Often Partisan

Young Guns

With no goals being scored by any strikers in competitive first team action this year and the solitary goal in the league not even being scored by a Blues player, Lee Clark is now looking at younger players within his squad to offer different options to the problems up front.

Clark has recalled Akwasi Asante from his loan spell at Shrewsbury, and the Dutch born youngster will be vying for a place on the bench at least as Clark continues to look at his options. With Marlon King firmly out of the picture and Peter Lovenkrands suffering injury and poor form with the reserves along with Zigic’s back complaint Blues are left with just Lee Novak and Matt Green as out-and-out strikers in the first team.

Asante didn’t score any goals whilst on loan at Shrewsbury but offers something different to the strikers currently available. With a strong build and plenty of pace Asante would be a good option if Clark decides that he needs to use speed and youthful athleticism up front; although judging by his miss in the last game for the Shrews Asante will need to work on his composure some more.

When he’s played for the development squad in the past, Asante has looked useful enough. However, he has had a few niggling injuries and he will need to demonstrate to Clark that he can stay fit to train and play week in week out if he is to cement his place in the squad. This is his best chance to make it with Blues and he has to seize it with both hands as failure to do so will probably see the youngster leave at the end of the season.

Reece Hales is a striker in form at the moment, with three in three for the development squad. Like Asante, Hales offers strength up front but his work ethic and his desire will definitely stand in his favour. Hales is like a young Geoff Horsfield; maybe not the most technically elegant player but the kind of guy who will make and take chances by doing what he can to be in the right place at the right time. His tenacity will see him tire out defenders and his harrying will force them into mistakes.

It’s a big call for Clark to throw either into the heat of a Championship battle but I think he has to look through his team and try to do what he can to get some more goals into it. Reports indicate that chances are certainly cropping up in games but Blues are not taking them and they need to find a striker who can get into a purple patch and start the ball rolling for the club.

From development games I’ve seen I know Clark is a big fan of Hales; I honestly would not be surprised if it’s the 18-year-old who gets the nod rather than Asante but I think both will have chances to be a part of the team in the next few weeks and it would be another feather in the respective caps of Kristjaan Speakman, Steve Spooner and Richard Beale if another one or two of the Academy talent make and stay in the first team.

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171 Responses to “Young Guns”

  • pierre says:

    any chance of koby Arthur being thrown into the mix

    • almajir says:

      He already has, hasn’t he? He’s been a sub on at least a couple of occasions and started the league cup game.

      He’s not a striker though, more a winger/forward type

  • BarthDomak says:

    Maybe he could start with Matt Green for a change and not leave him on the bench……

    Just a thought

    • almajir says:

      In three league games, Green has started two of them.

      Fail to see your point.

      • fozzylou says:

        whereas nogoalvak has started all four games. green showed enough against watford to be given another start at home at least.

        king being frozen out is looking more ridiculous by the day. he was supposed to be days away from leaving 2 weeks ago. if he’s still here at the end of august elsie needs to be brave enough to swallow his pride and play him.

        getting king off the books has merit for saving the club money but ultimately it could relegate us costing even more money.

        this is blues though so we are experts of shooting ourselves in the foot.

  • StevieW says:

    So reading between the lines I take it that ziggie is not likely to appear in the near future as the emphasis on getting the young lads sorted is becoming paramount.

  • pierre says:

    no money for further loans i presume

  • Agent McLeish says:

    The problem LC has is what would be his first choice strikers are leaving, injured or ‘out of form’. As the club has been depleted of money by the current owners all he has to look to is the youth and fringe players. A great opportunity for them players but not a great situation for LC who seems to be doing the best he can in the circumstances. Lets hope we unearth a gem, my money would be on Hales making a breakthrough.

  • Lee says:

    We f****** basically, whole situation is just a shambles, if cy genuinely payed 81 million for that club he has to be the worst business man in history ever, just what the f *** is he up to, I don’t understand how someone who can make or come up with that kind of dollar could possibly make such a complete and total fricken mess of it, it’s not possible to be so intelligent to amass 81million then literally throw it down the drain within a couple of years,I’m going to mindset myself for worst case scenario, we will be in league 1 next season, be it because the side we have is simply piss poor, as bad as anything I’ve seen in 40 years, or we get deducted points, can’t see anything else happening I’m afraid unless we get bought before Christmas and some serious investment is made in championship quality players

    • Eddie says:

      its like a Chinese version of “Brewster’s Millions”

    • mike ware says:

      Bit early to talk like that lost close games agaist two of last seasons playoff teams and unlucky not to get something and won a difficult away game. Obviously we are short of goals but only conceded two in three games. A lot of new players need time to gel. We are not going to set the world on fire but not as bad as you suggest

    • StaffsBlue says:

      League 1 next year? What a load of crap! We’re nowhere near that bad. I still say top 10.

    • RichardM says:

      Lee – go into the high street with £500 in your pocket and see what type of car you can pick up. I suspect you’ll be going through the local paper rather than visiting the Ferrari dealership.

      Then let us know what car you’ve purchased and invite us round so we can all have a laugh at your “crap car”. That’s pretty much what we’ve asked Lee Clark to do this summer – while slagging these players off you need to appreciate his ONLY option is freebies, bosmans and loanees – which means he’s shopping in the “local paper” too – the only difference being that we’re hoping someone like Matt Green or Andrew Shinnie will turn into the provebial Ferrari. He did it before with Jordan Rhodes so who’s to say Matt Green might be similar given a run of games and a goal or two to boost his confidence.

      I appreciate your frustration – believe me I share it, but we are where we are right now, bellyaching about the lack of quality on the squad id counter-productive and will achieve nothing. My only criticim of Clarke right now is the “freezing out” of Marlon King at a time when we need a striker with nous and experience at this level.

  • Dan says:

    @Lee … I am so bored of the blatant pessimism around Blues. Yes, we are broke and the squad is an let’s say “adventurous” one. But what can we do? Moan our bad luck all day? Damn, we all know the club is in a dire situation, but all this negativity seriously starts going on my nerves. The money simply isn’t there. The current team is pretty much the squad we have now. So, let’s just rally behind the team, fight the relegation battle with them and live with it. And if we go down to be a League 1 side next year….so be it.

  • Lee says:

    Dan, seriously I couldn’t care less what you think, bottom line is we have to be honest, last season we stood a chance, Redmond, Davies, butland and king are a good littering of quality at that level, it’s all been replaced with utter rubbish, you can sit and talk up this shite if you like but everyone knows this side simply is not going to keep blues in the championship, I’ve got my head round it and accept that unless, and I pray for, we get sold and the new owner buys players capable of playing at this level we are in serious serious trouble, my thoughts are more long term than what’s going on, that’s my opinion, and like I say, call it negative, call it what you like, it’s realistic, it’s honest and I don’t give a shit if you like it or not

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Very harsh and if it’s not a wind up incredibly idiotic. I would not call Burn or Randolph utter rubbish. I’ve been at 3 of the 4 games and they look like class acts who could play in any team in the Championship. Scott Allan and Shinniesta are both works in progress but are exciting prospects and I expect to make a contribution so to label them all as utter rubbish is, well, utter rubbish.

      It sounds like somebody got out of bed the wrong side this morning…

    • BobbyBlue says:

      Talk about jumping the gun! As has been said, we have lost two games against tough opponents. Bit early to be crying about relegation isn’t it? Realistic Lee, is accepting it will be a tough season. I’ve no doubt it will. Saying we are down already is just stupid! Many games to go. And the team could do with some support for those games… don’t you think?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      When we’re not relegated at the end of the season… I hope you’ve got a big enough pair to come on and admit you were wrong.

    • Peter says:

      Has Randolph been rubbish? What about Burn? Do you think Shane Ferguson or Eardley look woeful, or are capable of playing decent stuff? Fair enough you do not care what people think, so it will not bother you to know I think you are one of the fans who is helped turn the club into a difficult place to win at home- no support or backing.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Having a reasonable goals against can still get you relegated. You just have lots of 1-0 defaults, as we remember from the Ron Saunders relegation team.

  • woody says:

    Well said lee couldn’t agree more may aswell throw both those kids in up front cause novak couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo

  • Godsavetheblues says:

    Lee your bang on mate, I went to the game Saturday and I took my son to his first game. After an hour he asked me if we could go as he was bored. I agreed with him and left. I shouted onto the pitch to see if Novak wanted a lift home as he looked bored to. Woody was on about a cows arse and a banjo….. He couldn’t hit a barn door with a barn door seeking missile.

    • chas says:

      You shouted onto the itch ? What a brave man, what an example to show your nipper . Did you shout from the front when Novac was near, or from the back so he couldn’t see you ?

      • Godsavetheblues says:

        To be honest I didn’t have to shout with only 14 people there, so I didn’t really have to hide myself! But they way I look at it is, £25 of my money spent on that, when king is fit and available, I’m entitled to say what I like. And there was no bad language involved!

    • Casper says:

      Will shouting stuff like that help? No, it’ll make you look a dick in front of your son, poor lad.
      While you are at work, can you honestly say that you work better when someone is constantly reminding you of your ineptitude or when you are being encouraged and supported?
      The bottom line is, will shouting negative stuff to the blues players motivate them? Probably not. Will it make Clark go out and buy a better class of player? No because he hasn’t got the money.
      Therefore if you’re not there to cheer and support the players, you may as well be cheering for the opposition :P

  • mark says:

    Great to see the moaners out again-……surprise surprise

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Agree, they went underground for a bit but are now out in force again. Their moaning and winging offers no argument or debate.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        They always keep quiet whilst we’re doing well, just waiting for a defeat, then they suddenly appear like magic. You just know it’s coming every time. The ownership of the club have given up…. so, if the fans give up on them as well, why should the players care? THAT is what leads to relegation. As long as the fans stay with them, we’ll be fine.

    • James Black says:

      Mark come on mate why you want to deny them so much pleasure. Take away there moaning you take away there souls. They love it Mark, let them whine and talk crap, cuz i really believe they will be forced to shut there big gobs soon enough. Come on blues.

  • Frankie says:

    Un less we can get someone in and thats unlikely, then we have what we have and have to get on with it.
    Lee Clark is being very pragmatic and am sure there is a ‘plan’.
    We aren’t going to be free-scoring but can play a ‘tight game’ and hope to nick a goal.
    Hopefully when Pannu and his Chinese ‘laundry’ have departed then thingsw will improve.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      I’m hoping Ziggy is going to be like a new signing. Admittedly he is no prolific but he could galvanise the team and, also always, score some very important goals.

  • Brian king says:

    It’s the start of the session and before a ball is kicked most blues supporters could see the writing on the wall in big block capitals, RELEGATION. Unfortunately this is a mind set blues fans have come to accept and it’s called reality, facing up to cold hard facts. The players we have are a mish-mash of whatever LC could find for zero and that is what we will be until a change of ownership is sorted.

    Sent from my iPad

    • Peter says:

      Accept relegation is NOT A FACT. We are 3 points above the drop zone and the players are yet to gel, so thee is more to come.

  • andy says:

    In the games so far Birmingham have the makings of a decent side, their passing has been good but it is that final ball that has been missing, its like the players themselves don’t know who will put the ball into the net. I don’t think Lee Clark has much choice but to throw in Asante or Hales, I would go for Asante due to the fact it is a make or break season for him. Having said that I think Matt Green should get a longer run in the team before anyone can judge whether he is good enough for the Championship, he is a proven goalscorer after all.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Andy – totally agree. The 25 minutes of the second half against Brighton showed great promise and it was just the final ball missing. I’m not too downbeat and think the results will come.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Green is a different player when he’s attacking the ball. What’s needed most of all, is for our wide players to get behind the opposition defence and pull back a good cross or two. Then you’ll see Green at his best. A good example is the 4th goal against Shamrock. Green won the ball outside the box, laid it back for Burke, Burke crossed into the box and where was Green? Already in the box and waiting. It’s a lot harder for a striker when he has to keep looking over his shoulder for a pass and keep an eye on the defender. At the end of the day, it’s up to the rest of the team to give the strikers the best opportunity to score. So far that’s not happening. Ditch 3-5-2.

  • Lee says:

    It’s not moaning, it’s the truth, do you not feel slightly concerned that our manager has taken quite a big decision to recall a kid 3 games in, it really should do, Novak couldn’t score goals in the next division down, he’s not going to do it now, any knowledgable football fan will concurr, we have a team based on lower league players, one or two may make it, the rest simply will not, the other players are loan players, if you were on loan at blues and it it became clearlyy apparent the players signed by the club aren’t cutting it are you likely to care what happens, no, free players signed from lower leagues coupled with loan players has never worked, and never will, I have to take my hat off to Clark though, not 1 complaint about the situation just got on with his job

    • StaffsBlue says:

      1. Lee Clark is thinking of bringing the kids in, because, like last season, he doesn’t have a lot of choice. King is leaving, Lovenkrands is injured/useless and Zigic is apparently having back trouble. Which leaves only Green and Novak.

      2. Novak has never been prolific, but then, neither was Geoff Horsfield (in 20 years, he only got double figures 4 times) but the work they do for the team more than makes up for that. I bet if you asked the rest of the players, they’d have a different opinion to you.

      3. Just because a player has been sign on a Bosman, doesn’t mean he’s crap. There are all kinds of reason that a player is released. End of contract, a player wanting to try his luck somewhere else, a club not being able to afford a player any longer (as we well know.) Anyone who knows a modicum about football knows that not all Bosmans are crap.

      Oh, and 4. Most of the players expect at least a top half finish… it would be nice if their own fans had a bit of belief in them.

      • KeepRightcroydOn says:

        Well said Staffs. If only those purveyors of doom could take a step back and rationalize like this Stans would be a much happier place….and better for out team.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m just cheesed off with all the negativity KRO. We all know the problems at the club.. we all know the restrictions and limitations that Lee Clark has had to work under.. but to keep going on about it does nothing but bring everyone’s mood down.

          Clark hasn’t moaned once since he took the job on… more than you could ever say for McLeish and Hughton. I have more respect for Clark that I’ll ever have for the other two. Let’s back him and see what he can do. Not getting near relegation would be a success…. a top half finish would be above and beyond.

          • Peter says:

            I agree lee you are not moaning, just finding a reason to criticise everything possible and not taking account of the situation. That is completely different!

    • James Black says:

      Lee, in case you havent noticed, we aint got the dosh to do anything else pure and simple. So whats your suggestion. Playing King is stupid if his off soon as its games wasted for the side to gel if you are playing someone from the past. Lee i really dont see any of your logic at all. You say its not moaning, well i cant see what else you can call it and you are simply inaccurate. Please stop bringing us all down, we know the situation and not looking for scapegoats

  • Bluenosesol says:

    To be honest – The odds of Lee Clark being able to build a squad for nothing and set the world alight are very low, however football is very much about psychology and to that end the players need the fans. We may not get promoted but we can and must avoid relegation until the new buyers arrive on the scene. So tend to agree with Mark, the team may well not be good enough, but there are some emerging stars in there, so lets accentuate the positives and be mindful that this is a very popular blogsite and the kids at the club may be reading this, so please dont call them shite. KRO.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Indeed. As I’ve said all along it’s about having realistic expectations. Lee Clark has brought in the best he could based on havingtely nothing to work with and other than the lack of goals I’m thinking so far so good.

      What did people really expect? Hammering other teams, champagne football and a ridiculous for and against column. Firstly it’s very early days so results aren’t as crucial as later in the season and secondly it is practically a whole new team who need time to grow. Some fans are totally deluded.

  • Frankie says:

    Really like Matt Green, what an absolute ‘work-a-holic’, maybe with Assante alongside it might work.
    Just want to see him score a goal, that will do him the World of good.
    Hope the fans cut him loads of slack, its a big step up and he is giving 100%

  • KeeprightCroydON says:

    Three games in, we’ve conceded two goals against two of the better teams in the league and scored one, albeit an OG, and the moaning has started. Great!

    Anyway for what it’s worth, I’d much rather Novak and Green start to knock them in for two reasons.
    1. To shut up these moaners
    2. I’s prefer it if the true value of Hales and Asante is kept under wraps until the club is in new ownership. If they come in and start scoring, CY will see it as an opportunity to cash them in to prolong his grasp of the club. I already fear that Arthur, Hiscox and Reilly could be sold at knock down prices in Jan so that CY can hang on longer.

    The give you support to Green and Novak and if Hales and hope they do reasonable well. If Asante and Hales are any good this will hopefully mean us hanging on to them until we get shot of CY.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Good post!

      • KeepRightcroydOn says:

        You know what Staffs? Like you I’m not happy about the club’s predicament with the ownership situation but I wish these moaners get real and realise there’s nothing we can do about that and the best policy is to get behind the players instead of taking cheap shots at some of them. They don’t seem to acknowledge that LC had actually got a couple of very decent freebies in Randolph and Shinnie. And Novak is much better that they give him credit for. As you pointed out in a separate post he offers more than just goals. I hope he gets a few soon so these moaners can STFU. But even if he doesn’t, he & Green should be given some slack.

        • Oldbluenose says:

          Croyden mate;, Good,– common sense viewpoint, !!.

          yes, they are lower league Bosmans, Freebees or youngsters, but they have not been over run, !!.

          Give em chance, !!.

  • EveshamBlue says:

    Hmmm. Zigic going on a sick note the last year of his contract. He went missing in our relegation season as well.

    I say give the youngsters a chance. Novak is never going to be prolific. He is a support striker.

    • tmsblues says:

      Couldn’t agree more Zigic adding further insult to injury !! A bad back….. Oh yes the biggest cause of absenteeism in work today and the most difficult to resolve or confirm as ‘real’ or ‘convenient’ ! Give the kids a chance up front with Green and show faith in one of our best players who can give thm the ball, Chris Burke, and play him every week !!

  • Frankie says:

    Do fear that Novak and Green will become ‘fodder’ for the critics ‘behind the goal’.
    Hope not, we ALL have to stick together, support has been good so far and that is crucial.

  • Marky mark says:

    Patience is clearly not a virtue with some blues fans

    Give the team a chance for god sake, let’s not attack the players or management for our current plight as they are genuinely doing there best and there has been positives to take from our first 3 games. Novak and green just need a goal like all strikers do even the best.

    Things are bad enough without turning against the team.

  • dave mann says:

    just a thought, 3/4 years ago blues were close to signing gareth bale, hes now worth 4 times
    more than the whole club……..what a change those years have made, incredible.
    i said earlier in the week to throw asante in at the deep end against leicester, what
    the hell have we got to loose besides 3 poimts, no one else is scoring! KRO.

  • mike says:

    well i never…i have been depressed for 69 years and after reading this lot nothing changes!!
    as i have said previously it is poor entertainment at present so if we are going to sink………let us go down battling……lets score some goals or at least shoot at every opportunity..please………

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I suggest a recall for Darren (goals from midfield) Ambrose. We need his skill and experience to help the younger players.
    Adeyemi, Allan, Shinnie and Lee have little first team experience and shouldn’t be expected to excel as a group in the Championship.
    Experienced heads are needed and Spector, Ambrose and Burke fit the bill.

    • oldburyblue says:

      Sorry Richard but having watched Ambrose play on Monday after a couple of times last year for The Development Squad, I don’t think he is the answer.

  • dave mann says:

    im with you mike, we have to deal with the hand weve been given, its no good moaning
    about it, i could bang on about carson yeung all day but whats the point, its on the field
    where blues fans have got to get behind the team and not deserting them because of
    off field problems which are not of the making of the playing staff. 18000 against
    watford, 14000 against brighton, about sums it up really, what about ipswich 12000!
    KRO, but only if your a regular visitor to the holy grail thats st andrews.

  • Tony says:

    Its not being defeatist or moaning to state the obvious, Novak and Green are two low quality strikers not suited to this division they are somewhat out of their depth.
    The one quality striker we have is on some kind of paid holiday, Zigic is swinging the lead as its his last season come January he can talk to other clubs.
    Might as well give Hales a chance nothing to lose ,we have to get ten points clear of the bottom three in case of admin.
    memo to Clark Ambrose,Burke, are quality and will create we dont want or need anymore willing runners ffs.

    • Peter says:

      State the obvious. Okay here U go. They had played 3 bloody ga,ex that is all! Nobody can show their promise and be a success or have failed by 3 games.DEnnis bergamot could not score a goal for Arsenal in his first 12 games, and he went on be known as God! Now they might not get to those levels, but to say they are rubbish after 3 games in a brand new side? The obvious thing here is more about you, not the players. Great supporter….

  • dave mann says:

    thats the problem tony, when youve got no money to spend your gonna get low quality
    so as you said throw hales in, throw asante in, start burke and stop playing 3-5-2.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As I said a few days ago, My team for Leicester would be…

      Randolph

      Eardley Bartley Burn Hancox

      Robinson

      Burke Adeyemi Allan Ferguson

      Green

      4-1-4-1, with Robbo as the defensive midfielder. I read his webchat yesterday on bcfc.com and, when asked what position he’d prefer if he wasn’t a defender, he said “sitting midfield player.” I still think it would work.

      • glosblue says:

        Wouldn’t disagree with that team selection. We need 2 players on the right (Eardley & Burke) and 2 on the left (Hancox & Ferguson). I agree with some of the criticism of Zigic but at least when he is playing we have someone to win the high balls/crosses and the opposition usually need 2 defenders to cover him leaving some freedom for attacking midfielders. At present, our attack is easy meat for tall & strong defenders.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          My only worry with Zigic in the starting line up, is we tend to play the Villa way, knocking long diagonals to him, when we all know how crap he is in the air… and even as tall as he is, the defenders have the advantage of facing the ball. We need to get behind the opposition more, make the centre backs have to turn. Attacking players coming in then have the advantage.

      • oldburyblue says:

        Not a bad shout Staffs.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    If we can get the ball in the box a few more times then I’m confident Green will get some goals. He cannot score goals without chances.

    As others have Novak is more like the Horse; I thought he was poor against Watford, and 1st half Yeovil, but much better second half with his hold-up and passing – he put through two lovely passes. I thought he was similar against Brighton, better second half. I hope he gets 2/3 more games before giving someone else a try.

    Let’s not get too morose. In the two home games, we’ve been beaten by good footballing sides who have kept the ball a lot – that has made it difficult [and perhaps boring for some!]. We do not have the players to play like Watford [and even Brighton] but we weren’t far off taking something from the games. I think our goalscoring woes are more to do with the midfield and formation. We aren’t creating enough.

    I don’t think Eardley is suited to the role in a 3-5-2, although I do think he’s a decent RB at this level. On the other side, Fergie has disappointed so far, but he’s another kid and deserves our support. I’m not sure Hancox is suited to 3-5-2 either, again he’s a competent LB – perhaps Murph will offer something when fit as LC seems determined to stick with 3-5-2. Whilst Burke is a good player, he is not suited to a wide role in a 3-5-2 either IMO, owing to his defensive frailties.

    It seems to me that the only conclusion to reach is that 3-5-2 doesn’t suit our current players; or, at least, they need more time to get used to it.

  • Frankie says:

    Think that team would be the best option Staffs. Agree with that.
    Be nice to just have a bit of good fortune also.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely agree about the good fortune Frankie. We’ve not had much of that over the years. If only those two shots (or even one) had gone in, instead of hitting the bar, I’m sure it would have been a completely different game. I think we would have gone on to get 2 or 3. But as we all know, the longer you go without scoring (especially when you’re on top) the more chance there is of the opposition nicking one. How many times last season did we dominate games, only to draw or lose?

      I genuinely think we’re only a flick or a pass away from clicking. We’re nowhere near as bad as the doom merchants would have you believe.

  • EveshamBlue says:

    I think Green will be abit like that Bournemouth striker we had last year. All he needs is one goal and the confidence will come.

    I do not know why LC changed his formation from last year. Surely Shinnie or Allan are ready made replacements for Morrison? He did this last year tinkering around with formations.

    Only difference this year is the defence is better but the attack is worse.

  • mark says:

    Imo against leciester I be tempted to play 451……… Agree with your points staffsblue…

  • dave mann says:

    ive seen every game this season and if you dont get the ball to green he aint gonna score
    so weve got to play with 2 natural wide players like burke and ferguson to get the ball in
    the box to him to give the guy a chance and we aint done that yet, agree with pretty much
    staffs team but i would find a place for shinnie cause hes gonna get better and better as
    this championship season goes on so i would have him instead of adeyemi because he
    hasnt really impressed me yet.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I was disappointed with Shinnie’s ‘attempt’ at that header against Yeovil. Scared of messing up his barnet? I bet the biggest battle in midfield, is the one between Elliott and Shinnie for the mirror in the dressing room before a match. ;-)

      I do think there’s more to come from Shinnie, but he needs to be more decisive I think… that’s why I’d go for Allan instead.

      • Ali Duncan says:

        Allan, Wade and Ade as a middle three. I’m expecting big things from the latter. I’ve seen glimpses or him become a marauding box-to-box player and think given time he is going to be an excellent championship player who will have the ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck.

  • oldburyblue says:

    In response to the people complaining about the quality of our present squad. What did our better quality players achieve in our cup-winning season?…..relegation. They weren’t THAT good after all then. Our kids should be given a chance. I am sure that we all needed a few weeks/months to settle into our new jobs and got much better with time….didn’t we?

  • biddy1161 says:

    It might be worth giving Chris Burke a chance in central attack. He is a highly skilful player with a good shot and bags of vision. I can see him playing off Green or Novak and causing defences a lot of problems.

  • RichardM says:

    Must admit I’m not entirely convinced on Novak – I have the advantage of working with some Huddersfield fans who told me he needs 6 chances to score one goal. Matt Green on the other hand I think WILL get better and will get goals – but he’s just jumped three levels and people need to be patient. Brining Hales or Asante into the mix no carries the risk of either taking away much need game time for Green or worse still damaging confidence.

  • oldburyblue says:

    How many chances have our strikers actually missed? Not many, because there haven’t been many made. Most goals are scored after a good cross or pass providing a chance. That I think is our real problem. Green and Novak are both willing runners but they can’t be expected to “run the channels”, cross the ball and then head it in, all on their own. Get people in the box and they will score.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely. We look good going forward, but we’re just that little bit off with the final ball. We need to work on crossing the ball too. Our crossing has been abysmal so far, other than Burke’s cross to Bartley v Plymouth.

  • dave mann says:

    were only 3 games in to the season and were panicking with fans suggesting another
    relegation fight, weve got 3 points, last season after 3 games we had 1 point, so were
    2 points better off, theres the hope that something is happening finally on the take over
    situation so lets ride this wave off depression because if we can pick up steady points
    over the next few weeks we might just have some good news on the horizon and then
    you never no we might be able to BUY some players come january and start talking about
    playoffs instead of relegation, lets stop the doom and gloom because ive said it so many
    times we cant do anything about it at the momment, stay possetive.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m with you. I’m not panicking, or despondant at all. I think, if we did have a few bob to spend anytime soon… 2, maybe 3 higher quality players could be the difference between just missing out and finishing in the top 6.

  • Texas Pete says:

    Strikers are only as good as the service they get. Zigic and King missed more chances than they scored. Think about the number of “tap ins”. This is a new team playing a new system so we have to focus on the moments and pieces that appear to work.These are to build on until a complete move ends at the striker tapping into the net.. Then maybe in October it will be starting to come together with the team having an understanding with each other as a whole not just moments of connection that work.

  • dave mann says:

    with everybody fit staffs, this is the team i would pick NOW,
    randolph,packwood, bartley, burn, murphy
    burke, allan,shinnie, ferguson
    green,asante.
    ime not saying this team is for the season but the team i would pick
    if everyone was fit NOW 4-4-2 OR 4-5-1 OR 4-4-3. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t think Lee Clark sees Packwood at right back anymore. He’s pencilled him in as a permanent centre back. There’s always young Higgins, he whips in a mean cross.

      As for Leicester, we need to be strong in midfield and defence.. and hope to get something on the break. I can’t see Clark going 4-4-2 away. I’d defintely play Robbo as the anchorman. Some reall balls in front of the defence.

  • dave mann says:

    i did say its the tean i would pick not lee, but its all about opinions.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Whichever midfield we play, it always looks lightweight. Everybody wants to play.. no one wants to do the donkey-work. That’s why teams are playing through us so easily (e.g. Brighton’s goal.) We need someone to sit there in front of the defence, watch the game and spot the danger. How many players have we got that can do that?

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Agree our midfield looks lightweight. The Brighton goal was just a case of Elliot being unwilling or unable to track the run as the player ran off him. He appears to point to Fergie to pick up the run and Fergie doesn’t, so one of them has to take the rap for the goal. Unfortunately, a very avoidable goal and even more galling when we looked the more likely winners.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Quite often, we’re losing possession high up the pitch.. which means that the opposition are dinking the ball in the hole between the defence and the midfield…. leaving our midfield scurrying back hoping for damage limitation.

        If you watch the Brighton goal closely, you’ll see that Adeyemi moves forward to the Brighton player in possession, about 35yds out, which leave a huge hole behind him. A simple pass to Augustien exploits that hole and a simple lay off to Crofts and the ball’s in the net. For me, there was no need for Adeyemi to go that far forward, because the Brighton player had his back to our goal and was moving away. But I also see your point about Elliott, he let the scorer run onto the pass without a challenge. It just shows, how two simple mistake can undo an hour of good work.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Apologies to young Tom. On closer inspection… it was Mullins who chased out to the Brighton player.. which makes it even worse, wtf was Mullins doing that far out in the first place?

  • mark says:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-lee-clark-calls-5765384 a signal to the few who refuse to move on…..the rest of us are right behind you clark and team. Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It’s strange how we often seem to play better in the 2nd half of games. It seems that the players need that rocket up their ‘arrises at half time, before they come out fighting. But it’s not just the 1st team.. if you watch the U21 Development Squad’s first game of the season – against Sheff Utd – and listen to Richard Beale afterwards, you’ll see that he’s had the same problems.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OMyqqAESZM (on about 20 mins)

    • Art Watson says:

      Typical propaganda trotted out from Clark -designed to impress the die hards.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    Earth calling Blues fan’s !!

    Blues fans this is Earth. ….

    Birmingham City have spent the equivalent of 1 months Zigic wages on transfer fees for the last 40 odd NEW players to play in the 1st team 11

    Hope this helps you return to Earth ;p

  • mark says:

    Novak my son have self belief in yourself………..suddenly so-call fans start jumping on players backs……. Let them moan and whinning rise above this……you cannot change fans like that………l and like other fans support you. We will keep the faith in you and our team …. believe in yourself…. Go and get them……kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      These players – ALL of them – should be given at least 10-12 games before anyone starts to criticise. Listen to the players… listen to people in the game that know what they’re talking about. It takes time for players to get to know each other, to learn the stronger and weaker parts to their game… to gel as a team. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

      • mark says:

        Unfortunately a few fans are not prepared to wait that long before pulling the knives out on players or manager. Your points raised hit the nail on the head, time, patience, and full backing from the fans. …..they need that inabundance from us……

  • Tony says:

    Mark I thought you went down with the Titanic singing KRO as it sank into the murky depths, it did not matter to you if anything could have been done about it,oh no you had to do your duty and show loyalty.
    Loyalty is one thing blind stupidity another.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Does the manager and all the players have your backing Tony?

      • Lee says:

        It seems on this page that its some sort of crime to tell the truth, I completely agree with tony, when you read through this thread you have people like myself who tell it like it is, you have airy fairy people who try to constructively say we shouldn’t call our players shit but then put forward all the exact reasons why we are shit, I.e can’t score goals, final ball, weak midfield, recalling kids, and then the blind support who refuse to see any thing is wrong but even if there is they refuse to say so, kind of all points in the same direction except I can’t be bothered to bullshit

        • StaffsBlue says:

          It’s only YOUR version of the truth. I choose to ignore it, just as you’re entitled to ignore what I say. Be my guest.

          • Lee says:

            Like I say mark, I can’t be bothered with bullshit

          • StaffsBlue says:

            That’s 4 times you’ve mentioned the word ‘shit’ tonight. I can’t see much else in your posts to be honest. But, you’re entitled to your opinion like everyone else.

          • Lee says:

            Bit childish now considering you choose to ignore, I’m out thanks, you n mark enjoy, you seem to take offence at other people’s opinion if they differ from yours, I’ve been honest and said it like it is, it’s my opinion and I stand by it

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I’ve not taken any offence. I just don’t agree with you calling all the players shit, when it’s patently not true. Now if you actually said something constructive, instead of slagging off all and sundry, I’d be quite happy to listen to what you have to say… just like all the other good folk on here. But, if all you have to offer is the word ‘shit’ and criticism, then we’re done here. Cheers and KRO.

  • Poppa999 says:

    I’ve been surprised and pleased with the football I’ve seen so far and thought our new look team have done well against two classy teams. The first half against Brighton Novak saw little of the ball. He is no target man. He reminds me of Forster without the finishing.

  • Lee says:

    Yes, had a brief spell with us around 1990

  • mark says:

    If makes you better having your bowel movement who’s me to stop you………..kro

  • mark says:

    Dolan caretaker at reading………..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It’s a shame his career didn’t last long. According to Wiki, he only ever played 56 games, before cancer ended his career. Not much time to show your worth really huh?

  • mark says:

    coming back lee Novak he will score in this division its simply down to his self belief……..like all the players once they get gelled wins will breed confidence……………… Novak possibly could have bagged two goals by now but he has nil. imo if he keep doing what he doing, he will get a bagful….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Lee Novak says that Jordan Rhodes is the best player he’s played with.. and Jordan Rhodes said Lee Novak is the best player he’s pled with. It’s a pity we don’t have a Jordan Rhodes.

    • mark says:

      no – staffsblue we don’t but do have matt green…..they both must put side their nerves and expectation…. and do what they both are very good at scoring goals……….imo clark will get these lads going……..kro

      • StaffsBlue says:

        At the end of the day mark, they’ve only played a few of games together. That’s not nearly enough to forge a partnership. I still think they’ll do well when they get a decent run together.

        What I really don’t want to see, is the likes of Shinnie and Allan etc being played up front with Novak. Playing midfielders up there last season didn’t work and it won’t this season. Play midfielders in midfield, and let the strikers do the job they’re paid for. Imo of course.

  • mark says:

    as for Clark using the young guns why not what better place to do it than in the championship……last year we nearly croaked into league one yeah right………….how close were we from the ……….. premiership.. I am in complete in favor of our youngsters continuing their progress towards the 1st team

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’ve always said Mark, you’ll never find out if they can handle it, unless you give them the chance. Luckily, we’ve got a manager who’s not afraid to give them that chance… and he’s clever enough to know when to take them back out too.

  • mark says:

    i must say, it very disappointing when fans knock the team when they have only played in three games, nearly forgot there 46 games…. lol sometimes i wonder what chance has our team or manager got when people start baying for blood………….before the season even started…………..and completely new team………..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      There will always be a few mark. Nothing we can do, they’re entitled to their opinion too, even if we disagree.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Mark, I’ll think you’ll find people’s remarks are not about the team but individual players. It is very hard seeing that the by and large the standard deemed worthy of a first team shirt has dropped so much

      If our lack of goals and / or Admin does indeed send us down we will lose Randolph, Burn and Bartley which could be replaced with a League 2 defence

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Julian, the Birmingham City standard for squad players is “Best of Breed” and always will be. Unfortunately, a club of our size and history would expect to have an income which supports those standards and ensures they are adhered to. Unfortunately we have a board and owners that have decimated the club’s resources and condemned us to bottom feeding. Until that situation is resolved, we will not enjoy watching players of a standard that matches our past experiences. Until then, as Bluenoses, we must give our heart and soul to the team and who knows, with our support they may punch above their weight, secure our survival whilst we remain in hope of new buyers coming over the horizon and who knows we may unearth a new gem or two in the players who are currently carrying the torch for BCFC. So lets lighten up and Keep Right On – Things are getting better, there is light at the end of this long blue tunnel!

  • mark says:

    well i would not disagree there……leaving on a positive note lol my prediction for Saturday against Leicester away win to blues 2-0 i will travelling to voice my support………kro its great being bluenose.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    Eamonn Doolan.

    Exeter away was nearly arrested after the game for warming down.
    Was escorted from the pitch by the old bill,they thought he was a fan running around on the pitch.

  • sutton apex says:

    without takeover/new striker its about survival – 16th or 17th is the best we can hope for realistically – respect to clark, no moaning – just gets on with it

  • dave mann says:

    14 englishmen in our 1st team squad, thats something to be proud of, at least were doing
    our bit for the country. did anyone see lee on the FL72 show last night, spoke very well
    but wouldnt be pushed on the takeover issue.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Me. :-)

    He’s basically saying what I said last night, that with so many new players, it’s going to take a while to gel as a team.

  • Danny shooter says:

    We’ve had a flukey win against Yeovil and thats it, I think we are in the sh8t this season. Need new owners with money quick.

  • dave mann says:

    i was there at yeovil and the goal was flukey but the win wasnt, and yes we are in a spot of bother
    but new owners are only round the corner hopefully and they will come in and spend some money
    so as i said yesterday lets stop the doom and gloom from supporters, its bad enough comming
    from the chinese mob.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think you’re wasting your breath dave. Some people just revel in negativity. Never anything positive to say thought you notice.

      I still think we’ll have a good season. We’re not firing on all cylinders yet, agreed, but ffs give them a chance. A win and two very unlucky defeats doesn’t spell disaster. We’ll click soon, I’m sure.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Agree Dave, we deserved the win at Yeovil and at that game the difference in quality was acknowledged by there manager, we could have won against Watford let alone drawn and likewise against Brighton when we hit the woodwork twice. So only a whisker away from winning 4 out of 4. There is quality and experience in the squad, so the early resort to doom and gloom by the naysayers is a mystery to me too. KRO!

  • dave mann says:

    lets see what tomorrows result brings, loose to leicester were going down( yeah right)
    get a draw and its goimg to be a long season( yeah right) what the hell will happen if we
    pull off a victory god forbid, it will be mahem ” were gonna win the league” or “were gonna
    make he playoffs” ( on that one yeah your propably right).
    i just love the consistency of our arm chair supporters who dont whatch the games yet
    have the midas touch to know exactly whats going to happen this season, if youve
    been to all 4 games then you will know exactly what i mean.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If we get any kind of result against Leicester, it will be another brick in the wall. If we don’t, a defeat, away to one the the strongest teams in the division, isn’t the dark side of the moon. :-)

  • dave mann says:

    not to me or you staffs but to all the doom and gloomers, a defeat at one of the top 4 teams in the league will be a disaster off mega proportions( yeah right) it will be the darkest side of the moon
    with no way back, definete 100% relegation(yeah right).KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I will state right here and now, that we’ll be nowhere near relegation at the end of the season. There you go. If I’m wrong, I’ll come on and let the pro-relegation lads have their wicked way with me. Can’t say fairer than that now can I? ;-)

  • dave mann says:

    i will second that ” WE WONT GET RELEGATED” so ive know put my cards on the table
    for the doom and gloomers to slaughter, but it aint gonna happen so not to worry. KRO.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    From Lee Clark:

    “We’ve played well in the games but need to score more goals without a shadow of a doubt. We need to be more positive in the final third like we came out of the traps in the second-half against Brighton where we’ve beaten the keeper brilliantly on both occasions and been thwarted by the cross bar; fine margins.

    We more than matched both Watford and Brighton and got a good away win at Yeovil. We should be sitting with five points instead of nine. Performances this season are much better but decided by the odd goal here or there”

    I completely agree with him. It really is fine margains. The performances have generally been good, we’re just not getting the rub of the green but do need to be a little more adventerous going forward.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      When I read that eariler today, I thought “We should be sitting in five points instead of nine.” Surely that should read 5 points instead of 3? Or am I being totally thick here??

  • dave mann says:

    weve been better in the second half of all 4 games this season, we seem to take 45 mins to
    get goimg but your right Ali we need to be more posetive in and around the penalty area, our
    look will change with hopefully a win at leicester saturday because this team will get better
    once theyve beded in and got some confidence flowing, 1-2 my prediction.KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    5 points is definetley what we should have by now, but were still 2 points better off than this
    time last season.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m going with 1-1 tomorrow.

    We just need to watch Andy King closely, always busy and got a cracking shot on him. Also, Chris Wood might be confident of getting one against us.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/lee-clark-says-darren-ambrose-5777671

    I don’t think the manager could possibly be more clear and upfront about the 4 players on the transfer list.

  • Knowle Blues says:

    Give these lads time and encouragement they will come good and once they start hitting the net they will not stop.. Talk about relegation after 3 games – total nonsense ?

  • Wingman Blue says:

    The team works hard and puts the effort in, causing the opposition to be wary of the counter-attack — until they realise we can’t score, and then they thin out their defence, press forward and score against us. We need goal scorers, especially someone like The Horse who can frighten a defence. (we also need a Savage/Bowyer/Beausejour to dominate midfield too, but I’d settle for an old-fashioned centre-forward, first).

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think we’ll be ok up front as the season progresses and players settle in. What does worry me, is our soft underbelly. A player in the mould of, as you mentioned, Savage, Bowyer, Scott Parker etc. That’s where we’re going to lose most of our goals again, through the middle. It’s that hole between the midfield and defence, it opens up far too easily for my liking. We allow teams to run through us far too easy.

  • Marky mark says:

    I think all we are missing is some leaders On the pitch, we have one at the back in Robbo but sadly none up front or in the middle. Given what we have its going to have to be Spector or Ambrose to step up and love him or hate him Zigic up front. The rest of the team are neat and tidy and full of effort but that’s not enough at any level

  • brumbie says:

    It seems fans are split on what sort of season we are going to have. I believe we are looking like a poor side who are in for a long hard season but should have enough to survive. The manager cant be blamed for the lack of quality in the squad because we have no financial clout to improve it. We are all blues fans and well used to watching sh*te so lets just support these players even if they are crap and see what happens.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s going to be a long hard season for all 24 clubs… right up until May. Every single club will have their good periods and their bad periods… even the top 2 will.

    I’d rather get the bad period over early, then go on a good run later (a la Reading.)


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