Often Partisan

The Comedown

In front of the largest crowd this season at St Andrew’s this season, Birmingham City capitulated to a 4-0 defeat against Derby County. The result might have flattered the visitors slightly but there was no doubt which side was superior and Gary Rowett will now have to pick up his troops for the trip to the Tricky Trees tomorrow.

I think it would be absolutely churlish to deny that Derby County were one of the best sides at St Andrew’s in recent times. McClaren clearly had them set up to nullify the Blues attacking threat, with John Eustace sitting on Andy Shinnie to stop the Scot from wreaking the sort of havoc he did against Reading while former Blues loanee Jordon Ibe and Johnny Russell both did well to push the Blues full-backs right back. The consequence was Blues had virtually nothing going forwards – and Derby were much more clinical in punishing defensive mistakes than others usch as Reading had been.

Derby are blessed with some excellent youth talent, and Will Hughes (making his 101st league appearance at just 19) was a particular shining light in the Rams midfield – and I’m not just on about his bright blond hair. He was at the middle of everything for Derby and I hope that Rowett will show DVDs of his performance to players like Reece Brown to show them what they should be aiming for – the level of authority and control held over a game despite relative tender years.

Rowett now faces the second challenge of his Blues managerial career. Yesterday it became obvious that Rowett should have changed things tactically beforehand – something he tried to rectify with two early subs – and the question is now whether he will shuffle the pack against Forest. From speaking to fans there Forest don’t like players running at them in the same way that Reading didn’t which suggests that the likes of Dimmi Gray should be kept in despite playing poorly yesterday – but I think the bigger change needed is resting Donaldson for a game and giving Thomas a run. Wes looked hungry and up for it on his introduction and I think his pace and power could be a bigger threat in front of the cameras.

Needless to say, I don’t think it’s panic stations – and if anything it’s a welcome reality check. This team isn’t good enough for anything above mid-table mediocrity and while I hope we do continue to strive for better I think as fans we have to accept that there will be results like yesterday in the short term as Rowett gets used to what we have and starts changing the personnel within the squad. There is no shame in losing to a better team and Derby were that – I think they’re nailed on to go up – what’s important is learning from the mistakes made and showing players where they need to improve. I trust Rowett to do both – and that, in reality, is why I’m happy he’s the boss.

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50 Responses to “The Comedown”

  • rhees says:

    A blip nothing more. No one should really think we can make play offs mid table at end of sdaon would be excellent.
    Garry has got lots of work to do as he well knows and he will sort it just hope the board find a few quid to support him.
    Fancy us to draw at Forrest but will be singing what ever I believe the tide is turning for us, slowly but turning none the less.
    Keep it up Dan great stuff

  • steve says:

    I agree,i don’t think there is anything to panic about. The first two goals was down to our poor play.Nobody put a tackle in for the first goal.If ever there was a time to take a booking for the team,that was it. The 2nd was from a poor pass from a very poor Cotterill on the edge of Derby’s box.Again,somebody could have took a booking for the team. If we had been given what looked like a stonewall penalty in the 2nd half,or if Thomas had scored just after he came on,it could have been different. We looked lightweight and bullied in Midfield and Gray was stifled like Shinnie. A result to bring us back down to earth,but no need to start panicking. Derby were the best i,ve seen this season and probably last season as well yesterday.I trust GR to sort it out.It may also put a stop to play off talk.It was never going to happen this season.

  • steve says:

    It may have been different if Cristiano Ronaldo hadn’t snubbed us. Good old Sully,what a team we could have had if the players that have snubbed us,according to Sully, had signed instead.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yeah we would have ronaldo,Gareth bale, maradona and zidane as well so never mind.. But we’ll beaten yesterday and no reasons to get to down because we’ve got forest to put it right and a win will give rowett 20 points from 10 games which will keep us on course.. Had a feeling yesterday that it would go pear shaped but kept me gob shut so not to upset the family.. We will win tommorow trust me and be back on track, keep the faith and kro

  • Jaffa says:

    Totally agree Dan.The players showed us just what level they are at yesterday and that is mid table.Thomas was electric when he came on so i think a reshuffle is a must for tomorrow.I am going to the Forest game with the hope that Blues give us a reaction and i don’t think Forest will be as good as Derby were yesterday.Here’s hoping.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    To be panicking at this point would be way over the top. As with the Blackpool game, it’s only one defeat, not a run of them. This squad is going to have results like yesterday now and then, but it’s not the end of the world by any means. I said before the game, that I thought Rowett got the selection and the formation wrong, but hey, nobody’s perfect. We were far too lightweight in midfield and with all due respect to Donaldson, if you’re a lone striker who rarely scores goals, then you need some help. If Donaldson plays, then Thomas has to play up there with him, or the goal difference is going to increase in deficit.

    Having said that, I don’t think we need wholesale changes, but we have to strengthen our weak points. Both full backs need protecting, plus, I think Shinnie has been found out quite quickly, in that, teams only have to deploy someone to stand on him (as Eustace did yesterday) and he becomes totally ineffective. But, these are little creases for Rowett to iron out. He’ll have learned more from yesterday’s game than he did against Reading and I’m sure he’ll sort it in time for the Forest game.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I said after the Blackpool game, that if we got 6 or 7 points out of the 4 games before the turn of the year, we’ll be well-placed for a crack at the top 10-12. Well, we’re still on target for that tally. A point or more against Forest and things will still look pretty good. In fact, if we beat them, we’ll be level with them on points.

  • Paul Hawkins says:

    Anybody who was thinking of us seeking into the playoffs have now hopefully realised that it’s just too soon. We still have someway to go before we can even consider that but there is definite potential with the squad we have and also the youngsters.

  • john says:

    Blues were well outplayed by a Derby team, superior in every department. They were fitter, faster and as a consequence, worked much harder. This is no criticism of the work that Gary Rowett has put in since he’s been at Blues just an observation of the difficulty he has, working with players who are not in the class of the Derby team. I saw Norwich have 70% of the possession ,when playing a 2 all draw with Derby last week, so it shows there are more teams,who are a long way ahead of Blues. I think Gary Rowett will prove to be an excellent manager for Blues, unfortunately, he is held back (for the time being ) by a bunch of directors, who have no idea, or no inclination, probably both, of how to run a football club. It is vitally important, that all Blues fans remember that these directors will stop our club moving forward,, they are a cancer, that must, be cut out. All the problems, off and on the field ,are caused by them and them alone !

  • Tony E says:

    Perhaps this defeat will provide a reality check for some supporters. I’ve seen talk of reaching the play offs and that the team does not need strengthening. Don’t know if we will be able to bring players in during January, but we certainly could do with a few. Perhaps it will depend on whether we manage to move a few out first, which will not be easy, we will have to wait and see.

  • andy says:

    Derby were excellent and by far the best team I have seen Blues come up against for some time. I actually believe, despite what Rowett and some players are saying, that Blues were lucky they were only beaten by 4. Still, as dan pointed out, Blues are a mediocre mid table side at best and it should be no surprise that the top teams in this league turn us over.

  • nicko says:

    derby were better than us but to be fair we gave them 3 of there goals i agree at 2 0 we had a stonewall
    penalty not given but we will have days like that lets hope for better at forest

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I am impressed by the lack of doom and gloom from posters regarding the Derby defeat.
    Blues are at the start of a gradual improvement under GR’s stewardship. We ARE going to be beaten by the top sides which have more money to spend than us. BUT we are heading in the right direction, although talk of the play-offs this season is not credible.

  • dwarf 1962 says:

    I have a £5 bet with my postie that we will make the play offs, i might as well pay him now, but what a team we have become thanks to mister Rowett. I think we will end the season a very good team, next season a great team. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Play-off ambitions are just pie-in-the-sky. Mid-table should be what we’re aiming for, after all, no one ever got relegated finishing mid-table. This squad is good enough to hold its own in this division (apart from the odd tanning like yesterday,) but we’re a good 5 or 6 quality signings away from the play-offs. So, let’s aim for safety this season, then see what next season brings.

  • DoctorD says:

    Staffs….the voice of reason. You are always sane and sensible.

  • Stan Moye says:

    Whilst no one ever likes losing a game, this may serve as a blessing in disguise. Every team in the championship is capable of winning on there day, but most of us would acknowledge Derby are one of the better footballing teams. What l do find encouraging is the attendance, which should send a clear message to not only the current owners, but also prospective buyers, that the fans are still there, they just need to show the same desire and loyalty. l’m sure GR has players in mind he’d like to sign in January, but he will also be aware that whoever comes in must fit in with the team spirit he and his team have developed. Hope Forest get the game on, should be a cracker with both teams having something to prove, but fancy we’ll come away with at least a point.

  • mark says:

    As i mentioned in the previous blog by Daniel that forest are there for the taking, manager getting stick, their fans on his back, the team not that impressive…….so maybe a easy win for blues?/
    well maybe i will tell you later come you blue boys………

  • StaffsBlue says:

    He’s playing the same team against Forest. A bit surprised tbh.

  • Tony says:

    Time to forget about Derby, they were a much better side have to accept that and move on.
    Like Staffs am surprised hes picked the same side obviously thinks they can play a lot better, well lets hope so.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Blues win 3-1, Yet another win for Gary Rowett, who said he did not know what he is doing,?. lol.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t think anyone did to be honest. Just a bit surprised that one or two weren’t rested that’s all. By halfway through the second half, there were a few blowing out their ar$es… like Gray, Cotterill, Caddis, Gleeson and a couple of others.

      • Blueboy88 says:

        Can’t you just show some humility & say Rowett was right & you were wrong?

        He got the team selection spot on & a great 3 points away at Forest.

      • mark says:

        Tbh staffs I would have agreed with you……but gr knew he would have been shafted if he made too many changes….,at the moment its about confidence which gr got at this moment in time. Players you hope will respond to a second chance……which in fair they did…. It great to see Donaldson keeping Ziggy out of the team… That guy works his bollox off, and its for the team….I can see him getting into double figures..

        • steve says:

          Rubbish. I think most fans would have understood if changes had been made today.

          • mark says:

            So he took a massive gamble keeping the continuity and the togetherness???….and it paid off…sorry could you not be there?? Bringing in other players may have unsettled the side…if you bother to read my other comments, he need to give these players a chance of redemption, and it worked.

          • steve says:

            Didn’t you see me there Mark ?

          • StaffsBlue says:

            If bringing in other players unsettles the side, what’s the point in having a squad? :s

        • mark says:

          Sorry staffs my point was that he need to stick with these eleven, making wholesale changes would have in my opinion blunted the players confidence…the blyth game he rest players he if wishes too..
          Yes you are completely right there should be others within the squad who could come in..it appears gr motto at the moment is to see how far the present eleven can go…there is element of risk in this should a couple of his first teamers move on…say in January……

  • Major Sharpe says:

    Derby are a better team than us and will, in all likelihood, win promotion this season. I trust Rowett’s judgement more than I ever did Clark’s and if he believes the players can ‘go again’ then good enough for me. Looks like he called it right in the end v Forest as well doesn’t it…

  • steve says:

    Well i thought that was a great result and a very good performance. The players certainly repaid Rowett’s faith today. Gary Rowett’s new fitness programme is obviously working a treat. A couple of things that didn’t change from Friday is that Cotterill is still sloppy with his passing and Shinnie still gets knocked off the ball to easily. Good to see Donaldo get on the scoresheet.His work rate deserves more. I wasn’t sure at the time,but it looks like he scored two goals. A great response from the team and a thoroughly deserved win. Some stories about Blues fans smashing up a christmas tree at the train station.If it’s true,Well done tools,you must be very proud

  • Raymondo says:

    Certainly a surprise today, two resultst this week that I wouldn’t have quite expected.. A new player or two nex? The demises of PP on 6th January? It never ceases to surprise you. this club! KRO.

  • Tony says:

    Well I was surprised he didnt rest a couple for this game but I’m glad he never, Rowett got it spot on, I fancied a draw but delighted with the win of course.
    This sets us up nicely, a few teams on 31 points we can make hay now.

    • steve says:

      I would be surprised if there aren’t changes made for the Blyth game. I think non league defenders will really struggle with Ziggy’s height and Thomas’s pace.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    The two main candidates for a rest pre kick off were Cottrill and Donaldson for me. They turned out to be our best 2 players today so no complaints. Also the defence were superb today.

  • Pete says:

    Would pretty much change whole team tbh. We have not got a league game until 10th, so give a few a chance to holiday for 3-4 days and rest. Look at the side that could play in the cup- Doyle, hall, Hancock, Spector, Edgar, Arthur, Reilly, brown, moussi, zigic, Thomas/Novak. That side can play and allow others a rest for what is a tough 4 months ahead. I for one, do think plays offs is a possibility as a win against Blackpool or derby would have had us just 6 points off. We are outsiders, but I do think there is a chance with a fit and motivated squad. They are playing well but look like they need a rest.

  • Pete says:

    Tbh I would rest the whole team against Blyth. We could give players a 3-4 day complete rest with the next league game 12 days away. We could play a side with Doyle, Spector, Edgar, Martin/Hall, Hancox, Arthur, moussi, Reilly, brown, Novak/zigic, Thomas and they should be more than comfortable to deal with Blyth. I am going to dammit I still think we have an outside shot at playoffs nod a win at Blackpool would have left us just 6 points off. So we should go for it, ALTHOUGH I do think they need a rest for the next testing 4-5 months.

  • Stevie W says:

    Not so much of a comedown more of a leveling given yesterdays result. Steady as we go I would say.

    As for the cup agree with others play a completely different team.

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