Often Partisan

The Rise of Koby Arthur

2013 has been an incredible year for Koby Arthur. This time last year the then-seventeen year old Ghanaian was plying his trade with the Woodford United Development Squad, hoping for a contract with a league team. As we enter the final phase of this season Arthur has a first team squad number with Blues and is on the fringes of the matchday squad.

The first time I saw Koby play was just before Christmas in a behind-closed-doors friendly between the development squad and the Bailey Football Academy, which Blues won 5-0. I only got to see about fifteen minutes because of the Supporters Clubs Forum that was happening on the same day but what I did see of Koby impressed me. He lined up on the right side of midfield that day and he showed not only his skill and pace but his strength against players that were in the main bigger and older than he was.

On Monday, Koby played ninety minutes of the development squad game against Coventry City that Blues lost 2-1. He started the game on the right side of midfield before moving up front after Akwasi Asante was taken off. In midfield Arthur showed an excellent range of passing, playing some excellent through balls that split the Coventry centre backs for Reece Hales or Akwasi Asante to get in goalside along with some excellent ball control typified by a moment in the first half where he wriggled away from no less than four Coventry players closing in on him before finding another Blue shirt in an advanced position.

Up front he didn’t have as much joy; however he did test the Coventry keeper Chris Dunn on three or four occasions and maybe with a bit of luck would have scored on another day. He played with the kind of confidence and swagger you’d expect of an eighteen year old handed a first team number within weeks of training with the first team squad for the first time and it’s that kind of confidence that will propel him into the first team squad proper.

Billed as a forward who can play anywhere across the front line, Arthur reminds me of a  slightly stockier, slightly stronger version of Nathan Redmond. He doesn’t quite have Nathan’s lightning pace but his range of passing is better than his Brummie team-mate and his vision is more reminiscent of Ravel Morrison when he is on form. Koby is clearly highly rated; I’ve heard nothing but praise for him from the coaches I have spoken to and indeed the first time I saw the Ghanaian teenager play I was told to watch out for him as he looked like he could be a real talent.

As Blues continue to pull away from the Championship drop zone I can see Clark relaxing more and I firmly believe  once it’s become a mathematical certainty that Blues will stay in this division Arthur will be given his chance – maybe even from the start. It bodes well for the future and speaks well of the academy that Blues have been able to unearth another talent that could become a fixture in the first team in seasons to come.


92 Responses to “The Rise of Koby Arthur”

  • the real deal says:

    His agent couldn’t have given a better reference for him….your not is agent are you?

  • sutton apex says:

    i’m sure next season with no buy out he will be in 1st team – next season could be the birth of the clark babes ??

  • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

    Another talent being managed and bought on fantastically by Lee.

    Brilliant Dan.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      I reflect on the incredible success that Lee has had with bringing on the youth of the club. Managers are usualy guarded about blooding the kids too early and Lee may have been blessed in disguise in so far as he has had little choice, but the emergence of our youth players has been a joy to behold in an otherwise disconcerting season for supporters. If we do have new buyers, any new regime will have an excellent base from which to progress and if we carry on as is, then same applies….KRO.

      • TR7 says:

        Not wishing to sound negative ( as usual ! ) Bluenose , but , as you say , I think Clarke has had little choice , and also,
        I’m afraid that as we’ve been ‘ all over the place ‘ for various reasons this season , he’s thought ” Why not ? “

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      just checking if you are LC love child? Clark has had no choice to play the youngsters given the injury crisis, do you really think he would have played them if Murphy, Carr, Ambrose and Mullins hadn’t got injured?

  • Masaccio says:

    Exciting times for young footballers who want to play first team football, all over the country young talent is being picked up and used. Can only be a good thing for our game.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    It is encouraging to know that we have emerging talent on our books, !!.

    In the last few years, Our development and youth set-ups, have managed to unearth some possible real talents, !!.

    Jorden Mutch, Nathan Redmond, Jack Butland, Mithchel Hancox, Calum O’rielly, Dearman and Packwood, amongst others on the frnges,, — Please god we can keep and nurture them, !!!!!!!!.

  • dave mann says:

    has ive said before if we can keep hold off all these young players including
    king arthur and get some good quality in to go with it, new owners included
    then we can have a real go next season no danger and get back in the
    promised land off premiership football.

    come on you brummie babes. KRO.

  • CHRISC says:

    More good news as it been reported that Will Packwood is making good progress and could be of cruthes in the next few weeks and all bodes well for next season.

  • Alex T says:

    As I havent decided whether I will renew my season ticket for next year yet, the promise of seeing an exodus of old pro’s on high wages and an influx of hungy new talent brought up through the Blues academy is, to me, a big argument towards renewing.

    The most pleasure I have had this season is watching the likes of Butland, Reilly, Redmond, Hancox and Packwood (hope he returns too!) perform at good levels. In fact they have performed where the older pro’s couldn’t and, IMO are the main reason for our good form.

    I cant say it hasnt been a grind this season, and many performances combined with the off field saga’s have left a sour taste in the mouth, but with youth brings optimism. I just hope we can keep some old heads so we dont go the path of the Villa!


  • dave mann says:

    to be honest alex i agree with pretty much everything you said, the young lads have
    been a breath off fresh air and have been the making off a very dissapointing season
    has i said earlier new owners, new expierienced players and next season will take
    care off itself.

    has much as i hate to say this but the scum will stay up and with the good young
    players theyve got they will not be struggling next seson or the season after that
    IMO. KRO.

  • RichardM says:

    I think Richard Beale probably deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the current Blues Academy – but either way, it’s still great to see and hear so much young talent exists in the Blues Academy. With so much wrong at the club right now, it’s great that this is one area were we seem to be excelling.

  • dave mann says:

    we will only keep hold off our academy gems if this lot go asap.
    mutch has gone, butlands gone, and many more will follow if this
    drags on.( but hopefully it wont) KRO.

  • Tony says:

    Paul, Lee as you call him dont know his arse from his elbow, the kids getting on through natural talent not Clarks coaching, that would curtail the lads progress not help it.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      If ever I read an anti Clark for the sake of being anti Clark comment – Thats it!! Lee just cant do right regardless of his achievements because in your eyes, team achievements are 0% attributable to the manager, yet team failures are 100% attributable!!

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        it’s pretty obvious what Tones game is and who he supports.

        No Blue could be critical to his extent. Just negativity all the time oh and never goes down.

    • mark says:

      yeah I forgot abit like nathan, pull the other one it got bells on…..Nathan played one of his best games this season last saturday, and what a goal….inclarkwetrust. IYO you felt clark did the same to Nathan, how wrong are you now……..

    • mark says:

      my mistake referring you to the Derby home game…..

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Yep Paul, I agree with you Tony is a Viler, he says people attending are harming Blues, and his anti Clark rants are pathetic. No doubt he will say he was a season ticket holder for 450 years but decided not to renew when the Kumars came in, then each season he has managed to come up with a different excuse as to why he hasn’t attended!

      • Marky mark says:

        Spot on Blue,

        And Tony is not the only one who posts suspect comments, some of the stuff you read can only be from a vilet or a wind up merchant.

        You should have to pass a blues test before you can comment on here.

    • prewarblue says:

      Without siding with either the pro Lee or anti Lee camps could I point out its been “Richard Beale and his staff that has been responsible for the coaching of all these young players,,,,,,NOT Chris Hughton, McJudas or Lee

      • Bluenosesol says:

        I coached and managed kids from local boys club to local league rep level and it shattered me to see the number of kids with unique talents who fell by the way side. It takes a good coach to develop and bring out the best of a young player, but it takes a decision maker to recognise the talent and to determine when to have the courage to give that talent a senior opportunity. Our kids will one day look back and admit that their defining moment was the day that Lee Clark gave them a squad number!!

        • prewarblue says:

          While respecting your opinion could I point out due to “Clarkes” decsions and injuries , most of these young players would not have been given a “Squad” number, and he was forced into this by circumstance beyond his control,,,,,,,that they have stepped up and so far have not let themselves or their coach,s and trainers down is not down to the Manager of the moment but the excellence of their tuition by “Richard Beale” and his staff and all their hard work

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      Thats a bit over the top Tony but he has stunnted Nathan’s progress in my opinion.

  • oldburyblue says:

    I saw Koby for the 1st time on Monday and look forward to seeing him again soon….hopefully in the 1st Team. Yes, he made some mistakes, but only because he was willing to try different things. His close control is excellent but more importantly he appears to be a Team Man with the ability to spot a pass, making him an all-round midfielder and not just a head down winger relying solely on speed to beat a man. He also appears very strong for his size with a battling mentality to recover a lost or contested ball.

    Remember the name. He will be BIG.

  • dave mann says:

    get your point sol and concidering what clarks had to put up with hes done ok.
    but bearing in mind what houghton did with pretty much the same squad, getting
    in the playoffs, getting 10 points in a europa league group which normally gets
    you through that is a good achievement. lee’s struggled with what surely most
    fans would concider a promotion chasing squad so his achievements dont really
    match up mate to be honest. if he gets another season at blues then with what
    he hopefully will have at his disposal the fans will demand a push for promotion
    next season .
    i like lee hes very passionet and gives his all for the club, but i think the jobs to
    big for him and thats my opinion. KRO.

    • zenzero says:

      Got to disagree with you there, Hughton always stated he would not be able to repeat the sucess of last year with the same squad. Truth is we over achieved, when do you see a club go down lose 90% of it’s prem playing squad and mount a decent promotion charge? You don’t, look at wovles, blackburn and bolton, they have all struggled with more or less the same squad they went down with.

      • Alex T says:

        I’ve never brought that line about not being able to do the same again with this squad….. that was just an excuse to jump ship (not that I blame him).

        Fact is, Hughton is a very good manager, and Lee Clark is, at worst an average manager, at best a manager still learning his trade.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Did Hughton plan for this season? No.

    Did he show us any loyalty? No.

    Did he have the character or backbone or any thanks for giving him a route back in? No.

    Can’t stick the bloke.

    • Wearynose says:

      Utter tosh. Given the appalling ownership situation, would you have stayed at Blues given the better opportunity offered to him? Of course you wouldn’t, you would have looked after your own development and the interests of your family, or you should have done ifn you had half a brain. Hughton was the best manager that we’ve had in thirty years or more, he is also a genuine, honest man with good moral standards. He doesn’t deserve to be abused by one-eyed loons.

      • mark says:

        Thats funny because if you read most of the posters on here the insults clark gets is equally undeserved and unjustified. Inclarkwetrust. With regards to Hughton he jumped ship thats its,get over it.. and we thank him for some great times….He’s no longer part of our club but clark is………

        • Blue in Spain says:

          You say Hughton doesn’t deserve the abuse…Do you really think Clark deserves it?? On here alone Clark has been called a drunk, a liar, lacking in integrity, clueless and so on, any of that deserved? I’m with Paul and Mark, Hughton knew that the writing was on the wall and fecked off, thanks for last season but thats it!

      • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

        totaly agree with your comments, no brainer to move on, as was Big Eck’s, its only because he went to the dark side he got so much stick. the inclarkwetrust are one eyed blues fans who are bitter atr anything in the past. I bet they moan about us winning the cup….. fed up with them to be honest don’t know why I let them wind me up

        • mark says:

          No mate I had tears of joy, but unlike you I move on, and I don’t pick bones. my list could go on, here a few BRUCE,MCleish,Hughton have gone… what ever manager we had I have always backed them until they have gone….unlike yourself.

    • Wearynose says:

      Utter tosh. Given the appalling ownership situation, would you have stayed at Blues given the better opportunity offered to him? Of course you wouldn’t, you would have looked after your own development and the interests of your family, or you should have done if you had half a brain. Hughton was the best manager that we’ve had in thirty years or more, he is also a genuine, honest man with good moral standards. He doesn’t deserve to be abused by one-eyed loons.

  • mark says:

    Agree mostly with everything that said, But supporters need to get down to St Andrew and continue to support the team and the manager. Rise of young ones bring it on..like koby….. They will have my continued support. This is the division where they can continue to apply their trade, and 46 games will help them next year. It maybe two years before we reach the promise land so what.. let kids bring happiness and joy back to st Andrew, and maybe see legends in the making.. you got to be there to see it…I will be… Clark will be there next year Inclarkwetrust..kro

  • dave mann says:

    the truth is weather we over achieved or not chris houghton managed a promotion
    charge at his one and only season. we lost nowhere near 90% of our premiership
    playing squad. and by the way houghton would say he wouldnt be able to repeat
    it to take the pressure off wouldt he?
    you also did see a club, acording to you loose 90% off its prem playing suad and
    mount a decent promotion charge.BLUES.KRO.

    • RichardM says:

      Dave – your comments are absolutely spot on. However, we have no choice but to stick with what we’ve got and back him to the hilt – at least until new owners come on board.

      Let’s just rejoice in the fact we actually have some half decent youngsters, who could step up to the pale if the feared exodus starts in the summer. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to see this team next year:

      Townsend, Caddis, Packwood, Delfouneso, Hancox, Arthur, Gnahore, Reilly, Fahey, Reece-Hales, Redmond.

      Not one of them would cost a penny – with the exception of Caddid perhaps.

      What does everyone else think – could this team cut it in the Championship ?

      • mark says:

        all things are possible mate, but it upto fans to back the team and manager through thick and thin. I carry a heavy heart, but at present so-calls fans would slaughter them at every opportunity if paying £30-00 ticket. IMO maybe 5 OR 6 could play regularly in this division.

  • dave mann says:

    cheers richard, like the team but to be honest mate arent we bleeding a few
    to many youngsters at the same time. if that team played next season and
    got promoted and lee clark was manager then even i would bow in his
    presence and call him sir lee for the rest off my life.KRO.

    • RichardM says:

      LOL – agreed Dave, if that happened I’d happily walk naked from the Bullring to St Andrews with Paul Carter, Marky Mark and Bluenosesol whipping me for my lack of faith in Lee Clark!!

      No but it’s a serious point – if the ownsership issue isn’t sorted by the summer, and finances dictate that we have to sell the likes of Burke, King and Davies and cannot re-sign the 19 or so players out of contract, it might really come to this – plus Zigic and whatever Clarke can muster on the loan market.

      Would that side be good enough to compete in the championship? I for one think it probably would…

      • mark says:

        again I like IYO, unfortunately it a result business, and clark knows that. surely for any fans to see your home grown boys play is what it all about… But fans are fickle, and will take any advantage to a have poke.. .. like Paul mentioned it sad to see the blues supporters of 2012/13 turn on their club. Quite pitful really..Hopefully these gems will continued to be unearthed, and finally a team will come together, and you watch those so-call fans return in theirs…………….as if butter would not melt in their mouths…..

      • Bluenosesol says:

        LOL – Where’s that riding crop??

  • dave mann says:

    it could compete yes because they would all be hungry and proud to wear
    the shirt and run there socks off, but unfortunetley mate i thnk it would be
    another relegation battle purely on grounds off experiance and quality.
    lets all hope that by next season this lot have gone(the owners) and
    we wont have to put our young players in that pressure situation.kro.

    • RichardM says:

      True – but in such a situation I think the team and manager would be given a lot more slack, and expectations would dive. The problem for Clark this year has been people making comparisons (me included) with last season’s performances under Hughton. Some would argue that’s wrong (and their entitled to that opinion).

      If this came to pass I think most Blues fans would be more than satisfied with a mid-table finish – don’t think you’d see the anger we’ve seen this year for the reason I’ve already mentioned

  • mark says:

    and that would be in the best interest of our great club…….like before…….kumars, ken Welden,…tell me as the club gone backwards since those days…. no toilets, surely you remmember those days. Now look at our stadium….apathy works right…absolutely not…. and sullivan and gold brothers did badly did they….. i am sure OP said protest at our club would be futile I stand correct if not…

  • dave mann says:

    the anger and protest at our club(i agree protest is futile) is not at the players or
    manager, but at the ongoing circus around carson yeungs court case and the
    running off the club. blues fans wouldnt expect to much from your team richard
    but would that be okay with all the arm chair supporters who spend fortunes
    on season tickets( sarcasticly) . we need to push on next season so us paying
    customers get the football league we should be playing in!
    we will be playing premiership football in the 2014/15 season, ime convinced on that!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Family season tickets – £399 for one adult and one child, £799 for two adults and two children

    Adult season ticket Tilton Road End – £400 Kop – £503.

    Gil Merrick Stand (lower)- £400 and £369 in the upper Main Stand prices for adults are £503 and £451, with a paddock season ticket £369

    Divide these by 23 for match by match prices. £17.50 per game for an adult in the Tilton absolute bargain. Also an interest free facility for those who can’t stump up the cash up front. Tell me again how we can only get 12K whilst the darkside get 33K

    (Annual Cost of Sky plus Sky Sports – £709)

    • almajir says:

      On the flip side Paul, for balance.

      I got a one adult one child season ticket in the Family stand on finance. I agree, it’s a great deal – £48 or so a month for eight months isn’t too bad at all.

      However, it does cost more than that to go. Public transport means it costs me and the nipper £7 to go to each game. If it’s a night game I generally end up forking for a taxi back as the nipper has school the next day – there’s another tenner. Throw in a hot drink at half time on a cold day and maybe some food before or during the game, and it’s easy to understand why I budget for £10 – £20 to be spent on the day of the game.

      That all adds up – I do it because it’s my hobby, my passion and I like spending time with my daughter there. However, other people have different priorities – and it might just be as times are hard that a daytime expense of £20 on top of a season ticket payment of £48 a month is a bridge too far for some.

      As a side note, I don’t have Sky Sports at home…

      • Dean BCFC says:

        Good for you
        To me it’s the worst thing that ever happened to the game – and will eventually kill it

        • Ali Duncan says:

          Well put. Cheers Rupert for ruining our national game and my social calendar for the last x amount of years by moving the bloody kick off times to suit armchair man united glory supporters from Surrey.

      • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

        But Dan the point is every fan at every club incurs the same costs.

        Our fans have deserted us. Not those who can’t afford it/unemployed/ex pats obviously it’s not their fault but the thousands of others who found the money for Wembley and Europe. We have to face it mate our support is pathetic.

      • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

        And Sky sports also shows other sports like Rugby League, Union, Cricket etc etc. Being a fan of all sports and trying to bring a family up its either either, hence why I go when I’m not working and can afford it and if I was younger I’d be playing so wouldn’t be able to go on a Saturday or Sunday anyway. I get what Paul says but I’d much rather my kids watched sports that didn’t have cheating fools playing the game and aggresive swearing fans. BTW I think you can get season tickets at Warwickshire County Cricket Club for about £100 and you see far more minutesof sport and the facilities are 100% better than any football ground.

    • chas says:

      It is even cheaper for me, Paul,. but I still dont go down , and the reason is nothing to do with Carson yeung but the crap stuff that was/is churned out on the pitch at most games…And I dont need the likes of you and mark to tell me what to do.. If you think the football has been good over since the Final, I must beg ot differ.
      But I might go to Stans tomorrow and see if they have any bargain clobber..Real fan , me..

  • Macc lad says:

    Also Sky is for the whole family to enjoy, the season ticket is just for you.

    Times are hard, so you shouldn’t knock people for not going because they can’t afford it.

    • Dean BCFC says:

      For the whole family to enjoy Man U etc. you mean ? , in the boringly predictable Prem
      You obviously didn’t read Paul Carters message re prices
      If I’d lived in this Sky age with parents with your attitude , I wouldn’t have had all these wonderful years of joys and sorrows too , that’s what footballs all about
      As said , the game will die without the next generation of real supporters

    • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

      I don’t

  • Tony says:

    Im not a villa fan Paul

  • Tony says:

    Getting back to Topic about the young players lets get real, however decent prospects they are fringe players in a average at best second division team.
    Depends on what yardstick you use as measure if you use TF then they are light years away

  • Tony says:

    As I said Mark im not a vile fan I have been down there 4 times and scored 3 goals

  • mark says:

    Joe Bradford club record 267 goals in 445 games
    TF 133 goals in 329 games

    What is your point Tony you are making regarding you measuring our youngsters by TF……
    Firstly look at how many games TF played this was over nine years……

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      Are you trying to slate the best youngster ever to play for our great club? If TF played now he would have scored more goals than Rooney had old tarts, he was kicked up in the air every game he played and spent most of time limping around, remember we didn’t have 3 subs in his day. Carefull what you say Mark because kng Trevor was and will always be a legend.

  • Tony says:

    Mark hand on heart have you seen a better player than tf in a blues shirt?

  • mark says:

    Words as sung by Blues fans today
    As you go through life it’s a long, long road
    There’ll be joys and sorrows too
    As we journey on we will sing this song
    For the boys in royal blue.
    We’re often partisan – la la la
    We will journey on – la la la
    Keep right on to the end of the road
    Keep right on to the end
    Though the way be long let your heart beat strong
    Keep right on to the end
    Though you’re tired and weary
    Still journey on ’til you come to your happy abode
    With all our love we’ll be dreaming of
    We’ll be there. Where? At the end of the road.
    Birmingham, Birmingham

  • mark says:

    Promising young Blues goalkeeper Nick Townsend has joined non-league Oxford City on a youth loan deal until April 13. Hopefully one day he will take the gloves and become blues Number 1. Other gem who has been with us since the age of 12. Good luck Nick Clark watching you………..

    • roskoe says:

      I work with Nick’s mother, apparently he is a grounded lad who hasn’t any ego who works hard. Sounds like the kind of player we need. It did come from his Ma though….

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