Often Partisan

New Additions Making The Difference

Birmingham City won a spirited game against Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrew’s yesterday, coming back from a goal down to take the three points in injury time. A penalty from Clayton Donaldson and a first goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz were enough to seal the points.

It’s not often I say this about Gary Rowett, but yesterday his subs changed the face of the game and won it for us. At the end of the game we had only one central midfielder on the pitch (Reece Brown), and no less than five attack-minded players – but I don’t think it was purely because we went so attack-minded that did the trick.

The more I see of Greg Stewart, the more I am impressed. I spent most of the summer moaning that we needed a left-footed player – but I sure as hell didn’t think that player would be so effective on the right hand side. Every time the former Dundee player got the ball, he gave the Owls backline the wobbles.

When Stewart was attacking in the lead up to the winner, I got the impression the Wednesday players were afraid to tackle him because of the likelihood of giving away a penalty – and then when he gave the ball to Maghoma his run drew defenders away giving Jutkiewicz the space for his chance.

As great as Maghoma’s ball truly was, the header from Jutkiewicz was something else. Time seemed to stand still as he broke free of the backline, and generated enough power and direction with his neck muscles to loop it into the far corner. For a player who hadn’t scored a league goal since May 2014, that must have been some sweet relief – and I think it shows just why Rowett wanted to bring him in.

With Blues sitting fifth on 15 points from eight games, having taken 10 points from their last four it kinda makes a mockery of any concern that I had about the direction we were going. I will say that as pleased as I am – not just with results but the impact these new signings are making – I’m not firing up the promotion bus just yet. It’s a long hard season, and we’re not even a fifth of the way into it.

That being said, it seems obvious to me that something has clicked. We don’t look as pedestrian in attack as we did towards the tail end of last season; the addition of Che Adams has definitely given us a bit of pace up top and with options like Stewart available Rowett can change it from the bench. There are casualties though – I genuinely can’t see a place for Diego Fabbrini in the starting eleven at the moment and as in the summer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sold come the winter.

With it now being less than a month until the TTA takeover is finally completed – and all the stuff that needs to happen in Hong Kong ticking along in the background, is this finally the time to feel positive for the future?

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

86 Responses to “New Additions Making The Difference”

  • Lichblue says:

    If we can’t feel positive now after the last 5 years when can we? Yes it’s early days but we feel like a team at the minute. Totally agree re: Greg Stewart. Looking forward to next week already. KRO.

    • Paul Hawkins says:

      Stewart is a quality player and made a huge difference when he came on. I’m not usually a big fan of Scottish football and I feel that most teams in the Scottish premier would struggle in the English championship but there are one or two gems there and Stewart is one of them. He looked extremely confident when he had the ball and has surely earned the right of more gametime

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Adams,Tesche,Shotton and Stewart were very good summer signings and have rejuvenated the team as they are all first team starters.That few extra quid made available to GR has made him more competitive in the transfer market and allayed a lot of criticism about him not been able too get deals done.Joint third now and another great start to the season.It could be different this time if more funds are made available in January.

    • edd77 says:

      Last season if we went behind in the 1st minute we’d think we’ve lost ,so what was pleasing yesterday was going behind so late in a game and not feeling sorry for ourselves ,we certainly KRO and I believe it could prove a massive turning point mentally ,that actually we have got a plan a b and c this season ,very happy bluenose this morn

  • Dave Mann says:

    Absolutely feeling positive Dan yes , the additions of Stewart , Adams , jukey and Wiggins to come and the form of Maghoma and Donaldson and the second best defensive record in the championship gives us every reason to feel fine on this Sunday morning .. Yes the reality check merchants will tell us to not get to exited as its early days and we won’t keep it up but who cares .. Enjoy the moment , the form and the results why it lasts , I like most fans certainly will :-) KRO

    • Bluey says:

      Those `reality check merchants` probably represent about 90% of our fanbase. And this season, unlike last,i`d put you in that category. We are all enjoying the way things are going and hope it continues but it has to be tempered with a little caution. There`s nothing wrong (or negative) about that.

  • matthew edwards says:

    I agree Dan.:Stewart and Jutkiewicz were excellent substitutions. I must single Brown out for special praise also: he looks so assured on the ball, unafraid and dangerous. I think he’ll be important for us this season. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I was watching Brown with particular interest and what impressed me the most, was the fact that when he was under pressure, sometimes from 2 or 3 Wednesday players, he never looked flustered or hurried. A bit early atm, but I don’t think he’s too far from a regular place.

  • Popeye says:

    Was it Maghoma who delivered the ball for Jut? I thought it was Brown (who looks like he’s finally sorted his head out and realises he can be a top player if he works).

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s fine Bluey and yes I am a bit more carefull as you say this season not to get to carried away but all ime saying is let’s enjoy it and ime glad you are like us all and hoping it lasts but being cautious is not being negative so no problem from me mate . KRO

  • steve says:

    All us bluenoses been threw hell with owners ect what a absolute joy it is to see birmingham city finally settling down with new owners new players and a great manager and hopefully now the fans will pack st andrews like it use to be we as a family have as i said been threw hell lets get st andrews rocking again

  • Big Al says:

    Big difference is we had a decent team last season, now we have a decent squad. Agree about enjoying the moment – soon RDM will be sacked and we’ll be bombarded with bookmaker odds about GR being his successor.

  • Dk says:

    Would like to see us bring someone in come January who has genuine pace. Adams is no slouch, but I think it’s one option we are missing from the squad at the moment.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Stop spoiling things Al , Roberto is doing a fine job at vile :-) KRO

  • I see where you are coming from DAN with FAB , but i think it is to early of any talk of selling such a talent as him, this season with the power of the Don in the penalty area and the movement of Adams we have enjoyed the need for the opposition to bring them down in the area to stop them..Fab is also in that ilk with his wizadry …besides he is still young enough to mature into a good alrounder…and we need all the talent for the prem…..

  • nicko says:

    also gentlemen wiggins is the best loan player we have without playing Grounds is a different player now had his best game for bcfc yesterday KRO lets enjoy it at the moment

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I have been going on for some time now that if Gary doffed his cautious cap, by that I mean picking three defensive midfielders at home and trusted his technical players, as he calls them, then not only will we be more attractive to watch, but will be more likely to gain promotion.

  • Darren Brown says:

    Why are football fans so negative reference Fabbrini,Cotterill.
    Mr Rowet will be saying you play very good in my system and you stay in the team/squad.
    It’s all about proving yourself we have a talented squad with various playing options.

    20,000+ home fans needed.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Darren , it’s not being negative it’s just the fact they are not good enough for the first team eleven , bench warmers only . KRO

      • Darren Brown says:

        No !!! These 2 players have the ability but for reasons they know they’re currently not playing to there best.
        If you’ve played sport at a high level and managed etc you’ll know the truth not just watching from the stands.
        All these top clubs keep spending millions but it’s about believing and adding the right playing and keep improving as a club/team.
        Keep this up Mr Rowet and I hope the new owners back you going forward in Jan 17.
        I’m a massive BCFC fan who was one of 1300 @ Reading.
        I’ve been going many years and this team is what football is all about NO star players just blood and thunder. ;-)

        • Dave Mann says:

          Darren YES , thats the reason they are not in the team because they are not playing at there best and showing it in training and I have coaching badges for many sports because I work in a sports centre and watching all sports and looking at games is what I do best . KRO

          • Darren Brown says:

            I just wish fans and fanzines would look on the positives that are coming out of BCFC on all fronts …
            We need to concentrate on the positives of all squad members and get the fans back to St Andrews with an intimidating vocal support as previous years.

    • jonno11blue says:

      Perhaps the low gates are due to the Club’s pricing policy.
      How can they justify charging £30 in the Kop, £25 in the Tilton for a match on TV kicking off at 5.30 especially with the lack of entertainment served up at St Andrews over the last few years.
      Against Wolves they charged £35,£30 for a match not on TV and couldn’t even attract 20K and still they are charging these over rated prices for the Villa.

  • Paul Hawkins says:

    I have to say I’ve been impressed with both Adams and Stewart, they look very good championship players who can give us that something different that we so badly lacked last season I’ve been also extremely impressed with the partnership of Shotton and Morrison which is as good as any central defensive pairing in the league, this could be the key as to whether we can go one step further and get in the playoffs. Up until them scoring we looked assured and solid at the back and I feel extremely positive about the future of where we go from here and also we are 7points clear of the Vile which is also a massive plus.
    I also have to say that Cotterill days are numbered at Blues and I feel will move on in January which is sad but I do believe he is only a shadow of the player he was last season. A huge well done to all for yesterday cause I felt Sheffield was a huge obstacle for us and I always knew it would be a tough game for us.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I have no beef with Cotterill as a player, I’ve always liked him. But this season, he looks like a player who is in need of a new challenge. His game has become a bit stale and maybe he needs to move on to give him that enthusiasm back. Good luck to him whatever he decides.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Set up to be at worst 0-1 after an hour and then the attacking midfield and extra striker for the last 30+ mins with a bit of geggenpresse thrown in. Worked a treat yesterday

  • Art says:

    I watched the match on Sky from my home in Cyprus and was delighted with the win.

    I was however concerned about the opening 20 minutes and we could easily have been 3 down before half time.

    Overhaul a great finish to the game with lots of positives for the future and was really impressed with the never say die attitude.

  • PETER says:

    Thepost match interview with GR yesterday was his nest yet. Very open, calm and high quality quality. Compare that to the original Mourihno. The way he talks would get him any manager position. We must be successful this season to grow a long term situation.
    Before the game, I think we fans were panicking because of losing Tesche and Gleason replacing him. Perhaps that was reflected in the first hour of the game, (but GR explained the reshape to fix that). So injuries are maybe our biggest stumbling block. How much did we miss Tesche?

    • steve says:

      Gleeson playing would never panic me.

      • jonno11blue says:

        Sorry Gleeson should never be in the starting 11. He’s so negative, backwards sidewards hardly ever a forward pass. Doesn’t tackle and makes stupid mistakes, just look how he gave the ball away in the first few minutes that nearly cost us a goal. In the first 3 games did exactly the same several times.

  • Shane says:

    Get Rowett out poor tactics shocking in the transfer market too negative he has taken us as far as he can

  • Dave Mann says:

    There’s a vile fan on the loose guys , get him strung up .. You are joking Shane I take it :-) KRO

  • steve says:

    Next home game i’d like to see us start with the team that finished against SW. Then if we need to tighten up we can finish with the 11 that started against SW.

  • swissjonny says:

    Interesting Shane- dont know if thats tongue in cheek? Im willing to eat a little humble pie. Rowett has become more tactically adept, he has signed some good players and he has got a good team spirit. Competition for places is high and the way he appears to have rehabilitated Reese Brown and buried the hatchet is applaudable.GR is maturing as a manager and appears to be more open minded and less arrogant this year. Interviews much better as well. Well done Sir- KRO

  • dave hague says:

    wot a load of tosh u were played off the field by a much better swfc team who were robbed wednesday promoted bcfc mid table at best

  • Mickmaca blue says:

    i thought grounds was excellent against owls, played a big part in second goal, KRO

  • River says:

    Great signings Rowett Stewart,Adams and shotton are all class bargains.i have watched Stewart for the last 2yrs at Dundee and he tore apart the league which in my opinion is pretty similar to the championship.looking forward to seeing more of him,and Adams is pacey big strong and skilful,maybe a future England player.feeling very optimistic this season and confident of winning my bet with a vile fan as to who finishes higher

  • David L says:

    In some ways a similar start to 15/16 – grit, team spirit, getting good results – but compared to last year how much better is the bench!!

    We’ve got a squad that can put out a team to defend strongly, and then have players of pace and trickery to change the game entirely. And I still think the best is to come from Fab – along with Stewart, Adams and Brown – working in with that mix.

    Happy days.

    Also happy to admit I was wrong when I moaned about GR’s signings two months back!

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    We have beaten 3 of the better sides in the league in Norwich, SW and Fulham. If we can keep performing at this high level with the financial constraints on GR to be lifted this could be a very good season. This is the best I’ve seen our defence for a while. A solid defence is the foundation of all good sides.

  • Dan Hickman says:

    I think our biggest problem will be killing off lesser teams. Proved in the last few games though that we can find different ways to approach games.

    Shows what a tightrope manage my is, if we had lost the match with only Brown as a recognised midfielder we would be berating Rowett for ‘crazy substitutions’ but as it is he is a hero! For me I would always rather see a Blues team with the bit between their teeth chasing a win so I am in the latter camp! We are starting to look a different proposition this last few games, less 1 dimensional and players that know each others strengths, hopefully we can build on that

  • Tony says:

    This all makes me smile. so called experts who a couple of months ago were arguing for Brown to be kicked out, well we saw yesterday the stupidity of that notion. Also Gleeson who has a few detractors, he played as well as anyone and some of his passes were sublime. We are still getting the argument for blood and thunder, Luddites one and all, Darren not to put it too bluntly I doubt your top level experience as for no star players tell that to Francis, Latchford, and Burns.
    Could be wrong but I can picture you on the touchline yelling at a team of 13 year olds to get stuck in Iv seen them Bald, tattooed, overweight cheap tracksuits bawling their hears off, and that’s just the women.

  • WayCoolBlue says:

    Everything is coming together nicely. I couldn’t be Happier, And to see Vile at the bottom hen of the table on 8 points is very pleasing. KRO SOTV

  • Mitchell says:

    Just a thought…naughty boy Barton may be bombed out today. Very similar to last season when Dyche took him to Burnley and proved their final piece for promotion. Bit of true Brummie grit a la Savage etc. No doubt Sheff.Wed or a Leeds will be knocking his door.

    • Dan H says:

      Barge poles come to mind with that suggestion

      We look like we have a really great team spirit at the moment, do you really want to throw in that Human Hand Grenade?

  • Dave Mann says:

    Might rock the boat a little Mitchell so it’s a no from me mate .. Maybe a year or two ago but not now .KRO

    • Mitchell says:

      Probably right there Dave. Just felt a little spicy talking point as since the resumption of OP replies it has all gone a bit too nicey-nicey ! We need a few blogs to get the edge back without the old abuse. I am sure you get my drift.

      • Tony says:

        Mitchel you are so right its like a big love in here, no dissenting voices allowed, any comment I make has to be checked. What a state of affairs thought the era of Stalin was gone obviously not

        • almajir says:

          You were warned Tony, you did not heed the warning…

          As I’ve said, commenting is not a right – it’s a privilege. No problem with people disagreeing but when people tell me how to run my own site they’re going to get short shrift.

      • almajir says:

        No Mitchell, I don’t want you or anyone else to post any abuse… as I have said – people need to realise I make the rules, not them.

        • Mitchell says:

          Yes of course you make the rules and as you say there is no room for any abuse. Most of the bloggers are decent and share the love of BCFC but imo they also have a valuable contribution to make. What I hope is that you do get some joy from this hobby of OP but cannot help at times wonder why the constricted straitjacket approach is so uppermost.However,not to labour the point anymore and sincerely hope that this site does not border on a classroom of potentially naughty school kids that continually have to be monitored resulting in a general sterile exchange of mild opinions.However your site and your rules have to be respected.

          • Dan Hickman says:

            To be fair mate I don’t really get what you and Tony are talking about. I’ve disagreed with people on here and have never had a comment edited redacted or deleted. The problem arose with a fairly silly round of comments culminating in two people offering to meet at a pub for a scrap! If it was me then I wouldn’t want anything I wrote and did for the joy of it to end up provoking that. The people involved have apologised and continue to offer a valid input to the debate we all enjoy having on here so I don’t get why you are baiting people tbh

  • Black Mac says:

    GR said that Viv was our big future option, signed him up and he has been in the stiffs ever since, he should be in the team in place of Cotts. Pacey, strong and in need of game time. I like GR but he needs to keep his word to Viv or he will be on his way.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes I do Mitchell but I for one have decided that fans are entitled to voice an opinion and that’s ok with me know so long may the nicey nicey continue and if we carry on getting results and pushing up the table then we’re all be happy campers but bringing up the availability of Barton if Rangers get rid is a valid point because of his exploits at Burnley and promotion he helped to get them . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I quite like Barton. But then I liked Savage and Bowyer too. Every team needs that edgy little bugger who gets the crowd going.

      • RichardM says:

        Not for me, the guy’s a knob head, past his best and could start a fight in an empty room. What makes me laugh about JB is that just because he can thump out a few words on Twitter, he fancies himself as a Cantona-like intellectual with his musings on the game and life in general – NAH, just another Scally!!

      • Dan Hickman says:

        I don’t mind Barton as a player either but not sure how long he can keep it up. As for VSO, it wasn’t long ago Koby Arthur was going to be the next big thing, young players need time and persevering if he is out of sorts would probably just destroy his confidence. I’d rather see Stewart performing well than one of our own struggling. We have got so many penalties because we have managed to turn teams around and make them defend facing their own goal line, something we haven’t done for a while. Someone mentioned Gleeson earlier, I think part of our change recently has been GR picking players on form and not his tried and tested steady eddies, given everyone food for thought and opened us up to different ways of playing.

        • Mitchell says:

          Good points.Players on form now getting preference over the old brigade. Cotterill,Caddis and Gleeson good examples. Possessional play has never,in my experience,been a major part of Blues football-so getting this blend of Adams,Stewart and Juke to complement Donaldson and Maghoma fits the bill. Only downside is the ,so far,disappointing Fabbrini.

  • DaveP says:

    Am I right in thinking we’ve had more penalties in the first six weeks of this season than we have in the past three seasons?!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think it just highlights what you can acheive when you attack the opposition instead of sitting back. No one ever won a penalty in their own half. I for one am pleased to see our new attacking mentality. Long may it continue.

  • RichardM says:

    I actually think Paul Stewart is ready and deserving of a full 90 minutes now, just not sure who GR should drop to accomodate him? Would seem harsh on Davies….

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Team spirit is what GR has achieved during his tenure.He has chosen players on their character as well as their football ability. Therefore Joey Barton is an absolute no no.

  • swissjonny says:

    I must confess that I too in a moment of deluded thought had considered the possibility of Barton.As you and others point out Richard, he could very easily destroy the team spirit.David Davis is growing into the action man role and appears to be a decent sort to boot.Very pleasantly surprised at the moment- relying too much on penalties- I know you make them but am a mazed at how many we have had.

  • swissjonny says:

    Amazed even

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    I would take him in a heartbeat.Was an integral part and the engine room of a very good promotion winning Burnley side.If Rangers could afford his wages then he can’t be on megabycks anymore so why not give him a deal till Xmas….if it doesn’t work and he’s a disruption,see you later.
    Look at what Savage did to tha atmosphere at Stans.Barton could do a similar job.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Cardiff U23s 0-4 Blues U23’s (Stewart, Popa, Solomon-Otabor and Brown)

    Stewart scored with a curler from outside the box apparently. One of his specialities I believe.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Looked the part when he came on Saturday , more to come I think . KRO

  • southcoastblue says:

    Very happy to be where we are and all credit to GR. But the SW game just shows the incredibly fine line between success and failure. Their last minute header hits the bar then our’s goes in. Could so easily have been the other way around.

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