Often Partisan

The Return of Chris Burke

The joy on Chris Burke’s face on Tuesday night when he scored was for all to see. It’s been a rough month or so for the Scot having been dropped from the first team for a short while. Is it possible we’re now going to see the return of the winger to the heights of last year?

As reliable players go, Chris Burke is up there with the very best. Out of seventy-nine Blues games he could have possibly played in since he signed on a free transfer from Cardiff, Burke has played in 78. However, prior to the game against Bristol City Burke had found himself on the subs bench for three Championship games in a row with teenage winger Nathan Redmond preferred on the right hand side. It was the longest spell out of the first eleven that Burke has had since he came to Blues, having missed only one starting eleven in the league all season (the dead rubber against Reading at home) and been completely omitted only once from the team in any competition (Wolves in the Cup at home due to his wife giving birth to a baby boy).

It has to be said that Burke’s spell on the bench wasn’t undeserved either, as his form has dipped somewhat from the spectacular highs of last season which saw him score fourteen times and contribute nearly 20 assists. Whether this was down to the change in manager, a change in tactics or defences wising up a bit to the Scot is arguable but the fact remains that he hasn’t been as good as he could have been for a while.

Tuesday was a different matter though. Blues attacked Bristol City from the off and Burke looked to return to the flying winger that won him countless player-of-the-season awards (including one from this site). He has tended to cut inside the full-back more than he did last season when he roasted left-backs for fun before whipping crosses in from the byline but he looked more capable of being an attacking threat than I can remember at home this term.

I think the goal also calmed some demons. It was only his second of the season (having scored in the 1-0 away win at Brighton) and I think it allowed him to relax somewhat, to get back into the swing of way he was playing last season. Indeed, it calmed the whole team down and once the second had gone in the confidence exuded by the players started showing as they caressed the ball around the pitch.

I’m a big believer in competition for places and I hope that seeing Nathan Redmond breathing down his neck for the right wing slot will help to inspire Burke to the standard that we saw from him last year; it’s very easy for complacency to settle in to a player when they know that they don’t have to worry about losing their shirt to someone else.

Blues need a string of results now if they are to push up the table into the play-off places and beyond and the return to form of Chris Burke is essential to that. In just 18 months he’s gone from newly signed to a crowd favourite and another return of double figures goal-wise could almost secure his name in the “legendary” bracket – particularly if it leads to promotion. In a season of sorrow and of bad tidings the return to that kind of form could be a bright light in the current darkness.



96 Responses to “The Return of Chris Burke”

  • DoctorD says:

    Who signed Burkie? Alex McLeish it pains me to say. Hughton in fact made some quite duff signings — or did I miss something with Eirk Huseklepp? Let’s hope LC’s signings prove their worth.

    • Bluebird says:

      Huseklepp wasn’t given a fair chance –
      He certainly ran well off the ball and wasn’t work shy –
      But didn’t really have the opportunity to prove his abilities –
      He spent more time warming the bench than on the pitch –
      He was also a firm favourite with the Portsmouth fans & that doesn’t happen with any bunch of fans unless you have ability!

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Also think Burkes form has suffered because of the ongoing problems at right back.
    A fit Carr or Caddis would offer another attacking dimension , indeed Burkes form did have a mini revival when Caddis played a couple of games earlier in the season.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    When Burkes on his game he really is a joy to watch.

    Good man management by Clarke to drop him, got him back at it.

    Well done Lee.

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Well, for the first time reading all your stories i finally agree, did Burke wll to be dropped to bench as he needed a good kick up the backside!!!!

    Gotta say though, i do find your site rather poorly written, you seem to spend most of your time with a thesaurus at your side to use silly long words which people just dont wanna read about, so you come across as a rather pompous ass!!

    Also think you need to spend more time going to matches especially away games rather than listen to Tom Ross rather poor radio coverage…..

    I read the other day that some moron called the voice of reason paul moaning about a fan complaining about a supporter moaning, well if you pay your hard earned money for those of us who work for a living…… you ARE entitled to a opinion!!

    Get back to basics mate write in proper English and cut out all the crap because your site does have plenty of potential. No doubt this wont be published as i see you like to delete peoples comments if they are not to your taste!!

    • almajir says:

      Hiya Jed, thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, as a working family man it’s difficult for me to get to away games – as you can well imagine, my daughter has to come first at all times. This is why I don’t report on matches I haven’t seen – although if I see it on the tv or via a stream I will write what I think, coupled with the caveat that I did only see it on tv. Still, I’ve been to 16 games so far this season so I’m not doing too badly.

      Thanks for the English advice fella, I’ll be sure to take it on board.

      Oh, and one other thing – comments are published completely at my discretion. I’m cool with criticism, but abuse is another thing. See, it’s okay for people to say “I don’t agree with you because of x, y and z”, but when say an opposition fan like someone from Spurs comes on and gives it the big ‘un and is abusive to me or to other people then yes, I’ll bin off those comments.

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        Although it bothers me not your comment about deleting abuse is at odds with the fact that this guy called me a moron :)

        KRO Jed, see you at Blackburn mucker :)

        Dan, you run a top site and a very fair one too.

        KRO Dan

    • DoctorD says:

      Get real mate — this is one guy’s personal blog and I think he does a great job. Can’t see any particularly long or tricky words in the blog above, unless you’re incapable of reading “spectacular”, “competition” and “legendary”. Or do you only like words of one syllable, in which case you’re probably a fan of LEE CLARK.

    • Paulo says:

      erm…Jed, are you serious??? Are you actually questioning almajir’s use of the english language on his own site? I find it strange how learning should be surpressed, and although we all have opinions, I guess those regular followers of OP have the opinion that nothing is wrong with the site really!
      As for long words ..well, from a glance, I can see the word ‘complacency’ comes in at a whopping eleven letters, and seems the longest word to stand out at first …also a word I would say pretty much sums up a few problems at blues this season …’quite apt’

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Yes agree abuse should not be tolerated in any kind of form and its good you have replied with my cristisms as we all get them at some point during our lives!!

    As for the spurs fans….. well thats London for you, Birmingham haters….. lol

    16 games hey, thats impressive, i take my words back as its always nice to know there are fellow hard working family men out there, i too have children age from 2-15 and its bloody hard to get your beloved club in but we try hey!!!!

  • Jed Maxwell says:


    Its an opinion mate, and my opinion of you is fickle at moment!! As for the the fan of Lee Clark…. Mmm i dont quite think so, takes me back to the inept days of Garry Pendry.

    • DoctorD says:

      Jed – I was trying to make a joke. As in you only like short words of one syllable — and both Lee Clark’s first name and surname only have one syllable so you must like him. Alright it’s not that funny.

  • bluenose 11 says:

    i know its off subject but its gone a bit quiet on the takeover bid i thought they were going to let the italians know if they were successful with the bid by midweek or did i read that wrong ?


  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Bluenose 11

    Yes, i thought we were going to hear more on that too, obviously that moron Colin Tattum just printing any old garbage!!

    • almajir says:

      To be fair to Tatts … he knows more about this than anyone. I don’t think he actually guaranteed Pannu’s response, just said that he “should” respond.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Wow,so you criticise people for having a go at people that moan, then you call him and Colin Tattum a moron. I suppose that makes you a hypocritical moron. If you don’t like this blog, theres an easy solution, start your own!

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        It amuses me that the abuse I get is only when I post my dislike of moaning whinging Blues fans who never go down. They all look pretty silly now after Tuesday night and they know it :)

  • Jed Maxwell says:


    You really think so???

    I dont think that man has a clue….. always grasping at thin air!!!! (it is the evening mail)

    You seem to be spot on with stuff normally, so look forward to your findings!!

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Mmm thats interesting Almajir

    I am one of those fans who reads the same story re printed for weeks on end on that toilet roll they call the evening mail.

    As you might guess i like to express my opinions….. sometimes (below) the belt but mostly fair….

  • kirkus says:

    its the birmingham mail these days,young jedward

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    I do wanna point out after several discussions in pub with mates, that we all believe Nathan Redmond is overated and overhyped on a huge scale!!!!! and with him missing the other night i felt we played better and did not give ball away.

    I do not dislike Nathan but he has the odd good game in every dozen that just does not warrant all this hype, as a fan who watched Trevor Francis, jesus, he aint in his league!!!!

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      Did you go the other night Jed?

      Seeing as you’ve got plenty of dough to go down the pub? Which surprises me you being a family man etc… :)

  • LatchfordHattonFrancis says:

    Jed, I find it hard to believe you can criticise anyone for poor English. Your spoutings are full of grammatical mistakes so go back to school before you pick on others.

    How condescending can you be! This is a blog by the excellent Almajir providing a superb service to Blues fans so if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Engage your brain before writing and you might get more respect. Almajir has been to 16 games yet you think it’s a good idea to say he needs to go to more games.

    Your opinions seem mostly UNfair.

  • bluenose 11 says:

    seems like your trying to wind him up to me mate regulars to this blog value it highly both as a reliable source of information and as a place to get inteigent debate so far you seem to just be slagging the bloke off

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    I just giving my opinion as i am reading yours (with laughter i must say)

    My spelling aint perfect and to be honest its a mixture of a crappy keyboard, fast typing without looking and not being too bothered as this aint no english exam…… if your gonna use words like humbris then obviously people are either gonna read and say what does that mean or say what a pompous ass…….. i have given credit as i like the site and has potential just think its an excessive use of silly long words which you dont read anywhere else.

    You can see why blues fans are sometimes regarded as fickle…… i am a blues fan for 30 years and sometimes ashamed when people can give critism and cannot take it back….. i am open to critism and as a manager with many people working for me, i get plenty but hey oh!!

    • almajir says:

      It’s “hubris”.

      Oh, and “criticism”. As you can take it.

      • DoctorD says:

        Al’s used “hubris” five times if you search for it.

        Quick click on Wikipedia reveals that:

        Hubris means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      A manager with many people working for you huh?

      Strange that you can’t afford to go down then really?

    • bluenose 11 says:

      sorry i dont see what was funny you are the one who seems pompous not the op and yes thats a criticism along with abrasive and opinionated

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Must add, i think blogs are so much more interesting and better when there is a difference in opinion……. does anyone agree????

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    hehe Almajir…… thankyou for the correction.

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    i do like the fact that people are worried about the spelling on here, quite a formal site, i feel the need to slow down my typing now, look at what i am putting and put my spell checker on.

  • This is the best Blues site on the net Jed if you look?, Keep up the good work Almajir its well appreciated. Chrisey Buerke fantastic more please KRO.

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Super trevs right boot

    Yes its a good site thats why i am here…….

    Totally agree with Burke….. if we can get him back on song things could get better!!

  • LatchfordHattonFrancis says:

    Jedward, you really are the most patronising clown…………”the site has potential”. Have you ever thought that some people might know what “hubris” means because they are better read than you? You can’t even spell it!

  • DoctorD says:

    I’m not “worried” about the spelling on this site — it’s just that I find comments that are badly written, rambling or poorly thought out harder to understand.

  • AR says:

    Blimey, we have some peculiar people on here who complain about what is probably the best written website of any football fans. Almajir we appreciate very much what you write, including all the words which Mr.Maxwell needs to go back to school to learn. What a wally he is!

  • Alex T says:

    Jed, are you the guy who sits behind me in the railway end???

    He also complains about Redmond, saying he is over rated and should be sold off in January (says that about Butland as well). For the life of me, I cant understand why people say such rubbish when for one, these youngers are the life blood of our Club. If we are to succeed long term, we need more Redmonds and Butlands coming through our ranks every year. For two, this lad is only just 18!!! He has been played mostly out of his preferred position on the left and equitted himself quite well. Usually, when played on the right he skins defenders for fun, unfortunately he was rubbish against Ipswich but that is just ONE GAME! And Finally, how does someone become over rated anyway??? By putting in exciting, dramatic performances like those of last year (when we had decent full backs) and the league AND in Europe.

    Will fans like the guy who sits behind me (and possibly Jed) please stop getting on the backs of our kids and give them the chance to enhance their already very good game, because i’ve never seen a player like him at blues and given the chance I think he will be BETTER than Ashley Young.


  • Jed Maxwell says:

    i see my comments are deleted…… truth hurts!!!!

    redmond is the most overated player i have ever seen down blues

    butland tho is a very good keeper who will have a great career.

  • Jed Maxwell says:


    I do sit in railway end, are you the big fella who got his kids with him? you always make sense and seem like a good bloke, if you feel free to say hello next time you see me.

  • Alex T says:

    P.S. Al, I read your article again and again and cant find one long complicated word……. and no HUMBRIS at all!! tcsh tsch, very poorly written ;-) lol

  • Alex T says:

    Jed, there are kids by me, but they’re not mine. I sit in block 4, row 5.

    Well, i will have to put a long term bet on with you about Redmond i think! ;)

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    See……. quality blog now with different opinions.

    Its all good……

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    I like a quote from a Dirty Harry film… Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one.

  • Jed Maxwell says:


    I am bit further up sadly.

    Yes, i do admit the kid is decent and has potential but i do think we blues fans have overhyped him big time but in 10 years time and he has fufilled that potential i will come down to block 4 and buy you a pint!!

  • James says:

    Back on topic.

    I think Burke is crucial to us this season, his form has been shaky and was correctly dropped by LC – a return to form on Tuesday was great to see from our best player last season.

    The thread has turned into a bit of ja606 tit for tat rant so I would like to throw in my 2p – the blog is fantastic and doesn’t cost us a penny. Colin Tattum asides we have very little info on our club apart from this blog. How on earth can anyone find anything negative to say about OP???

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the comments on Twitter re the US Election Almajir – Obama really had nothing to worry about!

    KRO boys

  • Jed Maxwell says:


    Yes the blog is fantastic – if you want to hear about the hong kong/ chinese press, or in your case the american presidential election!!

    Agree again with Burker, best blues player by a mile on Tuesday, a welcome return to form.

  • LatchfordHattonFrancis says:


    In light of your own inability to spell accurately or write coherently, please explain your first comment “I find your site rather poorly written”.

    I think you’re too hubristic to admit that you’re out of your depth.

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    I been outta my depth all my life mate, i dont mind admitting that.

    Poorly written…… well what about the match report from the other night??? our great passing, Mullins had a good game?

    Older match reports, the valuation of redmond being worth over 10 million

    I can carry on and on……..

    Jesus!! what is it with all these silly words, which most normal people would never use in everyday life? to be honest i think it makes you all sound like a bunch of morons, im sure other people will agree??

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:


  • LatchfordHattonFrancis says:

    So “poorly written” actually means “opinions that Jed doesn’t agree with”. Thanks for the clarification.

    Armbands on and back to the shallow end, Jed.

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    with regards to the other night, we struggled to break down the worst team in the league, athough i am delighted with the win yet again where was our midfield???? everything went down the right so how did Mullins have a good game? maybe because he had nothing to do, and never saw him at all.

  • Alex T says:

    im sure that valuation came from the club, not this site…… And that was just to put other clubs off

    Anyway, he is worth much more than that! ;)

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    Arm bands are on firmly and blown up as much as possible!!

    Its nice to get replies…… i like to paint a mental picture of what people look like, i would say your in your 40s, biggish fella with shaven head, fancy yourself as a bit of a hard nut……. and in reality most people would like to punch you in the face because for the sole reason….. you annoy them.

  • Jed Maxwell says:

    I think that was stage where almajir raved about him like a wet dream….. lol

    hehe Alex i like your style but would value him at 2 million at most, will always be a decent mid table championship player…. :)

  • LatchfordHattonFrancis says:

    Wrong on every count. Very gentle, medium build and plenty of hair. Judging by the replies it seems that it is you who has annoyed everyone, not me.

    I just don’t like the way you have criticised this excellent blog. Unlike you it’s well researched and it’s coherent.

    It’s the best blog in football.

  • skareggae72 says:

    There is certainly a lot of charientism flying around here this morning.
    You do sense someone in claret with time on there hands.
    Treat it with cachinnation.

    As for Chris Burke,hopefully he will start the next game,and put in a performance that will make sure,his name,is the first one Clark puts on the team sheet.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Is this bloke Vile on a wind up?

  • Well Jed, we’ll have to agree to differ won’t we? I think OP is a superbly written blog and coming from someone who writes regularly for Joys and Sorrows and has been known to use words with more than a single syllable in them, you can take it that my comments are meant to be highly complimentary. Dan (aka Aljamir) is an intelligent, thoughtful, thorough and highly articulate individual who spends an inordinate amount of time writing about all things blue. (I don’t know how he finds the time because I know how time consuming writing these articles is) He certainly doesn’t fall into the category of “moron” and just because he uses a word like hubris which you appear not able to spell does not make him a pompous ass either. I think you have merely made a complete ass of yourself in criticising someone better informed, better read and better spoken than yourself. Keep it up Dan mate; I admire your contribution to jouranlistic blogging very much.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    What I like about OP is you can disagree with Dan and other posters then it’s forgotten. Posters can have a go at one another but then it’s forgotten (or should be) I would buy anyone on here a pint no matter what clashes I’ve had with em. Nobody can dispute the work Dan puts into the site ad of course not all of the articles will interest everybody but so what? It’s here if you want it, if not see ya

  • I’m a bitter man myself; in drinking terms only of course! :-)

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I’m still trying to work out Hubris, ???????????. lol.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    How on earth someone who has nothing positive to offer their fellow Bluenoses, can criticise this site, is something that probably is not worth considering.

    Just to prove how many rely and look forward to reading Almajir’s blogs, look at the times of when some post their comments – in the early hours of the morning, first thing when they get up, last thing at night etc..

    Please try and find another site where this is replicated or can attract the attention of the fans of other clubs who feel compelled to write (mostly positive) comments in connection with football and our respective clubs/players.

    To talk about it being ‘poorly written’ or being ‘pompous’ is more of a reflection on the commenter more than anything else.

    Burkey set extremely high standards last season and to some extent it was always going to be difficult to replicate or exceed them. If confidence plays a major part in his performance, then he will be on a high come Blackburn this Saturday. The whole team should be congratulated on keeping a clean sheet, scoring a couple of goals ( should’ve been more) and generally trying to prove something on the pitch. Does not really matter who the oppostion was/will be – we need to get ourselves upto scratch and firing on all cylinders all of the time.

    Sincerely hope that we can kick on from here and get all our team/squad aiming for the same destination. One thing that keeps getting mentioned when you talk to other championship fans/players, is how when they look at our team they see plenty of quality and experience running throughout.

  • sam says:

    Bore off with tennis affronts and back to the subject matter, CB made a huge difference Tuesday although his resting on Saturday was merited I wonder whether this itself had an impact on his team mates.
    Almajir have you had dialogue with the Forza blues section in railway, I thought it was a top idea but doesn’t seem to have caught on much?

    • almajir says:


      I have been in touch with them a bit; I did briefly say hello to Paul who runs it before the match on Tuesday.

      From what I’ve seen it is slowly growing; there seems to be a few more each game and from my vantage point in the main stand I could clearly hear them on Tuesday. It’s not going to be an overnight success story but if they keep doing what they’re doing – and people are starting to notice them, they’ll grow to a decent sized group there.

      It’s also pleasing to note that a group of noisy fans has started up in Block 39 too, they could be heard clearly on Tuesday.

      • Alex T says:

        Aah yes! I heard them on Saturday… although, as they proudly (ironicly) sang, there were only 6 of them! ;)

        Unfortunately, I was too depressed to join in. I will give it a go next time! :D

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Great site and something I really only discovered at the tail end of last season. I check OP daily for news, opinion, forum and banter of which I feel I get practically none other than ticket info and the standard run-of-the-mill-response-interviews from bcfc.com.

    Please note this next comment is not an attack as I strongly support this site and understand everything Al has said previously about family commitments and as all people who have families can testify, no doubt finance. However as much as I enjoy this site it does disappoint me when Al’s not been to certain away games (e.g. Millwall & Leeds) as there isn’t as much interaction and forum afterwards. The very first thing I do after getting home from the game is go straight to OP (at 01:30 after Bristol City as my frickin train was delayed…Grrrrrr!) and it is always a shame if there isn’t a report and forum from fellow fans.

    I’m guessing the banners that you have on the site bring in only a small amount of revenue and perhaps cover basic costs (please correct me if I’m wrong) so my question is have you considered a donations and or a sponsors page? This would bring you in more revenue so that you’d be able to travel to more away games and help with the financial aspect of getting you and your family to these games.

    I’m sure we’d all agree this would no doubt strengthen the site and give it almost total season Blues coverage. Perhaps it’s something you’ve thought of already and if you do go for it I’ll be more than happy to stick my hand in my arse pocket and make a contribution.


    • DoctorD says:

      Small point about sponsorship: once businesses start paying Al there is a small danger that he loses his independence, which is one thing we all appreciate about this blog at the moment. Just a thought. Mind you it might help with his match-day pie fees.

  • Paulo says:

    My god, how many posts on this article that become so distant from what the topic is??? ..’Chris Burke’. A man we all need and no doubt respect, and are all pleased his confidence came back in bucket loads on Tuesday night.
    So please, any guests or passing readers do not like how this site is written, contributed to, debated or moderated ..then simply go elsewhere and stop boring us.
    Oh, and just to add to Sam & Almajir ..yes I too noticed the Forza blues having a really top time in the railway (GM) , and I do wish them the best, as being next to some away fans can be quite intimidating I guess (for such a small group). But fair play to them …and their conga when Burkey scored!!!

  • Art Watson says:


    This would be a great idea and one which is very much used where we live in Cyprus.

    I for would be more than happy to either make a donation or pay an annual membership fee as this is my very first read in the morning and it enables me to keep track of what’s going on at STA.

    It’s just a fantastic blog which I look forward to reading every day.

    It’s a great credit to Almajir.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:


    Thought you did not like smiley faces??

  • skareggae72 says:

    Good spot,i would never have noticed that :) but it is there,looks as though its always been there as well :)

  • chris says:

    on wm tonight they said “Paladini was on his way” to blues

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