Often Partisan

Ups and Downs

Following Blues has always been a rollercoaster of emotions. On Saturday after a 4-0 drubbing of Palace there were quite a few fans talking about the possibility of playoffs and promotion. Yesterday, following the 3-2 defeat to Wolves there are fans looking nervously at the bottom of the table thinking that Blues could yet go down. It is definitely a weird situation.

It’s been a strange old season in the Championship. I don’t think I’ve ever known it to be this tight, with so few points dividing so many places; it seems somewhat bizarre that Blues are in eleventh place – the top half no less – with six games to go and yet still not be anything like safe. Yet had we won on Monday (and make no mistake, we easily could have done had we not switched off for fifteen minutes in the first half) we could feasibly be ninth this evening and just six points off the playoffs with all to play for.

I think a large part of it boils down to how similar teams are in this division. Last season Doncaster Rovers finished with just 36 points in 24th place and the bottom three managed no more than 40 apiece (although Portsmouth are a special case having had ten deducted). This year bottom placed Bristol City have already got four more points than Doncaster did last season, in six fewer games. If you ignore the ten point deduction that Portsmouth suffered and look at Barnsley who finished 21st on 48 points, it’s still only one point more than Huddersfield Town have after 40 games. Clearly, there are no teams who have fallen away in the same manner as Doncaster and Coventry did last season.

It’s not just Blues either who are picking up results when they seemingly have no right to only to lose the “easier” games; as an example Blackpool lost to a Peterborough side who have been threatened by relegation all season on March 16 only to beat promotion hopefuls Palace 1-0 yesterday. However, this doesn’t take form into account – Peterborough have been resurgent of late, having not lost in seven whilst Palace have lost three on the spin and seem to be losing ground fast.

Of course, form is the key. One of the reasons I’m loathe to declare a points total that is safe for Blues is because I got it terribly wrong two years ago when we got relegated from the Premier League. I’d correctly surmised that a team with poor form would be sucked into the drop zone and would finish relegated – what I hadn’t picked up was that the team in poor form was Blues and it was that dreadful run of one point from our final six games that saw us relegated. Thus I can understand that people are still fearful of the drop because a similar run now would see us in the mixer somewhere and dependent on other teams to stay up.

However, one thing to consider is that the largest amount of league games in a row Blues have lost this season remains at only two. We’ve had runs of poor form where we’ve picked up only the odd win in six or seven but we have not had a run of consistent losses at any point this season. This indicates to me the inconsistencies in this division – the fact that no one is really that much better than anyone else and therefore whilst the chance of winning a game might be less than average, I don’t think that there have been that many games at all where we have conceded no chance of winning from the start.

In short, despite the rollercoaster nature of the season, despite the little runs of good form interspersed with horror shows and what not, I wouldn’t be massively surprised if we ended in mid-table mediocrity. I’m not going to put my neck on the line yet; I’m sure that there are more twists and turns for the side to go through but the one thing I would agree on is that our destiny is firmly in our own hands.

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72 Responses to “Ups and Downs”

  • Brian Clough says says:

    I’ll sleep a lot easier if we beat Millwall and a couple of results go our way Saturday.
    There’s nothing worse than a relegation dogfight, and past seasons show ur never truly safe until the mathematics add up.

    I’ve had a look at the run in (sad I know) and I don’t fancy Huddersfield or Ipswich chances, then again Blackburn are in free fall and deservedly so, I’m not sure I would swap our owners for there’s, and Leeds with no Manager could effect them badly.

    All I know is I hope it isn’t us, because if we go down it could be years before were back.

  • BluenoseDownunder says:

    On paper should be win 2 of the Blackburn, Bristol City & Ipswich games. Could pick up points in the Leeds, Leicester & Millwall games. Hopefully that will be enough to avoid the trap door? Considering where we have been this season and the back room problems, i for one would be happy with mid-table mediocrity.
    KRO

  • ChrisG says:

    I think we are in a slightly better position than some in that we’re not totally dependant on other teams results, that’s not to say we couldn’t do with a few favours from others. It’s the old cliche that we need to look at it now as we have 6 cup finals to the end of the season & I think that if we “turn up” like we did against Palace all the teams we have left to play are beatable, but like we’ve proved time & again, so are we!!!. Like you say, never a dull moment supporting Blues!!!. KRO

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Didn’t a home defeat to the Dingles to years ago start a disastrous set of results?

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Didn’t a home defeat to the Dingles two years ago start a disastrous set of results?

  • Agent McLeish says:

    I think LC should be applauded for the progress he has made with the team this season; this despite all of the other distractions and the negativity from some fans he has had to endure. A mid table finish would be an achievement in itself. After that we have many players being out of contract to content with so the line-up next season will be very different. Let’s just hope it’s with a new board. I for one would like to see what LC could do with some financial backing.

    • StevieW says:

      I think that as long as LC does not have to deal with any players with bigger ego`s than his in the dressing room then he can get them playing, but if players out at the moment come back and start giving it some in the changing rooms then I think LC will back to square one as I believe he cannot manage those type of situations. That is why I think the team are playing quite well now because most of them are young and their ego’s are not established yet. If LC can get his head round managing seasoned vets then he is in with a shout otherwise he will be known for managing youngsters and bringing them on, maybe he should be a youth team coach rather than a 1st team coach.

      • Agent Mcleish says:

        Thanks for proving my point on the negativity of some fans. No facts to base your argument on, just negative comments.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Not play the kids?

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Complete rubbish.

    You know Lee Clark has a big ego do you? How?

    You believe he can’t manage established players. Why? Have you seen our current form?

    A post based totally on assumptions.

    • StevieW says:

      My God don’t you go on……. My comments are based on opinion of what I see and hear just like yours you don’t know me and I really don’t want to know you from the rants and mud slinging you do.on here.

      If you would care to notice my comments are what I think not any factual data driven drivel.

      I am expressing the right to free expression and if you don’t like it tough.

      • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

        So where does it say in your post that you ‘think’ Lee has a big ego? You presented it as fact when you know jack about Lee Clark or his ego. He seems like a great bloke to me as well as a great leader who the players want to play. ‘I heard he can’t manage seasoned vets’ oh purlease…you ain’t heard nothing of the sort so stop making rubbish up.

        As I say just drivel designed to run the bloke down.

        • mark says:

          Why do people contantly go on about ego’s of the manager when where is purely no fact based on their assumptions . Zigic is playing better under clark stewardship, and will probably get more game time than he did under Hughton. Furthermore Clark dealt with him no problem, and still fans think this is about his ego loss for words.

          • chas says:

            Cant you blokes post without getting yoru knees in a knot ? Why are you so childish ?

          • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

            So when you said the other day that you don’t go down just to piss Paul Carter off that was grown up was it?

          • chas says:

            No Paul, it was just a joke, I thought you would have understood that..Have a Kiss to make up XX

  • psmith says:

    I don’t agree with StevieW. The maun weakness that LC has shown is his lack of experience in motivating his team. a squad with so many youngsters should be training at the bit to get in the team and on the field and yet we have seen lethargic performances particularly near the start of the game. We are left wondering which BCFC team will turn up on the day.

  • andy says:

    Its crazy how that one game against Wolves decided whether we could have a late tilt at the play offs or look nervously over our shoulders. Blues shot themselves in the foot and we end up doing the latter. Blues will get the results to stay up and then we can look forward to the Lee Clark revolution and his rebuilding of the squad.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Good to be positive Andy. Assuming we stay up I feel we have a lot to look forward to with a young hungry team and also stripping out many of the old codgers whose contracts are up. Lee has proved he can work the loan marked well in Caddis, Morrison, Fergi and to a lesser extent Hall (still a high number of assists) and I fancy him to build on youth and hungry loan players next season. I feel if we can keep the performing senior pros like Ziggy, Curtis and Keith on form and blend these players all together we could have a very exciting season – even if we’re skint.

      KRO!

  • Ali Duncan says:

    As you say, form is the key word and if you look at the form of the last ten games Blues are I think 7th or 8th in the form table which is very pleasing. We’re also very high scorers in recent games too so I don’t see us struggling to score more goals and achieve more wins. We just need to cut out the stupid defence mistakes. As suggested there are few games we shouldn’t look to take something from in general and if you look at out last 6 games these are all winnable matches. However our opponents will be sizing up Blues and thing the same about us of course.

    Hopefully Millwall will be distracted by their big game next weekend and then we face a sliding Leicester, seemingly doomed Bristol and then managerless Weeds so I think that is as nice a run as we could expect.

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    I’m glad to see Dan that I am not the only one who feels we could have won the game against Wolves on Monday despite the dire state of the score at the break. Been getting a lot of stick from some Dog Heads following my report.

    http://www.joysandsorrows.co.uk/2013/04/view-from-the-south-birmingham-city-v-wolverhampton-wanderers/

    Lots of tub thumping from them calling us poor and the like but I reckon it shows their insecurity. For Blues to get relgated eleven teams have got to get above us and some have got to make up six points in addition to the number they need anyway. Unless Blues lose every game from here on in the reality is they will be safe. One more win should do it.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    This is the poorest Championship for many years with no stand out sides.
    The three relegated teams from the Prem last season have all under performed which has never happened before.

    Therefore a huge opportunity has been missed by the Blues to make the play offs this season.

    Relegation would be unthinkable.

  • Martin says:

    Our biggest home turn out this season and a few of the lads got stage fright, great support from the faithful for the first 20mins and the 2nd half, Wolves come for a fight and I’m afraid we were to battered and bruised to come back from that first half knock down, Although it was much improved and enjoyable to watch after the break.
    It’s hard not to keep looking over our shoulder however I would argue with anyone we have more quality in our side than many of the 13 teams below us, the question is do we have the fight in us?? I would suggest so….KRO

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Speaking of support, I notice many clubs are starting to announce ST prices for next season. I’m guessing ours might hold back until our Championship status is secure. Dan, any word from the club about when they’ll be announced and if there will be any early bird incentives etc?

  • mark says:

    In agreement with you Paul about us not going down, its in our own hands. Again with another home fixture against Millwall it upto our fans to continuely get behind the team and manager, and hopefully get the right result on Saturday.

  • Tony says:

    Politics have no place is Football Paul ,a mans beliefs have no bearing on his ability to manage a football team, stop bringing it up.

    • Brian Clough says says:

      Incorrect Tony,

      If a mans beliefs include racism or facisim for example, he would be far from an ideal choice to Manage a multi cultural football club now would he ?

      • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

        And if that clubs fans were direct descendants of people killed fighting against that mans ideals he should never be given the job.

      • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

        Gone a bit quiet Tone?

  • Tony says:

    The more I see of Pauls rantings the more I think of the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln
    ” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and have it comfirmed”

    • Agent Mcleish says:

      That sounds like a rant to me. Pot and kettle?

      • Blue in Spain says:

        Funny how the anti Clark brigade, that have been ranting about Clark all season have a go at Paul for his beliefs. Hypocrites the lot of you!

  • Steve says:

    And he is off again zzzzzzzzzz

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Hear hear Paulo, and people making a case for him make me sick.

    Sunderland FC should hang their heads in shame

  • Paulo says:

    ‘Ups and Downs’, well, I’ve pretty much assumed all along that this season is not one of predictions and celebrations, as every team has been, and still is, looking over their shoulder behind them. Most teams have played to win from the off, and those that came up simply didn’t stop. We’ve had our arse kicked a few too many times now, and the only thing that is consistent about blues is that we’re inconsistent. However, through it all this season, various people have got better, and LC has stuck with it. We have been hit by injuries again, and usually always plagued by missing someone in a particular slot on the pitch. We have been battered by better teams, and we have deservedly won some too, yet survival really was, and still is, the only thing that matters to us.
    We are going to have a major shake up in the summer, and I’ll be amazed if our squad looks anything like the one we have now. To be honest, we have done well to survive so far, given that those clowns in HK have as good as ruined us by their incompetence. Further damage could still be done though. I only hope we get through these last few games and take some points, as I can’t be doing with watching the Blackburn game knowing we could end up right in the brown stuff. Let’s see if we get that confidence back, even if for a few weeks.

  • Ron says:

    3 weeks ago Blues we’re 5/1 to go down. Today they are 50/1. I know the bookies are not right all the time but I am prepared to accept blues will be safe based on those odds. Have faith my friends!

  • Ali Duncan says:

    In other news and back on a Blues track – good to see Ferguson extended until the end of the season.

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Great news

  • James says:

    There has been more downs than ups this season. With better home support we may have had a couple more points on the board – the same fans would have found the couple of hundred £ had we have made the play off final.

    LC has performed well under the circumstances, but his siginings have let him down big time. He has also given 6 very good youngsters a chance; they’ll probably form the next sales come the Summer though.

    A mid table finish is a decent result; lets just all hope and prey someone/somewhere is waiting in the wings to buy us and send carson/pp packing

    Keep Right On

    • Ali Duncan says:

      You make a fair point that if we had made the play-offs and got to the final that all the non attenders come out of the woodwork demanding tickets. I suspect our average gate sans away support would be about 15k this season yet there would be 40k + wanting a ticket for Wembley.

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Key injuries at key times too

  • chas says:

    And two more bits of News..

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11688/8615233/Shane-Ferguson-has-extended-his-loan-spell-with-Birmingham-until-the-end-of-the-season

    And Blackburn have their two Goalies of through injury, Robinson is out for 6 months due to a blood clot on his lungs.,. Hope he recovers complately.

    • Brian Clough says says:

      Thanks Chas,

      At this rate I can cancel my sky subscription and newspaper bill, if you can let me have an update on Eastenders at some point that would be great lol.

  • dave mann says:

    were not going up, were not going down,
    were stay where we are and build for next season.
    with lee in charge, carson out the picture and a great
    young academy of players, bring on next season.
    KRO.

  • prewarblue says:

    Roll on next season,,,,,had enough of this one.
    p.s Ein Volk,,,,Ein Reich,,,,Ein Furher,,,,,,sound familiar ?,,,,,Facism,,,,one voice,,,,one opinion,,,,any others dont count if they differ from “Der Leader”

    • prewarblue says:

      Party Members No doubt ?,,,,,,others will read it the way its intended to be read

      • prewarblue says:

        I dont give a “Rats” what a mans political views are,,,,they are his opinions right or wrong,,,,,Facism had many good points,,,,but they were out weighed by the bad,,,,,,however this site of A.J,s is not a political soapbox,,,,,,its about football and Blues in particular if it escapes your notice not singling out persons who hold differing views to the majority or minority in certain cases

      • mark says:

        What ever my political views are they none of your business, whether you said in a joke or not I couldn’t give S**T really ..but to others I think you are being very disrespectful. No need for references.. this matter is now finished.

        • prewarblue says:

          FOR you maybe ,,,,,but not for me,,,,,,you do NOT dictate to me,,,,,I have refrained so far in joining in with your childish little gang comments about others who dis agree with you or your leader ,,,,,,like you I need to ignore others who fail to see another opinion other than their own little ego boost

    • Blueboy88 says:

      Di Canio has totally refuted your allegation..

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22017645

    • RichardM says:

      One coke with ice and a fanta? What’s your point Prewar???

      • mark says:

        Prewar enough said, try and put your thoughts into Saturdays game. At least this is one thing that unites us………

  • DoctorD says:

    Don’t want to pour cold water on anything, but

    IF we lose on Saturday
    AND Charlton draw with Leeds
    AND Burnely beat Bristol City
    AND there are wins for Blackpool and Ipswich

    we could be 17th and possilbly just one win off the bottom three.

    The big games on Saturday are Huddersfield v Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday against Blackburn.

  • Brian Clough says says:

    Incorrect again Tony !

    It would appear you have misinterpreted Godwins law, perhaps you should study it before playing it as your trump card.

    Perhaps we should all get back to what this blog does best BCFC.

    As for Facisim, history is littered with Wars as a direct result, any good points are utterly insignificant compared to that. And whilst anyone has the freedom to support it those that do in my opinion disgust me.

  • sutton apex says:

    six more points and roll on the summer of change !! new owners, players, manager – it could all happen !! fair play to clark in a difficult time for the club – lets see what happens ??

  • Tony says:

    Think prewars comments obliterate Paul ,Mark, Blue in Spain, we should all take note of his remarks.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    I see we have more Nursey Rhymes again http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/norwich-transfer-news-nathan-redmond-1806938 Why does the Mirror employ this guy? I could do a better job making up suggestive stories. The guy talks complete bull.

    • StevieW says:

      The Mirror and Nursey are a perfect match, and lets face it real news is a bit thin on the ground at the moment, as in not much to investigate, from a Blues perspective that is.

  • twooutofthreelatchfords says:

    I see…60 points. Tenth. Looking forward to going to the Bristol match.


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