Often Partisan

Ferguson, Bell and Feruz

Transfer news continues apace as with one left-sided player potentially joining whilst another leaves, albeit temporarily.

The Newcastle Chronicle reports that the deal to bring Shane Ferguson back to the club for the first half of the season is nearly complete and that the Northern Irish player could be back with Blues by as soon as next week. Ferguson, who can play left midfield or left back made eleven appearances for Blues last term, scoring once with a free kick against Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile rookie left-back Amari’i Bell has left Blues to go out on loan to Nuneaton Town of the Conference National until January. The 19-year-old has yet to make his bow for Blues but signed a new one year deal at the start of the season with an option for another year.

Sky Sports have linked Blues with a temporary deal for Scotland u21 striker Islam Feruz. The 17-year-old is currently with Chelsea, having left Celtic in 2011 to sign pro terms with the London side. He has yet to make a full professional appearance but has already scored twice in three appearances for the Scotland u21 side.

Blues have taken a 22-man academy squad on a pre-season tour to Slovenia. The academy group have been to the former Yugoslav republic for the last few years on pre-season tours, and have a match lined up against NK Maribor on Saturday July 13. The squad is listed as: Bobby Moseley, Callum Preston, Charlie Cooper, Connal Trueman, Demarai Gray, Dominic Bernard, Josh Martin, George McGee, George O’Neill, Jake Weaver, Sam Deadfield, Joshua Dacres-Cogley, Kieran Dunbar, Corey O’Keeffe, Nathan Kelly, Perry Cotton, Peter Denton, Reece Brown, Reece Webb, Thomas Lang, Viv Solomon, Wesley Harding.

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68 Responses to “Ferguson, Bell and Feruz”

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Ferguson coming back in would complete (on paper) a very solid and impressive amount of pre-season business by LC. Very pleasing reading.

  • geraldsquires says:

    Mmm interesting very interesting Ive seen the Boy Islam on several occasions and have to say the boy would tear It up at this Level It has to be said

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I have to say, when we get Ferguson, I think the squad will be complete. Maybe a tweak here and there, but that’s about it. I think we’re definitely Top 10, with ease.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      I think the recruitment is pointing that way Staffs. Very pleasing that we got full coverage at the back now as that had worried me.

      I’m only really concerned about ourselves but I can’t see any other team having come out of the blocks so quickly with getting players in. The amount of time they’ll have had together in pre-season augers well for us hitting the ground running in August.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I think that, the way Lee Clark has recruited this summer… he learned a lot of lessons last season, regards injuries (especially to defenders,) tactics and older, set-in-their-ways, players. He’s bulked up the defence, midfield and attack, and is trying out different formulae, of which 3-5-2 seems to be a favourite. Good management and coaching.

  • mark says:

    I hope this demostrates to bluenoses its time you got behind the team…….this great piece of work by lee……he deserve some luck this season imo

    • Sir Harry 1875 says:

      Absolutely spot Mark. He lost me after Cov away and Barnsley but he has won me over big time and i will admit i was wrong. The way he has gone about his business is very admirable and you’re right he deserves some luck. I hope it works for him and I cant wait to get down there.

  • carlos says:

    Almajir, we had a young left sided player two or three years ago who I thought looked very useful, saw him play in the same side as Packwood at Burton and Tamworth. I think his name was Hronek? or something similar and I believe he was from Slovenia/Slovakia. Not heard him mentioned for a while, do you know what happened to him?

    • almajir says:

      Released in 2011.

      Wiki page on him here

      • carlos says:

        Cheers Almajir, shame that, I thought he was a good footballer, bright, intelligent and technically very good, unfortunately not the biggest which seems to count more than most things nowadays.

  • DoctorD says:

    Great news on Ferguson if it works out. Remember that beauty of a free kick he got last year against Palace?

    • Ali Duncan says:

      The best away performance I can remember for a long time – aside from the 7-1 hammering of Oxford (who were very poor opposition) Cracking day out too – love the 17.30 away kick offs. It was the same in Brighton too and allows for a few extra shandies before ko.

      KRO.

      • Pete says:

        Think Oxford away was a superb match. I love the fact the Oxford fans were singing “we still believe” when they got their one at the end. I have to admit though Stoke away was a favourite thrashing away. I mean seeing the confusion on some blues fans faces when the Stoke came charging onto the pitch and then made a b-line straight for their own board and smashed up their own ground. Too bizarre for words!!!

        • tonyd says:

          I remember the chants of ‘Francis out!’, when we scored no 7. Taken in great humour by TF. It was a great day out from start to finish. I seem to remember that we had just bought Purse off them, and we were brandishing tenders at the Oxford fans.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I fail to see the point of signing a 17 year old on a temporary basis. Chelsea will insist he gets first team opportunities and we already have 4 strikers at the club.
    On the other hand, if it was a view to a permanent deal I would be all for it.
    Koby Arthur would welcome somebody smaller than him in the squad!

    • James Black says:

      richard. chelsea are not gonna do a deal for someone they obviously see as part of there future. I dont know where the Chelsea will demand he plays first team every week from either, thats simply not true. We aint in a position to sign future Chelsea starlets, so this is next best thing.

  • Bluepenguin1976 says:

    I agree with you Staffs, I really believe the team is set up well for this season. I am not going to predict an easy top ten slot but who knows?. The squad certainly looks balanced, if only 1 or 2 of the guys stepping up can make the grade we could be in for an exciting season.

    The young guy Islam Feruz I have not seen will be honest!…..but I have heard great things about his natural ability and he would be another welcome edition.

    Looking forward to the season. Clark has really turned my opinion of him around since x-mas.

    • Pete says:

      I do not think there will be anything in it. Why sign players if you are not intending to play them and why sign a 17 year old to do nothing. I think with Zigic, Green, Shinnie, King and Novak it is unlikely a 17 year old will jump above them in the pecking order. Not forgetting we have other players who can play up front already. Unless it ia player of the quality Bendtner had I do not see it.

  • chudlt says:

    People seem oddly pleased with our team of mostly young and inexperienced players. Confusing numbers with quality. Some peoples aspirations and ambitions for the club seem to match our owners.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Realistic expectations I would suggest.

    • Bluepenguin1976 says:

      Hi Chudit mate. My ambitions are high in the clouds as always, just my expectations are a lot lower than they used to be!!! .I think finishing 10th would be a bonus….because we have to be honest with ourselves,we just aren’t in the same position as we were under the Golds.

      I think Clark is creating a team that will be safe and that for me (under this regime) is a bonus.

    • James Black says:

      Yer Chudit, we should be out there signing Messi. Have you followed anything for the last few years.

  • James says:

    On the Sky article there’s around 10 clubs linked with Feruz so I wouldn’t read too much into it yet

  • dave mann says:

    getting ferguson back on loan would be fantastic and give the team great balance because
    he would be that left wide back we need in lees 3-5-2 formation, absoluetly thrilled to bits
    if he comes back but not so good for hancox and murphy because theres no way there
    play in that system, no way!.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think both Murphy and Hancox could play wing back, but with Ferguson and possibly Davis too, there will certainly be some competition. Not sure we can say the same for the right side, with just Eardley and Higgins. I suppose Spector could fill in, but I don’t rate him much as a full back tbh.

      • Pete says:

        I think Clark is clearly gearing up for a 2 formation approach. He could not be looking for McCourt in a 3-5-2 formation as he would never be able to play wing back, he is a 4-4-2. Equally he has got Shinnie, looked at Ambrose favourably and these are clearly 3-5-2 type players. I just hope he has a definite plan, as last year I think he purchased players and did not have a clue where to play them. If he has 2 systems, perhaps a more home and away style then I would be very confident with the squad we have, as Burke and Spector are both clearly capable at filling positions on the right hand side, along with Earley and Higgins.

        However, I jsut wish fans would stop now claiming that Clark is the new miracle working messiah! I think he was poor last season. Yes he has done some wheeling and dealing, but we have not kicked a ball yet! I hope he gets it right this year, but talk about building someone up to knock them down.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m predicting a finish somewhere between 8th and 5th. You heard it here first. lol

    • Bluepenguin76 says:

      Staffs im going 8th -14th…but I hope you are right. As i say who knows?, stranger things have happened in football, Palace going up last year for one??.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I have a horrible feeling Holloway will only be spending one season in the premier again. Palace may even finish bottom.

  • Tony says:

    At this time of year we all have high hopes, nothing compares to the first match of the season the excitement , and aspirations this is normal. In reality if you look logically at the side if they finish midway it will be a good season.
    Having said that and speaking as possibly Lee Clarks greatest critic, I have been very impressed by the speed and clear sightedness he has shown in assembling a squad, they are young and hungry and if the gamble comes of it will be interesting.

    • Pete says:

      Agreed- I have been a critic and with reason. But it is a new start, even if we have to take a reality check.

    • oldburyblue says:

      Really pleased that big black cloud has moved elsewhere Tony. Long may you remain in the sunshine!

    • James Black says:

      Tony, glad to hear you give credit when its due despite previous statements. Coming from you Tony an admitted critic, it carries a lot of weight. Good one mate..

  • dave mann says:

    murphy and hancox could defenetley play wing back but ferguson is just better, simples!.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There’s no doubt, with the permutations of both players and formations… Lee Clark is going to earn his stripes this season keeping that lot happy.

  • dave mann says:

    its funny you saying that staffs, because ive just been telling some of my colleges at work
    that i think were finish between 5th and 8th myself, how great minds think alike!KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I genuinely believe that dave. I’m far more confident than I’ve been for a long time.

      People keep harping on about us filling the squad with Bosman’s and players from the lower leagues, but I can’t see what difference that makes. Are the words Bosman and Free code for Crap or something? Bosmans are mostly players who have let their contracts run out, for the simple fact that they want a new challenge somewhere else, or believe they can play at a higher level. Look at some of the Bosmans in the premier leage… are they all crap too?

  • Dave says:

    We still need a RELIABLE striker KRO

  • dave mann says:

    good point staffs, i think lees signings this summer on bosmans,freebies or whatever have been
    nothing short of brilliant, ferguson would be that final cog to our squad with competition in all areas
    of the team, pure genius from lee, roll on watford to reverse that 4-0 beating last season.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As I said earlier, the only area I’m not sure about, is right back/wingback. We have Eardley and Higgins, with only Spector as back up that I know. Is there anyone else waiting in the wings?

  • SteveC says:

    Do like Ferguson, he looks a player.
    Do think thats a bit ambitious Staffs but would happily buy you a few drinkies if you were proved correct.

  • clubclassblue says:

    It was good to have a first look at some of the new faces against Shamrock Rovers. Let me say that I am sure Doyle will not be making any more appearances at centre forward.
    Early to make comments really but I thought Novak and Lee looked ok, kit looks good and there looked to be a good togetherness with the players.
    Looking forward to the new season now and trying not to think too much about the ‘chinese situation’. Nothing to do really but await the outcome and hope that we get a steady start to the season followed by some good news from the courts.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I remember Shane Fergusons interview at the end of the season on Blues Player where he said he loved every minute of his loan and he had made some great friends at the club who he’d really miss when he went back to Newcastle. He said he was gutted WE didn’t make the playoffs. He kept referring to Birmingham City as US and WE.

    I hope we could sign Liam Davis too but I think signing Shane Ferguson will mean no to Davis. I don’t think we’ll sign Feruz as we have loads of strikers on the books already.

    • Pete says:

      I think the same. But I cannot see why we need both, unless wages for Ferguson are an issue. Why would Davis be a realistic option – as it just holds up opportunities for Hancox who is already behind Murphy (in probability) and Ferguson if we get him.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    H/T: Birmingham City 1-1 MKDons (Alan Smith 28, Koby Arthur, 34)

    2nd half: Olly Lee on for Darren Ambrose. Burke on for Arthur.

    57 mins: Birmingham City 1-2 MKDons (Williams, pen)

  • Richard Granfield says:

    This result is a reality check. Good job it’s happened in pre-season so LC can do something about it before the real action starts.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s what pre-season is for, to iron out the rough edges. Like I said, he’s probably learned a lot more today… like who fits best into which formation etc. Hopefully, he’ll sort it.

  • Tony says:

    1-4 to MKDons mmmmmmmm lol

  • Richard Granfield says:

    MK Dons only played with one up front in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Perhaps 3-5-2 doesn’t work too well against that system. Or it could be down to individual errors. Or it could be that they were knackered after a tough morning training session.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think it would be unwise to use 3-5-2 for every game. What’s the point in playing 3 centre backs against 1 opposition striker? More likely to get in each other’s way. We have to be adaptable. Who cares whether it’s 3-5-2, 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, as long as it’s the right tactics for each game. I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan of 3-5-2, but if Lee Clark can make it work, fair enough.

      As you said, they could have been knackered. Apart from the training sessions, some have played 3 times in 4 days. Tough at any time.

  • Roy Smith says:

    Chudit
    I am not expecting miracles, but remember the words of Mr Hansen, “You win nothing with kids” but they still did.
    Whatever, an attacking approach to play, and a bit of fun is all I want. I don’t expect promotion but I want to enjoy watching them again like under Barry Fry and right I’m getting those sort of vibes.
    I hear Benteke wants to join a bigger club, we should make an offer.

  • Tony says:

    You certainly cant play a rigid formation in any match, the opposition manager will if he is any good reorganize to combat any system you use. One thing is for certain you need widemen bombing down the wings weather that be wingers or wingbacks there is still no defence against the ball pulled back from the byline.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Ahhh… a purist like myself. There is no greater sight, than seeing a flying winger beat his man and head for the byline. The ball pulled back from the byeline is, as you say, virtually undefendable. Only problem these days, is that there aren’t that many players who can cross a good ball, let alone cross accurately on the run… a la Alan Hinton.

  • KRO says:

    Unless we have new owners to make some transfers in january, i think 15/16th place is realistic. This season will be about surviving until new owners, and finding some gems to tie down on long-term contracts imo. Im still not too sure on clarks formation, mainly because he has been playing people with not their usual roles (burke as CAM, shinnie up front, hancox as CB etc) but im sure thats just him trying new things. Hopeful to see fergie come back! KRO

  • Chris says:

    Sorry to pissed to type but….in Clark i trust with my and my sons ST money….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    MK Dons manager, Karl Robinson, came over to the press table midway through the first-half of Wednesday’s friendly and asked for a team sheet as ‘I don’t recognise half of these players’ he said.

    Considering we’re supposed to have acquired most of our players from lower leagues, if a manager from League One doesn’t know the players, let’s hope that gives us the edge, at least for the first half of the season. Mind you, it beggars belief really, because the only player in pre-season I hadn’t heard of, was Jean Kalenda.

    *sings* “Where have you been Mr Robinson.” :)


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