Often Partisan

Postcards from Edinburgh

Birmingham City have travelled north of the border to take on Hibernian in a friendly as part of their pre-season buildup. A squad of 20 players have travelled as Rowett starts to put together firm preparations for the start of the Championship season.

It’s a bit of a weird fixture; Hibs have already started their season – losing in the Europa League on penalties to Brondby in midweek – and it seems a bit of an oddball fixture. Originally due to be played behind closed doors at St George’s Park, it was moved to Edinburgh by the home team giving Blues fans the chance of a proper weekend away around a friendly.

Judging by the Blues fans I heard singing in Waverley Station when I arrived a fair few have made the trip up here. I will admit I was pretty excited when the fixture came out and I decided it was the one I was going to make most effort to get to – something I think has resonated with a fair few others.

While I know that Gary Rowett prefers pre-season training camps behind closed doors for intense training and good bonding sessions I think Blues miss a trick not playing at least one match abroad. Blues are not the kind of team who will get into Europe frequently and as such friendlies are about the only chance we get to see our team in exotic locations. Edinburgh isn’t quite as exotic as a pre-season tour to Hong Kong and China, but it’s still nice to go out where the money’s different and the locals speak an incomprehensible tongue.

As a match itself I think like all friendlies the result isn’t as important as the performance. With only two weeks to go now before the start of the season I’d expect Rowett to be start something close to the team he wants to start on opening day. Although the squad appears to be smaller it does seem that there is actually more competition for places; Josh Cogley’s impressive showings will have given Paul Caddis notice that he has to be on top of his game while the continued rumblings of a left back coming in should give Jonathan Grounds cause for thought.

In midfield Blues could potentially have an embarrassment of riches. The signing of Robert Tesche means Stephen Gleeson will be fearful of his place; however if Reece Brown can continue with his fine pre-season and new attitude then there is every chance he will be a firm first team fixture and Andy Shinnie may be put out to pasture.

Despite all these positive feelings I will maintain that the squad is short of three players at least – a left back, a genuinely left footed wide player and a striker – and for all the rumours of loan signings and mystery targets, I will openly say I’m concerned that we’re 13 days away from opening day and still short of these players.

I’ll accept that Blues aren’t in the financial position that many clubs in the division are in – and that to improve the squad with the money we have will be difficult. That being said, I hoped that this is why we now have Ewan Chester and a better scouting system – to find those players like Maikel Kieftenbeld who might not cost so much but who can give a massive impact to the team. Whether that will happen remains to be seen.

I’ll be tweeting from the press box – follow @often_partisan for updates to the action.

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20 Responses to “Postcards from Edinburgh”

  • Dave Mann says:

    Hello from me in Edinburgh to Dan , in a weatherspoons having a beer and a bacon butty looking forward to the game , enjoy:-) KRO

  • Stan Moye says:

    I really hope we make at least one signing before the start of the season that captivates the fans imagination, most of us agree the areas that could be improved. Suddenly it’s all gone a bit quiet on the transfer front, l’m sure, or should that be hope things are happening behind the scenes. I do understand that shouting your mouth off about who you intend to sign may only help a competitor to get over the line first, and sometimes agents leek your interest in an attempt to up the anti, l do feel a little bit of dialogue with supporters just might increase the 6% that’s been talked about in ticket sales. I think we have funds to be active, maybe it’s down to cash flow, but who pays for a player in one go anyway these days. Get it done Gary, make us proud and optimistic for the coming season.

  • phillip. says:

    For those who have trouble understanding the locals,,,,,,Wasa team !,,,,, does NOT refer to who,s playing !! [thanks Jasper for that one !]

  • Pods says:

    Make sure you have plenty of sun ran lotion on Dave Mann. I’m sure you did not forget your passport either.
    Your a true blue support what with Forest Green and now Hibernian. Have a great day

    Blues to Nick it 1-0.


  • Richard Granfield says:

    I agree we need players in the positions mentioned by Dan.
    However, I think we will have to sell or loan players to add to what little money we have, if we are to sign players of the required quality.

  • We don’t want a Steve Bruce situation at blues like at Hull , failure now to get players in could ruin our chance of a play off place after a top up in january , I am not one of these can’t do people at 60 few 20 year olds could keep up for stamina and strength of mind , which is probably why I am about knackered now ….still I dared in life and got away with it , so come on blues get your fingers out . Come On

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Other than Tesche, the team has a very familiar look about it today.

  • Eric says:

    In my view Edingburgh is far more exotic than China or Hong Kong……….enjoy the game

  • zxcv says:

    before anyone says it ……. If the result don`t matter then I just pray that the performance doesn’t either.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Basically what you’d expect for the season… same as most games in the last two seasons tbh. Hope to nick a goal and hold on to it, but if we go a goal down, not have the wherewithal to get back into the game.

      As teams had us well-sussed last season, you’d have thought we’d be able to come up with a different plan by now.

  • Mitchell says:

    I have only one question for nobody else except Dave Mann. Did the team give any value today or justice to themselves? Thanks.

  • williammorgan says:

    Sorry to interrupt Mitchell but Dave’s wife’s probably pulling his tie around Edinburgh castle …blues ladies had 23 shots at goal 7 on target , got an away draw , That’s entertainment ….

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