Often Partisan

Squad Analysis – Part I

The revolving door at St Andrews is back in full swing this summer already with players being released, made available for transfer and brought in on Bosman free transfers.

With this in mind I thought I would put together a squad analysis which I would then update either on a weekly or fortnightly basis depending on how many comings and goings there are. All details reference contracts have been sourced from the club direct.

Squad as at 25 May 2013 00:00BST

Keepers: Colin Doyle, Darren Randolph, Nick Townsend

Defenders: Amari’i Bell, Curtis Davies, James Fry, Mitch Hancox, Ryan Higgins, David Murphy, Will Packwood, Paul Robinson, Jonathan Spector

Midfielders: Charlee Adams, Darren Ambrose, Koby Arthur, Chris Burke, Wade Elliott, Eddy Gnahoré, Oliver Lee, Hayden Mullins, Nathan Redmond, Callum Reilly, Andrew Shinnie, Liam Truslove

Forwards: Akwasi Asante, Reece Hales, Marlon King, Peter Lovenkrands, Lee Novak, Nikola Zigic.

Contracted to June 2014 or beyond
Offered a contract but not yet signed
Made available for transfer/free transfer

Straight away it’s easy to see the scale of the job that Lee Clark has this summer to get the squad into some semblance of order. Of the 22 players who are contracted beyond July 1 and who have not been made available for transfer, nine are rookies who have come through the academy and are yet to make a league appearance for Blues; a further four are 20 or under and have only joined the first team in the last season and four more are recent signings and as such have not appeared for the first team (although Olly Lee was an unused sub in the final game of last season).

However, what is more disconcerting to me is the lack of depth beneath the squad. Blues released five young centre backs this summer – Jack Deaman, Fraser Kerr, Graham Hutchison, Emmitt Delfouneso and Callum Thomson – which means that barring Jean Kalenda (who will be a third year scholar next year), there is no one to play central defence in the u21 side. Blues are not only going to have to bring in bodies to fill out the main squad, but youngsters to put in the u21s too (unless they’re going to promote last year’s u16s that far).

As we have found out with the Paul Caddis situation, Blues have very little room to manoeuver in the transfer market and it appears that paying a fee is going to be beyond the financial grasp of the club for now. Whilst Clark will be doing what he can with Bosman free transfers, I suspect that they will also be looking to set up as many trialists as he can for pre-season to see who he can bring in via that route. Prior to the end of last season Blues arranged a game with two teams wholly comprised of released players to take a look at them close up and I wonder if they will look to that sort of creative idea again to take a look at as many players as possible.

The key thing to remember is it’s only May 25. There are over six weeks to the friendly in Dublin alone; the new season doesn’t start for ten weeks and the end of the transfer window isn’t for another three months plus – and even then, there is the loan window/free transfer window for three months after that. Unlike last season, we are not under a transfer embargo at this stage of the closed season and thus we can at least bring in free transfers should they choose to come to us. The revolving door might be spinning quickly but it’s not all one way traffic and there is always the potential Clark will find another gem in the same way he plucked Jordan Rhodes from the Ipswich reserve side.

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109 Responses to “Squad Analysis – Part I”

  • TommyT says:

    Trying to work out which part of the side looks worse defence, midfield or upfront.. Ambrose what a waste of money bet he wishes he had stayedbat palace now.. Many of us wish Zigic stayed in Spain shame we never signed Martins instead of him

  • Carson Yeung says:

    Anyone red is for sale!

  • Carson Yeung says:

    Anyone green is free

  • Steve says:

    I’m really sorry to say this but that squad is heading for League 1.

  • ZENZERO says:

    Make or break for blues this season. Could be the start of a new generation or it could end in disaster.

  • ChrisG says:

    Be interesting to see if we can get Fergie & Ravel back on loan

  • pete says:

    says it all. Will back them all the way and it might allow some gems top be unearthed, but without a shadow of a doubt this is the worst squad we have had over 20 years, inc when on league 1. What what its alarming is look how many have until 2014, so what their value or put chances of holding on to them will be.

    Surely once they sell Davies and Redmond there is nobody left and administration its the only option, in which case I think I would hope it happened now. I know it won’t, but that is my hope.

  • mark says:

    Dan excellent summary of the team, for all to see,, no where to hide……..we will rise from the ashes………inclarkwetrust…
    Clark keep us up brilliant manager…….. Half way frantatic manager……..playoffs knighthood……promotion……freedom of the city……..kro by the way renewed with pleasure……

  • Paul Carter says:

    Will be amazed if we stay up but will be at every game.

    Next season will be a boo boys dream. Expect OP to be swamped by antis twice as bad as last year.

    Well done to all the loyal who are staying with the club and are renewing. How could anyone even consider not? We are right behind you Lee.

    To all the stayawayers and boycotters please please honour your pledge. You are not Blues. Walk away and never come back

    • daddylane79 says:

      Might expect some antis come this season to be expected with any club. One thing everyone who reads OP can bet on is that you’ll be back on here week in week out moaning about the supposed parttime fans and how die hard and committed you are and the same old dribble do us a favour mate give it a rest no-one cares if you go to every game they want news about their beloved club thats why they read OP. Great job al kro.

      • James Black says:

        Well im still in the mountains and this my first read in many weeks ok OP but i have to say daddylane that i don’t believe Paul is a moaner, in fact the opposite. I can think of dozens of contributors here that you could call moaners and well poisoners, so with all due respect, i think that your charge against Paul is harsh to say the least.
        Lee Clarke had his faults but in my eyes at least his more than proven his worth and the ones that screamed admin for sure as well as relegation for sure will find something else to ware us down with.
        Maybe time to give a little credit to Lee Clarke and remind the neggos that every prediction and claim they made proved to be wrong. We will come back stronger for all this just watch and believe.

    • Drew says:

      “Walk away and never come back”………. You really are a self righteous old fool aren’t you Paul. I can picture you in the school playground as we speak….”I’ve got my season ticket, look at me,look at me”. You carry on fella. Set up an extra standing order to Asia Ray while your at it.

    • Steve-0 says:

      Spoken like a true armchair fan.

      • Drew says:

        Correction Steve….. Spoken like a fan who has had a season ticket for 25 years on the bounce but refuses to contribute to Pannu’s pocket anymore. You fill your boots fella.

        • Steve-0 says:

          Sorry Drew. My post was in reply to Paul Carter not yours. Chronologically it’s under yours but structurally it’s under Paul’s.

        • Paul Carter says:

          Why would anyone let that Pannu drive em out of supporting their own club.

          As I say it’s just the latest excuse.

          You are no longer Blues. In their hour of need you did one.

          Please never come back.

          comment edited

          • Drew says:

            I’m no longer Blues hey Paul….. Is that according to the official ‘how to be a True fan’ Rule book written by that we’ll known eminent author PAUL (the voice of all knowledge) CARTER.
            Are you perhaps 12 years old or younger Paul? You are talking to someone here who didn’t let Ken Weldon or even the Kumars put him off following his beloved Blues …. This lot however take the proverbial biscuit…. Or should I say take YOUR proverbial biscuit. Like I say fella….. You fill us boots.

          • John says:

            The reason why a lot of fans will be reticent to renew our season tickets,is that it would appear the money will go into Pannu’s pocket. It’s obvious none will go buy players. If Pannu made a statement, that he will considerablly reduce, his income from the club,that might help. It’s all very well saying your only a true bluenose,if you renew, but giving money to the director,who stated that he was not, interested in the supporters feelings, is not very bright !

  • Evesham blue says:

    It doesn’t look too clever when they haven’t signed them contracts yet?

    • Evesham blue says:

      We got over 60 points last year and finished mid table having played diabolical for the majority of it. The division had many sh1t teams in it. We are not surviving in the prem folks.

      So lets cut out the hystery about relegation and the LC love in about how he will be a god if we even survive.

      Be realistic we will be pretty much of muchness as anybody else

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    There is a long way to go but things are not looking that good. Out of the squad so far, we could fashion a first-team with a decent enough experienced line-up, but if Elliott, Specs and Robbo do not sign-on, we really will be deep in the mire. You only tend to pick a bargain up on the odd occasion; not when you want to do all you shopping in one go and this will inevitably lead to disarray when trying to achieve something. In reality all that we can hope for is surviving in the Championship, and that is going to be a good return as things stand. The chances are we may again experience an up/down sort of season, and many will jump on LC’s back again, when the problems are really not of his making. Almajir, what are you thoughts on possible new owners/investment in the near future?

  • sappy sad says:

    ……..we blues fans don’t care that you as players aren’t Brazilian internationals…….we don’t care that you don’t look like david beckam ……we do care that as a bluenose that you give100% …..we do care that you as a bluenose don’t let yourhead drop in a match but hit back harder when the game and the referee seems to be against you ……..YOU ARE A BLUENOSE ,YOU ARE FAMILY ,WE ARE PROUD OF YOU .,…..WEAR THE BADGE WITH PRIDE…….GOOD TIMES ARE NEAR ,………..COME ON NO TIME FOR TEARS ….GET YOUR SELF IN A PIECE OF BIRMINGHAM CITY HISTORY BE A PART OF THE TEAM ………..MAKE EVERY DAY A BLUENOSE DAY………………K.R.O.

  • mark says:

    Regarding outstanding contracts to be signed by players, it would be fair for them to reflect with their families, and possibly be
    fluenced by their agents. Imo I would certainly would like them to sign………

  • mark says:

    Its shame jack deaman never made the grade???

  • Happiness stan says:

    first time on this brilliant blog,thanks for the first class information,going to renew st today .after being booted out of gil merrick,team looks painfully thin .great playing kids,but need establised players as well,very tough job lc,keep the faith.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The key factor in all this is that THERE IS A LONG TIME UNTIL THE SEASON STARTS!!!
    LC is building his own squad and we must allow him to do so and judge him on September 1st.

  • Letsby Avenue says:


    Birmingham Post & Mail:

    “Right-back Higgins, who has penned a one-year deal with a year’s option, said: “I’ve never been complacent, I’ve never been that way.

    “Some young players I know from 17 have had professional contracts, got all the money and stuff, and they think that’s it.

    “Obviously it’s been different for me and it has always been about working hard, staying mentally strong and trying to prove myself.

    “And in the 21s, no-one ever thought they were bigger than the team, everyone was very together and had the right attitude.

    “Now I’ve got this opportunity, a contract, it’s starting all over again.

    “I know there are things in my game I have to improve on, football-wise, positionally and physically.”

    Higgins began his career in Everton’s Academy as a midfielder and strong attacking forays from defence are a speciality. “I’ve spoken with the manager and (assistant manager) Terry McDermott about what I have to work on,” said Higgins.

    “The main aim now of a full-back is to get forward, get into good situations.

    “But the defensive side of things is also very important and I will be brushing up on my one-on-one against wingers, not getting done over the top, stuff like that.”


    Now is that sensible and is that coherent ??

    Well done Clark and Beale.

    I would really like to see this lad, who played for nowt at Blues, to get a good break….and really make it. He deserves it imo.

    My future Hope— Is Higgins ==== :-)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I have 100% faith in Lee Clark to do the job, unless I’m given good reason not to.

    Last season, the young lads coming in thrilled us all, gave us something to applaud. The older players rarely gave us anything to cheer about, so I for one, won’t be too unhappy to see the back of them tbh. We might not have the best team in the division, or the best players… but it’ll be a fresh squad, all gelling together and they will (or should) play their hearts out to make an impression.

    I’m looking forward to next season.

  • Marky mark says:

    League one here we come, its been awhile since I visited some of those grounds, in a strange way
    I’m looking forward to going back.

    I will support blues whatever the league, call me deluded call me stupid thats what I signed up to do.

  • Knowle Blues says:

    No need to panic – due to balancing the finances the squad will naturally reduce before increasing. We have time on our side to mAke the right decisions without panic buying.

  • Tony says:

    And now for realism, someone said this is the worst squad in 20 years correction it is the worst squad ever. with these players it will be successive relegations.

    • almajir says:

      Sorry Tony, but it’s not.

      And you forget, it’s May 25 – PLENTY of time to sign players etc. No need for the valium and razorblades just yet…

      • KeepRightcroydOn says:

        Young & inexperienced does not equate to worst squad ever. There are some decent youngsters with potential in the squad. Admittedly it’s going to be tough with this squad, thin as it is at present, but let’s wait and see who else comes in over the next few weeks. My guess is LC will bring in 2 or 3 28yr olds on loan to add experience. I suspect he’s learnt from last season’s experience of getting in 30+ yr olds.
        As Al says there’s still time to add depth and experience to the squad, so a bit premature to cast judgement.

      • mark says:

        Your right dan tony would be sadly missed….. Please take care tony…..

      • viperblue says:

        Please Almajir don’t put Tony off the razor blades the lad is obviously
        suffering and needs all avenues left open!!!!!
        Come on tony look on the bright side just once

    • chas says:

      Tony, that was YOU who said it was the worse Squad for 20 years.You are getting forgetfull in your old age.

      And it is only 2.03 pm on the 25t of May.. The Season hasnt started yet..

  • TracyKRO says:

    I think we all need to get behind Clark and the players in these bad times, We all don’t like what is going on with our club, we just backing them in a safe way, credit cards and monthly payments etc I was moved from GMU stand and I will still support them no matter what Division they are in. If you don’t want to go it is totally up to you, I remember the Barry Fry days and they were Electric with big crowds in Div 1,Its only May I would worry more if it was July30th. Keep Right On For the Boys in Blue

  • Paul Carter says:

    Brilliant Tracy KRO

  • Tony says:

    Why do I always equate Barry Fry with Ricky Otto? oh my god feel a headache soming on lol

  • Terry says:

    Why did we let Rooney go for free to Swindon when we could done a straight swop for caddis.

  • dave mann says:

    so maybe this is one off our weekest squads for some time.
    SO WHAT! the reasons for that are clear for all to see, so
    dont use that as an excuse not to go. a true supporter supports
    their team through these bad times were havin not jump ship!
    get your season ticket, or if cant afford to try to get to as many
    games as you can, and sing your heart out for the citys club.
    makes me want to smack perople walking around this city with
    man.u., chelsea, liverpool shirts on, not to mention the vile…..!
    if you support those teams go live there…..PLEASE. KRIO.

    • mark says:

      Dave love reading your comments…..not sure about the smacking, but I know what you mean. I have man utd fan in my family. At least no vilers fans…now thats a blessing.

  • dave mann says:

    would you believe that my younger brother is a vile……
    dont speak to him not interested in his opinions, just
    tell him to button it the black sheep!
    my older brothers got a bit more common sense, but
    doesnt get to go to many games now unfortunetley.
    got leeds, man.u. and vile … fans where i work, make
    me sick and i let them know about it to because i can
    because i SUPPORT my team not sit on my backside
    whatching them on telly!. KRO& SOTV.

    • viperblue says:

      My eldest daughter is a viler but our own fault,I started taking down the Blues and we lost 4 games
      in a row (Including that never forgotten 4-6 against Swindon) all my mates pleaded with me not to bring her again ,I didn’t and we started winning but she met aviler ,he took her to scumsville and they beat
      AC Milan….the rest is history
      Youngest daughter is a Blue but i still worry about my parenting skills
      KRO….1st team to win the league by end of Jan2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steblues says:

    After clark finally found his feet after christmas i ‘ve got every faith he will get it together under these shocking shenanigans at board level KRO.

  • oldburyblue says:

    Don’t panic! Judge a cake when it has been baked…not before you know exactly what ingredients you have to put in the mix!

  • oldburyblue says:

    Oops..missed out the word “available” after “have”.

  • Evesham blue says:

    For heavens sake we have already signed 4 players so far and this early before pre season. We knew the squad would be over hauled beforehand. This takes time. LC is acting very quickly to address the squad. The man should be on beach somewhere but the guys a workaholic.

    Please don’t panic. Same as if them contract don’t get signed. Let them all go. Keep your head and be patient. 2 minutes ago people were saying they were really excited. Up,down but no middle ground it seems

  • psmith says:

    Early days and difficult times but let us at least try to encourage the youngsters. OK we may not be talking Busby Babes but with a lot of heart and good coaching perhaps Clark’s Creche may surprise. KRO

  • dave mann says:

    i think middle ground is pretty much where we will finish evesham blue to be honest mate.
    pretty similar to this season gone, unless something wonderfull happens and carson as
    to sell the club and rich new owners come in, but that could take for ever at this rate, so
    as you say we all unfortunetlry have to stay patiet and not panic just yet.KRO&SOTV.

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    I do find it odd that Robinson is avoiding the dotted line after he said a couple of weeks or so ago how much he wanted to stay. Sure he’s probably been offered a lower wage, but that would not have come as a surprise as he knows the club’s situation

    He surely must also remember that no other wanted him when he was 33, so why would anyone want him now he’s a year older. What he’ll get at Blues is regular football (probably), captaincy (possibly), and even with.a reduced wage, probably more than mist Championship clubs will be prepared to pay a 34 yr old. He’ll also be in a team of youngsters who’ll all look up to him.

    Has he perhaps got carried away with the success he’s had this season at Blues and think that loads of richer clubs will bang on his door? I somehow doubt it. If they have more money to spend, they’ll probably go for longer term prospects.

    Talking of older players, one I wouldn’t mind back is Kevin Phillips. If Palace win on Mon I wonder if he will be released by them because they may feel he may struggle in the Premier. I reckon he can still do a job in the Championship and offers a different kind of option up front, probably off the bench.

  • dave mann says:

    as much as i admire kevin phillips croyd hes propably a little bit to old for lee, he only wants
    players 26 or under by the way hes going, and even they are old compared to the rest off
    the squad dont you thimk.
    it would be against his primciples add the path he seems to be going down, which
    personally ive no problem with what so ever. KRO& SOTV.

  • BhamCityJulian says:


    The worst team you are thinking off contained some terrible players, lacking pace and football intelligence, poor skills and lacked proper development because of the Wheldon

    These lads come through a well funded and Premier standard academy. There is no reason to believe they are crap like those in the ’90’s

  • dave mann says:

    just including the contracted players,this doesnt sound like a bad side to me?
    6 of those are tried and trusted championship players, the other 5 ?
    it could be worse or better by august 3rd, lets wait and see!


  • jazzzy786 says:

    What position does Amari Bell play? Is he a CB or a LB? Scarily thin squad.

  • Lee H says:

    I am 100% behind a team of kids and lower cheap players

    In the team that originally took us up in 2002 we had players like:
    Martin Grainger – Originally signed from Brentford
    Jeff Kenna – Free transfer from Blackburn
    Darren Purse – Small fee from Oxford
    Bryan Hughes – Wrexham
    Stern John – Nottingham Forest cast off.

    The list is endless

    We have also had teams with:
    Steve Bruce – Manchester United
    Gary Ablett – Everton
    Paul Furlong – Chelsea
    Barry Horne – Everton

    Those teams have been full of over payed players who didn’t cut it.

    All the Rowan Vine’s, who we have payed good money for and seen underachieve (Admittedly sometimes due to bad management)

    I would hate for us to overlook talent like Foday Nobay in a few years because we would rather sign a ‘proven’ player.

    With regards to Marlon King. The guy was arrested in April. He clearly will always be cursed by his ego, and I personally would rather not have him poisoning our squad.

  • Tony says:

    Chas it was actually Pete who said this was the worst squad in 20years not I please pay attention

    • chas says:

      OK Tony , my apologies are on their way.I was just pulling your leg anyway..
      Change of subject cos I am lazy, Jerome Thomas has been released by Albion, wasnt he supposed to be a good Player ?

  • Happiness stan says:

    So chuffed today im a copite this season,thought have a few beers in the town to celebrate the happy event,i was then told by a 20 year old,that I was crazy renewing,god if these kids had to see dean peer and mark cooper in midfield ,keep the faith.

  • Tony says:

    Stan do you mind Mark is a friend of mine

  • andy says:

    Obviously it would be down to wages, but Ebanks Blake would be a great signing for Blues.

    • pete says:

      Would love ebanks-Blake but don’t think we could get near his wages. Of we can’t afford Fahey…..

      As for worst squad on 20 years- I stand by it. Hopefully LCD will have an abundance of choices in the rest of the summer…….

  • JohnBond says:

    Ebanks Blake
    George Elokobi
    Jermain pennant
    Next 4 signings
    Maybe Jake Howes

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Next season we have to survive, no more, no less. At some point in the next twelve months we will have new owners, and with them a new manager and new signings.
    Staying afloat in the Championship should bring us the chance of halfway-decent new owners. Everything else will stem from that.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Agree with all your points… except the new manager. We’ve got one. I think Lee Clark will makes mugs of all his doubters this season.

      • mark says:

        Already made mugs out of them last season……with things the way they are now… You can bet they are waiting to off – load at every opportunity mark my words…..they all be lining up that first match once that becomes available… Chameonens never change imo

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Lee Clark is trying to create a team to do well, in the worst possible circumstances. Fans have to realise that and accept it. They need to lower their expectations… and you never know, we just might surprise a lot of people next season!

          • mark says:

            Staffsblue in total agreement with yours comments……….if some fans dont like it, they can lump it… Imo

        • oldburyblue says:

          Eh? If you mean chameleons, I suppose no matter how they change colour they are still chameleons. Makes a change from the normal leopard and its spots though!

  • bluenoserob says:

    Bond , your 4 next signing are on about 120k a week between them , thats about 100k a week more than we can afford.Sad but true

  • bluenoserob says:

    How was stern john as cast of?? Forrest couldnt afford to pay him a goal bonus that he was due .so they had to sell him .He was in the top few top scorers when we got him.Oh and we payed 800k for darren purse , we couldnt pay even that now

  • JohnBond says:

    Stern John legend always score in the last minute

  • dave blues nose says:

    you supporters make me sick, a lot of you no nothing about football, I was ticket holder for 20 years, and we should turn up with the club in a mess, I have had enough of these owners, I am not giving them any more money, until we have new owners in place, dose anybody as or find out if paladini as the money to run this club, dose any body know him to find out, then maybe we can confront pannu to why he dose not sell to paladini, so you so called supporters shut your mouth let the real supporters like me and others waite till things get better if they ever do, and another thing is why don.t we protest in front of the ground get PANNU TO EXPLAIN WHY HE DOSE NOT SELL TO PALADINI WHO AT LEAST MIGHT KEEP US STABLE AND BRING IN PLAYERS.

    • Drew says:

      Here, here Dave. With you all the way mate. I too had one for 25 years but not a penny more whilst it ends up in Pannu’s back pocket. We can’t even afford to buy Caddis or gods sake yet Pannu’s salary alone would buy 5 Caddis’s … It’s pathetic and the quicker some of the deranged on here wake up to that, the quicker we can stop these idiots taking every last penny before they skip off into their own Far East sunset.

  • dave blues nose says:

    and they want £500 with know players, we need to go in to administration, then blues would go cheap, and then we can rebuild with new owners, like I said don.t tell supporters to go down and then call them for not being loyal to blues, take a step back and think of the situation people are in with money problems and the fact people are sick and tired of the things that are going on down the blues, there a few nutters in the ground who go mad if you say anything about the team during the match, them are the ones that should stay away, we all have a opinion, if its crap then you say its crap ok.

  • Tony says:

    Did someone say get martins?. he rolled the ball in from 4 yds at Wembley did nothing else whilst here.

  • Tony says:

    Tony Pullis would be good?

  • Marky mark says:


    That was a great season. A brilliant day at Wembley my mate in his blue suit and the best goal ever scored on the hallowed turf are you for real ?

    • mark says:

      Absolutely right big john scissors kick… Even when things were financially bad there were joys…….my previous comments were tongue in cheek…….no matter what that was a frantatic day…Lou other manager who jumped ship when the going got tough……..

    • mark says:

      Marky – john gayle scored two of the best goals seen at wembley…………

  • oldburyblue says:

    A perfect example of what CAN be achieved by a TEAM rather than a group of individuals. That is why I am always optimistic. No way did I think we would end up at Wembley that year.

  • Marky mark says:

    Shame Lou Macari hadn’t got the bollox to carry on saw the writing on the wall and did one.

    Thankfully we have a manager now who is man enough to fight on till the end

  • Tony says:

    Dan when does the trial resume?

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