Often Partisan

2015-16 Squad Analysis Part I

With Birmingham City now having confirmed their retained and released lists for the next season I thought it would be a good time to take a first look at the squad as it stands.

The first team squad as it stands (in alphabetic order) is:

Goalkeepers:
Darren Randolph, Nick Townsend, Connal Trueman

Defenders:
Paul Caddis, Neal Eardley, David Edgar, Jonathan Grounds, Mitch Hancox, Michael Morrison, Paul Robinson, Jonathan Spector

Midfielders:
Charlee Adams, Koby Arthur, Reece Brown, David Cotterill, David Davis, Mark Duffy, Stephen Gleeson, Demarai Gray, Andrew Shinnie, Viv Solomon-Otabor, Liam Truslove

Forwards:
Clayton Donaldson, Denny Johnstone, Lee Novak, Wes Thomas

These are backed up by the signing of nine first year pros – Jake Weaver, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Perry Cotton, Dom Bernard, Wes Harding, Charlie Cooper, Wes McDonald, George O’Neill and Kyle McFarlane

Of the first team, Darren Randolph and Koby Arthur are yet to sign new deals that have been offered to them but neither have formally rejected them. Every other player is contracted until the end of next season as a minimum.

The squad list above has 26 players who would I would consider will receive a first team squad number next year; however there are five players who have not played a league game for the team (Townsend, Trueman, Adams, Solomon-Otabor and Truslove) along with four who I would term as being unlikely to remain in Rowett’s plans (Eardley, Edgar, Duffy and Novak) leaving a fairly threadbare 17.

It’s well-known that Rowett wants to keep his squad to a trim 22 or so (I would assume with the five youngsters in addition to this) which says I think we’ll be looking for four or five players at most – maybe more if others leave. From what I know Blues are making efforts to sign three of the loanees who finished last season with us (Robert Tesche, Rob Kiernan and Diego Fabbrini) but there is absolutely no certainty we will sign any of them.

I’ve seen people make lists of a fair number of players Blues should bring in but based on Rowett’s ethos of quality rather than quantity and bringing in players who are different to what we already have I think we only need two other players (assuming we do bring in the three mentioned above) – a left winger and a striker.

If Donaldson gets any kind of injury I think we would struggle playing 4-2-3-1 as I don’t believe any of the three remaining players can play the hold up role so I would assume any new striker we bring in has to have the same power and strength that Donaldson brings to the team.

Likewise, although all four wingers we have (Duffy, Cotterill, Gray and Arthur) can play on the left, none of them are actually predominately left footed and I think this is something Rowett should address. Lloyd Dyer did improve massively in his last few games for us but I don’t think he’s the answer long term – whoever we do sign realistically has to be able to play as a traditional winger or as an outside forward in support of the lone man. Should Gray and/or Arthur leave us then Blues would need to bring in more than one wide player – but that’s something that is no more than speculation at this time.

I’m intending to revisit this in a fortnight when hopefully the two contracts that are outstanding have been resolved – and maybe, just maybe Blues will also have confirmed players as being signed.

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52 Responses to “2015-16 Squad Analysis Part I”

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If all the players listed above remain at the club, I can’t see more than 12 or 13 of those getting a look in tbh.

    Darren Randolph, Paul Caddis, Jonathan Grounds, Michael Morrison, Paul Robinson, Jonathan Spector, David Cotterill, David Davis, Stephen Gleeson, Demarai Gray, Andrew Shinnie,
    Clayton Donaldson and Wes Thomas.

    Beyond those, can you really see Rowett giving any of the others a game? I think, as mentioned in the article above, he’ll look to get 4 or 5, first-team-ready players in, to bring that up to around 18 and fill in the rest with kids, to be used as and when necessary.

  • Walker says:

    In my opinion grey even if he is leaving should sign a deal if he considers himself a blue nose. Its obvious he will go at some point and he knows he is in demand. if he signs we can get more money for him.
    Yes you can say he doesn’t owe us anything but if he is loyal and admits its bcfc that has made him what he is. I think if he signed we would get 10 mill + for him. with 12 months i think we would be lucky to get anywhere near the 5 Bournemouth offered.

    As for arthur, grey leaving is his chance although i think he has been tapped up.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I suppose you could say Gray doesn’t owe us anything, but what about the money that’s been spent on his coaching and education since he’s been at the club, plus the wages he’s received? If he moves on, he’ll get a decent wedge too, so I think he owes us that much at least.

  • KC says:

    Don’t seem to have a transfer list like the old days in which case some of the contracted players might be made available and perhaps used in part exchange deals- Duffy, Edgar, Eardley and Novac come to mind and possibly Hancox, Johnstone and Thomas. However probably means trading down a division with all of these and moving the first four on might not be easy..

  • rhees says:

    I would be very surprised if Garry hadn’t ear marked his targets 6. To 8 weeks ago.
    He will know exactly who he wants out and in

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    I have a question. Kind of related to this post but more curiosity than anything else… .

    How much money is the club saving/not paying out weekly for these 9 players now?

    • Trevor Honnor says:

      Also I’m just talking an approximate guesstimate :)

    • Richard Granfield says:

      All the released players will be paid up to the end of their contracts, which is likely to be the 30th June, the day before the Transfer Window opens.

      • dablu says:

        I get what u mean as bosmans move 1st july so what you say about contracts is correct, but the transfer window actually opens 9th june ;)

        • Richard Granfield says:

          dablu……I think you need to check your info. The summer Transfer Window opens Wednesday 1st July 2015.

          • Stephen Powell says:

            You can start buying players on the 9th June but they will not join the club until 1st July

  • NDF says:

    A lot has been said about loyalty etc when it comes to the likes of Gray and the interest in him from other clubs but he has to be considered in terms of all products of academy systems. The academy is there to provide first team players in due course but surely BCFC is a business and when they produce an asset such as Gray (or a certain Mr Francis) then it is only right that they realise their investment and cash in now and then. If this benefits both the player then surely that is the whole point.

  • I can’t see any sense in having investment put into bih unless it is enough to improve the major asset bcfc and its squad of players , if the investment is not large enough to improve the major chance of reaching the big time ,then E&Y in my opinion are not the company to run bcfc , tesche and fabbrini are crowd pullers and should draw enough fans for the fee and extra wages , I think your right with your assessment again Dan of needs ,but does E&Y measure up to the task ,

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As E&Y are an extremely reputable company, I think they can be trusted to do what’s best for the company. After all, they’ve so far managed to keep Yeung and Pannu’s grubby paws out of proceedings. I’ll trust them until they give me good reason not to.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The belated release of Amarai Bell might mean that Gary has got the deal for a new left back tied up.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Randolph, caddis, grounds, Morrison, Robinson, cotteril, Davis, gleeson, Gray , shinnie , Donaldson …. The backbones still there but this squad needs strengthening with the return of those three loanes and 5/6 good quality players added to push for those playoffs . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Is anyone really expecting to see Tesche, Fabbrini and Kiernan again? I think it’s doubtful. One out of three and we will have done well.

      With Bell being released, we have to bring in at least one new left back, as Hancox ain’t gonna get a game I wouldn’t think. I’m wondering too where Grounds will be utilised next season.

  • dablu says:

    i’m guessing rowett’s got greame shinnie on a bosman to realease bell now..? one thing about rowett that has me relaxed is he seems to have a vision of what he wants.. all managers get duds, most good ones get them less often than most. but so far im impressed with the fact that all his signings have enhanced he ‘squad’ at the time of their signings (rather than signing players left right and center that are no better that what’s already here).. all I know is he made the team better than what he has inherited and, even if he don’t get fabb, tesche and keirnan back he will strengthen us

    • Richard Granfield says:

      dablu……Sorry to contradict you but Graeme Shinnie will be an Aberdeen player next season. He signed a pre-contract agreement last January.

      • dablu says:

        its fine.. more a case of giving me the heads up or being imformative. lol transpires I did the same with you comment lol.. another comment made me aware, but thanks all the same

  • Dave Mann says:

    Aberdeen have got shinnie so no chance there mate! Kro

  • andy says:

    So Koby Arthur has not formally rejected his contract offer? Other sources say he has rejected 2 offers from the club.

  • Euston 9:18 says:

    In my eyes Blues should sort out a new contract for G.Rowett.
    This 1 year roll over is laughable.
    Offer a 5 year contract.
    Then its over to you Mr Rowett see how good you are,see if you can improve the final position each year (hopefully a promotion in 1 or 2 years)
    If he does get us to the prem league lets hope he doesn’t get his head turned by the agents of “mercenary” players as Bruce & McJudas.

  • Andrew says:

    i still dont rate robinson, left back or centre. idc if hes captain or whatever

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think it would be pointless having Robbo as team captain, surely he won’t play enough games? We’d be chopping and changing captains every few games. Years ago, I think there used to be a club captain and a team captain. Not sure if it would work these days.

  • paulieboy says:

    Rumour around Leeds is that they want Robinson…now that would be one transfer out that wouldn’t upset a lot of us!
    Lets look forward to some positive summer transfer activity, and if certain players don’t want to wear the shirt then sell them,this club will surface again as a PL club in the foreseeable years and it will be their loss not ours!
    Lastly lets see an end asap to the CY ownership and move onwards and upwards
    Happy Summer Bluenoses!

  • ian ambrose says:

    Too weak team not enough because without Teache, Fabbrini and Kiernan!!!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If some of this £13m is earmarked for the team lets hope the salary cap has been raised to a more realistic position for this level and those under the old one it don’t resent the new players at the new level

  • Kazakblue says:

    Ross Wallace from Burnley to Blues ??

    • rhees says:

      You herd anything kaza

      • Kazakblue says:

        Hi Rhees,

        again as Daniel would say “Only a Roumer” from a mate of mine in Manchester, who reckons that Ross Wallace has been spoken to by BCFC and other Championship sides (4 others), apparently he has been released by Burnley and is looking for a championship club, but I think one of the Northern clubs would be preferable to him.

        IMO, would be a good championship player.

    • almajir says:

      Another one that won’t happen IMO

  • RichardM says:

    I would love to see Matt Smith at Blues, I think he’s a blunose anyway or certainly has connections with the area. Fulham put him oout on loan last season to Bristol City but he’s a proven goalscorer at this level. In my fantasy football world a part=swap wth Gray going to Fulham and Matt Smith plus £3 million coming back the other way….

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    The only player out of the 4 loanees last year who I really would like us to get is Tesche. I’d rather see Wes Harding promoted to the full team than Kiernan. Fabbrini would be out of our budget and If we can get a season loan great otherwise Brown, Shinnie, Koby, Adams.

    The squad looks extremely small. Blackpool have released Delfounso and Cywka both decent players at this level


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