Often Partisan

One More Year

The official Birmingham City website posted an article this afternoon about the chances of Paul Robinson being given a new contract by the club. The 37-year-old defender has made 23 appearances this season (21 in the league), and with ten clean sheets coming in those appearances will feel his chances are good.

I’m going to say this from the off – I think my views are probably somewhat out of step with the rest of the fanbase in that I didn’t want Robinson’s contract extended this year, let alone another year on top. I ran a quick poll on Twitter this evening – and from 342 votes 62% voted that they’d like to see Robbo given another year.

poll result

It’s not that I dislike Robbo. Sure, I thought he was a bit crass in the whole incident where he broke Damien Johnson’s jaw, and I thought his comments to the Birmingham Mail last year were ill-advised when he said:

“I believe in this club, I came to this club for a reason and that was to take it forward, if people don’t see that then they are not fans then are they?

However, I also know he’s an important figure behind the scenes and one who is seen as a motivator, a good voice to have in the dressing rooms. In any team it’s important to have some leader types and Robinson does indeed fit into that category.

The problem I have with signing Robbo for another year is because I just know it’s not as a fourth choice defender, but as someone who will be there or thereabouts in the first team – and that worries me. Robinson is 37 now, 38 in December and while he does give his all there surely can’t be that much left in the tank for him. It just smacks of another season of mediocrity to me – and it represents a much larger problem which isn’t Paul Robinson.

There is this 300lb gorilla in the room right now that is what will happen to the club next season. I’m pretty much convinced any talk of us going up should be finished – our last two results have put paid to any aspirations on that front – which means we’re going to be in the same boat financially with regards to TV money coming in next year.

However, we’ve already seen from the BIH accounts that the club is only afloat thanks to a huge cash injection from Trillion Trophy Asia – and that begs the question if TTA are going to put in another £10million plus next year if the deal to buy the holding company isn’t completed? While there was a positive step last week in Carson agreeing not to interfere in the relisting he’s not said owt about selling any of his shares (not to mention his convertible notes) … and the clock is still ticking on when the EGM will happen, not to mention anything else.

I want to believe Blues will continue improving. I want to believe that the good times are around the corner – but at this moment I remain unconvinced and the signing of Paul Robinson to another year long deal is not going to do anything to dispel my personal fears.

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87 Responses to “One More Year”

  • Teerev says:

    Why not? He wont be on a lot and bit of experience is needed in my opinion.Whats the alternative?
    GR has spent around £2.2m on players and £2m worth warm the bench.

  • BlueNoseDaz says:

    Do you know if it’s a playing contract or a player/coach contract?
    I imagine Robbo is definitely one you need in the dressing room, but you do hope his legs don’t go completely over the summer. Time waits for no man!
    It would be nice to see some of our young centre halves pushing for 1st team places next season. Players like Mbende and Josh Martin should be playing in early round cup games next season to aid their development and confirm if they’re good enough or not.

    • almajir says:

      Martin is nowhere near ready IMO – he’s got potential but he needs a season in the u21s. Mbende is raw… could see him going out on loan tbh

  • Brummie Brian says:

    Dan i believe that the reason for this extra year is because they are grooming him to be the next manager of our club.What are your thoughts ?

  • bluenose08 says:

    just need to ask yourself how many 38yr old defenders there are playing in the championship against 20yr olds.

  • Dorsetblue says:

    Too old now. Move on. Bring the younger players through the academy.
    Would you want a 37 or 17 year old?


    • DaveP says:

      Alternatively would you prefer to call on someone with years of experience who can lead on the pitch and weigh in with a goal now and then, or a kid who will get pushed and pulled about in blood and thunder matches against the likes of the Dingles or the Vile? (although to be fair, WIllenhall Town Juniors could beat the Vile at the moment)

  • Mickey07 says:

    Dan you’ve painted the doom and gloom picture a few times now fella only for something to happen out the blue a few days later??whats up your sleeve there is a history to this.

    • almajir says:


      There is nothing up my sleeve mate, you’re imagining things. If something is announced tomorrow I’ll be as (pleasantly) surprised as you will be, no doubt.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    The very fact that we could be offering a 37 yr old another year tells its own story and let’s face it….he was hardly Bobby Moore when he was 27 was he? How can we commit to anything else given our financial predicament?
    I think your feeling like a lot of us at the moment Dan.Now that it’s looking like our season is finished you tend to look at the bigger picture and the future and that’s where the lingering frustration sets in again.

    • Bluey says:

      It makes you wonder whether they know,behind the scenes,that little investment on players is likely next season and this is the kind of deal we can afford.

  • andy says:

    The only opinion that matters here is that of the manager isn’t it? Surely Rowett is of the opinion Robbo deserves a new deal. In my opinion Robbo has played better this season than he did last, surely he is one for the future!! Just joking Dan

  • Andrew says:

    signing players like this on are the reason we wont progress any more

  • Robbo is still good to bring on and could do a lot of motivating to those coming off the bench in the meantime the young players are getting closer , any news on loan signings , I like Kenny McLean Aberdeen.but that’s just my view , and at 24 and and 5′ 11″ he could get better , if they would sell …

    • StaffsBlue says:

      My worry is, that when Robbo is out of the team, we have no leader on the pitch. Morrison doesn’t cut the mustard I’m afraid. We need someone to get amongst them and pull them up by the bootlaces. No one else can do that other than Robbo. Maybe bring in a good commanding centre back next season?

  • smudge says:

    I have a feeling in my water (must see a doctor) that there are some similarities between Robbo and Bruce in that he gets another year’s contract and at the same time completing his coaching badges. I think then at the end of that contract he will retire from playing and possibly go to a league one club as a manager, depending on how he does in that role he would then look to come back as Blues manager. Or he would be part of Gary’s coaching staff and move around the managerial jobs with him.
    I have no problem with that as long as he accepts that he wont be a regular starter for blues but I do agree that a passionate wise head helping the defense in any way would benefit.

  • .KC says:

    Well written Dan. Sadly I agree with your comments.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    I agree Robbo is getting on a bit now I am wondering if is new contract comes with a Panchen.
    But saying that GR as said Robbo is a valued member of staff now and not just a nether player. So maybe that is more than good reason for a new contract. KRO

  • swissjonny says:

    There is of course another 300 Lbs Gorilla in the room. Will GR still be with us next season? Other than some pretty random signings he has done a terrific job in very difficult circumstances and has carried himself with gravitas beyond his years and experience but it cant be easy shopping in the sales all the time with the spectre of uncertainty clinging to your back.Sadly I fear he will be on the radar of other clubs with a slightly less alarming financial status.Sorry to bring this up but it is a real concern.
    Robbo is a leader and we dont appear to have another obvious one in the camp at present- for what he costs probably just as well to have him around.

    • Mitchell says:

      Exactly as I see it. This is a safety net move by Panos. Sad in a way but essential. Notably clubs like Derby,Leeds,Cardiff and Middlesbrough will possibly be looking to replace at season end. This will always be our predicament whilst the begging bowl is brought out again for TTA to ensure another season’s football.Robinson epitomises our situation perfectly.

    • AdamTrueBlue says:

      Well sorry don’t see it like that, as much as I like GR and have been one to sing his praises, as yet he has not achieved anything, – managed a league 1 team and then a struggling championship team who will more likely end mid table, why would anyone looking for a manager rate him higher than 10 other mid table managers, now if we do reach the playoff’s and beyond my dreams, earn promotion, then its a different story, but so far wheres the achievement, He’s managed better than LC, not hard, he’s bought better than LC, probably not! Kro

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree with this to a certain extent. There’s not a whole lot on his CV atm, plus, it’s not as though his team plays free-flowing, exciting football. So far, he’s proved he can do a really good job under trying circumstances, but he’s pulled up no trees… so far. As Adam says, if we did get promotion.. now that’s a different story. A promotion on the old CV makes a big difference.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Well Kevin Summerfield is no spring chicken so could Robbo be his successor?

  • Jaffa says:

    Jobs for the boys!

  • Dan H says:

    I agree Dressing room influence and leadership is the only thing that will earn Robbo a new deal

    Blues need to improve the spine of the team if we are going to be successful and that means signing players like Kyle Bartley, Emyr Huws, Macheda etc

    All players that Blues previously couldn’t afford the wage level and now probably could

  • southcoastblue says:

    If GR goes then we need a replacement with a good solid track record – someone who has shown they can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Good luck to Robbo but he would be far too risky to consider as manager.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I am content to leave the decision to award Robbo a further year to Gary Rowett. He sees and talks to him every day and is in the best place to decide.
    For myself I would consider Robbo a candidate to assist Richard Beale as a player/coach for the Development side. His on field leadership would benefit our youngsters development.

  • Ricky Lambert looking for a club, would a loan with a three year deal in the summer do , Ricky and the DON to get us up , yes will get us new tricks ….

  • Andy says:

    Its a tricky one, however had Kiernan signed i doubt Robbo would have clocked that many appearances for us this year, therefore i would be trying to pin down a regular partner for Morrison for next season, i think Shotton should be given a run (or else why sign him?) alongside Morrison at Centre half until the seasons end, Spector to fill in and Robbo would be 4th choice for me now… on the striker front looks like Lafferty is going to Sheff Wed… another we have reportedly missed out on.. Lambert would be a good shout if hes available and we could afford to do it…but no for me i would not be keeping Robbo on although he has been a great servent for us i think next season is one too far and he would be showed up…

  • Andy says:

    Also forgot to add that surely the likes of Mbende/Harding in the U21 could be given a go in a couple of the games toward the end of the season if we are out of a chance of the play offs and give us an idea of whether they would be upto the step up for next season.. big ask i know but they gotta be tested at some stage..

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Hopefully the Club will say something to reassure us about the real question here. If TTA don’t offer to inject some more cash, then surely some player sales will be necessary (not that we have much to sell) and the best we can hope for is a middling season next year.

    Ah well, my Dad told me there’s be plenty more sorrows than joys and I’ll still renew my ST.

    At least we’ve got a guaranteed 6 points coming ;-)

  • Mitchell says:

    If ever there was a time for an update on TTA progress it is now. Conjecture is not good nor acceptable. Are they in a bitter battle with CY ? or is that pie in the sky. Perhaps everything is moving along smoothly or is that naively plain stupid. Are we totally dependant on TTA funding another season or are they having second thoughts? Strange time to bring this up maybe but whichever angle it is looked at we as supporters are increasingly left dangling -as usual.

  • Eric says:

    I agree with you re. Robinson. I also agree we will not go up this year. Next season in the Championship will be tough with Villa, Newcastle and maybe Sunderland coming down with lots more money than us. We need positive ownership and until that is settled lets enjoy the Championship which is very competitive. I hope we can keep Rowett and continue to nurture young players in the club. Keep Right On fans we have had a good year…

    • Dave Mann says:

      We had a good 2015 but not so good 2016 Eric but your right in saying that next season will be even tougher and that’s a certainty .KRO

      • Bluey says:

        Blimey Dave have you had a bite of the reality sandwich? Quite right it`s getting tougher year on year in the championship and if we don`t get new owners with some financial clout we`re likely to get left behind.And how long do you think GR will hang around?

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think if someone comes knocking in the summer he’s gone but I can’t see him leaving us for another championship club Bluey to be honest so it has to be a Premiership club but who ? . It’s over to what you think mate . KRO

    • jonno11blue says:

      Dave, as commented by other GR hasn’t achieved anything. He took a second division side to a couple of play-offs and as shown he can get the best out of average players. However his track record on the transfer front is nothing more than average. Has he spent monies wisely?just look at BM and Frabbrini. Has he spent the money in the areas needed?we still await a centre half, left back and goal scoring forwarded. Has he acted promptly? Decent signing in January and we could have been up with Sheff Wed and Derby, not failing further behind weekly. I can’t see then why a Premiership Club would be looking at him

    • Bluey says:

      He could go to a Championship club that has real prospects of promotion. Could be a Newcastle, Sunderland,Derby,Middlesbrough,Norwich or heaven forbid the vile. The reality is we could be a way behind these clubs without some serious investment and there are others like QPR who are improving. And how about a nice job in London at Fulham? I`m not saying they are all bigger and better than us but maybe more attractive at this present moment. The bottom line is that GR`s stock is high and i can`t see him wanting to make do and mend for another season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    He’s ours next season then , thanks for that Jonno . KRO

  • oldburyblue says:

    I like Gary Rowett as a man but it must be said that the jury is still out as to just how good a manager he is. He has definitely done a brilliant job in steadying the ship after LC but I do wonder if he can now kick on if and when he is given money to spend. He is making the most of the players at his disposal but has he the tactical nous to change his tactics with better players? I don’t think many Premier League Chairmen would be willing to take the risk at the moment.

  • Pharmablue says:

    I know this is perhaps a little bit off topic and some of it may have been said before, but for what it’s worth I think the remaining games could be useful to us if GR chooses to go down this route:-
    I think that the playoff push and chance of promotion this season is all but over so rather than GR going out and buying an “experienced ” striker at God knows what cost, he should be using the few games left to bring in some of our talented youngsters. This will give him a chance to see how they shape up against Championship opposition and will also let the young players see just how much they have to improve, both in ability and attitude to become first team players. If possible bring back DJ from Morton and put him in the team and see if he has what it takes to make the transition to the Blues first team – he seems to know where the goal is all be it at a different level . We are told that we have plenty of good, talented, young players who play for the 21, and 18 teams and just think what an incentive it would be for them if they were included in the team and brought on as a substitute during the game. That would also give GR a chance to see how they react to the opportunity of playing against first team opposition. I know from experience, ( over 60 years of supporting the Blues), that even if they were not as good as first thought, the Blues supporters would not get on their backs and make them feel worse. After all they are, hopefully the first teamers of next season or the season after. Don’t forget that next year the loaning rules change so this is an ideal opportunity to actually assess our young talent with a view to what we need to buy next year.
    Lets face it even if we don’t win another game this season it will still have been a good and exciting year after our previous seasons, so forget about points lets focus on who we have amongst the youngsters for next year and beyond. We could have two or three diamonds waiting in the wings.
    Sorry I have gone on a bit, but I think that we have a great opportunity to show these youngsters that they have every chance of making it at the Blues if they work at it.
    On a personal note, I used to occasionally post a comment on the old BBC Birmingham City site and I remember another poster called Expat John, who was an ex teacher and married a Thai lady and now lives in Thailand. Can anybody let me have any contact details for Expat John.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Totally . KRO

  • Mitchell says:

    Bigger picture surely is whether we can rely on TTA for funding for next season. If CY gets the favourable nod in May appeal then TTA could be history. Just need somebody to champion TTA against CY-as yet silence is all we get. Not accepting the delicate negotiations answers all the time. Bitter and bitter will this become should as I say CY gets the all clear.

  • Charlie says:

    Off subject – just watching IS programme on BBC1, says one guy was stopped by French police with pics of a Birmingham football ground on his phone, believing it to be a possible terrorist target. I go with my 13 year old brother in law and has really freaked me out. I know security has been stepped up since Paris, but how hard would it be for them to get in? These people need to be stopped, it’s disgusting how they are ruining people’s lives. KRO

  • swissjonny says:

    Charlie-its the same with pubs,clubs,shops,trains -everywhere in fact. You are far more likely to die in a car crash than in an act of terrorism.Fact. That probably doesnt help anyone who has a loved one killed by terrorists but life has to go on mate.

  • BlackCountryBlue says:

    On a different topic ‘Champions League shake up’ – just the big boys looking to bring the inevitable European league breakaway even closer? http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35888818

  • Dave Mann says:

    Reece Brown playing for the under 21s today against Leeds , suspension must be over then . KRO

  • No news of a loan signing yet then, I hope blues do ,as we don’t want the players thinking that there is a lack of ambition , and lose heart towards the end

  • Paulo says:

    Your`re being a bit of a doom merchant Dan, Id give Robbo another go. Yeah hes never been a world beater but he`s passionate and commited and that rubs off on younger players. Club wise we are still in with a shout of the playoffs. Derby, Sheffield, Ipswich, Cardiff have all got the jitters like us and will defo drop points. We still got the game in hand and we should defo rollover Charlton and get back on track.

  • RichardM says:

    Yes!!! Lafferty signs for Blues!! Excellent signing, I thought we’d lost him to Sheff Wed – at last some decent competition for Donaldson!

  • Dave Mann says:

    He’s got to play ahead of Donaldson though as he likes to play up front on his own for Northern Ireland otherwise what’s the friging point . KRO

    • RichardM says:

      Agreed, and I reckon that was probably his condition for signing for Blues. I don’t think he would have got much game-time at Wednesday in front of Hooper and Forestieri.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        There wouldn’t have been just Hooper and Forrestieri in front of him at Wednesday, there’s Atdhe Nuhiu too, the big Serb is also a target man.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Well, Donaldson can’t say he hasn’t had a decent run. I just hope Lafferty isn’t used for 20 minutes off the bench for the rest of the season.. although, it wouldn’t surprise me tbh.

  • We might do a leicester and go 4+4+2 , or have toral between 2 defensive midfielders with COTTS the LAFF and the DON up front ,

  • Dave Mann says:

    Two up front to start with ? That’s not Rowetts bag . KRO

  • Mitchell says:

    It is good news as it now gives us a decent chance of the play offs. Lafferty has to start at Charlton ahead of anybody. We must however not expect too much as he is not wanted by Norwich at a time when they are in a desperate fight with Sunderland and Newcastle- which are their next two games.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Well I think we are pretty much at a stage in the game where by he needs to come in and score some goals.There’s no time left for settling players in etc anymore if we do have any chance of getting back in the mix again.

      • RichardM says:

        Nothing to lose really – we’re not going down so why not take a gamble, play him from now till the end of the season in preference to Donaldson and see if he can deliver the goods. He desperately needs the game time and the goals to boost fitness and confidence prior to the Euros, so potential win-win all round. I also think Dinaldson is burnt out and in need of a break – too much is expected of him.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s where we are though Mitchell is it not ? KRO

    • Mitchell says:

      I would play Maghoma and Cotts.as wingers slinging the balls in at a blinding rate.Also target Caddis to get the ball in the box asap.This should not be seen as a slight against Donaldson for not regularly scoring but more of a last ditch effort to get draws into wins.If we were fighting relegation then Don.would certainly outrank Lafferty. Tricky signing this in all honesty and I do applaud GR for this.

    • Mitchell says:

      I cannot see GR outcasting Donaldson for Lafferty. Loyalty for one and also next season in mind. GR warded off Leeds and Reading last summer in order for Don.to sign 2year deal. More I think about this imo GR will play them both. If I am right and a new thinking is behind GR and the remaining games -then what formation would he choose. All our systems have boiled down to big ball up top and that we’ll be the way ahead but with two biggies a better target -key is who is best to feed off these knock downs?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Rowett’s thinking was that for the money we’d get for Donaldson, we probably couldn’t have got a decent replacement. The difference last summer, was that Donaldson was just coming off the back of a 15 goal season. This summer it will be different… he’ll be 32 and will have (probably) have scored single figures.

        Also, what would be the point of signing Lafferty and not playing him. We’ve already had Lowry, Halford, Shotton, Buckley, Fabbrini and Vaughan getting splinters in their ar$es this season.

  • swissjonny says:

    It is a good signing but I fear its too late. Whilst I applaud GR for his achievements sometimes his lack of knowing when to take a risk frustrates me.I guess it will come with experience. Im not sure that playing Lafferty and the Don up front is the answer. The Don must feel burnt out-he has run himself into the ground so perhaps a rest is long overdue.I agree with Mitchells Maggs and Cotts on the wing but would may be inclined to put Fab alongside Lafferty to add a little trickery around the box.Then again Toral has a nose for goal too-thank God Im not GR- a lot of tricky decisions to make. Whoever turned Laffertys head must be praised.Lets hope that whoever managed this can continue the good work on incoming players during the closed season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    His scoring record throughout is career is 86 goals in 365 games for club and country so that’s only 1 goal in 4 and a bit games , it’s not gonna make a difference with 9 games left as he will score propably 2 goals only if he plays and starts .. Sorry to put a downer on this but Ime not expecting him to make much of a difference if at all but as always I hope Ime massively wrong and he scores the winner at charlton and bangs in 9 goals in 9 games and takes us in to the playoffs … I am not so sure though as its to little to late for me . KRO

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Buckley and Fabbrini both need to in team. Look at their intelligent play for the latter’s goal to against Bolton

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