Often Partisan

The Need For Chris Burke? – Leicester Preview

Today sees Lee Clark take his Birmingham City the short journey up the M69 to Leicester in search of three points as Blues look to put the disappointment of last week’s defeat by Brighton behind them.

Leicester City

The Foxes will have Paul Konchesky in contention after his move to Brighton collapsed in the week whilst Anthony Knockaert, Ben Marshall, Zoumana Bakayogo and Arsenal loanee Ignasi Miquel will all be in contention for starts but Birmingham-born Sean St Ledger misses out through injury.

Leicester have won two and drawn one of their opening three games and will be looking for another three points to continue their fine start as they look to put the pain of missing out in the playoffs behind them. A clean sheet today would be their third in succession, something they have not achieved in the league since October 2011.


Blues can welcome back Jonathan Spector and Darren Ambrose to the squad but Mitch Hancox has turned an ankle in training and will miss out along with Akwasi Asante who has a tight hamstring. Nikola Zigic and David Murphy remain long-term casualties whilst Marlon King will not feature.

With goals being an issue for the Blues Clark has to make the decision of how he wants to fine tune the side and Matt Green could well be pushing for a recall along with Chris Burke. The difficulty in accommodating Burke in the lineup because of the change in formation has caused some problems and Clark will need to decide if he wants to stick with it or change things.

This is a tough game for Blues and a draw is about the best I’m going to hope for. I would think that Clark needs to look heavily into why Blues are not scoring goals and if it’s due to lack of creativity in the final third he needs to bring Chris Burke – probably the outstanding player we have now – into the team. I think there is also an argument for putting Reece Hales on the bench as he is in form for the development squad.

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47 Responses to “The Need For Chris Burke? – Leicester Preview”

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    3 5 2 for now in order to get Chris Burke. Hopefully will also prove that Eardley can useful. With Ferguson on left wing who could play left back? Bartley?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    If Chris Burke doesn’t feature today it will be a bad week for him as he has also lost his place in the Scotland squad!
    The question is. Do I have confidence in Lee Clark’s management? My answer is YES. Therefore I am prepared to trust his judgement on team selection and formation.

  • sappy sad says:

    ………….we all have looked good in training ,….but getting up on that stage in front of thousands of screaming fans is a different ball game,……the ones that score goals on a regular basis with one touch strikes will always score goals as long as he gets good service……….you have to pick proven goalscorers firstly,……and also assist makers ,…..burke is both

  • andy says:

    We must not forget the woeful miss Burke did against Plymouth, that’s possibly why he lost his Scotland call up! But on his day he is Blues’ best player and to get the best out of both Burke and Ferguson we have to go 442, but who am I to judge? I am not a football manager and I have faith in Lee Clark.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I have to say that, other than ‘winning’ the penalty and crossing for the final goal, Burke’s performance against Plymouth was abysmal. He’s at his best when he’s taking defenders on and, either, getting to the line and crossing, or cutting inside for a shot. That night, Blackman robbed him almost every time.

      When Burke is in the mood, he’s almost unplayed… but when he’s not, he’s woeful. But, I do think we need to go 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 to accomodate him.

  • pierre says:

    you have to be poor not to make the Scotland squad!

  • sutton apex says:

    4 5 1 and try to pinch a draw is the best we can hope for – important we dont lose 3-0 or similar, will bring club atmosphere down again

  • Tony says:

    Well I do not repeat not have faith in Clark, Chris Burke is our best player and room must be found for him.
    He has to go 4-4-2 ,clark should forget all this formation rubbish we do not have the personel to play any other way, and he does not have the tactical awareness to adapt during a match.
    He should pick his 11 best players and play them. Simple really even for him.

  • dave mann says:

    i said earlier ih the week tony that is 3-5-2 should go, it dont work and we havent got the wide
    backs to play it, 4-4-2 or 4-4-3 or 4-5-1, today 4-5-1 with burke on the right, ferguson on the
    left, spector right back( i no i said eardley earlier but i didnt realise he was going to be fit)
    green up front and lets see what happens, we might cause a little shock today which
    might shut up a few doom and gloomers, heres hopeing! KRO.

  • Mike says:

    I agree that Burke should be playing regular as he is the only player with genuine creativity we have. As for the rest, we are playing with players who Pannu and Yeung have reduced our once big club to……………….. a bunch of 3rd rate tryers who will get us relegated for sure.
    NO Class , No Investment, No interest etc ec etc . Step forward Mr Yeung and Mr Pannu and take a bow !! Never in the field of football history has a pair shown exactly what little knowledge they have in football,, and what thier only interest in us is…..Namely …Using us as a cash cow for their own ends !! All you people who pay money to these two will ensure they stay and milk you all the way to THEIR bank !!!

    ps. I,m still waiting for ANYONE TO OWN UP AND SAY if they want the chinese to be our owners or not !! The silence is deafening !!

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      Mike although I agree with you on most of your points we have to remember the grass isn’t always greener, just look at Cov and Pompey so be careful what you wish for… 75% of the fan base wanted Sullivan and the Golds out and see what we got, the thing we can’t have is the club going into admin because that could lead to going out of business and becoming a “new co”. Most people know my views on Mr Clark but he is impressing me this season with the way he has a bunch of mis-fits working hard and playing half decent football. I just hope we get the best out of Ambrose because he might be the missing link at “10” for us?

      • mike says:

        I have no problem with Mr Clark on any count. He has been dealt a bum hand by very bum owners. Yes …I knew someone would mention Coventry and Portsmouth !! so what !!! The fact is , is that we have little hope of staying up , inspite of the efforts of the players we have now , and also we have NO HOPE of winning anything EVER with the total lack of investment and total disinterest in our club fro Yeung and Co.
        They have in two tears or so ,turned a cup winning PREMIER league club, ( albeit a mediocre one !) into a rag ,tag and bobtail outfit !! Anyone who dosent see that must be in denial !!
        It matters little how much effort they put in , and I genuinly applaud them for doing it, tha fact is we are a third rate outfit with 3rd rate players. Its not their fault at all BUT its what they are !!
        As I also said, in 50 years as real fan and 45 as a STO, I feel I have the right to vent my anger at whats happenned to MY club !!
        Oh yes , and another thing, I forgot to congragulate Messrs Sullivan & Gold for ,,,after saying they wouldn,t sell us to anyone who wouldn,t invest and take us forward, as they have done the exact opposite !!
        Also The people invloved in the “due dilligence ” examination that was supposed to have been done, to assure everyone that the new owners were worthy of being allowed to buy us, have been proven to have failed miserably !!
        My campaign goes on !!
        One more thing …………………ARE YOU HAPPY WITH US BEING OWNED MY THE CHINESE ??

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Mike, your campaign is unnecessary. The club are heading for either new ownership or admin. Our parent company have had to loan £4million pound this season to stay liquid. We are unlikely to survive to the end of the season unless we are sold. As Blues supporters it is our job to get behind the team and do the best we can with what we have. I paid £420 for a season ticket and to date am getting value for money. No one is milking me. So lets stop campaigning to turn our fans away and get behind the team.

      • Chris Walker says:

        100% bang on the button, LC and the team are doing a great job under the circumstances and DO NOT need or deserve any negativity at the moment, let us see where we are after 10 games or after the Christmas transfer window has closed.
        LC is still trying to bring in one or two players, a lot now depends on King leaving.

  • dave mann says:

    last one today cause im off to leicester, anyone who wants these muppets to carry on being
    our owners are vile fans, no proper blues fan would want them to stayfor god sake thats why
    the silence is deafening, see ya! KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The owners we have wil never be any good for Birmingham City Football Club… that much is patently obvious. We need new owners.. owners with a bit of common sense, a bit of vision, a bit of empathy with the fans…. and a fair bit of dosh. I’m not expecting a Roman Abramovich…. a David Gold/David Sullivan would do.

    As for these players getting us relegated…. codswallop! I’ve seen enough so far to make me believe that, once the players have settled in properly and got to know each other’s game better, we’ll have a decent season.

    Today, I predict 1-1. I’d like to see 4-5-1… but I think Clark will stick with his 3-5-2.

  • Chris Walker says:

    I do not think it is lack of creativity. Against Watford and Brighton, we created enough chances to have won both games, even at Yeovil the openings were there.
    In my opinion, it is just a matter of time, the forwards are inexperienced and feel under pressure therefore trying too hard and wanting that extra pass or touch.
    Once that first goal goes in the pressure will be off and they will start to express themselves.
    The good news is having Spector back as he looked good before his injury.
    A draw would be an excellent result at this stage of the season but with the rub of the green we could just nick it as the defence and more importantly Darren Randolph are performing brilliantly in their respective roles, just need to stay focused for 90 minutes.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I maintain that, all we’re lacking at the moment, is a final ball. Our build up play is excellent at times… but we’re failing with that telling ball. Unfortunately, I don’t think the chances are at a premium with 3-5-2… there is simply no width with that formation.

      • Chris Walker says:

        I agree to a point StaffsBlue, one or both strikers are having to pull out wide leaving no options when in position to whip the ball in, this may change when, if Ziggy comes back, Reece Hales could offer an alternative as he likes to linger around the box.
        We need more time and composure in the final third apart from that I am not overly worried at the moment as last season we were leaking goals.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Even against Plymouth, we should have won that by a hatful. A lot of the time, you could see what they were trying to do. It was just, as you said, the composure with the fianl pass.

          People are saying that Burke is our most creative player and should be a permanent fixture. I beg to differ. I believe that Scott Allan, albeit on loan, is our most creative player. He should be in the starting 11 every game. This lad is going to get better and better. Remember, he’s about 3 weeks behind everyone else with pre-season.

          I think you would probably have to have Burke, Allan and Ferguson in there, most games. It’s pick ‘n’ mix for the other places.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      It’s come to this has it? – “it’s good news, Spector is back”. No disrespect but out its akin to “DJ is back! From Ferguson / Bowyer we’ve come to this.

  • skareggae72 says:

    Lets hope that Clark can quickly find a formation & style that suits us,and also involves our best players in key positions.
    To be chopping and changing is not going to do us any favours (like early on last season),a look back at the McLeish/McJudas era shows a settled side & style gets results.

    Its is extremely likely that the players will feel less pressure away from home this season.
    The away fans tend to be more vocal & more importantly more positive in the face of adversity,and back the team whatever,but its going to be a long,tough season.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I agree. Away from home, anything better than defeat is more than acceptable. At home, anything less than a draw is unacceptable. So the pressure is off to a certain extent, which often sees the team play with a bit more freedom. I suppose it’s the same for every team really… it’s just that, in the current climate, even a draw at home is a ‘disaster.’

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s confirmed. 3-5-2. Spector cmd

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think the selection of Jonathan Spector in centre midfield is maybe the key. If he can close up that massive hole between defence and midfield, the 3-5-2 could work.

  • chas says:

    Things are looking very bleak for Blues. 17.46 and not one moan about todays results. Apathy reigns. :-)

    • Art Watson says:

      No moans from me -its what I expected.

      The entire set up at STA is just a complete shambles and the only thing the fans have at the moment is hope.

      A sorry state of affairs which will get worse until we get new owners.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        All that was missing, was goals at the important time. Although leicester huffed and puffed, they never looked like blowing us down. All I would say is, ffs keep Shinnie away from the goal. He’s missed some good chances in the last few games. We could/should have been 2 or 3-0 up before they scored.

  • mike says:

    hi…………..without having a report of the match to read and having to listen on a crackling 1152……….i was hopefull at 0-1….the plusses…we all called for ferguson as a winger…he laid the 1st goal on….most wanted burke…he came he scored…..i have to ask anyone who went did we ease off after we scored or were leicester the better team……………..fed up…again….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Leicester brought on 2 wingers, and went 4-4-2. We should have matched them up at that point and took Mullins off and brought Burke on. It’s a shame, because we lost it in a 4 minute spell… and the penalty was dubious. Even the Leicester fans seemed a bit surprised. Over all, it was an excellent performance apart from that 4 minutes.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    … and Shinnie should have scored before their 1st. He really does need to be more decisive. Elliott missed a good chance too. We could, and should, have been 3-0 up before they even scored. Basically, they did up for pace in the end.

  • RichardM says:

    What was the logic in taking Green off and replacing him with Shinnie anyway?

  • sutton apex says:

    yeovil cup game – try 4 4 2 with burke, nothing to lose – yeovil lost 3-0 home to derby ffs

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m wondering how much longer Lee Clark can persist with 3-5-2. It was worth a try, but I just don’t think it’s working. Maybe with more better quality players, it might… but with what we’ve got, it’s got to be 4-4-2/4-3-3/4-5-1. Surely, any one of those 3 would bring better results.

  • dazbcfc says:

    442 all day long for me. Don’t know why but it has always suited Blues best imo. It’s all a bit of a mish mash at the mo and the players dont look comfortable with the formations. Also, I think this 442 line up looks a half decent team; Randoplh, Eardley, Burns, Robbo, Hancox; Burke, Adeyemi, Shinnie/Allen, Ferguson; Green and Novac.

  • ray says:

    I think that if the club wants results they must use the best players they have, not only Chris Burke but the apparently redundant Marlon King. Were paying both of them so use them! It would also put Marlon King in the shop window for potential buyers. We must use the best that’s available at any given time to survive!

  • Antony Vardy says:

    The problem is that when you look at the team sheet there is only one player with any real experience and that is Robinson. Someone else said Rag, Tag and Bobtail, but these players are not even in that category. Unless LC can perform miracles in the coming weeks then League One beckons – I can remember the last time that Blues were in the third tier and are much worse now then they were then. Another £4m loan just to keep operating will inevitably mean administration and the points deduction. When Wolves went down we all laughed, but just look where Blues are heading and who will do the laughing then?
    We will Keep Right On, but the end of the road is not looking promising I’m afraid.

    • Alex T says:

      I think you had better check YouTube for some footage of that period you refer to….. specifically that game against Altrincham, when we were top flight and at the start of our demise (god that own goal is hard to watch! ). I haven’t seen much of us this year, but it would be very difficult to be as poor as we were then. Honestly, check some of these clips and it will give you perspective….

  • BlueSteve says:

    Our one player with a bit of quality in the final third is sitting on the bench. Chris Burke has to start. Maybe if Mitch Hancox had been fit LC would’ve thought about 451. I think we have too many attacking midfielders. I am talking about Shinnie, Allan and Ambrose. I would try the following team after the international break.


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