Often Partisan

Wider Nets

It’s that time of year when the transfer rumours start up, and the internet goes into overdrive as some ITK or another says we’re after player x from club y. There hasn’t been much in the way of rumours yet barring Danny Graham but I’ve seen another couple of strikers mentioned that I wanted to talk about.

Victor Anichebe has been a possibility Blues’ radar before – and I’ll respond in the same way now (only now in GIF form) as I did when I last heard him being potentially linked with a move to St Andrew’s.

Granted, on his game Anichebe can be quick, powerful and a threat. The unfortunate problem is that game is a rare occasion. Anichebe’s record with West Brom is a less-than-stellar six league goals in 55 appearances; and bearing in mind those 55 league appearances are spread over 3 seasons his injury record means he’s fit for around one in two league games over that time.

If we’re going to sign a forward – with Donaldson, Vaughan, Johnstone and Brock-Madsen I’m not sure that’s going to happen unless one or two are offloaded/loaned out – then they have to be better than that.

The other name I’ve seen mentioned is Omar Bogle. Bogle left Blues Academy in 2011, heading north to Celtic before returning to play for Hinckley Town, Solihull Moors and Grimsby, scoring twice for the Mariners in a 3-1 win over Forest Green Rovers which means they return to the Football League after a six year absence.

Fair play to Bogle; he’s risen from the disappointment of having to drop to non-league football, scored a hatful for the Moors (62 in 111 league appearances) and then 13 in the league for Grimsby this year to help them get promoted.

However, I wonder how many people would be talking about him if he wasn’t ex-Blues. I don’t know what it is – whether we lack imagination as fans or just look for the easy choices but so many ex-Blues names crop up as people we should sign. I’d be okay with taking Bogle on as a third or fourth choice striker to develop but we’ve already got two of those in Johnstone and Brock-Madsen, with Johnstone at least bagging a few on loan in Scotland.

I honestly think Rowett will have widened his scouting net somewhat – I wouldn’t be overly surprised if we were looking in Scotland or Europe for players to come into the team. While Brock-Madsen hasn’t exactly been a hit Maikel Kieftenbeld has been proof that players can come in from the continent cheaply and settle into the week-in, week-out hurly-burly game that is the Championship.

I’ll maintain that I think defence is the priority anyway; in my opinion we need minimum two defenders to come in if not three to ensure we’ve got coverage at the back for next season. I guess we’ll have to see what Gary thinks as the transfer roundabout truly kicks into gear over the coming months.

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83 Responses to “Wider Nets”

  • Texas Pete says:

    Just one name required – Ronan Hale. Now 2 against Germany. Make him a 2nd half sub next year and he will still be top scorer. Wait a season and he will be another one gone.

  • Murph says:

    I love the guy at Oxford think he’s name is roofe , reminds me of a Dennis Bailey , 200 k poss but worth a shot as me thinks he’ll be a mark or poss a Ian wright ! Just a knack of scoring . Difference between going up up staying up is as tricker who’s on fire n I’d sign this chap in my opinion kro

  • ZR says:

    youre being unfair on the Anchibode statistics they shouldnt count. How many the majority were sub appearances with ten minutes left ! Sign him up i say.

    • chris says:

      he’s on 32k there is no way he will drop down to us on 10k a week unless he’s desperate and has no other offers.
      he’s another sick note so don’t need him

  • Murph says:

    Na I wouldn’t as mate who played for baggies says big time Charlie ., we carnt afford them !

  • steve says:

    ZR,he’s only scored 33 goals in his league career. He won’t be on small wages either. There must be better out there.

  • ChrisG says:

    I know he carries a lot of baggage with him but I wouldn’t mind getting Ravel Morrison back, mind you we probably couldn’t afford his wages

  • atko says:

    Don’t care who you want to bring in it ain’t going to make a scrap of difference. Without the right formation leading to us creating more or better chances even a proven goalscorer is going to struggle. Our approach play & our final ball has to improve a lot. We have got players who can score goals, from midfield through to whoever we play up front. Creating better and more chances logically improves our chances of scoring. Forget bringing more strikers in, improve on our movement, distribution & final ball going forward!!

    • Mitchell says:

      Very good point Atko.No point in bringing anyone else in until our whole style of approach changes. We have bags of strikers but no spark to ignite them.

    • AdamTrueBlue says:

      Agree with you 100%, like ive said before a top striker isnt going to score if he doesn’t get the ball, and Donaldson could be a revelation if he didn’t always have his back to the goal. Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      You’re spot on atko. For me, if you start with a strong, mobile defence, you can play 20-30 yards higher up the pitch. The way we’ve played this season, Maghoma has to spend more time in his own half, covering left back. It’s no wonder we usually only attack down our right flank. If Rowett persists with 4-2-3-1, then we need two full backs who can actually defend and a big, strong centre back and they’ll go a long way to improving the we play.

      Unless he can score 15-20 goals per season, bringing in another striker would be a waste of time and money. We already have 3 who can’t reach that figure, why torture ourselves with another one? If Rowett thinks Anichebe is the answer, then I’ll know he’s lost the plot.

    • chris says:

      spot on issue is with creation not finishing, people can talk all day about strikers but they either have to be better than Donaldson or GR has to play two up front or the Toral role but better than Shinnie.
      if we play two up front then we need better midfielders behind them

  • Tony says:

    We need to be aiming a lot higher than the names mentioned, none of them are any better than what we have.

  • Muzzy says:

    I don’t think anichebe the answer on his wages with goals he scores ..
    But must be some1 somewhere worth giving a go.. A Bradshaw waslsall etc some 1 who’s
    Scores goals league below … Can’t be massive step up , considering some of football played in championship this year .. Andre Gray brentford springs to mind .
    Cus blues won’t be paying big fee for goal scorer from anywhere else ..
    Either way I’m sure rowett will do best he can )

  • Muzzy says:

    By that comment meant picking up Andre Gray from brentford

  • Richard Granfield says:

    It’s all very well dismissing Anichebe for his lack of goals, but we must bear in mind that he has played in the Premier League all his career.
    Lee Clark recruited from League 1 and Scotland and look where that has got us. If we want promotion we need a number of PL standard players like Burnley and Middlesbrough have.
    Also Anichebe and Vaughan are good mates from their time at Everton so would combine well together.

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Just because they know each other doesn’t mean they would do well. We need to sign players that can make the step up and still succeed. Donaldson isn’t that player, however hard he tries, and neither is Anichebe! Donaldson plays with his back to goal to bring other players in to the game, if he was on the shoulder of the last man and not an outlet we’d be done 5-0 every week as we would never keep the ball! What we need is a more mobile forward player to get beyond him (even a quick winger who can drift in narrow) so he has an option of flicking it on, or bringing no. 10 into play. If we can do that, have someone quicker on the last man and get Fabbrini on form then we can create a hatful of chances. Dimmi didn’t have great stats for us but his pace and the ability he gave us to come out of our own half so quickly scared teams and they set up deeper against us. That’s why we got away with so little possession, because teams played in front of us all the time! Pace, intelligence and movement is the key for us, not a PL journeyman.

    • ChrisG says:

      Lee Clark had no choice but to recruit from league 1 & Scotland because at the end of that season we had to let a lot of players go because of the wages they were on & players coming in were capped at 5 grand a week. You ain’t gonna get premier league or championship players in for that.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Another plus for Rowett, is that he’s never had to, more or less, build two teams each season since he’s been here. He’s had 7 or 8 players playing the majority of games the last 2 seasons.

  • HalesowenBlues says:

    With the players and managers of all teams heading on hols, the euros to come etc etc it’s unlikely much transfer business will be done anywhere before July. That may stress a few out but it happens every year – so sit back, enjoy the summer and let’s see what July brings.

    Not saying we should go for him but I was impressed by Alfie Mowson at Barnsley in the Walsall playoff game. Powerful in the air and tackle, threat at corners. The point being when we were linked to him last year the inevitable chorus of he’s no good etc was heard. But he has clearly played and improved so my preference is not to go for ‘names’ but players who add something wherever they come from, however much they cost and whatever their name is.


  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    Perhaps Reece Brown could be the next TF, and he has obviously got attitude, shame he didn’t get a chance in one of the end of season games. Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Although I think Brown’s a silly lad to risk his career the way he has, having a bad attitude doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad player. Look at Joey Barton for example. At the age of 33, he’s still got clubs after him and commanding top wages and no one has had a worse rep than him over the years. But, because of his ability and winning mentality, he’s had a decent career.

      I think that at some point, Rowett has to stick Brown in and give him another chance to show what he can do at first team level.

  • I agree with Muzzy’s comments,we need a prolific scorer at Championship level however I appreciate that any such player would command a high fee.
    Sorry guys but unless we do this somehow,whilst also bolting up the defence with an experienced couple of defenders, then I see us fighting around the relegation zone.
    This is not being negative but surely these players cannot perform again above their station can they? We saw how they dropped off in the last quarter of last season and failed to reach anywhere near the Paly Offis as they simply were not good enough – Look at the quality of most of the teams in the play off’s who have quality and experience. Certainly we need to completely change our forward play(including Donaldson) and add some fast,direct attackers and not rely on players who can hold a ball up but slow play down at the same time.
    Come on GR lets see some tasty deals in the close season

    • Dan Hickman says:

      So fed up of this played above their station line. These players may not have been fancied by their old clubs, but they weren’t plucked out of pub teams, they are professional footballers. He has got them playing well, and if you look at it, it is when he added the ‘more talented’ players that our form slipped. We need additions, yes, but please don’t attribute any Roy of the Rovers overcoming the odds stuff to them. We probably have somewhere between the 9th and 12th best squad in the division, and we finished 10th, so we achieved what we should have. We have the nucleus of a good side, we just need to sign the right players to kick on.

    • Mitchell says:

      Very good analysis by Blue Eyed Boy. Summed it all up really. Nothing negative there nor pessimistic but a reality check as to where we are currently at with the squad as a whole.Much about us is very stale and we as commenters also feel very limited into how we can possible shape what we have into a better formation by tweaking all sorts of things-whereas in truth we know it’s not about new strikers etc but new players in too many positions that need replacing.

  • I think anichebe is good value , compared to the unproven and the strikers that haven’t got around attacking ability , he needs to prove something , which helps ….

    • steve says:

      If that’s the case William why hasn’t he tried to prove himself at Everton or WBA ? If he was as good as some think he wouldn’t be sat on the bench or in the stand every Saturday. We’re not going to have a lot to spend by the looks of it so it needs to be spent wisely. Buying Anichibe isn’t spending wisely.

      • AdamTrueBlue says:

        He was sat on the bench at WBA because of, that word again ‘attitude’, he didn’t want to play for Baggies and had requested a transfer several times, he wasn’t given the transfer he wanted because he was by far their best player, would we want someone like this, I think not, we can not afford to have a prima donna, especially when we are thin on quality players. Kro

  • Tony E says:

    I’d love it if we could sign Lee Tomlin on loan from Bournemouth, clearly there is an issue between him and Howe, but he’s quick, direct and scores goals. Add him to the team and his style would improve on what we already have. I believe he is better than both Cotterill and Maghoma, probably can’t afford his wages though!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Tomlin isn’t a winger though, like Cotts or Maghoma. He’s a playmaker who can boss a game from midfield and also score goals. He can certainly hold on to the ball and pass, which would be a 100% improvement on what we have at the moment. Actually being able to keep possession of the ball, instead of constantly giving it back to the opposition, would improve our passing game straight away.

      After defence, he’d be my No.1 target, if we could afford him that is.

    • chris says:

      why would he come to us and not stay at bristol city a club building a new ground and with an owner spending on the team and probably paying better wages than blues.

  • Dan H says:

    We need goals and what better goals record per game for Blues than Frederico Macheda

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Tesche is the obvious first priority with him being s free agent this summer.It’s going to boil down to wages again with signings and although it would be good for GR to strike early he’s not going to be able to offer good contracts out to the more desirable targets like Macheda or Tomlin who command 25k+.
    Isn’t it about time that Reece,Koby and VSO come to the party and solved a few problems for GR by breaking into the first team and nailing down a spot?

  • I feel the players the fans want we ain’t going to get tesche , macheda , Tomlin. , Bradshaw , shinnies,bros ,,ect ,.I hope I am wrong , GR and Co are good motivators so perhaps if we chose players that have the ability but hav’nt done it elsewhere they just might make it with GR as a motivator , what we really want is some thing for nothing , I hope we get it …….KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The sensible thing would be to identify your targets before the season ends and begin talks as soon as is reasonably possible. If we can see where we need to improve, then the manager must certainly know. So, I’d say don’t hang around, the longer we take, the more chance there is of us being left with the dregs to sift through. Again.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        How do you know that doesn’t happen? Also any decent players who will become available in the summer will be the target of many clubs and agents will be looking for the best deal possible for their player. the reality is nothing like as simple as you make out.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          That’s some mind-boggling perception you have there.

          Strange that… because I don’t remember saying that’s not how it happens, or that it was easy. What I actually said, was that it would be the sensible thing to do… and that Rowett must know as well as us what’s needed. I wouldn’t have thought there was much to disagree with there, but, as it’s you… lol

          • Shirley Blue says:

            We can both be congratulated for stating the obvious then. The point I was making was that he will likely already have identified targets and be in contact with their agents to see whether players are likely to be interested or not. The agents will not be in any rush to get players fixed up now because they have a few months to get their player and themselves the best possible financial deal so getting these things done early is far from easy unless you make them an offer they cant refuse (not likely in our financial position).

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I would think that in the market we’re in (Home Bargains,) I would have thought that agents would want to get their players fixed up asap. It’s doubtful that we’ll be waiting for the Euros to finish before we move for players… but you never know, maybe TTA will be feeling generous.

            At the end of the day, none of us know wtf is going on, so all we can do is speculate. What else is there to do between seasons. :)

  • Great minds Staffs , but for some reason GR, s not taking stock …..

    • swissjonny says:


    • StaffsBlue says:

      Basically, we don’t know what’s going on really, as always. Is Rowett on the beach doing business, or is he still in Derby sorting things before he jets off? Who knows. FL fixtures are out in 4 weeks, it would be nice to see some movement by then. :)

  • Walker says:

    Why couldn’t we get Bradshaw?

    We need to improve defensively first and foremost. I think what has caught us short is that premier league quality player that will make something out of nothing up front. I agree about Macheda, yes he is on probably 25k but now that we have thomas, novak, hancox etc off the payroll surely thats freed up half of that at least.

    Bradhsaw and Macheda would do for me. With buxton and tesche

  • Lcon says:

    Let’s get Seb Larsson in he’s on a free, would bring some much needed quality he may lack pace but on his day In the championship, he could be phenomenal. Come on boys lets get this to Gary rowett !!

  • blue_in_the_forest says:

    I was at the National League playoff final, regularly see Forest Green Rovers and have seen Bogle a couple of times. He’s big, strong and puts himself about, but the best player by far was Forest Green’s Marsh-Brown. Good touch, runs at players and a great finisher from outside the box (the play off final wasn’t the first time he’s scored goals like that). If we wanted to take a chance on a non-league player (and I’m not suggesting we should), then it should be him.

  • I am not sure Ben Turner is better than shotton perhaps a bit more aggression , but less ability to get the ball away ,

  • I have got him loaned from Cardiff to forest Staffs ….

  • rhees says:

    I’m in total agreement with Dan sure up the defence first its defensive that cost us silly pints
    Bring in experience along side Morrison such as a karlo touree from Liverpool or similar player.love tesh back he would create more opportunity for forwards

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The main point is, because of the way Rowett sets us up to play, nick a goal then defend it, the defence is a crucial part of that. If the defence can’t hold on to that lead, then we end up needing 2 goals or more each game. How much confidence is there in us regularly scoring twice in a game? Not a lot tbh. Which is why defence should be the priority this window. Unless, of course, Rowett changes his tactics. Miracles do happen. Sometimes.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      The defence was just about ok. Keeping possession and creating chances is our biggest weakness.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        But the defence was constantly defending too deep, especially in the second half of games. Was that a Rowett instruction (unlikely,) or were the defence not confident in holding on to leads? A good defence will push up at least 15/20 yards further than our current defenders do. That in turn help the midfielders play on the front foot. Just my opinion of course.

        • Hillfield Blues says:

          We do not retain the ball well enough in midfield or going foreward.Defenders will only have the confidence to move up 15/20 yards or so if they think we’re not going to lose possession and get caught on the break.Gleeson,Davis and Keiftenbild lose the ball far to much with sloppy passing.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Defenders won’t move up 15/20 yards if they’re slow and easily turned, for fear they’ll be done for pace. Unfortunately, that describes our whole defence. But I do agree that our 3 central midfielders aren’t good enough to keep possession.

      • jonno11blue says:

        You are joking, How many games did you go too? I estimate that at least 15/20 goals were given away down our left hand side because Grounds failed to stop the crosses going in. The priority has got to be a Left back and Centre half followed by a creative midfield player. We are really going to miss Toral next season,

  • blues mad says:

    Start at the back get John Egan from Gillingham classy centre back

  • Bluey says:

    Some of the players i`ve seen talked about for next season fills me not with optimism. Unless we get someone come in with a stash of cash, next season will be a write-off very quickly.

  • Mitchell says:

    Surely Johnstone and Jones worth encouraging in pre season. No point just keeping them otherwise. If it is a case of Donaldson up alone again with Vaughan and (God help us) BM behind him in pecking order then no point talking of Graham/Bradshaw etc. GR must know how stale and pedestrian we have become. Work with what we have until better financial times arrive.

  • Your right Mitchell I also think Donaldson is at that age where he should do his running around the box to get more goals , and if we push forward i dont think robbo or possible target Ben Turner are fast enough in a race back on a break , we need someone like Hourihane in midfield to score goals if we can’t get tesche , who I am beginning to think is just becoming an excuse for not buying players early , but we need a fast left back and at least the pace of shotten so to enable the defence to move up further without fear of being caught out by pacy attackers ,

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Spot on. Just what I’ve been saying.

      • Dan Hickman says:

        As you said before though mate, without a midfield that can keep possession ticking over, even the quickest defence in the world wouldn’t take too many risks. Also would be nice to have CHs that are comfortable on the ball, as when we are in possession we are only playing with 6 or 7 outfield players. I don’t mind us sitting deeper and playing on the counter to be fair but we need pace to move up quickly and defenders that don’t need quite so much cover from the wingers, especially against the poorer sides in the division

  • sid snott says:

    Seb Larson free agent.!!!

  • bill cridland says:

    Dan could not agree more with your assessment of Ronan Hale he looks a decent prospect.I went to watch the under 18s against spurs, their central defenders never broke sweat.I did like the look of the young lad Bailey and the left back Timms,but again they look work in progress.

  • It would be nice to sign Adam Armstrong to our promising strikers , it is nice to see Donaldson being the most accurate striker with 62%of shots on target

  • In the championship that is KRO…

  • Scott D Morgan says:

    Do not know how possible with funds but Spurr from Blackburn is out of contract lb also maybe a season loan for Leicester youth chillwell centre backs out of contract Wilson from stoke,marriapa watford,Robson kanu from reading left wing and also le fondre is out of contract all these players I believe would improve the squad surely some must be within our price range looking forward to next season and we’ll done to the players management and all the staff this season great achievement considering all that is going on and what we have to work with KRO

  • chris says:

    all these names being bandied about mean nothing imo as it is jigsaw pieces we need.
    like Bob Hatton, Alan Campbell & Roger Hynd, players people hadn’t heard of, yet they complimented the players already at the club and brought something extra that helped the club to promotion.
    GR needs to decide on his formation then buy to improve on those already here to play that formation and these players might well be ones we would dismiss or haven’t heard of.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    Why is everyone assuming we will play 4-2-3-1 next season?. Anyway I think we need a attacking left back Walsall don’t look to be going anywhere so we could pinch Rico Henry or Morgan Fox from Charlton Yes they will cost a bit of money but its within our reach.
    I also think we need a CB left footed would be good but we could maybe get Ryan Shotton permanently he looked to get better at CB as the season whet on. Strikers well we could try and tempt Tom Bradshaw I cant see him staying at Walsall if they don’t go up. Or Zach Clough from Bolton Now they have been relegated.

    • almajir says:

      Rowett’s played 4-2-3-1 consistently since he got here, why would he change? It’s his preferred formation…

      • Waycoolblue says:

        Well Rowett plays the 4-2-3-1 because it fits the players we have but if he gets players that fit something ells other than 4-2-3-1 then he could change it up a bit. He did say something about a more attacking approach with the right editions to the team. But I ant saying that he wants to change it just that he did say he was looking at something new.

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