Often Partisan

Keeping the Conversation About Football

The transfer window may have now officially opened but it’s still very quiet at St Andrew’s. Despite links to a few players – including Christian Ribeiro of Exeter City yesterday, Blues have yet to sign a senior player this transfer window – a sea change from this point last year when Blues were about to make it a round half-dozen with the signings of David Edgar and Gavin Gunning.

It always surprises me that a section of fans will react with disgust if Blues are linked with any player from a team below us in the leagues. The link with Ribeiro (who I will admit I know very little about) was met with predictable disgust from some quarters. Yes, it’s true that only 14 of Ribeiro’s 123 league appearances have been at Championship level but I can’t understand why we should rule someone out purely because they have been plying their trade at a lower level.

I will affirm here and now I would much rather see us linked with a younger player from the lower leagues that has potential rather than a fading journeyman pro from the top flight looking for one last move before he winds down his career. For the life of me I cannot understand why people don’t want us to be in for a player that for all we know could end up like Jamie Vardy, making it from part time football to international duty – a player who is on an upward trajectory.

Sure, some of them won’t work out. For some, luck will be against them (like Matt Green), for others the Championship will be a step too far. The thing is, I think every one that even partially works out should pay for all the rest – because if they do work out then they will have resale value to someone else further up the chain.

Gary Rowett proved his quality last year – even with a fairly limited side Blues finished in the top ten; but for maybe a player or two more we could have done even better. His signings have in the main been either good or excellent; because of this he deserves our faith that he knows what he is doing even if we’re not sure about his choice of players.

What does concern me slightly is that time is ticking on now and with it becoming painfully obvious that BIH have had to borrow money to keep themselves afloat – indeed, borrowing money until they can secure a bigger loan – I think people’s worries about the club are starting to become apparent again. For all the positive work Panos Pavlakis has done with being accessible to fans and in trying to communicate, he now has to show his worth as the head honcho at Blues and get some deals across the line.

There has been talk that some are close and I do believe that’s true – if we can start bringing in players we can stop talking about rumour, stop worrying about where we’re looking for them and start thinking about how the team is going to shape up next season. Panos, let’s keep the conversations about who is going to be in the starting eleven – it’s more fun to be talking about that than more Hong Kong accountancy.

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72 Responses to “Keeping the Conversation About Football”

  • ray goodwin says:

    I agree Gary Rowett did a fantastic job last year with good signings. So ix trust what he is upto even if things are very quiet at the moments. On another thought whilst all very secretive, I wonder if trillion trophy Asia is the front company for someone else. I’m not sure someone flashing billions is a good thing,but investment would be good, but what is needed most of all is someone with a business brain and has the best interest of the club at heart. Easier said than done I know…

    • almajir says:

      Ray – it’s an investment vehicle. An investment vehicle is by definition a front company for someone else.

      • ray goodwin says:

        I guess the trillion pound question is who is it, iv heard lots of rumours, inc a company linked to prc but that’s the question its all smoke screen and mirrors at mo.

  • Kazakblue says:

    A very good post Daniel,

    as for the “Disgusted Fans” who feel that lower division players are beneath contempt and for signing never, let them put their money where their mouths are and come up with some serious and sensible ways to additionally fund the club through the coming seasons.

    I still find it shocking that as the so called second city of England, that there are no local Large businesses employing thousands of Midland football supporters who seem willing to sponsor or take over the football clubs of the region en mass.

    Maybe every contributor to your excellent site can find a millionaire or even a billionaire to write to officially and outline what BCFC can offer as a future potential investment for very little money compared to the potential returns on investment if promotion to the premiership were to happen.

    • Bluepenguin76 says:

      Talk to me tomorrow Kazak!! Once I win the Euro Millions it’s happy days!!

    • ndf says:

      Lets be realistic, the most successful teams in all leagues here have foreign owners who have money that they are prepared to play with and possibly lose.

      We were promised the same and at first things looked great but it turned out to be something else entirely as we now know so peoples scepticism is understandable.

    • Strettonbluenose says:

      “returns” from the premier league? Nah. The few fans disgusted at signings from a lower league wil be multiplied 100 fold if the owners don’t make big signings when we return to the PL. The owners don’t want to go straight back down and go for it. So promotion to the PL results in bigger losses and no return on investment. The only way they make any money is selling it on. Ask Randy Lerner.

  • Mitchell says:

    As regards new signings I feel the next 2weeks will determine our final views as to what is really happening at the club. If reports are correct and we sign players for a fee (eg Tesche) and get three similar players of quality who are not merely run of the mill stuff, then I will be genuinly optimistic. It has taken a while to accept from me that any new investors will and possibly always remain a mystery. It is how the world finances operate now I suppose and accept it we must. Take every season as it comes now and look forward to the June additions. As we are today, we cannot judge a single thing, but come 2weeks time..we will have a totally different perspective. I do get the vibes by GR’s silence that we will have smiles on our faces by June end.

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    Dan I agree with you. I think fans now are entranced by the mega millions of today and can’t believe you can have any talent or value unless you have cost a bomb!

    The truth is the is a wealth of talent in the lower leagues you only have to look at players like Lambert, Austin (and as you say) Vardy to realize that!. I’m sure Blues fans would bit their own hands off to have one of them up front now………….but they’d have been “crap” a few years back??

    Lets hope we are one of the clubs that unearth a few gems in the coming years! It WILL happen to someone, let’s hope our scouting team hits the footballing jackpot!!!

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Lower league signings can be great and represent a lower financial risk. Just look a Donaldson, Caddis, Randolph etc. Proves you don’t have to pay big bucks for a decent player. And who is to say that a multi-million pound princess from the Premiership or abroad is guaranteed to be more successful than a gem from the lower leagues?

  • waycoolblue says:

    I agree infect the premiership look at the lower leagues all the time so why can’t GR do this.
    there are some gens to be found in the lower leagues I remember David Myers rebuilding Everton using the best of the lower league players and getting promoted to the premiership and even then he shopped in the championship.

    I don’t know to much about Christian Ribiero but he is a big CD defender that can play right back or as a wing back and has a lot of pace.But GR will have excellent knowledge of the lower Leagues. So if there are any gems to be found he is the man to find them.

  • Dave mann says:

    It’s not as though we can afford a journey man premiership footballer looking for one last pay day because we can’t afford the wages!! .. Good young talented players from the championship or league one will do me and the club in its present situation , maybe one or two experienced players wouldn’t go a miss but let’s not panic because I reckon young Gary will bring in maybe two of three in one go and then were all be a little happier .. Tesche and foderingham will do me for starters . Kro

  • rhees says:

    Charlie Austin found in none leauge for one
    Great post Dan totally agree

  • KRO says:

    I agree with you Daniel about the young lower league players but i just hope the rumour about blues going for George McCartney is just a rumour he’s an awful player injury prone and to old if we get him we are going backwards not forward. KRO.

  • ChrisG says:

    You can shout about lower league signings & how good they could be til you’re blue in the face, the fact is some fans just don’t listen or understand the situation, they think by signing players for 10 or 20 million is the answer to everthing & as QPR have shown it isn’t. Yes i’d like to see big name stars playing for us but for now i’d be happy seeing a bunch or players who make up for a lack of skill by showing commitment to the cause & giving 100% in every game.

  • Wolverine69 says:

    I used to work with Christian Ribiero’s father and i have followed his career closely. 4/5 years ago he was on a real upward trajectory linked to a number of big championship clubs and 1/2 premiership clubs. He is a really explosive full back / centre half, and has had a number of injuries, which is not uncommon with that type of player. This has set him back and I believe that he dropped down a division or 2 to build up his experience and get back to being match fit.
    He has a couple of Wales caps and i believe is still well regarded in those quarters. On the basis he is young out of contract, with a lot of potential and a willingness to learn and he has proved that he is beyond his initial injury problems, he is exactly the sort of player that Gary could work his magic with to further improve.

  • Adam True Blue says:

    A good premiership player can be made to look bad by poor support from his team mates, whereas lesser but talented players working as a team can shine. As long as we have quality, giving their all for the shirt and each other is good enough for me. In GR I trust. Kro.

  • STEVE says:

    I think whoever is looking to buy us hasnt allot of money. Generally people who are loaded like to broadcast their wealth!
    As for lower league players, well they are hungry and what they may not have in skill consistency they show in determination. Remember the dean peers and john frains of back in the day 110% weekly.

    I must say over the last 3-4 year since relegation i’ve been a little disappointed with blues fans. There has become too much expectation after europe and the prem.
    If we want to compete we need more than 14,000 which is embarrassing in my eyes. Makes me laugh when people claim to be supporters but when you ask them how many games they have been to they say none. As for tesche I’ll believe it when I see it

    • almajir says:

      Completely disagree.

      The merely rich like to broadcast their wealth.

      The truly rich don’t need to.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Completely agree with your last two paragraphs though ! Kro

    • Bluey says:

      Steve, apparently crowd size is irrelevant because they don`t need our money at the turnstile. Anyway the poor attendances are down to many fans being fed up with the way the club has been mis-managed by BIH and are effectively voting with their feet.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Will they come back though when they do finally go??.. I think not ! IMO . Kro

        • Sir Harry 1875 says:

          Your dead right. Theres always an excuse. Owners, manager, Serbians on too much money etc etc. Oh unless you get a good cup tie or a play-off semi or even a final and then we have 30,000 who claim to have been going for years and stuck by them through thick and thin. Pathetic.

          • Dave mann says:

            Sir Harry that’s the quote of the day mate , absolutely bang on , we’ll said pal !! Ito

      • waycoolblue says:

        I went to 9 home games last season I work abroad a lot so it is hard for me to get to many games. But all the games I did get to the crowed was getting bigger as time went on. I was at the home game V Wolves and that was FULL and also the Wigan game was pretty well full. I think the supporters are already coming back and that is down to MR Rowett. He as put a cense of belief back in to the club. If the team play well and win games the crowed will grow and even if the lows but show 110% the crowed will get behind them. I trust Gary Rowett he as real passion and belief in what he is dong and he knows what the supporters want from the team.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          I think we averaged over 17,000 since GR came in. You can’t blame people for losing interest during the LC era. I went to virtually every home game expecting to lose and more often than not that is exactly what happened.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Do I want modern day equivalents of Peer and Frain? Most certainly not. Ability first please. I also don’t want any more of the ilk of Ambrose, Mullins, Eardley and Edgar. All appearing to be past it and lacking motivation

    • kford bluenose says:

      Just been catching up on OP and felt the need to respond to this. So the general feel is if you don’t get to every game you ain’t loyal, what BS, I can’t get to loads of games, in fact it’s mainly away games I get to, however even if I couldn’t get to any matches I still love the blues as much as any season ticket holder and that’s because I’m a born and bred brummie and in my eyes I didn’t have a choice of teams. IMO if we could choose our team we would just become glory hunters but we’re not and that’s why we love our club. Doesn’t it seem strange the amount of yam yams that are proud of their shitty black country but are happy to walk around in claret and blue!! I wish my mom could have given birth to me in Barcelona general hospital however it was Selly Oak and that’s why my blood runs pure and blue. KRO

  • Bluey says:

    The reason fans look at players like Vardy,Lambert etc is becuse they are the notable exceptions to the rule. Generally there is a very good reason why a player has spent most of his time in lower divisions and very few progress much higher other than youngsters learning their trade.This guy from Exeter is 25,i believe,so surely by now he`d have been picked up by better clubs. The truth, however unpalatable,is that GR is hamstrung by a serious lack of funding and is doing a good job but i see little grounds for optimism apart from Championship consolidation. We need new ownership,new investment and fresh ideas but with BIHL going nowhere i`m afraid it`s going to be a case of treading water for the next few years (at best).

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Ian Rush came from the lower leagues. He wasn’t too bad. If I could be bothered to think hard about it I could probably think of dozens of others. It’s going too happen less because the top clubs are getting better at mopping up the best young players at a very early age for their academies. Just because people havnt heard of a player doesn’t mean they are not any good. I hadn’t heard of Michael Morrison until we signed him. Hope the rumours about us signing Tesche for £500k are true.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Remember when we signed Steve Finnan from Welling Town. He went on to play for Liverpool!!! Just checked the fees. We bought him for 100k and Liverpool bought him from Fulham for £3.5m!!

      • Dan H says:

        Blues have always done alright buying from Lower Leagues

        Ian Bennett – Peterborough
        Steve Claridge – Cambridge
        Bryan Hughes – Wrexham
        Martin Grainger – Brentford
        Paul Devlin – Notts County
        Michael Johnson – Notts County
        Liam Daish – Cambridge
        Scott Hiley – Exeter
        Paul Holmes – Torquay
        Kevin Miller – Exeter
        Martyn O’Connor – Walsall
        Chirs Marsden – Stockport

        All from lower league clubs at the time and all went on to play successfully at Championship or Premier level with Blues or other clubs.

        It’s all about scouting

  • Big Al says:

    I’ve always been interested in the opinions of opposing fans from the team transfer targets currently play for. The only time I recall them calling it wrong was Wolves fans telling us Davis was a complete dud. We were however warned about Eardley, Ambrose, Lovenkrands, Grant Hall to name a few. Makes you wonder how qualified you have to be, to be a scout.

  • Sir, A common misconception about Everton having never been relegated. In 1950/51 season they finished bottom of the top flight, and were promoted back in 1953/54, runners up behind Leicester.

  • Captain Blues says:

    I completely agree about lower league players as they have more to prove, despite Matt Green not really working out I was quite excited when we signed him on the basis he’d had an incredible couple of years (admittedly at conference level) and it was alleged he’d turned down bigger money elsewhere as he felt he had more opportunity at Blues.
    Sometimes there is a question mark that players in the lower divisions will never have the quality for championship level and in some cases it will be true but if you take the case of Andre Gray at Brentford who has just had a cracking season and yet 3 years ago was playing for Hinckley United, sometimes it doesnt work but sometimes you can uncover a gem.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Only one signing so far, but fans need to be patient. There is no doubt lots of activity behind the scenes and with the start of pre-season training still weeks away and players still on holiday there are no grounds for pessimism in my eyes.

  • TonyB says:

    Let’s not forget that Rowett has been taking a well deserved family holiday as will have many/most of his targets. I’m sure he would have reacted to serious situations whilst away but it’s only now he’s back at work that he can really drive things on.

    I also trust his eye for a lower league player with potential.

  • optimisticbluenose says:

    I have to say I am not worried at all about Blues (lack of) transfer dealings currently – there is soo much time to go until the window closes and although it would be nice to have everyone in well before pre-season – to be in that situation is generally not the norm – would be great to get Tesche in, but I am fairly sure Rowett will hit more gems than turnips

  • Mitchell says:

    I have been banging on about 3players from lesser clubs that I feel we should get asap. They will certainly be snapped up in days. Sorry to bore you all but Bryne and Hylton(Swindon) and Pringle(Rotherham). are just what GR needs.These coupled with Tesche and Foderingham will do me.

  • Dave mann says:

    Mitchell, I trust in your judgement mate and if those three are what we need along with Tesche and froderingham then that will do for me ! Kro

  • Mitchell says:

    Thanks for the confidence Dave Mann. If I ever become BCFC manager…you’re my number 2 !

  • Dave Mann says:

    We’re give Gary a chance then if he does one then we’re put the Blues to right and take over the job and get us back in the premier league where we should be! … Seriously though its a toss of a coin if any player comes off from what ever league they come from .. Names are names and it doesent mean that it will guarantee anything . Let the party begin!! Kro

  • blackcountryblues says:

    great to be talking football nice post

  • paulieboy says:

    Mitchell,I would like to put myself forward in joining you and Dave.M. in the backroom for our new management team if possible?!
    The only trouble is the man in the managers seat at the moment is far to good to be replaced and I am hoping his there for the long stay.
    Alternative solution, why don’t we form a committee between the 3 of us and help the Messiah pick new players? I have to say the possible signing of Ribiero shows the average quality of signings we may have to put up with until the finances get better( 25 years old and 7 clubs in the lower leagues doesn’t thrill me with excitement, nightmare scenario: him and Robinson at the back!))
    Lets get Tesche signed up and then see how we go from there.
    When do we start our new positions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dave mann says:

      I love it when we talk like that …positive and meaningful and Paulieboy your more than welcome to join our club ..let’s get our club moving ! Kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Well Jay Emmanuel Thomas won’t be joining. He has just signed for QPR.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Speculation on Gray’s future seems to have calmed down a bit in the media. Would be great to keep him for another year as I think next season is a big one now he’s a nailed on starter.
    Otherwise,not overly concerned about the lack of activity as I’m sure GR knows what he’s doing and has a plan. Tesche would be great but as his contract has run down at Forest why would he cost 500k?

  • paulieboy says:

    I wouldn’t worry over Jay E-Thomas,Richard – Highly overrated and another wh has never reached his potential after doing the circuit with a few clubs over the past few years.
    There’s plenty more for us to tap into, but GR needs to appoint the “Mitchel,D.Mann and Paulieboy Players Consultancy” quickly if the right signings are to be made before Real Madrid snap us up!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Between us we’re get these bastards out dont you think .. ? Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    41 days since last season ended.. time for Mr Rowett to sharpen his pencil and start getting a couple (at least) to sign on the dotted line. As for lower league players, I’m fine with that if they’re the right players. I was quite happy with most of last season’s ‘buys,’ and they didn’t turn out too bad in the end did they? We were only a couple of quality players away from having an excellent season.

    Whoever the new players may be, it’s time to get a wriggle on, with only about 3 weeks left to the start pre-season… and 5 until our first friendly.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    With Ribieri on the radar it looks like Plan B could be 3-5-2. It was plain to see at Reading that Caddis and Grounds are suitable as wing backs

  • waycoolblue says:

    I think there is one sinning holding everything up as soon as that is sorted the rest will follow.

  • Bluemaximus says:

    I was genuinely excited when we signed Hleb. Look what happened there. Have trust in Gary and his teams judgement. Spend wisely, rebuild. He has transformed a team that I was pretty sure to be amongst the worst set of players I had ever seen at St Andrews since the Wheldon/Kumar days. Good coaching proved me wrong. Good managers/coaches make average players better. I truly believe we have already hit the jackpot with Rowett & his team!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has signed a 3 year deal with QPR.

  • Auld Bertie says:

    I shed no tears about losing out to Derby for Scott ‘Calamity’ Carson who were able to offer a better financial package than us (surprise, surprise). I just fear we have to brace ourselves for similar disappointment during the transfer window as consequence of us not having a pot to pee in :(

  • Brumbie says:

    Let’s be realistic we are not going to sign quality players are we ? Quality players go to clubs with money and we ain’t got any. We must try to pick up some decent players and mould a solid team who can maybe sniff around the playoffs which would be a good season. We aren’t cash rich and don’t get big crowds the better players will go to bigger clubs who have more glamour and pay more money. We have never been the big name club that players want to sign for so we have to attract the best we can and build slowly.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Brumbie, that’s very realistic but very very true and it hurts me to admit it but your right and we have yo deal with it ! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Ravel Morrison available? .. Loved him last time , who knows ! Kro

  • For me this summers signings will prove what this boards intentions are , and what their capabilities are ,their are only so many players out there that can improve the first team and we ain’t signed anybody yet , blues need to stop talking intent and start proving it , they need to sign a quality player first and now so others will be willing to follow, ….kro

  • Brumbie says:

    Williammorgan, it would be nice if we signed a quality player but I don’t think it will happen good players cost money and we all know our situation. We have to accept that we have no financial clout and we are not a big name club so it will be almost impossible to attract quality players. I think we are now the type of club who buys young players to develop and then sell on for a profit to bigger clubs. I wish it was different but that’s where we are as a football club. We have never been able to hold on to our best players ie Francis Latchford Savage ……….. I could go on and on !

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