Often Partisan

Stalling a Revolution

Birmingham City lost 2-0 at home to Rotherham yesterday in what was a disappointing result against the team who were bottom of the league. In a performance rated as “flat” by Gary Rowett, Blues struggled to maintain any kind of possession and were beaten by goals from former Blues striker Matt Derbyshire and Tony Andreu.

Yesterday reminded me of two things that are incontrovertible about Blues – firstly, if I think Blues should win easily they are absolutely bound to lose. Secondly, it doesn’t matter how well we have played for how long – one poor performance and there is a collective meltdown on the internet.

It’s hard for me to discuss any performance because I wasn’t there and I didn’t see it. I can only go on what other people tell me. My friend Matthew of Blue Tinted Specs fame summed it up with these messages (once he had calmed down a bit):

– We have a plan A, which is fine until it doesn’t work.

– We lack options off the bench that can influence the game

– A fast striker that can get I’m behind is one of those options.

Of course, Blues had an attacking option off the bench who had a bit of pace and offered something different and indeed, he scored yesterday – unfortunately that was for Swindon, where Wes Thomas is on loan without recall. I understand Rowett has a big thing about having a “small, tight squad” but is it possible it’s just a bit too small and we’re becoming a little bit predictable?

The lack of a “plan b” has been a criticism of Rowett since he took over Blues. We’ve got a half-decent first XI but if teams can effectively bully Donaldson and deny whoever is playing at #10 space then Blues struggle to create anything.

There are two options as I see it. Firstly – Blues can spend some money and bring in a loan player or two. As light as we are at centre-back with the short-term capture of Shane Lowry along with the alleged move for Cameroonian-German youngster Emmanuel Mbende we might have enough cover for now; can the purse strings be opened enough to bring in some young nippy striker as a bench option? Or maybe even to play off Donaldson/Brock-Madsen should we decide to throw a curveball and play two up top?

Secondly – we can once again dip into the younger players in the squad and see what happens. Alex Jones was signed from West Bromwich Albion in the summer as a long term project – is he worth a place on the pitch? Admittedly I don’t even know if he is fit bearing in mind the paucity of his appearances in the development squad of late – and if he isn’t it reinforces the need to bring in some cover; alternatively we can pull a Lee Clark and throw in an u18 player like David Popa or Khaleem Bailey-Nichols (who have both scored a few in the ressies) on the bench. I can’t see that happening.

I agree with not signing players for the sake of it. I also agree with the idea that any player who comes into the team has to offer something different or be an improvement on what we already have. What I am unsure about is our recruitment process – everything seems to take so long – and that possibly needs to change. I mentioned it in June – people said “oh, it’s only June, there’s loads of time.” In July people said “oh, let’s wait for the end of the transfer window.” At the end of the transfer window people said “oh, we’ve got the loan window.” Are we going to get to the end of the loan window in November and say “never mind, the winter window opens in a month”?

Blues have come so far so quickly – hope has been restored and much credit is deserved by Rowett for turning things around. Wouldn’t it be a horrendous shame if that revolution now stalled because we can’t sort out bringing in a little cover?

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79 Responses to “Stalling a Revolution”

  • Bluesfan says:

    It just goes to show how bad our team is when fans are saying bring Thomas back. Why did we buy Brock madson when he plays the same as Donaldson only not very good when we obviously needed a striker with some pace who can get around it makes you wonder what these managers are thinking at times.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      I expect Gary let Thomas go because he’s not Championship standard. Bring him on against the poorer centre halves and less organised defences and maybe he’ll get a sniff but as we saw yesterday even bottom of the table can be competent at times.

  • bluemaximus says:

    It was poor yesterday, & poor against Forest, so 2 home games on the spin. Predictable is the key word here. I am a massive believer in keeping a settled side, but it does need freshening up. Davies can think himself very unlucky not to start yesterday. There also needs to be a time when Donaldson needs a break, as this league is relentless and he just doesnt stop running! The Danish lad needs to get a chance. But…. That is still like for like. Toral for me doesn’t do enough off the ball. The whole point of that position is its an extra man in the midfield, always showing, and should be very difficult to pick up, but the lad doesn’t put enough in to be that option pass. Swap him for Shinnie, but again like for like. I think we need to play around with the formation, because we could be very easy to just watch and then come up with a game plan to beat. Expect the unexpected needs to happen every so often.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Given Donaldson’s age and the reliance on one up top Brock-Madsen seems to have been brought in as the medium term replacement. Judged on the little we seen of him I would say he’s long-term.

      Davis isn’t as good a passer as Gleeson and Kieftenbeld (their fopars yesterday were very uncharacteristic) but I think he deserves another chance now. Toral doesnt busy himself like Shinnie and plays closer to Donaldson but his vision and quick-thinking is better than the Scotsman and his ball control is far better. Here’s a thought then. Move Gleeson in the hole. I thought when he was at MK Dons he played as an attacking midfielder.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I was saying that before the villa game. To play Kief and Davis as the two and push Gleeson further forward… 1, for his passing and 2, for his shooting from outside the box.

  • Steve says:

    For me, I understand Wes Thomas wanted to go and play but I really expected around Rowett to bring someone else in. We went two upfront late yesterday but needed more mobility. Gray needs resting in my opinion. But what’s the strength in depth? I don’t think it’s there. When he’s getting the ball he’s either got 2/3 players around him or he’s lost a bit of confidence to go by people. Lack of a plan B overall. Rotherham played with someone in front and behind Donaldson and I think teams are sussing us a bit.

  • Lee says:

    I’m getting a bit sick of this plan a plan b sh#te, we do have options going forward, plenty of them, and Donaldson wasn’t bullied at all, he wasn’t given anything from the ref, in fact it was ridiculous how they fouled one of our guys and he finally gave a free kick then Morrison did exactly the same about 30 seconds later and was booked, as you stated we lose and we go into meltdown, the reality is we were poor yesterday, from the word go, even the substitutions that came on we’re poor, Rotherham were bright first half and deserved their lead, second half when we did kind of try a bit they defended like we normally do, got men behind the ball and snuffed everything out, too much analysis goes in when we lose when the simple answer is every player on the park was well below their best, it’s life, it happens, we are a better side than what we were yesterday, every body take a chill, stop calling our system and our manager into question, get behind the lads and we will turn the corner, a side made up from lower leagues can’t perform at a high level every week, the big picture is looking good, we went in a run of not winning for ten games last season, we haven’t become a bad side over night, if we’d spent money I would understand but with what we spend and what we pay people need to put things into perspective, we will bounce back with that system and with them players

    • Lee says:

      I didn’t hear any plan b comments after the game against Mk Dons, I think the real problem is the plan b mob are fickle, and were probably the ones who booed the side off at half time, after giving the vile stick for doing it a few days earlier

      • ChrisG says:

        So making 2 substitutions that totally changed the game at MK Dons wasn’t a plan b?, after we went 2-0 down yesyerday we went 4-4-2 but that didn’t work because too many had an off day. The idea of having plan b,c,d or whatever is so if things aren’t going your way in a game you can bring someone on who can possibly change the game in your favour it’s not just about systems. As GR has decided for some strange reason to let 3 strikers go out on loan & the don & Brock Madsen are simelar types it doesn’t give too many options up front.

        • Lee says:

          I’m not the one saying we haven’t got a plan b, I’m the one saying we have options…….

          • Lee says:

            And if your saying Novak and Thomas are championship your the one with rocks in your head, they went to the clubs they’re at because that’s the level they’re at, they are not championship players, not even a little bit

      • ChrisG says:

        Lee you are an idiot who just contraticts him or herself not sure which you are tbh. You think it’s ok to praise the team when they play well, but not critisize when they are rubbish, maybe when you’re at school tomorrow you can ask the teacher what the difference is between winning & losing. Any supporter can accept to a certain extent their team losing, if as they did against vile play really well challenge for everything but just not get any luck, yesterday only Caddis came out with any credit, the rest of the team were crap & played as though they’d never played with each other before. It’s unacceptable. But I suppose i’m wrong about that too lee??

        • Lee says:

          Ok, so I contradict myself, go on clever clogs, explain, I’ve said we were poor, but I haven’t waded into systems, saying we have no plan b, criticising individuals, what I’ve said is on the whole we are doing well, the bigger picture is a good one, over the course of rowetts tenure we have a points ratio that could land us in the play offs, we will and have stumbled at times but every club in the country does, so come back at me with a grown up comment, and try and leave the school playroom stuff where it belongs, because it only proves your argument is pathetic, I’m saying take the good with the bad, stop bitching and get behind the lads, that’s what supporters do, we haven’t become a bad side over night, if we played like we did yesterday regularly I’d understand, but rowett and this group have worked wonders, times like this you give a bit back and quit nit picking, if me being positive and supporting my side when things aren’t going well is a bad thing, or contradictive then I’m happy to be that, rather that than booing the side or giving them shit when they need exactly the opposite

          • ChrisG says:

            Lee you’re obviously not reading what i’m saying & you seem to have made your mind up that i’m totally critical of blues altogether, what I am doing & it is my right to do as a paying supporter is offering constructive crticism & in my opinion we don’t have any game changers, an opinion by many bluenoses not just me. It’s funny how you banged on all day about the booing at half time but no mention of the booing at full time or the thousands of blues fans that left the stadium early, so, were you one of them?. Anyway can’t be bothered to comment further. See you at Brentford. KRO

          • ChrisG says:

            Oh one last thing, try reading view from the south by bazzathebluenose on the joys & sorrows web site, he’s just said vitually everything I said in one of my first posts!!!

    • Eddie says:

      Well said
      I agree with all above.

  • Bluesfan says:

    I agree we are to predictable but it’s our style of football as well it’s awful can’t string two passes together can’t keep the ball and what I’ve noticed our players can’t jump very good we are rubbish in the air. You can’t keep using the excuse it’s a cheap team because other teams that are in the same boat as blues play half decent football our team play like they have never played the game before. I’ve said this before I think Gary Rowett will end up being poached because he will never be able to move blues to another level while the owners we have are still here and I don’t think we are going to be sold any time soon if ever and fans will get on his back because we will slowly get worse especially if we get injuries.

  • alex hurley says:

    I dont agree with all this no plan b stuff – its a red herring. If you look at our squad and how we play weve got plenty of balance and options. We can play down the flanks with gray, cotts & maghoma. We can go long to the don & also play through the center with toral & shinnie. In addition we can go 442 with Brock-madsen as he has done now on a few occasions.

    I also dont really have a prob with squad size (centre half notwithstanding) – we have 2 players for esch position + some promising youngsters.

    What yesterdays defeat boils down to is 2 things. Firstly tiredness. Rowett hasnt rotated because, quite rightly hes not wanted to tinker eith a successful team. As a result theyre knackered -so hes damned if he does and damned if he doesnt rotate.

    Secondly, and this is the nub, people forget this squad is if limited ability. Its still mainly clarks 5 grand a week mob and those who think we will suddenly sweep all before us are either deluded, have short memories or both.

    For me Rowetts big challenge now is continuing the gootballing improveent and gradually turning us from a side thats well organised and hard to beat, into a side who can dominate the ball a bit more and be more effective in the final 3rd.

    Easier said than done, given the squad bit in Rowett we trust!

    • Lee says:

      Bang on the money mate

    • ChrisG says:

      Alex one goal in the last 4 games is hardly successful, with playing the same squad & system week in week out there are no surprises so oppsition managers know how to set their stall out against us. We have several players that just aren’t perforring at the moment Dimmi, Torel & Gleeson have been poor of late & I don’t buy into this nonsense that they’re tired, they’re professional sportsmen for gods sake. Donaldson needs help up front, I can’t remember him having a shot on target since he scored a hat trick, every game he’s being out muscled by 3 defenders & gets no help from the ref. I can’t believe GR didn’t play Davis yesterday, he’s obviously done something to upset him

      • Lee says:

        Your only saying that because of our run, based on 4 games, rowetts win rate is 47%, we’ve never solely relied on Donaldson for goals, I agree about Davis, his energy is what we could have done with, glee son has been outstanding this season, every player on the park had a bad day yesterday, keiftenbeld was dreadful yesterday, if you want to call the team into question over four games including the point away at Ipswich, which was a very good point, and against a side that have spent 55milion and are in the premiership, incidentally we came out of that game with more respect than them, then you need to question yourself and your expectations

        • ChrisG says:

          Lee do you actually go to any games?, if you do you must be very drunk when you watch. Gleeson was rubbish yesterday & was responsible for the second goal, since he got injured against MK Dons he’s not been the same player. Most of our team seem scared to get stuck in & tackle of late in case they get booked or injured, you can’t play that way in this league yiu have to challenge foe every ball. I’d say we were very lucky at Ipswich cos they should of battered us & it was only poor finishing by them that let us off the hook.

          • Lee says:

            Well yea I do, I’ve got a season ticket and go away, your saying gleeson was bad yesterday, yea he was, but so was every one else, and your wrong about the second goal, Morrison gave the ball away, they scored, I’m not the one crying like a girl after a couple of bad games, I’m the one who sees the bigger picture and overall we’re doing sound and will come good again, I’ll look forward to your responses when we do snap out of it, we’re going through a blip, if you went regularly you’d see that instead of calling every man and his dog into question, makes my piss boil when fans start tearing into players at the first chance, considering where they’ve brought us too in such a short space of time, people like you deserve Lee Clark

        • Paul whhittaker says:

          We may have respect after the villa game, but just remind me which team were in the draw for the next round?Respect does not get points or trophies .
          I am very worried about our second half fade outs,when we went behind I really did not expect us to come back.I can not remember us coming back from being behind this season although we have
          Surrendered leads in every draw we have had.
          It seems more of a mental fatigue than physical one.
          I have no answers but Mr Rowett can sort it out..

      • Bluesfan says:

        I agree with everything you say ChrisG we are to predictable and and the tired thing makes me laugh train for a couple of hours then play a game of football some of our fans need to get their blue & white tinted glasses off the team & the manager are not beyond criticism.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      I hate to say this but there’s evidence to suggest Clark found better players for that paltry some than Gary; Randoplh went to the Prem; Caddis, Grounds, Gleeson, Cotterill and Donaldson are first choice and Davis and Shinnie were regulars last season.

      For Gary, Morrison, Kieftenbeld and Kruziac have proved their worth whilst B_M and Maghoma look like they weaken the team when they play.

    • Tolster says:

      Spot on Topman.

    • RichardM says:

      Agree Alex, they are tired. But they’re also predictable. You’re right to say don’t tinker with a winning team, but that’s not the case anymore. It’s been a punishing schedule the past three weeks and it’s starting to show.

      IMO, Gray needs a rest and needs to be taken off the frontline, it’s obvious his confidence is down. Perhaps give Koby a chance on the left. I’d even contemplate giving Brock-Madsen more than 20 minutes one day because Donaldson to me looks tired and lacking in confidence as well. Toral also looks off the boils to me, why not give Shinnie a chance.

      I also like the idea of bringing Davis in and letting Gleeson push further forward.

      Either way, I think we need changes ahead of Tuesday at Brentford.

  • alex hurley says:

    Sorry my speeling is draedfall

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I was all for sticking with the “strongest team” yesterday and with the benefit of hindsight I was wrong. Gleeson and Kelftenbeld in particular looked knackered and couldn’t cope with the pace of the game. I would be very surprised if Davis didn’t come in on Tuesday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if went to Brenfford and got a win. To a large extent there is less pressure when going away. if we want pace up front then play Gray off Donaldson as a two with Cotterill and Maghoma wide. International break coming up so the great majority of the squad get a rest anyway.

  • Lee says:

    Whilst all you lot are busy giving the side stick, how about we also talk about the fans, particularly the ones who booed us off at half time, yesterday may have been a bad day in the office, but that at half time was shocking and inexcusable

  • BluesBlues says:

    It was a very bad day at the office yesterday and it is apparent that yet another team have bullied us in midfield. We need a big centre half and a ball winning midfield player that is how most of this league operate. unfortunitly Playing the Vile in Midweek meant that Gary had to play his best eleven and with the recent run of games some of the players looked jaded yesterday. Hopefully Tuesday game away from home will take a liitle pressure of the players and allow Garry to rotated the squad.


  • Mitchell says:

    In June GR did his utmost to stop a player leaving who would act as a quick forward alongside Donaldson. He was bound for Brentford who wanted him up front. his name Koby Arthur. What has happened here?. Davis, Arthur and recently Edgar ( Canadian captain and CH). Three decent players surely to challenge our static style at present. Possible exception of Edgar who I don’t think can be recalled.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Arthur’s absence is curious. I’d play him ahead of Maghoma.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    By common consent Demarai Gray is an exciting prospect who in time will become a Premier League regular.
    At the moment we are not seeing the best of him because in his present position he is being asked to do too much defending.
    His strengths are his attacking skills, he cannot tackle a fish supper. Therefore he should be played just behind or alongside our main striker.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I agree. Take defensive responsibilities off him and tell him just to attack and use his pace to get behind defences. It might take a bit of pressure off Donaldson who has just got too much to do. I’m not sure bringing Shinnie in for Toral will make any difference.

  • atko says:

    Firstly, the problem why most people on this blog are unhappy is because they bought in to the good start we made & began to start talking about automatic promotion & playoffs, etc. Expectations were way too high & that’s why they are so down about things at the moment! At the end of the day the squad is largely Lee Clarkes as already pointed out & we all know how that almost ended for us. Yes GR has identified & filled some of the key areas but the formation we play was designed to sure up the defence after we were leaking goals. GR has stopped that problem but it’s now time to figure out how we are now going to score goals. We have never been a team that scores a lot. We can probably count on one hand how many strikers have played for Blues over the years who can regularly put the ball in the net but we need to start now.

    I agree with a more settled team than we obviously had under Clarke but if players are not getting first team football they cannot be expected to come in when needed & make a difference. I fear for Brock-Madsen. If he isn’t getting opportunities you can’t expect him to come off the bench & make a difference. Fans will start to get on his back & that can only affect the player. Look at Thomas, he had very limited opportunities & fans took it upon themselves to moan about him! Development games & behind closed doors friendlies are no preparation for a first team Championship game!!

    Having a loan striker puts immense pressure on the player in that position regardless of their contribution in a game. When everything goes right & we are winning games, Donaldson is great. If we stop winning games then suddenly his lack of goals is a problem. Somehow we need to get two strikers on the pitch & if that means a 4-4-2 or a 4-1-3-2 or whatever then so be it. Why not stick Kelftenbeld in front of the back four with Cotts, Gleeson & Dimi in midfield & The Don & Brock-Madsen up front? At least we will play with 11 players rather than the current 10 players! Torel is a passenger & has been for a long time.

    We need to start scoring & I think a 4-1-3-2 means we have some who can sit & help out the back 4 & still give the full backs options to push forward on overlaps.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Can’t argue with most of that atko.. but we could also try a 4-3-3, with Kieftenbeld, Gleeson and Davis as the midfield three, and Cotterill and Gray up alongside Donaldson, reverting to a 4-5-1 when not in possession. Whichever system we play, we have to get support up front. It’s unrealistic to expect Donaldson to do it all on his own.

      • atko says:

        Agreed Staff that’s another fair option. Davis had a good game when he came on Tuesday night. Putting in performances like that & staying out of trouble avoiding yellow cards would do his first team selection no harm. He has a tendency to pick up cards due to the way he plays which would put himself & the team under a bit of pressure but like I say, if he plays like Tuesday he’ll do a good job in that formation.

  • Peter bates says:

    Poor showing yesterday but it was always going to happen time to rest gray and give otabor a decent run in the side dimmi looks distracted and his performances have been below par most games would also bring Davies back for kieftenbeld and put shinnie back in for toral kro

  • Bluey says:

    It`s good to see a bit of realism creeping into fans` comments on here rather than the madly over-optimistic,unreal talk of a possible promotion tilt. This squad is very limited and if we stay up then that`s job done as far as i`m concerned.I forecast a steady drop down the table although i think GR has enough about him to keep us clear of the drop.We desperately need him to find some quality on loan to give our guys a lift (and a rest) because i sense confidence is slipping amongst players and fans alike which needs to be turned around asap before it gets out of control.KRO.

  • Mike Ellis says:

    We cannot keep a clean sheet against anyone so we will always have to score 2 goals to win a game. Wake up GR and get the team refusing to concede to anyone at anytime and then we have a recipe for better things. Also our midfield lacks creativity and also our finishing is not good.
    Until we get serious investment in the team we aill always be so near and yet so far !!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Toral is only one of two naturally left footed players in the team.
    My view is for him to switch roles with Gray and play on the left side of the midfield three. A position he played for Brentford last season.
    Gray for a winger doesn’t cross the ball very often if at all, and as a consequence doesn’t contribute either goals or assists from that position. All the crosses yesterday came from the right side by either Cotterill or Caddis.

  • Blue Steve says:

    I do agree with the point that we need a striker with pace as another option. Brock Madsen is a direct replacement for Donaldson so while Donaldson is fit will not contribute much. I think its harsh to be too critical. The fact is that we are over achieving. Our wage bill is probably in the bottom half of the championship. So can we really expect GR to consistently perform miracles?

  • SuperKRO says:

    It seems realism is creeping in here, which is no bad thing. We almost started too well and now we are giving ourselves a reality check. I can understand GR keeping the same tried and tested side for the game yesterday; but it is now apparent that a few changes need to be made in order to freshen up the side. I would start Davis in midfield instead of dutch mike, play demari behind clayts and play toral on the left. Whatever GR decides to do for the Brentford game on tuesday will please a few and frustrate a few; but all we an do is keep backing the team, KRO.

  • ian ambrose says:

    Who needing Re-place centre half partner with morrison centre back b stronger !!! Why not trying Donaldson partner with Brock-Madsen 4 4 2 ????

  • Mitchell says:

    It is nothing to do with over achieving and all that. If QPR,Hull,Burnley were striding ahead then I would agree. These teams are nothing in being way ahead of us in player quality and this is where the frustration lies. WHY NOT US. Teams such as Brighton and Reading have emerged as contenders and our squad is on apar with those. GR has selection issues which is hard to solve-non more than Gray and Toral. Brentford must see a change with Davis, Gleeson,Cotterill and MK.and Don.plus another up front. Caddis can cross from the right and Cotts. from the left.That leaves Gray on the bench which sadly is way overdue.

  • Tony says:

    Managing Burton Albion is one thing, managing a big club like Birmingham City is quite another I know Rowett likes a small compact squad but we have nothing to fall back on.
    As someone who still shudders at the thought of Clarks escapades I know Rowett has done a great job, however he is not above criticism.
    He is used to managing on a budget the question has to be asked when we are finally sold and hopefully money is available, can he be relied on to spend wisely, or will we need a big name manager who will be more expansive?.

  • sheldonman says:

    I don’t want to stick the boot into GR yet, he deserves a longer honeymoon period. I do agree though that we are predictable. My point is that the players we have are not particularly bad, but they all need to be on top of their game all of the time for us to be a winning team. We either seem to click, like the first half against Villa, or struggle like against Forest or Rotherham. Yesterday we couldn’t control the ball, tackle, win a header,
    put 3 passes together or cross the ball effectively, a sign of being knackered I think.

  • Raymondo says:

    I understand that we’re going through a period of 9 games in 21 days. Another one on Tuesday . With such a small squad I’m surprised we haven’t started flagging before now. Time to give some of them a rest and let the fringe players have a game. KRO

    • atko says:

      That’s the problem Raymondo! It’s a catch 22 situation where sticking to a settled first team so rigidly comes back & bites you on the ass! You can’t make wholesale changes as those coming in will be off the pace simply because Development games & U21 games & behind closed doors games are no substitute for Championship football. There are comments on here that GR likes to keep a settled first team squad & did so with success at Burton Albion. That’s all well & good at that level but that level is miles apart from the Championship.

      This league gets harder & harder each season to get out of without investment but I don’t think bringing in loan players is the answer. Torel is proving to be a passenger & needs replacing. He’s not bothered whether we win, lose or draw. He still get’s paid & then gets to go back to a Premier League club & possibly farmed out to another Championship club next season. If we hit & slump & ended up in a relegation dog fight he wouldn’t be that bothered one way or another. Same goes for any loan player. I think we need to change things tactically, we can’t do anything until January now even with money!

      I think a 4-1-3-2 is the formation we need to look at. Have Kiefenbeld sit in front of the back four like Robinson did the other week. Have him protect the back four whilst still allowing the full backs to push forward overlapping. The midfield would be Cotts, Gleeson & Dimi or bring in Maghoma, Solomon. This allows for 2 up front with two either Donaldson & Brock-Madsen with Shnnie or Torel in a more advanced role where maybe he might do something. There are 4 players we have there that can play upfront in a 4-1-3-2 formation. For me that gives us more of an attacking option with cover at the back without everyone having to sit so deep & pump long balls up to Donaldson. That would give him some support!

  • I keep beating the drum about stats and odds , sure blues can according to stats have 2 shots on target and score two goals in a match ,but the odds say that won’t happen very often , you don’t have to be at a match Dan if you know that blues had one attempt at goal on target and the other side had 6 attempts at goal on target ,then put your wages on blues losing 9 times out of 10 in this case , as I keep saying 7+shots ON target is the aim to get promotion to the prem per match , if we need 2 strikers or more direct to goal wingers ,whatever but that is GRs target …

  • Kford bluenose says:

    It’s always easy to get carried away when the team starts the season well, the league table can look great especially after our struggles in recent years so let’s consider one massive positive, we are above the in-Breds from dinglehampton so let’s enjoy that for now and see where the next half a dozen games take us.

  • Blue Lizard says:

    You don’t have too look too deep for the reasons…Our Passing is piss poor,(frustrating as we have seen it in flashes)so we resort to lumping it…Other teams play us at our own game with better players..and we are running out of steam in the second half..Like it or not we are still In a survival season until if/when investment arrives(?) sorry to piss on anyones strawberries but that’s how I see it

  • andy says:

    Birmingham were very poor and Rotherham dominated from first whistle to the last which is a concern. I did think the departure of Wes Thomas was to make space to bring in a better striker on loan, this doesn’t seem to be the case but Blues do need a quality striker if they are to have any hope of making the play offs this season.

  • Texas Pete says:

    It was very disappointing that we lost to the bottom club. I think we have had a good opening run because the team was fitter than everyone else and the attack on the break tactic worked. We know the defence has performed surprisingly well and we have had our share of luck. I think teams are getting wind of how to play us and the pride game last week has got in the way, so the team is tired. So what if we lose a couple of games. The point is to build for the longer term and build on the good things we have going. We must be patient for the team and GR to come good. Dimi and Toral an Don al have to hit good scoring form yet. I still see the counter attack as a good along with organized defence. The two centrehalfs in the wings are warming up and other youngsters are breaking through. Theres a long way to go and we will lose games again.
    Tuesday the game is a chance to move into the top 6 and i will be happy with a draw.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    One goal in the last 4 games shows that our main problem is up front, so the system needs to be tweaked to get us supporting Donaldson more. Our defence are not being turned over every game, but if we’re not scoring goals, it puts the defence under twice as much pressure. We need to start playing further up the pitch and we need someone who is going to drive us on, like a younger Robbo. What do people think of Morrison’s captaincy so far?

    • AussieBlue says:

      Spot on Staffs – it shows in all the stats. Hardly rocket science; you’re either letting ’em in or puttin’ em in but usually if you’re puttin ’em in you aren’t lettin’ many in, coz the ball’s most often up the other end.
      I’m not panicking about Rotherham result…they had to do something to reverse their lowly position and unfortunately we were the recipients; they are a good side. So are we and we have a great manager so let’s just spit it out and get on with the rest of the season.
      Anyone notice Vile is below the dotted line? scored 2 against ‘Pool and only managed one against us….not all bad eh?

      • Blue Lizard says:

        The vile going 3-1 down at one point was part of Tim Tim nice but dim’s plan to lull them into a sense of false security….. Brilliant !!! Give me GR any day

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If Mr Rowett can get it right on Tuesday, we’ll be back in the Top 6. That’s a decent incentive.

  • Scoobay1875 says:

    I would love to see either Gray or Solomon up top alongside Donaldson with Maghoma and Cotts on the wings. We know Gray can put the ball in the net and to have either him or Soloman running at the centre backs would sh*t a few teams up. It can be a poor mans Jerome and Benitez pairing. I’m surprised this hasn’t been tested out, if only for 15 minutes.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Spent the day in London yesterday at “The Jam”‘exhibition and sightseeing so been a bit quiet ( some fans will be happy with that) but for my two penethes worth I think over reacting on both the positive and the negative sides his spreading like a cancer here … We’re 9th in the league with a game in hand and a chance on Tuesday night to go 5th , better than most of us would have predicted yes? , defeat then it’s all the 3s and we’re be where most of us would have predicted yes? .. I think it’s gotta be 4-4-3 at home with the team Staffs said and stay with 4-2-3-1 away or change to 4-5-1 if needed !….. By the way that’s 4-3-3 at home …. Anyway Ime happy that we’re in the top half of the league and vile are in the bottom three .. Not to bad hey!!! Kro

    • Bluey says:

      Dave i think you were one of those over-reacting on the positive side and panning anyone who dared utter a single pessimistic/realistic view.It`s good however to see you now reigning yourself in and being glad with midtable because that`s as good as it can get with this current squad.As long as we don`t have to take the Bitterest Pill of relegation i`ll be happy.

  • Raymondo says:

    As you say Dave,we’re better off than we could have expexted with what are limited resources for the time being. Nothing stays the same forever. This time last year we still had Clark didn’t we? And things could change with Hong Kong soon couldn’t they? Villa are in 18th place now. If I was them I’d be more worried frankly! KRO

  • Singapore Brum says:

    I see comments about where the Villa or Dingles are in the league. We shouldn’t be wasting our energy harping on about other teams’ misfortunes because at the end of the day, it doesn’t make our own position any better.

    Games against Burnley, Derby, Ipswich and Villa were shown live over here. Recent performances are a reality check imho. We are still a club with dire financial constraints. We have been punching above our weight early on in the season, our squad is thin on quality and possibly above all else, GR’s initial impact and self belief has waned.

    If we finish top half with this current team, I will be surprised and more than happy as opposed to going through our regular end of season struggle against the drop.

    One final point – we are all Blues fans on here and we all have our own solutions and opinions on what’s going wrong and how to fix it. The last thing we need is fellow supporters having a go at each other. Disagree by all means but at least be civil about it.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There’s no reason why we can’t get 7 or 8 points from the next 4 games. All four sides are currently below us, so let’s keep ’em there.

  • optimisticbluenose says:

    I think for teams where we are expected to dominate the share of possession (i.e. 52% and above) – we need our most attacking team out on the pitch. This will probably mean only playing one defensive midfielder – so whether that means two strikers upfront or shinnie & toral playing behind a front man, so be it.
    For teams where we won’t have the lion’s share, then the counter system should remain. Also for most of the midweek games the team should definitively be freshened up; the previous Saturday’s team almost always looks jaded.

  • Blue Realist says:

    What are your thoughts on Devante Cole, he seems to fit the bill of a young hungry fast striker who comes from a proven pedigree, I understand he would have been raw still at 20 years old but he seems to have chipped in with some goals already since Bradford signed him!

  • Mitchell says:

    All matches are vital as the saying goes- but Brentford takes on a totally different dimension. Forest defeat, Ipswich draw, Villa and Rotherham loses boils up into a new uncomfortable arena. Success will resurrect the whole club including forthcoming gates after the int. break. Draw useful, but a defeat a real set back. With Brentford struggling with departures of Gray,Dallas and Douglas resulting in Lee Carsley appointment today- I urge a brave formation to ensure the 3 points. Defence will as we know concede the goal but the response has to be the two. Donaldsons possible absence may turn the tide with a more fluent goal seeking approach.A lot rides on this game and it will reveal to not only myself but football people in general what qualities our manager has when ‘accolades’ start drying up somewhat.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    The Trillion money has to be spread over the two years of their exclusivity otherwise it’ll run out too early. Perhaps is Gary strengthens further with out of contract players it will come out of the January budget and he may have a greater need at that point

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