Often Partisan

Defeated but not disappointed

Birmingham City were narrowly beaten in the second city derby thanks to a second-half Rudy Gestede header. Jacques Maghoma could have equalised shortly after but saw his effort easily smothered by Brad Guzan.

Here are my reflections based on watching it on my laptop.

Defeated maybe, but not beaten

I’m not going to say that we deserved to win because on the balance of the second half, we didn’t. However, I think we can hold our heads up – this time last year we’d have got tanked and with not much more in personnel we’ve been narrowly defeated by a team that cost a fair chunk of change.

I didn’t see it first hand as I was walking back home after the final whistle but apparently Tim Sherwood talked about how they bossed the game, how the first half was a plan to lull us into a false sense of security before they beat us. I’m sorry Tim, but that’s just complete baloney. I didn’t see any evidence that this is a team that will do well in the Premier League in that first half – and I think that had Lescott remained on the pitch he’d have been even more found out. Albion must be laughing at Villa for taking him off their hands.

The main thing is I still have my head held up. We played fairly well – and even though we ended up playing a rookie on the one wing, an attacking midfielder with about 8 starts in the Championship to his name and a young Danish striker who’s barely used to the conditions in England we still maybe could have got something late on.

#manlikeclaytz

I thought Clayton Donaldson was immense first half. Despite having three centre-backs to contend with, he still won the ball, still held it up and still was able to bring Gray and Maghoma into the game. But for a little bit more composure he could have maybe even got a few chances to shoot – he seemed to stumble a couple of times at the crucial moment but still – I’m not complaining.

Maghoma v Solomon-Otabor

With Cotterill out (presumably injured), Blues had to use Jacques Maghoma on the right. He could have been the hero – he bottled it a bit with his chance but I thought at times he played well and pushed Amavi back down the Villa left. That being said, I’d like to see Viv Solomon-Otabor given a start against Rotherham. Despite it being his third professional game, he didn’t look out of place; he ran at the Villa defence without fear and wasn’t scared to shoot. He could be a very useful fourth winger for us.

David Davis

I think respect has to be given to Davis, who played a very terrier like performance and was unlucky to be yanked off so Blues could chase the game further up the pitch. It’s been tough for him this season with Gleeson and Kieftenbeld holding the middle positions and it’s important that he can cover for injuries and suspensions – it was good to see him get a run and give a performance.

Am I gutted? I’m disappointed – but I’m hopeful. I’ll take that.

By the way – word of the week for you – “acrostic”. Look up what it means and then re-read my article from Sunday ;)

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123 Responses to “Defeated but not disappointed”

  • Sedgley Peaky Blu says:

    Acrostic, love it Dan. Didn’t notice it.SOTV

  • I personally would not have played such a defensive setup as blues played , it killed the spirit of such a great cup match , you get one bite of the cherry in these cup games and we left our false teeth at home ,in must win cup games you have to play an attacking side , this match had cold water thrown on it …

    • David L says:

      I think our set up and staffing is to play on the counter : we don’t have the personnel to do otherwise and would have been really stuffed if we tried to.

  • David L says:

    Agreed – no reason to feel downhearted

    I was listening via Radio 5 and on line updates so if I missed something, apologies.

    But

    Positives

    We played them as equals – no obvious difference in class despite the difference in cost!
    Donaldson excellent
    Poshest subs ever! Which team has ever made two double-barrelled subs at once!
    Great support given the numbers
    Little if no apparent crowd trouble

    Ultimately, two players with class and strength beyond our status – Grealish and Gestedte made the difference

    Negatives

    Now only 1 goal in three games
    Gray good in build up but needs a goal to reassure him that he can score
    Worryingly thin resources, with no Cotterill and when Don went off our goal threat diminished horribly

    Still, overall feeling proud about the performance and think the players can too – but now need to tonk the Millers on Saturday. They’re a basic, over-promoted Div 1 team and need seeing to.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      There was a difference in class in the second half. In the first 45 mins you had to wonder who was the Prem team but in the second half we were really outplayed: second to the ball and we couldn’t make their pace and movement.

      Gleeson and Davis had a terrific first half but were second best when B6 played in on the deck the second half. Very disappointing performance again from Gray and whilst there were some mixed efforts by most of the others only Maghoma stood out as entirely out of his depth.

      Be grateful we played one of the worst of the current Prem teams.

  • peterbates says:

    Pleased overall little goal threat but football wise more than matched villa grealish did in 45 mins what dimmy could not do in 90 Sherwood should take credit because his plan was to let us have an hour of the game as part of his master plan ( is he deluded) we cost around half a million and he couldn’t give us any credit at all won’t be long before he’s back in the dole queue oh and villa getting booed off at half time was the fans way of being pleased about the way blues had completely bossed the first half Sherwood sounds like a desperate man to me and we ain’t reached ten games yet kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    I thought I would wake up pissed off, cheesed off, depressed , gutted & downbeat but nothing like that what so ever … Honoured , proud & thankfull to the god almighty that I was born a Bluenose .. On and off the pitch we were not disgraced in any way , shape or form and I thank every single Blues fan alive for being a member of our fantastic club .. Onwards & upwards .. Bring on Rotherham ! KRO

  • ChrisG says:

    I thought we totally bossed the 1st half but was thinking at half time that not putting the goalie under enough pressure would come back to haunt us. I wish GR would have got Dimmi & Maghoma to swop wings & get some crosses in i’m of the old school & don’t like left foot on right wing & vice versa. I also would have kept Davis on as him & Kieft were really getting stuck in in midfield & Davis especially was beginning to wind their players up a bit, I would hage taken Gleeson off as he went a bit MIA again. Overall considering they probably paid more for just one of their players than the whole of our team cost 1-0 weren’t a bad result. One last thing if Tiny Tim has to resort to silly games to beat a championship side, god help him in the prem 4 the rest of the season!!

    • wayne says:

      i think tim sherwood is lulling man city, chelsea and the rest of the premiership into a false sense of security as well. he’s a genius

  • Mineheadblue says:

    I agree that we can hold our heads up, we’ve come a long way since GR took over. However, am I the only person who feels that Gray isn’t performing so far this season? I’m not laying the blame at his feet (Maghoma SHOULD have scored when one on one with the keeper) but to me his decision making in the final third has been questionable all season. He’s got the tricks but the end product is currently lacking for me. (I hate to say it but Grealish was a game changer when he came on).
    Anyway, lets get on with the league now and push for a top six finish!!
    Dan, any progress with the sale of the club? Imagine where we could be with a bit of cash in January!!!!!

  • peterbates says:

    Agreed let’s move on now to what’s important which is trying to get out of this division onward and upward as gr said win next two games and we sit third in table still a bit worried about lack of chances but sure gr knows what he’s doing kro

  • WalmleySteve says:

    Overall feeling last night was one of missed opportunity. Yes, Villa are a premier league side that’s spent a few bob, but they are a piss-poor premier league side heading for the Championship and were there for the taking. Rowett continues to do great things on a shoe-string and my main worry is that he’ll move on at the end of the season, tired of the lack of financial muscle and the time taken to sort out BIHL. He must look enviously at the likes of Derby and Leicester and wonder what he could achieve at clubs like that with ambition and proper investment.

    • WalmleySteve says:

      As an aside, despite the result, one thing that made me laugh about last night and has done for a while is that daft “Yippee-do-dah” song that their fans now insist on screeching. In nearly 40-odd years of watching football, I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous.

  • singingface says:

    Thought Blues were the better organised side in the first half. Villa just have more on the bench and in Jack Grealish a real star. His and Ayew arrival was pivotal. Dimmi Gray should take a lesson on how to use his talent to change a game.
    The obvious becomes more so.
    Gary Rowett has the what it takes to organise a team that could win promotion.
    BIH don’t have the organisation to give him the players he needs. Hurry up E & Y and sort out the mess before a richer club realises GRs ability and steals him away.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Charging £2 to go in the Witton Arms was a disgrace and mr sherwood was a bigger disgrace & a total embarrassment to his club and our club .. The blokes a silly little tosser and I see vile only going down with him in charge .. Let’s hope they don’t sack him ! .. Would love to meet him one on one ! .. Just for a chat you understand! Kro

  • Blue Lizard says:

    What do we know?..well A team that cost a jar of beetroot and a peperami stick were not disgraced by an expensive premier side…Tim Shirtlifter has no class whatsoever in fact he has the eyes of a man in drink these days and his after match comments prove GR is a better man and more realistic in front of camera..i wish Tim well in his efforts to bring the vile down into the championship..Now it’s back to the bread and butter for us..2 winnable games coming up?
    Blue and proud !! KRO

  • Alan Richardson says:

    We have a great, tactically savvy manager and I’m proud of what we did last night, despite the loss. This is a question not a criticism, but when it became clear that Grealish was running things, could we not have man-marked him with either Davies or Kieftenbeld? As for the man who is alleged to have got the Portuguese manager of Tottenham sacked, is he suffering from delusion or does he think anyone, including six-toers can ever believe him again? Referring to himself as Tim Sherwood has something of the megalomaniac about him, but he looks like the manager who will finally put them where they have belonged now for a few seasons. Keep it up Tim and don’t forget to try your “tactics” out against Premiership opponents. I bet the six-toers are so pleased they have you to show them your skills as a manager. I, however would (privately) suggest that maybe joke-writing would be your forte.

  • 52ablue says:

    I`m sure deluded Tim is trying to become a cockney special one! What a horrible combination.

  • Bluey says:

    As expected we lost.Although it was a decent effort the final outcome was very predictable.

    • almajir says:

      As predictable as your negativity ;)

      • chris says:

        what was predictable was blues poor marking on Gestede just like when they beat Bournemouth and last year when he beat us with Blackburn, he makes runs for his headers and we should have used one of the three defending midfielders as a blocker on his runs but failed.
        Gray too quiet too, but rest of squad did really well versus a 50 milionl team.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    @ Tim nice But Dim . Our 700k team was more than a match for your 41mill Team.

  • KC says:

    Well done Blues. So close particularly in the first half to getting something out of the game. Maghoma continues to disappoint. Start Soloman on Saturday if Cotts is out. Sherwood comments pathetic.

    • Scoobay1875 says:

      Maghoma disappoints? Were you watching the game? Maghoma was one of the stand out performers for us, his finishing could use some working on but he grafted every minute he was on the pitch and he did a little more than worry the viles defence.

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    For me, our best player on the night was Davis. Very surprised to see him taken off – especially as Kieftenbeld gave away so much possession.
    Overall Blues did very well. Their biggest downfall was probably how rigidly they kept their shape (ironically this was their biggest improvement last season)
    Grealish came on with all that freedom and changed the game. Blues need a player in that mould who runs all over the place wanting every ball (and getting it) – Perhaps move Gray into the middle and give him more freedom? We have cover in the wings now.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Remember Henry was a winger first

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I felt at the time, that although disappointing, Rowett took Davis off because he was winding their players up and getting involved a little too much. He probably saved him from a second yellow. He was definitely my man of the Match up until he went off. He and Maghoma were bossing the game.

  • swissjonny says:

    Sherwood is mad.Part of his game plan!!! He was up and down of his bench,screaming and ranting and clutching his head .Please!! Grealish changed the game.Hes a horrible looking little Viler but he can play football.An earlier contributor mentioned one thing that is getting me worried and that is that GR is keeping to his part of the bargain and the club is not.GR needs funds now-hes very diplomatic with his small squad mantra but its blindingly obvious that we need another 3 or 4 players to keep up our push for a top six finish.If the club or the alleged purchaser do not come up with some funding soon you couldn’t blame GR for leaving.Come on Panos-its time to deliver mate.

    • chris says:

      Can’t deliver money that doesn’t exist.
      Yes there’s 13 million in BIHL coffers secured against St Andrews, but i don’t want that wasted on players who may or may not perform and we may or may not make the play offs.
      If we did that what happens when it’s all spent and we’re still in the Championship?

      • swissjonny says:

        Chris I wasnt suggesting blowing that amount of money! Say 3 players for 2.5 million? It could make all the difference.

    • almajir says:

      Rowett doesn’t want another 3-4 players though Jonny. He really doesn’t.

      1 or 2 maybe, but no more than that. He also wants to get rid of a couple more…

      • swissjonny says:

        Well in GR we trust ! I must be missing something Daniel because with a few knocks and suspensions I could see us going rapidly into reverse with this skeleton squad.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          We’re definitely very light up top. When Brock-Madsen came on last night, it didn’t really inspire confidence that we could get something. Now, if it had been Wes Thomas, I’d have had a little more hope.

  • chris says:

    Cotterill should be fined for letting the opposition know he was doubtful for the game, what was the idiot thinking by posting that picture on twitter.

  • Tony says:

    Well I knew it was coming and where it was coming from, that guy had all the time in the world to get that cross in and Gestede all the time in the world to pick his spot.
    He is probably one of the best headers of a ball in the country and he was allowed to lose his marker and put it in.
    This is the third or fourth time this season similar has happened, our centre backs are not good enough, cant jump high enough and are slow. Our full backs do not cut crosses out as often as they should.
    It was a decent performance first half but we faded badly in the second as for Magoma I’m not sure what he is but he’s not a finisher for sure, the keeper went down early and he could have been chipped. His shot in the end lacked conviction he knew he wasn’t going to score and it showed. I thought we missed cotterilll badly he could have made a difference.
    Sherwood is a typical cockney Pratt all gob, it would be nice for Dave to run into him one night just for a chat

    • RichardM says:

      To be fair it was Grounds who lost him inthe box, not the CBs. All in all we were undone by a class move and a class finish – no shame in that

    • atko says:

      As I commented on the last post, Tony, to be fair that was our 3rd game in 8 days whereas it was Vile’s 3rd game since August 29. It’s hardly any wonder we tired. Despite that you still wouldn’t put them a million miles ahead of us considering their Premier League status & the difference in cost of the two squads.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes it would Tony and I would certainly make him apologise to our club and manager and supporters .. I don’t think he would treat us the same again after a little chat that’s for sure . Kro

  • rhees says:

    If it was the cockney prats game plan first half why was he so infuriated on the touch line and why
    Did Rudi say the manager decided to change things around half time (morron)
    What I saw was blues developing nicely under GR and villa looking like a championship team.
    My head well and truly held high wear a blues top with pride today.one moment of quolity beat us but the best move of the game resulted in magomas chance which he flffed.
    All in all very pleased and if we keep playing like this we will be in the play offs for sure.
    Kro sotv

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The change of formation from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 was very interesting. It gave Gray and Maghoma more opportunities to attack rather than defend and made us stronger in midfield. I am sure Gary will use this formation again particularly in away games.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I like the 4-3-3 Richard even for home games to as it will bring more out of cotterill & gray up alongside Donaldson with kieftenbeld , gleeson & Davis holding the midfield .. Would certainly like to see it Saturday though the personal could change depending on fans logic . Kro

    • ChrisG says:

      Agreed it was a good system but I would rather have Dimmi on the right as he’s not so effective on the left, we also need to cross the ball more

  • bluenose4eva says:

    Love it acrostic ha ha
    SOTV

  • john says:

    The game was another reminder that it is imperative that we get rid of Carson Yeung and his cronies, as soon as possible. I thought Blues played the better football in the first half, this was confirmed by the Villa supporters booing their team off at half time. Second half showed how thin our squad is, with no one to bring on, that could have any effect on the game. I still believe, that if we finish at least half way, we will have done mighty well. If we had some proper Directors, giving proper financial backing to Gary Rowett , God only knows what we could achieve. One thing for certain, if Rowett had been manager of Villa last night and Sherwood in charge of Blues, the Villa would have run up a cricket score. .

  • Barny Blue says:

    We were the better team in the 1st-half against Villa, and apart from the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half (when we allowed them to play between our lines and stretch us by sitting a little too deep) we were an equal match for them and should have earned a well-deserved draw over the 90 minutes.

    IMO, Stephen Gleeson is up there with Donny as our ‘Player of the Season’ so far (certainly the most improved). His all-round game is so important for us in the middle of the park, and he is becoming a firm favourite of mine. Very impressed with Davis also.

    In contrast, Dimmi Gray is the most frustrating player of the season so far. For me, he threatens so much with the ball at his feet, but he delivers very little. Maybe my expectations are too high for him, but this is his second full-season, and we certainly need more productive performances from him if we are to seriously challenge for promotion. I wonder whether his confidence in his ability has been affected for some reason, as he appears at times to be fearful of taking the shot, making the cross, or even taking on the full-back (something that could never be levied at him when he burst onto the scene this time last year). At times I have found myself questioning if he actually has a ‘footballing brain’ – does he know what the best decision is to make at any given time? He is certainly a work in progress, and could still be our crown jewel in a successful season.

    All in all, a very good start to the season, a disapointing past week, but plenty to be optimistic about moving forward. It is vital that we pick-up the three points on Saturday,though, to get us back to winning ways!

    KRO!

    • atko says:

      Agreed Barny Blue, Gleeson is having a great season so far & I too believe he is probably our most improved player. He was very influential in the first half last night. I agree about Dimmy too. I think the problem with him is there is that much talk about him in the media, even the commentators wouldn’t shut up about him last night, I think it is putting a lot of pressure on him. The problem is, I don’t think Maghoma is a suitable replacement for him so would GR be willing to bring Solomon in as Dan says in his post? I said this last week, I would like for them both to be rotated & that is how you maintain the pace in the team & keep them both fresh. After all, they are similar in every way.

      • Barny Blue says:

        Good points atko. I thought Solomon-Otabor looked brave, strong, quick and confident on Tuesday night, and certainly the most similar winger to Dimmi that we have – he seems to have jumped ahead of Arthur in the queue. He will need game time and 1st team experience in order to develop, so several appearances from the bench between now and Christmas would be a good idea.

        I too fear that the media attention may be the reason for Dimmi’s lack of form, traced right back to last January’s transfer window. GR and Dimmi need to find a way to get back him back firing as he is so important to our success – as I say, possibly the difference between mid-table and a promotion tilt! KRO!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Rotherham at home and our game in hand at Brentford Tuesday could bang us up to top three … It’s the championship that matters now .. The vile and there leader can leap from a great hight for or I care ! Kro

  • Bluepenguin1976 says:

    Afternoon guys.

    Decent display by our boys last night, We diffo have nothing to be ashamed of as Dan has said!.We bossed the first half without ever looking too dangerous and maybe Villa’s financial clout told in the end but we can take more from the display than the Vile!

    I had the misfortune of having to sit in the Villa end yesterday( which was a life experience) What I would say is that any Villa talk of not caring about us lot in “Small Heef” is rubbish.You’d have thought they’d have won the League at the end!! Without a word of a lie I saw one man in the concourse afterwards being “consoled” by his smiling son as he was ranting on the phone to someone that they’s “done us” . He was nearly in tears! Bless him! Had to laugh.

    Anyway onwards and upwards. I’m feeling confident for the season ahead :)

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Last showed Trillion just how big a transfer budget they need to supply for a genuine promotion challenge as opposed to a hopeful fling at a playoff place

  • Dave Mann says:

    It also showed Trillion what a great football club we are with good honest hard working players , what great supporters we are compared to the library that’s the holte end and last but not least what a great gentleman of a manager we have in Gary Rowett compared to that jumped up cockney embarrassment of a joke the vile have … Give Gary a few million and the premiership awaits and I have no dout about that what so ever .. Ime prouder now than I was yesterday . Kro

  • Bluefire says:

    Certainly a good first half performance, but without sounding overly critical I think the central 3 in midfield was too defensive. Toral or Shinnie should have played from the start, more akin to our league line ups. Claytz was too isolated most of the time and once they scored it was difficult for use to break out of the defensive mindset. That’s a shame because Villa were there for the taking. This is the worst Villa team in years. 3 of my Villa mates texted me saying how relieved they were just to win as they genuinely didn’t expect to, lol!!! Davis should have stayed on as well, don’t know whether GR thought he was beginning to lose his head? Shows how mighty thin our squad is though and we definitely need another CB and another striking option.

  • With the loss of cotties assists and goals I would have played a 4+3+3 set up with BMA and Donaldson as two of the three up front , with gleeson kieftenbeld and Davies in midfield

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Personally, I would have kept to the 4-2-3-1, with Kieftenbeld and Davis as the two holding, with Gleeson pushed slightly more forward. His passing might have slipped Donaldson through, plus, along with Cotterill, he’s one of the few who can shoot from distance.

  • ChrisG says:

    The way all the vilers (players & fans) are reacting you’d think they’d won the league cup rather than knocked a championship team out of the 3rd round. I’m sure they have totally blanked out the 1st half as they keep saying they were all over us, they are also so deluded that they think it will now turn their season round but the truth is come saturday normal service will be resumed. I hope Tiny Tim remains in charge for a long time as he’s the most deluded of them all. KRO

    • RichardM says:

      Let’s not forget the only reason they had the priveledge of playing us last night was due to an appalling referee in the last round who saved them, otherwise we’d have been at Meadow Lane last night!

  • Peter bates says:

    Wait till January when jack wants to leave for a much bigger club and Europe the vilers won’t be so complimentary towards him but let’s move on our players know that for at least one hour of ninety minutes including the first forty five they were better than the opposition so let them keep deluding themselves and there supporters at least we know our limitations kro

  • andy says:

    At the end of the day the 2 subs Villa bought on won the game for them, Blues gave it a go and that is all we could expect.

  • JbfromOz says:

    I flew in fromPerth West Oz to watch my beloved blues.
    I was pleasantly surprised.
    We were organised and quite frankly Villa never got a kick the first half.
    We had 2 of the best chances of the whole game.
    A Bob Hatton Jimmy Greenhoff striker would have surely buried the Villa out of sight.
    Cotterill would surely have buried one of our “outside the box” free kicks that we squandered.
    I take my hat off to all the players and particularly Gary Rowett for being well organised and causing the Villa crowd to boo off their team at half time.
    Such was our superiority.
    The future looks bright for Blues but Villa they will go down with Sherwood there.
    He’s delusional thinking they “killed us”
    He’s also telling lies.
    BCFCOK.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    For me, Davis, Maghoma and Donaldson were the key to our bossing the first half. They were immense working together. Really enjoyed their performances. Shame about the Maghoma shot in the second half. Like he said himself, he would probably have put that away 9 times out of ten.

    The only disappointment for me was that we dropped deep again second half, inviting them on to us. If you give the likes of Grealish the freedom of the park, the little runt will fill his boots. I always felt that a cross and header by Gestede would do us, but there you go.

    Overall, I’m happy that we showed up well, but it’s gone and we move on to Rotherham and another 3 luvverly points. :)

    (As for Dim Tim, no matter what claptrap he comes out with, he ain’t fooling no one (except the gullible vile imbreds.))

    • atko says:

      Glad you raised that point Staff! I have a question for you & Dave Mann particularly as you tend to go home & away but anyone else obviously may comment. I have a theory which I would like your comments on as to whether this is our problem. We kicked off & therefore immediately got in to an attacking frame of mind even without the ball we pressed & pressured them in to giving the ball away high up the pitch. That set the tone for the half. They kicked off the second half & we automatically sat back & that set the tone for the second half. I’m wondering if that is our mentality & if so we clearly need to change it when the opposition starts a half. Your thoughts…

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I have no idea why we do it atko.. and obviously, neither of our last 2 managers do either. It’s been happening for the past 3 seasons at least. We boss the first half, but are unable to make our superiority pay. Come the second half we sit back and pay for it.

        It’s fast becoming a feature of our play. Surely opposing managers are seeing this and setting their tactics up to frustrate us, in the knowledge that they’ll have a chance of nicking it second half. I really don’t get it, but it’s time it was sorted out!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just read this on the BBC website: ” Aston Villa’s team was leaked the day before their League Cup third-round victory over Birmingham City, Blues boss Gary Rowett has claimed.

    “I actually knew their team [on Monday] funnily enough,” said Rowett, who saw his side beaten 1-0 by Rudy Gestede’s second goal of the season. “That often happens – you often get a little tip-off. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re not.”

    Villa manager Tim Sherwood said he was unfazed by Rowett’s “strange” claim.

    When asked if the leak was worrying, Sherwood replied: “Of course it’s not. Did he tell you who it was? It’s interesting why he even mentioned it. It’s strange.”

  • andy says:

    Sherwood has made a complete fool of himself, how embarrassing.

  • Stan Moye says:

    l was so proud of our first half performance, it was just a pity we could not cement our dominance with a goal. Sherwood is deluded if he thinks for a minute we believe it was his game plan, surely not even the vile crowd are that thick, well maybe a few. It would be a really positive move if GR is be allowed to bring in a couple of players that will complement the current squad. I feel we are so close, and the moneymen must surely see the potential for at least a play off shot. Please back GR before a Premier team come calling.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Does Sherwood actually expect anyone to believe that he planned to make two subs at half time? The reality is he picked the wrong team to start and was forced into making them or they were in danger of losing the game. Even some of the Villa fans at work today were saying what a graceless prat he was. Well done to GR for going straight back at him on Sky. He and Birmingham City came out of last night with our dignity intact unlike Sherwood.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s an excellent point. Rowett showed the viewing public which half of Birmingham oozes class… and which half definitely doesn’t. I’ll be surprised if Sherwood lasts the season out. The sooner he’s gone, the sooner we can rid the Midlands of the pompous pr1ck!

  • zxcv says:

    Sherwood ? They should call him driftwood, he`s out of his depth, du ya ge it. How about what a plank.

  • Totally agree Tim Sherwood is a joke! Takes the credit when his team win and blames the players when they don’t. He also believes that he’s the best manager spurs have ever had. The man is deluded. As for the vile 34,000 at home against your biggest rivals is a joke I’m pretty sure if the game had been at St Ans there wouldn’t have been an empty seat in sight! So proud of blues proper club with proper fans. And a proper manager. Could you imagine what rowett could do with 55 mill compared to that idiot! Kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    There’s a nice bit of professional friction now between Gary and Dim. Could rival Wenger / Mourinho next season

  • KC says:

    Seems a split view on Maghoma He can certainly run with the ball but his distribution and finishing leaves a lot to be desired.

    • rhees says:

      I think he will come good with a bit more game time myself

    • atko says:

      Like Dimmy he needs to take his man on more. Sometimes he has the beating of his man, turns back & is looking for the full back for support or wants the full back to overlap. If we had someone on the opposite side of Cotts who could cross a ball like he can we’d be laughing all the way to the Premier League!! Oh how we missed him last night!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that, because he’s only getting the odd chance to start, he’s so desperate to play well, he’s overcooking things a bit. He needs a run of a few games to settle down a bit I feel. I thought he was excellent in the first half, but just like the rest of the team, he got a little overrun in the second half.

  • Mitchell says:

    Moving on to serious matters and the league. One player we need more than ever for the coming winter months is Davis. He is hungry and dare I suggest ‘hurt’. This player has been passed over in recent months but as far as I can see-not bitter. His attitude and bravery against Villa shone out.Since joining Blues he has been consistently good and a credit to us. MK is decent and Gleeson playing well-but Davis has to be in there every week. Not many Champ.clubs have his type –and that’s the difference in getting top 6 and 8/9th. Good illustration is our regular second half fade outs.Davis would bulk up and block out the opposition in those latter surges. Rotherham the perfect start for him.

    • Trevor Honnor says:

      I absolutely agree with you here. In fact without question, I’d be starting Davis and Gleeson for a few weeks now and use Kieftenbeld from the bench as required.

      Kieftenbeld does work hard but I think that the pace of the game over here is wearing him out after 60 mins.

      #rotation

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely spot on Mitchell. After playing a starring role in our recovery last season, he suddenly gets dropped for Tesche, then this season gets dropped for Kieftenbeld. Why would he not be hurt/angry? Davis was up and in their faces against witton, but Kieftenbeld seemed to be running around a bit lost tbh. The game went on around him a lot of the time. It might, as Trevor says, be the pace of the game that’s getting to him. It may be time to give him a rest for a few games.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    I have to agree about Davis, I thought he was better than ‘Dutch Mike’ on the night and for me was second only to Donaldo as POY last season.
    GR must have some kind of issue with him. Is it his passing; his occasional hot-headedness? I think Kieftenbeld is the better passer of the ball but is equally likely to do something daft; I think Davis is better defensively. Both seem to struggle to last 90 mins effectively, but perhaps that’s a credit to their all-action style. Obviously, its a close call.
    Gleeson’s passing in the first half was top class; it is a shame he cannot seem to manage more than one good half regularly. Nevertheless, he has started to look like a good Championship footballer.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Have to agree with all that. I’ve not been a huge fan of Gleeson since he’s been here, but he’s definitely upped his game by 50% this season. With his range of passing, I still think he’d be better deployed a little further up the pitch. Maybe Donaldson wouldn’t have to fight for every long ball so much. Plus, Gleeson is one of only two players who can shoot from distance (Cotterill being the other.)

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Davis’ passing is far too erratic to be first choice but as a terrier he excels, as was required Tuesday. Horses for courses

  • Dave Mann says:

    Against Rotherham I would rest Kieftenbeld , Gray, Donaldson and Caddis and move Spector to right back , bring Lowry in if fit enough? Play Davis , maghoma and Brock – madsen . … Kuszczak, Spector, Morrison , Lowry , Grounds, Davis , Gleeson, maghoma , cotterill, shimmie, Brock – madsen. …that team should be more than good enough to take care of a poor Rotherham side . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I wouldn’t disagree with that line-up Dave. I think the likes of Davis, Maghoma and Brock-Madsen need a run of few games. They’ll never be up to speed otherwise. To expect them to just slot in after spending weeks on the bench is a bit unrealistic. 5 or 10 minutes every now and then ain’t enough. If they’re good enough, give them a go.. if they’re not good enough, why have them on the bench?

    • Mitchell says:

      Winners last week against Cardiff, losers by narrow 1-2 against Brighton-Rotherham not to be treated lightly. Managers Houghton and Slade speak of their toughness and fitness posing banana skins for many. Over the years we have experienced just that and we can’t take any more of these skins in our waste bins. Moral is don’t tinker too much with the team…just Cotterill and Davis in with MK and Maghoma on bench. This hopefully will turn a 0-0 into a 2-0.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s shinnie. Kro

  • Tony says:

    Has anyone seen the report today that Gray has a £3 million release clause in his contract? if true its almost giving him away it should be at least 5 million

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That one’s done the rounds a few weeks ago Tony. We turn down £5m, just to take £3m a few months later? That just doesn’t make sense. If it was £3m starting price, plus about £3-4m in add-ons.. it might make more sense.

  • Kford bluenose says:

    Gray is quickly becoming overrated. Lacks the confidence to take a man on, pace is nothing to write home about and is a passenger for long spells in games. We all hoped he was the new Redmond but he is not even close at this point in time. Let’s take the money and re-invest in the couple of players that we need to move us up another level. We need grafters with a bit of quality in their game to get out of this division and it looks like the team is currently developing at a faster pace than gray.

    • Mitchell says:

      Whilst I agree with your comments about Gray and nobody has been more critical of his performances than myself. I do feel that now is the time to put all that negativity aside and look for alternative formations for him to be effective. I look at the foul rate against him on the wings and compare it possibly to ‘what if’ he played down the middle alongside Don. Perhaps vital areas in this area would be ideal for Cotts. free kicks etc. Also, I compare him to Fabbrini in this position. As from tomorrow I would have Gray down the middle with Maghoma wide. One thing for sure is that if he moves to a Prem. club I doubt very much if he would be a winger.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I don find the way that some so called Birmingham City fans turn on a 19 yr old kid who has been an integral part of a winning team over the last year nothing short of disgaceful. Probably the same people who found it appropriate to boo and jeer at the final whistle after the Forest game. Be careful what you wish for folks because he is a serious talent with pace to burn. Destroy his confidence and he will go into his shell. Yes I agree it would be worth trying him up the middle or even on the right hand side which if nothing else would upset whatever plans the opposition have to mark him out of the game which is what has been happening this season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think I’ve been as critical Mitchell along with staffs about young Dimmi but I think playing him down the middle regular could work …. Cotterill , Gray. , Maghoma & Donaldson looks threatening and ide like to see it in a game but I will stick with the team for tomorrow that I said yesterday . Kro

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Why would you make such drastic changes to a winning team? Sorry dont get it. They only played 90 minutes on Tuesday and we are only 7 games into the season. Play our strongest team and we will probably beat Rotherham. Start messing around with it Clark style and there is only one thing that is going to happen.

      • Barny Blue says:

        Would return to the tried, tested & very successfull team:

        Kuszczak
        Caddis, Morrison, Spector, Grounds
        Gleeson, Kieftenbeld
        Cotterill, Toral, Gray
        Donaldson

        Rotherham will come to be compact and difficult to break down, hoping to take a point, so we need to be clever and change our usual counter-attacking tactics and look to more on the front foot. Pressing our wingers higher up the pitch to stretch game and get behind their full-backs will be key, akin to Bristol City match.

        If things aren’t working out after 45-60 minutes, we have a variety of options available to change tact e.g. Maghoma on to allow Gray to move inside, Shinnie in the hole, Brock-Masden (possibly in a two with Clayton – would love to see that), Davis in the engine-room.

        Really hoping for a positive response and a return to winning ways. I’m going for 3-1 to the blueboys! KRO!

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Cant see it being anything else as long as Cotterill is fit. We really missed him Tuesday.

          • Barny Blue says:

            We did. As well as Maghoma played, Cotterill has been so important for us in the past 12 months with his goals and assists – our set pieces against the Villa really showed his value!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Let’s play our strongest team then Shirley , I’ve no problem with that but it’s just an opinion . Kro

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Doesnt matter what we think but I know what Gary Rowett will do and that is play the strongest team he can tomorrow and not make unnecessary changes and thats why we are on the fringes of the play offs. Constant tinkering and changes nearly got us relegated not so long ago.

    • Barny Blue says:

      Seen your earlier post Dave. Wouldn’t be against bringing Davis in for Kieftenbeld, but would not be keen on moving Spector across to RB. I think Caddis’ attacking play benefits Cotterill, and Spector has been (to my suprise) very good in partnership with Morrison this season. I also think Spector is a better CB than RB – I have never been a fan of him therefor a couple of reasons. Unless we have a much-improved option at CB (is Lowry the answer), then I wouldn’t rock the boat.

      Hey, we all have our opinions. As long as GR has the right one and we pick up the 3 points i’ll be a happy man at 5pm tommorrow (will be a very welcome Birthday present :-) )

  • Dave Mann says:

    Exactly Barney , we all know that Rowett will play is strongest side as Shirley suggests but as long as we win Tomorrow none of us will be to disappointed .. I was just making the point of giving some of the bench players a start as we play our game in hand on Tuesday against Brentford and with the greatest of respect I think that game will be tougher but hey ! Let’s go for it , strongest team every game .. Let’s just hope injuries are kind to us . Kro

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Yes Brentford should be the tougher game so hopefully nail the three points tomorrow and take the pressure off for Tuesday night. Other key point is I will be there tomorrow but I wont be at Brentford so if we are going to win one of them then I hope its Rotherham – selfish so and so I know – sorry! 4 points from these two games would be a great return and certainly see us in the top 6.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      At the end of the day SB, a win at home is the same as a win away… 3 points. So, if you’re going tomorrow, I don’t see it as selfish to want to win the home game. If I was asked to choose, I’d take the home win too.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Without question we’re be top six with 4 points from these 2 games and results going for us as they are in the championship who’s to say where we’re be if we get all 6 … Nothing selfish about wanting Blues to win home games , we all do .. Can’t make Brentford myself being a week night ( shock , horror) so let’s get 3 points tomorrow and let that game take care of itself. Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    1point – home draw
    2 points- away draw
    3 points- home win
    4 points- away win
    5 points- home win with five goals
    6 points- away win with five goals
    That’s how I play my points system on certain computer games… Imagine this working in real terms in our league system , be very interesting .. Just a thought , not loosing my marbles honestly !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      3 points for a win and an extra point for scoring 4 or more goals. That’s how I’d do it. Would encourage more attacking football.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Tbh, I’ve seen no one for us to be especially worried about this season, except maybe Middlesborough. We’ve already taken 6 points off three of the top 6, with the other three still to come. Looking at our next 10 games, the trickiest, for me, are Leeds, QPR and Fulham. The rest are very winnable.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I reckon by Xmas we’re be well In the top six and that will supprise all of us never mind me or you mate .. I truly believe that we’re underestimating our team .. No team In this league including Brighton have amazed me so why the negativity from some quarters .. I suppose it’s just our human nature or the fact that Blues never deliver .. Really!! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Every game That comes around, I have a positive outlook. I expect to take points from every game. Sure, we’re going to lose some, but I don’t think it will be that many. Top 6, or even top 10 by Xmas will be nice.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Wenger’s last attempt convert a winger to striker was failure but Gray could be his new Henry.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I really don’t think so Julian , with the greatest of respect…if your talking about Walcott he’s head and shoulders above Gray and more likely to be a striker than Dimmi .. Sorry mate my opinion . Kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    He’s way behind Henry. Gray has the makings of another Henry. He has pace and his finishing is composed.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    We have got to eradicate the soft goals. That means a specialist hard case centre back for one. If that’s Lowry all well and good. Ideally I wouldn’t play Spector at right back but … Caddis has been weak defensively and Spector doesn’t deserve to be dropped

  • Dave Mann says:

    Emmanuel Mbende looks like he might get a contact , been banging around the first team during is time here and as impressed Rowett .. Tough tackler, pacey, good in the air ….. Could be the answer to our problems even at 19 , why not? Kro


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