Often Partisan

Great Expectations

One thing that seems consistent in player interviews during the pre-season training camp was the emphasis on how the team were aiming to do much better than last season. There is a collective urgency from the players and staff to stress that they are aiming for the top half of the division rather than scrapping for survival on the last day as they did back in May at the Reebok stadium.

I’m not sure whether it’s genuine confidence or pure hubris talking. It is nicer that the players are talking up our chances rather than the “survival is our aim” mantra that seems to pervade teams who are struggling, particularly in the Premier League and I would like to believe in them that they can achieve a comfortable mid-table position bearing in mind the much-publicised lack of resources Blues have. The problem I have at this moment in time is I am struggling to have the faith that this season as things stand will be more than a dogfight at the bottom.

What does concern me is how many fans I see who are taking all this positivity as setting up Blues (and by extension Lee Clark) up for a fall. There seems to be this feeling that because Clark is being bullish and positive about what is happening within the team then if they do struggle, he should get both barrels head on. It’s almost as if people are willing us to fail to justify their vitriol against Clark and against the current less than serendipitous circumstances Blues find themselves in.

Don’t get me wrong – I do think Clark is a limited manager and in an ideal world he would have been parted company from us last season for the debacle that was our home form. I do worry that he’s going to panic when things don’t immediately click and start making odd decisions about who to play where and tinker with things too much. That being said, it doesn’t mean I want him to fail – if anything I want him to prove me wrong and show he can do it because that’s the best situation for the club.

I guess it’s like people boycotting going to the ground. I’m going to hold my hand up here and confirm that I haven’t renewed my season ticket – but as I’ve moved 120 miles away and my working hours can be pretty unsocial it means it’s not worth me having one at this moment in time – but it’s not because I want to stay away. If people don’t feel comfortable buying tickets then that is their personal decision and as much as people may disagree with it they have to respect it; in much the same way those people who are deliberately staying away need to respect that for some people boycotting is not an option and that the failure of the club to service its debts should be seen as a last resort situation rather than a necessary evil.

Blues fans have always been disparate but at this moment in time I wonder if the fanbase has ever been so divided; and I also wonder if once the whole ownership and team situation is sorted those deep schisms can be healed and we can become a bit more “as one” – well, as close as we’re ever going to get. As much as this season is going to be about the team gelling together and performing well I think the fans need to come together a bit more too.

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58 Responses to “Great Expectations”

  • Oldburyblue says:

    Buy a cinema ticket and you can watch the film. Buy a football ticket and you can watch the match. Your decision. The only difference is that if a film gets good reviews you have plenty of time to watch it later. With football once a match has been played it has gone. We know that at the moment in all likelihood there will be more failure than success….but what price do you put on hope?

  • williammorgan says:

    I personally are looking forward ..I think LC and co under the circumstances have done a great job with new players .the pace and stamina of the players up front should be exciting …he who dares wins

    • Raymondo says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. He who dares wins, because he has a positive attitude. Without that he who dares probably wouldn’t dare! Also known as spirit! KRO

  • Puddleglum says:

    I think that players have to believe that they can do well to have a chance of doing so. I can understand any manager wanting to foster this approach.
    Agree about respecting other fans views on going/not going to games etc and I’d like a bit more unity and understanding among fans too.

  • mark says:

    Daniel 120miles what you living in London, you not gone bought Carson’s house??lol

  • mark says:

    Sadly Daniel you never get a full on gel with fans its as simple as that my friend….
    If blues played magincently at the start the season they keep quiet as usual, between gritted teeth lol… Once that bubble bursted then you see both barrels……so as far as I am concerned the answer to your question maybe never……..

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Unfortunately, I think I have to agree.

      • Raymondo says:

        I’ve always believed that you can be positive without being naive. A negative approach invites a negative result. I worked in the USA when I was young and In some ways it reminds me of the difference between the British and American approach to a problem. Over here we say “can we do it?”. Over there they say “we can do it”. I don’t think the situation with BIHL can stay the same indefinitely because nothing ever does. In the meantime I will just support the team and if anyone chooses not to that’s up to them. I don’t agree that ithis makes me a “happy clapper”, an expression that someone one here is so fond of using. I

    • Mr Crosby says:

      Don’t fans want more than mediocre at best? That’s why they don’t come back.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I’ve been a supporter for 45 years and, even in the old 3rd division I didn’t desert. I’m not going to start now because of a few difficulties within the club. It’s all about personal choice. That’s mine.

  • mark says:

    As for the players give it a 100% for the shirt ,and go for it every game, fans at the matches, and supporters around the world will get behind you if you least have go at home or away……kro

  • Oldburyblue says:

    Impossible I know…..but wouldn’t it be great that when we have success we can say to the returning boycotters …”go away, we don’t want you”. There are advantages of being free of the Glory Hunters…at least we can park easier and less queues to get into the ground and get to the bars and toilets! ps…my cheek is quite sore as a result of my tongue being in it!

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Totally agree , to many happy clappers over egging the pudding, & really not living in the real world.

    if we stay in the championship this coming season it will be an achievement.
    Indeed i would take us still being alive by the Bolton game next May.

    Realism..

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Different people have different perceptions of realism. Some people seem to be able to look into the future and predict what’s going to happen… others look forward and hope things will improve.

      So which ones are really realistic?

      • Blueboy88 says:

        & some just feed off blind faith..

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Nothing to do with blind faith. We all know things are not perfect, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hope and expectation for a new season. It’s personal choice, but I prefer optimism to defeatism.

  • Stan031 says:

    2 reasons why I’m not renewing mine after 20 years consecutive; I go for entertainment and the love of my team, but the last 2 seasons have been so painfully boring and secondly my season ticket has effectively gone up £150. As they’ve closed the gallery, I lost my fantastic seat Andrade enough last season they matched pricing last year for different seat in the ground, but not so this year- yet my seat in yhe gallery still unavailabele. Value for money, I don’t think so! Contacted by the club to see why I haven’t renewed- absoloubtley not!?

    • Stan031 says:

      By the way, I should add that I will still go to home games, I’ll just pay as I go….it will be cheaper that way too plus if LC continues to bore the home fans I can vote with my feet.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I think Lee Clark is well aware of the problems over the last season or two, especially the home form and the style of play. I believe he’s trying his best to solve those problems, especially with the type of players he’s brought in. He’s always preached front-foot, up-tempo football, but he’s never really had the players to play that way. But with the likes of Duffy, Cotterill, Donaldson, Green and Thomas, I can’t see us not being more entertaining. That’s my view fwiw.

  • tmsblues says:

    If the team plays well and gets some results at home then supporters will return. I have no doubt there’s fairly even split of ST holders not renewing for 3 Reasons.
    First the Ownership issue and the likelihood they will hang on to the club and therefore receive any funds raised. Second Lee Clark, an enthusiastic but an irrational, frustrating, scatterbrain selector and tactician and then… Thirdly and probably most important issue, the awful home form. Supporters pay money to be entertained, excited and at least encouraged by team performances…. sadly at home Blues were appalling and provided what I believe to be the main reason for season ticket holders to keep their wallets closed. If the Blue boys do well then supporters will turn up and pay on a week to week basis. Its never really been any different… Teams that play well and entertain their supporters get more of them through the turnstiles each game whilst those that disappoint will see support dwindle… I wonder what the final ST total will be? put around 8000 last year, I’d be surprised at anything over 75% of that this year. Maybe if the team starts with 3 or 4 home results a discounted season ticket will be offered ? After all this regime which can most likely live with the presents budgets for some time yet, still does whatever it can to sell forward to save today !

  • bluenose08 says:

    my workmate supports the vile and is not renewing his season ticket due to their home form last season. you should expect your team to do well at home but I think our supporters need to be more vocal back in the 70s you could here the fans a mile away from the ground but not now.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      There was usually 30,000 plus in the ground those days rather than 13,000. It is very hard to generate an atmosphere in a ground that’s not even half full. The only way you can stop that is having ticket pricing that reflects what’s on offer. When the Commercial department actually realise that we are no longer in the Premiership and struggling to stay in the Championship and prices actually represent some sort of value for money we might get 20,000 plus. Look what happened in the games last season when the did reduce the prices – we got decent crowds.

      • bluenose08 says:

        totally agree with you on ticketing prices but even with decent crowds we don’t seem to generate a lot of noise !

        • Chris W says:

          They start off well, but like the team as soon as a goal is conceded heads drop. Would love to hear the noise generated at Bolton transferred to ST Ans along with the atmosphere.
          KRO+DNM

      • mark says:

        Funny you mention that yet 3800 fans generated noise at bolton , to the continued chorus of kro….. But I am in total agreement with you that the admission prices are extremely high. IMO admission should range between 20-25 pounds for the championship.

        • Chris W says:

          I don’t see the logic with categorising games, we are all in the Championship and all teams have the chance of promotion or relegation.
          This is not the Premiership where only a handful of teams have a realistic shout.
          All prices should be the same for all clubs, £25 should be the limit for the best seats and £15 everything else.
          KRO+DNM

  • Southern Blue says:

    I live over 100 miles from the ground and have renewed. I usually get to less than half the games due to work/family commitments but it’s my way of supporting the team. I thought I read in the week Andy Walker say that 8,000 Season tickets had been sold?. As far as expectations are concerned the biggest single factor that correlates with success in modern football is the wage bill, so on that basis I would realistically expect us to be in the bottom 6. However there are always exceptions and the fact that LC has pulled the squad together for the start of pre-season, and the players have something to prove leads me to hope for better. So realistic expectations would be a relegation fight but hopefully something better – either way I’ll be supporting the team.

    • Alan Moore says:

      Burnley’s wage bill 2012-13 was the 13th highest in the division. The following year they won automatic promotion. Size of the wage bill doesn’t always follow. Size of the players’ enthusiasm and willingness to perform often does.

  • Eric says:

    Dan you are becoming more negative as time goes by. Hope is important for players, managers and fans but I find your articles are getting quite depressing these days!!!

  • Will Viles says:

    I don’t think anybody has ‘Great Expectations’ as the post is titled. However the fact we’ll have a team of permanent Birmingham City players to support instead of a Manchester All Star Youth Team is exciting because – as this World Cup has proven – a good team spirit can take those teams with less individual talent very far.

    I think Clark’s right to build these guys up. After all, most of the new players are making a step up having performed well in League One. Believing they can make the step up is half the battle, because the footballing gap isn’t too huge.

    I’m optimistic.

  • williammorgan says:

    Jimmy greaves was a great striker ..but was a goalmouth poacher …..Thierry henry was a great all-round striker both very different .both did a job …the difference between success can be the attitude of the players around you kro

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Greaves was the best natural goalscorer I ever saw. When Henry was at Monaco, he was just a left winger.

  • williammorgan says:

    True will viles no team will perform well unless they have a confidence backing group .so why are so many fans pulling the players down before the season has started …come on get a grip ,stop sucking your thumbs ,life is hard ,…I believe Dan has taken a lot of pressure running often partisan , I apolagise Dan for my share of stress given Dan ,you have led us through the worst time that this club has ever had , and naturally it is beginning to show ,,it is a big ask from a man that should go down as the voice of blues fans ,in the last three years ,and lead the fans out of this deep rooted self pity , and fear to believe,and get them rooting for the team again if you would,….KRO

  • williammorgan says:

    True staffs blue and I will not bring JG down , Henry was different in the fact that many of his attacks started from a deeper attacking midfield position either down the wing or down the middle,whilst with arsenal

  • williammorgan says:

    True staffs blue and I will not bring JG down , Henry was different in the fact that many of his attacks started from a deeper attacking midfield position either down the wing or down the middle,whilst with arsenal

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Germany 1-0 Argentina. Never mind mark.. better luck next time. ;)

    • mark says:

      Germany goal was very well taken by the sub, good position, and well executed goal under a little pressure especially as it was for winning the world cup….
      Argentina can have no qualm, messi did have chances, also Argentina had chances to win the world cup….but if you give a good German national team any sniff, they fully deserve their world cup…..no qualm from me the best team won……staffs

      • Chris W says:

        Totally agree Mark, the German team were definitely the best team throughout the tournament and worthy winners. I did expect a better fight from Argentina but it just wasn’t Messi’s day, if he is poor or snuffed out so are the rest of the team.
        Reminiscence of Blues last season, snuff out Burke and Zig and we never had alternative options.
        KRO+DNM

    • mark says:

      Blues winning the legends cup that do for me staffs lol

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I’ve got bored and tired of the travelling from London. I used to live 15 minutes walk from Euston so it wasn’t too bad but I’ve just moved to the East End which makes it a longer commute. I’ll still probably do 20-25 games this season but most will be away as I actually enjoy the experience. The last 2 seasons it’s been a penance travelling up for home games – especially night games. Getting home at 1am after watching absolute dross is too much to stomach now.

  • Chris W says:

    I suppose it is a good thing the players believe in themselves individually as well as a team. Obviously results will either instil or kill confidence, but more importantly consistency in team selection has to be paramount.
    The important thing for fans is a team they can associate with and call their own. But it is also important for LC knows his best XI and to have faith in them.
    It is a difficult decision whether to renew or not, the fact that we have seen no investment to strengthen the team, there now appears to be no change in ownership in the foreseeable future, coupled with our dismal home record and a board that didn’t seem to care, resulted in apathy from the supporters. There is also the pricing of season tickets, when the cheap tickets go on sale anywhere in the ground and nothing is offered to ST holders who pay the extra price, they get nothing in return, unless you count a underpriced gift voucher for the club shop just reward.
    AS with every season we all get excited, have our own expectations, this is what makes the English leagues so different from other leagues, as Burnley proved last season, anyone can be successful or like Norwich and Fulham, so does failure.
    KRO+DNM

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    I like the look of some of our new players who do appear to have a bit of energy about them. Let’s hope they train well ;-).

  • ESONEULB says:

    This season will just be about going through the motions… I am fed up of going through the motions…. I will always KRO and may go to the odd away game… But for mow on my long Birmingham City journey I am going to sit on a park bench and watch the world go by until we stop just going through the motions…. If nothing else it will stop me being so angry all the time..

    KRO


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