Often Partisan

The “P” Word Again

Following the 2-0 loss to QPR at the weekend, Blues lie in 8th place in the Championship, four points behind Sheffield Wednesday in 6th place with a game in hand. Have Blues still got a chance of the “P” word?

I can already see people saying that talk of the “P” word is wrong, that it’s too much expectation to place on the team and that with our budget we’re be doing damn well to even think about challenging for promotion. Those people are right – if you look at the money thrown around the transfer market by Sheffield Wednesday and by Derby for example, it’s accurate to say Blues probably have no right to think about going up.

However, a win against what I expect will be a hard to beat Hull City would see Blues very much back in the playoff mix with twelve games to go. With Blues yet to face five of the seven teams above them in the remaining thirteen games it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they could catch enough of the teams in front to finish in the post-season lottery.

Of course, that means Blues actually have to win the games – something that has proven hard to do of late with the win against Bolton being their only win in their last five league games. Although the team has only conceded four goals in that period, they’ve only scored twice; the back to back 3-0 wins over Ipswich and Derby seem a long time ago now.

I know it’s probably heresy to say this about our “Oxfam Galactico”, but the introduction of Diego Fabbrini to the squad has actually coincided with this run almost precisely. I don’t think it’s the Italian’s fault in any way but I do wonder if Blues would be better off starting Jon Toral on Thursday night as the on-loan Spaniard had been in good form prior to Fabbrini coming in.

Likewise, as much as I wanted Blues to beef up their defence it seems Ryan Shotton has struggled to do that – getting done like a kipper for QPR’s first won’t have helped his cause at all. Part of me wants to see what he can do at centre-back as he is tall and we lack height in the middle but his distribution has been so woeful at times the thought of him giving the ball straight back to opposition attackers in the box gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I think tomorrow night is probably the first “must not lose” game of the campaign for me; defeat tomorrow and I think we can effectively write off our playoff chances as a fanciful hope. They say it’s the hope that kills and this is true – while I know Blues shouldn’t have a prayer we’ve played well enough to dare us to dream that we do, and because of that I’m now disappointed that it might have only been a pipe dream.

While we’re being told about an announcement on Thursday at 3:33, I’m also reminded that Thursday is special as it is the 60th anniversary of Keep Right On first being sung. Blues travelled to Highbury to play Arsenal in the FA Cup, winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Gordon Astall, Peter Murphy and Eddie Brown; KRO was hatched on the coach on the way down as the anthem to stir the Blues boys as they pushed on to the Wembley final. There has been joys, there has definitely been sorrows but like every other Blues fan, I’ll be there at the end of the road.

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77 Responses to “The “P” Word Again”

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I think suggesting Fabbrini’s introduction to the team is the reason for the dip in form is very harsh. Four appearances so far of which two were as a late substitute. He set up the winner against Bolton with some great skill. As for QPR we went into the break 2-0 down due to pathetic, feeble defensive play. We didn’t play well obviously but without those mistakes we start the second half at 0-0 and with something to build on. There are deeper problems with the team than just blaming one player – they way the team is set up with two full backs who don’t naturally get forward and two very deep lying central midfielders who fail to get any control of games – even against Bolton at home we had far less than 50% possession.

    • Des says:

      yes good point Shirley blue, but Fab was brought for that bit of magic, as you say he provided it V Bolton, really need that spark tomorrow V Hull!


  • John Ramsay says:

    Dan, totally agree that Toral and Caddis must start against Hull. I said after the Bolton game how poor Shotton was and I was surprised he wasn’t dropped for QPR. As you say Toral was playing well and didn’t deserve to lose his place. I was delighted when we signed Diego but so far he hasn’t quite been the player I expected.
    I don’t like criticising Rowett but I think he got it wrong on Saturday with both Shotton and Fabbrini. He doesn’t seem to rate Caddis who I think is better than both Eardley and Shotton. Without him we lose so much attacking threat down the right.
    I’ ll be surprised if he doesn’t make those changes against Hull.

  • Mitchell says:

    Toral,Davis and Caddis back for me. Window signings have imo derailed us. VSO should have been kept in the regular mix without the laboured Buckley and Shotton not playing in his CH slot is not bright. We also need to see what Vaughan and Donaldson can do as a pair. Perhaps we will never know. Many young players are now being bled at 19/20 in all divisions and I would encourage GR to do the same if our aspirations of 6th spot disappears over the next three games.

    • ChrisG says:

      Yes, yes & yes again, totally agree, I was saying on saturday that GR shouldn’t have benched these 3 players. Why GR had to break up a winning side I don’t know but he’s the boss & hopefully he’ll realize his mistake. I’ve said all along that Davis gives us that bit of bite needed in midfield & that has been lacking of late.

      • SheldonGaz says:

        Due to work commitments i cant make it games any more, i often read the comments on here and one thing that jumps out at me is how people say Caddis is a poor defender. Good going forward, but lacks a lot defensively. QPR have 2 very good, attacking and influential wingers. It could have been GRs thinking that Shotten is a better defender than Caddis and would have hoped he could keep his winger quiet (as we know this didnt really happen). GR made a tactical decision and it didnt work. Lets see what happenes tomorrow night and we’ll take stock and hopefully sneak into that 6th spot. KRO!!

  • Womble Joe says:

    Don’t agree that talk of the “P” word is wrong, that’s what footballs all about winning games and going higher up the tables. I finally became a believer after the Derby game but then Blues being Blues produce 5 or 6 of the most boring performances on the trot.

    Fabrini has been poor since we signed him and I can understand now why he wasn’t getting a game at Boro. Hopefully he’ll find some form.

    Be just like Blues to beat Hull in Thursday, let’s hope it’s a half decent game cos honestly the last few have been shocking


  • StaffsBlue says:

    Rowett himself hinted that it’s a fine line between bringing new players in and upsetting the balance in the dressing room. I don’t think it’s coincidence that our form has dipped since the new players have come in. They’ve been thrown straight in and, other than the odd flash, have failed to impress. I think it’s now too late for trying new things, it’s time for the tried and tested.

    Caddis Morrison Robinson Grounds
    Gleeson Kieftenbeld/Davis
    Cotterill Toral Maghoma

    That’s basically the team that’s got us where we are, let’s see if they can finish the job.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I would have Gleeson, KB and Davis as a three in midfield against Hull. Toral goes out to the right hand side of the attacking three instead of Cotterill. That would allow at least one of the midfielders to get forward so we are not so rigid. Caddis has got to come in instead of Shotton – I can understand why Derby were prepared to let him go to a play-off rival after Saturday – he is not a right back that’s for certain.

      • ChrisG says:

        I’ve been saying for a while now that i’d like to see Gleeson dropped, I know he’s scored a few goals but he often pulls out of 50/50’s, he can’t win a ball in the air & of late he’s been guilty of giving the ball away far too often. I just think a spell warming the bench might gee him up a bit as he’s got ability there’s no doubting that, it’s just lacking at the moment.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Agree totally about the midfield 3 of K, G and D. It worked brilliantly against Forest, Derby and Ipswich. I was bemused when Rowett ditched it so quickly. The only reason I put Kief with Gleeson in a two, was because that’s Rowett’s preferred system… not mine.

    • David L says:

      Pretty much agree with all this. In December, the cry was “we need new players”. 2 months later the cry seems to be “the new players are rubbish” It is indeed quite an art introducing new players to a seemingly-settled format.

      FWIW – I don’t see the team play often enough to really have a sound view – Fabbrini is potentially a great player, but we don’t have the skill to give him the ball in positions where he can use that skill.

      The Bolton goal a perfect example. To create it, he had a running ball at his feet, going towards the opposition. For most of the rest of the game we gave him the ball heavily marked, with his back to goal. Yes, maybe he is a ‘luxury’ but I think a luxury worth having, because honest endeavour will only get you so far

      Vaughn ? Yes, a decent championship level “centre forward” – but whilst we play 1-up, and that 1 deserves to be Don, we’ll never know.

      To some extent the p word is not relevant. Really like GRs management, and whatever happens now 15/16 has been a decent season – but now is one of his biggest tests. Does he go back to what brought success in the autumn, or can he find the blend to take us forward?

      But hey, glass half full – we’re not looking down and worrying if goal difference will keep us up.

      • ChrisG says:

        David, don’t you think it’s up to Fabbrini to find or make space rather than the rest of the team making space for him?. He also creates a lot of his own problems by not passing & trying to take on the whole opposition on his own. There’s no doubting he’s a great talent but he needs to be more of a team player, if he did more one touch stuff he could easily make space for himself. Torel plays the same position but manages ok

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I totally agree that we shouldn’t be basing our play around Fabbrini, he needs to integrate into the system, because it’s about the collective, not the individual. Fabbrini could do a lot worse than watch Toral from the bench.. see how he plays in our system.

        • David L says:

          Well, yes and no. Of course good players make space for themselves – but that was one of the irritations about the Bolton game.

          Fab – or Don, or Buckley, or Toral when he came on would receive the ball back to goal.
          That’s fine – and yes, you’re attacking players should do that.
          But then they also have to have someone to give the ball too.
          Far too often Diego would get the ball on the half way line, have no-one square, no-one on the wing, no one a few yards behind to lay it off to, to do a give and go and then get into the space. He got loads of hospital passes and to my eyes showed his mettle by not shirking any of them.

          It was almost as if some of the players were saying – there you go mate, we’ve paid £1.5 mill for you , get out of that !.(If your memory stretches back to that a bit like when Aussie RL great Wally Lewis played for an abysmal Wakefield team)

          Mind you, that would imply lack of team spirit – and you certainly can’t accuse this team of that.

          So yes, he has to find space, agreed. But the rest of the team have to help him do that. If we’ve bought into the idea that he’s our playmaker (now I’m not saying I agree or disagree with that), he’s got to be found space to do that.

          As I’ve posted on other threads, I think salvation lies in finding some way of playing Toral and Diego at the same time.

  • steve crathorn says:

    1.5m spent on signing Diego was money badly spent IMO i don’t think that he did that well in his last spell. We don’t score enough goals and with donaldson going through a lean spell since returning from injury it’s clear to me that he needs someone up front with him? It might be worth going 4-4-2 once again.
    from what i have seen from shotton i don’t believe that he is the right selection at right back, bring back caddis.and what about hancox at left back.
    both are attacking players and would give us width when going forward.
    it’s interesting to note the following on loaned out strikers;
    lee novak, playing for chesterfield, 23 appearances, 11 goals
    denny johnstone playing for greenock morton, 25 apps, 8 goals
    matt green {sold to Mansfield Town} 31 apps, 11 goals.
    not. given a chance at blues after returning from injury)
    yes i know that they are playing in a lowergrase of football at least they know where the net is.


    • David L says:

      Well, I might argue with you on the figures.

      Green – not really relevant as he’s not our player now. Decent lad, unlucky with injuries, pleased to see him doing well, but v similar to Don, and a strike rate of 1 in 3 2 divisions lower than us is not really that much better than Clayton’s 1 in 4.

      Novak – sure 1 in 2 at a level below us – but we’ve had him here before, and for whatever reason hasn’t cut the mustard. Good luck to him, and I hope we get a fee when he moves permanently

      Johnstone – now this is good news. I’d argue that he is scoring at Scots Prem, so at our level, and as a young lad is learning the ropes in a tough environment. Surely one for the future.

      But we could have Harry Kane up front and we still wouldn’t score many with the team set up as it is. My beef is with the creativity. If you’re going to be a counter-attacking team you have to be slick and quick with your passing. We were earlier in the season. On the evidence of the last 2 games we’re now anything but. That’s a worry.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I totally agree on your point about the counter-attacking – we were incredibly laboured against QPR and never got enough men forward with two ponderous full backs and Gleeson and KB sitting 10 yards in front of the back 4. Dare I suggest the departure of Demari Gray has affected the speed at which we can counter-attack and our effectiveness away from home.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I don’t think Gray going has had anything to do with tbh. If was after he went that we began to attack better and get goals. Our problem really has been Rowett taking attacking players – i.e. Caddis and Toral – out of the team. If Shotton was coming it, it should have been at centre back. If Fabbrini was coming in, it shouldn’t have been at the expense of Toral. It’s ok making changes, but they have to be the right ones.

    • Tmsblues says:

      And that leaves out the best discard example of all Adam Rooney !!

      • Steve Crathorn says:

        Always thought Adam had a rough deal at Blues. He’s doing really well at Aberdeen and I heard say that he is the 2nd top scorer in the Scottish prem?

  • Jaffa says:

    The team definitely needs a shake up.Shotton was shite on saturday as for the rest let’s hope Rowett was right when he said it was a bad day at the office.Tough game on thursday and if we lose then i think that’s it.

  • Dan Hickman says:

    It looks for all the world to me like GR doesn’t know his best 11, which has really thrown a team based around consistency and trust. I think Fabbrini will turn out to be a great player but at the moment doesn’t seems to know where he slots in with the current system, and I’m not sure the gaffer has quite worked it out either. Looking forward to seeing Cotterill back in the side, and I hope Caddis gets the nod. Can’t see Shotton getting a go at CH unless Robinson or Morrison have a shocker or get injured. I still don’t look at our team and see a stand out choice for captain either

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Robbo is the only real captain we have. We don’t have another player who fits the bill. I said at the start of the season that I didn’t agree with the choice of Morrison.

  • Lich Blues says:

    I posted after the QPR game that we need to go back to what was working and start with Caddis and Toral. Ryan Shocking – truly was v QPR and Fabrini just isn’t in Toral’s class.

    I would either try and use Fab with Toral or as a sub for now. Who knows once they have time to settle they may become decent additions.

    I hope we keep knocking on the door of the play offs until the end of the season just to keep things interesting and hope (probably beyond hope) that we sneak the last place.


  • Gerard says:

    You may disagree but what does Gleeson bring to team what does he do- most over-rated player in our team- as much as Gr is a great manager he loves Gleeson why? bring back Davis he is not perfect but he gets stuck in when the going gets tough unlike Gleeson at QPR ( I was there )

  • .KC says:

    I think the P word should be for staying Positive rather than Promotion. We are currently in a better position than last season which is quite an achievement considering the strength and inconsistency of the squad. I have dreamt of a trip to Wembley but have always believed that has to come from a battling spirit of being underdogs rather than any level of expectancy.
    I was and still am excited by the potential in the Fabbrini signing. Very, very disappointed so far in Shotton,Buckley and what I have seen of him Vaughan.Cannot understand why we have already agreed a permanent deal for next season with Vaughan. Totally agree with the comments above that Caddis,Davis and possibly VSO for his speed must come in to the equation and Toral must start.

  • Mitchell says:

    Bit of reminiscing here. When Brucie was manager in second promotion push-we were about to play Hull at Stans.on a Saturday. I won a competition to spend the match day with Steve. Players would arrive early and have their massages,cars were valeted and brought back gleaming and generally treated like Hollywood stars etc. His dilemma that day was whether to play DJ Campbell due his pace. We won 2-1 with Parkin getting sent off. We won promotion that season but let N’Gotty,Clemence and DJ go to Leicester. One thing stood out in my mind when Brucie said that pace at home is a must for supporters- enter VSO tomorrow please GR.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Each game as it comes starting with Hull tomorrow with the team staffs said and let’s go from there , lose and it’s difficult , draw and it’s still a possibility , win and were very much back in the hunt , that’s how I see it anyway but as everyone keeps saying we need to score some goals because that gives us more chance of more points , simple really . KRO

    • Mitchell says:

      Agree Dave. Notice Vaughan injured again in training-out for at least 3/4 games. Surely got to get VSO in now. Ideal time to change and not let predicted formation continue. Not popular view this but would even consider a more fluid attack with the dropping of Donaldson. Non of our rivals play with such isolation up top.

      • Texas Pete says:

        As I see it we are 1 point down on our 4 points out of every 6 as our aim for the playoffs. I would be happy with a draw against Hull, but that puts us another two points further behind and means we will have to win 2
        in a row to make up for it. So we have to hit a winning streak soon to have any chance.

  • Fabbrini is a midfield player, toral is a midfield player ,cotts is a midfield player , only cotts has a proven think tank for goals , but to expect Donaldson to score thirty goals a season is daft , and to think that the midfield will score 40 goals in a season is also daft , what we have done is scored a good percentage of goals at the right time , can we get in the playoffs ,of course we can, can we get promotion , it is still possible . am I happy at the way the team is going , I think our failure to sign another striker one that can make goals and score them will make it harder , I have a fear that we are going into another mcliesh and Bruce era of one striker up front and not enough goals from midfield …

  • Strettonbluenose says:

    Strettonbluenose says:
    January 28, 2016 at 4:08 pm
    I work in Derby and am surrounded by sheep botherers. They reckon Shotton’s pretty good but has a mistake a game in him. I’m sure the gaffer can build his confidence and get the most out of him.

    Although I didn’t say it in January, they also criticised his distribution.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that until he’s played at centre back, we can’t really judge him. Also, we don’t have a single player that doesn’t have a rickett in him. You’ll see them every game.. some cost us, some don’t. Some are highlighted, some aren’t.

  • dino tiltoni says:

    It’s a complete mystey why Shotton has been preferred to Caddis at RB. Shotton doesn’t link up with the winger, gets sucked into the middle of the pitch (where he’s used to playing) and his distribution is suspect. He was culpable for both goals on Saturday. I’d rather have him in the middle than Robinson, someone else who’s out of position.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    As GR has said, we’ve been punching above our weight. In my view, we would have to do that for every single game to stand any chance of promotion. Problem is that we haven’t been. Personally I don’t think we’re ready this season (but may be next). I don’t think that we have a nucleus of core players that could hack it in the Prem and have a team built round them. We don’t know about ownership, backing or funds and I wouldn’t want to go up to come straight back down.

    With regard to the dip in form, I agree it coincides with the new players but doubt it’s simply down to that. I still worry about the system that GR favours. I don’t see why, if we can play with 2 wingers we cant play with 2 strikers from time to time. I feel most sorry for Vaughn as GR will always play Donaldson if fit. The only time Vaughn (or any other striker) gets on is if Donaldson is subbed, injured or with 5 mins to go if we’re getting stuffed. Vaughn hasn’t scored yet and his chances reduce with each game, it can’t help his confidence.
    Also, I know, it wasn’t the case but how many of us would choose Fabbrini over Toral if both were for sale at the same time?

    • ChrisG says:

      I don’t believe in this saying of “punching above our weight” & if GR has been saying that then what sort of message is he sending to his players?. Personally I think you’re as good as you wanna be, when this team play well together they are a force for most teams in this division, but we’ve had too many players putting in below par performances of late. Although the odds are getting a bit longer I would rather get promoted this season, could you imagine the scenorio of playing Vile in the play off final at wembley?!!, it would be total carnage.

  • Dorsetblue says:

    GR seems to want to wait until 20 mins into the second half to change things. A lot of fresh new managers are breaking this old school look. If things are not working then change it early. I know there could be injuries or cards, but before you know it you can be 2 or 3 down and the game beyond you.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Have to agree with this. If it ain’t worked for 45 minutes, another 15-20 won’t make that much difference. It just leaves you less time to make that difference. Subs need time to pick up the tempo of the game. I’m not advocating the old ‘Barry Fry 3 subs at half time’ kind of thing, but at least one sub at the start of the second half would be good if we’re losing. A little bit of bravery can go a long way.

      • ChrisG says:

        I wonder if GR has changed his half time team talk staffs cos earlier in the season if we had a crap 1st half we would come out all guns blazing in the second, now we seem to just carry on where we left off. I also think that certain players have become complacent as they don’t have to play for their places, players like Gleeson, Grounds, Donaldson are all regulars yet their form isn’ worthy of being 1st names on the teamsheet

  • The Flying Pig says:

    For me, our attacking issues can be summed up in three points: in transition, we don’t pass the ball forwards quickly enough; we do not get support into Donaldo quickly enough; and, we do not get enough players into the box.

    Our passing is generally poor and our movement off the ball leaves a lot to be desired. But that is at least in part due to the parlous state of the club over the past few years.

    Undoubtedly, we are punching well above our weight.

    Undoubtedly, we still have a chance of promotion if we can just get a bit of a run going, because, despite those shortcomings, we can be an effective team at this level.


  • Mitchell says:

    I would never suggest losing or drawing is in any way a blessing in disguise but if we are blown out of the water during next few weeks as regards 6th place- it would give GR a perfect platform to intro.a few fringe players. This being in anticipation of next season. Adams, Mbende,Arthur,VSO and Maxwell for example. Also,would like to see Jones given a game. Lot to look forward to should we just fall short.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I see no reason why Jones can’t be on the bench tomorrow night, especially with Vaughan out now too. He must have a lot of pent-up frustration to get out of his system. I’d give him 15-20 minutes. But, it’ll probably be the usual, stick Solomon-Otobor on the bench as a striker.

      • .KC says:

        Jones doesn’t seem to have achieved much with the U21s this season and he suffered the unfortunate abortive trip to NZ. Not great credentials to come in to the squad but yes his frustration might be a positive and you never know he could be like the old comic hero who came to read the gas meter and ended up playing for England!!!
        From what we saw agreeably limited from BM and Vaughan he hasn’t got much to beat.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Jones has scored goals in the U21s. I’d rather have a striker on the bench who at least knows where the goals is.

          • ChrisG says:

            I would like to see Ronan Hale rewarded with a place on the bench as we only have Donaldson fit for tomorrow nights game. Sometimes when they’re young & full of confidence they play with no fear. I know others will disagree with my choice but we don’t have many options & it would be typical if we didn’t have a striker on the bench that Don would get injured.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Hale got a straight red the other day. I’ve no idea if that bans him from all competitive football, but if it does, then he won’t be around for a few games anyway.

      • jonno11blue says:

        Viv should never have been left out of the squad. On Saturday he should have been on the pitch and told to run at the QPR defence which is more than any of the 3 wingers who appeared during the disastrous 90 minutes did. With regards to Shotton he’s been poor in all three games and cost us Saturday. I also don’t see what GR got against Caddis but if he doesn’t want to play him play Spector

  • Little Al says:

    Hull a very tough game and in our present form it looks beyond us. Unfortunately we have been poor at the wrong time in the season. Lets hope a vast improvement occurs starting on thursday, if not I think the play offs are beyond us. Its far better than it was but it is so frustrating that we are so close but cannot seem to string a few wins on the trot together.If we do not get anything from the next few games then it is time for GR to blood some of the youngsters, my fear is that the season will just fizzle out.

  • Bluey says:

    Thinking about or hoping for promotion is not wrong but it certainly won`t happen. If the off-field chaos isn`t sorted i think next season could be a real struggle and may lead to GR packing his bags.

  • The p word for me is becoming the pee word , gone are the days when a team scored 60 goals per season and still were relegated , In came a lot of long eared managers , frightened to lose , sorry but managers are there to put a team out on the pitch that gives entertainment , and goals are the best entertainment in football , the fans seem to have no say in what sort of entertainment we pay to watch . If we are going to go for the biggun , then let’s show some bottle all-round COME ON BLUES

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Probably the only criticism (for want of a better word) of Rowett, is his ultra-cautiousness. I may be wrong, but it seems we are never set up to take the game by the scruff of the neck and have a go. Sometimes you have to be a bit braver and loosen the shackles a touch. We DO have the players to do that… it’s been proved in spells already this season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    You can’t be certain about anything that has not happened yet Bluey , you may be right but at this point in time it’s opinion and not fact , when it is fact then I will agree with you until then I will carry on hoping if that’s ok . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m with you. The hope is still there atm. But, if we lose to both Hull and Blackburn (with Derby and Sheff Wed having winnable home games,) then I’ll have to concede that the challenge is over for this season. But even then, the season isn’t over.. the challenge then will be to finish higher than last season’s 10th place.

    • Bluey says:

      Yes Dave it`s my opinion and last time i looked that was allowed.If you wish to have an opinion that says we`re going up then that`s equally valid. When have i ever said it`s not ok to hope? NEVER so stop putting words in my mouth.We are all entitled to espouse views on these blogs so stop sniping at those who don`t share yours. But i`ll wager you a grand that i`m right at the end of the season but you won`t take the bet will you?

  • DoctorD says:

    Blues 1 Hull 2 (HT 0-2)

  • Dave Mann says:

    DoctorD, come on mate , who’s the scorers ? KRO

  • Mikeyboy says:

    Rowett plays this team to a style that suits their strengths and weaknesses. If we went 4-4-2 and all lut attack we would be ripped to bits because the players aren’t good enough to do that. We are over achieving with a very sensible manager in charge. I feel sorry for Shotton now as he has become the new Damien Johnson. Singing Caddis’ name because he scored a header on the line is embarrassing. Caddis is a weak defender and teams have targetted him time after time.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I heard Curtis Davies saying that both Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday set up to frustate them, with 5 across midfield to stop them scoring (which they both did,) but that Blues would come at them and give them space to play. So for me, it should be 4-3-3, with Toral and Maghoma falling in when we don’t have the ball. Unfortunately, I can’t see Donaldson getting much joy on his own against Davies and Dawson. Atm, a 0-0 is 6/1 and a Blues 1-0 win 7/1. :)

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yeah , let’s see what tomorrow brings . :-) KRO

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Play with pace and be bold otherwise we won’t win many more games and put more fans off with unexciting and tedious football.

    Get both Fabbrini and Toral in together with Buckley. Three technically able, clever and intelligent footballers. Kieftenbeld and Davis hustle and bustle in midfield (Gleeson’s measured play needs a back seat at the moment.

    Bring back Caddis, even Eardley or my wife in for Shotton.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Dyer, Lowry, B-M, Vaughan and now Shotton. The list of ‘Gary’s Gaff’s’ is getting longer

    • .KC says:

      You might add Buckley to that list although I’m sure you will agree Julian we have so much to thank GR for.

      • bhamcityjulian says:

        I am just saying he hasn’t covered himself in glory with those signings. Hopefully they weren’t anywhere near the top of his preferences list.

        With regard to Buckley his first game showed he has the ability but its only been spasmodic since his contract was extended. He’d have been paid the salary had he not extended so I cant understand why he looks like he couldn’t give a toss now. Maybe he has to play with better players to get the best out of him. This could have legs because I lost count, in the Bolton game, of the times Fabbrini made runs into space and the ball holder didn’t have the awareness to use him.

        If the appreciably better players are oil and the weak ones water that would explain why they cant co-exist sufficiently.

        Ironically Bruce found that with the 2005/6 team

    • Texas Pete says:

      Even suggesting “Gary’s Gaffs” is ignorant and then listing Dyer and Lowry who have been and gone as temporary cover players is clutching at straws.
      Vaughan anf Shotton have not been a failure as a part of the new squad and to be given more opportunity. You should consider adding the rest of the squad on that basis.
      Brock is obviously an investment which at 8ft 6inches is bound to come good. He is the only one that could be put on a maybe list purely because money was paid for him. I can see him making an impact in August if we are still in this division.

      • bhamcityjulian says:

        It’s all opinions Pete, not ignorance

        • Bluey says:

          You have to learn mate that if your opinions aren`t of the `positive` nature you`re no right to put them forward. It`s against the law of Birmingham. Better to go with mindless optiminsm and to a world where everything is wonderful at the club.

  • Goodie says:

    I’ve said many times shotton is a cb not a full back I was convinced he was coming there to play there. If not no point in bringing him to the club

    • StaffsBlue says:

      We all know that Mr Rowett has a penchant for players who can play in more than one position. But, the old adage of “Jack of all tades, but master of none” often rings true. Shotton is a centre back who can fill in at right back. It’s a bit like sticking Caddis at centre back, just because he’s a defender. Like I said earlier, I won’t judge Shotton as a Blues player until he’s played in his rightful position.

  • Mitchell says:

    I am rather disappointed with GR continually being condescending to David Davis. Comments such as ‘he will never let you down’ and ‘it is a difficult decision to drop such an important player for us’ is not cutting it for me. Recent disappointing signings has highlighted the very need for DD to return as a number one regular. Many clubs would welcome Davis in their midfield-so treasure what you have. Tonight’s game is about the right balance and the key is imo to select the correct right and left backs in order to forage forward for Grounds-Cotterill and Caddis-Maghoma with VSO waiting for any ‘slow coaching’ by either attacker. Forget Buckley. Donaldson and Toral make up the threat.

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    Well Wolves didn’t treasure him, but I expect Championship relegation fighters could. He doesn’t tick enough technical ability boxes for me, but I would play him tonight as a terrier to bite at Hull’s ankles

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