Often Partisan

Dimmi Dares Us To Dream – Reading Thoughts

Birmingham City returned to winning ways in style against Reading with a 6-1 thrashing of the Royals. Demarai Gray scored a first-half hat-trick as Blues scored six at home in the league for the first time in twenty years.

Yesterday was some game. Not because of the beating we handed out to Reading – but because we weren’t anywhere near our best in parts of the pitch. While Gray will rightly win plaudits for his first professional hat-trick, Andrew Shinnie had his best game in a Blues shirt playing in the pocket and was arguably a bigger reason for the victory; at the back however Blues looked disorganised at times and but for some profilgate shooting from the Reading forwards it could have been 6-4 or 6-5.

A stat I’ve seen posted around a bit was that on 47 minutes Blues were 5-1 up, having had just five shots on goal and only 30% of possession. Stats don’t tell the full tale though and I think the only thing that the stats prove is that Rowett had a very clever gameplan for this game which was executed brilliantly.

The first part of that was Shinnie. Donaldson played an often thankless task up front, pulling defenders around with his runs and holding up the ball, allowing Shinnie to play in a pocket just in front of the Reading defence – and giving him the opportunity to play the balls in and around to create the chances that led to goals. Rowett was clearly onto Dimmi Gray to run with the ball at the Reading defence as he had seen that they were unwilling to challenge for fear of giving away a foul – allowing him to use his pace and skill to get into shooting positions.

All three of Dimmi’s goals came from balls played into feet with him facing goal giving him the space to run at defenders and to draw the keeper. The first goal was reminiscent of Redmond against Nacional in the Europa League – a comparison that won’t have been lost on the watching Chris Hughton – but the second was the better finish. Picking up the ball from a mistake made by the Reading defence on the edge of the area, Dimmi took the ball into the box with no less than three Royal defenders backing off him before slotting the ball across the keeper into the opposite corner.

If there is one thing I love more than Nikola Zigic, it’s a well worked free kick goal and Blues’ first was an absolute peach. Donaldson cleverly drew a foul on the edge of the box – probably too close to get the ball up and down and I did wonder if Cotterill would give Grounds and his left foot the option. What Blues did however was much cleverer – and came out of assistant manager Kevin Summerfield’s play book. Grounds opted to lay the ball across the area, and with the Reading defence caught somewhat on their heels expecting the initial effort, Paul Caddis absolutely lashed it into the net.

Before the game I mentioned that Blues needed to start finding the net more often – and that Dimmi probably needed a big game and both delivered in spades. I can imagine that Rowett might have been a bit concerned by some of the lapses in defence and I think that he may well want to improve on that but the fact is Blues look a completely different side to the shell shocked outfit that got brutally beaten by Bournemouth only six weeks before. If Blues can hold onto talents like Gray and continue building on the improvement within the squad then mid-table at least is easily possible. Once again we dare to dream.

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51 Responses to “Dimmi Dares Us To Dream – Reading Thoughts”

  • Neil says:

    Great performance from the team

    Dan any news if it was carson misses
    Who acquired the shares.

  • rhees says:

    Dare to believe indeed Dan only 10pints of play offs.
    To much really I know but under GR mid table finish is easily achieved
    I feel 8th is realistic in truth.
    I’m Garry Rowett I trust

  • Art says:


    You say “Dare to Dream.”

    I say “Dream High and Dare to Achieve”

  • Richie says:

    Awesome game to watch, but at times I felt nervous, and I shouldn’t feel like that with the Blues so many goals in front.

    Grounds shouldn’t be in the first team in my opinion, he makes one-too-many mistakes.
    I’m personally hoping for Edgar to return to Centre Half and for Robinson to be pushed out to Left Back.

    On the attack, though, Blues were sensational. Shinnie, Gleeson and Davis controlled the pace of the game for me.

    As for Mr. Gray, what a player. I’ve not been this excited about a youngster since Nathan Redmond, and I think Gray is better at 18 than Redmond was, which is promising. Hopefully we can tie him down to a long term deal.

    Bring on Huddersfield!

  • Luke says:

    Well, we were all saying that the real test of the Rowett Revolution would be how the team reacts to a bad performance and bad result and we can’t have asked for anything more.

    This was the first win under Rowett by more than a single goal, so is an important milestone in giving the squad belief in their goalscoring capability. And it’s good to see the negative goal-difference back down to single figures too.

  • DoctorD says:

    Who says a storming rise up the table isn’t on the cards? Reading themselves did it once. If you’ll let me dream, then we sneak into sixth as we did under Bruce, beating Norwich again in the final. Maybe it’s what Carson’s thinking in prison. I wondering if he’s getting that coat of his drycleaned? Like I said, I’m only dreaming. I doubt any of the above will happen.

  • DoctorD says:

    Oh and this is definitely NOT going to happen, but if we won the next five games on the bounce, we’d be seventh in the table if it was as it stood after 26 games last year.

  • Jaffa says:

    I don’t want to piss on anyone’s chips but we have to keep hold of Gray and Cotterill in January.

  • Teerev says:

    Gotta throw this thought out there… What if someone came in for gray at £4-£5m and Rowett had the choice of keeping him or using the money?? Would be a hard choice me thinks!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’ll be happy with another 5 points before the turn of the year. That would put us on 30 points and set us up for a tilt at the top 10. Also, once we reach those 30 points, I think any lingering fear of relegation will be banished for good, with 4 months of the season left. With the pressure off, we’ll be able to play with even more freedom.

  • bluenoserob says:

    A top half finish would be brilliant , but for me the best thing is we now have a proper team .We might loose a few games but we are going to compete in every match .Add to that the fact that we can now talk about football all the time and not have to argue about Carson this and Pannu that , and have to worry all the time about all the c@~p that has been going on .A happy Christmas for all blues fans.

  • Stevie W says:

    Considering that was not one of our better performances the result is absolutely sublime, I dont think Gray will ever score such an easy hat trick ever again.

    Shinnie was excellent my MOTM and the welcome back for the big man was fantastic.

    I am going to dream and wish for a better than relegation finish and new owners in the new year.

  • mark says:

    Daniel where absolutely no chance of Dimmi staying imo like i said in your previous blog the vultures are already circling, and what ever the price starts at or whether Arsenal or newcastle…liverpool will match it… Unless Dimmi himself says he not interested or the club this will continue to raise speculation right up until January……All this match has done has raise his stock further, hopefully its not his last hat-trick before January…….Its bcfc who needs to offer better terms to Dimmi, and longer contract…

    • mark says:

      and a big well done to clark who put him on the map………

      • Matt says:

        zzz…zzz… getting…boring…now…mark…

      • Marky mark says:

        Yeah well done to Clark, our of sheer desperation he chucked him in the team having failed miserably to get the best out of the other players, and then failed miserably to get the best out of Dimmi.

        Clark is a Muppet, bit like yourself Mark

        • mark says:

          that’s fine marky you are entitled to your opinion the fact remains clark gave him his opportunity whether you or I agree to disagree about his development we can argue all day long if you want… I must warn you i have thick skin mate so if you want to name call me it does not bother me the slightest…….anyway kro

    • almajir says:


      Why is it, no matter what you comment over – you take the opposite stance to me (and usually get it wrong)?

      You might be suprised…

      • mark says:

        if Dimmi should stay of course I would be surprised, equally i have a opinion, might not necessary be right or wrong this open until neither player stays or leaves…..Daniel this is your blog its not imperative we have to agree…..

  • tc says:

    Yesterday was a great result albeit not our best defencively but playing on the break with pace we looked capable of scoring everytime we put readings awful defence under pressure.Sadly I can see bihl selling gray in January and pocketing most of the money.Hopefully im wrong and we can secure at least a midtable position which 2 months ago we’d have taken as wishful thinking.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think the key to our recent success, has been the midfield. Cotterill, Gleeson, Shinnie, Davis, Gray, just clicked from day 1 of Rowett’s reign. I don’t think the previous manager ever combined those 5 did he? (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.) It just proves that he could spot a good player… he just didn’t know how best to use them.

    • raymondo says:

      That was Clark’s weakness. He could spot a good player but not get the best out of him tactically. This is what gives me so much more confidence in Rowett. He definitely can. The counter attacks that sprang from Reading’s 65% possession were spot on yesterday. Davis was instrumental in so many of them.

    • mark says:

      on top of rebuilding our team 3 x times, having players ripped way by parent clubs, nearly all the players mentioned have potential, blooding our younger players, making profit during his tenure….
      if Rowett has to do that during his tenure it be interesting…..

      • StaffsBlue says:

        You’d like to think Rowett could do all that… but only time will tell. So far, he’s done everything asked of him. Credit where it’s due. Although, I doubt he’ll have to build 2 teams per season. Well, you would hope not anyway.

      • iang says:

        you really can’t let things go can you . If clark was still manager now we would be bottom 3, do you really think we would of got 10 points from the last 4 home games with him still in charge
        It was clear he had no clue as far back as his first season losing to teams such as Barnsley 5-0 when he still had Davis, Burke, Redmond , Butland , King and Murphy etc at his disposal .
        Why don’t you look to a much brighter future with Rowett and stop defending the indefensible, your views on Clark have been proved to completely wrong

        • Tony says:

          Was about to say Clark could not manage a pi– up in a brewery, but that would clearly be untrue lol.

        • Tony says:

          HEAR HEAR, Just how much longer are these Clarkie groupies going on for?.
          He was the worst manager by far I have ever known, and you know what? the pra– still cant see it seen video of him joking around Blackpool’s stadium with out a care in the world.
          He should never work in Football again.
          At the start of his tenure there was myself and a couple others who said he was going to be a disaster ,over time nearly everyone came to that opinion there’s only a couple still defending him but they are just items of fun now.

  • Adrian Duffen says:

    As they say Goals win matches, possession just means you had more of the ball, but did you score with it?

  • paulo_bcfc says:

    None of us know what will happen next week, the Jan transfer window or at the end of the season. Hopefully it will end positively and GR will have taken a written off squad and made them into competitive and successful championship footballers. There will always be negative, spiteful and vindictive people out there that will try to undermine the positivity and success of Blues right now. This is also fully applicable to our owners.
    My only hope is that one day I can say I have respect for those who own us. Right now, I don’t trust anyone connected or affiliated with BIHL.
    I said yesterday if Dimmi was doing a Redmond ..and if he scored another – he’d be sold. Both on his second goal. I hope I didn’t tempt fate really.
    GR doing his job, the team are doing theirs, we are starting to show support in the stadium again …and it won’t be easy. But it’s the Birmingham way.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Brilliant game, really good to have been there to watch it. I thought that Shinnie and Davies were excellent and made a huge impact. It was also great to see Gray get a fantastic hat trick.
    Inevitably, the vultures are circling after this and hoping to exploit our financial position and pick a brilliant prospect on the very cheap. I really hope that the Board can reassure fans that we won’t be robbed of our young talent come January. KRO

  • raymondo says:

    I think that somebody up there likes us Blues fans. Why else would we have Gary Rowett at this crucial time in our history? Then we get Ziggy returned to us. We are being looked after by powers beyond our understanding. B…llocks to BIHL we’ll survive you and all the other negative forces reigned against us. . Merry Christmas to all Blues fans and a Happy New Year! I am a little drunk after this heady week-end result but who cares? KRO

  • RichardM says:

    Sadly I think we will lose Gray in Jan, remember he’s only 18, whether Blues or BIHL want to keep him will be irrelevant, will he have the maturity to turn down £15 or £20K a week to sit on the bench / play in the stiffs for a Premier club?

    I think the best we can hope for is a hefty transfer fee (£4 mill plus) with add-ons, and a loan back clause till the end of the season – similar to the Butland deal. Then hopefully Rowett can start working on Koby Arthur to help him deliver the potential that clearly exists….

  • Dave Mann says:

    25 games left to play and if we continue getting two points per game under Gary rowett, were have 75 points and that this season will get us in the playoffs…. I know ime getting above my station but that’s a fact and possible at this current rate of 14 points from 7 games….but of course were still looking over our shoulder at what’s going on behind us so we just need to carry on at this rate and hope January comes and goes with the squad we’ve already got and a couple of additions added which apparently rowett can do …Huddersfield, derby and forest to come so 6 points from those three and were on track going into the new year. Keep the faith and kro.

    • StaffsBlu says:

      I said at the start of the season that I thought this squad were good enough to finish between 12th and 10th. I still feel that, unless we have an injection of quality in January… then we might just squeeze into the play-offs. But 10th-12th would still be a good season for us… and an improvement on last season.

  • StaffsBlu says:

    Reading the BM this morning, it seems Gray has no intentions of leaving any time soon.

    ““I have had a bit already but I don’t really let that worry me or play on my mind,” Gray said. “I just concentrate on playing my football where I am right now and I am happy.”

    “It’s a nice feeling having been at the club since the age of ten. This club means everything to me. Being a Birmingham boy and being at the club since I was ten, it’s great to play for the first team.”

    That loyalty will be severely tested come January. Let’s hope he makes the right choice. ;)

  • Blue lizard says:

    Sadly the vultures will be circling come January…..They will offer rubbish money in the hope of getting players on the cheap as we have already seen .Agents wont give a stuff about a young player getting game time, just getting a deal through that earns them money and the player a high wage..I hope Gray can stay and learn his trade with us .I have more faith in the Greek looking out for our interests than I ever did in PP the devious fat dung beetle that was running things while lining his own pockets(my opinion nothing to do with OP)….but in the end China calls the shots when it comes to dosh!!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Agree 100% on every point… except PP2. He’s a BIHL employee and will serve their interests first, second and last.

      • Blue lizard says:

        Errrrrr?…hence the comment “China calls the shots when it comes to dosh”

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Err.. I meant having ‘faith’ in PP2.

          • Blue lizard says:

            Errr?Sadly I do have more faith in the Greek than I ever did in Fat Pete..i would have more faith in The Grinch than him…At least the greek has been open and seems keen to make a fist of it..none of these are my ideal choice but we are lumbered mate so you have to get on with it till if/when we are sold…..unless you have a better idea?

          • StaffsBlue says:

            If you trust anyone who works for BIHL, then fair enough, I’ve no problem with that. I never will, that’s all I’m saying.

  • Carl says:

    just picking up on Marks comment that Lee Clarke put Dimmy on the map ok !! BUT he never played Shinnie once ? case rested !! Gary Rowetts Blue n white army. KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      “BUT he never played Shinnie once ?”

      Not strictly true. He didn’t play him loads, but from this time last year (December 2013)…

      Started v Nott’m Forest Sat 21 Dec 2013
      Sub v Wigan Athletic – Thu 26 Dec 2013
      Started v Blackburn – Sun 29 Dec 2013
      Started v Barnsley – Wed 1 Jan 2014
      Sub v Yeovil – Sat 18 Jan 2014
      Started v Burnley – Wed 12 Mar 2014
      Started v Sheff Wed – Sat 15 Mar 2014
      Started v Reading – Sat 22 Mar 2014
      Started v Millwall – Tue 25 Mar 2014
      Started v Bournemouth – Sat 29 Mar 2014
      Sub v Doncaster Rov – Sat 5 Apr 2014
      Started v Middlesborough – Tue 8 Apr 2014
      Sub v Wigan Athletic – Tue 29 Apr 2014
      Started v Middlesborough – Sat 9 Aug 2014

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It seems that the Football League highlights show will be moving from BBC1 to Channel 5 @ 9pm from next season.

  • Blue lizard says:

    If you haven’t worked out my drift by now you never will ..you just carry on being picky…we have no choice is what I’m saying but out of the two Fat Pete over the Greek I ‘ll take the Greek…..doesn’t mean I like it nor would I want to go to the isle of Fernando with him but offer me another choice?…..
    now my casserole is ready!!

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