Often Partisan

More New Boys

It’s funny; yesterday I mentioned it being quiet around St Andrews and today we sign three players. Two of them (Cian Hughton and Caleb Folan) had already been training with the club but the loan signing of QPR defender Peter Ramage almost seemed to come out of nowhere. Are these the signings that will complete the team in its push for promotion?

Apart from knowing that he played up at Newcastle, I didn’t actually know that much about Peter Ramage. With this in mind I thought it might be wise to look at how he got on at what the Crystal Palace fans thought of him, as he had been playing there during the first half of the season. The overall impression I got is that Ramage is good cover; a decent enough centre back who can play at right back and will give his all when called upon.

Ramage made 23 appearances in all competitions for Palace, (including one in the FA Cup which makes him cup-tied), between the start of the season and the middle of January. Whilst I saw criticism of him at right back (“no pace, can’t cross”), there was respect for him as one of the central two. Palace fans praised his versatility and how Ramage raised his game when required; a few mentioned that they would have taken him back until the end of the season. Ramage’s QPR contract ends in June and thus I suspect he’s playing for a contract somewhere whilst at Blues – putting himself in the shop window as he is out of the QPR 25 man Premier League squad.

I wrote a bit about Caleb Folan before; as a fourth or fifth choice striker I think he’s a decent signing. He’s probably not going to be too close to match fitness at the moment as he last played for Colorado Rapids back in November but if Hughton has been impressed with him in training then I’m happy to trust the manager’s judgement. Folan (and Cian Hughton should it come to that) will not be eligible for the Chelsea replay in the FA Cup as competition rules state that a player must have been eligible to play in the original match of an FA Cup tie to be able to play in the replay.

I’ve seen allegations online of nepotism as to the signing of Cian Hughton; something that apparently Chris Hughton was wary of before his son was signed. I don’t have a problem with it myself; Carr is out for 2 weeks and maybe longer with his troublesome knee and Luke Hubbins (who is the rookie cover) is also injured, having picked up a knee problem in the first game of his loan at Tamworth. This leaves us with Spector or Ramage at right back, and only Murphy at left back (unless you want to throw Mitch Hancox in at the deep end in a promotion race). Cian is probably on a small wage, he’s been training with us anyway and it’s only for a few months; he probably won’t play but if he’s needed he can now be picked.

I think it’ll be interesting to see how many of these new players slot in for the Derby game. I can’t see us bringing anyone else in now; there is a maximum of five loan players in a matchday squad and we’ve got five now, I don’t think we need to bring in more to juggle them around. A very good day’s business, if I’m honest – and kudos to the club for bringing in Ramage to the club with the minimum of fuss.

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9 Responses to “More New Boys”

  • JohnR says:

    I find it amusing that most of our fans would agree with the mantra ”In Hughton we trust” and then as soon as we sign someone on loan or as a ‘free’ they start questioning CH’s judgement.
    I trust Hughton’s judgement of a player and if a player has impressed Chris whilst training with the club then that is good enough for me,

  • Birmingham City Nil says:

    I’m led to believe from various on-line sources that Andros Townsend can play left-back if necessary. And, whilst I’m sure he’ll play left midfield normally, the fact that Huseklepp can play wide left gives CH some flexibility on that side if David Murphy gets injured.

  • jkcornwall says:

    I can understand the thoughts that some may have regarding nepotism. As a football and cricket coach myself I always found that my own son had to more than justify his place in the teams I selected. With that in mind I would feel that his son probably stood out quite obviously for him to include him in our squad.
    Another point , I must say that i’ve been very impressed with Blues’ conduct in the Loan market, with 3 of the 5 loan signings appearing to come ‘ out of the blue’ excuse the pun.

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    If you blindly trust then you’re likely to trip up. CH is human and fallible and should be judged by results based on realistic expectations. On this basis he is certainly the best manager we could have hoped for in our present situation. Things can go wrong and we should avoid the messiah/devil mood swings.

    Never happy when family get jobs (yeah Murdoch) but as long as he’s not a freeloader, it’s not worth getting upset about.

    The other signings seem like ballast to me and the worry still is that the left sided weakness has only been partly dealt with; hope CH can sort this out soon.

    Re: earlier posts about the size of club we are, I’ve supported Blues since the 50s and fully deserve the right to be ignored (idiot until last year?). We are and always have been a medium sized club. Even when we had crowds in the 40 thousands others were always bigger. The issue is how do we live with this.

    We can risk all in a bid for glory (like last year when we sh*t and bust) or aim to achieve our natural level (11th to 17th in the premiership) on a consistent basis. Be honest, winning the cup was an immense relief and pleasure but was like a lottery win, you shouldn’t plan your life on it happening again soon. The better choice is the rational one. Tailor our cloth to suit and dance with the better looking girls. Who knows you may not score big but it’ll be fun trying.

    The ownership have learned some hard lessons so I hope they sort the finances and stay. Would hate for another wannabe to come in promise the earth, fail and walk off with more of our hard earned.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Lets hope the new players don’t upset the balance of the squad and the players who have done so well for us get overlooked for the new players. I think Ramage, Folan and Huseklepp seem like half decent signings. I’m not too sure about Townsend as I’d much prefer Redmond and Elliott to continue to feature. I do like the way Townsend refers to blues as US in his interviews though which is a good sign.

  • skareggae72 says:

    I seem to remember Steve Bruce signing his son Alex and it caused us difficulties,i remember Nicky Butt storming out when the manager played his son in Nickys posiition.
    In all honesty i cant see CHs lad getting near the starting eleven.

  • DoctorD says:

    I am sure CH has brought these boys in, knowing that fatigue is going to kick in at some point for the existing players over the last 14 games of the season. A wise insurance policy, if you ask me, particularly if injuries strike.

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