Often Partisan

Looking Up

As Blues head into the international break, there is a strange sense of positivity about the place. Back-to-back wins including what was a first win at the Riverside Stadium (and also a first win against Boro in thirty-two seasons ) have seen Blues elevated into the top half of the table. Are we going to finish on a high note?

I will confess I didn’t expect much from yesterday – I would have been happy with a 0-0 draw in truth so for the team to have got the win is a nice bonus – particularly as teams below us are still picking up points. With Blues now in eleventh it equals our best position so far this season and talk of relegation seems a long way away.

However, I think Clark was right to talk about looking over our shoulders at the teams behind us rather than dreaming of the playoffs. Until Blues are absolutely mathematically safe from relegation I will confess I won’t be happy; I can remember far enough back to Blues being relegated on 52 points on goal difference under Barry Fry after a late charge to safety and I don’t want to see that happen again. Blues may be eleven places above 22nd in the table but the difference is only seven points and with the tightness of the league a couple of wins could see us sink like a brick in deep water.

It almost seems a shame to have the break now as momentum is definitely with Blues; eighteen points from the last thirty is good form in anyone’s book and the team find themselves fourth in the form table from the last six games. However, with a run of eight games in seven weeks to come until the end of the season it gives Blues a chance to rest a few aching bodies and ensure everyone is fighting fit for the final dash to the season’s finale.

This week also sees the end of the loan window (on Thursday March 22) and with Robert Hall now having returned to West Ham as of yesterday I can see Blues doing what they can to extend the stay of the impressive Shane Ferguson beyond his current end date of April 1. I don’t think Blues will make any other loan signings in the five days remaining; despite their being not as much depth as one would like in the squad I think Clark will be looking to blooding some more younger players as the threat of relegation hopefully continues to recede.

It’s been a tough season for Blues but 2013 has, barring a couple of blips, been a good one for Blues. We’ve rediscovered the art of winning, the art of keeping clean sheets and the team is scoring goals despite having lost Marlon King for the remainder of the campaign. I can’t deny that I’ve not been impressed with Lee Clark for large parts of this season but I have to give him credit – of late, he’s turned it around somewhat and maybe he’s not as bad as some people have thought. I saw a comment online that definitely rang true – with young players we have to give them some leeway and time to develop and maybe it’s true with young managers too.

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66 Responses to “Looking Up”

  • Radavis says:

    So someone does read my posts!

    He certainly splits opinion, but (and this isn’t a comparison of talent) there was another young manager that didn’t have a great first season but is now a legend. I doubt Clark will do the same but I’m at least willing to wait and see.

    I’d rather we put trust in a young manager for a couple of years and failed as opposed to sacking managers every few months.

    Kro OP and, perhaps more important KRO BCFC and Lee.

    Thanks for your inputs, I for one have neither the time or inclination to do the hard work in discovering what’s going on, so thanks for all the information.

    PS. What’s the chances of keeping Foday for long enough to make a debut for us?

    • almajir says:

      I did, and i can only apologise for not naming you but I couldn’t remember at the time I wrote it where I had seen it.

      As for Foday… he’s 14. He’s got a long journey to go and a lot of talented players at that age don’t make it – let’s hope he can make it before we think about him playing for us.

  • Radavis says:

    Don’t apologise at all sir! I’m just glad someone agrees!

    Just gutted I’m booked in for a wedding in Italy on the day of the play off final!

    I’ll swap tickets with someone!? My girlfriend makes the sound of an airial strike when eating but she’s very pretty! Any takers?

    PS. Only if we get to the final….which I don’t doubt…. But I’ll wait till 23rd May.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      I’m also booked to go to Italy whilst the play-off final is on as it’s the wife’s birthday. Perhaps my wife could be your girlfriends wedding date. Anyway near Lake Garda? (hoot)

  • Art Watson says:

    Great result and credit to Clark and the team.

  • sutton apex says:

    met lee clark at wasthills last week – nice bloke. We have a great team built around good young players – important we keep a couple of old heads like curtis davies in the summer but will we ?? but for now enjoy a great away win – big zig another crucial goal , love the big man !

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

    Brilliant result cos we never get anything up there. Not gonna harp on too much though same as I don’t when we lose. Lee is now making an awful lot of small minded so called Blues fans look very very stupid as not only is the football good to watch but the results are coming. With a fair wind this season it could have been a lot easier. Same as I’ve said all season we’ll win some lose some and finish just below half way. The real Blues fans who actually know what the word support means are chuffed for Lee and his team.

    2 tough games coming up after the break and it would be nice to add to Wolves woes in what should be a sell out Bank Holiday local derby. What more could you want?

    • bluenosed says:

      Sell out? I can’t predict anything Blues do at the moment but a sell out crowd is one thing we are not capable of. It really disappoints me and probably most of the hardy souls that go week in week out.

      Don’t want to go off topic too much with a rant but the crowds are pathetic. Performances this season have been poor although we have picked up a good haul of point recently but apathy is there at home games and it must get to the team. A good crowd can turn a result. Look at the West Ham semi-final.

      We have a potential catchment of 1,000,000 (2.5 clubs, sorry Baggies plenty of your support comes from elsewhere) and only 13500 are turning up for home games. Blackburn get that and only have a population 75000. Newcastle have less than 200,000 and get 50000 week in week out. We must be by catchment the worst supported team in the country?

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

        Could not agree with you more mate

        My comment was tounge in cheek

      • Blueboy88 says:

        Good post Bluenosed it is all relative though as you say home performances have been generally poor this season & being mired in a relegation battle does not encourage supporters to be parted. from their hard earned.

        Equally Blues have the lowest league position of all the largest catchment clubs.

    • mark says:

      Paul you carry on banging the drum, and keep harping on most of us throughtly enjoy your comments. Reality is truth hurts some fans….and also the realisation how dead St.Andrew really is, totally agee with you that Wolves game should be a complete sell-out. This match i will be attending instead of the palace game. I want to hear keep right on to the end of the road ringing around St.Andrew…….

      • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

        Mark I’m pleased you agree with Paul but football, as in life, is about opinions. I’m sure Paul never believes the political party he votes for doesn’t get in…. Good win yesterday I agree and great to get back to back wins but I don’t think fans of our football club should be happy with 11th after our good season last year? Perhaps I’m wrong and I really would like to go to every game but can’t so for people to tell Paul to keep banging the drum really does wind me up.

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      BECAUSE WE DON’T AGREE WITH YOU DOESN’T MAKE US SMALL MINDED. I REALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU. Good win yesterday against a team that are in great form, whoops in free fall, I am really happy we won but we fans shouldn’t be happy with 11th and if you think we are playing good football you never saw Freddie Goodwin and Jim Smiths teams did you? And by the way some of those season’s where in the the old Div 2. Freddie played 4-1-1-4. And the Bald Eagles team beat the European Champions Forest 4-3 playing 4-2-4.

      • james Black says:

        Not small minded Staff. Ok but finding negatives constantly even sometimes untruthful ones may not come under the small minded category, but its definitely something weird.

  • Dave says:

    Clark has had a mixed season, for sure, but also worth remembering what he’s had to deal with off the pitch and the number of players who’ve left over the last two seasons means that he’s had an ever changing hand to deal with. I’m concerned by the ongoing digs at stay away fans and I think this needs to stop. We all know that the reason many are not attending are for ever worsening financial reasons in the Midlands, and the others are protesting, which is their right, against the current owners and are genuinely concerned as to where the money would go if they attended. A little bit of understanding wouldn’t go amiss here. The Yeung trial and its ongoing nature is an annoyance that we can all do without. It will end eventually (like all bad soap operas do!) and hopefully we can look forward to better days. The team is finally in the top half of the league and hopefully can put the work in to finish as high as they can. Once the season is over I’ll judge the manager on what he’s achieved and not before. KRO

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

      ‘Ever worsening financial reasons in the Midlands?’

      Why do the filth get 33,000 for a televised game when they’re in the bottom 3 then? In a season when they were humiliated live on TV home and away by a 4th division team? Albion got 25,000 for their last home game

  • Paulo says:

    I was one of the few who made it up to the Riverside yesterday and I’m so glad I did. I wouldn’t say it was a belter of game nor was it one of ‘two halves’. In my opinion, it was a scrappy game, a relatively equal game and Boro had just as many chances as we seemed to, but it was a good atmosphere for us keeping hold of a 0-0 for that length of time. I was dreading it when seeing Sammi Ameobi in the first half, and credit to the lads for dealing with him, and I was surprised that they never played Emnes either, but what we did was stop them for most of the time. All credit though to our lads as a team, and as much it was nail biting at the thought of losing that point (at 0-0 and dropping down) we got the goal and credit to Shane Ferguson for turning around what seemed like a game of pinball at that moment, and did the assist. Good times for Zigic and fair play to him for celebrating with us, was appreciated.
    So glad to see we climbed up to 11th place, but at the same time the points difference is so small. Double edged sword really. My guess is the entire table are looking over their shoulder, but the more astute managers will be doing their homework on overtime now. I have to say, it is nice to see some positive comments about Lee Clark, and the expectations of him (from the fans) have to be put into perspective. My hope is that we survive the championship and players and LC will have learned some valuable lessons from how fierce, unforgiving and financially constrained this season was …but …that goes for the fans too, or should I say, the majority. Until we are sold and have an owner / investors who are prepared to be supportive (and realistic) to the club and the manager.

  • Brumboi says:

    Another 2 wins and a draw (7 points) should see us safe. But until that happens i’ll be looking over my shoulder.

    Well done to LC.

  • mark says:

    What can I say…………inclarkwetrust…. more humble pie please again……….for those who have little faith in the team and Clark, and I will say it again, because starting to sound good.
    Sorry late post too busy celebrating again, enjoyed the jouney back c;mon you blue boys. Keep going Clark we are loving it…………kro another team performance………dream off a play off who believer..

  • Blackie says:

    all the anti Clark brigade go quiet every time we win he gets the tactics right and we play well. numpties

    • RichardM says:

      Silly comment – why do you think we would be unhappy at Blues winning??? Numpty…

      Look – time to draw a line under this one – as someone from the pro-Clark camp rghtly pointed out, we all know whose in which camp, and we also know neither of us are going to convince the other side that we’re right.

      On current progress my PERSONAL opinion is that I don’t think Clark is the right man and think there are better managers out there, HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I’m right (but neither does it mean I’m a “Villa” fan either ! )

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

        Silly comment yourself, ‘there are better managers out there’ no? Honestly! God I never knew.

        And what do all these ‘better managers out there’ have in common? None of em would come wnywhere near Blues in our current state.

        • RichardM says:

          There I agree with you Paul – we’re stuck with what we’ve got so the whole arguement is a little hypothetical. All we can do is get behind the team. But if you agree with me (which clearly you do) – why are you such a fierce defender of a man who in (my opinion again) has done little to justify your support. Why are you so vitiolic about Hughton who did a far better job in similar circumstances?

          • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

            Because Hughton owed us but walked away cos he knew he couldn’t do it again with this team (his words) and cared more about his reputation in the game than the fact we gave him a way back. I fiercely back Clark primarily because of all the hatred towards him. He is the manager and figurehead of my team. I don’t ruin someone when they’re going through a bad time I support them. If he’s rubbish I’ll support him til the club sack him but he’s not. He took the job on, works with no dough, had bad injuries at bad times, looks out at our deserted ground where our own fans have deserted us, stands up and does the job. This year more than any I have learnt how poor a lot of our fans are.

          • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

            Hear bloody hear RichardM, Paul can you show me the quote from CH please you talk about? I don’t remember him saying that, LC has manged some of the worst performance’s I’ve ever seen as a Blues fans, Look at his purchases and loans to see how poor he is:
            Gordon – less said the better
            Caddis – good work
            Mullins – slow and can only pass two ways and one isn’t forward
            PL – Past his sell by date
            Ambrose – Ok injured but didn’t set the world alight before he got injured and his effort against Barnsley is one of the worst I’ve seen in a Blues shirt
            Thomas – 1 great half in 8….
            Robinson – Better as a centre half and was kept out at left back by 20 year old
            Hall – looked good for 4-5 games but then went backwards AND kept Redmond out of the team
            Fergie – Looks good

            So lets say 3 out of his 10 worked out, well played 30% worked.

            I won’t say CH got it 100% right because he didn’t and he got lucky that King and Burke were bought into the club by the Ginger one but LC even put Burke back to his Cardiff worst performances. But we can argue all day long and you won’t change my mind and I can’t change yours. Lets leave it, but stop call those don’t agree with you Vile fans/small minded please because we aren’t.

        • mark says:

          funny they wish to back a team that is lead by our great leader, kick him when the team playing badly…
          The whole package is everyone supporting the club, not just because you got problem with the manager or the board. There a likeihood Clark will be with us next season….will these same fans continue they pathetic apathy then…………..some do really need to grow up… supporting birmingham City is a full package not half measures, until clark vacate or sacked or the board are removed support your (club). inclarkwetrust. 500 of us watched yesterday match. To see some hughton could not do…..

        • Art Watson says:

          Once again this is just your opinion Paul which is not shared by others.

          Radio commentators at yesterday’s game said “it was a poor game but a great result for the club”

          According to you under Clark the” football is good to watch.

          I suspect the missing thousands would disagree with you!

          • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

            again hear bloody hear

          • Ali Duncan says:

            Art, at times it was scrappy but I don’t believe it was a poor game. I think both sides went for it, there were plenty of chances, nearly twenty corners and lots of end to end breaks. I personally left feeling very entertained. Great day out.

      • matt says:

        well said!

  • ChrisG says:

    What has been good to see over the last couple of months is that we’ve bounced back from a couple of hammerings, after either the Watford or Hull games it could of easily of affected the players confidence but they just seem to dust themselves off & try & put things right in the next game. I think LC deserves a lot of credit for that as he’s obviously prepared them mentally for those games.

    • ed77 says:

      Yes he did the same after the barnsley hammering we won at brighton in the next game 1-0 in prob our best defensive performance of the season

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Great result & good to see Zigic leading the line so effectively being our Johnny on the spot with an absolute screamer from two yards.

    Now hopefully we can get the other couple of wins required to preserve our championship status next season.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

      How stupid you look right now pally boy lol.

      • Blueboy88 says:

        No pally boy it you who looks stupid because you just have to resort to insults instead of having a reasonable conversation , which I presume was the original point of this blog..

    • mark says:

      obviously great management by clark to keep faith with Zigic after his justified spat with him. Proving his worth to the team now. Maybe clark will get more goals out Zigic than hughton did. kro

  • DoctorD says:

    Great away win. Clean sheet. Up to 11th. Two wins back to back. Accounts out (supposedly).

  • andy says:

    Iv said all along Lee Clark has to be given the opportunity to rebuild his own Birmingham squad, he is definately the right man for Birmingham City.

  • Macc lad says:

    When you say first win against Boro in 32 years, of course you mean away. We beat them in November.
    Echo the sentiments of everyone here. Great win.
    Now lets get the 2 wins we need to stay up and look forward to a summer of revolving doors!

  • RichardM says:

    For those that went to the Riverside yesterday – I’m curous to know how Fahey played? Did he make a difference or is he still finding his feet?

    • Paulo says:

      Fahey did have a good game, and he was surprising. Ok, he made a few slow passes that got nicked off us, or was taken on and beaten by their midfield, but all in all, for his surprising replacement of Spector, he did well and with a few more solid shows like that he will get back on form. Was good to see him back. To be fair to him, he slotted in well and caused Boro a lot of problems ..it was our finishing (in the first half especially) that just couldn’t make it.

  • Kopite.. says:

    Yes please…Faheys performance….

  • northfield says:

    It’s all good now.. Yeaaah Clark must stay.. Clark must stay.. get a grip this is a terrible season, I real poor season yet people still defend Clark? I remember when St Andrews was hostile even with only 6000 in attendance, now its a library with happy clappers worse than vile fans! Society as a whole as changed and so has football, its no longer enjoyable or entertaining at St Andrews win, lose or draw! Sorry OP the best blues site on the net, but some of the readers are worst than vile fans!

  • Bluesbot says:

    Its good to see Blues grabbing a bit of breathing space from the relegation battle but I hope the lads keep pushing on until the end of the season, they owe us that much at least as they have underperformed this season.
    With the lack of quality additions to the squad it was never going to be play offs part two, but I expected better.
    Hopefully Lee is a manager who knows he has to continue striving to learn his trade and he will need to put that to the test in pre-season, where we will have to almost totally strip down and rebuild the squad, and that is regardless of any possible new owners, Lee has a massive test in front of him and I looking on in interest.

  • Sideshow Bob says:

    I’ve never agreed with slagging off Lee Clark, he was given a poisened chalice when he took over Blues but it looks like he may be turning things around and finding his feet as a young manager.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

    ‘Ever worsening financial reasons in the Midlands?’

    Why do the darkside get 33,000 for a televised game when they’re in the bottom 3 then? In a season when they were humiliated live on TV home and away by a 4th division team? Albion got 25,000 for their last home game.

    • northfield says:

      It’s not rocket science..

      Vile have a more Loyal deluded fan base than were ever have..

      Baggies are playing some decent entertaining football..

      Were awful under Clark, library type atmosphere, depressing, none entertaining and very expensive to watch!!

      It’s really that simple!

  • carlos says:

    So who are the two players sold in January that PP didn’t tell us about? Due to be completed in August according to the accounts, but subject to confidentiality clauses. Redmond and Davies my guess.

    • RichardM says:

      What’s that Carlos – sorry I wasnt aware ofthat. So two deals have already been done and dusted then? Two more exits in June? Is this confirmed?

      • carlos says:

        lots of discussion on the forums, but apparently there is a statement in the accounts saying that two transfers were agreed in January that will be completed in August

  • Tony says:

    Clark should have got it sorted earlier, maybe then we could have been looking at the play offs our rightfull place.
    His learning curve has taken too long and we have suffered because of it .

    • mark says:

      I am sure Tony fans of other teams will think likewise no one has divine right…….maybe without our injuries, and our financial situationwe may have been in better siuation. Consolidate our season by staying in this division is the word now…. blame is futile…

  • Tony says:

    we got humiliated on tv too

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Radio statons I listened to yesterday said that this was a brilliant performance and Blues played some real quality football. Originally the anti Clark brigade were saying Clark must go because he is guaranteed to get us relegated, now we are climbing the division and playing quality football with some brilliant youthful discoveries by LC, they are saying Clark must go because we didnt win the league by Christmas. I am beginning to think that some of the contributors on here are Vile fans. I dont say that to wind up fellow supporters, I say it because I dont believe that true Blues would continue vitriollic negativity when the team and manager were producing such good pereformances! KRO.

    • RichardM says:

      Yawn……here we go again with the “Charge of the Clark Brigade”.

      Why do we still get this juvenile “they must be really pissed of when we win”….WHY?? I’m a Blues fan 38 years, WHY would I be dissapointed about the fact Blues have just won back to back for the second time this season, and are slowly climbing the table?

      We have a difference of opinion on Clark – GET OVER IT.

      Right, I’m off to read my “Villa are really great” annual, and light the candles next to my photo of Gabby Agbonlahor by my bedside table…..

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Richard, no probem at all with people believeing that they have issues with LC, but some of the criticism goes beyond the pale and it continues even when the team are doing well. This will only serve to feed the negativity to undermine the club at a time when the team and the manager need our support. In my mind, a true blue would not do that! KRO.

        • RichardM says:

          Fair point Bluenosesol – agreed we need to put this one to bed and concentrate on supporting the team.

  • Marky mark says:

    How come ?

    All the armchair brigade are depressed and full of negativity

    All the real supporters are happy and full of positivity

    How strange, I know which I prefer

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      You don’t get to the games then because when I’ve been its been more anti-clark then pro.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Leave aside whether you’re pro or anti-Clark, and just reflect on where we are, 11th. Best result all season, and people wonder why the crowds are down? It’s a big jump from celebrating winning the Carling Cup to clebrating 11th in the Championship. The board are clearly on their uppers, and it’s a bonus that we’ve managed to retain most of our team – for the moment.

    Last season we lost most of our premiership squad prior to a decent run in Europe, and, making the play-offs under Chris Hughton. Though I don’t agree with ‘the voice of reason’ I can understand where he’s coming from – a lot of hope departed with CH, and as of today, there’s no real sense of where any more is coming from.

  • BluenoseDownunder says:

    I have been critical of both LC (& Zigic) on this forum before but those are my personal views. It’s only natural that we have our own opinions but what i still see here is a lot of negative comments. what should really matter is our team & whether we like LC or not let’s just enjoy this current run of form? After all we have had plenty of dissapointments this season so lets get behind the team as one and help them keep the momentum going. It’s an existing time with Redmond getting regular time in the team & Fahey back too.
    There’s 8 games left, 4 are at home and with 2 tough away games at leicester & palace so we have a good run in & could finish just outside the playoffs now, which considering the current crisis would be amazing. KRO


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