Often Partisan

In Need of a Defender

Michael Morrison is potentially a doubt for the weekend having been substituted “as a precaution” in the Capital One Cup win over Bristol Rovers. With David Edgar having been loaned out to Sheffield United without a recall clause it potentially leaves Blues with two fit centre-backs – Paul Robinson and Jonathan Spector – for the clash with Burnley at the weekend.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say a large number of Blues fans have been saying for a while that Blues needed a centre-back – even before Edgar was loaned out. I can’t believe Blues have been caught in this situation – I had hoped that with Edgar going out it was pre-empting a player coming but as of the time of writing (midnight CET Thursday) there is no movement at all on that front.

It’s not the first time Blues have been in this situation either. On January 21, Blues loaned out David Edgar leaving many of us wondering when a replacement would be brought in but it wasn’t until February 12 that Rob Kiernan arrived at Blues on loan from Wigan. Of course, we all know what happened with Kiernan this summer so he’s not going to come in – the question is who will – and importantly, when?

There were rumours about Jake Buxton coming from Derby and I can see why people would think this. With Jason Shackell having come to the iPro from Burnley Derby have a defender spare and Buxton is thought to be of interest to Rowett. He’s just come back from a back injury and one would have thought he might have played in Wednesday night’s game against Portsmouth as he continues on the comeback trail but he didn’t make the 18. I couldn’t tell you if he was left out as he still isn’t fit enough or because there could be a move for him.

One player who won’t be coming is Liam Moore. Leicester City are said to be weighing up sending the 22-year-old out on loan to a Championship side and Blues were linked on various sites but Colin Tattum rebuffed rumours on the Blues Wall saying that they were just that – rumours – and nothing more.

I really do hope Blues sort this out as soon as possible. It’s not just Morrison that’s a worry; for as well as Spector played against Reading his injury record isn’t great and I really, really, really would prefer it if Blues weren’t relying on Paul Robinson as first choice centre-back. Beneath the first team, Blues would be going to rookie pros like Wes Harding and Josh Martin – for all the talent both of these players have shown it’s tough to throw a 17-year-old centre-back into the Championship.

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59 Responses to “In Need of a Defender”

  • Adam True Blue says:

    Rumours rumours everywhere and not a player in sight, why do we always seem to leave signing players until right at the last minute or in most cases when its to late, we all know that we have a deficit so why not fill the gaps now. Kro

  • Adam True Blue says:

    Do we know if GR reads this blog? does he have an alias like PP1 did?

  • Ken says:

    I recall this is how Morrisons 6 weeks absence started last year….played down at first but then the full extent of the injury was out there. The Jake Buxton thing I believe is true…its been there all summer and always on the basis that Jason Shackell would go back to Derby….despite rebuttals, there has been some truth in most of the names bandied about. My feeling is that there has been some “discussion” within the club about the names of various targets being leaked out from non-playing sources…and the way forward is now to deny everything….which might well be as it shd be I guess! Esp bearing in mind how Emmauel-Thomas slipped away!

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    He did the same last season with Edgar and it’s a real head scratcher. Let him go when you’ve got another centre back lined up!! If Morrison is injured we are on the edge again in defence.

  • edd77 says:

    With Robinson playing most of his career at left back and Spector a utility player you could argue if Morrison was injured we haven’t got a genuine centre back at all and that worries me big-time, robbo showed in a couple of games last season he best days are behind him ,and with Burnley and Derby up nxt ,we need to act now

  • Stephen says:

    GR has very limited funds available and he has already indicated that he does not want to be lumbered with a stop-gap who will only play a few games until we can get a better quality player. It looks like we will have to run on empty for a while. It’s not ideal but let’s hope we don’t start suffering from heavy defeats in the interim.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Rowett seems to have an unshakeable trust in Paul Robinson… I wish I shared it. Robbo has been a bosting servant since he came to the club, but his days are numbered. Sure, he can still put in the odd decent performance, but to expect him to play Saturday/Tuesday for any length of time is asking for trouble imo. Personally, I think this should have been sorted weeks ago, it was fairly obvious to most people that this situation was inevitable. Even if Morrison is available for the Burnley game, this should be a wake up call.

    • DaveBCFC says:

      I couldn’t agree more. He has been a fantastic servant to the club, but he is now more of a risk than a certainty. He should stick to being an influence in the dressing room and on the training ground, and nothing more.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I said before the game on Turesday there were two he definitely shouldnt risk for the Bristol game and that was Donaldson and Morrison. It was daft risking him for the game with our central defender situation. The Championship is far more important than the League Cup. A misjudgement I am afraid.

  • DaveBCFC says:

    I have to say I feel it’s alarming short-sightedness from Mr Rowett. To let Edgar go without a replacement lined up is a rookie error. One can argue that Gary could not have foreseen an injury to Morrison; but he should have been aware an injury or red card is a possibility, if not probability at some point, and therefore it should have been a priority.

    Likewise, an attacker. Wes Thomas and Lee Novak showed they simply cannot be relied upon at any decent level now. In my opinion, we also now only have one striker – Donaldson.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The thing with Novak and Thomas, neither are lone strikers, never have been. Unfortunately, we don’t play 4-4-2, so it’s not really surprising they don’t do so well in the odd game they play.

      • DaveBCFC says:

        That’s true – but as it’s the system we DO play then neither can be considered anything but a waste of bench space.

        • atko says:

          To be fair to GR, Blues are now playing HIS system & neither Novak or Thomas were brought in by him, they were already here. As they are contracted to the club his hands are tied. I’m sure he would hope for nothing better than for them to fit in his system then he wouldn’t be on the look out for anyone else but these things happen. The situation up front is a little more unfortunate than the one at the back. The one at the back is more desperate as it has a direct influence on whether we lose games where as up front we can always hope for someone coming in & scoring & that we can score from other areas of the pitch. It only has a limited affect on us winning games. The problem for GR is the two areas we desperately need cover are the same to areas every other club in the football league look to strengthen or ensure they have plenty of cover for more than any other position. The quality for the budget clearly just isn’t there. I do however, wish the club would come out & say what the situation is with Edgar. If GR doesn’t rate him then why keep him & keep loaning him out? Transfer list him & get some much needed cash because the fact that clubs take him out on loan indicates he is wanted somewhere else. If he does rate him then who is the gaffer here? TELL HIM he is playing in defence when called upon. Stop pussy footing around him & kick is ass IMO! I hate the fact that footballers are treated with kid gloves these days. Either pick him or get shut of him for good!!

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Nobody else plays 4-4-2. Look what happened to the Baggies on Monday night when they did – they got overrun in midfield by Man C as Tony Pulis has admitted. Novak and Thomas are FL1 standard. We have been highly successful with 4-2-3-1 so why keep going on about it? Who would you like to drop in order to accomodate Novak or Thomas?

  • Retired&Weary says:

    The only person seemingly not panicking at the moment is GR. I am sure that if it comes to the crunch he will get a decent centre back on loan or on a free. What he won’ t do is go for somebody he doesn’t rate. All subject to his budget, or lack of budget, of course.
    When criticising the lack of signings, one up front, boring football, etc., etc., don’t forget his results since he came in, especially at home. Unlike the previous “manager” he has organised so-called average players into a team that punches well above its weight. What more can be expected?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Gary Rowett knows better than any of us that we need a central defender.
    He could sign one tomorrow if he wanted to, but he is waiting for the “right” one to become available.
    The “right” one being the one that is better than we already have and will improve the team, not just add to the numbers.

  • Luke says:

    If Morrison is out I hope we go with Spector and Grounds in the middle and Hancox at LB. Robinson can play 20 mins to reasonable effect (like against Reading), but I can’t see him being effective for 90 minutes.

    There must be some fringe CBs that failed to make Prem 25s available for loan, surely? The lad Bartley did a good job us a couple of seasons back.

    • Bluepengin76 says:

      Luke,I would agree that shifting Grounds into the centre and playing Mitch,may be the best solution! Robinson is now lost for pace and it could cost us dearly against one of the better teams!

      I wouldn’t even be against giving Harding a run out in the centre. I believe he played excellently alongside Spector in pre-season (Might be a bridge too far for the young lad yet tho)

      Hopefully Rowett has already got his feelers our and he can plug the few gaps that we have left!

  • Andrew says:

    I’m afraid this is where we are at, it’s one area in a team that if it’s not sorted out you will get found out. I’ve said it before we WILL leak goals with that shambles, no doubt. team is still very weak

  • JohnnyZulu says:

    Who says Morrison is a doubt?
    Robinson was our best defender at the Gas and Grounds can play centre back.
    Rowett wouldn’t have let Edgar go if there wasn’t good reason.
    Rowett has said he is looking at a striker and centre back for options so why all the hysteria? He knows what he is doing.Harding and Bernard are nowhere near ready and for all those saying we should never have got rid of Packwood he has hardly gone on to better himself has he? Chill out people

  • Mitchell says:

    I get the feeling we are waiting until we get a real spanking before the intro. of a ‘proper’ CH. Unless a CH is added before the Burnley game..then that’s how I foresee it.

    • atko says:

      Dare I be so bold as to say Burnley haven’t got the quality to ‘spank’ anyone! That’s taking nothing away from them, they are a hard working team but they aren’t renowned for scoring a lot of goals in a game. They do a lot of huffing & puffing & long ball stuff & from what I have seen of them against Leeds last weekend I wasn’t overly concerned about. I think they will struggle this season.

  • krotom says:

    I do wish people would be more positive on this blog.
    I agree with JZ far to much hysteria with fans only being happy if they have something to moan about.
    We have had a reasonable start to the season. This time last year we were all worried about the clubs survival.
    We are not like other championship clubs who have money to spend, so what is going on is in my mind good.
    Last year we signed poor quality players , this year we are trying to sign players of better quality. We have signed a couple but even signing loan costs money. Salaries have to be paid and and even loan players do not come with low salaries.
    I do think we need a couple of players but i am happy to trust the judgement of GR and the rest of the team to resolve this.
    I am in my 55th year of supporting this team and i at times have been one of its biggest critics. Ever the optimist i still hope that one day we will be up there with the best but until we are i will continue to jump on the emotional rollercoaster that being a bluenose we all experience.

    • Raymondo says:

      I agree, somepeople are never happy unless they have something to moan about. Our best signing has been GR himself so let’s leave it all to him. We’ve too many amateur football managers on this site who all think they no better than he does. He’ll do the best he can with what little money he has available. KRO

    • atko says:

      I agree that we should put faith in GR. I don’t think there is one person on here that is insinuating that GR doesn’t know what he is doing. People are just voicing there concern that a CB isn’t coming in which I am not overly concerned about because to me it indicates that GR isn’t panic buying like Clarke did, albeit he didn’t have a lot of choice as he had to put some team together for the season. Your point about loan players & low wages, it’s not what the players are on that is the key thing it is what Blues would have to pay for them to be here. When a club loans a player they pay an agreed percentage of the players wages so if the parent club requires us to pay too much then the deal’s a non starter from the off.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Well said Raymondo and yes he does no our situation better than any of us so we should all get of his back. Kro

  • Mitchell says:

    We are debating about the need for a defender? If we all kept quiet and only responded with “GR knows what he is doing etc.” then we may as well talk about what? .the Greece crisis, immigration, cheap milk and supermarket cows. Let’s face it we are all amateur football managers and God bless everyone of us,,!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I just have nightmares when I recall Robinson’s “performance” against Victor Anichebe in our cup defeat last season by West Brom. If he comes up against a robust and pacey centre forwards it’s good night Vienna!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As I said earlier, Robbo can do a decent job here and there, but Saturday/Tuesday for any length of time is a bit too much imo. So, if Morrison was out for say 3-4 weeks, could Robbo play two games a week for that long? Our only other realistic option would be to switch Grounds across. That would then leave us short at left back. So either way it’s a bit dicey atm.

  • garconsavage says:

    Unfortunately it’s the person who runs the site who sets the agenda. I have noticed that when things are “quiet” in Hong Kong the easiest way to spark debate is to pander to the more negative contributors
    on this site who are always ready to break out the sackcloth and ashes!!

    People have short memories. Gary has gone to some lengths to keep us in “the loop” re. transfers. He has done little wrong since we were lucky enough to get him. I would suggest we leave him to get on with things without sniping when things don’t happen as quickly as we would like. I think he has proved that he knows what he is doing!!

    • Mitchell says:

      We are not sniping. All we are doing is whether we feel we need a CH. Pure and simple. As regards Daniel opening this discussion up is creating a topic not just to stir up negative comments.

      • garconsavage says:

        It’s stating the obvious to say we need a central defender. What we don’t need is a “knee jerk” solution. Better to try and manage with what we have at the moment if it means we come up with a player that solves the problem in the long term. Buying someone to fill the gap will only cause problems in the future and dilute our chances of signing someone who will improve the squad!!

        • almajir says:

          It’s not knee jerk is it though?

          We’ve needed a centre back since Kiernan turned us down…

          • atko says:

            I have to agree with your ‘knee jerk’ reaction comment garconsavage although I wouldn’t quite put it like that as we all know we need a centre back. However, just buying someone to fill the gap could mean we are stuck with a player under contract for a period of time like the very situation we are trying to get out off (the Edgar situation)! If another decent centre back comes available then GR’s hands are tied again because he would have to get rid of someone to bring him in. That’s why it is important for him to find the right one for the right price & we all know that isn’t going to be a quick fix. I have faith that GR knows what he is doing & trust me, he will know more than any one person on this site, just who is available both now & who is coming available soon & when. The problem is getting in there quick before anyone else & striking a deal….easier said than done!

    • almajir says:

      Of course I set the agenda, it’s my website :)

      I don’t pander to anyone Garcon. What you need to remember is I write what I think about on this site – nothing more. It’s a platform for my opinions first and foremost – always has been, always will be – that’s why I use the personal pronoun “I” a lot in what I write.

      If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I don’t mind. :)

      • gaconsavage says:

        So if anyone has the temerity to come on your site and disagrees with your view they can take a “hike”.

        Very democratic!!.

        IM(humble)O you are happy to luxuriate in the plaudits you receive(mostly merited I admit) but can’t take any kind of criticism.

        A little humility would go a long way.

        • almajir says:

          Garcon – why does the site have to be democratic? You’ve made a huge mistake mate, it’s not a democracy, it’s my blog. I have no issues with people not liking what I’m writing – what I do have an issue with is people thinking that I should write what they think…

          You’re absolutely free to dislike what I write – but if you don’t like it, why read it?

  • Andy E says:

    We have got noa baba who he signed looking at his performances would he fit in as cover he has played him already in the development squad he plays in RB role i think move grounds into yhe middle

    • jonno11blue says:

      Noa Baba is only a young lad, with very limited experience. I watched him in Monday’s Under 21 game and thought he looked inexperienced even at that level, certainly not as good or powerful as Wes Harding. He actually played in the centre.

  • Jon P says:

    I think Rowett is being smart and waiting for the defender he wants and one who will fit in with the team ethos correctly. For whatever reason he obviously doesn’t rate Edgar highly enough to play for blues and doesn’t want him in the squad, maybe also because he expressed an interest to play midfield rather than centre half. As a former defender in his playing days I think Rowett knows the kind of player he wants at the heart of his defense. I would rather wait a little while longer for the correct player that will be a stalwart for the entire season, rather than panicking about the next few games. The club will definitely be in talks with players right now and we will just have to be patient whilst Gary weighs up his options. These things take time, the last thing we want is anymore transfers falling through. In Rowett we trust. KRO

  • Andrew says:

    Even with morrison I don’t think our defence is all that. Central defence requires a partnership to be built before it looks good and that doesn’t exist in our team. Sorry, we will conceded plenty this year unless we sign at minimum a defender soon. That’s assuming fitness and form goes blues way.

    • atko says:

      I am inclined to agree! It’s not that I don’t rate any of our defenders, it’s a bad habit that Blues have that we do seem to switch off at times & completely lose concentration. Sure it happens to every team once in a while but we seem to do it most games. If we can concentrate for a full 90 minutes (or 99 minutes if last week is anything to go by) then our defence isn’t that bad & we can avoid dropping unnecessary points!

  • George says:

    I have to say this ‘so called’ pessimism is slightly premature. Two games into the season and two good victories, a slight niggle for a player coming off for precaution, and suddenly it’s like we’re going to get beaten 8-0 again! Trust in Rowett!!

  • Andy E says:

    Well said George. I for 1 do trust in Rowett. You watch it will be Morro and Specs in on Saturday , if not Grounds will cover in there …. KRO We have got cover in there .. SOTV

  • ian ambrose says:

    Well, Hope so GR will bring new player name is Henk Veerman from dutch move to join to blues cos good partner dutch language with Kieftenbeld???… if without Michael Morrison this saturday Why not try point on pitch 3 6 1 or 3 5 2..if Michael play this saturday 4 4 2…Good luck to GR

  • Eric says:

    I am on record in support of your call for a centre half. He must be quick, good ball control and good with his head. Must be easier to find than a goal scorer who everyone is looking for. KRO Rowett – we support you with sound advice!!!

  • Blue Steve says:

    GR has said many times that he wishes to have a much smaller squad this season. Wihile the financial situation is better. In comparison to most championship we still have a pretty tight budget. This of course means that any players that come in have to be the right ones. In an ideal world we could move on a few fringe players like Thomas and Novak to free up some cash on the wage bill.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    Time for Wes Harding to show us what he can do.

  • Tony says:

    The point about quiet in HK and negativity is ridiculous, the agenda is completely relevant, we do need a centre back and yes it was in my opinion short sighted to let Edgar leave without a replacement.
    This is not undue criticism of Gary Rowett, he should never have played him in the Bristol match, there was always the risk of this happening. He is not above making the odd mistake And I am his biggest fan.People have to temper this happening with the previous managers performance, It still brings shivers to my spine, we should all be grateful, but understand GR is not perfect he will make mistakes.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      He did the same thing with Edgar last season and left us short at the back. We ended up getting away with it because we were very lucky on the injury/suspension front. We hardly had any!
      He may not be so lucky this season.

  • Bluesfan says:

    Feel sorry for Gary Rowett because of our rubbish owners he has to put up with bringing in the players nobody else wants his third and forth choices no doubt. But it’s been obvious before the start of the season that we desperately need another defender and striker.

  • Raymondo says:

    One thing to our advantage that will buy a little time to get a new CH is having our match with Brentford next Tuesday cancelled. They’re relaying the pitch a week or so after the season has started, would you believe? KRO regardless!

  • bluenoseneil says:

    I have to agree with the positive posters on here, as I can’t bring myself to be inherently negative of a squad and manager that has two wins out of two so far in the season proper.
    Yes, we are short handed, yes we have limited budgets. These things we know and have done for a while.
    Do I care? No, because I don’t believe we will pick up 2-3 injuries in one game and inhibit our chances at playoffs is season as losing to Derby and Burnley won’t DEFINE our season. It won’t help but I can’t adopt the pessimists attitude to say we will not only not sign a decent CB and striker but one or more of our other key players will be injured.
    FFS people, look in the mirror, smile, remember where we are (and where we WERE) and try, just try to be a little more upbeat.

  • KC says:

    Had a quick look at the Middlesbrough cup game reports. You can guess who they were raving about.

  • KC says:

    Dan. The media are useless-radio and press. No objectivity. Except for the odd ( often humorous ) comment on Vital, you are the by a million miles the best site to follow and to contribute. No problem with healthy disagreement but if the moaners don’t like it let them start there own sites.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Looking forward to Burnley tomorrow but I would like to take a moment to mention the funeral of David Phelps yesterday … Amazing turn out for a wonderfull and generous man who brought tears of joy and laughter as well as sadness to all who knew him, me and my family knew him only from is love of Blues but the joy of us being there with him and his son Christian, and relatives Nick and Lewis at wembley for our league cup victory over Arsenal will forever be one of the greatest days of our lives as will the never to be forgotten win in Brugge in the Europa league …. Dave , RIP old buddy and let’s hope that all blues fans show the love and passion you showed to your family and your football club , keep smiling down on us and if there’s a centre half up there who you can get to come to us it would be much appreciated .. God Bless & RIP, KRO .

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Best of luck to Lee Novak at Chesterfield. I hope he does well.

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