Often Partisan

The Future

Birmingham City blew a two goal lead to draw with Preston North End at St Andrew’s last night. A brace from Clayton Donaldson had put Gary Rowett’s men into a good position but late goals from Alan Brown and Greg Cunningham ensured Simon Grayson’s team returned north with a share of the spoils.

Rowett cut an angry figure in interviews last night. He talked about being “frustrated” and “disappointed” after Blues took their foot off the gas. Two quotes in the piece on the official site stand out to me. Firstly, Rowett talks about professionalism, saying

“It [the last 15 minutes] probably sums up our season since March, where we just need to be a bit tougher, a bit more resolute, a bit more professional and a bit more disciplined.”

The last few games there have been long spells where the team has looked off the pace and on the beach – and I think it’s been one of the frustrations for me why Rowett hasn’t shaken the team up a bit more. Five days ago Rowett talked about leaving out Will Buckley to give Viv Solomon-Otabor a run as Viv was going to be important next season – and in the intervening games Solomon hasn’t had a sniff.

With Kieftenbeld now potentially out for the remainder of the season and absolutely nothing to play for I’d like Rowett to shake up the midfield; Stephen Gleeson had been rightfully rested as he hadn’t played at all well of late but no doubt he’ll come back into the team because Rowett won’t try any other midfielders.

I think the ground has also been prepared for Ryan Shotton to be dropped and Paul Robinson to be brought back into the first XI, with Rowett criticising the defence for leaving their posts and getting too far forward, following up with:

“I’ve said to the lads in the dressing room that as much as Robbo (Paul Robinson) can be a nuisance in terms of his attitude because he doesn’t like not being in the team, he wants to win and that’s why he’s played in the Premier League for so long.

This for me really would be a backward step. Robinson is 38 in December and as much as some fans think he should be given another year I can’t agree. With absolutely nothing to play for now would it be such a wrong idea to look at someone youthful? I appreciate Rowett might not think they are good enough; however I’d argue that some players step up under the bright lights and perform much better than expected; as badly as we’ve played of late it’s not going to hurt to put a youngster on the bench to see how they’d handle things.

The problem the club faces is now that our season is completely dead the whole ownership issue comes sharply back into focus – be it people who think Rowett should have been backed further and who will leave to further his own ambitions as the neverending Hong Kong saga continues into a fifth year; or people who wonder if TTA will be happy that despite putting up money for transfers and wages the team has looked somewhat worse since Christmas.

It’s a tough one because for a long time the club have (probably rightly) urged fans to concentrate on matters on the pitch and forget about HK; those problems haven’t gone away and I think action needs to happen quickly in HK lest people get antsy about what next season holds.

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125 Responses to “The Future”

  • KinverBlue says:

    I’m sorry, and I realise this is controversial, but although I love the guy, I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep if Rowett took another job over the Summer.

    I read someone say on Facebook that we have got something like just five points in the last nine games, that’s almost embarrassing. It also includes capitulating to a team who were relegated last night.

    The points dropped have largely been down to management and underperforming players who seem to be the first names on the team sheet. The inexperience is showing.

    I don’t think any amount of investment would necessarily make up for those shortfalls.

    • john says:

      Its because of lack of investment, that the club is in the position its in. Rowett has been shopping in poundland since he,s been there, because of financial restraints. Some other clubs in the Championship are shopping in Harrods. Every bluenose needs to wake up to the fact that the present team, are at best, average Championship players, some not that good. This is because the the club has no leadership. Yeung and Pannu have virtually closed the club down and it would appear that the receivers, Ernst and Young are no closer to solving the problem. Every one of us can forget about any chance of success, or the team improving, until new ownership is in place. That, looks a long way off. Considering the standard of players we have, the team, this season, have punched well above their weight. Ernst and Young, must pull their finger out and work harder.

      • Bluemat says:

        In all fairness John im kind of glad we’ve been shopping in pound land because any money the manager has had he’s completely wasted. When was the last time we spent anywhere near 2million on 2 players. 1 of those players can get no where near the team and the other 1 is only now getting a run because torals injured. Then we can talk about loan players lafferty, buckley anyone? KRO

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Have to agree with this to a certain extent. For me, Kuszczak, Morrison, Kieftenbeld and Maghoma have all contributed well to this season.. but in all honesty, I don’t think the rest of Rowett’s signings have been good for the team/squad at all.

          Would he do any better with more money to spend? I’m not so sure tbh, maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. It’s possible any new owners could look at our transfer dealings this season and think, “Nah!”

      • KinverBlue says:

        As I said, John – money would NOT make Gary Rowett make better tactical decisions.

        Yes, the quality of our players is dependent on finances – but the decisions a manager makes with the playing staff available is not dependent on finances.

        Also, as said by a few other people, the standard of Gary’s purchases have been very hit and miss.

      • atko says:

        Stop saying it is because of the financial situation…. it most definitely isn’t!! Two weeks ago we were still in with a realistic chance of reaching the playoffs. Performances like last night ensured that we blew it but you forget that 90% of the season was already over. The squad proved they were more than capable up to a fortnight ago and nobody has got injured, nobody has got suspended (until this week) yet everybody decides to finish the season early! That’s not the financial situation to me!!

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    Morning Dan! A little dissapointing again last night,as you say we appear to have our minds on the beach at the minute and results have tailed off! I’m happy on the whole with Rowett and In the main part this season has been enjoyable!
    I have to agree with you as regards the unadventureous team selection!! We have nothing to play for so lets see what the likes of Adams,Mbende,Soloman and Maxwell can do!! Maxwell had been bought back from Kiddie ,for what???? Sticking with the same tried and tested formula isnt actually telling us anything for next season!!! Come on Gary a bit more adventure please….give the kids 25 minutes atleast! KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m not sure Maxwell can play for the first team this season. He can play for our U21s and also still play for Kiddy this season, if they so wish, but not our first team, as far as I’m aware that is.

      • ChrisG says:

        You’re right about Maxwell Staffs there was a statement on bcfc.com saying why last week, Maxwell had been training with blues a couple of days a week but GR has been impressed by him & wanted to get him more integrated into the 1st team I think in readiness for next season

    • Bluepenguin76 says:

      Ahhhh I see about Maxwell! Real shame he couldn’t get a bit of game time but if its not possible,I shouldnt moan too much. I would still like to see the other guys get a bit of a look in! The truth is Rowett MUST have ideas about filling weak gaps in the first team. Lets give the youngsters a taste and see. Sometimes youthful exuberance can elevate a player to new heights.

  • Lee says:

    The thing I noticed more so was when he said if players want to perform like that they won’t be in my side next season, the thing I’m noticing more so now is when you watch sides that play blues, in possession they move for each other, make themselves available for the ball, you watch us and we sit back, it’s a very negative way of playing the game, at throw in’s, no or very little movement, a free kick last night, we had 4 players against 7 defenders, everyone else sat back in our half of the field, we were never going to make an attempt on goal, for me, the way we’re set up is very defensive, we invite pressure, last night was boring, like many other games I’ve seen home and away, which suggests we need a more positive approach to games, way too defensive, I understand rowetts frustrations at losing a 2 goal lead and agree with everything he said because Morrison is the most awkward looking player in the opposition half I’ve ever seen in my life, but to win games we have to be livelier, we have to want to want the ball, we’re too slow mentally, Preston are a poor side and were there for the taking, like Fulham and wolves, I understand we have to play to our strengths but we have players like Buckley and sol who can put you on the front foot and are not even making the squad

  • Mickey07 says:

    The powers that be won’t come out with anything though will they Dan (panos and co)..no disrespect mate but it’s gone beyond its 5th year now it’s riddiculous,most clubs sail through a takeover not blues though,if we want to find out things in h.k. we have to club together (which I don’t mind) and send you out there to knock doors,it’s beyond a joke (we shouldn’t have to be doing things like that) which or any other club operates like this??,pavlakis should be keeping us in the frame than more than he does instead of tweeting nonsense about “great meetings” he’s having in Hong Kong etc etc as nothing ever comes from them meetings,people are starting to see through him a little now as its wearing a little thin because it’s seems nothing ever moves forward does it actually regarding a takeover…

    • almajir says:

      “Most clubs sail through a takeover”?


      • mickey07 says:

        Compared to blues they do most take about 6/8 weeks with a few problems along the way no doubt,still doesn’t change things though the Chinese have been dragging there feet for too long now 5 years is bloody stupid.

        • almajir says:

          Do they?

          Could have sworn the V*lla have been up for sale for 3 years, the Albion for 2 – and those are the ones I can be arsed to think about.

          • Mickey07 says:

            You gotta have a buyer first though “then” it takes roughly 6/8 weeks you misread it…name me the people that’s come to the baggies and villa?

    • ChrisG says:

      Mickey most clubs don’t have their owner banged up for a year or so, most clubs don’t have their parent company go into administration. CY has NEVER said the club was for sale, that was taken out of his hands by the HK courts. If you’ve been following on OP for the last couple of years Dan told us that any takeover would take at least 2 years, it’s only been about 15 months.
      Panos is not allowed to say anything about what is going on if he was i’m sure he would.
      I understand that you’re peed off & frustrated, we all are but unfortunately we all have to be patient whether we like it or not & chances are things could get worse before they get better. But look on the bright side, you could have been supporting vile!!!!!

  • Mitchell says:

    Our back four needs completely replacing with the exception of Morrison.We are fragile and easy fodder for the most modest of teams that play us.Giving 2goals away regularly especially at home is not clever. This coupled with woeful loan signings and equally woeful substitutions make GR a very average manager which is no fault of his. He has full reign at Stans.which covers up severe shortcomings and although nice for him to be his own leader and in reality not being that greatly under pressure by Panos-all could lead us into a unpleasant folly next season. His failure to play VSO will also rebound with this player being plucked away by a more savvy manager leaving us to ponder ‘if only’..

    • atko says:

      I wouldn’t worry about if because I can see big changes to this current squad come the summer. I would think at least 6 players will be on their way this summer and that’s not including those that were out on loan all season. Rowlett has warned he won’t accept players resting on their laurels even before last night yet some players are not listening and they may find themselves surplus to requirements come summer. Time to ring the changes.

  • DaveP says:

    I propose we need a left back, a centre-half, a consistent keeper, two strikers and an out and out winger as I can see Cotterill leaving after the Euros. Possibly another addition to the backroom staff, someone who can give the players a much needed kick up the backside when it matters. This season looked promising in february with play-off hopes, now it’s finishing like a wet party popper and we’re in danger of finishing 13-14th.

  • Jonathan Garrett says:

    Incredibly frustrating, I don’t think GR will ever change,even if he were to buy better players, I think teams have well and truly sussed us out,coupled with a lack of attack flair,GR give the kids a go,I’d even give that young Irish lad a go,but the problem is, he doesn’t know how to set up a team to be attacking, that, or he doesn’t want to,stick the bloody kids in GR, after all,
    “you can’t win anything with kids” can you ?

  • Ror Smith says:

    We were favourites to go down at the start of the season, and just a few weeks ago GR walked on water. About time some Bluenoses got a reality check.
    We still have a relatively weak squad and have over performed for most of the season.
    Stop whining, after all we are not the mob from across the city.

    • almajir says:

      Were we favourites to go down? Maybe in some fans eyes – not this one’s though.

    • KinverBlue says:

      We were not favourites to go down, a very silly statement.

      As for not moaning – why not? We are entitled to voice our concerns, we don’t have to all blindly praise people just because they are associated with the club.

      Don’t drink the Kool Aid.

    • atko says:

      Actually Rory I think you will find that had we had a mediocre season nobody would be moaning because that was probably what most were expecting. The fact that we were so close to the playoffs then literally threw it away indicates how frustrated everybody is given the squad have proved they could have made that top 6!

  • Retired&Weary says:

    The big difference last night was when Dutch Mike went off. He was the only one competing in the middle of the park against a physically stronger opposition. Plus he was feeding Fabbrini. Bringing Gleeson on gave us the same old weak midfield. Why not Spector at that stage?
    I hear that GR lost his rag after the game – he should have done that a few times this year. Too many players in the comfort zone imo.
    We learnt yet again is that we need a physically stronger set of players, and I don’t mean having a tall left back who wins some headers, but has no pace or positional sense. Is Hancox so bad that he has been completely bombed out? I seem to remember that he liked a tackle & has a decent left foot. Not tall of course.
    I agree, why not give VSO a run out when Cotterill went in to stroll mode?

  • edd77 says:

    Without big investment in the summer ,I think next season will have a different look about it ,championship will be stronger with maybe Newcastle and Sunderland in it and I think bottom 5 finish is a real possibility

  • Bluemat says:

    The last quarter of the season has been abysmal to be honest. Thats both the fault of the players and the manager. We hit a sticky patch around the early part of the year and the manager started to experiment with team formation and playing personal out of position, which he is in his rights to do. But since then we have never looked the same team. We have picked up the odd result here and there but we have had very little consistency in team performance. I don’t get this playing Donaldson out wide, i don’t understand the Lafferty loan at all. We have our own player in Vaughan who isn’t any worse and i would argue is a better player who we have all of next season that can’t get on the pitch. For the last 4 weeks all I’ve heard is Rowett say he wants to get viv some game time, yet he hasn’t had a sniff. Last night 2-0 up not under any real threat and not playing the greatest but once again we push Donaldson out wide and it gives the other team the impetus. Grounds is not a good player, he needs the cover from the wide man, Maghoma gives him that cover, as soon as you remove that he is blatantly exposed for the poor player he is. It was clear to see last night he was being targeted aswel, they just kept sticking it over is head on the diagonal. I think the manager has done well but i don’t buy the massive love in that he receives from some fans, don’t think that if he gets a better offer he won’t walk. Over the last 10-12 games we have been poor and you see the true test of a manager when the team is playing poor and to be honest the manager hasn’t been able to stop the poor performances. He’s had no real answers and the answers that he has come up with Lafferty, Buckley, Fabbrini, Donaldson out wide haven’t worked. They do have to take responsibility as a group both players and management team but you can’t take all the plaudits when your doing well and then accept no criticism when it turns poor. KRO!

  • DoctorD says:

    I have no idea what goes on in the dressing room, but I fear Rowett is infatuated with Robbo. Not because Robbo is good or right, but because Rowett sees him as his ally and doesn’t contradict the boss. There’s always a danger in any organisation that the boss picks people who agree with what he or she says. It’s comforting but not ideal. Like I say, I have no idea what goes on there, just a thought.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We badly, BADLY need a dominant midfielder who can drive us on. Everytime we’re in a dominant position during a game, we sit back and let teams come on to us. It happens every game without fail.. (and has done since before Rowett came in tbf.)

    We need new players with a different mentality…. or perhaps a new manager with a different mentality. Who knows for sure… although, I’m not sure I can believe that the manager would send the team out to play so deep in the second half of games. Would he? At 2-0 up, that game should have been put to bed. No excuses, it was thoroughly unprofessional to even let them back into it. When Preston scored their first, you just knew we’d give them a second.

    I’m not so sure we’ll be able to bring in enough players to make a difference next season. If not, we could be facing a battle just to stay mid-table.

    • DoctorD says:

      Spot on Staffs. Our current form is lower-to-mid table so I imagine that would continue to next year if all else stays the same. I predict a poor season next year (punctuated by two fiesty derby games).

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We finished last season very well, which contributed to our excellent start to the season… a bl00dy good job too, or we could have been facing a battle to stay up in these last 2 months. By the same token, could our poor second half of this season contribute to a poor start next season? It’s up to the manager to take any steps necessary to avoid that happening.

  • Sjinks07 says:

    @Kinver Blue. I’m sorry but deluded can you be. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t believe we have been out of the top 10 all year. We’ve run out of steam it’s as simple as that, a stretched squad that has relied on effort and cohesion.

    I don’t enjoy us throwing away a 2-0 lead, but for you to suggest that we’d be better of without Rowett, you must really have short memories. Take a step back, look at the improved attendances, performances and a bit of continuity in the team (of which I’m sure you pleased for under a certain Mr. Clark).

    Personally I think he is making his final assessments on who to Keep and who to Chop – the youngsters will have their moment in the coming weeks – as Promotion is now mathematically impossible…

    Ps, I’m with you on Robbo, love him and keep him coaching, but not on the pitch sadly.

  • Gaz says:

    Hi Dan I’m guessing you wasn’t at the game last night…Shotton played very well last night and I don’t believe he plans on replacing him with Robinson..in fact it was Morrison who was in their box trying to score a 3rd goal and not Shotton. I think Rowett was annoyed at us trying to kill the game instead of protecting a 2-0 lead but to be fair to Preston they deserved at least a draw over the 90mins.

  • Our future is with getting new owners as the the proposed ones TTA are beginning to seem nothing more than tyre kickers, we also need cover from wealthy fans or the council to stop blues being held to ransom over the ground , we need around 4 or 5 quality players and at our present rate of progress it will take two or three years to get them , I can’t see now why TTA can’t take over and E&Y can’t carry on sorting things out .. KRO..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Those 5 players should be a left back, centre back, holding midfielder, creative midfielder, striker.

      The opposition are targetting our weak points.. and those are our weak points. You see it game after game. Nothing changes, nothing improves… and other managers can see this.

      • Bluepenguin76 says:

        Staffs diffo agree with the player assessment there.I think the defence really needs a restructure (Caddis and Morrison have done fine)but Specs and Robinson have seen better days and I dont think Shotton has done enough to earn himself a move either. Grounds I like him but I think he’s a good league one player doing well at Championship level!

        • jonno11blue says:

          Sorry don’t agree, think Shotton done well in every game he’s played, in fact MOM in 3. Providing we could sign him for a reasonably small fee be a good addition to squad. Specs and Robbo not the answer from what I’ve seen in U21 no one ready for a step up. Definitely need a left back, Grounds failure to stop crosses coming over has cost us around 20 goals this season.

  • Gary Edwards says:

    Disappointing to read some very negative comments – we are not a million miles away from the top 6 in terms of performances against them this season. We are where we are. Short memories some of you lot. These players have just possibly gone as far as they can but you can never question there effort and commitment. Look at the bigger picture before the same old usual critical comments. We have no devine right to be at the top – it has to be worked at and we are gradually building something very positive for the future.

    • Bluemat says:

      Ive got to argue completely the opposite. I think all the hard work and effort they have put in this season has all been undone over the last few months. For exactly the reasons you argue against. They have give up completely so for me this last part of the season you can question the effort and commitment completely. If anything it goes to show when they are on their game that they can do it, which is all the more frustrating when the offer up the recent performances we have been seeing. I would never argue regarding the quality and skill level but there should always be effort. KRO!

  • Lich Blues says:

    Most clubs sail through a takeover – bollocks!!! Dan that response has really made me chuckle. Mike Ashley was trying sell Newcastle for ages, The Vile have been up for sale for ages has have Wolves. West Brom’s sale recently collapsed.

    No takeovers do not generally sail through. But I agree with most that we shall not properly move forward as a club without us having an owner prepared to substantially invest in the club and its infrastructure.

    The Rowett question could also be irrelevant by then because if he hasn’t already left Blues by then (or retired as the take over may still be going on) the new owners may have their own ideas about a who they want to manage the club.

    I just cannot wait to log in to OP one day and finally hear the positive news that we have been bought out. I dream KRO.

  • Farmerfizz says:

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Blues were doomed before Rowett took over and what he has achieved on his budget isn’t far off remarkable. Let’s get rid of him and go back to losing 10-0 at home!!! Some people never cease to amaze me.

  • ChrisG says:

    As far as next season goes, I can’t see too many comings & goings in the summer, I think the players like Thomas & Novak who are out on loan and out of contract will be gone, Torel, Buckley & maybe Shotton will return to their parent clubs, that might leave a little money to bring in a 2 or 3 bosmans or free transfers. I think we might possibly see 1 or 2 academy players step up, hopefully Koby will be back to full fitness & i’d like to see Charlee Adams also make the step up. Obviously though that depends on whether GR has the balls to use the youngsters.

  • Steve in Yorkshire says:

    Oh dear… What I like about Rowett is he is generally very measured in his post match responses. Doesn’t get carried away when thinks are great as they have been at times this season, doesn’t get hopping mad when things don’t quite work out; a real contrast to Lee Clark and many other managers. It seems he was very angry last night, but a good manager in any business has to be like that. It isn’t a computer game you have to work with and face these individuals every day. We all have different opinions, but don’t think for one minute that Rowett doesn’t see these limitations, he knows better than most. We have done okay this season if we had beaten Charlton and Rotherham twice but lost to Burnley and Hull twice for example we wouldn’t mind as much. I think a lot of frustration is around what might have been this season because we were so good at times. Let’s not be too harsh with Rowett, for all his limitations it is clear that he has done a good job.

    I was angry with his subs again last night, but it was a little bit stick or twist. I would have brought Vaughan on for Fabbrini and Viv for Cotterill at 2-0. So that we could counter them with pace when they pressed us, but whilst maintaining a real threat. Regardless, it wasn’t Rowett who told them to stop competing and act like the game was won which was why it ended 2-2!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’d have no problem with Rowett being manager next season, or the season after that. I would hope though, that having been in the job 18 months or more now, he’ll have ‘a bit of’ a rethink in the summer and try to mould a team that can be an attacking team. We do have some of the players to do that, it’s up to the manager to find the rest.

      It’s not always the case that you need £2-3m players… quite often, it’s just players with the right mentality, stronger-minded players that the manager can rely on, on the pitch. He’s relied a bit too much on certain players this season and a lot of them have let him down somewhat these last few months. I think that’s shown in his last few interviews.

      • ChrisG says:

        Staffs i’d hope GR has learned a lot from this season & especially learned a lot about the personnel at his disposal. From listening to him on blues player recently I think he feels let down by the players he’s stood by when everyone else was calling for them to be dropped. It’s kind of ironic that Donaldson has hit form just as the rest have fallen by the wayside. I suppose we all give GR stick on his signings but he did bring in Morrison, Maghoma, Kieftenbeld & Torel this season & Tesche last season not forgetting Fabbrini so it’s not all bad. The majority of the squad is made up of Clarkes signings & i’ve just been wondering if it would be best if we just had a good clear out of some of those signings & bring in players more suited to how GR wants to play.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think you’re probably right. There are too many players that have played the majority of the season (around 8 of them) that were here at the start of last season. I think probably 10-12th place is their limit in this division. It may be time to replace a lot of them. Rowett needs to build his own side, only then can he be really judged.

          As for Donaldson… He’s been on hand to put away defensive errors in the last few games.. and got 4 goals for his efforts. Never at any time in the season has he been that far forward to be able to snap up those chances. I’m convinced someone has had a word and it’s finally sunk in.

  • Bluey says:

    The frustrations of the fans is understandable and only going to get worse. If TTA ever get to buy BIHL they will still be looking to relinquish Birmingham City once they`ve acquired another substantial investment.This is going to take a long time and,i suspect,not before next season starts. Our on-field prospects look dismal until new owners (with money) come in and give the club the reboot it badly needs.Another poor attendance last night,it appears the fight of Blues` fans has been replaced by apathy and,dare i say it, disinterest in some quarters.Next season looks,on paper at least,more difficult than this one and if we can`t compete in the transfer market it will be a struggle to even make top half.And i`ll make a prediction.The Vile will have new owners long before us….sadly. The crap behind the scenes has gone on and on with so many false dawns that i have little faith in anything positive happening.Can i watch a season of mid-table obscurity (at best) with no chance of promotion? Or watch negative football with baffling team selections and substitutions.Can i accept us buying bargain basement players from Altincham or Alloa? Can i cope sitting in an half-empty,fully non-atmospheric ground being outplayed by Rotherham and the like.The answer is…i`m not sure i can. My passion is waning every passing day we,the fans,are treated like plebeians who are not worthy of being informed as to what is happening behind closed doors. BIHL may be the body of the club but we are the enduring spirit and deserve so much better. For me the End Of The Road is approaching.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Your last half a dozen sentences. I’m very much of that view too. I’ve renewed but so many of the games are missable because they are devoid of excitement and the technical ability on show is so poor.

  • .KC says:

    Was it just the Gray money or a combination of somebody authorising a little more at Christmas for the January signings with the belief that we had a real chance of promotion and then lots of dosh?
    Reality is it hasn’t worked as with the exception of Fabbrini- the odd glimpse and at least for 20 minutes last night. and surely a lot more to come- the rest of the Januaryish signings, Vaughan,Buckley,Shotton, and more recently Lafferty have not added the promised impetus to a team that at the time were playing above themselves.
    The likes of Grounds, Maghoma, Gleeson and a few others are never going to get us promotion and call me old fashioned but as was demonstrated last night when you continually try and play without the ball the opposition will always be a threat. Cannot understand why VSO is not given a start.

    Do not want to be too critical of GR as we are not far off beating the points total of last season (although that included some of the dreaded Clarke’s management ) and we may just improve on the league position. And you could argue that’s still one hell of a result particularly with such little resource but then there’s the theoretical argument of how you spen more money ?. Very difficult to judge next season but as we stand today it looks as though it could well be a struggle. Hope I am wrong and will keep dreaming. KRO

  • swissjonny says:

    Hold on in there mate.TTA only have a two year option and then E and Y must entertain other offers or buyers.The flip side to that is that TTA can walk away after the two years-and I suspect demand their money back or take the security of Stans if its not forthcoming.They may wish to keep the money which is secured against the ground in place because the interest rate is very good for them.It is to be hoped that E and Y or their lawyers included a clause in the contract for deferred payment or payment in tranches in case of them not purchasing the club. I doubt it.

  • Tony M says:

    We were bullied by Preston all night,they certainly weren’t on the beach,grounds was really poor,losing his marker and getting beat by diagonal balls.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s nothing new tbh. We’ve been bullied by big teams for the last two seasons. That’s why we need to bring a few of our own in. In general, we’re not a big squad.

  • Swifty says:

    Rowett was right to have a go at the players. Too many of them went missing when the heat was on and too many of them don’t want to tackle or stop crosses. With this group he has done wonders to get us challenging for the play offs as long as we have. People need to wake up to the fact the squad is average and too many players are inconsistent because if they weren’t they would have cost big money and be playing at clubs at a higher level or with more clout than us in the championship. Forget Robbo it looked to me he was using his attitude as an example as the others don’t have his will to win mentality. Our squad is average, limited and doing the best it can and our manager is young making his way in the game and will make mistakes. This time though he is right to turn the attention on the players and call them weak

  • nicko says:

    spot on tony m they did bully us all night grounds is no more than a div 1 player at best the first goal was his fault last goal against Burnley not marking gray at the far post was his fault shotton was ok fabrinni had a fair game but we do need 2 full backs and a goalkeeper for next season KRO

  • I here China is sending a spaceship ( no not a slow boat ,a ship ) to Mars ,, We are taking donations to persuade some people to make the trip, please do not be over generous as we want it to be one way , ….KRO

  • Andy says:

    This season has been dissapointing in that it has been a massive missed opportunity for us to get into the play offs, no one has ran away with the 5th 6th spots and the chasing pack have all faltered of late, we have massively tailed off and our form has gone off the boil at the worst time, i think on paper the squad is capable of a top 6 finish and on their day they can mix it with the top sides, our failure has been with not being able to see off teams below us had we done that with more consistency we would be talking about our play off chances instead of another season in the Championship… I dont think it is all the managers fault but i think he has a lot to learn still and maybe this experience will do him good for next year (lets hope so anyway)… i think with nothing to play for it couldnt do any harm with giving some of the squad players game time, Koby Arthur and Viv should be in and around it and Charlie Adams, would it do any harm seeing if Hancox can challenge for the left back spot? Reece Brown? Gotta be worth trying something different maybe Vaughan could be given a run alongside Donaldson?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think a lot of people would agree with you, myself included. But, unfortuately, the man who matters probably doesn’t.

    • jonno11blue says:

      Hancock’s and Brown’s contract expire this summer and from total lack of involvement in the 1st team all season I would suggest new deals aren’t being offered. Also Charlee Adams hasn’t been involved in recent U21 squads so don’t know if he’s fit. Certainly I’d give Viv and Koby a lot of game time in the remaining matches. Personally I don’t rate Magoma and as for Grounds and Gleeson they should been dropped months ago.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    I’m struggling to see a bright future just now; unfortunately, without investment, I think we will do well to finish in the top half next season. It’s hard to be too optimistic; but, like many on here, I have renewed my ST and will be there again next year, cos we’re Blues fans and that’s what we do.

    Other posters have commented on the extent of our needs if we are to push for the play-offs and I just cannot see we will have enough money to get in sufficient players of the right calibre. If, say, we can only afford to get in a couple of players for moderate fees (£1m gets you nowt special these days), then the priority for me has to be a LB, followed swiftly by a ball-playing midfielder. I think Kief/Davis can do a holding job as long as they can pass the ball short to someone who can pass. Other than that, we have to hope for some decent business in the loan market.

    To play counter attacking football effectively, you have to play with pace and move the ball quickly ( I don’t mean long balls all the time) and we are not capable of that. Gleeson can see a pass, but is generally far too slow in executing the pass, whereas the other two just can’t pass very well at all.

    Another question arising from previous comments is whether our tactics are to concede the initiative and sit back once we have the lead (and sometimes when we don’t); or is that something the players naturally fall-in to doing? In recent games, we’ve allowed Wednesday, Burnley and Preston (and I’m sure there are others previously) to have the vast majority of the possession having taken the lead. Whilst none of those teams are great, they will make chances against our defence with the weaknesses we have. I recognise that the ‘goals against’ column is better reading than the ‘goals scored’, but that is a feature of our soak it up and counter attack style, rather than the fact our defenders are great and our forwards poor. Clever teams play on our weaknesses at FB – both sides (I love Caddis’ attitude and forward play, but he is poor defensively) and we cannot defend set pieces very well at all. The lack of pace at the back, coupled with the ‘Pole in goal’ not wishing to venture off his line means we have to defend deeply, but I cannot see any quick fix for that problem.

  • BlackCountryBlue says:

    Most of the squad are average at best (which of our squad would the teams above us want, except Toral?) and we are probably settling where we really should be – 10-14 position. We lack pace generally and real creativity where it matters and a major overhaul is needed but that takes money which we haven’t got. GR has done a fantastic job, however when you have the restrictions he works under you can only do so much.
    Next season the division will be even tougher and without a change of ownership/cash to spend it is hard to see how sufficient improvement can be achieved.

  • Tony says:

    To be brutally honest quality wise we are probably bottom8, Its the rowett factor that got us a bit higher. That has now faded and without major changes player wise I would expect us to be fighting relegation next season.

  • Nothing that …Judge ….Tomlin …..Tesche……Jokic…plus shotton who will gel fine with more playing time,,,

  • atko says:

    Our problem this season in my opinion is our squad is too small and we haven’t rotated it often enough this season. Donaldson has been injured but played every game beyond that including half a dozen out of position just to keep him in the team. This is wrong…. has he got a clause to say he must play? Players need to be rested and others need to be given regular game time so they are able to keep up with the pace of the Championship. We need a hard working squad that we can rotate regularly with players slotting in for each other without any drop in performance or consistency. That is the sign of a side looking for promotion!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Thing is, we have enough players in the squad who have haven’t seen much game time. A bigger squad would just mean more players not playing. For me, that’s a waste of wages.

      We have 7 players who have played between 35 and 43 league games this season. It was the same last season, with 8 players playing 30 games or more. Very little rotation or utilisation of the squad there tbh.

      • atko says:

        That’s my point. Players shouldn’t be sat on their asses doing nothing they should be playing regularly and earning their salary!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Couldn’t agree more. That’s why it’s been pointed out on more than one occasion this season, that any players coming in, needed to be first team ready. Didn’t quite work out like that.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    I didn’t read one post on here during pre-season which said that we would finish anywhere higher than tenth and anything better would be a bonus.Now that it seems our predictions are correct I don’t really get why all this negativity is now coming out about GR.Isnt he just a victim of his own early season success and making us feel that we were better than we actually are?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Yeah, probably. If we’d been between 10th and 12th most of the season, I think we’d have all taken that tbh. But it was because we were so close that it rankles a bit. We were 2nd at one point and held on to 6th place for ages. None of that was a fluke, it was well-earned. It’s just a shame it was left to fizzle out in the end.

    • atko says:

      That’s what I said Hillfield Blues, everyone’s frustrated at the fact that we have blown it or at the very least gone down without a fight. Like I said earlier, for 90% of the season we were more than a match for a top 6 place. The way we have allowed it to fizzle out has most people a little disappointed.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Hate to use the cliché…but the season is a marathon and not a sprint,we just ran out of steam on the home straight.14 points from our last 15 games tells us that we haven’t been competing in this league for a good chunk of the season now.

    • jazzzy786 says:

      Well said. Totally agree.

  • atko says:

    Interesting stats – Only Forest have conceded less goals than Blues away from home (19, we have conceded 20). No less than ELEVEN teams have conceded less than Blues at home. Our defence isn’t the problem as the stats show we CAN defend away from home probably because we know how we are going to set our stall out and we stick to it. At home we haven’t a clue, we know we need to win more games but don’t know how to go about it! Stop inviting pressure and defend from the front not from our penalty spot would be a good start. If we get in front DON’T stop attacking! We have scored 11 goals less than Middlesboro – that’s the equivalent of another Clayton Donaldson!

  • Mitchell says:

    We got into a great position in February only for very poor management to mess it up. Loan signings were below average making no difference to helping us over the line. No point in dressing it all up with ‘over achieving’ etc. we had it in our hands but poor,baffling team selections coupled with bizarre substitutions ruined it all totally. If I were GR now,I would erase names of Vaughan,Buckley,Lafferty and Fabbrini from the remaining matches and replace with the talent that is coming through. To stick at what is happening now will result in stale,pointless games which will do nothing for our preparations for next season.

  • Womboune Blue says:

    I agree with a number of comments about the disappointing end to the season, and there are a number of lessons to be learnt if we are to come back stronger next season. Three things stand out for me: the number of goals we concede because of Grounds being constantly out of position and beaten for pace. The second is how many goals we seem to concede in the last 10 minutes of games, and finally, just how few goals we seem to score in the last 10 minutes of games. Not sure if this is due to lack of fitness, lack of quality or lack of ambition. Probably all three. A number of people have commented on the lack of atmosphere at home games – I personally think this is partly explained by us sitting back and letting teams attack us and there is rarely anything happening to get the crowd going. Hope this strategy changes next season so we have something to get excited about right from the first whistle kro

  • Saff says:

    I think folks need to calm it down a notch and not become as fickle as Villa fans can be.. It’s been a long ass season, our squad isn’t the biggest nor the most experienced also (no disrespect to some of our players) we’re not exactly brimming with amazing players.

    Rowett has been doing a fantastic job and it would be foolish to think otherwise – this is some of the best football I’ve seen at the club since Trevor Francis was managing us. We’ve got a shoestring budget.. Please lads, lay the f off the manager.. It’s embarrassing that you guys think we should / could be doing better with someone else at the helm.

    • atko says:

      Most people are happy with Rowlett as Manager, Saff and equally happy that he has admitted that mistakes have been made. All we can do is show him some respect, hope that he will have learned a lot from this season and hopefully be prepared for a bigger season next year.

  • Fletch says:

    It’s time to give hales and brown a chance ….we need 2 goalkeepers /a left back

  • Carl71 says:

    one Gary Rowett theres only one Gary Rowett, in Rowett we trust, the Bromsgrove Mourinho etc all phrases voiced on here not so long ago. Leave the guy alone he has done miracles since he has been here and i will testify that my season ticket went for a Burton under Clark after 39 years Rowett has changed all that so keep up the good work Gary prove these idiots wrong you are the man to take us forward and i for one will be singing your praises for long time to come yet !!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Blues are bottom of the “Possession” statistics. I know people will argue that it’s what you do with the ball rather than how long you have it……I disagree!
    One of the basic skills a player is taught is pass to a teammate. Indeed Blues practice this in the warm up. But when the game starts it doesn’t happen.
    Are the players told by Gary to get the ball forward quickly? If so with only one player up front the odds are against finding our man.
    All the top sides play possession build up to create a chance closer to the opposition’s goal.
    Why can’t we?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To play Rowett’s way, you really need pace, something we have very little of. Solomon-Otabor is possibly the only player in the first team squad with genuine pace… but little has been seen of him since the new players came in the January transfer window.

      To play possession football, you need, as you say, players who can pass the ball to each other. We hardly possess any players like that either. So we fall between the two, not being able to play either way effectively or consistently.

      I believe that this summer will be Rowett’s biggest transfer window yet. He needs to get this one right, if we’re to have any chance of progressing beyond what we’ve seen this season.

    • atko says:

      Well we would be bottom Richard, given we counter attack and invite pressure for the best part of 90 minutes. Not the best recipe for our squad, you need players who are quick and can pass accurately and we’re lacking in both areas.

  • .KC says:

    My wish shopping list would be a left back, central defender, busy midfielder in the style if not the cost of Barton/ Parker to play with Kief and Fab, and a nippy striker or two. Possibly even a goalkeeper Ship out all those currently out on loan and all that we have on loan- Lafferty, Buckley,Shotton and if we are not already stuck with him for another season Vaughan. Also it would not bother me if Grounds, B-M, Maghoma and Gleeson left. Toral will unfortunately be going back to Arsenal. Robinson potentially retiring from playing. Leaves quite a few gaps but with what’s left from the current squad including Caddis, Morrison,Donalson,Cotts (when he is awake ), VSO, possibily Spector and Davis for cover , a few new recruits and bringing a few youngsters up including Koby who knows ? Sounds like quite a shake up and a different style of play but just dreaming !

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      The thing is KC,it’s looking improbable that TT will bang another 10 mill into the club so signing players next season might be off the radar again which leaves us with loans.For decent loan signings you need to pay big wages so again GR may be forced to sniff around the bargain basket.His hands might be completely tied this summer.

    • BlackCountryBlue says:

      Back to the earlier point, thats the grim reality – squad needs a big overhaul, but the funds ain’t there to get the quality we need to move forward I’m afraid. With little money GR will end up wheeling and dealing in the bargain basement and that will have consequences re. how competitive we will be.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s why we will struggle next season , been saying it for weeks now , staying away from the bottom six will be an achievement and that’s the reality I see . KRO

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Exactly.The people that are grizzling around now will need to strap themselves in for the ride a bit next season unless something dramatic happens in HK.

    • Mitchell says:

      Yes Dave. Since early season we have been banging on about players who come in have to be better than what we have,and should go straight into the first eleven. Sadly this has not been the case and signing such as Buckley,Vaughan,Shotton etc have been very much fringe contributors. I share your view about the new season and although we try to keep a positive mood-I fear it will be a case of survival with our current squad. Pace could be our saviour with only possibly VSO in that bracket. Put him in now for valuable experience regardless of him having a few iffy games. Arthur also has pace but the player I want back is Duffy. This player has always looked good in a Burton shirt using his close skill and pace on either wing or inside forward.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I think there’s only you and I who agree on this Mitchell. I’ve always liked Duffy, he’s quick, direct, can go past a defender on either side and, as he’s proved this season, he can score goals. Such a waste of talent.

        • .KC says:

          You can count me in on agreeing on Duffy. Have mentioned it a few times previously.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Sorry KC, didn’t know you liked him mate.

          • BhamCityJulian says:

            Even Clark didn’t fancy Duffy and HE signed him. Must be something to do with whether he can outwit a Championship full back. He might even have struggled to get the better of Grounds in practice games.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            As I remember it, Duffy was injured at the time. Last year, he played 1 league game and 3 as sub. Hardly enough to make an assessment either way I would suggest.

            Just been including in the League 1 Team of The Year… so he can’t be that bad.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Bringing in loan signings that go straight into sides and improve them straight away are players such as Patrick Bamford of which we cannot afford their wages.Loans like Vaughan and Shotton were fringe players at other championship clubs and were brought in more as cover.Even with Lafferty he hasn’t kicked a ball all season so it’s not as easy as you think with in the sort of market we are in

        • atko says:

          The thing you also need to remember Hillfield Blues is that the loan players Gary Rowett brings in are usually players he would want to sign at the end of the loan deal. He uses the loan period to have a look at players and see if they can be a part of the team on a permanent level. No point in bringing in loan players you cannot afford to bring in. Maybe Toral is the exception although if I were him I would be moving heaven and earth to sign him permanently.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’ve mentioned Bamford before, along with Tomlin. Imagine those two as our No.9 and No.10. Neither play for their home clubs much, but they have that bit of class that makes a difference.

  • I must admit I liked him when he first come staffs , and then I thought who ever plays in the attacking midfield roles needs goals , and thought he was a bit iffy on goals , now I am either way , but on reflection we need another 20 goals not a few , so I will pass it to your better knowledge lads , all this begging and borrowing might have weakened our resolve so we are going to get one chance to get it right possibly so I say we would be better to get one star , than a few also rans . ..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Matt Green 16 goals
      Denny Johnstone 14 goals
      Lee Novak 13 goals
      Jake Jervis 11 goals
      Mark Duffy 8 goals

      If only they could have scored like that for us…

      • AdamTrueBlue says:

        The problem is not with the goal scorer but the quality of service they get. The best striker in the world is not going to score if he doesn’t get the ball fed to him and then hopefully he hasn’t got to run 3/4 of the pitch with it! Our forwards would have scored more if our midfield’s had played facing the correct goals. Kro

        • StaffsBlue says:

          But you still have to have a goalscorer to put the chances away. Never mind double figures, Donaldson should be on 20+ this season with the chances he’s had… and I’m not talking half chances either.

  • Looking at stats we lack passing ability and scoring ability , I think if we had more first time shots in the area we would be better off goalwise , our shots from outside the box are often wide so moving into the box could help there , but we still need your selection of Tomlin staffs , he has stated he will be willing to play in the championship next season , but we have to be quick ..KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It’s amazing really, but we’ve not had a player who consistently shoots from outside the box since Craig Gardner. I thought we’d found one with Kieftenbeld… but that was just a two-game flash in the pan it seems.

  • Art says:

    The future?

    GR will leave.
    BCFC will not get new owners for at least 12 months
    Very little investment.
    The club will sell any youngsters with potential.
    Season ticket holders will be conned Into renewing their membership .
    Loyal supporters will continue to be loyal.
    EM will continue to be gutless
    Dan will be the people’s champion.


    • atko says:

      Disagree with a lot of that Art. Cannot see GR going anywhere, at least next season if not another two.

      I agree on owners, that ain’t gonna change in 12 months. TTA don’t want Blues but don’t even ‘own’ us yet to put us up for sale to new owners. As they are preferred by E&Y they would need to confirm their lack of interest then we would need to be formally back on the market again for sale then new owners found and agreement in place to TTA’s satisfaction to reimburse them I assume. Not gonna happen in 12 Months.

      There will be limited investment again naturally. GR won’t be splashing out again put it that way.

      Can’t see us getting rid of youngsters with the situation with loan system as it stands. GR already stated that.

      As for the fans, I cannot speak for all of them!

      Bottom line is mistakes were made this season, next season we need to have learned from them!

  • Art says:


    DM will call me MR Negative(bless him)

    I will say “I’m a reallist”

    Bottom line is simple…Its will be business as usual at BCFC

    KRO. Again

  • Mitchell says:

    What the vast majority fail to understand is that imo we will be fortunate to secure another seasons fixtures. TTA need to confirm that they are prepared to loan a further £10m. Do not take anything for granted here-we are still in a fragile state that could easily crumble. Pessimistic thinking-absolutely. Unless TTA or Daniel can allay any fears on this,then those are my considered thoughts.

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