players who will be hurting from last season they will be hungry to put things right the forwards are my only concern at the mo .. plus the window has not been opened up yet ….. I think that mid start to the season is when the money draining orientals will finally sort out what is what …… but please dont knock players before they give you a right to ….. lets get behind them and give them our support ….. and our new member of staff Alan

    • Steve says:

      7 – 8 months is too long Andy.That’s the end of the season.I,m not excited by these new players,but i know nothing about them.Some people on here read WIKI,watch their best bits on Youtube and think they know everything about them and that everythings going to be ok.As for knocking the manager,what do you expect ? His record and some of his decisions leave a lot to be desired.

  • andy says:

    I hope we get the RB from Posh out of contract https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4_f-HjsyYY……. looks a confident 25 year old .. not too sure about his defensive abilities but he knows how to attack … tell what you think ….. he is defo worth a punt …….. KRO…………

  • Art says:

    Absolutely spot on and Dans assessment of Clarks character is also soot on.

    Problem is the Clark fan club think we are having a go at him instead of looking at his appalling record and his butterfly management of the team.Its never been personal with me it’s always been about results on the field,his poor media skills and tactical decisions.

    He’s probably a very nice guy but never a football manager at this level.

  • Steve says:

    Trying to get Huws back apparently.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      You would think he would be looking at going to a Championship club with a genuine chance of getting promoted and trying to raise his own profile. Good if we can get him though. He was by far the best of the kids Clark got in.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        If he comes back, I hope he has to play for his place and not be stuck in the team regardless, just because he comes from Man City. I’d rather see our own players play tbh.

  • williammorgan says:

    kEEP RIGHT ON retired and weary ,


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