Often Partisan

Training Pics

On Tuesday whilst attending the Supporters Club forum at the Training Ground I got the chance to watch some of a training session going on and also some of a behind-closed-doors u21 friendly.

I was intrigued to watch the training session – what with the way Blues have performed on the pitch this season I wondered how they looked in training away from the fans. When I got to the training pitches the team had been split into four sides to play practice games against each other in small-sided (less than half a pitch) circumstances. The games were focussed on quick passing, attacking and shooting.

One player who stood out almost straight away was Papa Bouba Diop. I have to say that he looked sharp in training, getting about a fair bit and taking every opportunity he had to shoot on goal – scoring some fairly decent finishes. He has looked slow and cumbersome at times in matches but it was evident that once he is fully up to speed he’s actually a decent player with some nice touches and a fair eye for goal.

It was interesting watching Nathan Redmond too – teamed up with some of the younger players he was trying his best to work on some fancy footwork, getting past players, getting balls in and shooting. Like all the others he worked hard on the pitch and it’s worth noting that when the others came off Redmond (along with Rob Hall and Ravel Morrison) stuck around, practising their shooting for a good ten-fifteen minutes at least afterwards.

The thing that struck me was that the spirit was high – lots of laughter, joking and banter from the players and they trained hard. They were clearly playing their games to win and it showed on one player’s face when the whistle went on one game and he thumped the ground in frustration. As much as people say that Lee Clark has lost the dressing room I can’t see it – I’ve seen discord in teams before when morale is low and this wasn’t like that at all. It’s what makes the football more frustrating because it’s evident that there is skill there – it’s just not coming across on the pitch.

I only got to see 20 minutes of the u21 friendly but a couple of the young players stood out. It was the first time I’ve got to see Foday Nabay in the flesh and he looked a player. A great touch, a great free kick for the second Blues goal (they won 5-0) and really good strength. Bearing in mind he’s only 14 and the opposition were probably 18, 19 or so he didn’t look out of his depth and wasn’t scared to mix it with them.

It’s also the first time I’ve seen Amari’i Bell, who has been out for seven months or so with injury and he looked decent at left-back with a good turn of pace and good tackling. In fairness despite it being a very young development squad team they looked really good and it bodes well for the future of Blues that there seems to be some real talent coming through the ranks.

I know that I’m an optimist and that I look for positives when others might not but I really honestly believe that things may not be quite as bad as they seem. I hope some of that good stuff that I’ve seen on the training pitches can be translated to the match day because I don’t think it will a massive amount for Blues to push a little up the table. A few morale-boosting victories and it might not seem as bad after all at St Andrews.

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12 Responses to “Training Pics”

  • skareggae72 says:

    I hope you got a few moves in Almajir,maybe a few shots at the keepers.

  • ChrisG says:

    I keep saying things aren’t as bad as they seem & this article proves i’m right, I’ll beleive things when they happen (especially the way football is so unpredictable). There has been far too much speculation & doom mongering around, mostly from fans who don’t know the full details & have heard this here & that there without the full facts. One thing is for sure…..we’re Bluenoses & we WILL overcome, so chin up lads & as one dingle once said IT’S CHRIIIIISSSSSTMAAAAAASSSSSSSS. KRO

  • andy says:

    Great read and backs up the players claims that Lee Clark has not at all lost the dressing room.

  • mark says:

    I am glad you put some Christmas cheer with your article that backs lee Clark has not at all lost the dressing room.
    It about time some of these bluenoses get grip of reality and realize where we are really.
    We possibly have some cracking young players coming through but they need time and our support..
    I AM EXCITED about these young players coming in. It take a brave manager to include these players so stop knocking him. These young players will run through walls for blues, and some have been with blues since the age of 8. Or would you rather watch bunch of players who do NOT wish to be at blues…KRO MERRY CHRISTMAS

    • Alex T says:

      Bang on Mark!

      Exactly the reason why I would rather see Davies or King be sold rather than Butland or Redmond. If we can develop and maintain a team of talented youngsters that have grown up with the Blues, then that is a solid grounding for the future and the only way a club with limited resources will ever be successfull.


  • zenzero says:

    I know it may be forced, but I like the way Clark is giving the youngsters a chance. I feel in my time as a Bcfc supporter, this definitely the best group of youngsters weve had. Id love to see half the team sheet in 3-4 years time with our academy players in. Also glad Nabay has committed, its for the best he stays here until his late teens.

  • mark says:

    The thoughts of every blues fan associated with Birmingham City Football Club are with former player Peter Ndlovu and his family following news of a serious car crash in Zimbabwe. I am sure many bluenoses remember him as a exciting footballer who graced our ST ANDREW’S PITCH. Hopefully he will pull through.

  • RichardM says:

    Alamijir – do you know what’s the situation regarding Foday Nabay ? I heard Liverpool were trying to pinch him off us before he can sign professional terms, (meaning they will only have to pay Blues a paltry £15K compensation fee). He must be highly rated for the story of Liverpool trying to sign a 14 year old to make the national press. Is he staying, is he signed up?

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Hasn’t he just re-signed. All the big clubs were after him in the summer, and it did seem he was about to move, but decided to stay with us, which says a good deal about our youth set up!

      • Alex T says:

        Yep, I heard he decided to stay with us and signed for another couple of years…. If he is playing wit the 18 year olds already, I wonder if we will see him in a blues shirt in a couple of years when he is 16?? I look forward to that day! :-D

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Whatever anyones views on L,C. actually is, ?. One has to admit that he is giving our splendid bunch of youngsters a chance to experiance 1st, team activity, !!.

    From being [ almost ] L,C., ” lukewarm, — I am warming towards him much more lately, !!!.

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