Often Partisan

Don’t Stop Believing

Blues completed a tough double-header of away fixtures last night, narrowly losing to Cardiff City 2-1 in the Welsh capital having beaten Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 at the Amex on Saturday. I have to admit I’ve been a little startled by some of the negativity on twitter and on the forums after the Cardiff game and I think for some a reality check is needed.

I didn’t see either game so I cannot comment on individual performances from any player during the matches – however, what I can talk about is the results. On Friday I expected a return of zero points from these game – my biggest hope was for a couple of good performances and maybe a bit of belief returning to the squad before the match against Lee Clark’s former side Huddersfield Town on Saturday. As it is, Blues picked up three points, scored in both and as @TheSpecialRon said on Twitter and B.A said on smallheathalliance.com, three points from the one win is better than two draws, which I suspect many would have been happy with.

Whilst I can accept for many Blues fans the most recent memory of a Blues game might well be the horror show that was the Barnsley game I’d contend that Blues aren’t actually doing that badly. Whilst we might be currently skulking in the lower reaches of the table the spread of points currently is tighter than the proverbial duck’s backside. From what I’ve seen this is the closest Championship for a few years in terms of team’s relative ability and all it’s going to take is a couple of results strung together from Blues and we’ll be flying in the top half again.

I remember speaking to Colin Tattum last year and he was adamant that getting out of the Championship was imperative last year; not only from a financial perspective but because he correctly predicted the feelgood factor around the club from the European exploits in the first half of the season will have faded from memories and the cold harsh reality of Blues being in the second tier would sink in. There is no doubt in my mind that Blues aren’t massively different to last season – there have been patches this season when we’ve played stuff as good as anything under Hughton – and yet people are much quicker to complain.

I don’t think it’s limited to Blues fans either. My friends in Norwich have told me that Hughton is struggling to win fans over there and some of the more negative types there reckon he has very few games to turn it around until he’s hit with the p45. Hughton, like Clark is struggling because his predecessor had a decent season and played attractive football. I always thought Hughton had a much longer honeymoon period than most Blues managers due to the whole European thing and the fact he was following a manager who’d become pretty damn unpopular – Clark however hasn’t had that grace.

I’m not saying things on the pitch are perfect – far from it. Blues currently have a defensive injury crisis that could possibly have been a little more avoided had we not solely signed midfielders in the summer and you have to question how many of Clark’s signings are going to look decent. In saying that, Clark is under tighter financial strictures than what Hughton had (which is the main reason Hughton bailed on us) and it’s difficult to criticise when you know we have a manager who has to be aware that the club needs to be run as a very tight ship at present.

In short – as Steve Perry of Journey sang years before Glee was even thought of – don’t stop believing. There are thirty-seven games left in this league season and whilst there is a lot of time for things to go wrong there is also a lot of time for things to go right. We may have lost to Cardiff City but we’ve come out of a tough doubleheader with a good three points and hopefully we’ll be in a position to take three more on Saturday. Keep Right On.

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50 Responses to “Don’t Stop Believing”

  • KiwiJohn says:

    Agree totally. Fans are so quick to jump on results and judge the whole season on 90 minutes. Reality is we are still bedding down as a team. Defensive injuries are hampering that, but overall we are not doing to badly. I’d rather be in a position in touch with the leading pack than at the top. The pressure at the top can become a millstone round the teams neck – as we see many, many times.
    Agree – keep the faith. KRO

  • andybrum says:

    We are on the same points as Bolton. Only 7 points off the winning the league. Even a mini-run of form would put us back near the top. Keep believing.

    I am not panicing, but it is a bit worrying how unimaginative Lee Clark was with his subtitutionhs tonight. King for Lita does not change the game. Zigic for Lovenkrands does.Even after all subs were on he could still have shown a bit more adventure.

    At Brighton, you can make a case for caution as we were winning, but when you are losing you need to score.

    Next Saturday could be an interesting afternoon.

  • Chris Smith says:

    The performance over all was really good, the midfield 5 worked well, just a bit of lax defending for the second goal. Will Packwood has looked good for the past two games. 4-4-2 could have worked but I can understand the 4-5-1.

    If we see that kind of performance with more attacking options against Hudders Blues will get another 3 points.

  • Carson Yeung says:

    Look out for me on Saturday, I will be there dressed as a pantomime cow.

    Anybody singing “Would you like your Udders field” whilst wiggling their fingers at the same time can feel my titties for free!

    Keep Right On!

  • pete partisan says:


    iI was as disgusted as any at the Barnsley game. There is no denying that we are far from the polished article. (being nice). But, we are Birmingham City. Remember that. Thats the thing that makes me tingle inside and out for the last 30 years, and keep turning up to support whatever team is in front of us as fans. I boood after the Barnsley game, Sorry i was cross! but if nothing else since then we have a bit of fight about us. We lost to Cardiff tonight but I have a feeling by the end of the season that wont look too bad. This isn’t going to be the sort of season that offered us the success of yesteryear, but hey, turn up, cheer the boys on, and lets buy some wins as fans. What will happen with Carson will play itself out this year, and by the end of this year, maybe we will have a new dimension to work with.

    Sing strong, support our team and remember what is important.


  • James Black says:

    Al your comments are smack on the nose and this is the message that has to be sent home to the people who are out of touch with the reality. We wasn’t in the best place this time last year either in fact was a very shaky start if i remember right.
    I try not to say too much until things turn around and i know they will. Frankly we’re not in the bottom three and a newish side is learning to work together. Its not too unusual for things to not be flying right now. Its like anything it needs time and mistakes are there to learn from and i feel that is happening with Lee in charge.
    Your sensible realistic opinion is welcomed by me Al and as you have influence your words are vital and brings some common sense round these parts.
    Just hold back a little guys as Rome wasn’t built in a day. Rome wasn’t even built in a season.
    (please excuse my bad punctuation but my comma isn’t working)

  • Steve says:

    Hi. West Ham supporter here, I hope things get better for you this season really do, just wanted to ask what has happened to Ravel Morrison. All the best blue noses

    • almajir says:

      Ravel – well, he’s not been in the team. There have been a lot of (untrue) rumours around and I think the truth is his all-round game doesn’t suit us – in our last reserve game he nearly got sent off for a reckless challenge

  • andy says:

    Sadly there is a section of us who are quite vocal and never wanted Clark here, and they won’t stop until he’s gone with an ‘i told you so’. Probably the same people who boo players for no good reason. What we need is more patience and see where we stand in December and the summer.

    • chris says:

      i didn’t want LC, he wasn’t my first choice if we paid compo or didn’t.
      He’s here now and i wouldn’t boo the team and never have until the end of a game or half time.
      I think he’s doing ok, it’s new to him as it is to some players being at Blues, it takes time to bed in as a manager or player.
      Last night we were let down by two young kids not making sure they are in front of the centre halfs, but they are kids still learning and they will make errors.
      Nothing is won in October, November or even December, but we need to be building, learning and cutting out mistakes as well as finding our best eleven, so that come Xmas and the New Year as long as we aren’t well adrift, we can push on and go on a run.
      We need to remember Reading last year and Sunderland about 2005 who were struggling around December, they were having up and down results and finding their best team, but both got promoted via the automatic places after going on winning runs post New Year.
      Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Derby County and Hull City were in the top six at the end of October yet not one of them ended in that six, we need to be patient, but i accept we don’t need any more Barnsley performances.

  • DinoTiltoni says:

    Yes, 3 points from 2 tough away games is good and losing 2-1 to Cardiff is no disgrace. Some of Clark’s purchases maybe regretful. Ambrose and Mullins seem to be past their sell by date and the jury must be out on Lovenkrands as he’s being played out of position an looks rather uncomfortable. With Caddis an Murphy we have a decent team that can mask shortcomings in other areas. Considering what’s happened and happening at the club with the CY saga I’d settle for mid table by the seasons end. Imagine that, not being involved in a relegation or promotion battle!

  • evesham blue says:

    Looking like a mid table team at the moment. I dont think we have the class to go up and stay up. What’s the point going up and building your squad from scratch all over again? We are not good enough otherwise we would be setting the pace in this league and have a core of a team that will play in the Prem. How many of our players (if any) are good enough? We would be cannon fodder in the Prem.

    I dont think this is going to happen when we are looking at 30 something free transfers on their last contracts. That is why I would prefer if we looked at playing the younger players. They may be inconsistent but you need to find an x factor to get out of this league.

    Having said that – it’s looking more positive but I dont understand why we loan players to play in our reserves.

    • Ed says:

      I fully agree with your comments, this team would have to be discarded and a complete new squad assembled if we were ever to get promoted.
      hopefully we will have new owners in the new year and next year we could look forward building a new team.

  • Terry says:

    Not sure how you can put yourself up to comment as you haven’t seen the games. Blues should be doing better but it is no surprise. Packwood and Butland cost us the goals last night. Hughton as a God is a myth Clark is not a bad manager if people are prepared to be patient they will see that

  • Pete says:

    We’re doing ok – we just need to keep plodding away and picking up points when we can until a time when new owners come and and we’ll get a new manager.

    If the league stays as it is (no-one breaking away from the group), we could still have a chance of having a late push for the playoffs under a decent manager but we’ll have to see how it goes.

    As for yesterday, decent performance by the players but yet more baffling decisions by Clark.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Probably the most realistic piece of media / fans forum material I’ve read about expectations and the current state of team affairs.

    Brighton was the best I’ve seen us play all season if you consider who we were playing, where the game was played and that oppositions previous form. Granted Brighton never really tested us but it showed that a team is slowly being carved out that can perform when having little of the ball and digging in away from home.

    I totally agree that we need to consider the climate at the club compared to the start of the CH tenure. I personally agreed with your comment from Tatts last season – I felt that if we didn’t go up last season that we were in for a long period in the Championship. Now I’m not so sure. I’m not saying we’re going to put a 20 odd game winning run together and run away with the league. However I do believe this division is so tight and the fact that Blues acquitted themselves so well against Brighton (and I hear Cardiff too) in the infancy of Lee Clark putting his ideal side together (and let’s not forget the injury problems) then we might just be alright.

    Clearly everything isn’t totally rosy. Some of his signings and the use of them haven’t yet paid off but Barnsley aside September was an encouraging month for results and also an improvement in the playing performance – especially against Bolton, Brighton and from what I’ve read Cardiff. The building blocks are now firmly in place and we now need to get behind Lee Clark as in relation to last season, and forgetting the Barnsley result, he hasn’t done too badly. Let’ s give him a little more time and judge him after an acceptable period of time at the helm.

    Scoring at top sides is encouraging and with two home games coming up I think we’ll get a better gauge on how the team has performed and is shaping up after 11 league games (nearly a ¼ of the season)

    Someone else above mentioned getting excited. I can start to feel that old feeling growing in my stomach that only supporting the Blues can bring to me. I’ve just booked my train for the next three away games and I can’t frickin wait.

    Be positive!


  • James says:

    Great article.

    Dissapointed with the result but we put in a performance with a side that’s ravaged by injury.

    We can look forward to a 3 o clocl kick off this Saturday and hopefully 3 points; the club are also doing their bit to try and encourage fans to turn up.

    Looking forward to the next few weeks and believe come Christmas we’ll be in the mixer for the play off spots.


  • Craig From Cardiff says:

    Just thought I should post a couple of comments on here after reading some of the recent posts on last nights game. I believe Birmingham have a great side and a brilliant squad. Last night they had a lot of the play and looked very dangerous on numerous occasions. Keith fahey is a great player and would fit into many a premier league side. One thing I did pick up on was the strength in depth of quality strikers. I believe if Clarke entered games with an attacking approach you will probably be up there at the end of the season. Birmingham fans do not worry about your league position because I feel this is not where you’ll be in a few months. By far the best team vie seen down Cardiff this season. Think the only difference last night was Bellamy. Keep believing blues fans you’ve got a good squad….

  • tamuffblue says:

    Two very hard games against leaders come seasons end – But lets be fair about purchases – as if the manager had much of a say !!!!!!! get real it was this is what we can afford these are the players the agents have got going cheap – take your pick !!!!!! I cant believe that people still believe that managers scout – recruit THEIR players – maybe higher up and the dominant personalities ( taggart at mufc ) but not in our world and that goes for the Vilers as well all scouted abroad and at home by financial people

  • PCTVOR says:

    Can all the boo boys stay away this Saturday.

    I despise these people.

  • DoctorD says:

    Al — you really are the voice of reason: we support Blues because it’s our team and we hope that, on balance, we willwin and draw more than we lose and play in some sort of entertaining way. I agree with evesham blue though, this team would be cannon fodder in the prem so it’s time for a reality check.

    By the way, it is probably no bad thing we lost to Coventry in the League Cup — they were drawn against Arsenal and can you imagine the fallout if we’d got thumped by them. The fall from grace would have been too much to bear: from LC winners 18 months ago to mid-table Championship fodder. I personally think that was a narrow escape from further derision and loss of morale.

  • Art Watson says:

    Whatever happened to our ambition to get back into the best league in the world.?

    We seem to be content with what we have!

    Spending yet another season in this league is depressing enough and unless radical changes are made watching championship football will be the norm for the foreseeable future.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      It’s called the real world Art

    • chris says:

      But that isn’t LC’s fault nor the players, i think we have paid fees to other clubs (excluding loan fees and players signiong on fees) totalling about £2 million in one and a quarter seasons.
      How much have Leicester, Forest, West Ham, Southampton, Reading, Cardiff, Brighton, Hull, Middlesborough, Huddersfield, Blackpool, Blackburn and Sheff Wed spent in the championship, i’d say it’s more than we have yet we finished fourth last year and the play off’s this year would still be a major achievement considering what little we have spent.
      Until we have new owners or a manager works miracles, i think top half is the best we can hope for and anything else is a bonus.

  • BobbyBlue says:

    Well said. I’ve been saying all along that, although I haven’t always agreed with some of LC’s decisions (I dont think there has ever been a manager where that hasn’t happened), it is ludicrous to judge him after a few months in the job. There are some trigger happy abramovich types at Stans who need to be patient.

    It would also be a hell of a lot easier for the bloke if the fans got behind him and the team.


  • AL-LAD says:

    The cold harsh fact is, fans have started to realise that Blues don’t currently look capable of gaining promotion, that has a negative effect on fan moral and gate receipts, if we’d have been one of the top 2 by now then you’d find more positive comments floating around and fans would be spending their cash to go support the team (people want to see a winning team).

    It’s still early days and anything can happen, especially in the Championship, so patience are required.

    My only concern is the poor form by the LC signings, Ambrose, Mullins, Loverkands, Morrison, Gordon have simply failed to impress, only Caddis and Lita appear to be decent signings and the jury is still out with both of them.

    I’m also perplexed that Gomis has hardly figured for us this season.

  • Duff says:

    I’ve been reading reactions like this for many years.
    What an embarrassing post, quite content at losing 2-1 to Cardiff !
    Would the teams fans from Liverpool , London, Manchester, Newcastle be coming out with “let’s be positive” vibe.
    The original post sums up as to why we are always unsuccessful , because posters like this will put up with any dross.
    Any board at the helm know they can get away with whatever they like.

  • Mark Rogers says:

    I actually think the squad is stronger this season than last and remember we lost away to Cardiff last season too. In some ways the response since Barnsleygate has been very positive. I think obviously everyone was devastated by that performance and result but these things do happen in football. That is not to make light of it, but the response was the important thing and that’s been good.

    I strongly believe we will win the next two home games and be in a decent position.


  • Oldbluenose says:

    almajir;, I thought your article was a well balanced, well thought out piece of journalism, !!. Most of your comments are valid, including some of the ” buys ” or loans made by Clark, but never the less, 9, games [ with all those defensive injuries ], does not seem a good enough yardstick to want L,C. to walk the plank just yet, !!!.

    None of us like the thought of languishing in the Championship longer than we need to, but the honest truth is that we DO NOT HAVE THE FINANCIAL RESOURCES, to either gain promotion or has been pointed out, — becoming cannon fodder for existing Premiersip sides, IF we suceeded in gaining promotion without the resources to re-build, !!!!!!!!!!!.

  • Cleggy says:

    A very reasoned piece Al, I agree with you whole heartedly.

  • evesham blue says:

    That’s the gist of it. We’re shopping in Poundland and not Waitrose :) Can’t really expect world beaters in this league with a motley crew of free transfers and the odd small cash purchase. We wont be capable of making the next step with CY in charge.

    Not really LC’s fault – he was the best we could get under the circumstances. The Boo Boys still think we are Prem league when we dont have any investment to get us up again at the mo.

  • JG says:

    Going into last night we had the same amount of points we did with the same amount of league games played last season (I believe) we’re only three out now after last night so you do have to feel a bit sorry for Clark when it comes to the reaction from a lot of the fans.

    I’m not a massive fan of Clark personally but the way things are I think we really have no choice other than simply getting behind the team!

  • andy says:

    The positve side is the improvement in performances since the Barnsley debacle, the negative side is seeing a player earning 50-60 grand per week sitting on the bench and not getting on to earn it!!

  • Art Watson says:

    Paul Carter,

    Yep I agree we live in the real world and those who show ambition ,strife to succeed and won’t accept second best are usually successful.

    At the moment the club has a corner shop mentality and this will never change until we get a board who are determined to succeed.

    In the meantime sit back and enjoy watching the demise of your club and continue to live in the real world!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    And that’s what I always do me old mate, watch my club that is.

    Home and away every week.

    Moaners, boo boys and all round whingers do my fackin swede in.

    We are where we are and it is what it is, if you can’t accept it stay away.

  • Art Watson says:

    Given that I live in Cyprus it’s difficult not to stay away old mate.

    Think you are confusing constructive critisim with moaning but the voice of reason is always right even if he’s not-he’s to be applauded for his blind passion.

    No offence intended old mate!

  • Paulo says:

    I am fully on board that a great deal of people need a reality check, in what Birmingham City can achieve and are able to actually achieve. The finance isn’t here anymore, and I am under the impression that LC didn’t stand a cat in hells chance of getting us (and keeping us) up to the top of the table and staying there. What he came into was pretty bad and with less money available than last year (no one said there was NO money did they?) then he had limited options. It was always going to be tough on the fans, we knew this. There really is no surprise. Plenty of fans said they wouldn’t renew their season tickets, and I’m guessing this was because they want the premiership again. Well, what divine right do we have to be in it?
    People should really be concentrating on going down the blues and getting involved and making a noise and a presence, and get behind the team. It puzzles me as to why some people can’t accept that BCFC might have had it’s only chance at the premiership for a good few years yet, and although I’d like to see it again, we’d be slaughtered for the most part because of the how we have to operate financially.
    I personally think LC is struggling with this league and our club and all the constraints on us, but I wouldn’t want to see him sacked. It’s always going to be a hot topic for as long as he’s here, but it’s also the players who either perform ..or don’t, and even the ref and his lino’s for their decisions, and also a bit of luck thrown in too. It ain’t all down to LC when you think about it really.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    Two goals conceded by the misjudgements of two young full backs learning their trade.
    Hard to blame anybody……

    But there does seem an air of resignation that as long as we can remain in the Championship
    this season everthing is going to be alright , but I fear unless we can find new owners swiftly,
    (continuing the the musical theme) , it will be more like Road to No Where – Talking Heads..

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    It appears this team is capable of performing in some games and not so in others which in this league is the norm. The teams that get out of this division are the ones that can perform more often than not and in a nutshell that is down to how big a squad you have, luck in avoiding injuries and having a manager who can motivate his team.

    The bottom line is there are quite a few teams now in this league that have sizeable squads and decent managers and subject to not having many injuries are better equipped to get out of the Championship than we are. My fear like anyone is that given the way in which the squad is now being put together due to the lack of finance we will tread water and then slowly start to sink until we get a new owner who is prepared to invest and plan a way forward

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Dennis mate, I tend to agree with most of your last paragraph,!!. Except the use of the word sink, !!.?.

      We will only continue to strive for better football with what we have, [ due to lack of finance ], So yes, the only hope we have is a new owner[s] , with not just finance but the buisiness accuman to build from the bottom up, !!. — Which will require patience from us [ the supporters ] as we can build from a solid base, — Not a flight of fancy — as some would wish for, !!.

      That last sentence did NOT include you mate, !!!.

  • andy says:

    In recent times we have seen clubs like Blackpool, Swansea, Norwich all promoted to the Premiership on shoestring budgets and small squads. Nobody gave Blackpool or Swansea in particular, a cat in hells chance of making it to the Premiership. Blues, even with their precarious financial state, have as much chance as anyone of earning promotion and the stay away fans should return and make St Andrews the place many opposition managers envy.

  • Art Watson says:

    Voice of reason,

    You don’t have to go to the games to justify having the same passion or commitment as you.

    Since moving to Cyprus I have not missed a game.We do have a TV-Radio and Computer and my social calendar like most expats is organised around the fixtures and don’t forget the time difference.The evening games finish at midnight in Cyprus.

    Most expats supporters are dedicated followers and feel passionately about their club without having the opportunity to watch the match live and are not moaners.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    I am not putting you down for being unable to go but you are saying that those of us who do should be unhappy that we’re not in the prem. To me the essence of being Blues is of being there for years when we’ve been shite and enjoying the occasional good times. As for the prem do I care about going up and fighting relegation every year? No. Would I like the club to compete in the prem? Yes. Will my support lessen if we don’t? No.

  • Tonytiler says:

    If the boo boys stay away there will only be 6000 at the next game.

  • Art Watson says:


    Having supported Blues for over 45 years I understand your view and like you have seen good and bad times.I just think its a disgrace that a city and club as big as Birmingham should have to put up with a board of directors who lack ambition.

    I know a lot of fans were happy to see the back of Brady and Co but you couldn’t fault their desire and ambition to play in the prem.

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