Often Partisan

Leeds Preview in Association with Eze Group

Birmingham City go into tomorrow’s game with Leeds with two new names in the first team squad – on-loan winger Brek Shea who signed from Stoke City yesterday and 15-year-old schoolboy defender Josh Martin who has been given a first team number despite his tender age.

Normally when I write these previews I write a summation of the opposition and of Blues but as it’s been a) a while since our last game and b) a while since I last wrote I thought it might be nice to actually write my thoughts on what is happening with the team etc.

I’ve seen some comments online about Shea signing. I will admit, I’m not filled by confidence – either by his rather metrosexual instagram pics that are doing the rounds or more importantly by the way Barnsley fans seem to slate him after a fairly ordinary loan spell there earlier this year which culminated in the American being sent back to the Potteries following an altercation with the crowd after a 5-0 defeat. Shea was accused of flipping the crowd off after one player had responded to the crowd’s boos which he denied – only for a photograph of him giving the middle finger salute to surface online.

All that being said, I think it’s unfair to slag off Shea completely without seeing him kick a ball. There is no denying that the Barnsley team at the time were struggling; that there was a lot of unhappiness from the crowd towards the team (and the manager) and I do wonder if Shea failed to deliver because he wasn’t in the best of situations.

He comes to the Blues as something we need – a left footed left winger – with some prior knowledge of players here (I’m sure he will have played with Spector at least once for the US national side and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is at least aware of Will Packwood) and something to prove. It might just be that the move turns out to be what he needs and he succeeds at the club – and with this in mind I’m going to keep my mouth shut and my mind open until I’ve seen him play.

Josh Martin is something else altogether. Having been a regular in the u18s last season, he made the step up to the development squad in their last game and has been given a first team number as Clark rates him massively – although I think it might be more down to the EPPP effect. Colin Tattum alluded on the SHA messageboard to other clubs being interested in Martin and as he can’t sign a professional contract until he is 17 he is ripe for the picking; it might be that by giving him a first team number they are doing what they can to keep him so they don’t lose him in the same way that Blues lost Foday Nabay at the beginning of last season.

Tomorrow is big in that I think it’s a really winnable game. Managerless Leeds have been a club in turmoil and we need to make the most of that; regardless of what Lee Clark might think I think our first target has to be 50 points and relative safety – 3 home points against Leeds might represent one of the easiest ways to take some off that goal.

With Novak out I can see Shea starting wide left, Cotterill wide right and then Donaldson and Thomas up front – although with Johnstone also out I wonder if Clark will go with two up front with no strikers in reality to bring off the bench (unless Matt Green has been found from wherever he has been hidden). Let’s hope come 3:15pm tomorrow afternoon we’ll be talking about a great performance on TV and not another horror show.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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29 Responses to “Leeds Preview in Association with Eze Group”

  • parchy99 says:

    Wes Thomas. I have no personal grudge and i’m sure off the pitch he’s a lovely guy, but good lord. I feel like i just can’t see what other people see. It’s the same player that I remember from before. Wasteful, unproductive and uninventive. I understand Clarke has a problem up front but he isn’t the answer. No way.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      At least Thomas has got pace and strength and has scored a goal this season unlikely the wholly ineffective Lee Novak who will just get picked again because he is a Clark favourite. I really hope Robinson doesn’t get in at left back as well because he is too slow now.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I’m not exactly sure, but I think we’ve conceded around 8 goals so far with Robinson on the pitch.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          I assume he came on due to injury to rather than tactical. He is just about ok at centre back but never left back.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Yes, that’s right, it was a forced change. I thought Shea went off injured too, but apparently, it was just cramp in his calves… because he hasn’t played much football lately.

            It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Edgar, Caddis and Thomas are too, they all looked to be carrying knocks.

      • paule says:

        I don’t rate Novak either he lacks quality pace & isn’t a natural goal scorer fortunately i don’t think we will be seeing him for 6 to 8 weeks through his injury.

  • DoctorD says:

    2-0 Leeds. Usual cr*p.

  • LincolnWhite says:

    The ‘club in turmoil’ might surprise you with their unity, desire and ability. It could be that you ought to have taken a closer look at the current players, rather than the cursory dismissal. Hockaday’s tactics and team selections won’t be seen again.

  • kiwiblue says:

    Even at this early stage of the season I feel this is a must win game for both teams. Could be interesting!

  • Staffs Blue says:

    If we win today, we’ll be mid-table and about 3 points off the top 6. The pessimism after 5 games is unbelievable. Give the team a chance at least.

    • dave mann says:

      same old same old, starting to get on my t–s now with letting leads slip and letting LEEDS draw, very dissapointing. KRO.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        It all stemmed from Caddis thinking he’s f*cking Ronaldo again. We were on top and pushing for the second goal, when Caddis (unecessarily) shot from about 25 yards, it cannoned off the defender (stood right in front of him) and put Leeds on the break, from which they won a corner. From then on, Leeds gained confidence and never let up. Plus, in the second half, we produced nothing from the wings, which is what kept us on top during the 1st half. Has to be Duffy and Shea on the wings for me. I think we may have seen Duffy this afternoon, except for the 2 enforced changes. All in all, disappointing, because it’s another home game we could and should have won.

        • dave mann says:

          shea looked bright and was quite pleased with his performance and again we get a definete penalty and our player gets booked for diving which is crap, not blaming the ref because ime not of that cloth but again as usual were not getting the breaks and not getting that second goal, totaly p—-d off cuz we should have had 12 points now. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think that’s the reason we shouldn’t be too downhearted. It’s not like we’re getting well beaten like last season. We could, and SHOULD have had 12 points. We’ve been good enough, but as you said, we’re just not getting the breaks yet when we’re on top. For me, Cotterill hasn’t done nearly enough to warrant a regular place. Him and Eardley do not work together. Time to give Duffy or Gray a chance.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Shocking piece of defending though from Eardley. Still would prefer Spector at right back.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Absolutely. If you’re going to head the ball out, you have to get some height and distance on it. If you’re in the box and you head it down, there’s usually only going to be one result.

            In my honest opinion, we don’t have a good right back. Caddis gets caught upfield too often and his defending isn’t great. Spector is prone to some awful ricketts, as he’s proved already this season. As for Eardley… what’s happened to the guy? He’s a shadow of the player who played in Blackpool’s promotion team.

            At right back, I suppose Spector is the best of a bad bunch.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I go along with Daniels, summation of Shea, Let us first see what he can bring to the team, ??.

  • Art says:

    Listened to the radio commentary and was very impressed with our first half perfomance and Shea sounds like a decent signing.Full of optimism I settled down for the second half and like many many previous games was very disappointed with our performance.A different team turned up and according to the commentators Leeds could have won the game .And yes we had a good call for a penalty refused but so did Leeds…..this all sounds so familiar and 6pts from 6 games is guaranteed relgation form.

    Frustrated is an understatement.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Unfortunately, for us, the ref got it right. Gray’s dive was blatant. If that’s what he picks up playing with England, I hope he doesn’t get picked for them again.

      • Art says:

        Commentators thought it was a stone wall penalty Staffs and so did LC.We sounded like a different team when Gray came on but how long can we hold on to him?Shea is in the shop window and is likely to move on if he continues to play like he did today.

        I’m not blaming Clark for today’s performance as it’s clear we just don’t have the necessary quality to beat the lower teams nether mind those in the top 6… Relegation is a real possibility.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Sorry, for me, Gray went down far too easily, he made the ref’s decision easy.

          We stopped using the wings in the 2nd half, which is where our main threat was coming from. Time to give either Duffy or Gray a run, because Cotterill gave a lacklustre performance today. Shea can be excused, because he was carrying an injury in the 2nd half.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I agree. He went looking for it and could have got marks for artistic impression with the dive. There was contact but all too theatrical. Best I have seen Gray play though – they were scared too death of him.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            This is what we were lacking for most of the second half. We needed someone to just go direct… and Gray provided that.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Most of our best work down the flanks in the second half, was provided by Donaldson…. but he should be in the middle, not having to do someone else’s job.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I think Cotterill was asked to play a bit narrower and deeper with Shea on left hand side. That reduced his effectiveness and that was the poorest game he has had for us I have seen. You are right about Donaldson having to do the donkey work wide. Davis was good in the first half but surely he should be able to play a full game by now. I think the big weakness in this squad is central midfield. All three of the home League games the opposition have had the majority of possession. That shouldn’t happen at home.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Davis’ biggest problem is having Caddis in CM with him. He has to do the work of two men, because Caddis is so indisciplined in that role. I think maybe Reilly would be a better partner.

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    Neither team could put together two passes. Caddis and Davis should not be our CM pairing.

  • Chris W says:

    Due to family commitments I spent most of the weekend travel around the country and clocking some two thousand mile, which including watching the Blues, but has left me with no time to offer my insight of the game.
    The game saw Blues dominate for the majority of the game and once again, my opinion, LC made some odd substitutions that cost us the game.
    Why Spector wasn’t bought on in place of Hall instead of Robbo, or alternative add Duffy and attack while using only three on defence. Leeds were struggling with our attack and Shea was man of the match.
    Once again, LC managed to remove victory from the jaws and luckily finished with a draw.
    He just will not learn that we are better at attack, we start with the high line but as soon as we take the lead, we drop back and hope we can hold on for a point.
    Cotterill did not play to his ability and slow delivering crosses in the box.
    Not sure how LC could comment on gray’s booking, if he had gone down at the first tackle then it would have been a penalty, when he went down it was a dive as the player pulled his foot out of the tackle and made no contact.
    Hopefully we can put things right against Sheffield and earn 3 points, but we have to attack and not sit back as our defence is still working at earning confidence and understanding. Randolph should learn to pass the ball rather than the big boot up field and hope.

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