Often Partisan

Two out on Deadline Day

Transfer deadline day is done and dusted with Birmingham City being involved in just two deals, both of which saw players leave St Andrew’s. Goalkeeper Nick Townsend has signed for Barnsley for an undisclosed fee while striker Wes Thomas has moved on loan to Swindon Town until January 2016 with no recall clause active.

Readers of Often Partisan will not be surprised that Nick Townsend has left for Barnsley, with this website breaking the news that he had interested them back in July, To date he has only made one appearance for the Tykes while he was on loan (in the cup against Scunthorpe United) but he will team up again with former Blues goalkeeper coach John Vaughan at Oakwell and I think he will have more of a chance at building up first team appearances than at St Andrew’s; something I know he wanted.

I’d like to take the opportunity to wish Nick all the best having seen him play many times for the Development squad and knowing he comes from a family of Blues fans.

Wes Thomas was a more surprising move – particularly as no one has been brought in as cover. It means that until the loan window opens next week Blues have three strikers with a first team number at the club – Clayton Donaldson, Nicolai Brock-Madsen and Alex Jones – and of that number Jones has yet to make his professional bow.

I don’t think Blues will necessarily move quickly for a loanee striker either with a centre-back currently seen as the bigger priority. Blues habitually play with one up front meaning there is less room for strikers to get game time – something that probably frustrated Wes Thomas no end.

There is cover of sorts too; Jon Toral looks more of a second striker than an attacking midfielder to me and in a pinch I think Blues could either push forwards Koby Arthur, Demarai Gray or even give one of the young professionals such as Kyle MacFarlane a chance although I’d hate to see any of those players as a lone striker in the role Clayton plays.

I think Blues have to have ideas for cover should anything happen to Clayton so that if necessary they can go out and grab someone on loan in that eventuality – but it’s potentially a dangerous strategy.

The biggest sigh of relief must have come though with the confirmation Demarai Gray remains at Blues until January at least. I know that many people were worried because of news of a release fee in his contract but I think many didn’t take into account that at this moment Dimmy genuinely seems to know that he’s better off staying put.

For me at least, it was an okay deadline day. While it didn’t have the excitement of signing Aliaksandr Hleb, Martin Jiranek and Jean Beausejour, or beating the deadline to bring in Walter Pandiani (and annoying Harry Redknapp in the process), it wasn’t a firesale either. Now it’s time to see if small and tight will work for us in the way Rowett hopes.

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41 Responses to “Two out on Deadline Day”

  • Blues fan says:

    Blues are playing a dangerous and silly game letting all these players go to bring in maybe one on loan. What happens when we get a few injuries and we will blues always do we will be in trouble absolutely crazy.

    • almajir says:

      Blues fan – except last year we didn’t. ;)

    • pete says:

      We have an international break of nearly two weeks. I cannot believe that Rowett would be letting Thomas and Novak go out without a replacement coming in on loan. I believe he will have something planned.

      I have not seen all the transfers, but there do seem to be some good players joined the champsionship on loan. I just hope one or two others might be joining next week or so- e,g, Kyle Bartley would be a welcome addition or Mike Williamson if they have not already gone.

      Either way I have to trust Rowett is not planning on having just two centre forwards to use with a number of injuries and suspensions that will occur at some point.

  • Lich Blues says:

    A nice calm transfer window. What a relief after recent years. Great to see Dimmi stay put. But I agree the only concern is a small squad. Hopefully no injury problems dog us through the winter months – especially to Clayton.

  • FellowBlue22 says:

    Perfect deadline day – any big news would of been bad news. Townsend and Thomas want first team footy so cant blame them for leaving, good luck to them both.
    I think after waiting so long for a transfer to go through earlier in the summer most of us would of taken the current squad happily – especially after seeing how the new lads have fit right in KRO

  • Big Al says:

    GR said he wanted a more slim-line squad. I guess what we don’t see is the improved squad dynamics you get when players aren’t moping about kicking their heals. With the emergency loans available we always have a back-up plan. Thomas, Novak, Duffy and Edgar were all league one players anyway.

    • pete says:

      The issues are when in Jan-March the fatigue and the suspenions start mounting up. A small squad is fine at the beginning of the season, but after 50+ games it will pay. I trust there is back up coming in.

      • almajir says:

        We have a transfer window in January though – we should be in a position to bring in players (up to a point) if need be

        • pete says:

          Still think you need people in lace well before. Loan players in Jan are unlikely yo be settled or did quality. Besides what if Donaldson gets an injury next Month? We have 1 striker.

          Rowett will have something in the pipeline I am sure.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    We have got Donaldson, Brock-Madsen, Toral and Shinnie to cover the two starting forward positions and I think Maghoma and Gray could play as either second striker or number 10 so I think we will be ok. Centre back is still the priority. I heard Gleeson should be ok once the international break is over though not from any official sources. If so good news. I wish Wes all the best but he was on my “move on” list along with Novak, Edgar, Hancox and Eardley. Just two to go then!

  • I feel GR has realised that this squad is turning out better than he expected and has decided to go for it ….kro ..

  • atko says:

    I don’t see why everyone is panicking. Things are going well, we know GR likes to keep a settled team so adding to the squad just meant they would be warming the bench at best. GR obviously is satisfied with the cover he has at his disposal & probably has loans identified In the event of any injuries should he need more. I think he has it spot on to be honest. Why have a big squad & have to pay players wages for doing nothing? Keep the squad to a minimum knowing you can loan a player or two in case of emergencies. Those emergencies will only be for long term injuries which hopefully we can avoid. Short term injuries of a game or two I’m sure he knows he has sufficient cover. It’s all good as far as I am concerned & it all makes perfectly good business sense IMO. Well done GR & KRO!

    • chris says:

      i’m not
      keep the money in the bank for a rainy day
      the loan window is open till November then again in January
      Why have players that can’t even make the bench when you can save money for a rainy day and because of that extra cash hopefully we get a higher quality loan player

  • Euston 9:18 says:

    G.R. has always said he would wait to see who is available when the window is closed loan wise.

    • atko says:

      Don’t expect much in the way of loans coming in after the window closes. I don’t see a need for anyone IMO based on what I have seen to date. Loans should be looked at for Emergency Only unless you are looking at bringing someone in with a view to signing them at the end of the season.The team is playing well & working well together as a team which goes to show you don’t need high profile players on crazy wages. This is why I don’t subscribe to the fact a team should be beating another team simply because their league position or form says so. If a team works hard enough, after all it is still 11 against 11, anything is possible & Blues are showing that so far. We have a good manager keeping the players feet firmly grounded & one who IMO can get Blues back in to the Premier League & become a force to be reckoned with over the next few years IF Blues can keep hold of him. That’s the key, Blues I think have a long term plan, GR has got the nucleus of the team on long term contracts now, all players are young enough & I like his comments this week about going about things under the radar. I think exciting times are ahead at Blues with Panos & GR seemingly working well together for the long term future of the club.

  • Blue Steve says:

    I do not agree at all with the criticism GR has received about reducing the squad size. Obviously by doing this he has massively reduced the wage bill. i would much rather have 1 quality player rather than 4 average ones. If we do get injuries or suspensions we simply utilise the emergency loan window. For me this is a sound logical strategy.

  • Scribe Blue says:

    Excellent article once again!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Today has seen how financially unequal the Championship is. Derby County for example spending £10m in one day. Bristol City backed by billionaire Stephen Lansdown bringing in 2 high profile loans and Middlesbrough further strengthening their squad. Hull and Wolves spending 7 figure sums.
    But Blues have Gary Rowett at the helm and he knows what he is doing on scraps.

    • chris says:

      Yes some have rich owners and some have parachute payments but some aren’t so rich and are gambling and if it fails to get them promoted they will have massive debts, some owners never learn.
      At least 8 clubs are in the former two sectors so the rest spending beyond their means better get it right for their clubs sake.
      That’s why any top 10 finish for us will be brill as we will be amongst those spending millions.

    • Raymondo says:

      I think the rules as in the USA soccer league should apply here. A set limit on transfer fees and wages. Makes for an even playing field. Much too fair for the Football League it seems. Definitely no tfor the Sky Premier League That’s why it’s full of foreign players. Here for the money.

      • atko says:

        I think you would find many clubs going out of business if we adopted the American way. Many Premiership clubs use lower league clubs to bring in home grown players. One time, Liverpool used to sign a lot of players from Crewe for instance. It was almost a dead cert that all Crewe’s ‘stars’ were going to be sold on to Liverpool. It’s what kept them afloat. Not all lower league clubs are big clubs so the transfer market helps them keep afloat because they will never get big gates simply because of where the club might be situated. A more interesting way would be like the NFL where they have drafts but obviously those drafts are for players across the US so it would not be possible in football because it would have to cover across the globe which would be impossible to manage. It’s the TV deals that have created this situation which in turn has attracted more & more of the ‘money men’ to the game. It’s funny that we still refer to it as a ‘game’ because these days it seems Football is anything but a game. It’s big business now & football transfers is a huge part of it, especially when you see the monster wages agents are earning from it. Look at the guy who received a GREEK ISLAND for pushing one transfer through a few years ago. It’s obscene but part of Football these days.

  • Blueboi14 says:

    I was hoping the 2 out were CY and PP.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    When you see a new player got the first time I have one of two reactions: ‘he looks useful’ or ‘jeez, he look crap’. The latter was Thomas

  • Darren Brown says:

    Reasons to be positive !!!

    1) Manager – Gary Rowett & coaching staff
    2) Takeover – looking good
    3) Settled team
    4) Loan players to improve team
    5) BCFC ticket office staff are great
    6) Game against our rivals


    Rowett we trust !!!

  • RichardM says:

    I see that Sheff Utd were in talks with Fulham to take Dan Burn on loan, who must be surplus to requirements at Fulham – I liked Dan Burn a lot, thought he did well at Blues and would be an excellent partner for Morrison, let’s hope GR is aware!

  • DTL says:

    Been a positive window, kept hold of players what we needed to and even done better with penning them down to new deals. we have let ‘dead wood’ leave our squad, what free’s up wages to bring in players who will be challenging for starting 11 places. we have a smaller squad, what is easier to work with, yes we could have injury scares but all loans have an option of a recall, so if we are running low on players in positions recalls can be activated

  • asif says:

    should have tried to get the lad who has gone to wolves from swindon in exchange. heard dan burn was available. too slow in my opinion. should have tried to get emyr hughes back

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Asif……Surprisingly Huws has gone on a season long loan to Huddersfield from Wigan.
      Huws progress has stuttered somewhat of late and he has lost his place in the Wales squad.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Whichever way you look at it, a centre back and a striker are a must now. Other than Robinson, we have no real cover at the back. If Robbo had to come in because of injury to someone.. and got himself sent off (not beyond the realms of possibility) we’d be right in the cack.

    As for up front, we have Donaldson, with the back-up being two young players who have never played a championship game between them. It’s ok having a small and tight squad, but it’s imperative to have decent cover in all areas. At the moment, we don’t. The sooner Rowett can access the loan market the better. Can’t wait to see who he brings in.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Staffs, B-M is Donaldson’s successor hence the long contract, but I expect Gary thinks he’s adequate cover now for him.

    If Gary and Panos are plotting a tilt at the playoffs they’ll surely have some centre halves on the loan radar

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Yes, I see that with Brock-Madsen, but he’s still untried at this level. So is Jones. I’m sure they’ll both turn out to be good buys… but in the meantime…

  • atko says:

    My only concern is getting through periods like the one we have coming up. After the International break we have 4 games in 10 days & not to say that there are any easy games but these are tough games coming up with all Forest, Ipswich & the Vile after Bristol City. Getting through periods like that is concerning, the rest at least allows some recovery.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I’m not as confident as you Dan. We have one striker and two rookies. We are very thin on the ground and one or two bad injuries to key players could have serious repercussions. GR and the team has done fantastic till now but the lack of depth does worry me.

    Do you know if there are any recall options on any of the players?

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