Often Partisan

New Squad, Old Challenges

Monday sees Birmingham City return to pre-season training in preparation for the 2014/15 season. The squad will be somewhat different with nine new recruits in and nine players released (not including Chris Burke and Nikola Zigic), notwithstanding the return of the eight players who were on loan to the club. For Lee Clark it’s almost like working with a new team but there are some longstanding challenges for him to face.

I think I’ve been open in my admiration for how Clark has got on with his job over the summer. No moaning about a lack of investment, no moaning about the constraints he has had to work under – instead he’s identified his targets, got into them and in more than one case encouraged them to join the club rather than a financially better offer elsewhere. I would not have said a bad word if he stuck two fingers up at the club and walked out in the summer but he has instead he has knuckled down to try to improve matters.

Having said all that, nothing has changed about my views of Clark’s managerial abilities. I think he’s struggled a lot with the job since taking it on and while he’s brought in players that make me think he’s given some thought to where we are deficient I do worry that Clark will be able to tackle some of the huge problems we have faced on the field over the last twelve months or more.

One of the first things he can do to challenge perceptions of him being limited is to show some tactical consistency during pre-season. I agree that rigid formations don’t really happen; that individual games and opponents mean you have to tweak specifics regarding how players play but there should be an overall shape and ethos the team play with; players should know their roles on the pitch, where they are expected to cover and where they are expected to support. It seems like common sense to me to play players in their best positions but that didn’t seem to be the case for more than a few games last season (especially as we chased that elusive home win) and I will despair if we ever see a horror show tactical line up like the one that started against Blackburn Rovers.

When the season starts I think he can get a huge monkey off his back by actually winning a home game. I know that football isn’t as simple as that but I think Clark himself knows that he must get the team to perform at home. What concerns me is if we don’t get three points in our first couple of home fixtures against Brighton or Ipswich Clark will start panicking again and start picking increasingly unconventional teams and formations. I think he needs to take the emotion out of the process; we need to stick with a fairly consistent eleven and system of playing for a few games before ripping things up and drafting loanee left backs in to the centre of defence. Equally I hope the Blues fans will understand that as things stand realistically survival is our first aim.

Personally, I’m excited for the new season. I have a feeling that things might be better than they were in the second half of last season and I think if we can get actually pick up a few points to start with the team will grow in confidence. Rather than be gloomy and think administration is on the horizon and that we are building a team for our campaign in League One to come I’m hoping for the best.

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224 Responses to “New Squad, Old Challenges”

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I, for one will echo your thoughts there Dan;, Panic selections are the last thing we will need this coming season,!!.

    Let us hope that we can have a more settled team right from the start, Pre season friendlies are the whole point of trying out formations and players, ?.

  • williammorgan says:

    Like you Dan we all gave our opinion ,the trouble was nothing seemed to work when tried …and like many managers before him ,he turned to over defending at home ,in front of us his critics ..but with this squad something different is stirring,we have a defence that defends ,we have a midfield that has enough flair to make much liked Robbie savages hair curl and enough pace up front to put streaks in it….I for one can’t wait for this season to start..our new squad has enough true grit to repair that long long road of ours …..LET IT BEGIN…

  • Chris W says:

    I am of similar mindset regarding LC, he must have reasons for not walking especially as there were some quite tasty jobs that came up.
    We will all need to be patient come the kick off, players have to gel and as we saw last season it will take about 10 games to see the real potential, or lack of. Hopefully we can nick a few points early in the season especially at home.
    If LC has a starting XI plus a few tweaks on the bench he has to stay with them, barring injuries, for those first 10/12 games, unless they are a complete disaster that is.
    I am filled with optimism for the new season but not expecting too much, survival followed by a surge up the table come the second half of the season, but that will be a bonus.
    One thing LC has managed with some consistency is find some decent loans, lets just hope he has found some real gems.
    KRO+DNM

    • tmsblues says:

      Chris it’s a big ask expecting Clark to start with an 11 and stick with it.! He can’ t do it I’ m afraid. Even players playing well get dropped or played out of position so they fail next game. He praise them one week then they miss the bench the week after! There might have been juicy jobs but not for guys with his record!

      • Chris W says:

        This season will be make or break for him I feel. He has bought in players he wanted, not necessarily his first choice, but they are our own players, not a bunch of misfits who were played because of some gentlemen’s agreement or clause it the contract.
        I have been more than vocal at times with LC, but this is a new season and we all start fresh, all we can offer is our support, get behind the team and hope they fight for the badge, the club and for us.
        I might be wrong, but I do believe that inside LC there is a very good manager trying to get it right, he just goes about it wrongly.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I agree with your sentiments. I also think that, if things don’t look right by Xmas, it will be time for fresh ideas and a new manager. But, I think the guy deserves a chance on a level playing field. He has all his own players now, so let’s all reserve judgement for a while and give him and the squad our full support.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          I actually think he has got more of a get out this season than he has ever had before. He will just say what do you expect for nothing and this time he has probably got a point. In his first season certainly he still had a very good squad to work with.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            For once, I disagree. :) I don’t think he has a get out at all. It’s his own squad, filled with players he’s chosen. So he has to get it right this time.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            Staffs. This looks like a League 1 squad to me and if we were in League 1 I think he would do well with them. The Championship is a different proposition and I think he is out of his depth and he hasn’t got any high quality Chamionship players to get him out of a hole. Hopefully they will get two or three on loan from the Premiership before the season starts (a goalkeeper for one) and give us a fighting chance.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’m not a Lee Clark lover, but I like the guy and think he’s had a sh1tty deal since he came, with crap owners and players who have constantly let him down. This season, although he’s not had a lot to spend, he’s chosen every single player that’s come in. It’s his squad so, for me, he has no more excuses. If we’re in, or around, the bottom 3 by Xmas, we need to replace him. But, I think he has to be given that chance with his own players. Maybe 15-20 games?

          • Chris W says:

            I think 15-20 is rather generous, we would need to change before the Xmas period to give a new man the chance to access and bring in replacements. 10 or 12 games should be a benchmark to see where we are, by then the players will or should have settled and an understanding. I’m not a LC clapper but do believe he deserves this last chance with his own players, sink or swim time.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Ok, we’ll split the difference. 12-15 games. :)

          • Chris W says:

            Make up for the mid January then… :-)

          • Shirley Blue says:

            The quality of the squad has diluted every season since he has been there (not his fault). He has got very few genuine top quality Championship players if any now . I am afraid it’s quality that will tell in the end particularly up front.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Shirley Blue, I have to say that I think you’re spot on with the goalkeeper. I know Randolph did well in the earlier part of the season, but once Bartley and Burn left, all his weaknesses were exposed. He can’t spot a long range shot coming and I lost count of the shots/free kicks that went in above his head. He’s a good close-range shot stopper, but is that enough?

          • Chris W says:

            He was suspect on crosses too and very poor when he came and punched. I quite like him and I hope he works on his shortcomings this season, I’m not sure John Vaughan is the right coach for him though, he doesn’t have a lot of experience except down the lower leagues.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Top keeper coaches cost money (although we had one that was poached) and I doubt we could afford one. But someone like Maik Taylor would go down well I should think.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            good thinking, batman, — Where is Maik, now, Does anyone know, ?.

          • Steve says:

            I don’t think he has a club,but he has been Northern Irelands GK coach.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Spot on. Joined the NI set up in July last year, so I assume he’s still there.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            cheers Steve;, Guess he wont be coming back then, ?.

          • Chris W says:

            Not sure what he is doing now, he was at Millwall, got experience too.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            Heard Watson is going to Southampton.Can’t believe he isn’t at a top club.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            He was the biggest loss for us when Hughton went. The rest were neither here nor there. Still, our younger keepers seem to be progressing well, they’re a blank page and learn pretty well, but, how much notice do keepers of the age of Randolph and Doyle take of goalkeeping coaches?

          • Steve says:

            Doyle would have seen his work close up,so should know the value of a good GK coach.Randolph needs a good coach imo.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Agreed. He has so many faults in his game, it makes you wonder who has coached him in the past.

          • Chris W says:

            I hope Randolph takes some notice, he has a lot to learn in many aspects of his game.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            In the Blackburn game, when Callum Reilly, was playing left back, he failed to prevent the ball being crossed and Blackburn scored from the header. Instead of encouraging Reilly and giving him a gee up, Randolph just screamed and bawled at him and blamed him. It might have helped if he hadn’t made a half-hearted effort at trying to stop the header. My respect for Randolph vanished with that incident.

          • Chris W says:

            I saw it many times when a player made a mistake Randolph rarely offered support, but was quick to dish out the verbal.
            He made some decent saves and won MoM awards on three performances that I can remember, but he also cost us a lot of silly goals and from what you expect to be a simple save at this level.
            I have seen better, especially given his age, keepers usually get better with age.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Totally agree. I’d prefer to see Doyle in goal this season tbh. He has the odd shaky moment, but he’s never really let us down.

          • Chris W says:

            He has been with us about 12 years now, Don’t know why he has never been given a decent run. He has played mainly in cup games. Been a loyal servant if nothing else.
            KRO+DNM

          • Raymondo says:

            The second Bolton goal being a good example of how to let a soft one in!

          • Chris W says:

            A perfect example, and there were many similar too. A top keeper shouldn’t be beaten on their near post, it does happen occasionally. Colin Doyle was criticised when it happened against Blackpool in the play-off semi at St Ans and the weather played a big part in that game too.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            I’m not so sure, I wonder what clauses were in the loan contracts regarding number of games played, to fair after just one game you could see that Blackett was not ready to step up from academy level yet he was still picked several times.
            He has chosen the current players on ability, positions and performances so he has to get them to produce the goods this season or the fans and the board will turn on him.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It’s on his own head this season Chris. get it right, or get gone.

            As for last season’s loanees, I think he was severely hamstrung, in the fact that he couldn’t offer loan fees. If he could have, we would maybe have kept Bartley and Burn, kept the momentum going and maybe finished mid-table. We’ll never know.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Looking at the start of last season, we were only beaten by more than one goal 3 times and only well beaten twice (Burnley, Leeds.) We were very unlucky not to get draws or wins in a lot of games. The wheels only started to come off in the middle of January… hardly surprising in the circumstances. I would be shocked if we have as bad a season again.. and doubly shocked if our poor home form continues.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        The wheels came off after the Yeovil home defeat on New Years Day who were then bottom off the table. We were also very lucky to get a point at home to Barnsley about the same time who were second from bottom. After that it was an embarrassing shambles.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I think you’ll actually find that we drew with Barnsley on NYD. We actually lost to Yeovil on 18th January… which by my reckoning, is the “middle of January. ffs

          • Shirley Blue says:

            Your right on this one Staffs. Must have been a good New Year’s Eve!

          • Staffs Blue says:

            What I meant, was that we weren’t doing that bad up until then. We lost all the momentum when the defence was dismantled and Lingard went back. Who knows how long our good run would have continued if that hadn’t happened.

          • Chris W says:

            Actually Staffs the middle of January is noon 16th, just to be pedantic…. Oh yea and I’m bored watching Brazil v Chile in the house and not the pub :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            All I’ve watched are the England games and 3 or 4 others. I’ve been picking and choosing my WC games for a number of years now. I don’t like to watch two teams whose style of play is similar, they tend to cancel each other out, which makes for a boring game. I’ve enjoyed Holland this year and even USA. Australia have had a bash too.

          • Steve says:

            A record number of goals isn’t cancelling each other out.It’s been a good world cup with only a couple of poor games.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            If you’ve enjoyed it, I’m pleased for you. :)

          • Steve says:

            Anything is enjoyable after last season:)

          • Chris W says:

            I’ve been choosey too this world cup, just done the shopping otherwise I would have been having a pint.
            Holland have impressed as too have Belgium for me, USA could see them off though. Is it me or are there a lot of South American teams in this WC? Howard Webb is playing a blinder today.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Brazil are the pass-masters of the world… but have they excited you this year? I’m of the mind that, why take 30 passes to have a shot/goal, when 5 or 6 will do.Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I want football to get me off my seat, not put me to sleep in it. Just my opinion.

          • Chris W says:

            To be fair for two Latin teams it hasn’t been too bad, both teams have had to attack and some excellent saves by both keepers, neither team deserve to lose and to decide on penalties would be an injustice.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            What a game that was. Brilliant.

      • Chris W says:

        If we start the season as we did last season it should build confidence, we played well and only lost by the odd goal apart from the Burnley and Leeds games.
        If we can do better at home, and lets face it we can’t do any worse, I feel that mid table by Christmas will see us looking forward to a brighter second half of the season and maybe add a few decent loans.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          This was my point earlier Chris. We weren’t that bad up to the end of the year. Most of the games we lost, we didn’t deserve to (except as we said, Burnley and Leeds… and maybe Watford.) There were also drawn games we should have won. They were very fine margins imo.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      The reason he didn’t go to any of these tasty jobs you mention was that he wasn’t actually offered any of them. If another job came up offering more money and more opportunity I wouldn’t blame him for walking away and I am sure he would. The fact is there hasn’t been any great demand for him from other clubs.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      The reason he didn’t go to any of these tasty jobs you mention was that he wasn’t actually offered any of them. If another job came up offering more money and more opportunity I wouldn’t blame him for walking away and I am sure he would. The fact is there hasn’t been any great demand for him from other clubs.

      • Chris W says:

        There was nothing stopping him from applying for any of them though.
        I know it could be his rolling contract but does he really want the hassle and restrictions. I just wonder if BIHL have guaranteed him his job which is another stumbling block in any sale negotiations?
        KRO+DNM

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Probably because he is under absolutely no pressure at Blues except from the fans who don’t have a say. Maybe now this Greek bloke seems to be taking a more active role in running the club he will have to justify his decisions to someone on a Monday morning like other managers have to do.

          • Chris W says:

            If you think about it the Blues supporters have been quite tolerant considering our home record.
            I wonder if we’ll see anyone in the directors box this season and for how long?
            Time will tell and I think that LC has a bit more pressure on him this season from others.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            I agree Chris.Apart from a couple of minutes in the odd game at home last season,the fans have stuck with elsie and the team.Not sure they will this season. Hope the flags make an appearance next season,let the board know we’re still unhappy.

          • Chris W says:

            I hope they do too, especially if the man from HK is in the ground.
            Even with the bizarre Blackburn line up the supporters were subdued, mind I don’t think anyone believed what LC conjured up then.
            KRO+DNM

          • Shirley Blue says:

            There was a fair bit of “you don’t know what your doing” in the last few games but to be honest I think apathy ruled last season. A lot of the really vocal ones that used to sit around us stopped coming to games who would have given him plenty of stick.

          • Steve says:

            There was nothing to get you off your seat last season.I never looked forward to going to the match.The match spoiled what was usually a good day out.

          • Chris W says:

            I use to go to Stans thinking we were going to win, but as you say, was rarely excited, which was totally the opposite away from home even at the beginning of the season. I couldn’t wait to get on motorway to travel away from home.
            KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          How do we know he hasn’t shown interest in other jobs?I don’t think you can guarantee anybody a job on a 12 month rollover contract. If they suddenly offered him a 5 year deal,that’s different.

          • Chris W says:

            We don’t, but I’m sure the press would soon get wind if he applied for another post. What I meant was BIHL are looking to assure his job during the transition period, I may well be up the wrong tree or even in a different forest. With BCFC and BIHL who knows what anyone thinks, let alone what they are doing.
            KRO+DNM

      • Steve says:

        He definately would.All these people that go on about his love and passion for the club,it’s tosh. If a better offer came along he’d be gone,and all the Clark lovers would be calling him a judas.

  • mark says:

    It really important that the fans continue where we left off at Bolton…..whether fans like it or not stans is our stadium, and the homecoming for the new players should be a positive one regardless of the early results IMO.

  • mark says:

    Sorry to keep on mentioning about formations, I would like to think this season there will be more teams looking how to stop us rather than the other way round……

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Since Lee Clark started to use 4-2-3-1, a lot of Premiership and international sides have adopted the formation. Yet most Blues fans don’t like it. It just goes to show, it’s all about opinions. Personally, I’m a 4-4-2 man, but I can see the benefit of other systems as and when the need arises.

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Staffs;, I do not think it is all about formations, but more like too many changes match after match, plus poor tactics, ?.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          He was trying everything he could to break the home hoodoo. I don’t think anyone knew what to do in the end. It just wasn’t happening any way. Even when players played in their right positions, it still didn’t happen. Like I said, I’d be shocked if that home form continued. We just need that first win.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            He hadn’t got the faintest idea what he was doing and more importantly the players hadn’t got the faintest idea what he was doing. I actually think we would have been better off without a manager and let the players sort it out between them. It was a complete shambles.

          • Tony says:

            lol Shes right you know

          • Shirley Blue says:

            She?????

          • Steve says:

            He thinks Shirley is your name and not where you come from.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I knew I should have called myself Solihull Blue!

          • tmsblues says:

            Absolutely right. Can’t believe players had any confidence in his scatterbrained selections and tactics.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Staffs;, I see where you are coming from, but think I am still right, – He was ” Tinker man ” 2nd, but never the less, One has to give him this last chance to see that if now, he has his own chosen players, [ Yes- I know a lot were his signings ] then also realising his mistakes previously, perhaps we may see a different L,C, ???.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Let’s hope so. Like I said, if there’s been no real improvement by Xmas, it will be time to try something new.

          • Oldbluenose says:

            at the end of the day, We have little option, mate.
            I am NOT a Lee Clark basher, just outlining previous problems that hopefully will not be apparent this season,!!.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’ve said the same thing myself this week OBN. Clark has his own squad for the first time. They may not be the players that he would have chosen if he’d had a couple of mill to spend, but they’re the ones he’s chosen within the parameters he has to work to, so he has the chance now to either prove the doubters wrong, or right. I’m willing to give him that chance, others won’t. That’s their right.

          • mark says:

            trouble is staffs, fans also seems to forget that the players should have shouldered some of that responsibility. Once the manager sent them out onto the pitch with specific tactics, and they dont follow it what else can he do? This season hopefully all the players will be singing from the same hymn sheet……cannot wait……

        • Chris W says:

          As long as he keeps round pegs in the round holes it doesn’t matter which formation he plays.
          He should be able to be a lot more consistent this season with his personal barring injuries.
          KRO+DNM

      • Steve says:

        Who would have thought it eh ? Lee Clark a football visionary. :)

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Yes apparently Wenger and Mourinho adopted 4-2-3-1 after seeing Clark invent it and apply it so successfully at Blues. Hilarious.

          • Steve says:

            Phil Scolari said in his pre match interview that things have improved for Brazil since they started playing the Lee Clark way.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Makes me laugh how some people make it up as they go along. Carry on. Knock yourself out lads.

          • Steve says:

            You started the silly comments.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Whatever you say.

          • Guest says:

            That wasn’t your last word then ?

          • Guest says:

            That wasn’t your last word then ?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            My original comment was “Since Lee Clark started to use 4-2-3-1..” NOT since Lee Clark invented 4-2-3-1. It’s not my fault if you only see what you want to see. That’s my last word on it.

          • Steve says:

            Same thing Staffs.I know you like to back him,but thats going to far. No need to get touchy.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Not getting touchy (would take a lot more than that.) All I ask is that if someone quotes me, quote me correctly, or not at all.

          • Steve says:

            You have said that prem and international sides started using the system after Clark started using it.It’s there in black and white.Anyway,i thought you’d already said your last word on it ?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Ok, try this. Before LC starting using 4-2-3-1, I hadn’t noticed many sides using it, but since LC started using it, I’ve noticed more and more premier and international sides (including England) using it (to varying degrees of success.) Better?

          • Steve says:

            A bit. You’re still giving him too much credit though.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’m not giving him any credit whatsoever Steve. None. I’ve just noticed it more since that’s all.

          • mark says:

            staffs you should know by now Steve does not do credit, his evidence base is by a trusted friend lol

          • Staffs Blue says:

            People might have friends who claim to know this and that, but there’s rarely any proof given. It’s all hearsay and nothing more. But, everyone has the right to their opinion.

          • Steve says:

            Dierdre and Vera are back

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Makes a nice change from Derby & Joan

          • Steve says:

            That’s the one i was trying to remember. :)

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Glad to be of service. ;)

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Sorry that’s laughable. Are you saying LC invented 4-2-3-1. Give me a break. The top club have been using that formation for years.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I never said that at all. I actually said that since he started using it… not that he invented it. I can’t believe you actually thought I meant that. Now that’s laughable.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            Is it? I just responded to what you said in your first sentence. A misunderstanding I guess.

  • ian says:

    here is the way i see it from a players prospective,
    play well, don’t get beat = keep the shirt for the next game.
    have a bad game, get beat= expect someone in training to push for the shirt,
    and so on,
    not much point in having a squad of 20 odd if you can’t push for a shirt,
    if the team are winning and you are not in the 11, you have to work hard, and catch the managers eye in training, but most players would except baring injuries you don’t change a winning team, when given your chance, take it,
    win the 50/50’s chase back, put the effort in, and keep the shirt,
    the modern game means managers bottle it way from home and go more defensive,
    in my opinion this is unnecessary,
    if you play a kind of 4-4-2 at home and a kind of 4-5-1 away,
    you can bet the opposition are doing the opposite.
    meaning both teams have a one man advantage in one area and a one man deficit in another.
    if you play a kind of 4-4-2 home and away, at worst you are matched up.
    then it is down to individual players to win the individual battles.

    can’t see any difference home or away, in the past 20 years our away fans have always made more noise than the home support,

  • andy says:

    With the players we already have can see us putting some wins together ,,, I for one cant wait for the pre season friendlies to start. We can just hope till then I think he and his crew have brought in some no nonsense defenders our midfield looks set to be pacier and the forward prowess seems to have goals in it ……. i hope they all gel quickly for one ……. KRO

  • tmsblues says:

    Clark could put two fingers and walk but where to? He’s not exactly got a great record unless some owner wants to see his stadium empty as Clark bounces from one failing formation to the next! And why walk when you have a 12 month rolling contract that guarantees your pay off by the owner whosoever that might be?
    Someone on here said Clark might be the next Brendan Rodgers I am sure he must mean Roy Rodgers!
    I really hope I am wrong and the team gels and he shows consistency of selection style and purpose that allows players to flourish and grow into a tough team to beat but it’s going to take a lot of luck and a lot of improvement by the manager!

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Totally agree He came to us with a tarnished reputation from Huddersfield and given that interest from other clubs is something the press are usually very hot on I can’t recall any strong interest in him over the last two years at a time when there have been a huge number of managers getting sacked. Isn’t that a little strange if he is so highly rated?
      I hope I am wrong too but I just can’t see it.

      • Chris W says:

        He was touted by Blackpool last summer if I recall. A lot could be put off by his contract, as is BIHL, it would cost them a small fortune to sack him or buy his contract up.
        This season is where he stands or falls for me, I would expect him to be given around 12 games, if things are not going well we will see a change in personal this season.
        KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          Not really Chris.12 months on not a lot isn’t a big contract.It’s probably the compo that the board would want is what would scupper any deal.

          • Chris W says:

            I would say he has to be on a fair whack,around £15k per week, I doubt he would be on less than the players, maybe Zig being the exception.
            KRO+DNM

    • Tony says:

      Surely you must mean Trigger..

  • dwarf1962 says:

    I seem to remember the Man U jock had a real bad start and was a game or two of being fired. Maybe this could be L C’s season i for one am hopeing

    • bluenoserob says:

      comparing fergie to LC is like comparing Adam Rooney to Pele

      • dwarf1962 says:

        There is no comparison between Fergie and Clarke, but a bit of a comparison with the start of their respective team take over

        • tmsblues says:

          Yeah Fergie had a tough start but he couldn’t go all season without hardly a win at home !

          • dwarf1962 says:

            At the end of the day as a Bluenose all i would like to see (the same as the rest of us) is investment, security, and a team to bring Pride back to the blue shirt, a team that in par with the rest of championship!!!!!Here’s hoping for a great season

    • Geoff S says:

      The “man U jock”??

      Stop following.

  • StevieW says:

    I think I like you am nervously optimistic for the new season but then I am like that for the start of every season.

    Questions I have is why does LC stay? Is he just a yes man in the best place he thinks he can be given his talents.

    I am hoping because he has players that should be playing for the badge that things will improve on the pitch, rather than last season having to deal with loanees on mass receiving a wedge regardless of performance who didnt really have the passion to play for a club they were not a part of at the end of the season.

    • Tony says:

      Steve he stays for 300k per year irrespective of his performance, wouldn’t you stay?.

      • mark says:

        Tony a bit like zig seriono wonderful while was getting 65,000, hates everyone insight now he offered 5,000 lol

      • StevieW says:

        Tony I would stay for a third of that irrespective of my performance. Every time you feel down just look at your bank balance.

  • Art says:

    A number of reasons why he stays!

    -he’s under a 1 year rolling contract so unless he gets another job it makes no financial sense for him to resign.

    -because of his appalling record at STA no other club are interested in taking him on.

    -he’s on a loyalty bonus to stay at STA until the new owners pay him off!

    Nice guy with a passionate and committed attitude but never a Championship manager

    I hope he proves me wrong but I just can’t see him changeling his butterfly management style or improving his tactics awareness in less than a few weeks since we avoided the drop.Think we will get the same manager but with a different set of players.

    • StevieW says:

      Art the counter argument for having an appalling record would be he kept us up against all the odds and restrictions placed on him, which on a CV would be quite a plus. He would probably see that as a success. I think you are probably right from the money point of view and the opportunity to yet again prove his worth in difficult circumstances, with the get out clause of his hands were tied if he fails.

      • tmsblues says:

        And the small matter of his home record, lottery selections and unbelievably naive panic attack tactics can be ignored?

        • StevieW says:

          This can be argued under the restrictions banner as many Bluenoses do. He can say in the face of all this failure he pulled the club through certain relegation and kept us in the championship. But please dont assume I have LC tinted glasses on, all I am doing is writing his CV for him for which you use negatives to your advantage or not at all. In LC case all the negatives have a positive spin purely because of what restrictions have been placed on him.

          • Chris W says:

            I’ve not got LC tinted glasses either but I can see some failings that were his own doing and nothing to do with restrictions.
            At the end of the day he succeeded in not getting us relegated which was probably all the board were hoping for as they refused to offer him any financial support or assistance barring the money found to buy Paul Caddis which come May turned out to be a masterstroke.
            KRO+DNM

    • mark says:

      imo Clark loves the club and loves the fans………albeit by some who cannot see the wood between the trees………sells himself and the club which bought in some very good young players..
      Committed to try and be a success at the club, not run away and bottle it like some…
      has realization of the unfortunate circumstances he having to work too…………still……..

      • Art says:

        Selling the club is part of any managers job and I’ve said before Clark is not on a YTS contract he’s paid £300k pa.As for running away-He’s wont leave until the “big pay off”.

          • Chris W says:

            To be fair with the stats, only Gary Johnson had more games and apart from him and Ian Holloway the clubs with a lower %rate were relegated or changed managers.
            LC is very lucky to still be our manager on those stats.
            KRO+DNM

          • mark says:

            Maybe so Chris , but no other manager could have done a better job in my IMO with the unfornate circumstances he had.

          • Chris W says:

            I couldn’t agree more Mark, though he didn’t do himself many favours with some of his selections or substitutions at times.
            As I have said, this season will either make or break him, if he hasn’t learnt from last season I will be surprised if he is still the manager at Blues come Christmas.
            KRO+DNM

          • mark says:

            Tbh building a team from scratch is not easy as long as they give a good account of themselves he and us will be fine….

          • Steve says:

            He won’t quit a job that he is virtually unsackable from.

          • Chris W says:

            I don’t think that will apply this season Steve, he has his own team this time with one loan.
            He will be judged on results not just by the supporters but those in charge, whether they have the bottle to sack him remains to be seen.
            KRO+DNM

        • mark says:

          Now name a manager who’ been though the same sh*t , bet you cannot……..me think Clark got better integrity than you think….

        • Chris W says:

          According to The Independant the lowest salary for a Championship manager is £450k which is about £8k per week. Though they did say the data was given on a confidential basis. Lowest paid managers are on around £200K in the fourth tier of the football league.
          £300k would put him on the same as the players roughly £5k per week

          KRO+DNM

    • tmsblues says:

      Perfect analysis And conclusion too. Art .

  • Singingface says:

    These comments against Clark are a bit harsh, I thought pre season if we stayed up last year after spending 150K we would have had a result.
    Do all the anti-Clark brigade think it was just his tactics that led to us finishing where we did ? Wasn’t the team pulled apart at Christmas after a 15 game unbeaten run?
    Watching your team lose at home every week doesn’t help, but when your working with your hands tied behind your back a man needs all the support he can get.
    This year, after spending zilch I’m hoping for a mid table finish. Realistic ?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Even with the budget cut to a quarter of last year’s, some fans are expecting miracles. Last time I checked, our manager had the initials LC…. not JC.

      • Steve says:

        Budget cut by a quarter.Thats telling the board.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          The manager doesn’t have much to do with the budget to be fair. He’s told what it is and has to work to that. What he did say to the board, was that we couldn’t go on the way we were, filling the side with loanees who have no allegiance to the club. I think that’s a fair request.

      • mark says:

        circle the wagons lol

  • harbsbleu says:

    Based on the well informed and positive comments I have just renewed my season ticket. I will be interested to knew how these sales are progressing?

    • Steve says:

      They told me they was on par with this time last season.I would have thought all those renewing would have done so before today’s price increase.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Not sure what the official figures are, but I read yesterday that they’re around 500 less than this time last year.

        • Steve says:

          Only going by the ticket office.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I still think they need to look at the pricing. It’s reasonable in the Tilton at £369 but we can’t all sit in the Tilton (though I would have to check that these days – maybe we can!!). My old seat in the Kop in block 27 they are asking £575. That’s too much for a club that won 2 home games last season and are getting players in for nothing.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Hope you all beat the 5pm deadline we did! Keeping right on and cant wait for next season!

  • williammorgan says:

    Brian Clough and peter Taylor started their climb to the top of Europe by signing players that were not brilliant at every skill around ..they couldn’t afford them so they started with players that had skills good enough to do a good job just in the position that they played in ,they could play right or left but they still had those certain skills that did a job ..and they soon found that with less all round skills the teammates around them new excactly what to do and where to be to meet the ball and a change in right to left throughout a match did enough to confuse the opposition ,,don’t write this squad off I am quite confident of them and LC

    • Mark Galloway says:

      Absolutely by I refer you to my point A

      KRO

      PS Lee is no Clough/Taylor by a street mile!

    • chudlt says:

      Brian Clough he is not!

    • mark says:

      Where only one Lee Clark, only one Lee Clark …..well then all those who thought he was a goner how wrong was they!!!!.kro he be walking out at middlesbo…haha

    • graham says:

      Alf ramsey at Ipswich before England, bought out the best in hardworking players, playing to their strengths. Ipswich in particular wit a team of also rans (previously)

  • Mark Galloway says:

    Dan,

    I admire your optimism, I really do but I must say that it appears blind to the reality which is:

    A] Clark is deficient as a manager at this level

    B] The squad is clearly one of the poorest in the league

    B might not matter if A wasn’t true and we had a manager that could drag the best from mediocre players but, in my view, it is true.

    Relegation beckons

    QED

    Sorry but KRO

    • mark says:

      you be fun to be with at the stans lol

      • Mark Galloway says:

        You’d be surprised……I give the team wholehearted and unreserved support for the full 90 plus injury and have never left a game early!

        I reserve my pessimism for you lot!!

        KRO

        • AussieBlue says:

          Give us 6 lottery number suggestions Mark, there’s a good mate!

          • Mark Galloway says:

            Here they are and equal the number of points we’ll have by the end of each two month period from the start of the season:

            8,17,25,31,37,43

            KRO

          • AussieBlue says:

            Ta Mark – pint in it for ya if I score the $10mill Ozlotto Tuesday night. Actually it’s a 7-number game that. 1-45. Mind you, now I’ll have to share it with every bloomin’ bluenose in Australia!
            43pts end of season? I’ll go 60+

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Cracking second goal by Columbia. Now that one had me off my seat. :)

    • mark says:

      glad there no biters, excellent ban fully deserved three times is enough…..good luck to columbia :0

      • Chris W says:

        As it has been on three occasions do you not think the ban should be longer? He got, was it 10 games?, from the FA. Personally I would ban all cheats for a season, including divers, it would soon stop them.
        In todays game you see too many cards for what use to be trivial incidents.
        When I began watching football you could almost go a season and not see a booking, now you rarely see a game without one.
        The one problem with the game is the inconsistency of referees, instead of stamping their authority on a game they brandish a card instead, no common sense anymore. TV and the so called pundits must take a lot of the blame, how many times have you heard “That was never a card for me” or vica versa depending on the situation. Referees don’t have the benefit of action replays from all angles, unfortunately.
        KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          I understand Liverpool’s argument.When Suarez was banned last season,he was still allowed to play for Uruguay as it was the FA that banned him. Personally i would ban him until he get’s treatment,

          • Chris W says:

            At one time if a player earned a suspension they weren’t even allowed to train at the club, they were effectively banned from the grounds and they lost the wages too, I may be wrong but I recall it was paid into a fund for either a charity or to support players whose careers we cut short.
            He didn’t learn from his ban at Liverpool so a blanket ban is the only logical course of action.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It seems ridiculous now, that Bestie and Bremner (iirc) were banned for 6 weeks just for handbags at dawn. But, you knew when Best returned, someone was gonna pay. Unfortunately, it was Northampton in the FA Cup. First game back, he scored 6 goals as Man U hit 8. Happy days.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            As much as I dislike the odious little toad, I agree with you. It happened in an international match, so only internationals should be affected. Ban him for the next 5 internationals… NOT including friendlies.

          • mark says:

            My opinion on the matter is what message does this sent to young kids its a despicable act , 60,000 fine wow bet that hurt him. Some form help he definitely needs, to lie that it was a pure incident……..again he got off lightly…..if Liverpool have got any about them sod him off to Spain……

          • Mr Crosby says:

            I never thought I’d ever agree with you Mark :-)

          • Chris W says:

            He didn’t learn from his league ban and this was with the whole world watching, justice has to be seen to be done.
            I think the ban should be longer imo. He has also lost a few million in sponsorship deals too.
            KRO+DNM

          • StevieW says:

            Or after the ban he plays with a muzzle on, isn’t that what they do with dogs that have a biting tendency?

          • Chris W says:

            They are usually put down after they bite someone too, but that would be against his human rights, unfortunately.
            You bite a colleague at work and see if you keep your job for long, you wouldn’t get the chance to do it three times.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            As we know Chris,football lives in a different world.There are no morals in Football.I don’t like Gordon Strachan,but he went on a rant on ITV the other night about morals in football,and i agreed with every word he said.There are none.And that includes fans.Look at us with Marlon King.Our response to away fans singing “She said no Marlon” was,”He scores goals Marlon”.Says it all really.

          • Chris W says:

            Sums up football Steve, but surely the powers that be should be setting moral standards more than anyone.
            If you chant abuse on the terraces these days you face being evicted and/or fined in court.
            You go down the local park or school now and you will see kids doing what they see on tv, I wouldn’t mind betting some kid has bite someone shouting “Just like Suarez”.
            If you have no morals at the top of the game you can’t expect them at the bottom.
            There again we have Blatter and Platini…, Qatar says it all
            KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I have to be honest Chris, I truly believe that between a third and half of all fouls and bookings are not fouls or bookings at all. Refs are too fussy, players go down if the wind catches their legs, when really, the only damage is a fractured handbag.

          For me, a good way to stop it, is, not only to suspend a player, but to punish the managers too. Ultimately, they’re responsible for discipline at a club. If they get fined a few times, they’ll either take steps to stop players doing it, drop them or get rid.

          • Chris W says:

            I’m like you Staffs, something needs to be done for the good of the game, even if it takes instant replays, though I am only in favour for major decisions like penalties or with goal line technology. The time it takes for a referee to blow his whistle and talk to the player he can have an instant review from the fourth official just as they do with tennis, cricket and rugby.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Another thing that gets my back up, is the handball nonsense these days. When a player can be penalised if the ball is whacked against him. Ridiculous. The clue is in the term Handball. That’s hand… ball” not ball… hand.” If the arm or hand makes a movement towards the ball, not the other way round. Sorry, rant over. :)

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Now that is a source of contention indeed.

          • Chris W says:

            Go for it Staffs, some of the decisions today would see the old hard (Chopper Harris, Norman Hunter) taking up bowls, they would have been sent off after the first tackle.
            You are right with hand ball, it has always been “making a deliberate movement of the hand to control the ball”, defenders now look like overgrown ballet dancers doing pirouettes whenever they are faced with a winger about to cross in the box.
            There are more blatant stuff going on that warrants more than just a wagging finger.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            You are right. It is (or should be) hand or arm to ball and not ball to hand or arm. I remember a few seasons back Blues played Bury at Gigg Lane and Paul Furlong instinctively put his hands up to stop a powerfully hit shot hitting him straight in the face.

            The incident was in Blues’ penalty area and the ref foolishly gave a spot-kick.. Fortunately it was near the end of the game and Blues were 4-2 (?) up at the time so they still managed to win anyway.

            Refs also have a couple of assistants/linemen so they should be able to get it right between them.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            As far as linesmen/women are concerned, they’re about as much use as chocolate teapot. The ref would be better off doing the job himself, with the help of cameras pointed along all 4 bye-lines.

        • Raymondo says:

          This is a quote from the BBC Rugby Union site.

          “The sin-bin is the bench where all players who have committed a yellow card offence sit out of the game for 10 minutes.
          If the referee believes a player has committed a serious foul or shown indiscipline, then he will show them the yellow card, just like in football.
          But unlike in football, that player must then immediately leave the pitch.
          They then have to sit in the sin-bin for 10 minutes while the game continues without them.
          It leaves their team a man down for a sizeable chunk of the game, giving the opposition the perfect opportunity to push for points”.

          Anyone think this would tidy the game up in Soccer and stop ill disciplined players arguing with the ref? I don’t see them arguing with the ref in the oval ball game. Just a thought. KRO

          • Chris W says:

            I rugby they respect the ref, you rarely, if ever, see them argue with the ref, even if they disagree.
            I think it is a good idea and would also stop silly suspensions which could still stand just for red card offences.
            Some of their tackles would have footballers bawling like a baby too.
            Why have all, or most other sports enhanced technology, even in Snooker they can re-position the ball exactly to the spot with modern technology.
            Who thinks this paint stuff in the world cup is a good idea, it has been used in South America for years apparently, they did say it would see more goals from free-kicks, that I’m not so sure, but it has stopped the silly ball movements and encroaching a couple of feet.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Yet another good idea for us to absorb,

          • Chris W says:

            Go to any ground in the leagues and you will find supporters who can see the problem, it is those that run the game who can’t see the wood for the trees, or rather look after their own interests.
            KRO+DNM

          • Raymondo says:

            I agree Chris W. Watching the World Cup I have noticed this clever idea and whatever it is they use disappears in minutes. I’d like to see it in use in our English leagues.

          • Chris W says:

            I think it is brilliant and you don’t see this silly movement of the wall or ball.
            Just watching the Greece game and the ref actually told the player to but the ball back after he moved back a couple of yards.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Apparently, it’s been used in South America for about 2 years. It will be used in the Champions League next season so I heard.

          • Geoff S says:

            Chris.

            See my reply comment to Raymondo three messages above this. Sin-bin and spray paint both worth considering.

          • Chris W says:

            It is getting the powers that be to see the light though Geoff S.
            I would also like to see the silly last minute time wasting substitutions stopped too. No subs allowed for the last 15 minutes unless the player is seriously injured and then he would not be allowed to play in the next match.
            Just an idea.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Can’t argue with what you say about the powers-that-be but, although I share your frustrations re late on time-wasting (which any side will do if it is a goal up with a few minutes to play), I’m not sure about your suggestion re late subs.

          • Chris W says:

            It is blatant time-wasting, just as is the rolling the floor, but it is also ungentlemanly conduct and punishable under Law 12 in the laws of football administered by the referees.
            We see enough time-wasting during a game without these nonsensical substitutions.
            A player went off only when injured and that was why substitutions were introduced, then it was 3 from 5, soon it will be the American Football, a whole team of offence or defence.
            If the last 15 minutes were played without substitutions it would keep the supporters interested and even add to the excitement. I may only be in the majority of one on this.. :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            What an absolutely cracking way to curb fouling, ?.

          • Geoff S says:

            A good suggestion and certainly worth a try (as is the spray paint mentioned by Chris W).

    • Retired&Weary says:

      Colombia are the team Brazil used to be.

    • Chris W says:

      The first wasn’t too bad either Staffs.
      KRO+DNM

  • Raymondo says:

    The oddest thing last season was that if our home form had been anything like our away form we would have never been in trouble. Let’s hope this “new” team will be more positive at home. The new players will hopefully have a diffeent mental attitude at home and not allow other teams to look forward to playing at Stans. Having more of our own players , many stepping up a division with something to prove, should help a lot. I remain hopeful about the new season and not pessimestic. KRO

    • Chris W says:

      The supporters also have to put that dismal record behind them too and get behind the new lads from the off.
      St Ans needs to be full of noise and intimidation for the opposition, how many times last season was it like sitting in a graveyard at midnight.
      KRO+DNM

  • mark says:

    Looks like we are looking at another defender holgersson?

  • williammorgan says:

    In going for holgersson I wonder if gunning is deemed as blues possible defensive midfield player to allow the rest to go for it ..in a roy Keane type role ….UTB

    • Staffs Blue says:

      If anyone plays defensive midfielder, it will be David Edgar. He played most of his games there for Burnley last season.

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    Can Lee Clark surprise us all and get us playing like a team?

    Can Lee Clark surprise us all and manage like a proper manager?

    • StevieW says:

      Isn’t this part of the excitement and apprehension that makes the start of the footy so enticing. I cant make the away friendlies but I will certainly be there for the 1st home game against Calie.

  • RustyOzBluenose says:

    I’m pumped for the new season, maybe Im just overly optimistic but fresh blood and a new start is a good thing. Lets give the boys a chance. We’ll get promoted and then a movie will come out nio long after….No Retreat, No Surrender BlueNose Style.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    We are all limited to some extent with what we do, nobody is perfect and it is easy to call anyone limited in their ability. LC simply cannot be judged on last season as the playing squad depletion and ownership of the club was farcical. I think there are perceptions towards LC which are based more on personal bias than fact and that we are all ‘expert’ football managers.

    Let see what he can do this season with a settled squad and free transfers from the lower leagues but don’t expect miracles with the bargain basement acquisitions. For me, staying out of the relegation zone for the season would be realistic success until the BIH / PP chains are removed from the club.

    • paule says:

      I totally agree we are all limited in what we can do but this is his job, if anyone else was to perform as Clark has in a workplace they would have been sacked a season & half ago. One of our delivery drivers is a Huddersfield season ticket holder & he tells me Clark was no different there and he did have money to spend. I won’t expect any changes in the way Clark tinkers with the team & formation but whilst he’s our manager i will be there to support both him & the team.

      • Agent McLeish says:

        Damn, I didn’t realise that your delivery driver thought this! I’ll have to rethink everything now…

  • Art says:

    I’m judging LC over two seasons and the ownership of the club continues to be farcical.The players from the lower divisions will need a good manager to help them make the step -up sadly LC is not the right man for this challenge and I can’t see him changing his ways since the Bolton game….my views are based on his record since joining the club and the many strange decisions on and off the field-it’s not based on the wrong perception and it has never been a personal matter.

  • OftenPartisan says:

    Trevor

    You’re free to think that. I think I recognised that he has passion, that he cares and that he’s trying his hardest. I think it’s also fair to say he panicked and tinkered with the team a lot last year.


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