Often Partisan

A Month of Promise

At the start of last month I opined on these pages my hopes that July would be a month of progress for Birmingham City. June had seen some changes at management and board level and with the removal of the transfer embargo I hoped that Blues would be able to kick on in squad terms whilst holding on to the more prized assets. We now stand at the brink of the league season and it’s looking promising.

July saw four new players come into the club – Peter Løvenkrands, David Lucas, Darren Ambrose and Hayden Mullins – and more importantly, none leave it. The goalkeeping coach position has been sorted and the pre-season has seen some good performances – notably the 5-1 demolition of Bury on Tuesday night and the 2-2 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach out in Munich. There seems to have been a continued emphasis on the attacking style of play that we became accustomed to at St Andrews last year and there is a vein of positivity running through the club.

So if May was a month of stasis, June a month of change and July a month of progress what will August hold? For me, August is a month of promise. The real ball (© Steve Bruce)  comes out in twelve days time and we’ll finally get to see if this team that has shown glimpses of what it can do in pre-season is the real deal. Then four days later Charlton come to St Andrews in the Championship and with them comes the first real test of Lee Clark’s reign – a home game that Blues fans will probably expect to win despite the fact Charlton will fancy themselves having won last season’s League One title at a canter.

It’s also a month that will test the resolve of the Blues board and the promises that they have made about not selling players. If Blues can hold out until August 31 without selling a player (unless of course an “eye-popping” offer has come in), then I think once again the board can justifiably say that they kept a promise. If Blues can supplement Lee Clark’s squad as well with a couple of loan players in key positions – well, I think a few people will be eating humble pie.

Last season I was consistent in saying that all I wanted from that year was a year of consolidation where we stayed away from the relegation trap-door and didn’t go bust – something Blues managed comfortably on both fronts. With a lot less to sort out financially this summer I think I’m justified in what I want from the club this year – more of the attacking football that made going to the ground fun last season and maybe, just maybe a step further towards promotion if not promotion itself.

I don’t normally use the blog to talk about the blog, but I wanted to finish off by thanking everyone who reads and comments here. This article marks the 800th I’ve written for Often Partisan, and whilst it’s a burdensome mistress at times I can honestly say I’m proud and humbled that so many people have enjoyed what I’ve written about on here. I only hope I can continue to interest you with my thoughts on everything Blue.

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54 Responses to “A Month of Promise”

  • BowThai says:

    OP-Thanks very much for all your articals.Not only very informative but enjoyable too.Please keep it up,its a life lile for us expats.Im looking forward to comming over for the first match and i really feel good about this season.Were proud of you too!

    • Jamie says:

      I echo the above, this site is the one I visit most often and is a great help to me in keeping up with the blues while I’m living outside of the U.K. It’s so nice to actually be able to keep up to date with the goings on at the club and this is the first time we have ever had anything like this in regards to our beloved club as it is so often over looked by the main stream press!
      thanks for all the great work that you do and may it long continue!

  • Keith says:

    Congrats from Hawaii on your 800th Blog I love reading your well balanced and well written articles

  • John Birch says:

    OP, as an expat living in Oz I personally rely on your articles to provide me with clarity in the news of the Club that I have followed for 50 years. The articles seem to offer me a “True” sense of what is happening without the unnecessary negativity and sensationalism provided by other sources. Please continue with the fantastic work.

  • pierre says:

    never thought i would ever read or write comments on a blog site,but the content of this site raises some great debate and banter,not always towing the party line,but not slaughtering peter pannu either,just recognizing he trying to a difficult job with both hands tied behind his back.i believe he has what is best for bcfc at heart.keep up this fantastic blog going,its the first i log on to every morning.

  • Vile hater says:

    Sterling work, always well written & many a valid point, my week would not be complete without trawling comments, feeding my addiction to all that is bcfc, soldier on & SOTV

  • Mark Y says:

    Well done for all your effort running this site. Its an invaluable resource for many Blues fans. I think the newsflow that you obtain from China is particularly informative in this part of the clubs history.

  • Thanks for all your hard work OP. Keep it up, I really enjoy you informative blogs. KRO

  • AfricaBlue says:

    Thank’s for all the hard work you put into these articles keep them coming.KRO

  • Dave Shaw says:

    Thanks for all your articles and hard work. Its the only sensible, truthful and trustworthy source of information about the Blues on the planet!!! Keep it up…. Live Long and prosper!

  • Art Watson says:

    You deserve a gold medal for keeping us ex-pats informed.

    This blog is my first read of the morning and it’s something to look forward to.

    Well done and many thanks for doing a fantastic job.

  • Barry says:

    Keep up the great work that you do. It’s not just the articles I enjoy but also the responses they bring from the other readers. Thank you.

  • les says:

    i have been 50 yrs a blue and proud as heck to be a brummie…ive only just discovered this blog however and gotta say i love it.dont read the papers anymore cos its full of c**p.
    the thing i love most about supporting blues..ITS NEVER BORING..K.R.O

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    Big Season for BCFC , but we will be there or thereabouts , as long , as you point out , we don’t sell , & can add a couple of quality loan signings.

    The club will almost certainly come under pressure to sell Butland . Who has been magnificent for the GB Olympic Team , but maybe a loan back to Blues would be a win win for all concerned ?

    Congrats on 800 blogs, it must take up an enormous ammount of your time , &
    “a burdensome mistress at times ” would seem a perfect description.
    Although wouldn’t we all like to have one at times… :)

  • BlueBax says:

    As always, great blog Al. Great read with a very knowledgeable and subjective following.

    Excitement is beginning to build nicely for the start of the season later this month.

    Here’s another little retro appetiser


  • Jackal says:

    THE source of decent news and balanced comments on all things Blue. Thanks!

  • I.Roth says:

    Well done and keep it up. We do appreciate your input. It only seems like 799 articles.

  • Baggie Lurker says:

    With all the crap that is written in the press about Blues, I’m surprised no-one has snapped you up to write for them. Best of luck for the next season. Make sure you do the double over the Wolves and hopefully we’ll meet again in the top division soon.

  • George says:

    Another expat with praise. OP is always the first place I look for info about the Blues. Well researched, good analysis and thoughtfully expressed. It’s a bit like having a well-informed mate down the pub. I’ve got well informed mates in my local bar. Unfortunately they’re well informed about Guingampo and Rennes.

    Cheers, Daniel.

  • George says:

    Oops! Obviously that should read ‘Guingamp’.

  • Bluefever57 says:

    Fantastic achievement. This is where I come for my info on all things Blue. Keep up the fantastic work.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    There is much room for optimism as the new season dawns.

    Keep up the good, solid and admirable work with this blog Almajir. It is much appreciated by most and always the first port of call to check what is happening with our club.

    Well done and here’s looking forward to the next 800!

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    A personal thanks for all the work you put in to provide a quite excellent forum.

    “Passionate but balanced, informative, honest and accurate.” What joy if more were so inclined!

    Keep up the great work Ed.



  • Tom says:

    Thank you for this fantastic website. It’s the most important news source for me as a German Bluenose. I will enjoy the next 800 articles. KEEP RIGHT ON!

  • Nigel says:

    Well, lots of people have already said it but congratulations on the 800th piece and thank you. Thoughtful, intelligent and informative, your work is essential reading for this Brummie expat now semi-retired in France.

  • TonyB says:

    Great work Al. Much appreciated.

  • crotcher88 says:

    thanks for all the hard work and late nights great site keep up the good work wrong or right you love the blues and dont talk shite

  • Rich says:

    Just to add to all the existing thanks. OP has become a daily must read for me and many friends. Keep up the hard work – it is very much appreciated. Cheers Rich

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Almajir;, Keeping it simple, but honest, A big thank you for your blog, !!. We get informative information and facts, — Not — refabricated crap from you, !!.


  • dan says:

    Well done Almajir,, Thanks for your comments over the months long may you continue.

  • Peteflamingo says:

    Superb site keep it going. Thank you Al.

  • I would also like to give you a big thanks for all your hard work. I know how time consuming it can be to run a blog of any sort, but this one is well written and constantly updated. This is the site I come to first for news about Blues (I live outside the UK) so keep up the good work.

    I’m looking forward to the next 800 articles.


  • Moisty says:

    Just to follow on from what others have said. Informative and factually correct blogging that is always enjoyable to read. Quality read.

  • Mac says:

    Just seen on Talk Sport Website Nicola Zigic finalising move to Mallorca in la Liga

  • Tamuffblue says:

    From deepest Tamuff ( Tamworth to others lol ) cracking site and very well written – keep up the good work – KRO 1875 – SOTV !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PAUL says:

    A great site , good articles,I always read for up to date news.
    Keep up the good work !

  • Oby says:

    Keep up the good work Al :-)

  • AuldBlueEyes says:

    Ditto all the above
    and ditto of all that follows this thread.
    Thank you!

  • martin boxman says:

    Just to add my praise and Thanks for all the diverse, interesting and informative articles that you cover on all aspects related to our beloved club. As you can see there are many of us living away now in another country,(Toronto,Canada for me), and therefore it is wonderful to have a guy like you who is prepared to facilitate a forum which generates a feeling of remaining closely linked back to the club thereby helping to keep the ties, the bond and the faith close for all of us.
    Maybe it would be an interesting article just to take a straw poll of readers of your posts to see who is living where around the world and their link back to the club.? It may turn out that some of us live relativley close to one another. K.R.O. with the good work A.J, and once again, Many Thanks.

  • Paulo says:

    Well done on 800th article almajir, and I do like to read a lot of posts / opinions / replies / and general banter …and occasionally a little humour on here as well. OP is really a better read than any newspaper and I mean no ill feeling to Tatts on that ..(he has his twitter lol), and I’m amazed that all the bluenoses at work ask me how things in HK are going??? It’s bizzare, but it shows how your input does matter and is listened to and respected.
    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to OP’s 2012-2013 season (ha ha).

  • Mike says:

    Congrats on the 800th article. This blog has kept me entertained and most importantly informed about what has been going on at the Blues for a good while now, I’m chuffed I managed to find my way to the site! You have been first with a fair amount if news and have beaten the Birmingham Mail (amongst other places) hands down as the place to go to first for all things Blue.

    Keep up the good work mate, long may it continue.

    Mike KRO

  • Bluehobba says:

    Congratulations on your 800th and here’s to the next 800. I don’t ask for much but any chance of a competition! Keep up the excellent work, KRO

  • 16yrsWFA says:

    keep up the good work almajir you do a fantastic job for us blue noses, often partisan must be getting bigger and bigger i have recommended it to all my mates, a much better read than the mail. Look forward to reading each day, thanks mate

  • kentucky blue says:

    Like everyone else has said great site great work. I read every night and always get the next days article coz im 6 hrs behind. From brummie in kentucky

  • blueboy1 says:

    Like reading opinions of fellow noses…one thing for sure, we will “keep right on”. Here,s to the next 800.

  • Tony D says:

    Thanks Al, and I hope your blog gets recognised as the best football blog in the country. It deserves to.

    I like Martin Boxman’s idea about finding out who supports Blues in what part of the world. It might put people in touch and encourage the formation of more spporters’ clubs. I was 14 years in Hong Kong (sweeping up in Carson’s salon), and am about to head off to Myanmar (Burma to you).

  • Spotlight Kid says:

    The praise is well deserved. A site that dares to have an opinion yet can still break news while remaining balanced & informative – it’s a hard trick to pull off and I suspect needs so much more work than those sickly ad infested visitor chasing cut-&-paste sites that are an insult to everyone’s inteligence. Even worse, the cut-&-rearrange sites that try to make out they are true invesitgative journos, ha ha!

    I’m a football supporter, not a bluenose, but BCFC is one of a handful of teams spread over all the leagues I have a soft spot for and keep dialled into. I can say with some certanty few other clubs have anything to even compare to OP.

  • Peckham_Blue says:

    Great work as per. In fact some of the local (or not so local…) journalists who “report” on the Blues should actually be ashamed.

    I love the fact that occasionally supporters of other clubs find their way here through links etc and make some really positive comments about the site. Clearly there’s a need for blogs like this and I wonder how many supporters of other clubs have been inspired to start their own.

    Thanks from Peckham! KRO!

  • RickyBlues says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your informative blogs. I Here’s to a great season !!

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