Often Partisan

Fight or Flight

The defeat to Brighton on Tuesday night has once again shown the split in the fanbase between those who think the club has done well to achieve what they have and those who wonder if we might not have achieved more. I think my post match piece showed which side of that divide I have come down on – and the comments show just how many people disagreed with me.

I’ve said it before, but this season for me is reminiscent of our first season in the Championship under Chris Hughton. In that season we had the high of the European tour and a side that was entertaining to watch but one which ultimately fell just before the final hurdle. Hughton had done well with us but he could see dark days were coming so when the bright lights of Norwich came calling, he left.

This year we came into the season on the back of a great run at the end of the previous season and with hope that this year would be better – hope that was sustained by good results for long periods. However, it looks like it’s been just a little bit too hard to sustain and we too are going to fall just before final hurdle of promotion.

Although people say good times are coming because Carson et al seem to be on their way out, I am unconvinced that the ownership issues will be sorted out instantly over the summer – and the accounts from last year show that the club had to be loaned £10million to stay afloat. Are Trillion Trophy Asia going to lend Blues another £10million just to stand still? Is Gary Rowett going to stick around and wait for the jam tomorrow? I don’t think he will – and I honestly do not blame a young, ambitious manager wanting to jump another step up the managerial tree to bigger and more lucrative things.

This is why it was vital for me this season we do as well as we can. I don’t buy this stuff about other teams having significantly better players throughout their squads; yes they might have more resources but we only have to look at the top of the Premier League to see a team able to outperform ones who are much richer. Scoobers on SHA posted a link to a Players Tribune article written by Claudio Ranieri, who says something that sums up why I think we can do better:

Before we played our first match of the season, I told the players, “I want you to play for your teammates. We are a little team, so we have to fight with all our heart, with all our soul. I don’t care the name of the opponent. All I want is for you to fight. If they are better than us, Okay, congratulations. But they have to show us they are better.”

Against Brighton I didn’t see that fight. Neither did Gary Rowett by the look of today’s Birmingham Mail article where he’s told the players if they don’t perform as well as they can they will have to try harder. I don’t think the way the team was set up tactically helped us either; I’d have played Ryan Shotton rather than Jonathan Spector as centre back and I’d have played James Vaughan rather than Clayton Donaldson – but then I’m not the manager.

We have a go at the mob from across the expressway for being stuck in the past – so lets not fall into that trap ourselves. Rather than saying “we’ve come a long way” let’s look at where we can go. Rather than saying “at least it’s not Clark” let’s see who Rowett could be as good as. Gary Rowett and his team set high standards for themselves over the past eighteen months with some excellent performances – in my opinion it’s not wrong to hope they continue to meet those standards.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


96 Responses to “Fight or Flight”

  • perry clarke says:

    I just don’t agree I’m afraid, GR has had a very, very average squad over performing for 18 months now and it was always going to be hard to maintain, he hasn’t helped himself with a questionable use of what funds we have either.
    As for the Leicester comparison, don’t fall into the trap of ‘little old battling Leicester’ . They have a lot of technically excellent players, yes assembled on a budget but excellent all the same, you do not win the premier by scrapping alone.
    We haven’t got anywhere near the championship equivalent of their players at Blues and being organised and hard working only gets you, well, about where we are, if your squad isn’t technically good enough.
    About the only thing I agree with you on here is Rowett will be off and it will be interesting to see what a new manager can do with this bunch of players, as you say, I can’t see any significant funds being available either, this summer.

    • RichardM says:

      Don’t forget Leicester’s “budget” this season was in excess of £20 million, small by Premier league standards I know, but a quantum leap from Blues financial position. Unfortunately money is the only way out of this quandry, and right now we don’t have any, certainly not enough to compete with the likes of Derby, Sheff Wednesday, Cardiff, even Ipswich.

    • atko says:

      I have to agree with most of that Perry. Leicester have Premier League quality players that are technically gifted and consistent at that. We have average Championship players punching above their weight for 18 months. We have two quality players and neither are ours. The problem is if your quality players are outnumbered by your average players, your quality players start to perform average. If you had majority quality you could get away with one or two average looking good!

      We need quality in midfield and up front and unless we get some kind of technically gifted players ourselves in the middle of the park and up front then we are always going to stuggle. The problem we have now is whilst we have been punching above our weight we got away with it with a lot of opposing teams but now we have been found out tactically then we have got nothing to give.

      The current squad is geared to play one way and as it’s not working anymore they are starting to look the players they are – average at best. Will we lose Gary Rowett? That depends on who needs a manager. Personally I think there is only a handful of teams he would quit us for at the moment. He would want to see out what he has started here and only something really tempting would he consider.

    • Blue Steve says:

      Perry has summed it up exactly. If you really believe we definitely should be doing better with our current squad then in my opinion you are a bit misguided.

  • Bluefire says:

    A very good summary that captures how I feel. There’s nothing worse that hearing sections of the local media and fans saying “we’re punching above our weight”. The mental scars Lee Clark left on some fans really need to heal. We only just stayed up two seasons ago not because of a lcak of money, but because of extremely poor management. And whilst there’s no doubt GR has done a very good job, our inability to finish in the top six is likewise not just about money but as much to do with the formations, tactics and indifferent use of loan and transfer market. When you’re in our financial position surely you cannot afford to waste £2m on two players who have had such little impact!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    With apologies to Brian Dick here’s my reasons we missed the playoffs:

    1/ No Tesche and Kierney

    With them in the team last season our points haul was trending towards the playoffs. To be unable to sign them was unfortunate; to not replace them ended our playoff hopes from the outset. 

    2/ Playing only one orthodox centre half 

    Put simply: Robinson’s career has been at left back; Spector as right back or defensive midfield. Playoff teams are not built ‘making do’ all season in key positions. 

    3/ Unsuccessful loan signings

    None have made their mark on the team: Lowry; Shotton; Vaughan; Buckley. Why? I’ll let Gary explain that to Panos and TTA. 

    4/ Lack of goalpower 

    Donaldson has been poor since his injury;  Cotterill and Gray a shadow of last season. Vaughan has been goalless as has Brock-Madsen. 

    Maybe we ‘just’ needed the better quality player we can’t afford or maybe it’s due to playing too defensively in midfield. 

    5/ No midfield ‘general’

    Robert Tesche anyone?  Combine Gleeson and Kieftenbeld and you get the player you need and give yourself an extra place in the team. 

    • Carlos says:

      Spot on post, Rowett has done brilliantly in getting them organised, but his major failing/blindspot is getting the spine of the team right. The priority this summer needs to be a centre half to help Morrison out and a centre mid who can put his foot on the ball and dictate play. Ironically he must have known this as he tried to get in Kiernan and Tesche last year, so why not bring in alternatives?

    • KinverBlue says:

      1) I agree, but you mean Kiernan.

      2) I agree.

      3) Yes, though one or two have not been played to their strengths at all. Vaughan in particular, we just lump the ball to him like he’s Donaldson. We have also had an astonishingly good loanee in Toral.

      4) You mean the Gray we sold in January whilst we were in-form without him in the side?

      5) An over reliance on Gleeson has caused this, IMHO. He is incredibly average, yet is selected week-in, week-out, and wasn’t looked at as being replaceable.

  • Swifty says:

    To compare this season to Hughton’s is absurd. He had a huge budget by comparison (wasted £500k on Townsend and £500k on Huseklepp) and should have got that team promoted. His tactics cost us in the play offs and he jumped ship because he knew we were going to get even worse.
    Rowett has achieved a minor miracle to make us competitive with what he inherited and the resources available. Other teams in the Championship do have better players than us throughout their squads. Using Leicester as an analogy is ridiculous too. They money they have spent and the quality they have got they are under rated by the rest of the PL. Blues have actually done what they have done as well fighting for the cause so it’s a false analogy. Until we get new owners who can compete with the top six clubs finanically we are always going to be relaying on good managers to maximise what he has to work with and what he is able to bring in.

  • Mitchell says:

    I am pleased Daniel commented on TTA. Boring as I may have been recently on this subject- we are so dependant on this £10m for next season that it is almost alarming. I for one take nothing for granted with TTA and I am afraid EY. Summer period will I hope bring optimism and stability,but again we are still in tricky waters. Another item that has to be mentioned concerning this season is the Brian Dick podcasts. This man who I am sure is very decent does come over very dour and very unenthusiastic. Just a little upbeat please if Brian continuing next season.

  • StevieW says:

    Well now we cant get to the playoffs the pressure is off. With blues sitting with a price tag that is probably what has already been agreed and is not inflated by us ending up in the Prem I think things can now move forward according to the BIHL/TTA/EY plan. If TTA pull out we are sunk and given the conflict and complexity of the ownership then it would take another lifetime to get new buyers.

    Interesting times ahead, at what pace who knows.

    As for the players they are now waiting to see what develops, obviously promotion would have put most of them out of a job at Blues as will lucrative new owners, but if it is another season of same as then many will still have a playing career with Blues next season.

  • DaveP says:

    I don’t think Rowett will be looking elsewhere, not yet, see where we are at christmas. But the team has got to start performing consistently. In my opinion Donaldson is looking worn out, and who can blame him, having played up top on his tod all season? I know he doesn’t like it but GR simply has to start playing two up front if we’re going to stay in the top half…. as for Vaughan and Fabbrini I have a horrible feeling it’s Pandiani all over again….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Good piece. I agree with most of it. There’s a massive sense of disappointment simply because the chance was there to finish in the play-off places. It wasn’t imaginary, we’ve stayed within a few points of the top 6 the whole season.. it was very real.

    I’ve no idea why we’ve blown it in the last few weeks. The players showed in the first 4 or 5 months what they were capable of, why they couldn’t sustain that I don’t know. Saying they’re lower championship/league 1 quality doesn’t wash… they were good enough up until January.

    As the manager said after the game, the players need to go home and ask themselves if they’ve done enough, yes, I agree with that. But by the same token, Mr Rowett needs to go home and ask himself why he hasn’t managed to wring that extra 10% out of the players that was needed to have sustained our play-off push. After the Bristol City game (30 Jan) we were in 6th place, 9 points off the top. Today, we sit 9th, having won just 2 games and 9 points from the 10 games since.

    It ain’t the end of the world, at least we’ll have two cracking derbies to look forward to next season, we’ll look back on this season, as in the Hughton season and wonder, what if.

    • ChrisG says:

      Like I said yesterday staffs the 2-1 defeat at home to sheff wed on 6th feb after being 1-0 up seems to have had a lasting effect. GR said in the BM piece that Dan mentioned that he would “get tough” on the players that take their foot off the gas, well he obviously hasn’t been watching the same games as me cos as far as i’m concerned they all took their foot off the gas 2 months ago, apart from one second half performance against wolves (where we dominated but still failed to score) our performances have been below par.

    • StevieW says:

      Wringing the extra 10% is what has given this team the level we are at, now that has expired we are slipping into the normal standard of these players hence our position in the league.

    • atko says:

      Maybe the question we need to ask is did the club REALLY want to get promoted? After all it was quite an alarming collapse for no real apparent reason right?

      • StevieW says:

        Thats part of my conspiracy theory and the further down the road we go the more I like it. I believe a price is agreed and for that to stay as it is then promotion certainly would not have helped.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Taking up one of your points, we have indeed beaten/outperformed many teams this season who have significantly better players throughout their squads; one problem is there is just too many of those. Another problem is that we’ve underperformed in games where we might be considered the favourites; but, even some of those clubs have probably got bigger wage bills. How many of our players would get into the starting XI of teams in the top half of the Championship this season? Next season that gulf may be wider.

    Our manager may well be elsewhere next season. If not, then I’m hoping he can continue his development by looking at the failure of the loan signings this year and focusing his limited resources on key areas – like another CH! Further, now teams have found us out tactically, we have to find other ways to win games; alternatively, we must find better players for the current set-up. This is probably a little simplistic, but surely it has to be one or the other if we are to compete in the same way next year? Next season will be tougher still. Without a significant investment of cash, we have to continue to outperform richer clubs next year just to stay in the division.

  • Ror Smith says:

    If I remember correctly we were favourites to get relegated at the start of the season.
    Obviously we have failed to live up to our potential haven’t we?
    Can’t believe the fantasy world some fans are living in, we should have done this, done that, won the cup been champions been given an honorary place in the Champions League for being so brilliant!!!
    Get real. We’ve done incredibly well with a small squad, limited resources and CY hanging over us for most of the season..

    • almajir says:

      Were we?

      Not in my eyes.

      52 points from 32 games under Rowett last season, 56 from 39 this season. We’ve actually got fewer points having spent more money…

      • glosbigblue says:

        I think we were 4th favourites for relegation with the bookies pre season. They must have concluded Rowett had done a great job last season with limited budget and suspected he wouldn’t be able to keep that going. Seems reasonable as it turns out.

      • Martin says:

        This is a bit unfair, we are not comparing apples with apples, teams will have invested and clubs come up from league1 and down from prem. Its all about league position and we have a few more games yet to understand the final situation. Top 10 finish for a club with no effective owner and having to borrow money to stay alive? I know we all say money is not the be all, BUT, if we were bought by an Arab oil prince with Millions to spend, would we say that then ???? I know the Prem league this year is a change, but, take a look at how much the championship winning sides of the last five years have spent. One swallow and all that.

      • RichardM says:

        If Derby do go up this year (and they’re starting to find some form at the right time) I doubt very much they will look at Rowett who has no premiership experience.

        People keep whinging about Rowett’s perceived “lack of success” in the transfer markets – but come on, if you’re last in the queue (which Blues invariably are becuase of the lack of funds) – you’re haggling for what’s left and hoping to pull a rabbit out of the hat. People also seem to have written Fabbrini off already, despite the fact that he’s not had much game time becuase of injury and Toral’s form – how can anyone at this stage say it was a waste of money or ruined the season?

        A good example is Lewis McGugan, a quality midfielder whom GR tried very hard to sign but lost out on him to Sheff Wednesday becuase they could offer double the wages.

        If I were GR reading this webpage, I’d be thinking “sod the lot of them, I’m off – let’s see how they like Ian Holloway as manager’.

  • ian ambrose says:

    Waste time and 100% blues player has never thinking stronger, Blues had many time game lost by bottom table of league and too lazy some player and no heart never thinking play off !!! MUST pass pass pass ball PASS BALL and RUN run run RUN…Most blues player has SLEEP!!!

  • Alex T says:

    I agree with Ian Ambrose (I think….)
    Too many times against Brighton I saw players (Donaldson, Gleeson, Toral) not harrying opponents when the ball was there to be won, not busting a gut to get a 50-50 ball and just plain ball watching when there was an opportunity to strike!

    I also feel that Rowett must have stumbled on the ‘Lee Clark book of Tactics’ that day…. Seriously, we wait all year to see 2 up front, and when we finally get it, he plays Donaldson on the right wing!! With the wide midfield position being the one place we have an abundance of talent, that is unforgivable. There was 5 minutes in the 2nd half (about 60th to 65th minute) where Toral drifted to the wing and Donaldson went centre and we looked dangerous, then we reverted to the planned formation and no goal threat was ever posed again…..

    So yes, Rowett should challenge the players to give more…. but he should also challenge himself, because he dropped a bollock that day

  • nicko says:

    Chris G I agree with you against Sheffield Wednesday we were the better team for an hour should have made it 2 0 but missed a sitter then they score a scorcher and we folded along with our season if we would have won I think we would still be in the pack. But we still have had a good season lets go out on a high. KRO

  • alex hurley says:

    It’s interesting how you’ve pitched this as a people being in 1 of 2 camps – I.e. “we’re happy cos we overachieved” vs “we’re frustrated cos we’ve mucked it up”. There’s a 3rd camp which I’m in – I.e. “finishing between 8th & 10th is about right for the current squad/budget”.

    There does seem to be consensus that Rowett has done quite poorly in the transfer market. The signings he’s made have been really quite poor (Morrison excepted) and there’s a big irony for me in that a lot of Clark’s £5k a weekers have made significant contributions this season.

    For me now the focus becomes Panos not GR. He’s got to sort out some cash for this summer because the squad needs improving to compete again. He’s also got to decide if he wants GR to be the,man to spend it or, dare I say it, cash in on one of our most saleable assets because maybe, just maybe, he can’t be relied on to get vfm in the transfer market……

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Agree with a lot of that. Kuszczak, Maghoma and Kieftenbeld have made decent contributions to the season, but, other than Toral, none of this season’s loan signings have made much of a difference to be fair… although, they may have done if they’d been played more.

      People are saying we need a centre back to play alongside Morrison… but I think it’s Morrison who needs a good commanding centre back to play alongside… someone who can actually head a ball. Looking at the Brighton goals again.. Morrison was the player beaten for both.

      • carlos says:

        agree Staffs, hes a bit like Donaldson up front carrying the workload on his own, Morrison has got Caddis to the right of him and Robinson to the left of him, he must spend half his time trying to cover those pair. The two Brighton lads were beasts, we should be able to find a couple like that around for not much money.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          When I read your words, the old Stealer’s Wheel song came into my head… “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” :) Sorry mate.

        • oldburyblue says:

          I like Morrison but he definitely had a stinker on Tuesday. Both goal scorers got the jump on him and his distribution on the whole was terrible, either booting it up aimlessly or misplacing shorter passes handing over possession to the opposition in dangerous positions. As I have said previously, the only reason we play so defensively is because GR does not trust his back 4 to defend on their own.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Forget the past now and look to the future starting Saturday at Reading , can’t do anything about it , can’t fix it , can’t rewind back to January , it’s now to sort out and the summer to change things .. Let’s finish 9th at least and move on from there . KRO

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Liecester are a one off that we will probably never see again
    I don’t necessarily believe GR will go in the summer because I think the signings/loans have been average so he’s probably dropped down a few lists in that respect.He will surely be better off waiting around for another season in the hope that the ownership changes.
    Ultimately it was our inactivity last summer in central defence and up front that have cost us imo.

  • Your right DAN we have got players as good as good as other clubs , especially the midfield , we do need a striker , a tall centreback , and a fast left wing back to cover all eventuality to and to get the squad up to strength ,letting the loaned out players go ,will enable this …..KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t think for one moment that Rowett will leave in the summer, or at all next season. I think he’ll want a success on his CV before he moves on. So far, although he’s proved himself a pretty capable manager, he’s not actually acheived very much. He built a good side at Burton, but didn’t stay around to see it through. He must have felt a twinge watching Jimmy-Floyd take them up.

    So far at Blues, he’s managed on a small budget (like he did at Burton) and built a top 10 side, no more than that so far… so I doubt anyone above 10th place would be looking very closely at him just yet.

    Personally, I think he’ll want to stay and have another crack at promotion.. otherwise, he’ll have left having acheiving very little again.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agree.If he does go it will be to a promotion chasing championship side but I can’t really see why such a club would see him as their ticket.He hasn’t really achieved much yet and I would be a bit dubious about handing him the cheque book tbh.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Exactly. He’s proved himself more than capable with free transfers and Bosmans… but his record isn’t very good so far in spending money. I can’t see any club at the moment bringing him in and giving him £5-10m to spend. I could be wrong though.

        • atko says:

          To be fair we don’t know what is going on with transfers. We don’t know how many of the signings are his first choice, they could be his third choice or more. When you know you have to boost the squad whether due to injuries or form you have to take a gamble sometimes. Clubs can refuse loans, players may not be interested or we lose out to other clubs. GR isn’t going to admit players aren’t his first choice is he? That’s not going to do much for their confidence. When your funds are so tight who knows what happens with transfers.

  • I think your right staffs I think GR will stay , he is strong enough in characrter to want to finish a job , besides we are as big as most clubs and have the potential to draw in much larger crowds, Brian Clough nearly came to blues , and who knows what might have been , we are on an upward trend toward the top and I think GR would like to be the man to take us their being a local ,

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He might become a little frustrated if he can’t improve us again next season, but then, he knew the financial constraints before he took the job. Actually, I think he’s managed to get more out of the board than was expected when he took the job. £2m on Fabbrini and Brock-Madson is much more than was expected… I was gobsmacked at the amount personally.

  • peteblue says:

    i guess by writing this , i will upset a lot of people on dan`s site , i agree with dan , we have players that can run up & down the field all day , but thats ok if it is a race or marathon , but this is football , the idea being that we put the ball in the back of the net more time than the other team !. GR has done ok, with what he has had to play with , but i do think he has taken his eye of the ball , his tactics sometimes have come straight out of L CLARK`S book , he is a reasonable manager , not a great one !. i think his head was turned by being mentioned for other vacancies at other clubs ?. some of his transfers have been not up to par?, and looking at the players the other night , a lot of them seemed as though they were already on holiday .?. we will finish maybe in 10th or 12th place . and until new owners ?. and a bit more money to spend arrives , thats where we belong , we dared to dream of the premiership?, thats all it was a dream !. oh and just as a final note , i have supported blues since i was 10yrs old , i am now 67yrs old , and will keep on supporting them ! . but we need to get real . KRO . and blues forever .

  • otto says:

    Not sure how you reckon we’re on an upward trend William – no owner or prospect of one soon, loan to stay above water financially, richer clubs coming down from the Prem (Newcastle & Sunderland and the other lot?). GR has done a great job making us defensively solid as a team and difficult to beat but just falling short of a playoff spot. Without cash it’s hard to move up and we haven’t got any. Setting aside Leicester, year after year where clubs finish is down to cash.

  • Bluey says:

    Dan,to ask how much better we could be is a positive thought but my answer is not much.We`re so financially hamstrung that i think we`re probably just about at optimum performance.There may be room for marginal improvement but not much and certainly not enough for a promotion tilt without off-field issues being resolved positively.As for GR going you say you wouldn`t blame an ambitious manager for walking…how do you know he`s ambitious?

    • peteblue says:

      bluey , ofcourse he is ambitious , all managers are , do you really think that GR would not one day want to manage a premier club .its just a question of whether he want`s to do it with us ?. kro

  • Will says:

    I’m afraid the season is disappearing quicker than a British entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, think we will finish about the same as last year no overall improvement in final position, but with such financial restrictions could a new manager do any better over 46 games? Only get sorted once proper owners are in place (Doesn’t need oil baron’s but look who well Leicester have done with new owners and proper investment)

  • Darren Brown says:

    A great season under Rowett !
    But in the last 6 games he has lost his way with what he was doing best !
    He added loans which the fans were crying out for but this has gone against us and started playing players out of position.
    I want Rowett to stay and build on what he has started because the whole football infrastructure has improved immensely under his guidance.
    Well done Rowett and his team and here’s hoping for new owners very quickly and Derby County getting promotion before they get there hands on him !!!
    The rumours www around at Tuesday’s game that Derby are waiting until the season end.
    CV7Blue :-(

    • AdamTrueBlue says:

      What worries me is the players attitude towards their manager appears to have changed, at the beginning of the season they were prepared to run down every ball, (Not any more) I do not get this tired thing, they are out there playing the game they love, they don’t get up at 5 in the morning, commute 2 hours, do a days hard work then commute 2 hours home, then do the same thing for the next 5 days and then spend their hard earned money going to watch others play football.

    • tmsblues says:

      I think you might have it just right.

  • ChrisG says:

    I think in reality we can all sit and analyze where we went wrong, I don’t think it was because the players weren’t good enough cos we’ve seen how well they can play, I think it’s a lot simpler than that, they’re mostly inexperienced at playing at this level & all the pressure & with talk of promotion I think has got to them & they’ve just choked. You can see it in their play, the ball is like a hot potato to most of them & they can’t wait to get rid of it, rather than looking for a pass it seems anywhere will do. There are also certain players who are hoping to go to the euros & aren’t as committed to our cause in case they get injured (again in some cases). The best thing GR can say to his players now is forget the play offs they’re gone, just go out & play your game like we know you can as there’s no pressure on you now.

  • oldburyblue says:

    I think the sign of a good manager is to be flexible to keep opposition managers guessing. How many times have we seen teams (not just us) do well for half a season catching opposition on the hop…. but when return fixtures come around they have been “clocked” and therefore cannot be caught out again using the same tactics. Our weakness to crosses from set-pieces is obviously now well known judging by the last 3 goals conceded.

    • atko says:

      The inability to drop Donaldson also creates another weakness because at some point you know it’s gonna be route one to him which resulted in him being totally ineffective. Even with the inclusion of Lafferty he still wasn’t dropped but was played out of position and he was worse than ever! One criticism GR has to accept is he has to be willing to drop players for the good of the team. Donaldson has been ineffective for some time if not most of the season. GR has to be willing to try something different!

  • Tony says:

    So many misconceptions, over the cause of a season things even themselves out and you finish where you deserve to finish.
    We are at best a moderate 2nd division side, yes there have been times we have been close to top six but realistically no where near promotion material.
    We have no goal scorer, we have a striker who runs all day and works hard but does not score goals, same goes for Vaughan, god knows what the brock is about, the defence is poor look at Brighton’s 2 goals free headers. People who believed we would reach the play offs were deluded right from the start, the analogy with Leicester was ridiculous too, they have technically gifted players we do not apart from Toral we are poor in every department.
    Rowet has reached his level he stabilized the side but after the disaster that was Clark virtually anyone could have done the same, in my opinion he has taken us just as far as he can and should be replaced as soon as practical.

  • Having a bit of money to spend , and being on the way to getting off Carson’s sinking ship ,is an upward trend even if it may take a bit of time for the rescue ship to appear Otto …..

  • Will says:

    PS: happy Birthday to Barry Fry 71 Today, one of the most fun managers we have ever had and still loves the club today!

  • Dave Mann says:

    He never went a day without signing a player did Barry but then you didn’t have the transfer window … Is squads were double the size of what we have now , also made the club a few million on transfers to , a bit of a maverick but a legend all the same . KRO

  • zxcv says:

    Does anyone think new owners are going to trust him with er say 20 million quid. ? Daniel.?

    PS by the way a very good blog, very fair and honest.

    • Tony says:

      Have raised the same point myself the answer? why no of course not

      • atko says:

        Then the first job is find a new manager. He has to be given a chance. The tiny amount he has had to work with over the past 18 months cannot be an example of how he would be with some decent money so if you cannot work with him then he would have to be replaced. I would hope they give him a chance!!

  • BND says:

    Lack of goals has cost us this season. Million pound for Fabrinni when the money could have been spent on a striker. Until the ownership of the club is sorted out I cant see Blues challenging the top six next season. I think GR has done a good job given we were seconds away from relegation under LC. If we had languished in the middle of the table all season I don’t think the GR backlash would have happened.
    I never though we would go up. The squad lacks quality, depth and goals. We are nowhere near the better teams in this division and people who think we are delude themselves. We need 5 or 6 quality players and we don’t have the money. Even if GR brings a couple of the kids through you know if they perform they will eventually be sold. We need new owners in place and until that happens I cant see us going anywhere.

  • otto says:

    Spot on BND. Only thing is I can’t think of any strikers that were available for 1mil (and on our wages) that would have been any good. Decent ones tend to be highly prized and in the McCormack/Andre Gray price bracket.

    Not sure whether we’re any closer to having money to spend or new owners coming in williamm.

  • eric says:

    We all hope but sometimes reality sinks in and our club has gone through a terrible time. You mention Leicester but look at their ownership. Also their top players stayed with them while ours move on pretty quickly. Lets not get depressed but look forward to an exciting season next year and then, my prediction, promotion the year after next. Keep Right On and stop being gloomy!

  • Dave Mann says:

    You tell them eric , me included !! :-) KRO

  • nicko says:

    well said Eric to many doom and gloomers KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom. This season has ended disappointingly, but I still feel next year can be a good one. Sort out the obvious weak spots and we can have another crack at it next season. I don’t give a monkeys how much the Vile, or Newcastle or Sunderland, etc have got. Look what all those three alone have spent…. a fat lot of good it’s done them. Identifying the right type of players and getting them in doesn’t have to cost millions. With the best of our present squad, plus a few decent additions, I’m still optimistic of having a good 2016-17.

  • otto says:

    Not doom and gloom, I think GR has done a great job and I’m certainly not one calling for his head. I hope he stays and if so can probably produce another good performance with the squad he has at his disposal, 8-12th like this year. Whilst you may not give a monkeys how much Vile etc have or will spend it means they can attract better players.

  • We need to regroup and stop sticking our heads under our armpits , I for one do not want blues to play second fiddle to villa in the league next season as I have said we need to get players in early on precontractoral agreements , as we want the players to gel before the season starts and for us to hit the boards running , let’s put the short trousers away and put the hankies on the washing line to dry, for villa to use next season , COME ON LETS get this show on the road again ,, come on the villa killers ,…KRO..

  • andy says:

    For the life of me I cannot understand the negative comments over Gary Rowett or the teams inability to reach the play offs. True there has been lesser teams and clubs who have made it to the premier league in recent times but Blues gave it a right go and fell short with less than 10 games to go. Blues have been a top 10 side the whole season and it would be failure now if they finished the season outside that top 10. I am afraid Blues will move no further forward next season unless the ownership issue is sorted and investment is made and this season has been a success not a disaster

    • steve says:

      andy,too many experts on here mate. A lot of them don’t go to the games.

    • Texas Pete says:

      I agree Andy. All along this team has been outsiders for a chance at a layoff position and playing above their status. This is thanks to a young manager cutting his teeth in his first full season in the chamionship. Here is a group of players who have played for each other until, I believe, they have run out of steam having been at the door of a playoff position until just a couple of weeks ago. That is acheivement. Now after moaning about the need a striker and 2 up front GR has done exactly that and the miserable mentality comes in that the loan players brought in are no good GR is no good and cannot be trusted.
      I dont think GR expected this much success and is planning longer term than a flash in the pan. That is why we see so much about younger players and why Brock was purchased (Lafferty carbon copy).
      Be patient ffs. Let him learn the trade because what we have seen so far is a foundation for the club that is ready for investment and steady for growth.

  • Rowett possibly versus Brucey , Blues versus Villa ,COME ON it doesn’t get better than that , Get in there …KRO …

  • Dave Mann says:

    The premier league does William .. Vile or Brucey is of no importance to me unless we play them in the premiership , the championship is second fiddle and always will be so yes it does get better than that ! KRO

  • Have heard a rumour Dave I don’t know if it is true or not but England’s Glory are putting 50 matches in there box’es instead of 52 because Gary Rowett doesn’t want 2 strikers ,…ha ha ha …

  • Peter bates says:

    Hope our season hasn’t fizzled out to nothing play to get as high as we can and who knows next season hopefully with new owners we may just reach the premier but I don’t think gr will be with us I hope we can get some answers from Hong Kong and or tta because the silence is deafening kro

  • Peter bates says:

    Do I get the feeling that some people are thinking only two wins against villa matter next season can’t stand that train of thought

  • Dave Mann says:


  • There are teams below us that have spent a lot !more money than we have , and are not doing as well as us , teams need confidence whether they cost £70million or £70,000 , and slagging players off ain’t going to do the team any good either , GR has got good quality but for me needs to lose a bit of fear and to attack more as we get the summers players onboard , we don’t know what is going to happen in the near future so there is no good stressing until we know what’s happening, we need to lighten up , we are Bluenoses not the vile …

    • atko says:

      You have to have the right players for the formations you are playing and we haven’t. We started off counter attacking but that meant the likes of Cotts, Maghoma, Gray and anyone else we played on the wing were occupied defensively. None of these players are good enough or quick enough to turn defence in to attack in an instance. So once opposition worked how to combat our counter attacking style our formation became floored.

      We tried to vary the formation but all the players we have in our squad are suited to that formation because that formation doesn’t require particularly quality players it requires a team working together. Once we tried to change things a bit it was noticeable that we didn’t have that quality needed to unhinge the opposition or provide that one spark or bit of magic. We’re still trying to find the answer to that problem about a dozen games later!

  • Happy birthday Barry Fry

  • Your right Atco ,It is the same with strikers ,when you have 2 individual strikers that are not good dribblers or passers of the ball , players that are best assisted with goals ,then it doesn’t work very well, play a little and large like quinn and Phillips , Latchford and Francis then it works….

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