Often Partisan

Bright Prospects

Koby Arthur scored the solitary goal for Blues in a 1-4 defeat behind closed doors at the Birmingham City pre-season training camp in Ireland yesterday. The goal, scored from just outside the box cancelled out an opener from former Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle striker Alan Smith but three second half goals consigned Blues to their first pre-season defeat.


video courtesy of Birmingham City FC’s youtube channel

It’s been a meteoric rise for the Ghanaian youngster. Unheard of until the latter part of the season, Arthur has gone from being a raw prospect to making his first team debut at the end of last season and now the signs are that he will play an even bigger role within the squad this year. Described by Clark as a “pocket battleship”, Arthur is comfortable anywhere across the midfield and feasibly could be slotted in to a more forward position if required.

I intimated the other day that despite the departures from the team that have brought a lot of (legitimate) concern from Blues fans that I thought there might just be a chance for new players to come in and take up the mantle. Arthur most definitely fits into this category – an exciting, tricky player who could well become the next crowd-pleaser in the mould of Nathan Redmond. I think it’s a view shared by Lee Clark, who left fellow rookies Ryan Higgins and Akwasi Asante at home in the UK but has played Arthur in every pre-season game so far.

However, we have to be careful how much expectation we place on Koby’s young shoulders. Whilst Nathan Redmond had to deal with being Blues’ second youngest ever debutant, he often gave the impression of being grounded and wiser than his years and it was that sensibility that helped him improve as a player despite the growing hype around him. Koby will need to tread a similar path – one can’t just jump into the Championship at seventeen and expect to rip it apart straight from the off.

However, it’s one thing to be respectful of the leap from academy and reserve team football and it’s another to be overawed. The most pleasing thing I’ve seen so far from Koby is the lack of fear in the way he plays – and I believe it’s that lack of fear that will help propel him from prospect to legitimate wunderkind. I think that sometimes the fear of making mistakes can hold back a player from trying to do something inventive and creative and that it can be a terrible thing; Redmond in particular seemed to be struggling with this sort of problem in the early part of last season. If Arthur is to be a success he needs to keep doing the things that have got him where he is and that means sometimes they won’t work out – but as long as he learns from what didn’t work and what did, he will be fine.

I’ve said quite often that I’m excited for the new season and I will be honest Koby is one of the reasons that I feel that way. It’s a new start for Blues, a new formation and there seems to be a sea change in the squad. Things might have gone to pieces off the pitch but the prospects are brighter than ever – and we should all be excited about that.

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36 Responses to “Bright Prospects”

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Koby needs to be nurtured and introduced into the rigours of Championship football slowly.
    At 17 years of age, and faced with seasoned Championship players his progress may be stunted if thrown in too soon.
    His potential is there for all to see and I hope the club will be able to fend off inevitable bids from Premiership clubs for his sevices.

  • Tony says:

    Still very unhappy with the sale of Redmond, can’t help but feel that if this lot are still around come January they might try to raise money from selling such as Arthur to any club prepared to nurture his talent and probably for small change.

    • iang says:

      Agree totally with this view. What is the point of being excited about Koby or anyone else breaking through as they will be sold as soon as they make enough impact to have some value to these owners. We have the best crop of youngesters I can remember and have already sold three of them, this is the real tradegy of this situation we find ourselves in

      • Wearynose says:

        You’re absolutely right. The prime concern of Blues fans should be to create conditions which help to hasten a resolution by the owners to sell. One can’t get excited about young prospects because they will be sold as you say in order to reduce the owners ill-judged purchase costs. There is no long-term development with the HK crew. Where the Club finishes is irrelevant, any success, such as staying in the Championship, merely prolongs the period of the BIHL ownership.

        • Oldbluenose says:

          I fully echo those worries expressed above, !!.

          Whilst seeing the obvious talents that have/are coming through the Blues ranks, Why oh why can we not keep them,?.

          Obviously, — Our financial predicaments, — Please god,!!. Let us have fresh owners who will nurture our club on a gradual basis, ?????????.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s only my opinion, but I think Arthur is going to eclipse Redmond. From what I’ve seen, already, his control, first touch and ball retention are far better than Redmond’s… and he passes better than Redmond. He also goes past defenders easier than Redmond. So all in all, I’m more than happy with the young lad.

  • Chris Walker says:

    Trevor Francis had that raw talent and lack of fear when he broke into the first team.
    It was only when managers tried to coach him that he lost that bite in his play, hopefully that will not happen with Koby as LC seems to let players express themselves.
    From the brief showings last season and what I have read of the pre season games he is going to be quite pivotal in a free roaming roll from midfield.
    Though we might take a few beatings and as long as they don’t affect the groups morale, this should be an exciting season for all concerned.
    KRO

  • Tony says:

    Maybe Arthur will be better than Redmond, I would just prefer them both in the team and not just one of them and possibly, come January, neither of them.

  • Tony says:

    Trevor never lost his bite he was kicked from pillar to post but he had genuine class, the best by far to ever wear the shirt.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Trevor was a real people’s hero… and he gave us fantastic service over many years. I don’t think anyone begrudged him the move to Forest.

      Today, there’s doesn’t seem to be any loyalty beyond one season or so. Today’s players don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Our Trev.

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    I’m making a bit of a sweeping generalization, so apologies in advance.

    I know a few Ghanians and they are pretty good about imbibing in their children the importance of the need to remain level headed and not get carried away. I hope this is the case with young Koby.

  • Jonno says:

    I’m not going to get too excited, Pannu will probably flog him.

  • dave mann says:

    that shouldnt be a big problem for koby because the money he will earn at blues certainly
    wont send him of the rails, and the so called friendly against mk dons doesnt really count
    for me, training ground, no fans, its not really worth talking about so i dont think i will. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      General consensus, including the manager, was that the players were all knackered, what with the gruelling training sessions and the blistering heat. Thankfully, the good old British football season is full of murky skies and muddy pitches. :)

  • dave mann says:

    the next real friendly is swindon and i will be there.KRO.

  • paul says:

    peter pan will be rubbing his hands in January at the 1.2m sale to Hull

  • AL-LAD says:

    Yes, that’s certainly great news for Carson, as long as Blues keep producing young talent he can keep selling them off and making some cash.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Islam Feruz (mentioned yesterday) is going on Chelsea’s Asian tour, so seems to be in Jose Mourinho’s plans. Not that we had any chance of getting him with rumoured Premiership clubs interested.
    Anyway we have our own African potential superstar in Koby Arthur.

  • oldburyblue says:

    Redmond was good and should get better. Arthur will eclipse him. The big difference between the 2 players is that Redmond could often be double-marked out of a game and he rarely had a plan B. He was obviously told towards the end of the Season to cut inside instead of always trying to beat his man on the outside. He did this with great results but unfortunately it was 1 thing or the other in each match and he seemed unable to mix it.
    Arthur on the other hand appears to have a better footballing brain. As well as having the ability and inclination to go either way to beat a man he also has a lovely eye for a pass so that if double-marked he can give it to a man in space or making a forward run. Though not tall he appears very muscular with a low centre of gravity which allows him to look after himself physically. I just hope we are allowed to watch him for many years to come.

  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    Isn’t it quite obvious that clubs from the Premier League buy players from the Championship and clubs from the Championship buy players from League One or Two or Football League?
    Unfortunately for us, we have had to see three super-talents disappear to clubs just to bring in money to cover for an owner who is prohibited to invest even if he could.
    What a team we would be this coming season with Butland, Mutch and Redmond in the first-11.
    But Lee Clark’s young guns could absolutely be a surprise side in the season ahead and Koby Arthur could absolutely be part of it.
    It could even be a strange situation if the Blues get promoted and Stoke, Cardiff and Norwich get relegated, which is not impossible. Then our three super-talents will be in a lower division when we would have needed them most in the top division.
    The grass is not always greener on the other side. Look at our former heroes Roger Johnson and Scott Dann. Now, Roger has to play League One football and Scott is in a team that finished five places lower than us in the Championship.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Perhaps,? If we were to be promoted, ?. and those 3, be relagated, AND, — we had new owners, !!.
      Then we may be in a position to buy them back, !!!.

      What dreams are made of, — Chuckle, !!!.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Really, apart from going to the premier, how many of the players who left us since the League Cup win, have actually gone on to better things? Been successful? Or the managers even?

    I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who has walked away from the club… whether they jumped, or were pushed. As soon as they’re out that door, they’re nothing to do with BCFC anymore. All that matters, is the club and the players and manager that are currently employed. Players have no loyalty to us, and I have no loyalty for them once they’re gone.

    • DoctorD says:

      Staffs: why do I agree with EVERYTHING you say. I think you are my double.

      • James Black says:

        Doctor D. Maybe you are Staffsblue and Doctor D is the troll so you can agree with yourself and look popular. Im only joking im sure not, but its a thought. Seen people do that before in groups. I was gonna start another account myself also so i can agree with everything i say, but its a lot of effort and i cant be bothered..

        Yes absolutely James you are so wise.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Redmond is the past. Arthur is the future.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Just watched highlights of Blues’ defeat to MK Dons. Blues’ defenders were trying to play possession football in their defensive third of the pitch and repeatedly got caught out.
    This was probably due to the unreal nature of the game i.e. a practice game in front of no fans. Players were prepared to take greater risks in possession than they would have done in a competitive match.
    So all in all no need to be downhearted.

  • PessimisticBlue says:

    So plenty of people on here saying “we’re top 10 bound” or “tilting for the playoffs”, and we’ve sold 2 of our best players and replaced them with lower league hopefuls, Scottish not quite good enough, and raw loanees – and I’m not blaming Clark, looks like he’s done a sterling job, but let’s have a reality check – this team is weaker than last season’s and will struggle to stay above the bottom 3. The Scots I know (some in the family even) say that the Scots we’ve signed aren’t good enough for the championship and will struggle. Because of financial woes we have not been able to replace like with like. It isn’t all doom and gloom, there will be one or two gems among the rough, but as the MK Dons result shows, it’s going to be a very long hard season. I’ll enjoy seeing the new team, but I don’t expect anything other than a relegation battle.


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