Often Partisan

Capital One Musings

So it’s almost upon us – the 123rd edition of the Second City derby (by my count at any rate) and the first in four and half years. On Tuesday night Gary Rowett leads his team across the Aston Expressway to the heart of the dark side in B6.

However excited I am, I know there are a portion of fans who reckon this “is just another game”, who think that it’s a “meaningless cup tie” but I’m not going to deny it – this is a big game.

It’s our chance to remind those who chose the dark side that there is only one team in Birmingham proud enough to carry it’s name – and that although we may have had hard times of late we’re still proud to wear Royal Blue.

There are of course claims from the other side that this is our cup final, but having seen the way our opposition are playing recently it might just be that this is very much their sole shot at anything worthwhile.

Obviously, being in the Premier League is more prestigious than being in the Championship but I do wonder just how prestigious it is to be one of those teams who are continually competing to finish 17th or better?

Now as I want Blues to be in the top flight I have to admit the whole scramble just to be fourth worst or better is a bit soul-destroying.

The results at the weekend have underlined what I think is the truth to many fans of our claret and blue brethren; that clubs need to continually invest just to stay still – and I think they are just coming to terms with how much they are going to struggle without players like Christian Benteke and how hard it’s going to be for Tim Sherwood to rebuild the side.

He might have spent a fairly large amount of money – but I think Sherwood has fallen into the trap Steve Bruce did when Blues were trying to stay afloat in the top flight; rather than creating a team that is evolving to something better he has tried to overhaul it completely and as a consequence they are now failing to gel.

Even this short amount of time into the season, I’ve seen fans on their forums express their disgruntlement about how things are going and how much they are going to struggle this season; if they can’t do it in the league, what other chance for glory do they have?

Villa consequently are under an inordinate amount of pressure; lose this game and in my opinion they’re one game away (whoever they face in the FA Cup) from another non-entity of a season.

In one game, Blues can kill their dreams off again. If that’s not a reason to look forward to this game, I don’t know what is – let alone it being a derby game.

Like on that cold night in December 2010, we can rise to the occasion once more.

Like that night, we can use it as a springboard to greater success – and remind our brethren that they’ve not won anything this millennium.

Am I excited? You bet I am. I don’t think there is a better time to play them – and I really do believe we can win. The funny thing is, having read some of the forums from the dark side I think they all believe we will win too.


88 Responses to “Capital One Musings”

  • steve says:

    I think if we start on the front foot the Viler fans will turn on their team. I think a lot of their players won’t understand the importance of this game,where as our players have been here some time and GR will make sure they know what a big game this is. I am confident that we can pull this off but i think all this negativiity is an ” I told you we’d lose” situation from the Vilers. I can’t wait.It’s been a few years since we’ve been to Viler Park for a night game. I certainly won’t be going to the Witton Arms. I have a feeling that the fans that go there won’t see the game.A lot of Bristol City fans said last week that even though they weren’t causing trouble in the pubs,a few were rounded up and taken back to New St and put on a train before Kick off.I have a feeling this could be a WMP plan for the Witton Arms. All fellow noses going to the game,be safe and lets hope it’s a good night for us.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If we’d played them last season we may have had more joy, because their defence was dreadful, especially the centre backs. But, having brought in Richards and Lescott, although not brilliant, they’re a major step up from last season. This is why I think we definitely need a Plan B, because Donaldson could struggle on his own against those two. For me, we need to get at their full backs, get behind them and create chances from there. Time to step up Mr Gray… this game is made for you!

    • steve says:

      Disagree Staffs. Lescott is past his best. Donaldson will run him ragged. Richards as well isn’t the best.Lescott is so slow i would fancy my chances.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        On the floor yes, which is why I said we need to get around the back of them. But we have a propensity to bang long balls into Donaldson all the time and I think Richards and Lescott will swallow them up all night long. We can beat them on the deck no doubt.

  • ChrisG says:

    Reading through the forums last night you can see that villa fans are worried about tuesday, me I want to get excited but we are blues & things don’t always go as expected. I’m totally gutted that I won’t be there, though my name went into yesterdays ballot, as per usual I my name didn’t come out of the hat. From what I understand villas tickets aren’t selling so well & even if thet gave us another 1000 on monday I know we’d sell em, here’s hoping. KRO

  • kford bluenose says:

    Not only will it be the Vile players who don’t understand the passion of a second city derby their manager won’t either. His links with North London will have brain washed him, just like all the tossers in the media, that the only derbies that matter are Cockney, Manc or Scouse. Not sure my nerves would stand it but I’ll settle for running them ragged for 119 minutes then Grealish taking a throw in back to Guzan and it rolling under his foot and into the net!

  • Mitchell says:

    Possession football is not in our vocabulary -so it is futile to stop Villa passing it around. They can do this at ease through their dainty midfield all day. What is in our favour is that we have gained a lesson from Forest-which is to pounce through the likes of Gray and I have to say Maghoma. These two need to play the legs off Richards and Lescott in the latter stages. Brock could be a key player also. I feel the game shouts out a penalty and just hope it is for Gray. Goodness knows he owes the team a relentless 90 minutes.of constant runs. He needs to get opposition defenders booked for tackles which sadly I never see because they generally don’t need to. Prediction- penalty to Blues-end of.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Well for the record me , my wife &son will be there Tuesday night at vile park because we deserve to be because of our support for our team home and away .. Those of you who can’t go , you had better sing your hearts out seriously .. These knobs are there for the taking .. Stop the negativity and get your backsides to a pub or house that’s got sky .. You might just enjoy it .. Ime watching you !! Kro

    • ChrisG says:

      So what you’re saying is, because I couldn’t get to any away games last season because of work commitments ( even though I still had a season ticket for home games ), then I don’t deserve to go to vile park?

    • almajir says:

      For the record Dave, I think you should try being a bit nicer to your fellow Blues fan :)

      • Mitchell says:

        Don’t worry Daniel about niceness from Mr. Mann. He is enjoying the times after years of misery and wants fellow bluenoses on his shoulder-that’s all.

      • Dave Mann says:

        For the record Dan , I will be a lot nicer to blues fans when they start supporting the team .. Is that wrong ?? Kro

        • almajir says:

          Yes Dave, it is wrong for two reasons.

          1) I live in Poland – I’ve been to one game this season. Am I a shit/disloyal fan?

          2) This is my website and I’ve asked you nicely to be nice. I’m now telling you to drop it.

          For the record (not just Dave), I’ve just deleted eight comments from various posters. I don’t have time to separate playground fights so if you (as in any of you) can’t play nicely I have no problem from banning you from commenting. Take heed.

          • steve says:

            Delete as many as you like Dan,but this Blog is nothing without the posters.

          • almajir says:


            This site is nothing without me. I’ve turned off comments in the past and it’s still going.

          • Ali Duncan says:

            I still find it funny that some fans see loyalty and the number of games they attend as a competition. Very very sad. People go as they please based on many things such as budget, work commitments and family time. Be as much or as little of a fan as you like. Who cares! We’re all Blues fans after all.

          • steve says:

            Hear Hear

          • Mitchell says:

            Daniel, you have made it very clear. So I will now say this:- how typically crazy that this Sunday many bluenoses feel the need to start the war of words against each other. Why we don’t know. For years we are now in a lovely situation with the future months really anticipating excitement. Don’t start the systematic destruction and harmony as that would be disrespectful to GR and the squad. They have worked hard,very hard to please the supporters. So as from 6pm. today lets get back ‘together’.

          • almajir says:


            I’ll do better than that. People are so busy trying to one up each other they’ve missed the hidden message in the article. That is sad.

          • steve says:

            I don’t come on here anywhere near as often as i used to because of some of the tosh being posted.Dan,i don’t think you and your web site are half as important as you think.

          • almajir says:


            I don’t think I’m important at all, people completely misunderstand. I write this blog because I want to, it’s my opinion – I don’t write this because I have to, because it’s a job.

            If you don’t want to read the site, then that’s fine mate – that’s up to you.

  • No more not seeing the wood for the trees like at forest blues , we are about the 8th best club in the whole of the country premiership included in this cup , so take no prisoners blues you are the best , command your positions BLUENOSES, you do not need half the crowd being blues supporters ,We are with you in mind as one , YOU DARE you TAKE , come on let’s start motoring ,

  • zxcv says:

    My fear is the performance of the referee, I just hope he gives us three penalties and disallows two perfectly good goal for the vile. Now that’s what I call a good ref.

  • Aussiebrum says:

    So excited for the game, i couldn’t get over for the 2011 Derby so am thrilled to be in Birmingham for this. Praying for a Blues win given I fly home first thing on Wednesday.

  • ChrisG says:

    Just been nosing around some of the vile forums & I have formation for GR to ponder, I think we should play 1-5-4. We won’t really need a goalie but just in case there’s a deflection we better have one, we only need one defender ( mainly to chat to the goalie to stop him falling asleep ) the 5 midfielders can have some fun knocking the ball around & helping each of the 4 strikers in turn to get their hat tricks. Then the second half is up to whatever system GR wants to play!!!!!! COME ON BLUES

  • Paul KRO til I die says:

    Weather fans have got a ticket or not it’s not a competition who’s the bigger fan I’m sure we will all be singing from same sheet come Tuesday night weather watching on TV or there’s. All I no is that I’m so excited I could p*ss myself come on you blue boys do us proud win or lose KRO!!

  • Tebily says:

    We’re Blue, we’re white, we’re fckin dynamite!

    Someone spotted it! (I edited your post so other people might look for it…)

    • Hvala Obafemi says:

      Nice one – I sent the ‘scottish manager” a GINGER JUDAS postcard along the same lines from Maribor – doubt he has it framed, but it made me feel better. Really looking forward to the match – not over-confident, but doesn’t it get the pulse racing?

  • Blue Lizard says:

    WTF are you lot on about?? Save your dislikes and piss taking for the rats down the road!! We are Blues..we are stronger together rather than bickering about whos this and that….interesting that Timmy says he is better when he is backed into a corner? I suppose that would depend on which way he was facing and what Stan Collymore was holding in his hand!!
    Win or lose we carry the citys name……1-2 Blues KRO

  • BewdleyBlue says:

    Keen to watch the game but it will be with nervous anticipation for – think it’s a good time to play them but we will still need to have all 11 on their game.

    Really hope that we can turn the screw on them and put another nail in the Vile coffin.

    On another note, saw a post suggesting that anyone actually attending should wear Biological Hazard suits – how amusing !!!

    Oh and I saw the hidden message – 1st letter of each paragraph for those that haven’t.

    KRO !!!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Blue Lizard, of course your right about us slagging each other off on here when we’ve all got our clubs interests at heart … Me in particular can be a bit annoying in my ranting sometimes as I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve .. I fully understand why some fans can’t get to games as often as they like and the game against the vile .. Ime lucky that I’ve got connections and can get a ticket for any away game no matter what allocation we get .. If there was 1000 for old Trafford I would get one but I know ime lucky in that respect .. From now on I will take my frustrations out on the opposition and that’s starting tomorrow at vile park .. My ranting at bluenoses stops today , I promise ! Kro

  • AussieBlue says:

    “I’m not being mean,
    I’m not being bitter;
    But 2-0 tomorrow
    And the Vile’s down the….

    (Dan am I allowed to say it on here?)

  • Lee says:

    Crazy thing now is I think you need a season in the premiership just to be able to compete with teams in the championship now, burnley and Derby spending so much money now it’s crazy, is it this season you come down with 99million?

  • tonyd says:

    Very skilful, Dan! And better left unsaid for those that can find it! Good assessment too.

    (The technical term’s an acrostic, I believe)

    • Trevor Honnor says:

      I found it – need to re-introduce Like buttons to this site :)

    • AussieBlue says:

      Clever fellow TonyD 10/10 for perception

      A clever fellow once told me
      Read everything carefully, that you
      See; read with diligence
      Every word and here there be,
      Honourable wisdom not
      Once, twice but again three.
      Let it be said the literary man,
      Eschews idleness and does what he can;
      Strongly pursuing the true blue way,
      Valiantly keeping on, day by day;
      In sickness, health and
      Lassitude, he never
      Lets his team down
      And is never rude.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Rowett has hinted at a slight tweak to the system.. I hope it’s to give Donaldson more support. The last thing we need is him isolated.

    He’s also said he’ll definitely play the “strongest team we have available.” I wonder if it will be Legzdins in goal, or Kuszczak? The rest of the team picks itself I suppose.

  • Trevor James says:

    It’s the same ref who was in charge when villa lost 6-1 at Southampton in May this year!

  • Dave Mann says:

    A change in formation is a definite I reckon staffs .. Possibly Donaldson and the Brock up front … Wouldn’t supprise me one bit mate. Kro

    • zxcv says:

      Only my opinion but you aint got a chance of that happening mate. It will be a strong midfield and one up top.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I can’t see it Dave tbh. He said a tweak to the system, not a change of system. He might push the full backs forward slightly, with the wingers pushing on to their full backs. We have to get support up with Donaldson.

      Does anyone know if Toral is eligible? Personally, I’d maybe play Davis alongside Kieftenbeld and push Gleeson forward. But, we’ll find out what Rowett thinks about 6.45pm tomrrow.

  • zxcv says:

    Although we have strengthened considerably this season squad wise, I am still not sure we are in a position to improve things all that much by making changes. Our bench does look better now than this time last season its true but do they improve us when starting games, I really don`t think so. We have to be careful (or Gary does) that we don`t tinker for the sake of it and become an unsettled team as that is precisely our strength maybe because we have had no choice due to lack of quality in numbers.

    What we do have is a much better bench its one that allows us to make changes without weakening the team if not necessarily improving it. So I would keep it tight at the back frustrate an already unconfident team and play to hit them on the break and bring on a couple of our more creative player like Gray Shinnie Torel which means starting with maybe Davis and Magoma to soften them up and go for it later on in the game .

  • Dave Mann says:

    It would be nice to play two upfront wouldn’t it though zxcv.. But I think five in midfield might be the change .. We’ve nothing to fear in my opinion . Kro

    • zxcv says:

      We don`t play that system Dave, and he certainly wouldn`t be changing it for this game. We have to go strong midfield and try to frustrate the life out of them as this could be a revenge game for last Saturday. Can you imagine their fans reaction if we can nick a goal on the counter and we go in at h/t 1-0 up. You would hear the fans Boo`s at St Andrews. They would be dreading coming out for more in the second half. We just need that one goal imo mate and Donaldo will get it, then just watch the panic set in.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That first goal is massive tomorrow , if we score there panic , if they score then it’s cool heads and hit them on the break.. Can’t wait mate. Kro

  • carl71 says:

    i have had £2.00 on blues to win 4 0 will return me £302.00 – i have also put a holiday form in for Wednesday – drinks are on me !! up the Blues !!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Best of luck mate , hope your right , I finish at 2 tomorrow . Kro

  • Bluey says:

    I`m actually quite amazed how optimistic a lot of our fans seem to be regarding the game against the Vile. Personally i think it`s a big ask to win this one,maybe the `derby` factor will kick in and give us a chance but i doubt it.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think it’s our record against them this century that gives us hope Bluey. Kro

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    Bluey, I also think the fact that their team are running around like disorganised headless chickens, and they don’t have a Benteke to lump the ball to anymore because they let him go and the fact that they are more worried of us than we are of them, does give us a lot of optimism, plus they are only 11 table places above us when we have a game in hand and are on the ascendancy and they are looking over their shoulders. Bring it on 3-1 Blues.

  • Bluey says:

    It seems that i`m in a huge minority on this one. Trust me if i`m wrong i`ll be as happy as anyone and will certainly be back on this blog admiitting you guys were right.However i reckon there`ll be a few disappointed fans on our side come tomorrow evening.And Dave i take your point about our record against them but it counts for nothing,this is a new game with different players and of course we are now a division below them.Time will tell.KRO.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Ime just trying to hold on to any hope we can of beating them however the situation looks ..we’ve got to go in there believing we can beat them otherwise there’s no point turning up .. There at home , there premiership, there better than us but it’s a cup game and all the pressure is on them not us so let’s hope that works to our advantage .. There I go again hanging on to hope !! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Apparently cotterils injured and will miss the game . Kro

  • Andrew says:

    All I can say is that I haven’t heard much from either side really in the build up. I think it’s a potential banana skin for both managers and neither wants to lose it as the consequences could be quite negative. I’m not going but would have liked to. Just haven’t had the time to go to football games recently.

  • Mitchell says:

    Atko you are quite right, but still feel that tweet and pic. by Cotts. is a wind up. Cast looked a bit childlike and a hint of comedy!

  • D priddey says:

    Come on u blues tonight

    For those who didn’t know blues have to pay for any damage to the vile ground so don’t do it! Not sure why this is not more published? Dan maybe u could take on and do a piece

  • David L says:

    Cute acrostic, the sentiments in the post are spot on, and the refs to Bruce are true too : he did the same to Hull City last year (up here in East Yorks I hear it all the time)

    Looking forward to twice-a-season meetings, but for now can see that we might win, but don’t think our defence will be good enough, especially if that Gestedte (?) bloke plays.

  • Bluey says:

    I hate saying i told you so but i told you so.I really didn`t get all the over-optimistic posts on here and we got the result that i fully expected.

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