Often Partisan

The Return of Nathan Redmond

Saturday saw 19-year-old Birmingham City forward Nathan Redmond score his first goal of the season as Blues came back from 1-0 down to win 3-1 against Derby County at St Andrews. It was the winger’s first goal for the club since scoring away at Brighton in April 2012.

It’s been a tough season for the young winger. After a prolonged run of starts in the first half of the season Redmond has had to make do with substitute appearances here and there with his 45 minute cameo on Saturday being his longest appearance for Blues since starting against Brighton and Hove Albion back in January. The level of expectation on the young winger was high after a fairly scintillating first full season around the first team and consequently it’s been hard for Nathan to maintain the same level of performance as other teams started to target him as a threat against them.

However, Saturday was different. Chris Burke had one of those games where he was a bit out of sorts, unable to get much going on and giving the ball away a lot – although that being said it was clearly obvious that the Derby management had identified Burke as the main threat and thus ensured he had men on at him at all times when he had the ball. Blues were flat in the first half and they needed a spark, and the introduction of a hungry Wes Thomas up front along with a sparkling Nathan Redmond gave them that.

Played on his favoured right side, Redmond immediately started running at the Derby defence with the ball, committing players to tackles and creating momentum for Blues to attack. What pleased me most was that it was more than just a good performance, it was the return to the Nathan Redmond of last season who played with so much energy, so much passion and so much joie de vivre that it ignited the crowd. Every run, every dribble and every cross fed his confidence more and when he took his goal, you could see what an outpouring of emotion it was for him. I think that Nathan has needed that goal badly to remind himself that he could do it.

It’s easy to forget that Nathan Redmond remains the youngest player in the side; with Callum Reilly and Mitchell Hancox making their way in the first team this season one would imagine that they’re the rookies on the block. Howeverm, despite having made over 70 appearances for Blues Nathan was only 19 this month. I think Nathan has had the weight of expectation of the crowd on his back this year – with all the stuff that has gone on off the scenes and the players who have departed Redmond has now become one of the club’s last remaining jewels and it’s a heavy burden for the teenager to carry regardless of how sensible and old-headed he is. At his age and in the position he plays in, it’s imperative for Redmond to play with the kind of youthful excitement that we saw on Saturday as he is at his best when he plays with that sort of spark.

The last two games have done much to reassure me that Blues should be safe this season; four points from six isn’t a bad return but more importantly I thought that Blues could (and probably should) have won both; they’re creating chances on goal and we look like we can at least threaten sides. Blues have a slew of players who are looking for first team places now after returning from injury etc and it might just be that the competition that generates could push the squad to perform to better levels. One hopes that Nathan will build on his performance on Saturday to demonstrate just why so many people wanted him back in the side.

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32 Responses to “The Return of Nathan Redmond”

  • dave mann says:

    can i first start my appolegisimg to wes thamas on calling him a tank engine.
    last week he was slaughtered by me and one or two others on his quality
    at this level. but when he came on he was a menice and took his goals brilliantly!
    keep it going thomas and keep me and oters quiet for the rest of the season.
    on redmond he took his goal superbly and on his left foot as well, but how
    good was morrisson with his passing and awareness., but lets remember
    we were awfull for an hour and won a game we might have only got a point
    from if it werent for clarks super subs. KRO.

  • Paulo says:

    I have nothing but praise for Nathan Redmond. So pleased that he took his chances and did ignite moments of the match, as well as play a role in getting the atmosphere back to where it should be. Like others, I’ve met Nathan, and he is the most humble and friendly lad I have met (Ok, next to Jack Butland!) and his positive attitude is something I imagine he works hard on. Fair play to him and it’s good to see his creativity and flair make a re-appearance ..along with the other young lads as well, Reilly, Ferguson, Morrison …we do actually have a strong side that is almost just as full of young lads as well as experienced older players! I’d go as far as to say that when the line up’s right, we have a side that is stronger than we give them credit for. Fingers crossed for ‘Boro.

  • Mortonsblue says:

    Dan, it doesn’t take a genius to see that with Elliot playing anywhere other than left midfield the only threat apart from constant long balls aimed vaguely at Zigic (who won most of them with great flicks towards a hopeless Lovenkrands) is Burke, so double up on him and you snuff us out. We need two attacking wingers delivering quality crosses to Zigic in the box, that’s his strength and we are not feeding it enough. At least LC realised this and made the right changes at HT rather than with 10 mins to go, which won us the game.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Was that Wes Thomas playing for Blues on Saturday? I thought I was watching Andy Cole!

  • DoctorD says:

    Unbelievable he’s still only 19 — in fact it was birthday last Wednesday so the goal must have been extra special.

  • Marky mark says:

    He was out of the team because his form tailed off and his confidence was affected, thats what happens with young players specially when the team are struggling at times. Sometimes Managers have to drop players for there own good, look at Sterling at Liverpool setting the world on fire, now cannot get in the team.

    In my opinion, Nathan is one of the best young players in the Championship on his day, and when his head is right. Lets hope he stays confident and fit because he can be the difference on any given day.

    KRO

  • mark says:

    As I mentioned before in my comments some time back about Jack Butland playing for blues FIRST team and England. I will say it again about this young man he also has the potential to play for England. Rather than the whining section of supporters moaning get behind the team and these young players, and give them a positive experience in playing in front of their own crowd. Nathan demonstrated how passionate he is playing for the blue shirt when he scored, it also up to the fans to keep responding in a positive way.
    He will have dips in form and long as he nurtured right which he is by Clark we will see the best. Kro inclarkwetrust. and yes it is unbelievable we have so many exciting young players like Nathan what need our backing………..and our support..

  • AussieBlue says:

    Nathan, Wes; don’t know if you read this forum – you could do a lot worse. So proud of you lads and I’m just an old Bluenose who saw his first game when Gill Merrick was in charge and Jimmy Bloomfield was helping us win our last silverware pre-Carling. You are both amazing and will go on to great things, probably outside of Blues, but while you are still there; give ’em hell sons. Do more of what you did on Saturday, whatever it was! Most of all, enjoy your football and do it for yourselves first. All true professionals do it for personal pride first, closely followed by team spirit. KRO

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    An undoubted talent . When he made his debut against Rochdale in the Carling Cup he lit up what had been up to that point a very poor Blues performance .

    He has been poorly served this season by the arrival of Robert Hall, but hopefully now he will get his chance to shine until the end of the season.
    Also like to see him have more opportunity to play off Zigic.

  • dave mann says:

    as well as nathan did when he came on he obviousley not in clarks first 11 when you
    think that hall, elliott, ferguson etc all seem to be ahead of him for the left side of
    midfield and for that matter as a foil playing of the front man. lets hope he can now
    nail down a spot in the firet team and finish the season playing like we know he can.
    KRO.

    8 points from 9 games will do it for safety, definetley.

  • Tony says:

    Redmond did well he will make a good player one day , a lot is made of the fact he is only 19, but those that can think back to a lad who was 15 when he made his debut yes 15,four years younger than Redmond
    We all saw a talent never seen before or since at St Andrews a player who went on to achieve true greatness to my mind the best player ever to wear the Royal blue,and this in the days of the real hard men ie Hunter, Giles,Harris, Allardyce whos brief was to kick the hell out of him but by his own admission couldnt get near him.
    We all know who I am talking about, the pleasure obtained from watching him will remain with me for the rest of my life. The fact that this Plymouth boy wore our shirt and became the first player to be sold for £1,000,000 bears testimony to just how good he was, and just how far Nathan has to go in order to be mentioned in the same breath as Trevor Francis.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    In Shane Ferguson and Nathan Redmond, we have the tricks, the speed and incisive power that no Championship side will cope with. Relegation my arse!

  • ed77 says:

    It was great seeing redmond running at them, defenders hate pace he was great,as was thomas he showed power and pace of his own and 2 real strikers finishes,we could start 2 see a nice partnership developing between zigic n thomas fingers crossed, thomas scored at middlesbrough for blackpool,same again please wes more goals like sat and you.ll soon win fans over.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    I too questioned Thomas’ ability at this level and I’m happy to eat a slice of the pie, qualified by the comment that he needs to do more to convince. What I liked about Thomas’ performance was the aggression [his first goal was albout desire to get the shot off] and the much improved holding-up of the ball, not to say the two decent finishes – well done to him for that.

    Nathan was back to his best; he tortured their full-back and ought to have been given more protection by what was a very poor set of officials. Wingers are always going to be a bit up and down, and being young must exacerbate this, but there’s no doubt on that form he’s an exciting player.

    A bit more on the officials. I am undoubtedly biased, but it seemed to me the Ref applied double standards in the second-half and poor old Zig got no protection whatsoever [albeit he might help himself by not going to ground quite so easily]. not for the first time this season, I thought Derby’s goal should not have stood as there was a foul in the build-up [i think Reilly got barged in the back]. on the other hand, my mate who’s a Rams fan said they had a clear penalty turned down at 2-1 – I remember the incident but couldn’t tell from the Tilton if it was a pen or not.

    Two more wins for safety – let’s hope one of them comes on Easter Monday!!

  • Boozy Blue says:

    Personally I think Redmond has suffered from not having a run in a set natural position. To date I can think of him playing wide left, striker, in the hole, wide right.
    Some could argue he’s had a run wide left but it’s not a natural position and he’s had to learn that role whilst playing in the 1st team
    I always believe his best position will be wide right he seems to go more naturally on the outside mixing with cutting inside better than he does on the left

  • turning japanese says:

    What I can’t understand is why is our best player – Nathan Redmond on the bench every week when Clark consistently plays his little blue-eyed boys. I’ve been saying since November that Redmond should be a starter amd now finally I’ve been proven right – let’s give the kid a chance.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Probably, and let me just guess that he sees Redmond best position on the right, and would you have dropped Burke recently?

  • ed77 says:

    Big question is now who starts saturday?thomas for lovenkrands is a no brainer after sat,but any ideas on midfield considering redmond and morrison came on for burke and reilly,will burke and reilly drop out?big call 2 be made,whats ur thoughts guys?what would you do?

    • mark says:

      Imo Clark will probably go 451 would like fahey to get a start. Zigic or Thomas as the lone attacker.

  • Tony says:

    Redmond will end up in the centre not yet but that will be his best position eventually.

  • Tony says:

    He needs to get more involved in games ,wingers only see 20 mins action a match

    • Marky mark says:

      Only time will tell John, great wingers only need a moment to impact games a lot of them are guilty of doing nothing for 70 mins.

      When he has played down the middle he just hasn’t looked right to me, he doesn’t look big or strong enough for that.

      Be nice to think he could improve like Gareth Bale has and play of the front two with a free role, we may have to wait a while for that though, and hope he is still with us long enough

  • Evesham blue says:

    Is Thomas on a bosman free in the summer? Else we won’t be signing him I wouldn’t have thought

  • Alex T says:

    Got to say, I was getting really frustrated with LC for dropping Nathan Redmond for so long…. especially as Nath seemed to be changing the games when he did make short sub appearances.

    However, my cap is dothed to LC on this occasion. He saw what was going wrong and made the changes at the soonest opportunity (instead of hanging on for another 20 minutes into the 2nd half as most mangers do). NR must have been chomping at the bit, and it showed in his performance… and that goal? You just knew he was going to pull the trigger, and when he did….. what a screamer!! WELL DONE NATHAN!!

    Glad to have you back mate :)

    And well done to Wes Thomas and Ravel Morrison too… all three players had been facing adversity and showed exactly what they can do

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

    Yes, great man management by Lee.

    I used to hate the way McLeish in particular would always play out of form players.

    Drop em, make em hungry for their place, being em back.

    Nathan needs to do something he aint done yet and that’s play 3 or 4 good games on the trot.

    • matt says:

      What on the bench! Clark is a mug! No credit to him i made the same substitutions at half time like i would imagine most supporters did it’s not rocket science!

    • carlos says:

      Mullins, Caldwell, who has played these all season? Can’t blame McCleish for that.

    • mark says:

      absolutely spot on paul, its up to Nathan to raise his bar hopefully taking that goal will spur him on. He needs to raise his own standards, and say to Clark try leaving me “out” no player has a right to be in the 1st team then they have not earn it. Hopefully Nathan got that buzz back…….and well done to clark. Nathan had a lot of expectation to deal with hopefully he will kick on…and continue scoring some more cracking goals…

  • mark says:

    “The manager just told me to get at them and be natural and free-flowing on the ball, and Saturday was one of the first games where I felt I was back to last year,” said the England U19 international. Inclarkwetrust.


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