Often Partisan

GAMEDAY: Rotherham United at home

Blues face strugglers Rotherham United looking to bounce back after the midweek derby disappointment.

Rotherham United

Rotherham United lie bottom of the Championship after eight games, having picked up just five points although they won their first league match of the season last weekend against Cardiff City.

Kirk Broadfoot has completed the ten match ban he was given for sectarian abuse and could make his first start for the Millers; Lee Frecklington is a doubt with a calf injury while Emmanuel Ledesma, Chris Maguire and Danny Ward could all come into contention to start.


Blues look likely to be once again without David Cotterill who is still recovering from the heel injury which kept him out of the midweek fixture. Jacques Maghoma is expected to continue in his stead although Viv Solomon-Otabor won’t have done his chances any harm with another decent cameo appearance. Their only other injury worry is Neal Eardley who will be out for a while yet with a dislocated shoulder.

This is a game Blues really should win; since Gary Rowett took over only two teams in the Championship have won more home games than Blues’ 11; Rotherham are top of the table for conceding away goals this season with nine.


Andy Woolmer is in the middle for this one – he’s taken charge of six games so far this season handing out 21 yellow cards. His last Blues game was the 4-2 away defeat to Bournemouth in which he sent off Paul Robinson as well as booking five players including Jonathan Grounds and David Davis.

Suspension Watch

3 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld and David Cotterill
2 Yellow Cards: David Davis and Jon Toral
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, Michael Morrison, Jonathan Grounds, Stephen Gleeson, Clayton Donaldson, Jonathan Spector and Demarai Gray.

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is April 9, 2016


Often Partisan is working in partnership with Bordesley Labour Club this season. They are based ten minutes away from St Andrew’s on Whitmore Road in Small Heath and have welcomed Blues fans over a number of years on match days.

Food will be available at Bordesley Labour Club on Saturday. Burgers are £2.00, Hot Dogs Dogs and  Hot Pies all at £2.00; plus a special deal on a Burger and pint of Carling for £4.00. Everyone is welcome.

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53 Responses to “GAMEDAY: Rotherham United at home”

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If we really are top six contenders as some thing then this is a game win comfortably and boosting our goal difference. We need to show Rotherham respect by not being complacent but nevertheless boss the game from the off

  • Dave Mann says:

    We should win this game but in this league a wins a win no matter how many goals you score … You don’t see many teams hammered that often and for me winning 1-0 no matter who you play is a good result .. Bottom beats top and beating Rotherham is as good for me as beating Brighton would be .. We’re in with a shout for top six in my opinion , we’ve played well in most games except Forest so 3 points today puts us in top 5 for sure with game in hand at Brentford Tuesday night .. The vile game convinced me we can push for playoffs . Kro

  • Bluey says:

    I hope the fans are patient.This won`t be easy and i reckon it`ll be a lot tighter than most imagine. I`m going for a 2-1 win but don`t be surprised if it`s a draw.

  • Dave Mann says:

    We’ve always tended to struggle against teams we’re suppose to beat , it’s always been that way so today could be no different Bluey .. Let’s just hope we get the disappointment of the vile out the way , the result not the performance and win the game which would set us up nicely. Kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Until centre back is sorted and Demarai recaptures his spark we won’t be top six contenders and today could be a grind out result

  • Dave Mann says:

    Or Dimmi could have the game of his life today and Lowry & Mbende could be that centre half and then suddenly we’re playoff hopefuls .. Positive thinking is my medicine . Kro

  • Tony says:

    Should be 3-0, comfortable win.

  • Mirkwood55 says:

    In 61 years I’ve never predicted a “comfortable” win. Come to think of it I’ve never predicted a win!!! I Know those Blues so well – beat Manyoo one week and lose to Altrincham the next. Doncha just love ’em!

  • Blue Steve says:

    I thought Dimmy played quite well against Villa. He is still lacking with his final cross or shot. I he is a little more positive and composed then maybe things could turn hi way today.

  • Dave Mann says:

    The only negative from Tuesday night besides the result was the difference in quality between Grealish & Gray … There both similar age but the vile man looks more the part than our man .. Hate to say it but that’s the way it is .. He’s gotta start doing it now . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I know it’s the opposite to popular opinion, but I can’t see him improving that much in the future. The defensive side has improved somewhat, but going forward, he’s no better than he was this time last year.

    • Blue Lizard says:

      Have to agree about Grealish…total contrast to Gray who is level headed and seems a nice lad..Grealish is a pavement vomiting turd with a face only a mother could love..but sadly seems ahead of Gray

  • Neale1971 says:

    This is a and has been already a massive week for birmingham as a city, continue the positive vibes with every heartbeat down at St. Andrews today. From the first whistle to the last with every rendition of keep right on, believe, we are one of the best teams in this league. Like it or lump it, believe. Vibes from the terraces breed success on the pitch. A win is a win but I will settle for 6-0 today. Believe.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    My team for today would be:


    Caddis Morrison Spector Grounds

    Gleeson Davis

    Gray Toral Maghoma


    Stop using Gray on the left. He’s almost totally ineffective there. Use him on the right, with Maghoma on the left.

  • zxcv says:

    for bleeding pity`s sake will you all cheer up a bit fgs, did you know we are playing the bottom club after just almost holding a prem team and infact being the better team for one half of the game.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m not sure what I think the result will be. I’m thinking 3-0, but our defence rarely keeps a clean sheet.. so I’ll go 3-1 to Blues.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think that will be the team staffs and if we win the game thats enough for me .. Weather it’s by 1,2,3 goals ime not really bothered .. 3 points is more important than 3 goals. Kro

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I think Rotherham would happily take a point now and I’m sure we will get lots of possession against a team that will sit deep and defend in numbers ie play us at our own game. An early goal will make it a lot easier so hit them hard from the very start. Cotterill is a big miss. He is the best crosser of the ball at the club by a mile and our deadball specialist.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I agree. It would be nice to see us take the game to the opposition from the start, for a change. Get 1 or 2 goals in front, then revert to our normal game if we must.

  • rhee says:

    Don’t care about score as long as we take 3 pts

  • Auld Bertie says:

    If the referee puts in a similar performance as against Bournemouth last season then expect a defeat as he was 90% responsible for us losing that game and unlike Bournemouth we never get homer refs at stans

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just seen a vine of the dressing room on the Blues Wall. Cotterill’s kit is in place. Not sure if there’s any significance in that.

  • Mitchell says:

    Having seen another favourite last night(QPR) bite the dust-this leaves Burnley, Derby,Hull and Wolves as nothing special. Middlesbro’ maybe. All in all, the bigger picture is grind out the wins irrespective of possession etc.and Blues like Brighton could just make it.Never has there been a better season to get out than this. Just believing it is the hard bit.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s the regular XI.

    • atko says:

      There’s a lot of talk about Dimi….some positive & some negative but there is one other player who needs to improve for me. I know he isn’t our player on a permanent basis but I think Toral is well overdue a big game for me. He has looked out of sorts for a few games in my opinion after a promising start at Burnley. If he doesn’t start improving quickly & bringing something to the table I would start with Shinnie for a few games. Toral has proven what a talent he can be but like Dimi he blows hot & cold. Is it a young thing or something?

  • kford bluenose says:

    We’ve all got our opinions of Gray, none of them disgraceful as Shirley Blue has previously commented, however whether he is 19, 29 or 39 he is a professional footballer and paid big money compared with your average working bloke. Is it unreasonable to expect more consistency from him? On his day he can produce magical moments however I can’t keep waiting for this to happen. I agree with comments comparing him with the Vile Gypo Grealish,at the moment they are from different planets football wise and I give total credit to Grealish for knocking us out of the cup because he was the only one who didn’t s**t himself in the Vile line up. Gray needs to start believing in himself a bit more and taking games by the scruff of the neck, he is more than capable.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I wouldn’t argue about his consistency but how many 19 yr olds are consistent at anything. We always have to have a scapegoat don’t we – it was Cotterill who got all the stick in the second half of last season. Other issue is we haven’t got anyone better than Gray waiting in the wings.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There were absolutely no positives to take from that game. I think the less said about it the better. On we go to Brentford.

  • Tony says:

    It had to be him, does anyone actually remember did he ever score for us? I mean Derbyshire of course.

  • atko says:

    Stand corrected…he scored 3 cup goals. FA Cup 2, League Cup 1. None in the League. He was still cr*p though for us in 20 games.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Awful first half reminiscent of the Clark era. Slightly better second half, but for all the attacking substitutes we only had 1 shot on target the whole game!
    Our tactics of lumping the ball up to Donaldson, who although working manfully, is totally outnumbered must change.
    The only bright spot was Caddis’ performance who I thought was superb.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    You could see that we were not going to get anything today from the first few minutes. We got bullied by a physically stronger team who just wanted it more. GR has tried to improve us technically but I am afraid Toral and Kieftenbeld were just not up for the battle today and we did get murdered in midfield today. Davis should have replaced Kieftenbeld before they scored. Too early to hit the panic button maybe but this is a physically demanding division and if we don’t fight for the right to play then there are going to be problems.

  • Mitchell says:

    We all know that deep down we are not that surprised with that result. We are used to building ourselves up and bump. Forest and Rotherham knew how to handle us and this is where our craft work is not good. Major reasons centre on our threadbare and not unkindly our quality when it matters. We cannot change much but still maintain a regular David Davis matches most teams with muscle. MK, Gleeson, Gray and Toral not cut out for the mis match in physicality. Brentford a chance to get back on track? Perhaps but GR needs to out think a few managers from now on. No good on relying on Don. If ever a time to ditch the 3-2-1 it is surely now. 4-4-2 needs to happen.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Problem is with two up front and two wide men you can get done in central midfield if the opposition play three. Toral today didn’t give us anything as second striker or did he help out in midfield – he just wasn’t involved. I quite liked the set up against the Villa with three in central midfield and two attacking wide men. We dominated midfield despite their physical approach.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Mitchell……….I would be astounded but delighted if Gary switched to 4-4-2.
      The problem is that we only have 2 senior strikers and one of them has never scored a senior goal.
      We certainly need, as a priority, an extra striker on loan, One goal in our last four games speaks volumes.

      • Mitchell says:

        Sad part about our current form is that we can go from pushing to get out of the division to staying in it! That’s how barmy it is and how Blues are. Gray has to score sometime surely and MK also. Problem is we don’t expect them to and that is again the sad part.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I looked at our subs bench before the match and felt that we didn’t really have a single game-changer. We only really have like-for-like… no one different who could come on and maybe change the game in our favour. The decision to let Thomas go out on loan looks worse with each passing game. He’s not brilliant, but he’s different and can change games with his speed and strength.

    • rhees says:

      I. Expected this in truth but wouldn’t be surprised to beat both brenford and Leeds
      Typical blues

  • Tony says:

    Its been said many times, the problem with playing the way we do on the break is its putting pressure on the defence, that’s ok if you have a strong dominant rearguard but we don’t.
    I’m afraid its time for a rethink we have to start putting pressure in the final third maybe 4-3-3 could do the trick.

    • atko says:

      It puts pressure on the defence AND Gary Rowett is putting unnecessary pressure on himself too. We have to have backup systems when the first choice system doesn’t work. That was Lee Clark’s problem, there was never a backup system. Simply changing the personnel doesn’t do anything at all when it’s clear the system is failing. Admittedly it’s only been the last 2 or 3 games but we start a slump & the confidence starts to drain from a squad that is really already over achieving.

      On the personnel front, Toral for me isn’t doing anything & unless he improves fast may as well be packed off back to London. Dimi needs to be more consistent. It’s all well & good admitting on twitter that it wasn’t one of your best games but then the next comes along & the performance is no better. He needs to improve or as I have always said needs to be rotated with Solomon. Cotts wasn’t at the races today & I think should not have started. He is instrumental to Blues & I think he came back too early & should have been rested for Tuesday.

      I can’t really fault the midfield today because due to the system Rotherham played we were overrun & in affective all over the pitch. We have to go back to the drawing board tactically or we are going to slide rapidly down the table. Agreed we have had quite a few games in a short space of time & I accept that hasn’t helped but we are not alone. Other teams may have bigger or better squads but it’s not the quality of player that has beaten us it is the systems used against us & it needs varying as we are fast becoming too predictable for any opposing manager.

      GR’s done a great job with what he has at his disposal but now is the time where he needs to prove his worth tactically. Let’s hope all the good work he has done so far doesn’t start to unravel.

  • Barny Blue says:

    Disappointed is an understatement. Don’t accept any excuses about a Villa ‘hangover’ – that was not acceptable! Credit to Rotherham, but we gifted them their goals and to have only 1 shot on target against the worst away defence in the league is ridiculous.

    Caddis and Kuszack the only starting players to come out with any credit. Kleftenfeld and Toral had their worse games in a Blues shirt and Cotterill was totally ineffective and not up for the fight.
    Attacking play improved after double substitution – Shinnie and Maghoma the only attacking players who looked to pass way through Rotherham, playing one-twos and keeping the ball on the floor. I said to my Dad before the game “If we play the long-ball tactics of the past two league games and look to out muscle Rotherham then we will lose the fight, but if we look to keep the ball on the floor, play through them and get in behind then we will outplay them”. Hardly rocket science I know, but we played straight into their hands!

    I am a great believer in consistency and not panicking into changes, but I am afraid Toral should be nowhere near the starting XI on Tuesday night. Davis deserves his chance to start and I would replace Kleftenfeld who had a shocker today. Shinnie and Maghoma in for Toral and Cotterill, but would continue with 4-2-3-1.

    Need to snap out of our slump asap and realise that we cannot rest on our laurals – we are nowhere near good enough to just turn up and expect to get a result. This league is the most unpredictable it has ever been, and we need every player to be on or around their A-game every game to keep in and around the top 6.

    Roll on Tuesday! KRO!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    September’s not been kind to us.. just one win in 5 says it all. It seems our 4-2-3-1 has been found out and the opposition are countering it with some success. Donaldson has played all 8 league games now and has scored in only one of them (albeit a hat-trick.) It’s quite obvious now that, although he works his knackers off, that route isn’t working as well now as it was last season. Mr Rowett needs to be a little bit cuter in his thinking and come up with a few different ideas. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

    • Barny Blue says:

      The biggest challenge of Gary Rowett’s tenure. Has he got the tactical nowse to tweak and re-find the winning formula. And get the players heads back on track. That was the most disappointing thing yesterday – I can accept defeat but I cant accept such an inept performance and players obviously not at the races mentally (lacked clarity of decision and concentration yesterday.

      Gary will turn it around I’m sure, but sooner rather than later I hope! KRO!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Not a lot say than ooops … Having a dodgy spell at the moment with no wins in four games WOW .. Go to Brentford and turn them over , it’s what we do. !!! .. Back in top six .. Crisis ? What crisis ! Kro

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