Often Partisan

Wins on the Spin

Another game, another win. It’s becoming a bit easy, isn’t it? Five wins on the spin, a team that has gelled and all of a sudden even the most pessimistic of supporters is starting to look a bit cheered about the situation at St Andrews. Of course, the last time we won five on the spin was only two years ago in the “unbeatables” run, and I thought I’d draw some comparisons.

I can remember the unbeatables run quite well. For a period of a couple of months, we looked one of the most solid units I’ve ever seen in the Royal Blue. There was some nice football, and whilst we didn’t score that many goals (eight in the five match winning streak), I don’t remember us looking that uncomfortable. This season however has been slightly different. We’ve come from behind three times, we’ve won away four times (only two of the other run were away), and we’ve scored eleven times. It’s been a bit more rollercoaster – but to many people (including me) it’s been more fun because not only are we scoring more goals, we look like scoring more goals.

The other thing that is majorly different is the consistency of the matchday squad. The unbeatables run was remarkable for the amount of changes made to personnel – I remember it was something like twelve games where Birmingham City started with the same eleven. However, this season Hughton has shuffled the team around to fit in a demanding schedule – and yet Blues still keep winning. Before the last few games I’ve seen a few people scratching their heads at some of the players picked, but it’s worked every single game. Winning consistently with the same team is one thing, to be able to tinker and change things and not ruin the flow of the team is something else, and a reason I think that Chris Hughton deserves high praise.

I’ve seen people talking about how they enjoy life in the Championship more, and I believe it links in with this. I don’t think it’s true that life in the second tier is any more enjoyable – anyone who sat through the first 70 minutes of the Barnsley game or the first half of the Leicester game will tell you that this league can quite easily be dull and boring. Likewise, I didn’t see too many people complaining during the “unbeatables” run either – and thus I must make the logical assumption that it’s not the tier of football that people enjoy, but winning. It’s a fact that Blues are more likely to win in the Championship than the Premiership, and thus it’s probably because of that people are enjoying things more. However, I would have to be fair and say that the attacking football Blues are playing is more conducive to winning people over than the more defensive stuff that was dished up previously.

Wednesday night sees the visit of Leeds and I guess the question now is can we make it six in a row? I think we can – and I’m excited to see how Chris Hughton is going to change things around to ensure we have a fighting chance of doing so.

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21 Responses to “Wins on the Spin”

  • skareggae72 says:

    With 3 home games to come(Leeds,Brighton,Brugge)its realistic to think we can make it 8 wins(a possible defeat to Reading?)then another winnable 2 home games,that would leave us in a great position.
    The last time we did 6 wins in a row was August 2001 OVER A DECADE AGO(wins over Millwall,Southend,Walsall,Stockport,Sheff Wed,BristolRov)

  • Bluenose87 says:

    Great time to be a Blues fan! I’m so happy that we bagged Hughton as I feel he is a better manager than the Ginger Judas and is much more attack minded which is what we were after!

    Always enjoy reading your blogs. Keep up the good work and KRO :)

  • HopeofGlory says:

    Thanks for this upbeat article Almajir. It is very true being a bluenose seems to be getting much easier and more enjoyable lately. Most definitely for the CH influence, for firstly steadying the ship, when many had lost their minds, and let’s be honest – it was a ship most managers would of sailed clear of due to the board room troubles, and yet now he has quickly created the ability of a playing squad which has gelled together and looks like kicking on to competing at the top end of the table. Something, I didn’t think would or could happen this season after the sheer volume of player turnover experienced.

    The majority of times Blues have suffered relegation we have been able to keep a decent nucleus of players who are premiership standard. However, this time it was a little different so I wasn’t convinced it’s a given we would win more games at Championship level. I’m glad to see this is the case at present which brings me to give CH the credit.

    I was happy CH got the job and like many considered him a good manager. I’m now starting to think that maybe he is going to be a great manager. A ‘sleeping giant’ so to speak, with the future potential of creating something special on the pitch from a whole squad, and not simply a team lucky to not have many injury problems to deal with.
    There are not that many managers in the Premiership who are able to keep a winning formula whilst rotating the squad successfully. So to have a manager with the ability to do it with Championship quality players give me even more reason for optimism.


  • hammy says:

    5 wins on the bounce….

    isnt that easy on the vocal chords…. ;)

    crikey, im enjoying this season….

    were playing football for the 1st time in 6 years…and with a squad of mainly freebee’s….

    were in europe and doing brilliantly, how many other clubs would take 5400 to an overseas game, and have 3000 or more locked out????…….

    long may it continue….and why shouldnt it i say???

    leeds next, a tuffy no doubt…..i fancy 1-1 meself, and another win to folow over brighton…..


  • Qatarblue says:

    It is completely different to the way we scrambled ourselves out of the championship last time or went on our record unbeaten run. We very rarely won a game by more than 1 goal. I believe we won 19 games in last championship promotion season – all by a single goal – scoring only 53 in the season.
    We have won 3 of the lst 5 by more than a goal + 3 against Nacional. Plus the team is not settling for draws as could easily have done at Maribor or Brugge or even Forest. Yes it’s great to be a bluenose and we know that one or two injuries now should not blow this off course.
    Think that we will have to wait until after New Year for the real push – and we have to hold our breath to see if CH can keep the squad intact.
    Worryingly you already hear talk from Blackburn fans to ditch Kean and grab Hughton – and that could be our bigger long term problem.
    But really enjoying the ride. KRO

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    It sure is pinch yourself time at present. Playing Bristol City yesterday who were bottom of the league but with a new manager on board was a potential banana skin game for Blues but another professional display with a much changed team means we are now starting to get in the mix. The run of home games we now have provides an opportunity to really kick on but they are 3 difficult games which we will do well to win. I think not having too many international players has helped CH as it has meant he has been able to keep the nucleus of his squad together all the time and it is clear that players who weren’t at the races earlier in the season are now contributing to the cause. Also some of the players who have remained from last year had maybe forgotten how to play football under the previous regime and have taken time to adjust to the new style of play but I may be am being a bit cynical in observing that. I just hope Burke doesn’t run out of gas as he has been a revelation for me so far.

  • mark says:

    Bonza Post.. However I would like to throw a different light on the Premiership / Championship row.. I watch the Championship as I used to as a kid, with true (and generally honest) players playing football the way it should be played, not looking for the opprtunity to cheat your opposition out of the match points – generally portrayed by a large percentage of premiership players.. then there is the winning thing.. however I dont necessarily think it is winning matches – I know of no other sport whereby just “survival” is an accepted success.. Over 1/2 the premiership is looking just to survive there..??! That is no fun whatsoever.. I would never give Wembley up for staying in the prem.. People think I am mad.. But is survival all that Grand.. I would rather be in the championship Mid Table mediocrity with honest hardworking players than in the self indulgent premiership with over hyped, and over paid egos..

  • Boy from Oz says:

    We have a squad of players who want to play for Blues, we have a manager who is not afraid to give those players the opportunity. It is obvious the players are enjoying themselves because there is no great expectation on their shoulders and obvious the manager has no favourites, which means they are competing for a place on a level playing field.
    This league is so open, every team is capable of beating each other on any given day, some of the results are crazy, which augers well for Blues because it means no team is running away with the league.
    It’s also interesting to monitor how our so called premiership stars are fareing since they jumped what they thought was a sinking ship, I think a few of them may be looking at how Blues are shaping up and now realise the boats they jumped into have a bigger leak than the one they left.
    We have a long way to go before the end of this season and there will be plenty of twists and turns to keep us interested.
    My psychiatrist has taken me off the anti-depressants he prescribed two years ago saying he now realises I was suffering mcleish syndrome. He now recommends a good dose of the Blues to cheer me up. Happy Days KRO.

  • jelliedeel says:

    Totally agree with the boy from oz comments just hope we can hold onto chris hughton as his work cant be going unoticed elsewhere

  • Rathater says:

    Not one mention of Carson!


  • Spotlight Kid says:

    Chis ‘Hoots’ Hughton did an amazing job up here at Newcastle, we were promoted on a record number of points for us and several other club records were established en route. He unified a squad beset by enforced departures and lack of confidence into an effective footballing unit – taking one Andy Carroll from a third choice bit part player to record transfer material in under 12 months. He was starved of funds following promotion, with only two effective players joining close season (one subsequently seriously injured) but still kept the club in comfortable mid table with noteable wins over Arsenal (away), Villa (6-0) and Sunderland (5-1) in the process. For this he was sacked….

    Unlike the more myopic magpies who tried to justify this betrayal as uber-ambition on the part of the club owner I still feel it was one of the darkest days in the club’s history. The current manager was then able to build on the CH momentum (and good luck to him), and currently is enjoying a purple patch. But memories are very short up here, and have forgotten the utter apprehension with which we faced WBA on the first day of the 2009/10 season. Luckily we had Hoots at the helm who changed the 11 expensive individuals with sellable shirt numbers philosophy into a tangible team ethic. Had we not had Hoots, we would still be in the Championship or worse as things were seriously imploding.

    All this has been forgotten by most in the rarified air of 4th place in the Prem – but not by all.

    So, best of luck to the Blues. I’ve certainly enjoyed all the games I have managed to catch this season, with the Euro games being a real treat. I always liked CH’s brand of team first football, and have been impressed at the success of the Blues enforced squad rotations (even though the first 20 minutes of a games seem a little tentative at times with new players – although this will improve).

    Don’t make the same mistake we did – this guy is a future England manager. Here’s to six!

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I disagree with you on the comparison of this team with the ‘unbeatables’. We struggled in almost every game with Joe Hart making save after save. Yes that team had resilience and once we scored it was going to be hard for the other team to break us down however this team certainly knows how to score goals. It’s a shame we’re just not more clinical in front of goal as we’re missing at least 5 good chances per game. Last season we had games where we didn’t even have a shot on target.

  • skareggae72 says:

    @Boy From Oz/Your mention of how our (exPremier stars?) are doing this season,left me with one name in my mind-Roger Johnson,he`s having a shocker lately and stated that Wolves fans were “disgusting”.Strong words but on current form he wouldnt get into our 1st eleven at the moment!

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Who chose this manager? Flippin’ chinese have no idea!!

  • marky says:

    just 2 words thanks randy

  • johnS says:

    Only worry is with Shayne Long out injured for the Baggies will they recall Chris Wood .I hope not because he has been brill on target for us .Kro

  • Mark says:

    Amazing no-one moaning this can only be good………….only the true fans step forward, KRO

  • Mark says:

    I think we are very lucky to have the Europa League this season also, as this is a real welcome distraction, and it has provided a release from the day to day routine of championship fayre.. I think this could actually be the source of many good things this season.. I actually dud dread to think what the atmosphere would be like at st Andrews due to all the Chinese chinanigans, but the Europa league seems to be the wave on which we are merrily surfing at the moment…!! ( odds on mcleish & vile relegation?? Villa fans on the radio soo funny at the moment..??!!)

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Think the board need to realise that now things ain’t broke, no need to fix it. Leave the team and the manager well alone and their investment can only increase in value. Start tinkering, and it could completely fall apart. We must keep CH at all costs.

    • BlueB says:

      Got a funny feeling if a significant compensation package was on offer the Hughton and team then in our current predicament the board may allow him to go. Not saying he or the board wants that but if for example Blackburn came knocking with £4-5 million – then it may be we have to take it!

  • Boy from Oz says:

    I can’t see too much attraction in moving to Blackburn, CH will be back where he started at the start of next season nPower Championship. I’m sure he is an honourable man and would like to finish the job he started.
    The end of the season is a different matter though, depending on our success this season, I’m sure he will be on top of the list of a few bottom 10 Premier clubs. I hope we have a plan “B” just in case.
    All that is for another day, let us enjoy the moment. KRO

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