Often Partisan

Gotta Have Faith

“Cause I gotta have faith…”

One of the key words I’ve seen spoken on forums and social media in the past few days has been faith. Faith in Gary Rowett as manager, faith in Panos Pavlakis as head honcho, faith in Birmingham City as a club. Faith in its purest form requires unquestioning devotion – and questioning the management at Blues seems to be apostasy in some Blues fans eyes judging by some of the comments and tweets I have received.

Before I go any further, let me make something clear – Gary Rowett is rapidly becoming my favourite manager in my time supporting the club; something that is nicely reminiscent of his time as a Blues player when he was my squad favourite. More charismatic than Trevor Francis, a better win ratio than Steve Bruce, and comfortably more sane than Lee Clark, Rowett has made supporting Blues an absolute pleasure. I’m a full-on convert to the Rowett revolution.

However, as much as I admire Rowett, I think unquestioning devotion is a bit doglike and demeans his intelligence as much as it does mine. One of Rowett’s best attributes has been how he has spoken to Blues fans via mediums like the club website; not just resorting to tired old clichés but treating us like knowledgeable adults and giving us insight into his way of thinking and opening new paths of reasoning.

As such, it follows that when he does something I don’t understand, or doesn’t fit with how I understood his methodology to be, being the sticky-beak I am I ask questions. Criticism doesn’t mean I think he’s an awful manager – more often than not it comes from either a lack of full awareness of his thinking. Of course, there will be times when I plain don’t agree with something but football is nothing but a game of opinions. Having a differing opinion to someone doesn’t necessarily make me think that they are an idiot.

Sometimes I think people actually don’t understand why I write OP. OP wasn’t ever meant to be a news source – at its core it’s my opinions on the football team I support. I use personal pronouns for exactly that reason – I don’t ever profess to speak for anyone else but myself and as such it’s just my opinion, nothing more. Of course I expect people to disagree with me – that’s the nature of opinions.

I know this post has now become somewhat meta (and no doubt seen as egotistical garbage from my detractors) but I think it’s important people understand why I say the things I do; after all, this is my soapbox, this is my pulpit. Criticising a manager isn’t me “pissing my pants” or “getting my knickers in a twist”; I try to balance everything and make a reasoned argument for what I believe – something I believe most Blues fans try to do to varying degrees of success.

In short – Gary Rowett isn’t the messiah; but he’s not a very naughty boy either. I might not admire the signings of players like Shane Lowry – but as always, I want to be proven wrong – and to continue to revel in the Rowett Revolution.

53 Responses to “Gotta Have Faith”

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    I alsoI find it very hard to get exited about the Lowry signing and shall not run around giving it the “in Rowett we trust” nonsense. Yes I will get behind the kid when he puts the shirt on but that’s not the CB signing I wanted by a long stretch…that’s my opinion.

    • zxcv says:

      Well I have just read all 23 posts below and I have come back to the very first one on here because this one sums it up perfectly for me. Its about expectations and I thought we would make one show piece signing and that signing would be at centre half .I thought we were saving the best till last. lol

      • paule says:

        Totally agree with your post, We all know what state the club is in at the moment so why tell us how exited we would be at the players coming in!! I didn’t know any of the players we’ve signed over the summer but equally i didn’t know of Morrison & look how he turned out. We need to trust Gary Rowett & get our arses down to St Andrews & support the team he has assembled and be realistic, he has put together this team on a shoestring & some of the signings won’t come good that’s for sure. KRO.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Sorry your so disappointed .. Are well never mind ah ! Kro

  • Lee says:

    A lot of good points, I also agree with a few comments I’ve read regarding Lowry being more of a back up than one for the first team, I do honestly think some of the stick Spector receives is uncalled for, he’s performed well since he stepped in around the last 4-5 games of last season, look at dyer last season, I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly impressed with him to begin with but looked decent in his last couple of games, everyone has different views, it’s what makes the world go round

  • atko says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course but managers & players need to have a much thicker skin these days than ever before. It only takes one or two comments these days & all hell breaks loose throughout Social Media. Players the club bring in might not be fans first choice & I am quite sure that anyone at the club would agree they might not be their first choice either but we have to be realistic with the budget we have. I personally think that doubting a manager’s decision or a player before they have kicked a ball is a little unfair & doesn’t create the right vibes. Again, like you Dan, it is just my opinion. I know a lot of people on here yesterday questioned the signing but I’d rather see first hand before I make an opinion. Players have access to Social Media like anyone else & if fans show concern over their signing before they have played a game that is gonna add pressure & affect confidence levels. I hope Lowry does a good job for Blues. He is not likely to play any time soon as he isn’t up to the required fitness levels yet but good luck to him when he eventually does turn out for the Blues!

  • I don’t normally comment on these pages, but I read almost everything you write.

    I have never seen you as someone who is overly-positive or negative. In fact, on the whole I agree with most of what you write,and even when I disagree it is about details rather than the bigger picture.

    Most people I know read your site, but they also never comment. I am sure the problem is that the few people who perhaps over-react to your point of view are the only ones who bother to comment, so it seems like a lot of people are having a go at you for “pissing your pants”.

    Amyway, keep up the good work.


  • KC says:

    I think having supported the Blues for nearly 60 years I have some idea of what the game of football is all about. Dan your opinions are pretty well bang on mate.

  • Steve Williams says:

    When he 1st became manager I opened my 4-4-2 magazine to see a great article on him and , despite the way were playing before he joined it looked like we had the right manager . He has proved to be a great signing for the club, hopefully he gest some financial backing and we can keep him for a while and we keep moving upwards and onwards.

  • Paul Unitt says:

    There was this man called Lowry, who everyone laughed at, because he painted matchstick men.
    They are not laughing now .I have know doubt that the knockers of today’s Lowry will say bl##dy Nora , when the kid comes good KRO

  • DoctorD says:

    Rowett’s proved his worth in getting the best out of players — and I fully expecxt him to do the same with the new guy. Sure, Lowry won’t be a world-beater, but I am convinced Rowett knows that he would be a good servant and follows his instructions. That can sometimes be invaluable.

  • ChrisG says:

    It’s the old saying Dan, you can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all the time. Let’s face it if it weren’t for you none of us would have a clue what was happening at bih. KRO

  • oldburyblue says:

    A difference of opinion is great and is normally what this site is good for. You, Dan, always make it quite clear when you are stating facts and when you are expressing your opinion. I just wish some commentators would do the same and not pass opinions as facts all the time.

  • Texas Pete says:

    Interesting blog. I dont think this is about blind faith which is closer to what is being referred to. I am also turned off by religious faith, however GRs series of good decisions over the past season through to the current time, we have to have some confidence, trust and a little faith in the signing of Lowry and his development. The blog is about Lowry and predetermining the fate for him as a new signing. We are all limited by our circumstances (including our potential signings), so a new opportunity for ambitions of Lowry should be as exciting for us as it is for him and GR. We only have to look at the transformation of Gleeson and Spector that proves the negative boo boys are not worthy of a seat in the ground. I am sorry to say that Spector is going to have to expect the bench after a while, say late October.
    After saying this, as blues fans we know a lot of disappointment, but pessimism is a choice to project negative vibes into the future and call it pragmatic. I cant wait for Saturday to come.

  • Letsby Avenue says:


    Long term followers of your blog, probably have no need for this entry AJ.

    We trust you fella. We know what you are and what you mean.

    Perhaps the newer readers may need such an insight every few years :-)

    I don’t know ~ or I missed ~ the reason for this entry, but, suffice to say that the major reason you keep and also grow views, is because we TRUST YOU.

    Very few Blues’ posters and bloggers have gainedd TRUST. That’s a shame.

    Most forum 24/7 ‘ers ~ the guys on forums all day ~ wreak with the smell of jealousy about you.

    To people like me, this entry wasn’t needed. To newbies, perhaps it was.

    But don’t fret fella. TRUST is something you have earned, through hard work and honesty.

    And loyalty and respect, comes along with it.

    KRO “AJ”


  • Dave Mann says:

    Faith seems to be something some Blues fans don’t have in Gary Rowett…..he’s proved us wrong on many occasions me included… Kuszczak to start with now he’s coming good, Morrison not wanted by charlton another , kieftenbeld who none of us had heard of looks quality , maghoma not wanted by Sheffield W as scored a couple of goals and starting to look good, Toral from arsenal is fitting in nicely in that No 10 roll with a couple of goals and now Lowry who’s being slated by some of us on here .. I hope he proves us all wrong because if it carries on the way it has then he will so opinions are opinions but they should be made after the guy as kicked a ball in a competetive game for Blues and not before and that’s my opinion !! Kro

  • Mitchell says:

    Faith article Daniel could not have come out at a better time.Forgive me if I indulge in today’s date (9/11) when the world witnessed the U.S. horror. In football and in life, periods of faith are needed, and bluenoses who have endured the last three years of Pannu activity have had to dig very deeply indeed to keep any sort of faith. Tomorrow brings a new expectation in ‘our new faith’ but true fans know whether we punch above or below our weight-that we are really just happy to be here and existing as a club. Dark days over but never forgotten.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes Mitchell it is a poinient day as it’s sept 11th and that day back in 2001 was something that will stick in all our minds for as long as we live ….. But on the football side we have mixed opinions on weather were over achieving or not .. Financialy we are because we’ve hardly spent any money on new recruits yet we’re unbeaten in six this season and nine if you include last season and sitting 7th in the league with a game in hand …. But take a close look at our team , we have a goalkeeper who’s won champions league & premier league winning medals, a centre half that over the last twelve months as been as good as anything in the championship , two holding midfield players who just work well together, a wide midfield player who’s the talk of the championship and valued around the £5/6 million pound bracket and a striker who not only scored 16 goals last season but is now creating them also and was wanted by other championship clubs…. And then you’ve hit cotterill, Toral, grounds & Caddis to add to that , I don’t think we’re over achieving what so ever but then again that’s just my opinion . Kro

    • Adam True Blue says:

      Well said, I agree with everything you have said there. Why spend big bucks when you don’t need to, if in the eye’s of our manager we already have the team he thinks can challenge for a top spot, except for a bit of cover, and on the subject of Lowry, it is obvious to me that GR has seen his potential that will fit into his plans and playing style.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Lowry could turn out to be Gary’s best signing, you never know. One thing we do know however is that Gary in Panos’ best signing with E&Y running a close second

  • David L says:

    Article is spot on. The intelligent yet questioning attitude that your articles display and the well-mannered discussion (usually!) that follows is why this site is so attractive

  • chris says:

    Spot on Dan, critisism is always valid of anyone if it’s thoughtful and constructive, it’s about moving forward and trying to improve.
    Your comments on Lowry were valid, as were those who disagreed with you on this player and as with most signings only time will tell.
    GR has to get a transfer wrong at some point and some will say he has already with Dyer and obviously some will disagree.
    Never be guilable, complacent or delusional of support for something as most things concerning humans will have flaws and imo 100% support for something means not being objective and missing the flaws / errors, which goes for most Laws in this country.

  • AussieBlue says:

    It’s quite simple. If Lowry does well, he’s an Aussie. If not then he’s Irish as his Mam and Dad migrated to Perth and he’s played for Ireland. (all in good jest Shane ;-)

  • southcoastblue says:

    Hi Dan – I think youve become a victim of your own success! OP is now so much better informed than any other Blues related site (including the woeful Mail) so it’s now the first place Bluenoses go for news, comments, whinges, gripes, moans. Of course I don’t agree with everything you say – but that’s the point of a blog isn’t it? Keep up the good work.

  • rhees says:

    Good article Dan followed and commented on op for 2yrs now.it a shame that the blog as turned into a bit of a news blog but that’s down to the lack of news coming out of the club, so in that vein in grateful to the news you break.
    As a football fan in general and blue nose for over 50yrs one thing I love is the difference of opinion supporters have makes good conversation and often all parties are right to a degree.
    I’m remembering Ricky Otto and the abuse he got from the gentleman who sits still to this day in front of me, when once he was subbed and later the ball ran down the wing he shouted ” where are you now Ricky let us down again” lol proving some fans are blind to there own oppinions.
    Point being that’s football and we all love it.
    I think Lowry might come good under rowetts guidence but I understand peoples concerns lets see what happens even furgie bought a couple duffs
    Keep up the good work on here Dan don’t always agree but respect your opinion

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I met Trevor Francis when he was a shy16 year old and met him again two years later, when he came with Mike Kelly to our Youth Club to present the annual football awards. The cheeky sod even asked my missus for a date (tough luck Trev its our 39th Anniversary today!!) I was there at the match which saw him labelled Superboy after scoring 4 goals against Bolton. So basically I have always loved the fella. It was a great moment when he was appointed Blues manager and he came in on a wave of love and optimism. In his 5 years we had creditable positions and should have been promoted to the Premier and but for a bent ref would have beaten Liverpool in the League Cup Final. However the knives were out from many supporters and the rhetoric from some, was vitriolic. Us football fans are very fickle and todays hero’s are tomorrows zeros!!. Keep up the good work Garry for your sake!! KRO.

    • oldburyblue says:

      I agree with your last 2 sentences Bluenoseol. With a few notable exceptions our heroes are pretty well forgotten when replaced by better players. “The King is dead….long live the King” does not only relate to Royalty. Anyone wearing that shirt should be supported until the day they leave.

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Absolutely OB! I remember we loved Tony Hateley so much we made up a song just for him. When he was fouled by the opposition we used to sing “How dare you touch our king”!! He left a few months later and played his last match to Bluenose chants of “Hateley is a W****r”!!.

        • Des says:

          ol! Don’t ever remember anyone singing anything good bout Hateley but do recall him throwing V`s at tilton!

          I think apart from John Bond I have always given every manager since my 100% support, that’s just the way I am!
          TF unfortunately just didn’t have the personal touch with the players, Brucie did!
          My fave was actually Alex, loved that style of play he brought to the club! tough, resilient, competitive!

  • Retired&Weary says:

    Nobody is beyond constructive criticism, of course, but what annoys me is the childish criticism too many football fans are prone to.
    Regarding GR, how can you justifiably criticise him at all at the moment. He’s taken over an absolute shambles of a team, organised them, built team spirit, to the extent that they are accumulating points at play off level. All on a budget of virtually zero. I must admit I can’t believe how well he has done.
    A top manager makes the difference to any team. Most players are much of a muchness in my opinion, it is how they are moulded in to a team and fight for each other that usually breeds success, plus a bit of luck. Hopefully Lowry is another hungry fighter.
    My biggest fear is that GR will, understandably, move on to bigger things sooner rather than later. Then stand by for the usual hate & vitriol from the childish mob.

    • oldburyblue says:

      Good points made R&W. I too think most players are much of a muchness, particularly at centre half. Opposition players have to be either very bad or very good for me to notice them in a game…most are “OK” and no more.

  • Dave Mann says:

    This league will be the tightest it as ever been , no three teams are certain for relegation & no three teams are certain for promotion simple…. Bottom beats Top & no money teams beat moneybags teams so opinions are going to be massively different between fans … The simple fact is were 12/1 to get relegated & 12/1 to get promoted according to the odds so take your pick .. I personally think we’re do neither but in my opinion we’re finish closer to the top six than the bottom six so Bluey me old mate I can’t take that bet because as positive as I like to be ime also a realist and that tells me between 7th, 8th or 9th will be where we finish .. BUT you never know do you unless you can see in to the future . Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Excellent article. But that’s just my opinion of course. ;)

  • Bluenose_Matt says:

    Rarely comment but long time reader. Keep up the good work I always enjoy reading your views and take them as exactly that…. your opinion. Ignore the haters they don’t have anything better to do with their time than criticise unconstructively.

  • Dave Mann says:

    If and it’s a big IF we win these two home games then Ipswich next Friday night live on sky sports will be very interesting … We could go top !! Kro

  • Andy E says:

    Quite a lot of great comments. I dont think Lowry will be the only defender we get in , we will look at the loan market , looks liike we are looking at Elliot Ward from Bournemouth and others we defo need another striker I think he may rest Spector tomorrow and put robbo in. Whatever GR does in the squad I trust his judgement … So come on you Blue Boys another 3 points tomorrow .. KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    We only play one up front so we don’t need another striker .. Why rest Spector ? .. Robbo should stay well away from the first team .. We’ve got everybody’s favourite son in Shane Lowry to take is place but besides that I agree with everything else you’ve said ! Kro

  • AussieBlue says:

    All good posts and a nice reflective blog from Dan. We all do what we are meant to do and Dan does this blog and I’m very grateful for it. I have deep love for every one of you but not in a homosexual way; more like brotherly/matey. My credentials are well attested to by Aussie Sheila who is in the brace position as I type (hang on there girl and have another sherry!). Anyway, I certainly don’t fancy Dave Mann ’cause he’s a stroppy bugger and I think his knuckles scrape the ground. Well, that’s what you get at 11.30pm and half-cut. All I care about is 3pts tomozz and a thrashing of the Vile after that. We may be retired and weary, but we still carry on. Probably too much in this case……..g’night

    • Dave Mann says:

      AussieBlue , you don’t fancy me because ime a stroppy bugger , ime a good looking bloke for my age & as happy as any blues can could be .. Strooooth me old cobba .. Ime no miserable old git ime just honest in my opinions mate .. Hope your Sheila enjoys the old sherry and my knuckles are in good nick .. Have a great evening pal and I will have one for you at stans tomorrow .. A beer not sherry .. Respect !! Kro

      • AussieBlue says:

        Hi Dave, I shouldn’t post when I’ve had a few. It was Friday night; my play time! You’re a champ because you are truest Blue. One day we’ll have a couple together at the George. I’ll bring me Aussie Sheila with me; she’s a real party girl. Actually she’s a teacher with a psychology degree, but you can’t let ’em know they are too smart can ya? 3pts and have that one for me mate. KRO; AB

  • bewdleyblue says:

    “Faith” no, a fair bit of “trust”,yes! Its just great to be able to talk about Blues without the feeling of impending doom of the last couple of seasons (until GR came on board). Lowry isnt probably our answer in terms of getting us up to the top of the league but im sure he is the answer in terms of been part of decent squad.

  • Tony says:

    Pleased to see you questioning Clarks sanity at last something I did almost three years ago.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I questioned is sanity but not is signings . Kro

  • zxcv says:

    So we did miss out then. So this answers a lot.


  • Dan Hickman says:

    Don’t want to get all sycophantic but I enjoy your opinion pieces just as much as I value your HK analysis pieces, you have created a space that fills the gap of conversation starter and informative investigation, so kudos to you mate! On Lowry, for what it is worth I don’t think he will ever be a world beater but GR does seem to have a knack for putting out sides worth more than the sum of their parts. Agree with Dave Mann though that when you look at it, actually we have every right to look at the league and think we can make an impression. That is down to GR and his team and that gives him the right in my opinion to not have a decision judged until he has had the opportunity to implement it. KRO

  • Agent McLeish says:

    The running of the club is now more stable but the coffers are still empty, therefore we still have to make acquisitions at the charity shop. Until the club can throw off the shackles and move forward then signings such as Lowry will continue; saying that who’s to know what potential he has so let’s give the lad and the other new arrivals support and time.
    I remember some fans moaning when we signed Donaldson as he was bargain bucket signing from the lower divisions; just look what he has achieved.

  • Gary says:

    Have u gone s bit shoft ?

  • Muzza says:

    The good thing about these sites is everybody can have an opinion or no point in posting at all. I agree with a lot said but don’t on some things. No point in agreeing for sake of it . At the moment from where Rowett has taken us since he took over we are lucky to have him at cus I think he will go on to bigger things in the future the way he conducts himself. We should just enjoy it

  • Murph says:

    Hear hear , think some fans on here from the village across xpress way ! True blues wouldn’t even think about questioning gr and he’s hard working team full stop ! Guys a messiah in my and friends eyes , lucky to have him and long may it continue , we are where we are cos of a so called football lovers Carson n pannu when in really for some fame n dollar , back the team from top to bottom now and who knows where we next season ! At least I’ve my mojo back to watch the blues again , there is a god after all ! Gr kro !!!

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