Often Partisan

Season 2012-13 Review – Pt II

The second part of my season review looks at October and November 2012 as Blues struggled to find any rhythm in the Championship.

October began with a 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City in the Welsh capital, before the visit of Lee Clark’s previous club Huddersfield to St Andrews. Once again, it was painful; Blues lost 1-0 and big striker Nikola Zigic to suspension after he was red-carded for a reckless challenge. However, it was much more than that; the result was poor but the team looked out of sorts and the atmosphere at St Andrews had almost turned toxic. The financial realities of what was happening at Blues since relegation was starting to take hold; the off-on-off-on talks with Paladini weren’t helping as fans had their hopes raised of a takeover only for them to be immediately dashed again as the Italian and Peter Pannu traded statements in the press and this all combined to make going to the football a real chore.

In amongst all this though, one of the main shining lights of the season started breaking through. Will Packwood had already made his league debut, and the Barnsley game saw Mitch Hancox come into the team as well. Clark, who had seemingly lost patience with the senior pros he hadn’t lost to injury had started to turn to youth in the hope that the energy and vitality they would bring to the team would lift the crowd.

Another international break came and went before Blues took on Leicester at St Andrews. The Foxes were flying high in the division but left St Andrews relieved to have taken a point thanks to a late equaliser. Clark had restored Ravel Morrison to the line-up having read the riot act to the on-loan midfielder and he was rewarded with a good display from the former Man United player. However injury to Peter Lovenkrands and a red card for Jonathan Spector meant that the team were stretched even further.

Blues then went to the Den, where they conceded three goals early on (two of them to former loanee Chris Wood) before Marlon King picked up where he had left off from his previous visit to southeast London, scoring a hat trick to bring Blues back to parity. Having to follow the game from social media whilst being on the train made for a bit of a frustrating experience – there were the calls for Clark’s head early on which gave way to almost bewilderment that Blues had been able to come back and get a point. It kinda encapsulated the frustration with Blues all season – the team seemed to find it so easy to throw away games by defending comically and yet I don’t remember many games at all where I didn’t think we couldn’t score. If – and it’s a big IF – Blues had been a bit more settled at the back (at this point we’d gone through Packwood, Caddis, Spector, Hurst and Robinson at right back alone) then maybe, just maybe they might have been able to achieve more.

A win at Elland Road thanks to a Leroy Lita goal rounded off the month of October, and with the visit of a poor Ipswich Town side to come one could have been forgiven for thinking that maybe the corner had been turned and Blues could push on.

Alas that corner turned straight into a brick wall. Ipswich appointed Mick McCarthy as manager and the former Wolves manager ensured that the Tractor Boys won his first game at St Andrews. McCarthy didn’t magically make Ipswich a fantastic footballing side, but they weren’t as poor as Blues once again were and despite Clark’s protestations on the radio that Blues should have won we deserved nothing from the game. It was starting to become blindingly obvious that Blues lacked an outlet on the left; that there was no tempo or pace within the side and there was no urgency.

However, it has to be said that Clark seemingly learned from that game as the following game at home against Bristol City Blues showed much more urgency, much better tempo and looked like a team that knew what it was doing – and consequently won at a canter, 2-0. Goals had become a premium at home and the game saw a couple of players who had been struggling to find the scoresheet release some collective monkeys off their backs. A point at Blackburn followed, with Paul Robinson demonstrating his skills at centre-back which were to come much more to the fore in the second half of the season. Chris Burke was finally finding his form of the previous season and Marlon King demonstrated why he was still rated as one of the better strikers in the league.

Two consecutive defeats undid that good work though; firstly Sone Aluko found the Blues defence static on his first return to St Andrews since he was sold to Aberdeen, scoring twice for Hull in a 3-2 win before being punished again by a team with tempo in Derby County, who repeated the 3-2 scoreline despite Blues coming back strongly when behind.

The month was wrapped up with a draw against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road before a morale-boosting win over Middlesbrough. The mood had turned ugly at St Andrews, and when Boro (as seemed almost inevitable) took the lead, a bedsheet demanding the departures of Clark and the owners was displayed in the Tilton. However, Blues equalised twice – Wade Elliott scoring an absolute peach of a volley – before King nicked it late on, ensuring all the points stayed at St Andrews (and strangely, the bedsheet disappeared too when Elliott scored).

The review continues tomorrow and the rest of this week.

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54 Responses to “Season 2012-13 Review – Pt II”

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    Its interesting to compare our performance last season with that of Crystal Palace. In 2011/12 Blues finished 4th with 76 points, Palace finished 17th with 56 points. Both teams started the campaign with young managers (Dougie Freedman in the case of Palce who was actually younger and has less a managerial experience than Lee Clark). I don’t think many people at the season start would have bet on Palace finishing above Blues. In terms of resources Palace had less than Blues had (or will have next season – even after consultancy fees). Their average attendance last season was just above Blues (17,280, compared to 16,703) and their attendances for the previous 4 seasons had been around the 15,000 mark. They don’t have any parachute payments and are not bankrolled by their Board – in 2011/12 they had the 6th smallest wage bill in the Championship (about £12m) and they have only bought 3 players for a transfer fee over the last 4 seasons – most of their players are freebies or loans. I know most people think Blues will struggle next season, but Palace’s achievement shows that – with good management – it is possible to compete at the other end of the table even with the resources at our disposal.

    • mark says:

      We as fans simply have to.believe what can be achieved, and take heart from palace situation.

    • Marky mark says:

      Great post Berkshire

      Everybody should take heart from what they have achieved, I’ve never heard of most of there team except some bloke called Phillips up front he looked pretty decent

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Fair play to Crystal Palace they have taken full advantage a very poor quality Championship season .

    The three relegated premiership teams didn’t show at all , & you’ve got to fancy that will not be the case next season with Wigan, QPR & Reading.

  • mark says:

    Thanks dan appeciate your insight…….i was taught from early age when supporting the blues…..you have joys and sorrows. My grand father told me boy its never easy supporting the blues,they have habit of kicking you there it hurts but our fans are second to none, stans can be the most hostile for any opposing fans or team especially the villa. Kro

  • dave blues nose says:

    never mind palace, what are going to do about blues, where are all these blue supporters protest that’s what we need confront the issue, why don.t we find some body to buy the blues, why don.t the fans find this millionaire, get of yr back side protest.

    • Blueboy83 says:

      Where are the fans supposed to find a buyer from? Millionaires are pretty thin on the ground round my way

    • Marky mark says:

      Ok why don’t you lead the protest then DBN, show us the way forward ans address the issues.

      We are all behind you Dave show us they way .

      P.S. I’ve checked and there’s no millionaires on my road

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t know how many times Almajir (and others) have said, that protest is futile. Those who own the club couldn’t care less.

    The best protest we can make, is to support Lee Clark and the boys through thick and thin, regardless of what’s going on behind the scenes. We can only affect the football side of things, by being steadfast in our support… and as Blues fans, we have a duty to the team do that! End of.

  • James says:

    I’m enjoying the season reviews, the Leeds away game was fantastic with LL’s screamer!

    With regards to protest; it’s pointless. As has previously been mentioned, the people that run the club a) are miles away and b) couldn’t care less. Plus the people who are employed by BCFC and do a bloody good job, will suffer first.

    Back the manager, buy the ST ( if money permits ) and support the team. Next season promises to be a huge challenge; a lot of young players and new loan signings – staying away and booing the existing players helps no one.

    Look forward to the next installment.

    KRO

  • Tony says:

    Pannu is laughing all the way to the Bank

  • TracyKRO says:

    I agree with most comments on here but one, let me guess who that is, every little pound helps paying wages etc, If your paying for season tickets there are safe ways doing this credit cards/monthly payments etc if you go to one game per season or friendly, cup matches buy from shop you are still helping but don’t knock people who do go to matches etc cause we are keeping the club going, we are what I call LOYAL FANS. If you don’t want to go it is totally up to you but I don’t think Mr pannu is getting 24millon pound wages do you.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Great post Tracy!

      A lot of people forget, MOST of the people behind the scenes are NOT Chinese. They’re Blues supporters like us and doing an extremely difficult job keeping us going… despite the owners, not because of them. So why should they lose their jobs after so much good work, just because a few pillocks want to make a futile protest! It beggars belief!

      KRO!

  • Tony says:

    uhhhh ????? 24 MILLION he is getting enough Tracy believe me and its all comming out of you payments
    You say you agree with all comments on here bar one, you then ask yourself to guess what one you dont agree ,with bit double dutch that dont you think?.

  • Marky mark says:

    Tracy

    Just ignore him, its pretty obvious which comment you disagree with.
    Tony continually tries to infect us all with his negativity and doom mongering. It’s all getting a bit boring you don’t need to justify your support to him

  • TracyKRO says:

    So Tony you know its always your comments, 3 days now you been going on about blues should go in Adminst or pannus getting or the money change the record.

  • skareggae72 says:

    You sound amazingly similar to Paul Carter tracy,i have noticed this on a number of occasions.

    Bit concerned we are only getting 3 more players(according to Clark)2 of these probably loans,although i will be surprised if Newcastle & West ham are prepared to loan these players out for the full season considering both these teams could be reasonably close to relegation this coming season.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Lee Clark has stated quite clearly, that he is replacing players as and when they leave. Kind of, one-out-one-in. That’s what our finances dictate. Jeez, it ain’t rocket science!

    • Carlos says:

      it read 3 more players and then loan signings

  • TracyKRO says:

    HI skyreggae72 im not like Paul, I don’t go on about st I said if you go to 1 game a season or buy from the shop it still helps the club and I also don’t call people glory hunters we are going through a bad time at the moment and if you don’t want to go its totally up to you ie cant afford to, don’t like the board, dont like the manager but ive said I be there to support and hoping we stay up.

    • Evesham Blue says:

      No you are most definitely not like Paul. You would have to have a lot of testosterone and a very small IQ to be like him :)

  • mark says:

    Noted sylvan ebanks-Blake will available on bosman free transfer,his contract expires this summer.

    • trevorblue says:

      we would not be able to afford the wages like alot of other players on a bosman we are shopping and looking around poundland

      • Blueboy 88 says:

        Mark out of interest why do you keep suggesting players who’s wages we can not possibly afford ?

        The club is trying to move on King, Mullins, Lovenkrands, & Ambrose because of their unsustainable high salaries.

        What part of this do you not understand ?

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Spot on. When you think that, we can’t afford the likes of Paul Caddis or Wes Thomas, the likelyhood of us getting anyone of the Ebanks-Blake/Stephen Hunt ilk is extremely unlikely. Let’s be honest here… they’re leaving Wolves because they don’t want League 1 wages, not League 1 football.

        • mark says:

          Sorry I said noted! Some players will play for glory not always money orientated……just imo

  • RichardM says:

    Mark I agree Ebanks-Blake would be a good acquisition for the Blues, as would Stephen Hunt (at least it would stop him scoring against us everytime he bloody plays!) – but the sad reality is there are others offering more money in wages than us, even in the Championship.

    One player I think we should look at is Titus Bramble, just realesed by Sunderland – not a marquee signing by any means, but we desperately need some cover at CB. He’s experienced, aggressive, and could do a job for us in the Championship – and wouldn’t cost a lot in wages.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    B,C,F,C. website has confirmed that The young left back, Bell, has signed a new one year extension.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s good news. If we can get Fergie back on loan, with Murphy, Hancox and Bell, that’s the left side sewn up. We just need a quality right back now, to add to Higgins, Burke and Redmond on the right.

    • prewarblue says:

      Nearly right you daft old person [ not being sexist ], he has signed a 1 year contract with an option of a further year thus making him our player for 2 years not 1

  • prewarblue says:

    With Swindon announcing a friendly against Blues pre-season…..Could this be an attempt by Blues to reach a deal regarding “Caddis,s transfer ?……You keep all the gate money, we get his transfer put through plus what we offered from the start , £125k ?……or is it wishful thinking on my part ?

    • Oldbluenose says:

      prewar;, IF he progresses, Yes, we can sign him for a further year,?.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s two of us wishful thinking now. Anymore? =)

    • mark says:

      Caddis I do hope he not one thats get way…..would it be in swindon best interest to keep a player who might not want to be there?

      • KeepRightcroydOn says:

        Sadly I feel they’ll hold out for a club that’s prepared to meet their valuation. I’m sure managers will have noticed his performances, and will be only too happy to pick him up for £250K, which is a bargain for someone of his ability.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m wondering if Swindon would be interested in a player exchange again? A permanent one this time. I’m probably wishful thinking again… but you never know!

          • prewarblue says:

            If we only had “Rooney,s” big brother !!……he wants to leave his present club…..other wise I dont think we have anybody that would interest Swindon…….and they did alright last season without Caddis. so while there,s life……there,s hope

        • prewarblue says:

          Last time I saw a sum mentioned Swindon were holding out for about £475k ….not as first reported £250k

        • prewarblue says:

          Last time I saw a sum mentioned Swindon were holding out for about £475k ….not as first reported £250k

    • Evesham Blue says:

      You know I thought it was strange as well us playing Swindon after the negotiations broke down re Caddis. Interesting conspiracy theory which could have some truth

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Not double-vision then? lol

  • Tony says:

    Good post by Berkshire ,Palace were not wealthy, players at the start of season were not that much better than Blues if at all. So what made the difference? HOLLOWAY, HOLLOWAY. For the sake of a measly few quid we could have had a really good manager. Dougie Freedan, was a similar standard to Clark ie rubbish, so Palace got rid of their pile of rubbish we kept ours

    • Evesham Blue says:

      Nah. Holloway is just luckly. Like Harry Rednap. The difference was Zaha. One true special talent. He is going to Man Ure that is how good he is. A regular England international in the making. I watched him at St Andrews last season and he stood out like a sore thumb even then.

      Dont think Redmond is in the same league as Zaha

    • Berkshire Blue says:

      Dougie Freedman averaged 1.82points a game with Palace this season, Holloway averaged 1.41

  • Ted says:

    I’ve lived in San Francisco for the last 22 years and Ive averaged 5/6 games a season since leaving. I’m back in B25 this year looking after Mom. Season ticket in my hands soon. KRO and hope to ‘god’ we keep Nathan!


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