Often Partisan

Carter and Hancox

Wednesday was a day of contrasts at Birmingham City. On trial midfielder Darren Carter was told by Blues manager Lee Clark that he would not be offered a contract at St Andrews whilst young rookie left-back Mitch Hancox was given the squad number 27 for the season ahead.

I feel nothing but sympathy for Darren Carter. At 28 he should be in the prime of his career yet circumstance has left him in the position that he is scratching around for a contract after a season out of the first team picture. Had it not been for injury whilst playing on trial for Nottingham Forest he could well have been playing first team football in the second tier at least last year and I guess now Carts will have to think about taking an offer from lower than first anticipated to get himself back on the football ladder.

It’s almost ironic that Carts has been denied a deal, bearing in mind his performance against Telford on Tuesday night where he was pretty much the best player on the pitch. Yet playing for the stiffs against a Conference side in front of just over 500 people is a way away from doing it in the Championship and right now Blues have a surplus of central midfielders. As much as I like Carter the man, and as much as I thank him for one of the best days of my life back in 2002, there is no room for sentimentality in football. I actually think Lee Clark has done Carts a favour in cutting him loose now as there is still plenty of time for the lad to get himself fixed up.

Carter’s midfield partner (in the first half at least) at Telford was Mitch Hancox, playing a role that he wasn’t accustomed to. I’m an admirer of the rookie left-back for his tenacity and his attitude and I suspect that that coupled with the way he seems to have pushed on in this pre-season has seen him awarded a squad number.

However people mustn’t get carried away thinking that Mitch is now going to be pushed into the first team. Hancox still only has a contract until Christmas and he knows that he must keep showing his level of improvement on a consistent basis to get that extended. It’s one thing playing on adrenaline to produce a good performance but it’s another to be able to do that day in, day out in training. If there is one thing that is in Mitch’s favour, it’s his attitude which I think will get him there. The biggest step from youth/reserve team football to first team is mental and Mitch strikes me as one of the youth players Blues have who recognises that and is making an effort to show he can do it.

Mitch does need game time though, and I won’t be surprised if he gets that away from the club on loan. However, from listening to Richard Beale being interviewed by the press on Tuesday night I’m almost convinced the Professional Development League will be of benefit – much more so than the ad hoc arranged friendlies of last season. Playing for points in a league adds more point to a game (if you’ll excuse the pun), and hopefully will help to motivate players. Furthermore, playing against academies of similar size and skill will help to set the standard as fairly similar which should make the league competitive. There has been a huge gap between u18 and first team football and this u21 league will help to bridge it somewhat.

With less than a week now until the start of the season the word is Blues will make only one more signing – rumoured to be Ben Gordon from Chelsea, on loan. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Lee Naylor in the next few days – and to see if any of the other youngsters get given a number.

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34 Responses to “Carter and Hancox”

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    Gutted for Carter.
    Best of luck to him on future endeavours though.

  • Dave Shaw says:

    Hope Darren gets fixed up somewhere.. Gutted for him but time to move on.

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    We do seem to have accumulated an over abundance of midfielders.
    That will not have helped Darren.
    And on another aspect – for those of us who ‘suffered’ the Rooney, paranoid and (imo) libelous comments about Blues’ players when he had a share with Tom Ross….Darren’s substitution alongside Tom gave a sensible, amd, to me…a really worldy and wise aspect.

    OK…Darren is a bluenose, but in all the commentaries I heard from him, he was talking tactics and posinilities, admitting he had no inside thread to Chris Hughtin, but in the main aclled the shots correctly.

    One other person I’ve seen do this…on a larger scale…is Neville on SKY. He wiped away Gray and the ‘hairy-one’ overnight.By being honest and being supportive and understanding and explaining.

    Darren did that automatically. Never called or blamed a Blues player nor an opponent. Never slagged.

    If Darren had more “push” or a good agent….the media is where he belongs.

    Presentable, articulate and honest.
    And a bluenose.

    Good luck Darren..and thank you for me watch #

    • Letsby Avenue says:

      I hope people can read thru these spelling mistakes…no opportunity to correct them., unfortunately.

      Let’s get a donor page or more adverts from Brum business to support this blog.

      Give OP a chance to expand, sub-contract, whatever…but also allow us a chance to edit our posts.
      That we’d get ,
      Love this bloke and don’t want to lose him. OK


  • daddyblue says:

    Are you a Viler ? Thong or Claude in disguise because you make the most stupid comments on this site by a long way Kro4ever

  • skareggae72 says:

    It would not surprise me to see Darren make the short journey down to the Bescot(or whatever its called these days)& become a key member of the team.Good luck.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Oh no, so my £50 on Blues to win the Championship with Coral’s at 20-1, the best bet on offer this season, is down the pan already – shucks!

  • Paulo says:

    Wishing Carter all the best and hope he gets himself to where he wants to be. However, midfield is not where we want a surplus, and I hope LC doesn’t have the same predicament as CH and has to have players out of position because we are so thin in defense.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Your pseudonym gives away what you really are – something that a real thong is supposed to ensconse.

    Getting back to the blog. DC can be sure in the knowledge that he will forever be remembered fondly by Blues fans and remain an important part of our club’s history for what he achieved for us.

    I like the fact that LC is not afraid to make bold decisions and is carrying on the good and solid work of CH. The sun is shining and the Blues are raring to go…

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    ALMAJIR,do you or any of your press friends know why BLUES don’t send any of there youngsters on loan to Walsall,they send them south or up north,when I thought a club like Walsall would be crying out for some youthful talent.
    Have BLUES got a bad relationship with Walsall.
    Not just with this board,but can’t remember the last BLUES player who went there on loan,I see the friendly’s have stopped as well,they seem to play the vile & the dingles,but not BLUES or the albion.


  • Oldbluenose says:

    With the talk doing the rounds concerning Gordon, [ Chelsea l/back ] possibly coming to us on loan,?.

    Surely, Chelsea would want him playing a lot of games, ?. If so, — I cannot see L,C. dropping Murrphy, or going to the trouble of giving Hancox a squad No, if they really intend to loan Gordon,!!.

    Any opinions on it, Lad’s. !!.

  • Dave MacMillan says:

    Gordon at left back with murohy pushed on into left side of midfield maybe!!!

  • Tamuffblue says:

    I as most people wish DC all the best and hope he gets fixed up – onwards and upwards for us and him !!!!!!!

    PS Thongs defo Viler – its his 6 weeks holls

  • andy says:

    Its a good call not to sign up Carter, unless he was better than what Blues already have then signing him was always going to be a step backwards.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    If Mitch Hancox came on as a 2nd half substitute after 60 minutes play,
    would it then become Hancox’s half hour….?

    DC a sentimental legend , but really would not be an improvement on what we have already got….

  • jazzzy786 says:

    As a backup Hancox is good enough to fill Murphys boots if he gets injured or suspended. From what I’ve seen of him and Packwood I think both are ready to make the step up. If we sign Gordon then that will be a big blow for Mitch. I can’t see either getting many games over the best left back in the championship. Still both Gordon or Mitch would be a big improvement over Ramage or N’daw at LB. Not sure about Naylor I’d rather see someone younger personally.

    Final word for Carter. Good luck and hope u find another club.

  • dodger says:

    Im sorry to see DC go but i wish him all the best im sure blues loss will turn out too be someone elses gain DC will always be a Birmingham City legend KRO.

  • Cookie says:

    Good posts, I think Hancox may be one for the future if we manage him right, I like the lad

  • Think of the children says:

    “there is no room for sentimentality in football”

    completely wrong. football without senitimentality? what’s the point of supporting Grandtop Holdings if there is no sentimentality?

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