Often Partisan

Pre Season News Round Up

Blues have left out Marlon King and Peter Lovenkrands from their 21 man squad to travel to the Republic of Ireland next week. Both players have been told that they can leave the club on free transfers and have seemingly been left out as Clark plans his Blues team without them next year.

I think that the news that King and Lovenkrands are both being left behind will surprise some people but I believe it shows the intent Clark has to move on with the players he has brought in. Clark seems to have made it very plain that he wants to change the side this year to a more youthful and energetic outfit and by leaving out Marlon and Shabba I think he might give help give some impetus to their departures from the club.

Blues are taking trialist Liam Davis, who is a left-sided defender/midfielder with them and of the younger players Koby Arthur and Olly Lee make the trip whilst Akwasi Asante and Ryan Higgins have been left at home. The full squad has been named here.

Birmingham City are taking on Alfreton Town at the Derbyshire side’s Impact Arena base today, and it’s already been confirmed that Clark intends to field two seperate XIs during the game, much as he did against Borussia Moenchengladbach last season in Munich. Davis could feature in that game as could Mark Little, a right back released by Peterborough at the end of last season. However, Dan Burn, Kyle Bartley and Matt Green will not feature in that game as it is too soon in their pre-season schedule.

The youth and academy teams are busy too, with matches lined up against MK Dons on Wednesday and Worcester City on Saturday behind closed doors at Wast Hills whilst the Academy fly out for what is becoming their traditional pre-season in Slovenia. I will try to bring squad news for that trip as soon as I get it.

The best piece of news that I have seen though is that Newcastle left winger Shane Ferguson favours a return on loan to St Andrews over  a switch to Molineux and although he is likely to feature in Newcastle’s pre-season the chances of a return for the Derry-born player seem to be looking good according to the Newcastle Chronicle.

Tags: , , , , , ,

90 Responses to “Pre Season News Round Up”

  • StaffsBlue says:

    This is the time where we find out who’s hot and who’s not. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the squad shapes up. I think we’re looking pretty good on paper. Ferguson re-signing for the season would be a major plus. I’m glad Lee Clark has forged good links within the game.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Very pleasing reading regarding Shane Ferguson. The final piece in the jigsaw perhaps.

    Not fussed about Marlon. As others have commented I felt we were a better unit without him last year. It remains to be seen if either him or Shabba will actually get picked up. I’m seeing a Marcus Bent situation on the horizon for either or both of them.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      There’s no doubt in my mind that Marlon will move on. Goalscorers are always in demand. I think Lovenkrand’s best hope is if a team in Europe come in for him. Maybe a move back to Denmark.

  • Macc lad says:

    King will go because unlike Marcus Bent he can actually score goals. Not sure who will take Lovenkrands though. I would imagine only big Zig is on more money, and he didn’t have a good season.

  • mark says:

    good decisions all around by Clark…… let the battle begin………….

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Carton House Hotel in Co.Kildare is a luxurious base for Blues’ Ireland break. It was the venue for last months Irish Open Golf Tournament won by Paul Casey and has first class training facilities.
    How can we afford it one wonders?

  • Chris Walker says:

    Totally agree with Lee Clark leaving King and Lovenkrands as it gives the younger and newer players chance to prove themselves and to gel as a squad, got to be good for confidence too.
    Good news that Shane wants to come back, he did well and was well liked by the supporters too, as Newcastle don’t really need the cash from a sale it will only be beneficial for both clubs and the player to be in the championship.
    Forget the results from the early friendlies, the important thing is fitness and understanding within the ranks of the squad, making mistakes now can be ironed out for when the season begins in earnest on August 3rd.
    Once again we have turmoil behind the scenes but Lee and the team have just carried on and things look bright from that viewpoint.
    KRO

  • tmsblues says:

    By the same token so Ambrose and Mullins travel indicating nobody is interested in them and /or they are part of the plans and /or will continue to draw their high salaries – pity !!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Lee Clark has stated that Ambrose is looking fit and sharp. He certainly wasn’t when he arrived, so maybe he’s in the manager’s thoughts now that Davies and Redmond have bought in some dosh. Same with Mullins. Maybe they’re just keeping fit with a view to a move.

      • mark says:

        staffsblue- i am of the opinion that ambrose could be a big hit this season……

        • Chris Smith says:

          Seriously can’t see what he adds, unless he’s working 1-2s for younger and faster players, acting in a pivot. That’s a role I see MK doing, he hasn’t got the youth but he has the skill and experience.

  • Evesham blue says:

    Ambrose and Mullins are in because they are more versatile?We have a glut of strikers. Looks like Asante and Hales are reserve teamer’s in the pecking order. What is the point of taking Mullins and Ambrose if you want rid? Does this mean they have a chance of staying then if king and shabba leave?

    Think I would have taken Asante myself. Interesting we left the rb Ryan Hitchens and are trialling another rb released by Peterborough. So is LC also stocking up his reserves as well.

    Trialling the left mid player. I wouldn’t have thought he has much chance of signing if ferguson comes back.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Strange starting XI v Alfreton this afternoon. Who is Kalenda?

  • Ray says:

    We might still land Ravel, would be great if we could. See how he gets on in pre season and maybe Sam might decide he doesn’t need em. Even a short term loan would be good.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Blues 3-1 up at Alfreton after going a goal down. Lee, og and Shinnie.

  • bluenoserob says:

    20 posts all about on field matters , maybe things are looking up ,really looking forward to seeing a side full of youth next season , not sure how many games we will win but as long as they give it a good go.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The beauty of revamping the squad, is that there are a lot of players with something to prove this season. Last season, there wasn’t that factor, except for the kids… and boy, did they prove a few things.

  • Dorsetblue says:

    My only concern next year is that I think we will play well with most fans loving the youth in the side but like last year you can linger near the bottom of the league whilst playing well and I am worried that pressure will effect the younger players and they become less adventurous in their playing style.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Looks like we’ll be going 3-5-2 this season. Played that formation in both halves against Alfreton, with two different teams. It’ll be “just like watching Barcelona!” lol

    • Chris Walker says:

      Though your concerns may be correct but I have a feeling the youngsters naivety might be enough in the early stages, especially with the harder quicker pitches to get enough points and build up confidence.
      I like the idea of 3-5-2 but remember this was a conference team and our first game, hopefully Lee will play this at home, it will certainly get the fans excited again.
      Let us see how they line up against stronger opposition when we play Hull.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Just back from Alfreton……I was very impressed with Koby Arthur first half he showed both skill and work rate.
    Second half Shinnie, Burke and Ambrose were the pick.
    All in all a very good work out.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      What did you think of the 3-5-2 RG? Do you think it’ll prove successful?

      • mark says:

        Impo I think koby will be the find of the season , and he will take Nathan birth to become the next blues favourite……….please pp leave this one well alone…….kro

      • Richard Granfield says:

        I think 3-5-2 is worth pursuing and I have confidence in Lee Clark’s tactics.
        In the first half Kalenda, Robinson and Hancox were the back 3 and Hancox and particularly Kalenda struggled. Hancox because its not his best position and Kalenda due to inexperience.
        In the second half Spector, Mullins and Fry were the back 3 and they were more solid although Fry was caught out of position once or twice. The most likely back 3 would be Bartley, Robinson and Burn.
        Wing backs in the first half were Eardley and Davis and both of them got forward at every opportunity.
        Wing backs in the second half were Higgins and Bell. Bell looked a natural in the position and was a constant attacking threat. The most likely wing backs would be Eardley and Hancox.
        The 3 central midfielders who impressed me the most were Arthur, Burke and Ambrose. The most likely midfield 3 are Burke, Shinnie and Lee ( who played well first half). Koby Arthur was outstanding, but I feel the 3 named wiil start.
        Up front in the first half were Zigic and Asante. Asante impressed with his speed and mobility, but Zigic looked slow and found it difficult to impose himself on the game.
        Novak and Shinnie played up front in the second half, but Shinnie positioned himself in midfield for the most part and Novak was mainly on his own.
        The likely front 2 would be Green and Novak.
        .

        • geraldsquires says:

          Richard i would imagine Murphy would be used as a wing back especially away from home, if of course mr Clark opts to Play that system away

  • David says:

    On today showing blues are an outside bet for promotion. I.think Lee Clark is bringing together a team that will surprise a few. KRO

    • Chris Walker says:

      I said from the look of the new signings LC has bought another mid-table would be our first target but if they gel and hit the ground running then a play-off is possible,
      Though automatic promotion would be nice we really need to sort out our financial mess first.

  • Tony says:

    Ambrose will suprise a lot of people this season, last season he had injuries and no preseason I have a feeling those wishing him to leave will be changing their mind shortly.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Said that all along ‘The Tone Ranger’ :)

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I said on these pages last week, that Ambrose could be like a new signing this season, if he stays. It sounds like it could happen.

  • mark says:

    Not getting too carried way with the result obviously taking the opposing team into account. Great workout for the lads. Too much quality from us. Midfield getting on the act. Clean slate from me regarding ambrose I think he could play intergrated part in our midfield. Please 425 fans turned up…our road starts here……kro

  • teerev says:

    How it is possible to field two separate 11s with 21 man squad??

    • almajir says:

      21 man squad for Ireland.

      We took 22 to Alfreton ;)

      • teerev says:

        Ah,ok. All good! :-) Really looking forward to the coming season.More exited than i have been in years.There is something special about fighting in the championship rather trying to avoid relegation from the prem!! Saying that,i would settle for a mid table finish this year ready for a push next season.

  • geraldsquires says:

    Just got back and i must say i like the look of that boy koby and i feel he and shinnie will fill the gap left by ravel who one must surely assume is not returning mmmmm?

  • bcfc1975 says:

    it very innovative of Clark to try these varied systems, imo against tougher teams specially away from home 451 would still be my choice… but then again i am not the manager of Birmingham city…………..
    looking at tactics for home matches it would be very refreshing to see 352 or 442, specially this season Clark will try, and endeavor to win the stans faithful over…………

    what ever happens 75% would continue to support the blues regardless of the sales of players……

    each step is a little step towards the promise land……….kro

  • bcfc1975 says:

    it very innovative of Clark to try these varied systems, imo against tougher teams specially away from home 451 would still be my choice… but then again i am not the manager of Birmingham city…………..
    looking at tactics for home matches it would be very refreshing to see 352 or 442, specially this season Clark will try, and endeavor to win the stans faithful over…………

    what ever happens 75% would continue to support the blues regardless of the sales of players……

    each step is a little step towards the promise land……….kro

  • Evesham Blue says:

    Morrison is making noises to try get in the West Ham team consideration. He mentioned his best game was the Millwall game to please the west ham fans.

    Doesnt mean Big Sam will consider him ready for the first team after one season in the champ. Besides LC is mates with Big Sam.

    Do we really want Ravel back? He is not our player and we cant buy him. He will displace one of other prospects.

    I would rather loan someone with a view to buying should we get promoted.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m inclined to agree with you on this one. Morrison was good in spells last season, but would I want him, as you said, to keep out another permanent signing who could play the whole season and develop, like Shinnie or Arthur. I have to say no. Persevere with our own players.

      • KeepRightcroydOn says:

        I agree with both of you. He’s undoubtedly a very talented individual, but he has now set his sights on playing on a bigger stage so may lack motivation if he returns to us for one season. Also last season he really only got going when he developed an understanding with Nathan, so there is a chance he may not be as effective in our colours this season.
        I’d be happy to just have Ferguson back and give our youngsters a chance to show what they can do. They certainly will not lack motivation.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Absolutely. Get Fergie back and go from there. If I was Clark, because we have a pretty good squad now, when/if he gets Ferguson, I’d leave it at that for now. After a few games, he may spot an area of weakness which, if he still has a place or two left in the squad, he can fill before the transfer deadline.

  • bcfc1975 says:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-lee-clark-gives-4878605?

    our colours are flying high….. well done Clark our new dawn will awake the sleepily giant…

  • JohnBond says:

    Didn’t think they would let Ambrose go so easy paid good money for him got to ale the chance and keep him here this season

  • Richard Granfield says:

    On yesterday’s performance both Akwasi Asante and Amarii Bell are unfortunate not to be in the squad travelling to Ireland.

    • mark says:

      In totally agreement Richard- now they have both had fairly productive session yesterday maybe we can see if they they want it more during pre-friendlies. Hopefully they both walked away thinking I want some more of that!……….

  • mark says:

    for me koby the one to watch……… more game time Clark gives this player blues faithful will take him to their heart…………..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He may be in the behind-closed-doors game against MK Dons on (is it) Wednesday.

      • mark says:

        as I said before Nathan gone. the more i see of Koby more i am inclined to think he is definately the next gem. Plays off both feet, pace to burn, and i said before to does process the killer ball. He can play any where across the midfield which surely gives Clark many options……….

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    Reading some very positive comments here about Koby. Hopefully a gem in progress. For Heaven’s sake PP, leave him here for Elsie to nurture him.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think Pannu has probably pushed it to the absolute limit now with Redmond. If he starts to sell the next generation, I can see there being ructions down at StAns.

      • Chris Walker says:

        Unfortunately I don’t think PP or CY care about the fans anymore, they will sell their grandmothers if they could.
        I know the Blues Trust has taken steps to protect St Andrews but that could take a couple of months and PP could sell in that time span.
        We are due the last of the parachute payments in August, put if the rumours are true PP sold that last season for around £6m.
        In truth Blues are in financial meltdown and I really believe that only Administration will remove these leeches from our beloved club.
        KRO

        • mark says:

          chris- possible agree with you to a certain extent – no one, not even Dan got a time- line when this can move on more positively……some say when a guilty verdict is given, again i wouldn’t hold my breath tbh.
          Believe me whether we like it, or not Administration would be absolutely be the wrong road to go down(unless we are forced) we have some of the best,and nicest people worked their buts off for bcfc not for me thanks ……. Sorry to say as harden blues fan its a bitter pill to take, but this team constructed out of the ashes is worthy of punt………….forever positive in adversity (sorry Tony not happy clappy as you think)………….kro

          • Chris Walker says:

            Mark, I agree it would be the wrong road but it might be the only way to get new owners.
            If I am correct BIHL have to inform the HKSE of any sale that is imminent and they can’t do that because, once again, their audits are late.
            If, as been reported, a take over is in the offering then to rush the sale through might mean the only route will be via an administrator.
            It might not necessarily we go into administration and therefore not warrant the 10 point deduction when we come out of administration, but we will start with a 10 point deduction.
            More importantly we will keep all our assets and have some money to buy before the deadline.
            As to this season I am more positive as to what is happening on the pitch, we have a young group with something to prove, plenty of naivety and flair to take this league by storm, a real possibility of a play off spot, if not more if we are lucky with injuries and get a few breaks from the refs.
            KRO

          • almajir says:

            If I am correct BIHL have to inform the HKSE of any sale that is imminent and they can’t do that because, once again, their audits are late.

            You’re not correct, their accounts are up to date.

          • Chris Walker says:

            Thanks for the correction, must have missed that, thought they should have submitted accounts up to Dec 2012 but had not done so.

          • almajir says:

            They have, link is on the BIH Factfile page…

          • Chris Walker says:

            Thanks for that info, teach me not to read items that contain useful facts and information and not just about the team.

  • mark says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIR-705t43U koby will get better and better………. re-birth of a new gem…………………

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Brilliant! Only thing missing from that video, was a goal… by anyone. Video 9/10… Audio -1/10 (repetitive cr*p)

  • mark says:

    Arthur and Asante i wonder if they get picked for their National team??? Brazil 2014

  • mark says:

    Dan- Referring to your link BIH Mr Yang has until the end of July 2013 to do that….. do you know any more regarding his stake???

  • mark says:

    Dan – have you made any headway with your book, is your book title likely to be a secret??.

  • utbb says:

    where did jean kalenda come from? any good?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    New signing Dan Burn talking to the BBC (audio only) http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23186497

  • chas says:

    Taken from Sky .
    Jack Butland’s agent has revealed the Stoke City goalkeeper may now head to Spain amid reports linking him with Real Sociedad. His agent has said: “When I was in Barcelona a couple of Spanish clubs wanted to talk to me about taking Jack.”

    by Peter Fraser 12:15 PM

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Would that be permanently or on loan? If it’s permanent, I’d be interested in the fee.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Just looked. It’s on loan as far as I can tell. I was hoping Stoke hadn’t bought him just to make 100% profit within 9 months. Stranger things have happened.

        • chas says:

          Yep, Staffs..I took it as a sale at first glance, but think it means a Loan.

        • KeepRightcroydOn says:

          Stoke did indicate when they signed him last season that they may farm him out on loan again this season. I suppose they want him to play at a higher level than the Championship before they let him loose in the Premier. They are in a good situation to do this as long as they can hold on to Begovic, at least for one more season, or until they deem that Butland is ready for the Premier.

      • Chris Walker says:

        According to the Mail he will be 3rd choice at Stoke as Begovic and Sorensen have decided to stay and stake their claim on the No1 jersey.
        His agent is looking at loan options with Real Sociedad among the clubs interested.
        It would have been better if Jack had stayed at Blues, the question was it an option, like Nathan, could he have said no if he wanted or were they both blackmailed into signing for the short term future of BCFC.
        A question we will never get the answer too.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I often wonder if when players leave… a gagging order is part of the deal. Funny how you don’t get any/many who say “Yes, I was forced to go because the club needed the money,” or “No, it was entirely my own decision to leave.”

          • Chris Walker says:

            The closest was Curtis who kept stating the financial position the club was in, though he also said he wanted to play at the highest level and every player wants to do that.


Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating

Archives