Often Partisan

Caldwell into the Cauldron

Birmingham City have completed their fifth signing of the summer with the Bosman free signing of Scottish defender Steven Caldwell. Caldwell, 30, has ten caps for Scotland and signs for us having been released by Wigan at the end of last season.

It’s another signing that seems to have underwhelmed Blues fans – he’s over 30, he’s Scottish and he’s on a free which all adds up to somebody you’d expect our former manager to sign. It may be a sign that Blues are having to seriously lower their ambitions signing wise, to keep us on the financial straight and narrow. However, I don’t see Caldwell as that bad a signing.

Sure, he’s only once been sold for an actual fee (to Burnley for 200k in January 2007); and he only played 15 games for Wigan last season – only 10 in the Premiership. However, he’s got international pedigree (if only for Scotland), he’s got experience of being promoted from this division and bearing in mind we’re probably going to see Scott Dann and Roger Johnson leave, he will be a senior pro for youngsters like Fraser Kerr and Will Packwood to learn from on and off the pitch.

I’ll be honest, I went to look at some Wigan messageboards to see what they thought of him and barely found one; I know Wigan Athletic don’t have many fans but it appears they haven’t discovered the internet yet either. Having been to the DW Stadium before, I can’t say I’m surprised in that either. Burnley fans have been talking about him though, and the consensus of their opinion is that he is a good leader – but very slow. Whilst the pace thing is a worry, I am encouraged by their consistent mentions that he’s a good captain type; with Ferguson, Johnson and possibly Ridgewell going it’s important Blues have someone who can inspire the other players on the pitch and if Caldwell can step up to the plate, brilliant.

I think as Blues fans, we have to be realistic. Whilst it will be nice if we can pick up some young defender who has potential and is cheap, we also need to have someone at the back who is experienced. I cast my mind back to Kenny Cunningham, who wasn’t the quickest of players but had a yard of pace in his head because of his reading of the game. Kenny was also a leader, who organised the defence and I’m kinda hoping that Caldwell can fit into this sort of role. With Davies alongside him, who has a bit of pace and when he’s on form a brilliant challenger of the ball, we’d have a partnership I think that will be able to cope with Championship attacks. Add in Kerr and Packwood, and maybe purchase a young defender with something to prove, and I’ll be happy.


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20 Responses to “Caldwell into the Cauldron”

  • Scoobers says:

    Caldwell is no Cunningham yet should be okay at this level.

    Isn’t Packwood a midfield player ?

  • Xdc says:

    You couldn’t find any Wigan messageboards – ever heard of Google you patronising f*ck? One thing you will notice if you visit the ones below is that we’re all in agreement that Caldwell is crap. He isn’t EPL quality – probably good enough for you guys though. Enjoy the Championship ;)


    • almajir says:

      Hello Wigan fan.

      I did find some of those messageboards, but none of them seemed to be that regularly posted on – hardly surprising I guess judging on the dearth of Wigan fans.

      Thanks for the links though

      • Xdc says:


        Some facts:
        The population of Wigan is 81,203, and the average attendance is 16,552. That represents 20 per cent of the town.
        The population of Birmingham is 1,016,800 and the average attendance is 25,461. That represents 2.5 per cent of the city.

        • almajir says:

          Good for you.

          • Xdc says:

            Rather knocks your “dearth of Wigan fans” arguement into a cocked hat doesn’t it?

          • ALEXJ says:

            I’ve seen some contrived statistics in my time, but that takes the biscuit…..Here’s a less contrived for you. BCFC avg attendance last season – c. 26,000. WAFC avg home league attendance lest season….well you know the rest

            When sugar daddy whelan dies or gets bored you’ll be back whence you came i.e. 2,000 fans and lge 2.

            You’re welcome to your seasons in the sun, good luck to you, but don’t try to imply you’re some kind of super club

        • Half Full says:

          Xdc did you count the births and deaths for that day? Pmsl!
          Two peas in a pod is still only two peas in a pod regardless of the size of the pod?
          Don’t worry you will be finding the pleasures of the championship yourself very soon, you only just missed it last season.
          btw vitalfootball is just a copycat site that copies and reposts rubbish reported in other rubbish sites.

  • hammy says:

    personally, i think he’ll only be a squad player…and i have to say, that i am dissappointed in this signing….

    lets not forget that we havnt sold ANY of our defenders as yet, and theres no guarantee that
    we will…..

    we could still possibly start the season with most of them….

    wouldnt we all just love to see the “want aways” have to start next season at derby county…??!!!


  • Umpa Lumpa says:

    “Add in Kerr and Packwood and maybe a young defender with something to prove and I’ll be happy”

    Have you seen much of Kerr and Packwood ? I have and I’m telling you they aint ready, there’s a difference between being supportive and looking for the positives and just plain old selling out.

    You’re basically saying Davies and a ‘never has been’ with untried kids for back up makes you happy as a Blues fan. Well fair play to ya, I think we’re being taken for a ride on the asset stripping rollercoaster that is CY and we’ll be lucky to stay up at this rate, but so long as you’re happy and you don’t have to rock anybody’s boat that’s ok then.

    • almajir says:

      I have, as it happens. I wouldn’t say they were the second coming or anything, but Packwood I thought has enough potential to be pushed onto the fringes of the first team in the current situation; Kerr obviously has been thought of by the staff as close enough as he made the bench several times last season.

      As for asset stripping – this is Carson who backed a blues manager more than any blues manager has ever been backed before last season. Not sure if you recall, but Zigic, Hleb, Bentley and Foster’s wages alone last season was in excess of £200,000 a week – that’s £10million quid over the year.

  • spen says:


    You say on your “about me” section that you dont think that the mainstream media treats Birmingham City with respect.

    You seem to treat some others like Wigan Athletic with the same contempt. As stated above, we have a growing fan base which is excellent given the size of the town and the surrounding catchment areas including Liverpool, Everton, Man U, Man City, Bolton & Blackburn, all with longer PL time than ourselves. Fortunately for us, crowds are not the reason you get to stay in the Premier League, results are (until Mr Hansen gets top job at the PL).

    Crowds do however go a long way to deciding the profitability and therefore survival of a club. That is why we do not have 4 players taking £200k a week out of the club, and probably why you, who are not exactly pulling in 50,000 a week in support find yourselves in the position you are – probably losing better defenders and taking Caldwell, who whilst a grafter, is slower at turning than the Titanic.

    I don’t have an issue with Birmingham City, and think you have a good manager in Hughton, but your’e going to have to be realistic. You will lose good players and it is extremely hard to get back out of that division.

  • JakeLatic says:

    A good reason why you find nothing written about Caldwell. He’s not worth the time. The swipes against my home club lead me to say, “hope he fails as miserably for you as he did for us.”

    • ALEXJ says:

      Why are all the WAFC fans getting so upset? The article only says there’s a “dearth” of wigan fans. It’s hardly offensive and it’s pretty accurate – i suspect wigan’s natural level of support if, sorry when, Mr Whelan stops bank rolling you would eventually end up well below 10,000.

      That said, and I’m not having a dig here, to get to that from where the club was 10 years ago is a genuine achievement especially given the competition on the door step – sugar daddy or not.

      Oh and by the way Caldwell – He’ll be a squad player. Dann will go, Johnson will stay. Caldwell will be 3rd or 4th choice. Which is fine – better than some of the muppets we’ve had in that role before (Latka, Ngotty etc etc)

  • borderblue says:

    Whilst taking pride in being a Blue Nose I have to say that knocking Wigan is out of order. I wish our club was in their position. An excellent manager who has a ‘footballing’ philosophy with an honest owner who actually cares about his club..And all the best to them. How many fans they have is irrelevant…we don’t get many more and I guarantee if we have an average season our gates will be pathetic. Oh and trust me we will have an average season at best.

    I have supported Blues for nigh on 45 years and last season was the weirdest yet. I finally got to see a real trophy but was generally underwhelmed by our tactics and play and lo and behold we yo-yo down again.

    I’m glad we ‘lost’ A.M. but am very worried about the state of our squad, all of the better players WILL be sold and we will continue to scratch about for cheap replacements. I can’t see us challenging for even a play-off place. Hey-ho, my Dad told me that supporting brummagem was never going to be easy but it was a habit I could never break!!! How true.

    • m says:

      good luck to Wigan, good manager, attempting to play good football, good luck for the coming season, here’s hoping that Blues do well too and go up playing good football:-)

  • bcfc says:

    all i have to say is SOTV……..KRO

  • Mister Leung says:

    Gee. Wigan fans are a tetchy bunch. footymad and vital football don’t count as fansites. they have everyone. i’ve done some looking too and almajir is right – there isn’t much content out there. that is all he was saying! tax a chillaxicab folks.

    Caldwell – as far a free signings go he aint bad. Hughton is doing best he can. Afraid to say that after speaking to “someone closely associated with the club” (and no that isn’t the same as Sky sources) – it’s a case of anyone who can be sold – will be sold.

    But – so long as the club don’t evaporate out of business, so long as I can still go down to Stand Drews, i’ll still be happy – because being a blues fan is always entertaining.

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