Often Partisan

Passion versus Quality

Birmingham City take on Ipswich Town tomorrow at St Andrews looking for their first home win in the league. Lee Clark has told the Birmingham Mail that he thought that the team hasn’t played that badly and that once they start taking chances that they will start winning games and moving up the league table.

The article talks a lot about the youth of the squad and “passion”. Clark makes it clear he thinks that the group of players he has are committed to the cause and that it’s his belief that passion and fight will stand them in good stead in the season ahead. To me it seems Clark has taken onboard that Birmingham City fans demand that the team fight for the cause as hard as they can on the pitch and with the constrained resources he has he has tried to create a team that will do that.

Of course passion will only take a team so far. What has shown Blues up quite a bit this season has been the gap in money between the “haves and “have-nots” and the attendant gap in quality. It’s something we see often in cup competitions – the smaller, less skilful teams will fight hard and occasionally win against better opposition but class normally wins the day and it’s not that infrequent we see a “plucky loser” in those kinds of games. Being a “plucky loser” might win plaudits amongst the neutrals but it doesn’t put points on the board and I think there is a fear among fans that the first few games have shown what a tough season this will be.

Another thing to point out is that the squad isn’t quite as youthful and inexperienced as maybe is being stressed. Whilst Blues have given game time to 17-year-old Koby Arthur this year there is a fair bit of experience in the squad and we’ve not seen anything like the game last year when the club was forced to field seven or eight teenagers. Darren Randolph in goal is an Irish international; Neal Eardley a Welsh international; Shane Ferguson a Northern Irish international;  Paul Robinson, Hayden Mullins, Wade Elliott, Jonathan Spector and Lee Novak all have plenty of experience at this level and even some of the younger players have played at League One level enough to not have to make a massive step up.

However, all this being said I think it’s all about expectation. I have said for a while that I consider anything above relegation this season to be a success and I stand by that. This is going to be a season of pain and woe for Blues so rather than be downbeat and sad about it we have to cheer the small positives as and when they come about. If we take the pessimistic path we’re just going to make ourselves feel worse about the whole Blues situation and if that translates on the terraces it’s only going to feed back to the team and detract from the situation further. I’m not advocating some blind faith, “happy clapping” sort of scenario, but maybe a bit of acceptance that we’re in the doodoo and that we don’t quite have the quality on the pitch and thus when good stuff does happen (and it will) we enjoy it.

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93 Responses to “Passion versus Quality”

  • Dan says:

    As always you speak my mind. Yes, it will be a tough season, but we cannot let ourselves or the club down.

  • JohnR says:

    Dan, it’s clear from the small amount of social media I read that some Blues fans still haven’t “got it” and don’t understand just how bad things are at the club. Like most fans I still can’t get my head around just whatt Yeung and Pannu have done to my club but as you quite rightly say there is nothing much we can do about it. I’ll just take the positives as they come which includes seeing the players give everything they’ve got on the pitch. Some might be lacking in skill but they do seem to have the passion, desire and will to do well for the shirt. KRO.

    • Mike says:

      Nothing we can do about Yeung or Pannu ??? If you were continually slapped in the face by someone , would you not slap them back ?? Yeung and Pannu only want Blues for what they can get out monitarily !! and continually BITES the hand that feeds them ( THE FANS)
      STOP buying tickets , STOP giving the pair of them Any MONEY IN any FORM AND tthey will be STARVED out of the club !!
      Like you I am appalled at how they have ruined our beloved club , right down to its roots.
      Best thing to happen is that we go into admin, get relegated and become even more worthless than we are at present. When the chinese have been forced out we will come back stronger and I will be the first through the door !!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I’m no Yeung/Pannu supporter and, don’t get me wrong, but, isn’t it the same as every club… they only want clubs and their fans for what they can get out monitarily?

        I think you’re unlikely to see the likes of Jack Hayward, Jack Walker and Dave Whelan in the future…. owners who actually love their clubs, true benefactors.

        Owners only have football clubs to make money these days… and the only way to do that is in the premier. If they’re not successful, the club becomes useless to them and they get what they can out of a club before leaving the sinking ship.

      • James says:

        Problem with that Mike ( I do agree in principal with you ) is that a) the background staff will suffer, who are doing a great given the circumstances and b) the atmosphere, or lack of it, will only worsen if people stay away.

        KRO

        • Mike says:

          I have no issue with LC as i,m sure his hands are tied by the owners The only thing that amazes me is that ANYONE would want to work for them !!! The backroom staff also do a sterling job under impossible circumstances.
          The club WILL survive and come back stronger so only by doing as I suggest ,will the Chinese ,s hands be forced !! and they will HAVE to sell up and leave !!
          In spite of my rantings on here ,I am a totally committed Blues fan of over 5 years, and this my way of waging war against Yeung and Pannu and the rest of the chinese who have ruined our club !! I agree Football is a business and therefore its vital we get back to the Premiership and INVEST serious money to stay there. This lot will NEVER invest anything so its a cast iron certainty that we will always be faliliures with them around and NEVER see the Premiership again !!!
          What happens to the loyal folks in the backgroud will be unavoidable if everyone stops going .
          Its the ONLY WAY to get them out !!!!! BUT the jobs will always be there AFTER the Chinese have gone !!
          I,m sure there are a few people ready to buy the club and try and WANT success !! unlike this lot we have.

          • Mike says:

            I MEANT 50 ( FIFTY ) YEARS LOL

          • james Black says:

            Yer a huge list of people wanting to buy it, isn’t that obvious Mike. But where are they?

          • Drew says:

            A top post Mike and you are absolutely spot on. Too many people continuing to feed the cash cow with complete blind faith. People don’t seem to understand that this lot will at the very least drag this out for the entire season as while there are still matches being played, the revenue continues to come in…. They will bread every last drop before they sell…. Guaranteed.

            Saddens me to say but the only way is an empty St. Andrews…. They’d soon wake up.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Absolutely John. Some fans are deluded and without sounding like (yes, I know I’m about to) an elitist snob ,lack intelligence. Some of the things I read are highlighting either total ignorance or a lack of intellect. I’d like to think some of it is a head in the sand mentality but that just isn’t the case. All very worrying.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Better 15,000 optimists, than 25,000 pessimists.

        • Blue Stuey says:

          StaffsBlue – I couldn’t agree more. There needs to be a sense of reality for the situation we find oursevles in. How anyone can judge LC is beyond me. Those of you that slate him and are employed, try doing your job with both arms tied behind your back with your legs also tied together!

          We support through the lads on the pitch through thick and thin, they have already shown this season that they are desperate to do well and take pride in wearing the shirt. I couldn’t care less about PP and CY, they will not be around for too much longer (hopefully). Whereas us fans will! We are the soul and lifeblood of the club!

          KRO

          • Art Watson says:

            It’s very easy to judge Clark-examine his record since joining the club.

            He good at trawling out the right message to the press but rarely does he deliver the result.

        • Mike says:

          Even better at this time, would be an EMPTY St Andrews for the rest of the season !!
          Nothing like NO FANS to show the chinese that we wont be trifled with ever again !!
          THE QUICKER THEY WAKE UP AND UNDERSTAND THE BRITISH BULLDOG SPIRIT AND HOW WE WONT STAND FOR THEIR DISGRACEFUL CONDUCT THE BETTER WE WILL ALL BE …………..BUT WE ALL HAVE TO STAND TOGETHER !! NO CHINK IN THE ARMOUIR !!

          Please ,Please get your head out of the sand and smell the coffee !! No fans = No money coming in for Yeung and Pannu which equals they will HAVE to sell us to anyone who will pay them even a pittance of the 81 million that Yeung foolishly bought the club for !!
          They then proceeded to DESTROY 16 years work by the previous owners !!
          I was and never have been a Sullivan and Gold fan BUT they did run the club at a profit and also invest their customery 10 million a season max !!! It kept us bubbling along though !!
          I respect your views BUT we HAVE TO STOP THE MONEY NOW !!
          I cant ever see Yeung owning us for much longer. Lets see how he gets on when the judge sums up a few things !!

          • almajir says:

            Mike

            Are you saying I should tear up the season ticket I’ve paid for on the off chance everyone else will on the offchance that’ll force out our owners?

            Seriously?

            A complete boycott would never happen. I’d never do it for oen. You’re only fooling yourself if you think your continued calls for one are going to do anything more than antagonise supporters who actually, you know, support the team.

          • Mike says:

            I am in no way expecting you or anyone to tear their season ticket up ! You have paid good money so by all means go the games !! Perhaps if you hadnt bought it in the first place and likewise all the others who did , perhaps we would be far nearer being sold than we are.
            Please go and enjoy??? the games and prepare yourself for League one and below in the next couple of seasons or so.
            Personally after 45 years as a ST holder,( I believe I have put serious money into the club !!) then I will NOT be hoodwinked by the Chinese for a minute longer ,so hence my campaign goes on !!

    • ChrisG says:

      You’re right there about certain blues fans not getting the situation, I noticed after last weeks loss to Leicester that the BM couldn’t resist putting up so called tweets from so called bluenoses doing the #clark out rubbish. I think it’s a disgrace that our local rag can’t support the club instead of stirring things up. I just wonder how many other managers would have stayed with the crap that LC has had to contend with.

      • Peter says:

        We are runnn out of any money fast and are heading into administration unless we get a sale. Or we can not go and mean we for e administration quicker. I for one would rather do the route that means if we go into administration soon, at least we supported the team and give them all the help they need to get a 10 point cushion over e bottom 3 teams. I truly believe we are 10 points better than the worst 3 teams, and we cannot help them get them and have helped force administration we are helping destroy the club. I opt to support the team and ell the club, rather than find an excuse not to go.

  • mark says:

    Dan – clark expectation of himself is to be in the play-offs, and he expects the players to have that expectation. Again it only opinions, I am more positive than you appear. imo we will be in the play-offs……….

    • steve says:

      WHAT ?Talk about fans burying their head and not understanding how much trouble we’re in.IF new owners are in by January we may be an outside shout for play offs,otherwise we’re in for a relegation fight.

  • Carl says:

    Need Chris Burke to start and if you need to change the format to accommodate him Have not been that impressed with Neal Eardley so far not sure he’s a wing back Hope Matt Green and Novak get a bit of confidence after the goals. Tomorrow is a good test for us. I think Tractor boys are also in transition and wont finish too far away from us Prediction 1-0 blues

  • Eddie says:

    we have to at least aim for the play-offs,
    or we may as well call it a day now and give up

    don’t forget Dan KRO

    • Drew says:

      Aim for the play offs? I’m assuming you’ve had a few drinks there Eddie.

      • Chris Walker says:

        Go out to win every game with the passion they have shown and the results will eventually come.
        Next May we will still be in the championship and with some help from Lady luck and good fortune might see us in a play-off spot, but reality has to be Championship survival.
        All the comments about the owners, finances and an empty stadium are plain ludicrous, we as supporters can not change that, we can change the atmosphere in the ground by getting behind the team and management to help them with the hard graft they are going to use this season.
        KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The manager is aiming for the play-offs, the players are aiming for the play-offs…. and why shouldn’t they? Because a few pessimistic fans tell them they won’t?

      I’m glad they have that much faith in themselves… because I doubt they’ll get much from anywhere else.

  • Pete says:

    Good post mate, I have always said we do need to really appreciate any good point rather focusing on the negatives, AS you not blind faith but just to let Lee and the players know we are behind them,
    Lots of work to do but wee are on the right way,
    I still think we may see a few more players leaving and at least 2 coining ,I may be wrong but hopefully it will happen.

  • sappy sad says:

    …….blues have very few attempts on goal blocked and have to many shots are wide of the mark …..which tells me that blues can afford to have more attempts at goal inside the box where it is harder to put the ball wide or over the top ……when you get to the stage whereby you have to many shots blocked compared to goals then you are having to many attempts in the box……if blues goals don’t improve soon then burke Elliot shinnie must start every game

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To be honest… in the two games that Burke has started (both cup games) he’s been poor, only coming into it as the game wears on. I think he’s much more effective coming off the bench.

      • Ali Duncan says:

        Second half at Yeovil (and extra time) Burke was excellent. His crossing wasn’t the best on a couple of occasions but he along with Eardley were the standout players and we really hurt them down the right hand side. He was taking players on and some of his footwork was the best I’ve seen from him in a while. I’m a big believer in him starting.

      • tmsblues says:

        I think Burke is reflecting the lack of confidence being shown in him by a manager who described him as one of the best in the league when it was confirmed he was staying! He was had a very good pre season by all accounts but then found himself dropped for the sake of the system. He has to be played. When confidence is shown in him Burke does the business week in week out. OR is he going to be sold this window, so Clark is simply trying to get used to life without him. With a year on his contract he’s worth £3/4m + but in our position £1/2m would be accepted.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’ve seen enough from the side so far to be positive about the rest of the season. In only our 6th game (Yeovil) we showed more fight, battling qualities and togetherness than we did at any time last season. And we ain’t as poor in quality as some people would have you think. We’re still gelling as a squad, but you can see what they’re trying to do. A lot of the time, it’s only inches or millimetres away from coming off. As Lee Clark has said, it’s just about fine-tuning… and I think the same. Once our strikers start firing, I believe we’ll be flying up that league.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Staying in the Championship this season is absolutely the priority.

    Play off talk is at best fanciful with this squad.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      I think we’ll have enough for mid-table. The players are becoming more familiar with each other and there are players that are improving game by game. It’s just where the goals are coming from that worries me.

  • Lee says:

    Completely agree

  • StaffsBlue says:

    At the start of the season, my prediction was 8th. I stick by that.

  • peter bates says:

    Hpoe lee clark has seen 451 dont work for us playoffs would be a successful season but cant see it myself would accept halfway lets get behind the players would rather see players giving it a go and nor just turning up for the money and jumping ship when it goes wro.g ie johnson dann and co where is johnson now by the way lol kro

  • DoctorD says:

    Would be happy with 12th.

    By the way, I don’t get what JohnR means by “I still can’t get my head around what Yeung and Pannu have done to my club”.

    What is it the pair have done wrong exactly with the club? TV income drops like a stone on relegation — that’s not their fault. Yes, they have sold our best players, but you have to in the Championship unless you are bankrolled by a sugar daddy. They don’t communicate that well with the fans — fair enough, but so what?

    The fact is for a few years we fooled ourselves into thinking Blues was Waitrose. Now we’re back where we’ve mostly been all our lives: Morrisons.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think the biggest thing with the ownership, is the, almost, complete lack of communication from the start. If they’d come out and been honest with the fans, and kept them in the loop all along, I don’t think the backlash would have been so great. As it is, they’ve blown it with the fans.

    • RichardM says:

      Doctor D, I think you’re letting them off very lightly there. How about:

      1) Ridiculous 4 year contract offered to Zigic with no relegation clause meaning we’re stuck with this milstone round our neck, sucking what precious resurces we have left until the end of the season (and forcing the sale of better players). Don’t forget, Zigic was “a gift” from Yeung, (he was not on Mcliesh’s shopping list)
      2) Refusing to sell Butland for £6 mill last summer (and then flogging him for less than half that 6 months later)
      3) Xtep Kit deal
      4) Selling Redmond for just over £2 million (i.e. “peanuts” for a player barely in his 20’s who will probably be sold on in the future for in excess of £10 million)
      5) Pannu’s outrageous salaries and expenses.
      6) Carson in the nick and appointing his 17 year old son Ryan to become a director
      7) The whole shambles that is BIHL and complete lack of transparency
      8) The utter contept shown to Blues fans since they took over

      Either way you look at it – a right old mess, they’ve made an absolute dogs dinner of running this club.

      • Ali Duncan says:

        My thoughts exactly. Never before have I felt so dislocated from the club because of the owners.

      • chas says:

        Richard, it is very very easy to be wise after the event . No-one knew how the relegation Season would turn out , that is what did for us. Shame Fans don’t heap more blame on the Superstars that we had.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          That much is true. The fact that they only won about 6 points after the LCF tells it’s own story. Too many overpaid players not being arsed… not just Zigic.

    • james Black says:

      Totally agree DoctorD, getting weary of this constant they have ruined ort club. How? If you are completely out of touch with reality then i guess they would say that. We got relegated, money frozen. The club is made into a stable business operating within its budget at time that fans was staying away because they thought we was in a position to carry on the same.If they hadnt we would be out of business by now. its took years to trim the wage bill, still stuck with the serb and still don’t understand that deal. But the fact that bad deal was done proved they had intentions they put money where there mouth was ( even if misplaced in the Serbs case) when it was there. After relegation well what did people expect in the situation with the arrest the money freeze. They moan and moan about the state of the club and selling people off, but tell me what are they supposed to of done. cant win really. I wouldn’t own a football club if i had a trillion pounds to spare. Reason, you can never do right. In the case of this board with the present situation and until the court case is over, have no choice. I still wonder at the mentality here and ask what was they supposed to do. Just don’t see them as the evil that even this blog whips up about them. I still wanna know what they did that was so wrong, apart from being Chinese as i think that has a lot to do with the irrationality.

      • Lee says:

        So what about pannu taking 13k a week from a club clearly losing money, what about pannu taking further cash from the club, in excess of 1 million pounds a year on one occasion, what about the fact we can’t afford to pay 250k for caddis, what about the the fact that the very reason the accounts were being held up were due to these payments being made to pannu without the rest of the board knowing this, the list could go on and on and on, just wake yourselves up and have yourself ten minutes to have a read what this page and a few others dug up and found what was actually going on, which incidentally would probably still be going on now if these guys hadn’t highlighted it, pannu has taken serious amounts of money from our club

        • james Black says:

          Ok Lee im not always able to get online and keep up and what your talking about has past me by. I aint gonna dispute with you on things i havent heard about.
          Just wonder sometimes why people dont get so pissed off abt Zigic then. A talisman figure.
          If you was doing a job you can get that kinda salary for elsewhere or even more, do you give back half the wages because the company is in trouble. His just doing what any of us would do and someone in PPs position can get that kinda salary. Wasn’t too long ago he was hailed for making us viable business then news of his salary gets out and all change. Time moves on still no buyer and it cant be sustained any longer so they borrow, just as any business would
          As for your other allegations well i concede i dont know about them i dont have the evening mail here nor do i get online all the time to know. I cant comment about those things as i havent heard them so i have to say ok..

  • oldburyblue says:

    OK, the quality in the Team is not the same as we have enjoyed for the last few years….but we have seen FAR worse players in Blues shirts over the years. The best meals are not always made of the most expensive ingredients. A good chef can make great food from oddments. Lets just pray that LC proves to be a great chef.

  • Lee says:

    Doctor d, seriously have you not been paying any attention
    To what’s been going on? Always one ain’t there….. If blues are playing in this division next season ill feel like I was 5 at Christmas time, the football side of things don’t count much for me over the next 12 months, it’s poor I accept it, relegation, I’ve accepted it, the main thing for me now is I can’t see this regime being at the helm this time next year, that excites me more than anything, a new dawn, a fresh clean start with only good things to look forward too, even if whoever buys us out doesnt splash the cash it will be a change to not have to think what will be sold next, including the ground, hopefully now we only have 12 months of limbo to deal with, if Clark can keep this side in this division he will prove he really is a proper football manager

    • james Black says:

      Lee, so in the present situation can you think of any other way of keeping the club afloat. really tell me how. Simple as that. apart from the lottery and winning it, then little else they can do isnt it. Where do you think this money tree grows then.

      • Lee says:

        What are you talking about? There is no money coming in unless they borrow it to keep the club going until it is sold, if its not sold we go into admin which will happen this season if they don’t sell up or somehow can start miraculously injecting serious cash into the club, we either get sold or go into admin, that simple

        • james Black says:

          Yer Lee sure but im asking what else can they do. What buyers are you referring too. Where else do they get the money. That simple.What buyers are you thinking about. Why doesnt anyone want a championship football club? Just reality Lee, i understand your sentiments, but who, what, where and how?

          • almajir says:

            FYI James there are potential buyers – just not at the ludicrous prices quoted by the incumbent board.

          • james Black says:

            Ok take your word for it Al im 7000 miles away i don’t hear the rumourville. But is trying to get back a fair amount of what you have lost really so ludicrous. easy to say when its not your money to lose.

          • Lee says:

            James, as almajir says, there are only 2 reasons why they’ve not sold up yet, they either don’t want too, or are asking too much money for the club, could actually be either or both, but at some point in time unless they themselves can come up with money, one will have to give

          • james Black says:

            Yes Lee i understand that. I don’t know what is deemed a ludicrous price and doubt anyone else does as those things are normally kept quiet but i hold my tongue as i guess more information has passed me by.

  • Tony says:

    Morrisons are you kidding? We are Aldi or lidl take your pick.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Reading your last paragraph, Dan;, I agree wholeheartedly, !!.

    Being posotive though, As the squad plays more games together, I can see us rising and holding a mid-table position, We are definately NOT going to set the league on fire, but if we can reach [ and hold ] mid-table this season, Hopefully by then we MAY have a change of ownership, ??.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The doom mongers are out again. We won’t get relegated… nowhere near it.

  • Tony says:

    Passion will only take you so far, yes you will win a few games against better teams but lose a lot more.Quality will always tell in the end.
    Where you finish the season is always where you deserve to finish, over 46 games thats logical,In our case with Murphy back (if he ever is) and Zigic we should have enough to avoid relegation but only just.Injuries and suspensions have to be factored in too as does Clark holding his nerve and abandoning 3-5-2. Dont forget this is the old sweeper system it was tried for a while by a lot of teams but then droped,he must drop it too.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    After much thought I have reached the conclusion that we must ditch the 3-5-2 formation when playing teams which play with only one striker.
    Why? Because our wing backs have to mark their midfield wide men (if they play 4-5-1), which means their full backs can bomb forward at will.
    Our back three are marking one man, which means we are getting outnumbered in midfield.
    We need to play 4-5-1 with Burke and Ferguson wide in midfield, Spector or Adeyemi holding midfield and Allan and Shinnie supporting Green or Novak upfront.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I thought Spector and Adeyemi played well togther the other night. But, if you’re only playing one or the other in there, it has to be Spector. Although Adeyemi is a box-to-box player, I don’t think he can do the anchor man job. Only Spector or Robbo can play it.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        …. apart from that, I wouldn’t argue with your line up. And I agree with you and Tony.. 3-5-2 has to go, except on the odd occasion it’s needed. Has to be 4-4-2 at home, 4-5-1 away.

  • Gary R says:

    OK…if we survive this season, and I think we will, what happens next season…will it be the same situation again, struggle on etc etc. This situation needs to be sorted (i.e takeover) this season…no if’s or but’s, it HAS to be sold in the next 6-8 months. As a football club, we should always be in the Premiership, or certainly ‘challenging’ to be in the Premiership i.e in the top 6, or top 2, of the Championship. At the moment we’re NEITHER. That is not down to the players, it’s not down to Lee Clark or the great administration staff at the football club, this is down to two men…..I don’t think I need to name the two men, we all know who they are!

    • james Black says:

      So find a way to finance it then Gary as nobody wants to buy the football club. Nobody wants to buy a championship football club these days. Its simply not a good business investment and thats why. You talk as if they are turning away buyers every week. Nobody wants to buy into the championship as it is a known financial drain. So i dunno don’t understand the tabloid thinking and constant scapegoating. Blues fans are always kicking someone even in times when things were better.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Admin will only be the answer if we come out of it with a CVA. Who are out biggest creditors? BIH and CV. They might see liquidation earning them more than a CVA

  • Marky mark says:

    Murphy, Spector, Ambrose and Zigic will make a huge difference to this team, the sooner they are all fit and included the better.

    Not sure LC will abandon the 3-5-2, I hope he does because it will be far more entertaining, but as some have pointed out survival is all that counts this season.

    There is absolutely no reason why this team cannot survive they are good enough !
    As Ive said before its time for LC to show how good a Manager he is.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      As I said the other day, Ambrose looked hungry and very lively on Tuesday. He could be like a new signing. We’re going to struggle for goals this season but he has an excellent record of scoring from midfield and I hope that Clarky utilises him

      • bluenoseneil says:

        I think we’ll prove Ambrose is fit and then sell him in January personally. He’s the only one that other clubs SHOULD want (based on his age, experience and ability…..if you ignore injuries of late).

        I for one will be happy to see him played as much as possible as he has talent and application in abundance just hasn’t had it for us yet.

        It does mean playing him Left Wing (most likely) and that means we can play Ferguson at Left Back and use him as an overlapping player in a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1. In a 3-5-2 it wouldn’t work as he isn’t heavyweight enough to be part of a Back 3.

        Try this one on for size (in the effort to play to our strengths) and assume everyone’s fit:

        4-4-2

        Randoplh

        Eardley, Burn, Bartley, Murphy/Hancox

        Burke Elliott/Spector Shinnie/Allan Ambrose

        Green Novak

        4-5-1

        Randolph

        Eardley, Burn, Bartley, Murphy/Hancox

        Burke Elliott/Spector Shinnie/Allan Adeyemi Ambrose

        Green

        3-5-2

        Randolph

        Robinson/Packwood Burn Bartley

        Burke Elliott/Spector Shinnie/Allan Adeyemi Ambrose

        Green Novak

        Notice there’s no place for Zigic, Mullins, or Lovenkrands in my set-up. Hmmm wonder why that might be?

        More worrying is that I don’t necessarily see an obvious place for Robbo when everyone’s fit UNLESS we play 3 at the back. Burn/Bartley combo at CB should be nurtured and Robbo is not a natural Left Back, whereas Murphy/Hancox are.

        When they’re all fit LC will have a high-class problem…and I think that alone gives me confidence in being a Top-Half team this season.

  • Chris Walker says:

    Dan, I have had the pleasure to watch all of the games this season and cannot fault the team for passion or commitment, what they seem to be lacking is composure in the final third and confidence to go alone when the opportunity arises.
    To me the forwards want that extra touch or make an extra pace, this is due to confidence not their ability, as LC told Matt Green, the goals are the same size as the Conference, they are all off the mark now so that has to give their confidence levels a boost.
    I think most Blues fans are aware that this is going to be a long hard season and without some exceptional amount of luck, we will do well to finish as high as last season, unless of course, we see new owners and a huge injection of cash come January.
    On paper the ability is there along with the experience but the longer, we go without a home win the more demoralised, psychologically, the team will become. This will see the team trying too hard, making silly mistakes, and thus having an adverse effect. As I have said, there is nothing wrong with the passion, effort and hard work so far, as you say the supporters just have to be patient before jumping on the teams back.
    Before we start complaining about formations, selection etc, let us see where we are after 10 league games, until then support LC and the team 110%, the same as they are giving us.
    KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We’re already better all over the park, than we were last year… except up front. But, with a few more games, I’m sure that will come. Every striker has a barren spell. Even Torres and Shevchenko had (huge) ones.

    I really don’t have any qualms about this season, not on the playing side anyway.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      Me neither Staffs, we will be fine…and I will keep saying it until I bore even myself!!

    • mike b says:

      hi all..sorry can not agree with “we are better all round than last year” what about…butland..davies..caddis..cauldwell?..king..morrison..redmond..lita..fahey.ibanez..etc…ndaw.wish he was back……….

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We sold Butland.. we’ve got Randolph. We sold Davies.. we’ve got Burn. We let Caldwell go… we’ve got Bartley. Morrison was on loan.. we’ve now got Scott Allan. Redmond has gone… Arthur (I believe) will be better. Fahey’s gone, we have Shinnie and Adeyemi. The only one’s we haven’t really replaced, like for like, are Caddis and King. As for N’Dau, I wish we’d brought him back too. We’ve missed the defensive side of his game. But, overall, I think we’re stronger and we have players who actually want to play for the club.

        • Art Watson says:

          So why have we lost 3 out of the last 4 league games?

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Because we’ve not scored enough goals… which is what I said earlier (twice.) We’re stronger all over the pitch……………………………… except up front.

            Yes, we’ve lost by one goal each time… but last season, it would have been 3 or 4.

  • Lee says:

    Makes me laugh when people predict top half finishes and then say all we’re missing is pace, finishing, final ball, bla bla bla, read what the thread is about, quality, we’re running, working chasing and doing basically the minimum I personally would expect if I’m being honest, but if you ain’t got it then ifs buts and maybe’s won’t win you points, understand what the thread is about, your only saying exactly what dan is saying

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Here we go again…. the “Woe is me… the end is nigh” shit.

    I’m getting really bored off with all the negativity. Just for once, have a little faith and a pich of optimism will you? What good are you doing by trying to convince everyone that we’ve had it / we’ve no quality / we’ll be relegated by Christmas / we’ll be in admin by easter / we’ll be finished as a club by… blah blah blah? FFS change the record. Please and thank you.

    • Lee says:

      Getting rather revved up aint we dude? As I’ve said before if you don’t like the truth go stick your head back in the sand, all your doing is saying exactly the same as the post but with your rose tints on, how the hell can you say the side is in better shape than this time last season? Your pissed up you are pal, we can’t score goals, what the f**** are you on about, you give it the big in saying your mr positive then about ten minutes later say all we’re missing is blah blah blah, every day, you need to read through some of the posts on here and see how you continuously contradict yourself, I’m still laughing at you saying we’re in better shape than last season, I’ll have a pint of whatever your on

  • Blue Steve says:

    It appears that we have a few back for tomorrow.

    I’d go with-

    Randolph

    Eardley Bartley Burn Hancox

    Burke Spector Adyemi Ferguson

    Shinnie
    Green

    I like the balance to this team. Would prefer Zigic up front when fit.

  • Alan Watton says:

    This is a great web site and its full of intelligent people who are passionate.
    I am one of those and I understand the ‘boycotter’s point of view.
    However this is a sinking ship and deserting it will only hasten its demise.
    Mr Pannu is not interested if he gets any more of your pennies he wants a massive commission when selling the club.
    I personally have boycotted every Chinese business in the world. If we all did that maybe the Chinese business community would speed things up.
    We will get out of this and when we do we must be at least operating and preferably in this division.
    Its no coincidence that when we g away the away end is packed and the performances are ok.
    A half empty St Andrews is demoralising for players and fans

  • Tony says:

    I think10 games would be a fair trial period for this team, see where we are at that stage not that it matters really. We dont have the money to bring anyone in or change the manager and his staff, all this talk is just futile we cant change a thing we are where we are.
    Until we get new owners we are knackered. The thread is about Quality vs Passion well you need both, with a lack of either your going one way only South we do have some Passion but we are badly lacking in the striker dept.

  • Applebob says:

    I’ll be honest, from what I’ve heard on the commentary of the games so far and seen on the highlights Blues need a finisher. Maybe have Hales and someone else upfront as a change?

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    I think it’s a relegation battle. We struggled to beat a poor Yeovil team both times. Not many teams are going to concede that many chances to us and they do we’ve proof we haven’t the quality up front to take them

  • JBfromOz says:

    We are not that Bad.
    I was told we were crap….playing 3-5-2….before the Leicester game.
    We were short changed @Leicester….their crowd booed them off at half time.
    I’m a big critic of our team and Clark but to be honest I’ve been surprised with the 2 displays I’ve seen.
    Stay clear of injuries and we won’t go down.
    Yeovil were lucky….we missed 3 clear cut chances…we have to improve up front.

  • Rooster says:

    One thing about being a blues fan is we rise in the face of adversity. We’ve signed players on freebies & loans- in the first few games we’ve not been drummed, have competed and with a bit of composure may have picked up some more points. We have a manager and team who are giving their all in very testing circumstances. Success this season has to be avoiding relegation, anything else is a bonus

    • Peter says:

      All true, except fans working together in adversity. In my opinion we have shown ourselves to be a joke. No organised protest, media coverage and supporters have just stopped going. Hardly, like other big clubs in trouble.

  • bluenose212 says:

    Reading through most the comments I have to say…. yes were in trouble…yes it’s gonna be long slog..yes we may finish just above relegation or 8th at best but you know what???….
    I would’nt change being a bluenose for any other team in the world!! ..yes more sorrows than joys but that’s just what being a nose is about! never a dull moment! KRO
    lets get behind the lads tomoz never a better feeling than being the underdog and coming out with a win

  • ray says:

    The interchange between blues fans on here is so much better than on Facebook. Long live “often partisan” and BCFC!


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