Often Partisan

The R Word Part II

With just nine games left of the season Blues find themselves in fourteenth place with forty-six points in the Championship. Have they done enough to completely avoid the relegation trap-door?

The Championship this year is tighter than the proverbial rear end of a duck. Just nine points separate the clubs below 10th in the table and just five separate Blues in 14th with Barnsley in 21st. Thus it’s understandable why Blues fans are still looking nervously over their shoulders at teams beneath them continually picking up points – it would appear that it will take a larger than normal amount of points to avoid relegation this year.

Barnsley are a good demonstration of a team that is doing everything they can to stay up. At the weekend they lay bottom but a good 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion last night has seen the Tykes lifted out of the bottom three with a game in hand. In their last ten games, Barnsley have taken 20 points – the best record of any team in the bottom half of the table – and the kind of form that would see a team in the automatic promotion slots over the course of a season.

Indeed, it is worrying for Blues that of the teams in the bottom six, Sheffield Wednesday have 18 points in their last ten games; Bristol City have seventeen and Peterborough have a respectable fourteen. This would confirm that as the season comes to an end teams at the bottom start picking up points as they desperately fight off the thought of going down a division.

However, before worrying too much it’s worth remembering that despite what some of the recent results might make you think, Blues are in good form too having taken four wins, four draws and only two defeats in ten games – the fourth best record of the bottom half of the table. There have been two heavy defeats within those games (Watford and Hull) but there have also been some important wins as well and as such Blues are currently in mid-table.

However, for our canine friends from Wolverhampton it’s not such good news. Having ditched Stale Solbakken their new manager Dean Saunders has only won once and as such they find themselves in the bottom three with the worst form in the division – only Middlesborough and Millwall have lost more games, but both have also won one more apiece.

I don’t want to count my chickens yet – I’ve bad experience of saying “yes we’re safe” and then watching the team getting relegated after putting in a few gutless performances in a row. However, the signs to me point to safety as I think there are enough teams playing badly who won’t pick up the points to overtake us. I do believe it may well go down to the last couple of weeks of the season – maybe even the final day but I think two wins or so should do it for us.

Is it good enough that our aim is now to just stay in the division? Based on what I thought back in August no, it’s not but then again I think I over-estimated how good a couple of signings would be and maybe under-estimated how much injuries and the like would hurt us.  We’re still a little way from the final shake up and it’s entirely possible that a few more good results could see Blues finish in the upper reaches of mid-table (which bearing in mind the start to the season we had would be impressive) and as such I think there is every reason to be positive that Blues will be okay.

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39 Responses to “The R Word Part II”

  • subrex says:

    Spot on, we can’t be silly and do what we all did in the premiership and thought, oh we have won the cup now we will be safe, I think if we go down now then we will struggle to even get into the championship again with out of contract players and lack of money, plus Zigic refusing to move on because he want’s his wage rise is going to hurt us more if we don’t get rid of him soon, however if we stay in the championship manage to make use of the bosman/free transfers and build for at least 1 or 2 seasons, we might have a chance of stability (not taking into consideration that the club will or will not be sold)

  • northfield says:

    In agreement with you, but did you also not under-estimate Lee Clarks inability to manage at this level? or any level for that matter? I don’t think we can hide the fact that our under achievements this season are down to Clark?

  • sutton apex says:

    we have 2 tough away games coming up – cant see us getting anything. If the teams around us win we will still be in trouble , we are in a relegation fight as is anyone in bottom half of table – must win 3 home games to be safe

    • Alex says:

      3 games seems a bit excessive. Looking back over the last 8 seasons usually 43 points is enough to stay up but some seasons teams went down with 46/47/50 or even 52 points. So I would say we need 53 points to be really safe – two wins and a draw.

    • RichardM says:

      Not sure I agree – I actually fancy us to get something at the Riverside, Middlesboro form at the moment is pretty woeful

  • IanB says:

    It’s a strange league table. At this late stage, half the teams are still dreaming of at least a play-off spot while the other half are having nightmares about relegation. For Blues it’s simple; too many poor home results have cost us the ability to dream of a play off spot.

  • DoctorD says:

    “Blues have the fourth best record of the bottom half of the table”

    That sums us up — and it’s really gonna have potential buyers licking their lips, not.

    • chris says:

      we’re 11th in the away league only 1 point behind forest who are in the play offs.
      the away form is as good as last year.
      so it’s the home form that is the issue that needs sorting for next year.
      first half performances put us in the bottom 3 yet second half performance puts us 6th in the table.

  • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

    Lee:

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

    We’re right behind you mate. You are the leader of our club. KRO

  • les says:

    majestic last post infact one of the best ever read,

    • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

      Cheers Les

      I likes a bit of poetry and I think OP needs a bit of a culture boost to balance out the ruffians and their bile

      KRO

  • mark says:

    Dan it about what we do, and staying up is in our hands. We got to continue being positive, and aim for as many points as we can in the next 9 games. Let the other teams worry about the R..It about our fans getting behind the team and the manager. YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU. home and away… inclarkwetrust….

  • andy says:

    Yeah and its only 118 years old

  • andy says:

    There is a saying, the League table doesnt lie. Birmingham deserve to be where they are, as do Wolves. The latter are on paper, too good to go down, as they say, but their performances have not been good enough and Wolves deserve to be where they are. Are Birmingham good enough to stay up? Well looking at the table at present, yes they are.

  • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

    Also worth noting that changing the manager has not exactly been a success

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The highlight of the season has been the emergence of youngsters Callum Reilly and Mitch Hancox. Reilly in particular has impressed me with his allround game. Hitting the bar from 25 yards with either foot in the last two games. Good in the tackle,even temperament,no wonder a host of Premier League clubs are monitoring him.

  • dave mann says:

    like your style paul, good read and should be taken on board by all blues fans
    who will go to the final 4 home games and cheer us to safety bacause the
    tough away games ( boro, palace, leicester, leeds and ipswich) wont
    matter if we pick up 8 points more and we should get them from our
    remaining home games if we take our chances like we did saturday.
    KRO till the end off the season.

    • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

      A lot of people do Dave thanks but my style is quite basic it’s called support the club and everyone involved in it.

      Especially in bad times.

  • Paulo says:

    I think it is too soon to say we are in any way safe at the moment. It’s nice to be higher up the table than we have been for a while, but my guess is that pretty much all the clubs are looking for wins and points just like us, so it’s only really comparable on the day. As the table is so tight, and the drop zone is still within sight, it’s even more imperative now that our team stop with the complacency and go for the jugular. We need points, and to do that the team need a plan, but more importantly, they need us behind them and a sense of belief from the fans that we can do it. Most teams who will we yet play will have the same angle now, so until the fat lady sings …the curtain stays up and LC needs to concentrate on his team and job ..if most would let him.

  • dave mann says:

    sorry guys i meant bristol city away not leeds weve got them at home.

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    Nice cut and paste job on Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem ‘If’ Had to learn it at school for English homework in about 1968 and you know what? I can still quote it start to finish verbatim. I thought what a waste of time it was as a young teenager but I have to thank my old English teacher for making me learn not only an epic poem but if you look at the words it tells you everything you need to know about being an honest upright citizen and I’m glad I was forced to learn it now. They say that education is wasted on the young and it is! As for R, I have predicted with a graph I’ve been keeping over on joys and sorrows that we will acquire 54-55 points and finish up about where we are now. Check it out: http://www.joysandsorrows.co.uk/2013/02/view-from-the-south-watford-gap/

  • dave mann says:

    these are bad times if you concider what weve achived in the past.
    carling cup winners, finishing 9th&10th in the premier, always untill last seson
    getting promoted straight after relegation. like youfself and yours trully who
    will always support the club through bad times, everybody else must,if they can,
    and get down st andrews for the remaining 4 games and sopport the boys to
    safety. KRO.

    LETS SEE IF WE CAN BRAKE 20,000 THIS SEASON! ( that would be something)

  • RichardM says:

    Need to look at the teams around us who are struggling for form – don’t want to tempt fate but I think we will be safe…just. Not sure I can say the same for Wolves, Millwall, Huddersfield or Ipswich – for me three of these four to go down.

  • BlueB says:

    Dean Saunders has only won once and as such they find themselves in the bottom three with the worst form in the division – only Middlesborough and Millwall have lost more games, but both have also won one more apiece.

    Is that correct?

    Middlesbrough lost 17 won 17, Wolves lost 18 , won 10 when i look at the table.
    Millwall lost 15, won 12

  • Macc lad says:

    Not a fan of Wolves, so wouldn’t mind them going down. then again, a division with Blues, Wolves, Walsall and Villa in next season would certainly provide some nice diversions from the inevtiable money troubles!
    By the way. I think we’ll get the 7 or 8 points we need to be certain of safety. Agree that Millwall, Huddersfield, Ipswich and Wolves need to worry.

  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    I still remember when Wolves’ Stephen Hunt made 2-3 for Wolves against Blackburn after Craig Gardner had equalised for us at Tottenham. Got a cheering SMS from my friend who is a Wolves fan and then I realised that we were going down.
    Now, I really would like to send another SMS to my still very good friend after Blues have defeated Wolves.
    I think that match is crucial. As Almajir has shown, many bottom league teams are picking up and play well. It will all come down to form. Then I would guess Wolves, Ipswich and Huddersfield could go down.
    But we need to get three points from those wolves …
    At the top, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cardiff fails one more time since they have been in a position to go up for so many times but in the end they fail.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      That was a knife in the gut moment. Will never forget the pandemonium after Craig scored behind the goal. Crazy days, it was almost violent.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    We’re fine.

    Bristol City, Peterborough and Wolves are not.

    You heard it here first!

    KRO

  • Tony says:

    Lee Clark aint no Kipling

  • Tony says:

    (In the name of god go now for you have been too long in this place for any good you may have done.) Better suited to Mr Clark

  • Smiling Steve says:

    We are Birmingham City Supporters.

    Do what it says on the tin and “support” your club.

    Simples !!

  • Deanipops says:

    Have we factored in the minus 10 for admin? In which case we’re bottom.

    Just sayin’, like.

    Peterborough will not go down.

    We need to get rid of Zigic somehow. I suspect we’ll end up paying him £30k a week to play for someone else.


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