Often Partisan

Play to Forget

It’s amazing how fast the closed season flies by; in a metaphorical blink of an eye since Blues secured tenth place at Bolton, we’re at the eve of a new season with renewed hope and maybe a little bit more expectation that this is going to be “our year”.

I’ve talked enough about hope and expectation in the past that I’m not going to bore people again with it. I’m not going to be unambitious and hope for midtable mediocrity but equally I’m not going to be unrealistic and expect to coast through the division. If I’m honest, my hopes are more abstract than that.

On Wednesday night I published a piece talking about “the man behind the curtain”, revealing the identity of one of the people behind Trillion Trophy Asia. The piece got the reaction I expected – some applauding the work gone into it, some dismissing it as guesswork and as irrelevant; some people hopeful that this is evidence things are going to be better while others are even more sure Blues are going to suffer for longer periods. As always I get asked if this is “good” or “bad” news – and the truth is I don’t know.

My hope for the new season has to be that Blues play well enough to make us forget what is happening off the pitch. I can’t help but think that during the European season under Hughton, or under the early days of the “Rowett Revolution” fans were much happier with the club and the ownership of it than they were during the dark days of winning one game at home in a year under Clark or the 8-0 humping by Bournemouth.

The better Blues play on the pitch, the less I think fans will be concerned that a takeover might be gradual and need time. Fortunes reverse however and once again I think people will decry the “state of the club” and the lack of investment into it.

This isn’t rocket science – I know from supporter meetings within the club the administration staff see it the same way. As much as I think anyone would hate to admit it, we’re all fickle. It’s easier to be a fan when the team is winning – there are no two ways about it. I know that some contrarians will refute that; the ones who delight in the team scrapping their existence in front of a few thousand hardy souls but they’re the exception rather than the rule.

I can see some people thinking that surely I’d be one of those people – that strife and concern give me angles to write about but that isn’t the case. I’d always prefer to write about the good times; the emergence of young talent, the tactical brilliance of a manager or why the team are sweeping all before them. I’m hopeful that Blues are back on the path towards being that sort of team because it’s nicer to go to St Andrew’s when people are happy, when you know you’re not going to walk back feeling like crap after another poor performance.

Positivity and negativity are both infectious and habit-forming. Let’s hope for more of the former; more pithy tweets from Panos Pavlakis, more smiles on the faces of Blues players who have achieved and won – and more post-game interviews talking about the progress of the club under the Bromsgrove Mourinho.

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50 Responses to “Play to Forget”

  • Bradford Blue says:

    Indeed lets all try and remain positive and get behind the team. cant do anything about what happens in HK but we can play a big part in what happens by our great vocal support home and away
    Glad to see tickets schemes in place now hopefully more bums in seats on another point Bradford City have sold 18000 season tickets due to them reducing prices and making footy more affordable to Joe Bloggs KRO!!!!

  • Dave says:

    The press and pundits this week haven’t been too positive about the Blues, majority of them have predicted us for another relegation fight, but I think we might surprise a few as long as the new signings hit the ground running?!

  • Big Al says:

    My expectations are quite simple – I want to enjoy going to St Andrews again. Against Charlton I was looking forward to match all morning and then when the game kicked off I loved watching it. We lost that under Clark – I walked up the steps with dread and out of a sense of duty. Lets be entertained for a whole season under GW.

  • peter bates says:

    Gary rowetts first full season hope for steady progress in the league decent cup runs and a general stableness off the pitch let’s all hope that long long road is getting shorter kro to all noses and enjoy it

  • Alan Watton says:

    This battle between the heart and the head is the DNA of every football fan. Our situation probably polarises these two emotions more than most. Our story is probably more incredible than even Bournemouth’s . One day the football world will wakeup to that fact. Until then we have to accept that survival on and off the field is still the ‘big prize” . Expectation should be replaced by appreciation. Gary has so far produced a minor miracle . We as fans can just give our support and wait .

  • Alfboy says:

    The Guardians preview has us as dark horses for promotion, a status I think is well deserved. A good start would see us staying in contention all season. I can’t see a Rowett side capitulating like other teams can.

  • ROBIN says:

    Well i am looking forward to going for a few pints before & going to watching the Blues more than i was last season under LC !
    Bring it on i say KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We’ve had our dice with death, it’s gone now. Not for a single second do I envisage a relegation battle this season. I’m expecting anything from 12th place up. A play-off tilt would be nice, but not expected. Until we get new owners, we can’t realistically expect too much more.

  • KC says:

    Can’t see Brown in squad numbers ? Nor Adams and Jones.

    • almajir says:

      No, they haven’t been given one. Doesn’t mean they won’t play this season – they can be granted one later on…

  • Blue Lizard says:

    I’m not expecting too much ..not that I have set the bar low , The defence looks like it will leak goals and I think we lack a quality center back as said by others and up front looks lightweight..if I’m wrong I will be pleasantly surprised.as for HK…it’s always in the background like an eggy fart.

  • David L says:

    The DNA of football fans : great phrase!

    This will be my 57th season of knowingly following “the boys in Royal Blue”(although not this year – but I do like the new kit) and in many ways my DNA is more excited by the thought than for many a year, whilst simultaneously being more anxious.

    With Greenhoff, Pickering, Hatton, Latchford, Burns and co (great solicitors!) you knew you were in for an unpredictable but exciting ride.

    In the Div 3 days, you knew that even if we won the lads at work would rib you with comments like “Great to see you beating the mighty Port Vale”

    With McLeish and Clark you knew you were in for grim attrition.

    But now, with GR and all the positivity of the 2nd half of last season, one can dream of better times. Hence the good feeling : it’ll be OK to admit to being a Beau Brummie in polite circles – but also the anxiety : it could all fall apart as the hopes and aspirations are blown away by opponents with harsher midfields, sharper strikers and meaner defences.

    So, on Sat, I’d love to see a solid 2-1 win : a bit of flair to go 2-0 up and a bit of steel when they nick a goal back with 15 mins to go. I’m worried it’ll be a toothless 0-1 defeat, and scared it might be Bournemouth all over again.

    But hey, born and bred means just that, so, whatever, I’ll still be back next time. All the best to everyone on here and here’s to an enjoyable season!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Why hasn’t Reece Brown been given a squad number?
    I am appalled that one of our most talented youngsters has been snubbed in this way.
    Gary Rowett should explain this decision and Jones and Adams’ omission too.

    • Geoff S says:

      Only 22 squad numbers looks rather thin. I wonder if this indicates players such as Brown, Adams, Harding, Jones, Martin and Solomon-Otabor won’t even be considered as subs for the League Cup match against Bristol Rovers?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Same two youngsters as last season.. Gray and Arthur. I’ve said all along that I don’t think Rowett is one for youth. He seems to prefer to bring in ready-made first team players. I’m just wondering how that makes the young players feel.

    • Tony says:

      Maybe because he couldn’t pass a ball to save his life.

  • terry richards says:

    I remember my father advising me not to support ” The Blues” because they will break your heart but leave you with just enough hope to continue. This has been and I expect it to always be so, but I am still however Blue through and through. I look forward to the new season because to dread what might happen is unthinkable. Consolidation and upper / half this season , with better to come. KRO always

  • Gerard says:

    As I enter my 57 th season ( I am only 65 years old ) season ticket bought of course. Iam and always will be a bluenose and proud to be one-regardless of few joys and more sorrpows I have endured-yes they will break your heart over and over again- but you will love the club as it is your family that is why we are unique for all the right reasons -unlike the crap across the city- I never want to see prawn brigade fans at St. Andrews NEVER- it still is a true old fashioned football club for proper supporters- yes we have crap owners etc however forget all that focus on why we go down the Blues-my mum died last year aged 94- in a home even though she was never with us really in the last few years -she always asked how the Blues got on never forgot- and her headstone the letters KRO will be found- we had neighbours move in many years ago -they put a vile scarf on the washing line -after they just moved in -my politely asked them to remove-she said if you think I am going to look at that all day your must be joking -please remove it- they became great friends after , so what will be will be this season-but in GR we trust always , enjoy and hopefully this time next year ?

  • DoctorD says:

    I know what you mean Daniel when you say you hope we play well enought to forget off-pitch matters, but wasn’t that precisely the problem in the early Carson years? If only someone had been keeping tabs on Pannu and co in 2009-11, perhaps we wouldn’t be in the mes we are now. I say viglance at all times!

  • Dave Mann says:

    I remember when Carson yeung came in and promised £40 million to spend on players and wages and then another £40 million in the next transfer window… We went on that 15 game unbeaten run with 12 in the premier league and we all thought nothing of it because we were doing the bizz on the pitch and finished 9th… Now another run like that at the start of this season and were all be happy and getting rather exited .. Can’t wait for tomorrow guys and it looks like a 20,000 plus crowd to boot as well !! Come on you Blue boys ! Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I have a sneaky feeling for 4-2 tomorrow. I think we can score goals this season… but there’s no way we won’t leak them at the other end. Should make for an interesting season.

    • BarnyBlue says:

      I have the same feeling Staffs, but not sure why when you consider we finished off the season with 3 straight 1-0 victories, and our defensive unit will pretty much be ‘as you were’. Would like us to sign a quality centre-half to partner Morrison though – I would feel much more confident in our long-term prospects as Spector won’t last 46 league games! KRO!

  • kirkus says:

    I see the Birmingham mail doesn’t even preview Saturdays matches now,absolutely hopeless!!!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Hopefully, OP will have time to do it. A much better read anyway, with actual facts and rarely a spelling or grammatical mistake. :)

  • I think GR is leaving a couple of numbers out to sign a couple more players, it is nice to know somebody at the top ,to have somebody to blame (fickle) , I think to do well blues will have to be in the oppositions half a lot .whether by long ball ,passing or kamikasi runs, these players need to believe especially at the back ,the team has what it takes to get promotion , come on let’s do it we never have been ones for what should be but ones that are going to do it anyway , this is the players time we are getting stronger and feel a bit of glory coming on ,so get your racing plates moving and let’s rip this league apart KRO …..

  • Dave Mann says:

    Ime buzzing for the season now and looking forward to Reading tomorrow … The crack , the anticipation, the ups & downs to come , the good , the bad & the ugly will all be on show this season and ime not talking about me, my wife & son by the way!! .. Seriously though it’s show time and ime raring to go , bring it on !. Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Gleeson extends contract ..must be staring tomorrow ! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Is mother in law is my wife’s best friend so I will give him the contract and hope he pushes on . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He’s missed a total of just 5 games since Rowett came in and 3 of those were through suspension. So I suppose a new contract was predictable.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The disturbing thing is that I have never seen Gleeson and Eddie Howe (Bournemouth Manager) in the same room. Check it out Lol.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Spot on.

      • Chris allen says:

        Sorry mate this isn’t really about the football. I’m from staffs aswell just wondered if you knew a good place to park. I usually go on the train and have a few pints but my young lad is coming along this season so will be driving.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Sorry Chris, only just seen this. My son usually parks down Little Green Lane.. on the right towards the bottom end. Never failed to get a spot yet. Hope that helps. :)

  • Dave Mann says:

    No. Sorry way off ! Kro

  • Blue Steve says:

    So Tesche starts for Forest and then gets injured after 40 minutes.I think you can now definitely rule him out from signing for blues!

  • oldburyblue says:

    Judging by Robert Tesche’s performance tonight he does NOT want to be at Forest. Terrible half-hearted performance and then couldn’t get off quick enough when someone trod on his foot. Would serve Forest right if they now offer him to us and we say “too late”.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agree. Looked completely off the pace and everything he did turned to dust. Didn’t look like he wanted to be there but hey,not our problem.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That’s how I feel too. It’s not our problem, s*d him. I’m more than happy with Kieftenbeld thank you very much.

  • Mark H says:

    Poor Tesche broke his foot. That’s football for you!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Rowetts team today will be Kuszczsak, Caddis, Grounds, Morrison, Spector, Kieftenbeld , Gleeson, Cotterill, Shinnie, Gray , Donaldson …. I would have Davis & Toral in for Gleeson & Shinnie but that won’t happen .. Score prediction? 3-1 Blues ,cotterill, Donaldson and Toral from of the bench … Attendance ? 20,550…warm day , few beers & 3 points , welcome back the football league season . Kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    I think Toral’s midweek performance should get him in the starting XI very soon, but out of loyalty Shinnie will start although living on borrowed time.

    I don’t understand the love fest on Davis. It’s like choosing between George Smith or Alan Campbell. The former only got a game when it was necessary for culture to give way to physical presence.

    We’re a passing team. That is why Gleeson is ahead of Davis.

    • Blue Steve says:

      Have to agree with Julian. Gleeson can clearly pass the ball better than Davis so why do people want Davis in the team so much? Kieftenbeld is now our first choice defensive midfielder.

    • Dave Mann says:

      That’s very true Julian and considering Gleesons mother in law is my wife’s best friend I should really be in his corner and yes he does pass the ball well but I just think we need a bit more steel in there with kieftenbeld also a very good passer of the ball .. Just an opinion but no arguments from me if he starts , the staring 11 will get my full support today I can tell you and so will the subs , bring it on !! Kro

    • David L says:

      Alan Campbell – had forgotten about him.

      Best shoulder sloucher ever to wear the shirt – but boy when he was on form, could he pass a ball!

  • swissjonny says:

    I have that usual nervous pain in my belly.I think the 2-1 idea is possible but Reading are no slouches.Whatever happens today lets not let our heads drop and start getting at GR.He is doing his level best in very difficult circumstances.would love to see Toral start and hope that Dimmi gets to run at their defence.They will be nervous too and the last thing any defender wants first game is some real pace and trickery running at you.Come on you Blue Boys !!!!!!

  • […] come in and improve the side then who cares if the Hong Kong stuff drags on? It’s like I said on Friday – the better Blues play on the pitch the easier it will be to forget that the ownership situation […]


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