Often Partisan

Half-term report

Nearly half the season has elapsed now, and I thought it was a good chance to step back, take stock of where Blues are and where they should be; and maybe to discuss where Blues should be come the season’s end.

This season always promised to be a hard one. The ignominy of relegation coupled with the drama of Carson being arrested on financial charges, a management change and something like thirty-seven players either coming in or going out the door meant it was going to be hard. Gone are the days of signing players for hefty fees and wages and here are the times of the Bosman, the journeyman footballer and the raw talent. As such, I said at the start of the season I thought this had to be a season of consolidation and nothing more; ending it in the black, having had a go in Europe and at least keeping our Championship status was enough for me.

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I’m confident that as things are, we’re on target to achieve those modest aims. Firstly, I thought the club not only had a go in Europe, but did us damned proud in the Europa League. Pretty much all of my happiest moments as a Blues fan have happened in 2011, and I will never forget some of the experiences I have had on the continent. Football might be about statistics to some but to me it’s about memories – “Were you there when…” and 2011 has been full of those moments.

As for the league, I’m happy enough with mid-table. We’re a team in transition, and as such we have no right to expect to sweep away all those who appear before us; a healthy midtable position will at least mean we’re consolidated in this division which suits me fine. I know for some people this division isn’t good enough; the Premiership years have spoiled many and I fear some won’t be happy until we’re promoted back to it. I can’t see that happening for a few years, and I’d rather that if we did get promoted we’d be in a position whereby we wouldn’t merely be on loan for a season to the top flight before we got relegated again with a bump; with our current situation going up would make things very tricky next year as I don’t believe we’d be able to bring anyone in and we’d get marmelised every week without new additions.

The big question is the money one. I know a lot of people fear for our future, and I can fully empathise with that. The one bright spot, the one ray of sunshine in the darkness is that the threat of the “a” word that people have consistently said is going to happen hasn’t happened. In fact, we’re not even the worst off team playing in blue in the Midlands – if you want to see a team in real financial trouble take a look at the one who play at the Ricoh Arena. That doesn’t mean to say it won’t happen – but the hope is for me that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

All in all, I can understand those fans who think it could be a whole lot better at St Andrews, because it could. However, this season could have been a helluva lot worse too.

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18 Responses to “Half-term report”

  • pierre says:

    Merry Christmas everybody.Does anybody watch our reserve team games regularly, as it seems with players departing, as the three players missing from the xmas calendar,seemingly no transfer budget,are any players ready to make the step up.lets keep our blue chins up!

    • almajir says:

      Most reserve games are behind closed doors.

    • NooBloo says:

      if you watch the way CH works. he tends to go for the ”tried and tested”. he bloods youngsters very slowly. Sometimes a bit too slowly. if you look at Tim Krull at newcastle. Chris obviously spotted the talent but he used him sparingly and he did the same with Lua lua before farming him out to brighton on loan.

      The transfer window. if there is any influx, it will be Championship players who have been succesful at that level

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I am “happy” with where we are, but I am concerned that if we lose 10 points in January, that puts us into the relegation zone. Looks like Asante and Butland are being groomed for a return, so if we lose Ridgewell, Zigic and a couple of others, if we can find another Burke or 2 we will be well placed to climb back up the table. Frustrating that we can not defend a lead and also the fact that I believe that in most of the games we have lost or drawn this season, that we were the better team. At times we play the best football in the Championship. We just need to find a goalscorer or two. King and Wood have shown promise but appear to be going off the boil.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    ‘Firstly, I thought the club not only had a go in Europe, but did us damned proud in the Europa League’

    Amen to that brother.

    This club means everything to me x

  • Bluemat says:

    For me a return to the prem would also be very premature on the pitch that is. A return to the prem for the bank balance would be tremendous, it wouldnt be much fun to watch but it could ‘save’ us from the senario we find ourselves in at the moment.

    As a side note, i wonder how many supporters now after watchin the team be dispanded have followed some of the lads that have left. I have to be honest, ive watched them where i can (and if they’ve been selected) and all i can say is i can see why we were relegated now. Apart from larsson who has been okay at sunderland the rest have been bit parts and the poorest within their new teams.


  • David Gibson says:

    I can only agree with your point regarding being marmalised every week, if we returned to the Premiership under the present circumstances,after watching the drudge we served up on Monday and then watching what was served up by the poorest teamss in the Prem last night we would not have a chance against even those bottom sides.

  • AL-LAD says:

    A spot on assessment, there’s certainly been some memories in 2011, it’s never been dull. In our current state a mid-table finish would be a fair achievement. However I strongly believe the club will not enter administration, but we all know players will need to depart in January to ensure blues remain afloat. 2012 promises to be as equally entertaining.

  • DoctorD says:

    Mid-table would be fine, but my only concern about “consolidation” is that “consolidation” turns into “stagnation” followed by “relegation”. I remember dropping down in 1986 and it took us 16 years to get back into the top flight.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    Dropping down would be OK

    Wouldn’t kill us and would hopefully get rid of our vermin fans who like to boo our own players whenever their names are mentioned over the tannoy and sing semi racist songs about our owner who has put more money into the club than anyone in our history to the point that he’s potentially about to lose his home in Hong Kong.

    Real Blues are the ones I like, like the 6000 crowd of the mid 80s

    • DoctorD says:

      Well it all depends what you want from the club. Was being in the third division really so much fun? The quality of matches was poor. The club was facing oblivion. We had dodgy owners. We were overshadowed by the Vxxxx. Actually it was like being in the Prem so maybe you’re right.

      • Violent Pacifist says:

        Made me lol that reply

        To be honest mate going up and fighting to stay up every year don’t float my boat.

        Going down to the depths appeals to me, shake off the detrius and have a bit of fun.

        • DoctorD says:

          Yeah I suppose there’s an element of honesty and freshness that returns with plumbing the depths – like you say, all the effluent disappears and the true fans rise to the top. Must be horrible being a ManU supporter and you’ve got millions of random fans who’ve never been to Old Trafford in their lives and are only there because the team is doing well.

  • Retired&Weary says:

    Are the low expectations at the start of the season leading too many fans to accept second best?
    Personally I’m frustrated by the feeble away performances (and some at home). How can we dominate games so often and produce so little?
    I don’t think the squad is as bad as people are saying compared to the rest, apart from West Ham. I’ve not seen anything outstanding yet.
    The problem, as it has been under successive managers, is the lack of goals. Although we lack pace and movement up front, I don’ think it is all down to the strikers. IMO we don’t create enough chances because of poor crossing/passing in the last third. The wide men in particular have been wasteful, and I include Burke in this even though he “walks on water”in most fans eyes at the moment.
    The middle of the park is not quite right either. I’m not one of the Fahey knockers particularly, but I don’t believe he is up to the pivotal role he’s been in recently, the circulating of the ball role like Ferguson. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the mental or physical strength or confidence of Ferguson. Of the current squad Mutch, N’Daw or Spector may be more appropriate.
    The other big frustration of course is Zigic. Because he’s so tall the average British fan expects the tradittional Mick Harford type of player, which he is not. In reality he’s more a second striker, dropping in to the hole to link up play. Whether he can be accommodated in that role is the 64 million dollar question.
    Finally, you can’t pick and choose promotion. If by some miracle we do get up through the play offs, accept it and worry about it then, not now.

  • ScudMuffin says:

    wouldn’t call the performances feeble. shots on target are many, the lads are getting the ball in there. problem is that bloke standing in the opposition goal. against palace there were 9 shots on target. most games there’s a fair amount, thing is that the stall was set early and the play style is much the same as at Newcastle when ch was there. championship teams know how ch plays, the fact the squad is make do and mend makes things harder. look at norwich, scoring goals for fun last year. they have a harder time due to the level of skill required to beat a keeper at that level, so where we are going to get week in week out constant goals from is beyond me. unless rooney straightens his shots out, I can see him scoring a few. and ewok, he’s like heavy artillery.

  • parkp says:

    Spot on assessment to start with. 2011 has been a great year for blues fans. No matter what anybody says, the game is all about winning trophies. The 3 Major trophies in 2011 went to Manchester united, Manchester city and BIRMINGHAM CITY.

  • Stevie Blue says:

    This post is neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but realisitic. Look at the league table everyone…if we win the 2 games in hand (ok its a big if), we could go 6th or 7th. I would’ve bitten anyones hand off for that at the start of the season. Furthermore we’ve already played 7 out of the top 9 away!!! What I’m saying is we have every chance of getting into the play offs. This league is a much of muchness and tight games like Palace will go in our favour on ocasssions. We still have 26 games to play. Why are people already prepared to settle for mid table “consolidation”. If with 8 or 10 games to go we’ve dropped down the table and tailed away a bit then yes, but for now ALL at BCFC (that’s players, management, officials and fans) should be focused on an ascent up the league, there is still so much to play for.

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