Often Partisan

Passion and Experimentation

Blues go into the international break on the back of a poor defeat to Cardiff City, their first reverse in five games. Goals from Eoin Doyle and a penalty from Peter Whittingham secured the points for the hosts who won their first home game since January 10.

As I didn’t make the trip to South Wales I can’t comment on individual performances but I can say that the result isn’t much more than I expected. While Cardiff haven’t been great at home and have some long term injury absentees they are a good side and Blues are unfortunately quite limited. What I think has disappointed people has been the lack of experimentation from Gary Rowett – with increasingly little to play for it would be nice to see some of the younger players in the squad but it appears Rowett still doesn’t rate them highly enough.

I can understand that to a degree – after all, players should be in the team on merit however I also believe that sometimes it takes first team football for the quality in a player to show themselves. Dimmi Gray didn’t seem as promising as Nathan Redmond when he was in the reserves but he has improved so much since he made his first team debut as he has been forced to. As much as there are rumours about the attitude of Reece Brown off the park coupled with his lack of defensive ability he is one of the most naturally talented players I’ve seen play for us for a while and I would like to see him given a chance in the number 10 slot to see if he can show that talent on the bigger stage.

Likewise, with Cotterill looking poor at times on the wing and Lloyd Dyer (for me anyway) just not showing any reason to be picked at all, what harm is there in giving young Viv Solomon a run off the bench and seeing if he could use his electrifying pace against tired defenders? If he doesn’t cut it it’s not going to kill us – if he does it’s another bright young talent Blues can nurture through.

Blues reserves play at home on Monday in the Professional Development League at St Andrew’s which could be an interesting game. Coleshill was a tough one with the pitch being a real leveller and I hope we can see some better play from Blues’ younger talents on a decent pitch. Likewise, with Matt Green and Gavin Gunning given a chance we can see if either of those could be worth another year with the club.

One thing that is disappointing are the rumours of Blue-on-Blue trouble at the Cardiff game. Football violence is deplorable anyway but fighting among our own fans is absolutely shocking – after all we all support the same team don’t we? Hopefully it’s an isolated incident and anyone that deserves a slapped wrist (or more) receives that from the authorities.

So now it’s nearly two weeks off until the next little run of games which make up the last few weeks of the season. Hopefully this will be a time where we can regroup and Rowett can reinstil the passion and desire to play to the best of their abilities.

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94 Responses to “Passion and Experimentation”

  • Dave Mann says:

    I agree with all that and football violence is totally wrong and I for one know that from experience.. The fighting amongst blues fans was rediculous and it was only a dozen seats away from me and my family and ime not proud to say this but one or two of those involved were on our coach and afterwards just said they were trying to break it up but they looked like they were throwing a few punches to me but saying that it was a bad game alround and this season can’t end quicker for me now after yesterday’s antics. Kro

    • Richard Granfield says:

      I appreciate your expressions of contrition Dave, but they sound insincere when compared with what you posted.
      “Absolutely amazing, not the game but the grief and mayhem we caused”
      “I took 2 out and battered them”.
      “We scared the sh@t out of them and it was marvelous”.
      Alcohol and football don’t mix.

  • Mitchell says:

    We are now hearing too many GR quotes of “not at our best today or we didn’t play on the front foot” fans are not daft and realise the team has been poor for weeks. Lucky results against Blackpool, Derby and Huddersfield at home say it all. Just come out and say “this is our best shot at the moment, poor as it is” We will all understand and agree. DEFENCE IS SHAKY, MIDFIELD WEAK AND STRIKE FORCE HASN’T Cutting edge. Please Gary no more “we weren’t at our best today”. Thanks.

  • Ian Ambrose says:

    Not blame to Gary Rowetts!!… Team was sleep never think hard and strong…Too weak two midfield and one defence.. No communication team work bit slow and lazy run!!!…..

    • almajir says:

      Ian

      Your comments at this moment are set up to always require approval – and this will remain in place until you do as I have asked and emailed me – almajir@oftenpartisan.co.uk

      • AussieBlue says:

        Guys, when Ian started posting he told us he was deaf (natively deaf). This does not just mean he can’t hear – it means he has never in his life heard a human voice. The only language he has ever known is BSL (British Sign Language). Native deafness does not only affect the ears but the auditory cortex in the brain as well – centre for communication. So, as the brother of a profoundly deaf and wonderful sister – I ask, can all of you ill-informed critics (T Troth eg) cut Ian some slack and just treat him as a great Blues supporter??
        Dan – why the severe censorship??..I’ve never seen a rude or inflammatory comment from Ian…just his way of communicating entusistically. He does a lot of good work in the deaf community teaching sign language etc.

        • almajir says:

          Aussie

          I asked him to email me just to confirm some things – nothing more. You’ll have to understand that this is my site and when I’m not quite sure about something I will err on the side of caution – all it would take to resolve is one email.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Fair enough Dan, I and, I am sure everyone, acknowledges and are comfortable with your rules for your own site that you fund, spend time on and do an amazing job. But with Ian there appears to be 2 rules operating here…you cut Dave Mann some slack (correctly) because he posted advocating violence while p***d; I’ve seen racist phrases such as ‘slanty-eyed’ and ‘noodle munchers’ on here and glossed over them, like you – but a genuine bloke who has been deaf since birth has to go through the 3rd degree? Maybe he doesn’t know he has to reply to an email because he doesn’t understand why? I found out about his good works by simple ‘google-fu’, which I learned from you. Mate I’ve seen it first hand – how would you like to see your sister taunted and called ‘deafy’ while being pinned against a wall and having her hands grazed until they bleed? I was just a toddler…if it happened today they would be on life support. Profoundly deaf people are the least understood of all folks with disabilities.
            Ian is a good Blues supporter – and he’s natively deaf. He should be just as welcome as everyone else…effusive, hard-to-decypher posts included.

          • almajir says:

            Aussie

            I know congentially deaf people too and I’m not saying that he can’t post because he is deaf – I’d also note that the deaf people I know can type properly and I’m fairly sure being deaf doesn’t affect the way you type.

            I want to make sure of something because his posts are not just difficult to read but also very much like a bot (automated program) would post and I need to make sure he’s a real person. Yes, you can google him and find out the good work he has done but how do you know for a fact that the person using that name is the same person as is posting online? This is the only reason I have asked for one email – just to satisfy myself.

            I know you might think it’s hypocritical, but I have my reasons – I’ve trusted my gut instinct before and have been proven right. No email, and I will continue to leave him on manual approval – he’s not banned from posting, I just have to approve his comments is all.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Hi Dav,
            OK understand now about the bot thing. Maybe be being natively deaf does not directly affect typing skills but maybe being Ian Ambrose does – we just don’t know what else he has to put up with in life. Could be dyslexia, asperger’s etc. I grew up surrounded by deaf people and most of them had secondary and tertiary disabilities as well.
            Why not contact him at work, find out if it’s really him posting? Good deed for the day mate and you’ll go to heaven. Cheers.

          • almajir says:

            Aussie

            a) do not post someone’s personal details on here. I’ve removed them.

            b) I’m too busy right now with work etc to chase up a commenter on here to see if they are real. If things settle down next week I may consider it – but like I say, onus really is on him.

    • T Troth says:

      Ian Ambrose look at what you write before posting. Get a spell checker.

  • micko says:

    Not suprised to hear about fighting amongst some of our fans at Cardiff yesterday. I have only been to one away match this season (Wolves) where I was sickened by the vile chanting by many of our fans (I will ignore the childish ” but they started it ” response I can almost hear from some reading this). They seemed to spend the whole match directing, mostly misogynist, chants at the Wolves fans rather than watching the actual game. I got the distinct feeling that if I had had the balls to say anything to the effect of “knock it off lads – let’s watch the game”, then I would have been subjected to a beating. Until these unpleasant elements are removed from our away following then I will stick to watching home games.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I don’t bother with away games. Too many with single digit IQ’s who can’t hold their drink. Pathetic.

      • Tilton says:

        What a woeful excuse to not support your team away from home

        • almajir says:

          What not wanting to get caught up in trouble? Sounds like a reasonable reason to me…

          • steve says:

            I don’t think i’ll be going to many away games after yesterday. Blues throwing coins into and trying to attack their family stand done it for me.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          I will do what I like and you can do what you want to. There are only a couple of thousand at most who go to away games so the majority do exactly what I do – just attend home games. There is more to life than football and there is only so much time and money I am prepared to spend on it and when I hear what went on yesterday off the pitch nothing is going to change. A 250 mile round trip to see pi**ed up idiots fighting – no thank you.

      • Dave Mann says:

        I agree Shirley Blue and to have someone of my age getting involved is silly and childish but then again I’ve always defended myself alchohol or not against provacation and I like to think that was all I was doing but I shouldn’t have retaliated really but it was spur of the moment and I can’t change that now but maybe next time!! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Cheers staffs and yes I will make sure it’s a one off but lets hope blues don’t have to many one offs either because it wasent pretty on or off the pitch yesterday and I think the best thing to do is to move on put it to bed and look forward to better performances from all of us as the season comes to an end , cheers again mate! Kro&lol

    • StaffsBlue says:

      No worries Dave.

      As for the youngsters, what better time to blood them than now. Let’s see how many we can expect to see in or near the squad for next season. We have nothing to lose and, possibly, everything to gain. It’s ok the manager saying “we weren’t at our best today,” but if he takes a look at our last dozen games, he’ll see that there have been far too many days when “we weren’t at our best.”

      I think he needs to grow a pair now and try a few things, because the team has looked proper jaded this past couple of months.

  • andy says:

    Blues were very poor yesterday and there has been too much of this type of performance. It is what it is though, Blues are just not good enough and I would certainly like to see things freshened up and give the likes of Reece Brown, Koby Arthur ( when fit ) a run in the team. Something needs to be changed because Blues are too predictable and boring.

  • BluesBlues says:

    Are they blues fans or just casuals that went on the P**s for the weekend. Anyway back to the football we are what we are a bunch of lower championship players / higher first division players, for us to get results at least seven or eight players need to perform to there maximum. In addition it does not help when we are relying on a average ulitly player to cover the centre half poison. The next game should see the return of our best defender which will allow us to push further up the pitch in addition maybe and its a big maybe Green my also get a look in. I agree that some of the promising youngsters should be given game time but it would appear Garry likes to send them out on loan.

    Let’s get real blues have done very well in the short time that Garry has been at the club and we have had to play a limited style of football to get the results. KRO

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Totally agree. Some people are expecting too much – Cardiff away was always going to be a very tough game. Some of our lot are running on empty though I don’t think the answer is to chuck young players into it. Morisson coming back will give the whole team a boost and we do have some very winnable games left starting with Rotherham.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We’re not asking him to chuck 3 or 4 young players in, just one or two here and there until the end of the season. I’m certainly not expecting too much, just that, when it’s not working, tweak it a bit to make a difference. Whether that be with players, or formation/tactics. If he just leaves it as it is, when it’s obvious that it’s become stale, we’ll have a pretty dour end to the season. I don’t think anyone would begrudge a couple of youngsters getting a go now and then.

    • Indeed.

      I think a few people on here need to have a bit of a reality check. Rowett has been at Blues for five months and I think we need to cast our minds back those five months and remember the position we were in when he took over.

      We were certainties for relegation, had just lost 8-0 and had just had two and a bit years with probably one of the worst managers we’ve ever had at the helm.

      In five months he has taken a team bereft of ideas, defensively shambolic, utterly toothless – and with hardly any new signings – has dragged us away from the relegation zone and to relative safety – and produced an initial run of results better than any of us could have dreamed of. Players who looked like lost children under Clark are now doing what we are paying them to do. Rowett has the team organised, players playing in their appropriate positions and has made them difficult to beat.

      Five months ago that is all any of us would have asked for – and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in wondering if anyone could have turned it round considering the mess we were in. We’ll get hammered occasionally but that’s because we are basically an ordinary team and there are clubs in this league with far better players than us and far bigger budgets.

      Clearly performances the last few weeks have been pretty poor – but that’s normally what happens when a team gets to this stage of the season and has little or nothing to play for. We can complain as much as we want but it’s probably understandable.

      I have a little sympathy for those suggesting giving some of the other players a run-out, but at least with Rowett there is a sense that he picks a team with a plan, and compared with the random, unpredictable and frankly lunatic chopping and changing of Lee Clark, that is a blessed relief.

      We have a group of players who are capable of competing at this level but probably not good enough to challenge for anything more – yet. There often isn’t much evidence of a Plan B, but again Rowett has only been at Blues for five months. The fact that we have a Plan A is a vast improvement on what went before.

      I think if we have new owner soon, investment in better players but the same problems on the pitch at Christmas we can start to question Rowett’s decision-making, but right now I’m prepared to defer to his judgement. He has saved us this year, changed an atmosphere that was becoming poisonous, given Blues fans some hope and for that I’m eternally grateful.

      • Dave Mann says:

        representingthemango, that’s about the best summing up of the last 5 months that I’ve heard in the last 5 months , riveting stuff! Kro

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The reality is, after a very good start, we’ve won just 2 league games since the Wigan match (both 1-0.) The reality is, we’ve not won a single game in that period when the opposition have scored. So on that statistic, if the opposition score, we don’t win. That suggests we need a bit of a tweak here and there. No one’s suggesting wholesale changes.

        Rowett has my utmost support, as all Blues managers do and he’s done very well since he came in, but it would be good to see if he has more than one string to his bow.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Yes and it’s one defeat in five games and a massive improvement on the complete shambles and embarrassment we were witnessing this time a year ago when we descended into becoming a complete joke. Seven games to go and with a 12 point gap it’s quite likely we are already safe. The international break has come at a good time for us and I would think he will be giving a rest to the core of the team who have played virtually all the games. I reckon he will be looking to get another 10 points from the remaining seven games. Morrison should be back for the good Friday game and that will make a massive difference – we have really missed him.

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Representingthe mambo;, a well thought out and concise presentation of the thoughts and wishes of most of us, methinks. — thank you mate.

      • pete says:

        your comments, if we have anew owner soon ?., have you not been reading dans blog ?, carsons appeal could go on for at least 18mths !, he might even get off his money laundering charge , he cant be forced to sell , e&y dont really have any powers to sell the club . so where do we get money from for new players ?. and no im not all doom and gloom , just being practical , im sure we all thought that when e&y came in , they would get things moving , but now it seems that was false . i would , like everyone else love to see new owners , putting investment into blues , and us climbing out of the championship , but thats just a dream at the moment . so for now i will support the team and hope for a miricale . kro ..

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I have a feeling we’ll see a good chunk of this squad released/transferred. That will probably leave a bit of leeway to bring in 3 or 4 better quality players to add to the remaining members of the squad. Throw in 3 or 4 of the youngsters – the likes of Brown, Adams, etc – and see how it goes from there.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            Yes I agree. GR has got to be ruthless in the summer. He needs to have a much leaner squad but every member of it has got to be good enough for this division if they are called upon. Anyone he thinks isn’t either good enough or doesn’t have the potential to be good enough has to be removed from the wage bill and that isn’t going to be easy. There needs to be a significant improvement in the overall quality of the squad for next season.

          • steve says:

            He said last week that 30 odd players were in the squad this season.Next season he wants no more than 22.

  • Debbie B says:

    The team looked jaded, devoid of ideas and lacked determination and quality yesterday. Spector is way of the pace and Morrison must replace him when fit. Cotterill is another player who has mainly been absence during matches. Yes I agree Rowett has done a great job getting us out of the relegation zone and now is the time to give other younger players the chance to show what they can do. Denny Johnstone has returned from loan, give him a chance. I witnessed the trouble and it was not nice to see Blues fans fighting each other. We were situated right next to Cardiffs family stand which isn’t ideal for their families to be subjected to the language and violence. I remember a few years back Our family stand was next to away fans and was moved to another part of the ground to avoid exposing families to that behaviour.

  • Dave Mann says:

    It was nonsense to put blues fans next to a family stand with just one row of seats and a small line of stewards as a barrier , there were fans taking there tops off flexing there muscles and wanting to get over there and get involved .. We have previous with Cardiff and the Anglo-welsh crack was always going to happen and until my unfortunate situation it was very intimidating and scary especially for the kids and the women who were caught up in it , I’ve learnt my lesson and I hope the rest of those fans that were thrown out or arrested have also but I fear not ! Kro

    • steve says:

      I think the twat that smacked a copper will be going down Dave. Blues fans knew it was a family stand,so why try and attack it ?

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I hope that with CCTV in the ground they catch, prosecute and ban every single one of them. Really brave attacking a family stand – they must be so proud of themselves. Last away match I went to was Coventry when Mcleish was manager. A group of Blues fans spent the second half systematically ripping up seats. When some of us asked them to stop we just got threatened. That was it for me. I am afraid we still have some very serious morons still follow this football club.

        • steve says:

          The twat that hit the copper was arrested straight away.It was smack on the jaw and took his hat off. I think he had been filming Dave. Earlier he was filming their family stand for some reason.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Was that the one with the video camera ? Because blues fans were at him when he tried to get up close and it just went off big time .. I think he will be banned for life and maybe go down but it was an atmosphere that even bothered some of what I would call the big boys but all I can say from where I was that there were cardiff fans taunting blues in the family stand and one guy I noticed would not shut up and one blues fan went for him and he was amongst younger fans so though I totally agree with people on here that guy should have known better and to upset a bunch of drunk blues fans on a day out is not recommended though we should not have reacted but that’s easier said than done but I don’t think there be playing a Cardiff v Blues game again at 3-00 pm on a Saturday afternoon ! Kro

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I was going to say it was booze that was the root cause but why is that 70/80000 people can turn up to a Rugby Union international between England and Wales or any of the other countries and a lot of then have plenty to drink and there is no trouble whatsoever. It comes down to mentality in the end or lack of intelligence.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Shirley Blue, it was a mixture of booze, lack of intelligence and the mentality of football fans to rugby fans , we were in a pub in Cardiff and there were blues fans and Cardiff fans whatching the Wales Italy game and there was great banter and not a hint of trouble , get to the football and all hell lets loose and its tribal , that’s the difference and the fact that fans look at football as more of a us against them attitude of the pitch that doesent seem to apply to other sports so though that is far from being an excuse that’s the only one I can think off. Kro

  • Bluenosesol says:

    The depressing thing is that with the experts in Hong Kong giving the impression that the Carson situation could go on for a very long time, that we already know that next season will be more of the same. We will have the same or another bunch of below par players and GR will need to get them punching above their weight to survive. As for the away matches, used to go to most of them in the Premier because the experiences at the big clubs were magical. I have to agree with others that the behaviour of a large proportion of my fellow Bluenoses has put me off, especially as I used to attend with my sister and 82 year old mother. Mum would be aching to sit down but would have to endure standing up for the entire game, having paid for a seat, with people raising their hands and obstructing her view, obscene chants and even obscene conversations etc etc. It would be an idea if they could provide a family section for away fans away from the core and where sitting down would not need enforcing as those in the family section would wish to sit down anyways.

  • Eric says:

    I usually travel 6000 miles return to watch the Blues once a year. But now I do not go to away games. First, all fans stand up and being a pensioner I want to sit down – if I mention this to fellow Bluenoses I often get sworn at! Some fans spend their time screaming at home fans – they hardly watch the game. Then I hate the foul mouthed singing of some fans – they sing about Villa even though we are not playing Villa (even when there are young children around). This is just a hate game. Perhaps it would help if players (especially Man utd) respected the referee in the same way rugby players do….ie poor role models. KRO to Rowett and thanks for getting us out of relegation trouble.

  • Dave Mann says:

    As they say on soccer am we just love playing away Eric , but if your pensioned want to sit down and can’t stand the atmosphere of a blues game then your time is up and it’s better to just go to home games and enjoy your day that way , great job done by Gary as well Eric well said ! Kro

    • garconsavage says:

      Dave Mann. What a warped slant on life you have .You say that idiots who can’t hold their booze and behave in a way that anywhere else would get them arrested are fine. But people who just want to go and watch the game should stay at home. What twisted logic is this?

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I am sure Dave will feel the same when he is an OAP and can’t stand up for two hours.

      • Dave Mann says:

        garconsavage, I was telling it as it is as I go to many away games but I was not saying that that’s the way to behave, I totally condone it, I was defending myself Saturday like any other man would do when they throw the first punch ok . Kro

    • micko says:

      Dave, I would love to support my team away from home( my team since Gill Merrick was manager). I would love to holler and shout my support for the boys in blue. I would love to make their home fans think that we are a noisy and passionate lot. This does not mean that we have to act like macho, bulleying thugs. Why do we have to regard fans of the “other team” as enemies – they are just like us in their love and passion for their club. I will be travelling down from here in Yorkshire for the Wolves match, where I will meet up with my mate, a Wolves supporter, and we will go for a jar or two before the match. I am already preparing jokes at Wolves expense and, no doubt, my mate is thinking up a few digs at the Blues. We will then go to our separate ends and, hopefully, enjoy the match in a noisy and passionate atmosphere without all the mindless and offensive chanting and aggression. Kro.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Couldn’t agree more micko, you enjoy the game and lets get the three points. Kro

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I remember the days when me and my mates used to go down the Blues one week, then the Villa the next. There wasn’t this enmity back then, just good-natured rivalry. The first time I encountered football hooligans, were Millwall in 1967. The next was when Rangers came to Birmingham in 1976. I was working in Brum city centre that day and it was scary watching from them from behind huge plate glass windows… expecting them to be bricked at any moment. Then it all exploded in the following decade. Sad times.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Dave, my 82 year old mother and my younger 55 year old sister are both cancer survivors. They would still love to go to away games. My mother wasn’t long out of chemo when we went to the League Cup Final together. My sister is still undergoing chemo. I am 59 and as tough as the next bloke and like you, any physical attack on my person would prompt an immediate response, such are natural self preservation reflexes, but I too would love to go to away games and enjoy the luxury of the seat I have paid for in a civilised obscenity free environment. If I knew for a fact that it was the general view of all younger Bluenoses that people with life threatening illnesses and of or approaching their twilight years were now considered to be excluded from the away contingent, then I would have to reconsider my commitments.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Bluenosesol, what your mother and sister have gone through puts all comments made by me about the away support in total context , Ime 52 And like yourself will not take physical abuse from anyone without retaliating , my father was a British boxing champion and lived is life staying fit and making sacrifices , he died at 51 and my mother also died from liver cancer at 75 …I will sit down at away matches if its possible but as you say if you’ve got tens of young Zulus standing up in front of you you just have to get on with it and do the same, I feel sorry for the older retired fans who go and want to sit down but with all the older fans I know from my away days they still keep coming back and don’t have an issue with it because there experienced to know that unfortunately that’s the way it is … It’s sad that those who can’t get about dont go to away games and I fully understand that and when there comes a time that I won’t be able to stand on my feet then I will have to give up on away games also .. It’s wrong but that’s the way it is and I will rue the day that happens, I hope I’ve not upset anybody by my comments !! Lol&kro

        • Bluenosesol says:

          Hi Dave, thanks for the response and I appreciate exactly where you are coming from. Love and respect to the memory of your mum and dad. If I go to the matches alone, I can have a few jars, stand up and duck and dive and have the craic. I regret I cant go away with mum and sis any more, mind you I have had an idea that I am going to run past the FL (Not holding my breath) and that is a “family section for away fans, for those with OAPs and kids, with a commitment to sit down :-) KRO!!

          • Dave mann says:

            Hi Bluenosesol, I think that would be a great idea to have a family stand for away fans because it would encourage more disfortunate people to sit down in a more friendly enviorement and enjoy the game without the bother we had Saturday … That’s upto the authorities and the football club but sounds a sound idea and I for one would second it … I rarely go down without my wife and son at my side and that keeps me in check ( except for Cardiff) but to rant like I did on the way home and comment on here the way I did was pathetic , it was stupid and childish and I regret it now and for the record I miss my parents and appreciate your kind words , cheers pal , lol&kro

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Another idea (that’s been mooted recently) might be to bring back standing on the terraces in certain sections. That way, it’s the best of both worlds. Those who prefer to stand up can, without blocking the view of supporters who want to sit in the seat they’ve paid for. I loved the old terraces way back when, but I think that at my age now, I’d prefer to watch the game in my seat (except when we score ;) )

  • Pete Hall says:

    Same divvy Blues fans that I saw set upon one of their own outside the Irish pub in Braga. We just seem to have an element that can’t contain their chavvy nature. If you can’t handle your beer, coke or whatever else you’re on whether the feeling is tribal or not just go down your local for a punch up every Saturday and leave the real fans to support the team.

  • Raymondo says:

    I think that our players are getting found out more often because, with a few exceptions, they are not better, or even equal to the players of other Championship teams. GR has had many ot them playing above themselves but they can’t do that all the time and thank God the season is nearly over. Barring a 10 point deduction we should make it safely to the end of the season. GR can only make gradual improvements to the team, because of the club’s finances, and we’ll need patience next season too, both with the team and the HK situation too. We nearly got wound up before under the Kumars until Karen and her mates rescued us. We need something similar, at least, in new owners. Rowettt couldn’t have done much better than he has, I think. KRO

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Not good enough for midtable next season: Grounds, Spector, Robinson, Kiernan, Reilly, Hancox, Lee, Novak, Duffy, Thomas, Zigic, Dyer

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Don’t agree with Grounds and Kiernan but you can add Eardley, Packwood, Doyle and Green. That’s pretty much a whole team to get rid of!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          To be fair, Duffy and Green haven’t really had a chance. It would be a shame to get rid without having had a proper look at what they can do. I don’t think I’d argue with many of the others though.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            The only way we are going to do well or even survive next season with a much smaller squad off 20 to at most 22 is if every member of that group can perform at minimum mid table Championship level. Neither LC or GR thought Duffy was good enough to be in the team and Chesterfield didn’t take long in ending his loan spell. Green has taken nearly two years to recover from an injury and is completely unproven at this level. We are not in a situation financially too carry any deadwood which the current squad is rammed with. As I said Rowett is going to have to be absolutely ruthless in the summer and I think he will be. Expect a lot of departures. If he does his job properly anyone not considered good enough or has the potential to be good enough needs to be got rid of. He needs to free up the wage budget to increase quality by reducing quantity.

        • Dave Mann says:

          22/23 players is what rowett as said he wants as his squad number .. I agree that Duffy is not upto scratch and green is a spent force but if we finish next season in this league under the current regime it will be a achievement of mega proportions .. It’s no good us thinking that things will change next season because they won’t ! Kro

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I am not saying we are going to storm into the play offs next season but he definitely has scope to improve this squad. You could make a team out of the players who are just not up to Championship level or are getting too old. Doyle, Eardley, Hancox, Packwood, Robinson, Duffy, Reilly, Lee, Novak, Zigic, Green. That is too much deadwood by any stretch of the imagination. Replace those with five or six genuine Championship quality players and it puts a completely different complexion on things. Hopefully he can pull a few more rabbits out of the hat like Morrison and who knows.

        • BhamCityJulian says:

          How could I forget them! As for Grounds, never ventures forwards; Kiernan’s positioning is poor as is his challenging

          • Shirley Blue says:

            While Grounds isn’t naturally an attacking full back he has been very consistent defensively and especially when Robinson was centre back his height was vital at defensive set pieces. His presence has also meant that Caddis can get forward knowing that the remaining three defenders can move across and not leave us exposed as Grounds would not have bombed forward as well. Grounds is certainly a better defender than Hancox was. He is definitely one to keep for me for next season.

  • Mitchell says:

    Why is it I still feel twitchy about finishing 10pts above 3rd bottom. I keep looking at Wigan and hoping we hit that gap. Am I paranoid or does anyone else genuinely feel the same.

    • Raymondo says:

      I have to say that I feel twitchy about it too Mitchell, in spite of Al Majir’s assurance that there’s umlikely to be a deduction. All depends, I think if E & Y can keep you know who under control so that we don’t fall foul of the FL. Perhaps we might win more of the remaining fixtures than the bottom three teams do. Perhaps the break will revitalise people on £50000 per week into earning their money. I know I’d be revitalised if somebody offered me that much to play a game or two a week!

    • almajir says:

      You’re paranoid mate, cut off date for 10 points being deducted is THURSDAY

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I think Robbo’s discipline has improved massively this season. 29 games, plus 4 as sub.. and he’s only picked up 6 bookings. You have to take your hat off to him in that respect. In fact, other than the glut of silly reds earlier in the season, our disciplinary record this season, bookings-wise, has been pretty good.

  • Raymondo says:

    Sorry Mitchell, I put too many noughts, I meant 5 Thousand a week. KRO

  • Blooflame says:

    Every time there’s a negative result, some idiot, in this case Kevin Summerfield makes a stupid statement like, “it’s the kick up the backside we need”. Well, no we don’t. Something a little more circumspect would be in order. Whilst a loss at this stage is not disastrous, we will, no doubt, be beaten again. So please give statements like you have a plan or understand why it was we lost.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Happy birthday to Bertie Auld, who is 77 today!

    • AussieBlue says:

      Thanks for that Staffs, I used to love watching Bertie play. Shaking hands with the corner flag when he scored!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Good luck to Michael Morrison, Gavin Gunning and Matt Green tonight. I hope they all come through with flying colours.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Blues 2-0 Ipswich (Brown, Solomon-Otabor.)

      Morrison played the full 90 minutes. Gunning and Green played 61 minutes and both did well.

  • Tony says:

    With all the talk of who should get kicked, out maybe it would be easier to say who we should keep, this is a league 1 side in the main, we are just not good enough.
    The big test for Rowett will come in the summer,Usually when a new manager takes over there is some improvement for a while
    ( Unless your name is Clark)
    The honeymoon period is over and reality has kicked in. there is only so much you can achieve by organization and hard work. Rowett has worked wonders but he is untested at this level Whatever happens we are a hundred times better of than with Lee Clark. We should all remember that.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      This season was always going to be a learning curve for Rowett as a Championship manager. Overall, he’s not done too bad. He’s acheived the main aim of keeping us in the division. The summer will be interesting, to see who goes, who stays.. and who comes in.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Not done too bad – he has performed frigging miracles with this lot. After 14 games we were second bottom with 11 points and going down. Only 24 games later we are as good as safe. Yes it’s got a bit stodgy lately with nothing to play for but what does he have to do to get a well done. You were never quite so slow to praise LC when he won the odd game in a blue moon.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Spot on shirley. Let’s get it right-GR has far exceeded any expectations and more since he arrived with us staring into the Abyss last October.
      Also,is it fair that he is truely judged as a manager in the championship when you concider that his budget in the summer is going to be pittance compared to most of the other clubs. How can he properly express himself in the transfer market when he will be basically doing what LC had to do which was bargain basement stuff.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Ok, he gets a well done. It wasn’t a criticism. He’s kept us up, by a fair margin, unlike last season and every credit to him. Rowett obviously has more about him than the previous manager and it will be interesting to see what he does in the future. I hope he proves to be our best manager in years.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Staffs,to me it’s all according to what people’s expectations are. His record since his arrival is still pretty much play off form although that is diminishing now. That in itself is miraculous for me as he did that with someone else’s squad. It’s also starting to look like there’s not going to be any money around this summer so if we finish anything like mid table next season,I’ll be happy.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Tbh, after the last few seasons, my expectations aren’t that high. I think mid-table is the best we can expect with all the problems we face off the pitch at the moment. As ShirleyBlue alluded to earlier, I think there could and should be a cull of this squad. I see the point regarding Duffy and Green, I just think it’s a shame it hasn’t worked out for either of them. But, with a little bit of leeway in the summer, finance-wise, I don’t see any reason why Rowett can’t pick up a few rough diamonds and polish them up and aim for, at least, the top 10 next season.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Randolph; Caddis Morrison Robinson Grounds; Gleeson Davis; Cotterill Shinnie Gray; Donaldson.

    That’s the XI that racked up all those points in the first couple of months of Rowett’s tenure… and I would be surprised if he didn’t revert to it against Rotherham. But, when you look around the squad, there’s not really much to challenge that first XI. That’s what has to change next season, if we go with a smaller squad. I’m not sure we’ll see 5 or 6 quality signings, but I don’t think 3 or 4 decent players is out of the question. Add 3 or 4 of our better youngsters to the squad and I think we’ll be pretty streamlined next season.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agreed. With the perimeters that GR will have to work under it will be a test. For every one Micheal Morrison there are 3 or 4 Grant Halls. To be fair to LC his strength was finding the rough diamonds but he was crap at polishing them and if GR could match him in this area in the summer he will have done a good job.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Spot on. I do think though, that it will be in the summer when Rowett will really earn his dosh. Morrison was all he could afford to bring in at the time, but I’m sure he had other targets. Releasing up to ten or twelve squad players should release the funds to bring in the players he wants.

        Reading the BM this morning, it looks like he’ll be offering Robbo and Spector new contracts for next season.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    If we can go over and above this 5k wage cap it would change things a bit. To me it’s the difference between say a Clayton Donaldson (10k) and a Wes Thomas.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that, mainly, we need someone to compliment Donaldson. Having to play in a 4-2-3-1 is stunting his play. Although he’s worked like a TRojan this season, I’m pretty sure he would have doubled his goal tally this season if he hadn’t been isolated with his back to goal all the time.

  • Mitchell says:

    How about bringing Kevin Phillips back to coach our strikers for next season. It is likely Pearson and co.will go soon. Pay his wages with the release of players departing soon from us. It would be a real boost for GR and the type of older head GR needs.


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