Often Partisan

Inverness, Facebook and Tom Ross

Birmingham City completed their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday. Goals from Lee Novak, Demarai Gray and a Paul Caddis penalty were enough to ensure Blues kept their 100% pre-season record in tact.

I have to say it’s pleasing how well Blues have done this pre-season; new players seem to have slotted in well and Lee Clark has been given food for thought about his first XI for the trip to Middlesbrough next weekend. I wasn’t able to make the game but my good friend Matthew over at bluetintedspecs was, and his report makes excellent reading.

Off the pitch, it seems not much has changed. Over in Hong Kong nearly a billion shares were traded on Friday with the share price dropping a further 13.89% as it looked like smaller shareholders were once again bailing out of the company with a further dilution of their stockholdings possible due to the proposed conversion bond. As I write this at 7am BST the share price is still fairly constant at HK$0.09 – below the conversion price for the 1.2billion proposed new shares.

From reading Facebook on Friday it appears that the whole conversion bond thing was too much for Tom Ross. I will put on record here and now that I really like Tom as a person and as a broadcaster; I know how much he cares about Blues and I’ve often thought in many ways he represents the man on the street well because of when I’ve been on his programme he’s asked me the same questions the man on the street would ask.

Tom made six posts on Facebook on Friday about the deal – and from reading them I wonder how much the whole thing has confused everyone else; he talked about how shambolic it was that after two years of a sale process the whole thing was shambolic; how he didn’t understand if the HKSE had turned down the idea of selling the club in tranches; how he believed that Pannu would be leaving the club in September and how he hoped Panos Pavlakis would expedite the sale of the club due to him being in Birmingham for the foreseeable future.

I think the fact BIH have made an announcement that more money is coming into the company to help with the “potential acquisition” of another company is proof positive that the company is trying to comply with the HKSE; while it has never been made public what the HKSE want (nor will it be), I’m led to believe by various sources that there is dialogue between the company and the regulators and that this process will help BIH down the path to selling the club.

I thought it was interesting Tom Ross has broken ranks and talked about the rumours of Pannu’s departure in September as well. It’s something I’ve heard a lot of late and I can understand why; his consultancy agreement with Carson was signed for a period of five years beginning in September 2009 and thus will be up next month and my understanding from sources in Hong Kong is that contract will not be renewed. There have been rumours that his management contract with the club is also up at the end of the September and will not be renewed either but I have less verification on that. Regardless of either point, Pannu will remain a director of BCFC and BIH until he is either disqualified, removed via election or he quits.

Disqualification of a director requires the director to have committed an infraction that forces the board to remove him; I cannot see that happening in Pannu’s case. Pannu was re-elected to the BIH board at the AGM in May 2013 for a period of three years; I’m not entirely sure how it works here in the UK but as BCFC and Birmingham City PLC are no longer publicly listed I don’t believe there is any re-election process – which all leaves the third option.

Whether Mr Pannu will resign or not is unknown; I would posit that it would be possible he would look for another role elsewhere if his esteemed services are not recompensed in the manner he believes he deserves due to the expiration of his contracts but it also begs the question why Mr Pannu’s resignation is seen as so important by Tom Ross particularly if his wages would be presumably reduced by the expiration of his management and consultancy contracts.

All in all, I think it’s one of those things where we have to wait and see; for now let’s enjoy the success we’ve had on the pitch in pre-season and hope it translates into points come Saturday at the Riverside.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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211 Responses to “Inverness, Facebook and Tom Ross”

  • Mark Galloway says:

    I have learnt from all this that there is little point in conjecture but just to wait for hard facts.

    I await the new season with interest. I have never taken pre-season as anything other than a guide to team organisation and management strategy for the coming campaign.

    To that end this pre-season has gone well but it means nothing until a ball is kicked in anger. Frankly some of the over top reporting by the Mail in particular has been farcical in my opinion. If we avoid defeat at the Riverside and follow this up with a first win at home since I don’t know when then perhaps…….

    KRO

    • Geoff S says:

      Mark.

      I think your point about conjecture is important, not least as fans must be sick to the back teeth of false dawns on the ownership front.

      As far as the “Mail” is concerned, when was the last time this rag did Blues any favours?

      • Richard Granfield says:

        Geoff S…..Yes, and what did the Roman’s ever do for us as well?

        • Geoff S says:

          Colin Tattum does what he can but he is a journo and not an editor-in-chief. Do you think the “Mail” does Blues many favours?

          Also, I thought “Holy Grail” was better than “Life Of Brian”.

          • Richard Granfield says:

            What “favours” are you looking for?

          • Geoff S says:

            Maybe you have taken the word “favours” too literally. The fact is that, as far as football goes, many Blues fans have rightly spotted that the “Mail” is almost slavishly pro-AV and, in that sense, it does Blues no favours.

          • Raymondo says:

            These days the the Birmingham Mail is owned by Trinity Newspapers. The Daily Mirror in other words. Enough said!

          • Steve says:

            Tbf,he’s not going to print anything that could upset Blues or cost him his job.he needs to be on the inside at Blues.

        • AussieBlue says:

          Icknield Street RG?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Now there was a street with real character… and real characters. :-)

          • Raymondo says:

            My dad was born in Icknield Street, Hockley and my mom in Freeth Street round the corner.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            My Nan ran a boarding house on the corner of Monument Road (next to the bank.) Later, she moved to Hingeston Street. Myself and my Dad both worked for Bulpitts. It was a cracking area back then.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    According to recent local news items, Mel Eves has been informed by the buying consortium, that the latest BIHL actions are a precursor to the sale and that the sale is very much alive. So good news on and off the field as we approach our first game!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I would imagine that every waking hour Lee Clark has this week will be devoted to thinking about which eleven players he picks for Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough.
    Does he pick the eleven players that have performed the best in pre season individually? Or does he pick the best combination of players in defence, midfield and attack? Which formation? Will it be 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1?
    These are the questions that Clark and his coaches will ponder upon this week. But whoever he picks Demarai Gray’s performances have demanded HIS inclusion.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    To be fair to those who are confused about the “sale” of the club…. is it really any wonder?

  • Chris W says:

    A good and positive pre-season has given LC plenty to think about.
    From reports written in numerous columns I think he will start 4-2-3-1 with Donaldson replacing Thomas.
    His biggest dilemma will be to start Gray, who has been exceptional in pre-seasons and thoroughly deserves his chance or will he go for experience in either Cotterill or Duffy. Another so-so performance by Randolph who doesn’t seem to have learnt from last seasons errors when facing corners and poor ball distribution at times, should see Colin Doyle start in my opinion. The only other spot I am not sure is a definite would be Neal Eardley, something tells me he is a weak link, against Callie I thought he looked lazy and constantly caught out of position.
    As for the shenanigans in Hong Kong, we just have to wait and see, we can not alter or have very little influence in what is happening.
    We can get behind the team and LC and hopefully the missing supporters will return to ST Andrews and make it a fortress once again.
    Looking forward to another roller coaster season starting at Middlesbrough.
    KRO+DNM

    • Staffs Blue says:

      For me, Randolph is the weak link, as he showed once again on Saturday. One thing that does irk me about most goalkeepers these days and not just Randolph. Why do they insist on kicking the ball as high as the floodlights every time they take goal kicks or drop kicks? In this day and age, when every team doesn’t have a big, burley centre forward, what’s the point in launching the ball? The opposing centre backs, who are facing the ball, will easily swallow up such kicks, giving our striker very little chance of winning the headers. Let’s try to play out from the back a bit more.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Yes Chris, Eardley is a bit weak, but slightly better than Caddis defensively. I noticed, when Cally scored their goal, that Eardley was about to head it from under the bar, but two Cally players came racing in.. one shoulder charged Eardley, whilst the other headed in. There’s not much you can do about that. Could have been a foul imo.

        What did you think of Grounds? He played ok, but tended to drift a bit too far inside I thought, leaving Novak to cover the left back spot a lot of the time… which left us without an out ball down the left touchline. Just a thought.

        • Chris W says:

          Personally I would put Hancox in Grounds place and move him to centre-back alongside Hall with Edgar just in front of them, but then Gunning has done well.
          Lets just say I’m glad I am not LC, he has quite a refreshing dilemma with all the players making selection difficult.
          KRO+DNM

          • dave mann says:

            its true to say chris that lee does have some tough decisions to make with personel and formations but thats great for competition and all of us on here could pick a different starting 11 and none of us could really critisise anybody elses…..its lees dilema but i just hope that he doesent tinker to much with the team and formations like last season but ive got a feeling it will be the same old same old…..i certainly would not start with the 11 on saturday against cally but thats my opinion. KRO.

          • Chris W says:

            I agree Dave, I hope that with the personal he has bought in he won’t have to tinker this season, injuries and maybe formations for home and away being the norm.
            Going forward I would play Donaldson from the start possibly leaving Thomas on the bench. Midfield didn’t create too much, seemed a little static, not sure Adeyemi and Edgar work well together, they both want to take control, IMO.
            It is defence where we seem to have the biggest dilemma.
            You have seen them more, but I don’t think they have really been tested. Notts was very poor and rarely got into our half, I think a half decent pub team could have given a tougher game. Callie threatened early and could have taken the lead but then fizzled to a slow passing game, the only other threat came from a corner that Randolph showed where his weakness is, whether it was a foul or not on Eardley, the balll should not have got there.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Maybe Clark might have to think about trying to bring in another goalkeeper.

          • dave mann says:

            i dont think he will , hes said thats it now and if he did bring someone else in it would not be a goalkeeper imo. KRO.

          • Geoff S says:

            You may be right.

          • dave mann says:

            totaly agree on the booing of players Geoff, cant stand it and is totaly against any principles i have as being a supporter,
            the more you boo the worse it gets so ive never understand why people do it but its there perogative if there regular supporters so thats my view on that…….i think weve got a desent no 3 goalie anyway geoff but as you say pal you never know!! KRO.

          • Geoff S says:

            No 3 goalkeeper would be Townsend or Preston? Both very inexperienced but they have to be given a chance at some point.

            A decent manager should ensure players performing badly for more than a couple of matches are replaced (the beauty of a good squad with cover and options) and given a run in the old stiffs to remind them to fight for their places and improve their confidence.

          • Chris W says:

            Agree with the No 3 keeper, Nick townsend is another Jack Butland, (Whatever happened to him? Oh yea, he left for premier football, not), anyway, I was surprised he didn’t get a run out in a friendly, he did pretty well at Lincoln last season so expect him to move up a division on loan this season.
            Also agree on booing, Keepers make mistakes which usually lead to goals, but I would never boo one or any other player.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            Come on Chris.Butland had no choice.Fair play to him turning down Chelsea cause he wanted to play.

          • Chris W says:

            Sorry steve I don’t buy that “He had no choice”, he signed on the dotted line, there is a simple word called NO! I believe he was bullied into signing or even threatened, but he hasn’t been heard or seen since.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            I know he plays for the dark side,but i’d be happy if we could do a loan deal for Shay Given.

          • Geoff S says:

            If players are good enough, I’m content to see Blues bring in players from B6 if need be but how old is Given?

          • Geoff S says:

            As you were, Given is 38.

          • Steve says:

            Only a loan. Keepers play a lot longer now Geoff

          • Geoff S says:

            I accept your point, Steve.

          • Geoff S says:

            Chris W.

            It might be no bad thing that Blues have more than one player who might want to take control of midfield. It seems to be a case of only playing one such player at a time (it is a squad game, after all and injuries never seem to be far away).

            I never thought that Blues’ “engine room” was harmed when, at different times, players like Howard Kendall and Mark Ward operated as “midfield Generals”.

          • Chris W says:

            I’m not saying it is a bad thing, I just questioned whether they can play at the same time together. We know that Tom was susceptible to injury last season so it makes sense to have cover, Edgars can also play central defence too.
            As for midfielders, modern day has to be Robbie Savage for me I would certainly have Howard Kendall up there but my overall favourite was the Late Johnny Vincent.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Vincent was a marvellous passer. Only Frank Worthington had a comparible left-foot, IMO. However, I thought Kendall’s ability to lead, pass and break down the opposition’s midfield perhaps gave him the all-round edge.

          • Chris W says:

            We got Kendall when he was over his peak, Johnny came through the ranks so was young and fresh, he scored more goals and was more attack minded, he also had his secret weapon, the long throw.
            As you say many will have different names depending on their era, Allan Campbell was another talented midfielder as was Jimmy calderwood, both from the seventies. From my early days before midfielders it was the old Half backs that ran the game and for me Terry Hennessey has to be in my top 3.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Wasn’t Howard Kendall about 28 when Blues signed him? That’s not old for a footballer. I thought Kendall was marvellous for Blues (although not playing with the sort of quality Everton could boast in their midfield in the early 1970s with the likes of Alan Ball and Colin Harvey).

            The real problem at the time was losing such a proven goalscorer as Bob Latchford in the transfer exchange with Everton where Latch went north and Kendall, Archie Styles (an ordinary left-back) and about £90,000 in cash came in the opposite direction.

            The great Terry Hennessey had sadly left Blues before I started going to St Andrew’s but I suppose it is worth at least imagining what a Blues midfield may have been like with Hennessey, Kendall and Vincent lining up together.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I always loved the late, great Trevor Hockey. Blimey that guy’s enthusiasm and energy was infectious. Skillful bugger too . Hockey, Hockey, Hockey… Oi Oi Oi!!! :)

          • Richard Granfield says:

            In my youth I used to play for Garretts Green Technical College in the Solihull Youth League and Trevor Hockey used to come to the college to coach us once a week. He was very supportive and a great motivator.

          • Steve says:

            I was talking about Hockey with somebody this morning Staffs. This bloke reckons Hockey was a bit like George Best off the field. Apparently Trevor had spent a month training with this blokes team because he’d been a naughty boy.Blues had dropped him and wouldn’t let him train. He used to turn up in a Jag and say ” If Blues want to pay me 90 quid a week to make the tea,carry on “

          • Staffs Blue says:

            He was certainly a player… and a character by the sounds of it. :-)

          • Chris W says:

            Great crowd pleaser and not a bad singer, almost sure he recorded a rendition to the song of “Wind Rain Sleet or Snow”
            Loved him as a player and as a man.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Was that the Harvey Andrews song?

          • Chris W says:

            Got me there, I know the song but who did the original I haven’t a clue, but I am sure Trevor Hockey did a copy.
            KRO+DNM

          • Richard Granfield says:

            I don’t agree with you regarding Kendall being over his peak when he joined us. He signed in February 1974 (with Archie Styles) at the age of 27.

          • Chris W says:

            Thought he was older, I recall he was part of the deal that took Bob Latchford to Everton.
            He still ranks in my top 5 of class midfielders.
            KRO+DNM

          • Richard Granfield says:

            Kendall was born 22nd May 1946. He was the youngest player to feature in a FA Cup final when he played for Preston in their 2-3 defeat to West Ham in 1964.

          • Chris W says:

            I remember watching that cup final, Jim Standen was West Ham keeper who also played cricket for Worcestershire, my granddad was a fan of his.
            KRO+DNM

          • Richard Granfield says:

            Chris W……. Jim Standen was the best cover point fielder I have ever seen.

          • Chris W says:

            I know my grandad use to rave about him and he was a Warwicks fan.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Chris W;, Terry Hennessey, All time great, Pity he moved to Australia, — We missed him whilst he was still in his prime,

          • AussieBlue says:

            Oldbluenose, yes indeed, Hennessey was a feature when I used to go to every game as a lad in the 60s. He’d be 72 now and FYI was interviewed in Australia 7 years ago here:
            http://cards.littleoak.com.au/special_pages/interviews/terry_hennessey_2007.html

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Aussie Blue;, bloody good job that you had included that piece, matey. memory must be failing [ again, lol ], I had forgotten he had moved on to Derby, before USA and then Oz;,

          • Chris W says:

            What a fascinating interview, I have fond memories of watching him play for Blues when I first started watching him play, I think it was his bald head, my dad had a similar haircut….Said it was the way I swung on it.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            We sold him to Nottingham forest who sold him to Derby. He then went to Tamworth who he also managed before jetting off to America.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I remember him mainly at Forest. Always cool and calm.

          • dave mann says:

            cant pick one, wont pick one. KRO.

          • Steve says:

            I’ve never been that impressed with Hancox Chris. Running around beating your chest and kissing the badge in front of the fans isn’t enough.

          • Chris W says:

            Fair point, but he got the ball forward quicker than Grounds. Obviously you can’t read too much into friendlies, what matters is from Saturday onwards. I have only watched two friendlies so can’t really comment, just from what I noticed at Notts, who really were poor, and Callie who did give the defence and midfield more to think about, not a lot I admit.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I thought Callie played the ball around quite well. But we were so tight and quick to close them down, they had trouble making any headway. As I said before, I was quite impressed with our work rate off the ball.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’ve wondered lately if both Hancox and Reilly will actually make it as first choice players. Cut them and they both bleed pure blue, and they both have enough heart for 3 teams, but that’s not always enough. Hancox is still suspect defensively and, although he puts himself about a bit, Reilly’s passing is atrocious most of the time. I’m hoping both have improved their weak points this season.

      • dave mann says:

        i agree staffs that randolph does make the odd howler but i dont trust doyle as far as i could throw him so for me he has to play and the side i think lee will go with ( but not my side ) is randolph, caddis, hall, gunning, grounds, adeyemi, gleeson, duffy, coterill, novak, donaldson in a 4-2-3-1 formation, i would tweak it with gray instead of duffy and maybe edgar instead of gunning but ime buzzing about boro saturday and cant wait to get upthere and have the crack, bring it on, KRO & LOL.

        • AussieBlue says:

          Had a watch of the Cally Thistle game and was dead set impressed by the formations, pace, passing and aggression show by our new squad. Randolph strikes me a mercurial – when he’s on fire he’s great but subject to brain snaps such as being in the centre forward’s position half way down the pitch when Thistle headed that corner home. Mate, you’re called a GOAL keeper for a reason! ;-) Anyway, a great lead-up to the campaign; I’m chuffed…let’s see what happens against stiffer competition. I reckon some good teams are going to be eating some of our faster players’ dust!

          • dave mann says:

            looking good AussieBlue but as you said boro will be a stern test as our record up there is not good but ive just got a feeling that a win is gonna happen. KRO.

          • AussieBlue says:

            We’re a new force Davo, an unkown quantity to teams who might have have previously dominated us. Anything can happen. I’m with you on the win mate!

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think Clark got it spot on in the midfield. I was amazed how many attacks we mopped up before they even got near the defence. The thing that stood out the most for me, was the fact that every player worked hard for everyone else. The covering was brilliant. We’ve never had good enough players to do that before.

            The one thing that kind of baffles me, is what is Adeyemi supposed to be? Defensive, attacking? Everytime I see him, he gives the impression of a headless chicken. Running around, but not actually doing a lot. I’m sure someone will enlighten me.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Adeyemi Staffs – a ‘Harrier’ perhaps?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Savage was a harrier… and a bloomin’ effective one at that. I’m still to be convinced about Adeyemi.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Yes Staffs, I loved Robbie too despite his big head. It pays to have someone scampering all over the park and taking attention away from the forwards and wingers. Every now and then they can also get lucky or cause mistakes by sheer frustration. You blokes are closer to the action, can’t really say for sure on Adeyemi.

          • dave mann says:

            I said last season staffs that I wasent sure of adeyemi but as vice captain lee will pick him…I would go brown and Gleeson but again its all down to opinions.KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I just don’t know what he’s supposed to be/do.

            I do think Edgar would be a solid base in midfield, but it’s who else you’d put in there with him. It might be a bit early for Brown to be a regular, but who knows. I’d go with Gleeson, with Gray/Duffy on the right and Cotterill on the left. There seems a nice balance with those 4 players.

          • dave mann says:

            yes seems good staffs but at this moment I prefer gray to duffy from what ive seen. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I like a winger to be a bit more direct, instead of always cutting inside. So, I was pleased to see Gray mixing it up a bit. As for Duffy, he wasn’t given the ball enough to be able to see what he has to offer going forward.

          • Geoff S says:

            The vice-captain thing is key here.

          • Chris W says:

            That was my thinking in, can he and Edgars play in the same role, last season we had Huws and Adeyemi, one going forward while the other held back, Saturday it seemed that both were unsure who was going to go where.
            But I like your point on mopping up before the defence was to troubled.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Yes, that really impressed me. After the opposition driving double-decker buses through the middle of us all last season, it was good to see it nice and tight in there. They got through a couple of times, but you would expect that. But Lee Clark seems to have finally got through to them, that they need to work as hard when we don’t have the ball, as when we do have it.

          • Steve says:

            Tbh staffs,if Cardiff come back with a decent offer,i’d let him go.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            *whisper* Me too!

          • Steve says:

            Looks like it could be happening Staffs. Now the request has gone in get him out straight away and try and get a replacement in. Didn’t somebody on an earlier blog say that this was going to happen ?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Where’d you hear that Steve? If it’s true, fair enough, but if he does go, will Lee Clark get the money to replace him.. or do we have enough in the group already?

          • Steve says:

            sky sports news are reporting it Staffs.

          • Chris W says:

            Just checked it out on Sky sports news web site. They understand that Adeyemi has put in a transfer request stating he said it was time to move on.
            As I said earlier, no loyalty or gratitude.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Sod him. We have better players at the club now. Lee Clark will have a real dilemma now though….. he has to pick a new vice-captain. ;)

          • Steve says:

            Thing is chris,the top earners are on £5k a week and he isn’t a top earner so i don’t blame him.But when he goes i just wish he would say it was for more money.He won’t though.

          • Chris W says:

            As vice captain I would have thought he would be up there wages wise.
            But if it is for more money i would have thought he would look at a premier club as I think he will get more games at Blues if he stays fit.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            He was only made VC this season so his money wouldn’t of changed otherwise it would have been a new contract. He isn’t near the 5k a week. Also if it is Cardiff they have large parachute payments to play with. I don’t think he’s a premier player mate. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Chris W says:

            I would have thought it would be paid as a bonus for being VC, I’m sure he wouldn’t do it for nothing. Footballers rarely do anything for nothing, even appearances at hospices, Schools or functions are written into their contracts.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Wasn’t it Blueboy88?

      • Chris W says:

        I agree, we have players now who can play the ball through the midfield rather than the big heave ho.
        How about Robbo playing in place of Eardley, he is captain but hasn’t played much during pre-season, is he being groomed more for the backroom?
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          My son was sat next to me and, even in the first 15 minutes, he commented how refreshing it was not to see the long ball lumped up to Zigic. Our one and two-touch passing was impressive.

          • Chris W says:

            From what I have seen it is refreshing to see the ball played out instead of the hoof it we often reverted too, just hope we continue to do so even when things get tough.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We have the speed and skill to play a passing game now. I’d just like us to use the wings a bit more and I’ll be very happy with what we have.

      • Geoff S says:

        I wonder if Staffs Blue or anybody else brackets Darren Randolph with Gary Sprake (i.e. capable of very good saves but coupled with howlers of rather large proportions)…

        • dave mann says:

          well sprakes debut for blues was quite memorable but lets stop criticising randolph and lets get behind him because he will be the no1 this season whatever and he has saved us on one or two occassions also,. KRO.

          • Chris W says:

            While I’ll agree with getting behind the players who don the Royal Blue whoever plays, I have to differ regarding Randolph saving us.
            If he had been more decisive in commanding his box or setting walls we would not have conceded so many goals which in turn could have earned us more points.
            My only early criticism is he does not seem to have improved in that area of his play. Time will tell and I look forward to being proved wrong.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            What do you mean let’s stop criticising Randolph.If he deserves it,he’s going to get it.At the moment he deserves it.He has kept us in games in the past i agree.But that dreadful mistake against Bolton could have been a disastrous one. As i’ve said before,Clark has a big decision to make on who plays in goal.Let’s hope he makes the right one. I know that there are people on here that won’t be critical of anything to do with Blues,but sometimes it’s justified.

          • dave mann says:

            no big decision to make steve cuz it aint gonna be doyle,,
            some people tend to forget the save he made against Bolton when it was 2-1, ok it was is mistake for the second goal but
            he made up for it afterwards, doyle is a box of mistakes..lets hope lee doesent make the change cuz if doyle was that good he wouldn’t still be with us..hes been out on loan numerous times and the buggers still end up sending him back!!! KRO.

          • Steve says:

            I disagree.Zig and Caddis made up for his mistake. Randolph doesn’t command enough and doesn’t accept responsibility for his mistakes.

          • dave mann says:

            Randolph is not the only player who makes mistakes steve.,being the goalie magnifies his position but in friendlies ive been to this season I could also criticise Thomas for missed chances, brown for missed chances, duffy for replicating everything burke was bad at, adeyemi for being non effective…..and the biggest mistake of all is still having doyle….I think you no where ime coming from on this one mate….the season kicks of Saturday, lets criticise or praise when the real games begin. KRO.

          • Steve says:

            Criticise or praise when the real games begin ? Looking at some of your pre season posts,we’ll be in the prem next season. Doyle has stayed at Blues for personal reasons and i,m not going to criticise him for that, Imo,he deserves a chance as Randolph hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory.We all know keepers mistakes are magnified,but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticised or dropped.As i say,let’s hope Clark makes the right decision because i don’t think fans will be so lenient towards him this season.

          • dave mann says:

            all ive said in my pre season posts steve is that weve looked better than last season….ive not once said that were be anywhere near the premiership, I said were finish between 8th and 12th, that’s not even playoffs pal so get your facts right before judging my opinions………as for Randolph if he messes up this season frequently then his position is under threat but if doyle comes in it aint gonna get any better. KRO.

          • Steve says:

            I never said that you said we would be in the play offs. So get your facts right pal before you judge my opinion of your opinion. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • dave mann says:

            steve, i said not even playoffs you said my posts were looking at ” were be in the premiership next season ” which his garbage….8th and 12 th is neither playoffs or premiership so stop putting words in to opinions. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            On the subject of keepers.. I see Roy Carroll has joined Notts County today. How long has he been going now? 50 years? lol

          • Chris W says:

            Certainly seems to have been around for ever, had his best spell at Wigan if I remember.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Just checked. In his first season, 1995, he played 46 games for Hull. 20 years ago nearly.

          • Chris W says:

            Must have been young to still be around and playing.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            He’s 37

          • Staffs Blue says:

            18. He was born in 1977 (same as my eldest daughter.)

        • Oldbluenose says:

          Very well said Geoff S;, Apt comparison indeed, mate.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Sprake was brilliant for Leeds… but I think his brain went on holiday when he joined us.

          • Steve says:

            Gary Sprake the big mistake i remember him being called.

          • Geoff S says:

            We may have to avoid mentioning the name of Jim Herriot at this rate…

          • Steve says:

            The Vet?

          • Geoff S says:

            The vet who took his pen-name from the one-time Blues ‘keeper.

          • Chris W says:

            This came about following a man of the match display at Manchester United despite losing 6-2.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Was that a reply after an FA Cup tie at St Andrew’s between Blues and Man U finished 2-2 where George Best conceded a disputed penalty which “Sugar” Robinson converted?

          • Chris W says:

            Thats the one, we got well hammered at Old trafford but Jim herriot kept the score down.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Good man, James.

          • Chris W says:

            He made nearly 200 appearances in 6 seasons played for Scotland 8 times while with the Blues, yes he made mistakes but we had forwards scoring more goals than we conceded in that era.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Herriot was indeed an international cap and Blues certainly had plenty of goal-scoring power in those days so the “goals scored” column was usually healthier than the “goals against”. However, Blues were surely much better off “between the sticks” immediately after Herriot with Mike Kelly, the young Dave Latchford or Paul Cooper.

          • Chris W says:

            Blues have always had an abundance of decent keepers from Harry Hibbs and Gil Merrick through to Ian Bennett and Maik Taylor.
            My one of my favourites was Johnny Schofield.
            Those mentioned might have been better keepers but we had lost our fire power by then.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            I agree with what you say about Blues and decent goalkeepers. There are a few names that could be added to your list including Tony Coton and David Seaman. Blues had a goalkeeper around the time of Harry Hibbs (my old dad’s favourite Blues ‘keeper) called Frank E Clack. I don’t what Clack was like but that name is an absolute belter…

          • Chris W says:

            Blues have always seemed to be lucky with finding young talented Keepers. Some of the established keepers we have purchased have been either over the hill or consistently poor. There have been exceptions I know, but few and far between.
            Love the name but not one I have heard of.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            Jim Montgomery

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I truly believe that keepers back then were far better than today’s.

          • Chris W says:

            It was a different game back then, heavier ball and a more physical, so they had to be stronger and more agile.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Remember Big Neville Southall? What a keeper… but looking at his size, he should have been a midfield destroyer. lol

          • Chris W says:

            More like a battleship and not a pocket one either..KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            Gentleman Jim, he is still big in sunderland and does a meet and greet on matchdays.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            And his hands, more butter fingers.
            KRO+DNM

      • Raymondo says:

        I think a goal keeper should always aim to keep position by throwing the ball out to a team-mate. Booting it up the field where anyone might get it is giving the ball away!

        • Staffs Blue says:

          One of the best for starting attacks with a throw, was Ray Clemence. He was the best “sweeper” in the game too.

  • Poppa999 says:

    Thistle website says Blues victory was undeserved. Cheek! Could easily been 5 or 6-1. I was amazed how difficult a SPL side found breaking down our defence. They had plenty of possession but only one cheap tap-in to show for their efforts. Daily Mail yesterday had us down as one of three strugglers this season. Cheeks again!

    • dave mann says:

      Poppa999, let them all gang up on us and have there little digs mate but we were BETTER than cally and will finish NOWHERE near the bottom three, take my word for it…for what its worth. KRO.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Hear hear! We should be used to the press being against us by now. Sod the lot of ’em. We’ll do it without their support!

  • Agent McLeish says:

    To be honest I’ve had enough of the endless speculation over a possible sale. It would also be a shock if BIHL have a business plan at all as the evidence to date suggests otherwise. BIHL appear to be a disjointed rag bag of chancers rather than a coherent business. Remember that this is a ‘company’ that cannot even perform basic business functions such as filing accounts on time. Anything that BIHL do will be purely reactionary and not based on any strategy.
    Good luck to the team against Boro, looks like a good value away bet at 4/1.

    • Art says:

      Couldn’t agree more and best of luck to the team on Saturday.

      I hope Mr Clark proves me wrong and we finish mid table but I have my doubts-it’s a new team that needs to bed in and hopefully Clark will allow them to do this without tinkering with the tactics and the team.If he keeps knee jerking like he did last year we will struggle again.

      Time will tell.

      Tick tock!

    • Geoff S says:

      Well said, Agent Mac.

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    After a fantastic pre season I can’t wait for the new season to start. I personally think LC should try to play 442 home and away. I really like Adeyemi and Edgar in the middle. It is possibly the strongest centre pairing we’ve had for a while. Going forward we look really good though defensively we still look a bit suspect.
    Gray has looked excellent in pre season and should start versus boro. Apart from Hall I’m not sure at all who our back 4 should consist of. I’d probably go with

    Randolph
    Caddis Hall Robbo Hancox
    Gray Adeyemi Edgar Cotterill
    Donaldson Novak

    Lee Clark will probably pick

    Randolph
    Eardley Hall Gunning Grounds
    Adeyemi Edgar
    Duffy Gleeson Novak
    Donaldson

    Just noticed that if we had a striker whose name started with the letter Y the letters on the left would read READY. So we’re nearly READY just need to sign Yakubu.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Haha! Nice one. I was impressed with Hall too. It was good to see a centre back who could bring the ball out and play it simple.. instead of just crashing it upfield. I’d like to see us build more from the back this season. I was a bit disappointed when Duffy and Cotteril came on, we didn’t get the ball to them enough to see what they can do. Got to give points to Duffy and Novak for their defensive work covering the full backs though.

      • Chris W says:

        Not sure how Cotterill and Duffy are going to fit in at the moment, Either gray or Novak are going to be left out. I think it would be unfair on Gray as he has certainly deserved his place in the friendlies.
        I think defensively we are in a better shape than last season and hopefully playing the higher line will be more to our advantage in breaking up play and not reliant on the big heave ho out of danger.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Only thing with Novak playing wide left, is that would mean playing 4-2-3-1.. which would be fine away from home. If we’re talking 4-4-2, I’d go with experience… at least for the first few games.

          • Chris W says:

            I would go with Novak at Middlesbrough in 4-2-3-1 with Donaldson up front, maybe bring Gray on when the defenders are tiring second half.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’d go along with that. And, if need be, we have the players now to switch to 4-4-2 if necessary.

  • Euston 9:15. says:

    Any news on are ex 70 grand a week “cough cough” goalscorer ?

    • Geoff S says:

      Surely he is not part of the Blues equation any more.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I’ll be shocked if anyone in England takes him on. His wages are premier league wages.. but who in the prem would have him? Although, Sam Allardyce is looking for a replacement for Carroll… and we all know how Big Sam loves a foreign veteran. ;)

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Sky Sports is reporting that Tom Adeyemi has handed in a transfer request!
    Big shock.

    • Chris W says:

      Whos turned his head or does he think he is bigger than the club?
      Unless Jordon Mutch has persuaded him to move to Cardiff.
      He has a year left on his contract so lets hope they don’t let him go on the cheap.
      There is just no loyalty in football today, and contracts don’t seem to be worth the paper they are written on.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        So much for the vice-captaincy! Not irreplaceable. As Steve said, get him out quickly to save him upsetting a settled squad.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I have to be honest, there are players at the club who I would miss a lot more.

          • Richard Granfield says:

            With Blues paying low wages all our players are vulnerable to clubs with money!

          • Staffs Blue says:

            That’s true.. but it’s about time we told clubs with silly offers to bugger off. I know we got Adeyemi on a free, but we’ve invested a lot in him. But, what price loyalty? Not a lot it would seem.

        • Chris W says:

          Personally I would stick him with the kids until his contract runs out, but if we sell him make sure we get the right price and reinvest it in the team.
          KRO+DNM

        • Geoff S says:

          I see Blues have issued a statement on the BCFC website rejecting the approach from a Championship club (for now). However, your no-nonsense suggestion of getting the matter resolved quickly (one way or the other) is probably the right way to look at this.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It HAS to be resolved asap. Our first match is in 4 days. Adeyemi has to play no part in plans now, so let’s move on and support the rest of the squad for Saturday. Get shot of Adeyemi, take the money and say thank you very much.

          • Chris W says:

            Agree with the playing no part in Saturdays plans but the club MUST negotiate a deal and not on the cheap, Adeyemi has to be worth at least £2 Million plus with add-ons.
            I’m not sure Cardiff is the best place for him, I can see them struggling under Solskjær and they are losing good players too.

            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I really don’t see Cardiff pulling up any trees tbh… no matter how many millions they have. There will be far stronger teams than them in the division.

      • Steve says:

        If it’s true that the Club have enough money for this season,then there is no reason to sell him on the cheap. He has to be worth more than a million.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Definitely, he’s only 22/23 with at least 10 years ahead of him. He’s a regular first XI player and our vice-captain. I would ask £1.5-2m.

        • Chris W says:

          I’d ask for 2 and be prepared to accept 1.5 plus add ons.
          As Staffs said we have invested a lot in bringing the player is out.
          KRO+DNM

      • Richard Granfield says:

        Jordan Mutch looks like he is on his way to QPR.

      • Tony says:

        I said at the outset this kid is distinctly average and I stick by that, he has obviously been got at, what kind of money are we talking here? if its a million let him go.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    My opinion on Adeyemi, for what it’s worth, is that he’s been tapped up. There obviously was no thought in his head of leaving when he accepted the vice-captaincy and, it would seem, there was no thought of handing in a transfer request when he was selected for the team on Saturday.

    So for me, that means something has “occurred” between then and now.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Without Adeyemi, Edgar is a must for that holding role in midfield. The main selection problem now, is who to play alongside him. I have a feeling it might be Spector (hope not) or Caddis.

      • Chris W says:

        That solves my poser, can they both play together.
        I would initially go with Caddis, however, it could push Reilly up the pecking order if he has learnt to pass more consistently to a teammate.
        I thought he had some good games in midfield but wasn’t consistent in his performances and seemed to spend a lot of a game doing nothing.
        It could be an opportunity for Shinnie to step up to the plate.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I think it’s time Shinnie DID step up to the plate. He’s had a season to bed in now… it’s time he lived up to his previous nomination for “Scottish Player of The Year.”

          No one’s really sure if it’s in him or not. He’s shown the odd flash, but not much more. He has as much chance as anyone to stake a claim for a spot. It’s down to him if he wants it enough.

          • Chris W says:

            I think a decent run in the team will see Shinnie Shine, sorry.
            As you say he has shown glimpses but he hasn’t really had a run though he did play 28 games over last season.
            He should be settled now and take every chance he can.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Like I said, it’s down to the player. This is his best chance to nail down a spot.

    • Small Heath Blue says:

      Totally agree Staffs. The timing stinks.

    • Geoff S says:

      Is the story true or just Sky Sports rumour?

      Staffs. Your ‘tapped up’ theory makes sense (if the story is true). Why would a player be made vice-captain and then hand in a transfer request just a few days later?

      Perhaps this is a sign that Blues’ current wage-cap will mean more players might get their heads turned if some money-bags outfit comes calling and that would be down to the rubbish ownership the club is currently lumbered with.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        To be honest.. and people might disagree… but with the free transfers and Bosman’s we’ve brought in, every sale is a profit for the club. That’s fine, as long as Lee Clark is given at least half that fee for a replacement. That probably won’t ever happen, but it would at least soften the blow, for both Lee Clark and the fans.

        • Chris W says:

          Fair Point Staffs, but as you say LC won’t see any of the money raised from the sale, but it might be used by BIHL to fund any diversification which in turn could lead to a sale and change in ownership. Or it could just be lost down the sofa.
          KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I wonder if Clark could go to the board and say “Look, your going to sell a first team regular and our vice-captain. At least allow me to buy an adequate replacement.”

          • Chris W says:

            More interestingly would be the reply, “Sorry lee but we want to buy a new oil field which, is more important, a new midfielder or an oilfield which will allow us to sell the club”
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Although, there has been a slight shift in transfer policy. He’s been allowed to bring all his targets in early… and been allowed to relax the £5k p/w maximum in order to bring in Clayton Donaldson. So you never know. ;)

          • Chris W says:

            Like you optimism but I stick with my pessimism on this one.
            I appreciate that we are in a healthier position to when we sold Butland and Redmond but we still have the same board with the same financial failings.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I trust Lee Clark’s obvious negotiating charms. ;-)

          • Chris W says:

            Mmmm, good luck to him, BIHL seem to have a habit of losing money down the sofa until it suits them, we shall see. :-)
            KRO+DNM

    • Chris W says:

      Which makes me think of Jordan Mutch and Cardiff, if Mutch is moving to QPR as speculated and Cardiff have put in a bid or enquired about Adeyemi then his head has been turned as Cardiff can still offer Premier type wages.

      Blues need to do what is best for the club and the current squad and not what is best for the player, far too often players try to force a transfer (Robbie Savage) by throwing their dummies out.
      He signed a contract therefore he should honour it, strip him of his vice-captaincy and but him in the development squad.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        On this occasion Chris, I disagree. Get shot of him as quickly as we can. An unsettled player is an unsettling player. Bomb him out asap to keep the squad focussed. As OP said this morning, it opens the door for another player – maybe Brown – to stake his place.

        • Chris W says:

          I agree with the principal it just irks me that players, and clubs, sign contracts but rarely honour them, more so with players due to their agents involvement.
          As I said earlier it is probably his agent who has instigated this scenario, wouldn’t surprise me if Mutch has the same one.
          Drop him to the development squad while the issue is sorted and let him have no involvement with the first team preparations, or, as with managers, put him on gardening leave, I have a garden he can tend to.
          KRO+DNM.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Would a one year rolling contract work with players, as it does with managers? I don’t have a clue on these kind of things.

          • Chris W says:

            Basically, if I read it correctly, with a standard 2/3/4 year contract it is a fixed salary and if the party is sacked the remainder has to be paid in full.
            With a 12 month rolling contract a review in salary is negotiated every year with bonuses negotiated every quarter. If a party is sacked they are only entitled to a payment of 1 year from the day they were sacked.
            As players are very rarely sacked I don’t think it matters what contract they sign.
            I just wish when they sign a two year contract they honour it and so should other clubs, I thought that was the idea behind the transfer windows, they fall when contracts are up for renewal.
            I am probably completely wrong and no doubt someone here with more experience will put us both right.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Basically contracts and transfer windows are no longer fit for purpose. As usual these days, the only ones who benefit are the players. Oh.. and the agents.

          • Chris W says:

            I don’t think the player always benefits but the agent definitely.
            I always sigh when it is announced “Fred blogs has signed a 3 year contract” meaning he will not be there in 3 years time.
            KRO+DNM

  • Art says:

    If true it’s reflects badly on Clarks decision to make him Vice captain and I mentioned last week that I expected something like this to happen given the amount of money paid out on new players contracts.You can’t blame any player for wanting to leave the club-the owners are a complete shambles.

    • Small Heath Blue says:

      Any excuse to have a go at Clark! Are you for real!

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Yes, we know you hate Clark but even your perception of reality is getting confused by your hatred. Agree with you on the owners though!

      • Art says:

        My comment is based on Clarks knee jerk reaction following a bid which was rejected by the club.I think Clark was mindful of the possibility of losing a good prospect so making him vice captain would secure his service-his decision in my view was not based on the leadership qualities a VC should have-this is not only my view but also a view shared by the sport writer in the BM.

        And I do not hate Clark -I just think he’s a very poor man- manager .

        • Agent McLeish says:

          So you hate him then.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I thought it was a poor decision to make Adeyemi captain too.. and I said so at the time. It should have been either Edgar or Caddis imo.

          But, it was an even poorer decision by Adeyemi to accept it.

          • Chris W says:

            To be fair Staffs he probably thought he would still be here for the season when he accepted it, I also think there was some monetary enticement along with it as a way round the maximum wage, similar to the bonuses included in donaldsons contract.
            Like you say something has been said since saturday to bring about recent events.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’m not that bothered that he’s going, just the way it’s come about and that it upsets what has been a perfect pre-season and the preparations. It was almost guaranteed that he would have started on Saturday.

          • Chris W says:

            I wonder if LC will stick with him, after all he is still contracted to play?
            Obviously LC and coaches have set up to include TA and with only 3 days to change everything might cause more harm than good.
            Yet another dilemma for LC
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Reilly or Brown can slot in without too much disruption.

          • Chris W says:

            Brown shows promise but is inexperienced, Reilly has moments of Tritanopia, (the inability to see the colour Blue) when passing the ball.
            But yes both have the ability and opportunity to step up to the plate.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The other alternatives are Shinnie, Spector, Lee or Caddis… and the only one I’d pick from those, would be Caddis. I don’t think the others are good enough.

          • Chris W says:

            I’d probably go with Caddis but I think Shinnie should also be given a shot. Wasn’t that impressed with Lee when he did play and I am surprised Spector is still there, I think he might be loaned out this season.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think I’d send this side out against Boro.

            Randolph
            Eardley Hall Robinson Grounds
            Edgar Caddis
            Gray Gleeson Novak
            Donaldson

          • Chris W says:

            Only weak link I can see is Eardley, swap with Robinson, drop Edgar back and use Cotterill.
            KRO+DNM

          • Art says:

            I think choosing a young inexperienced player as the VC gives out the wrong message to the more experienced players and yes I agree Caddis would have been my choice.I can understand why Clark made the decision but I also thought at the time it would not work but sadly Clark felt differently.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Surely he had to give it a go though? It might have come off, but sadly money wins again.

          • Chris W says:

            I’d have given it to Caddis, after all isn’t he the longest serving experienced player after Robbo.
            KRO+DNM

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Reading all the comments so far, it seems that no one is really that upset with him going… just the way it’s come about… and the timing. So it’s goodbye and good luck Tom and thanks for the mem… the one season you gave us.


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