Often Partisan

Cotterill and Maghoma

Gary Rowett yesterday confirmed to the official Birmingham City website that David Cotterill is still suffering from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Wales European Championship qualifiers and that it’s likely he will miss the next two games against QPR and Bolton.

It’s a bit of a blow for Blues; Cotterill is one of the best attacking outlets that the team has and although he can be frustrating at times due to his tendency to shoot on sight the fact is he is productive in scoring goals and creating chances. Blues have a tough few games coming up and if they want to hold their place in the top six they will have to be on top of their game for the next few weeks.

The obvious replacement will be Jacques Maghoma. As an impact player, Maghoma has done well – for example coming off the bench in the last game against Leeds United to score the second goal in injury time on the break. Although I don’t think he has quite the same skillset as Cotterill he has been a decent signing – better than I hoped for at least – and I think this will be a good chance for the former Sheffield Wednesday man to put down a marker for himself to keep a place in the team.

It means that Viv Solomon-Otabor is now almost guaranteed a place on the bench too. It’s been a breakthrough season for the London teenager and I think the challenge for him while Cotterill is out will be to provide the impact off the bench that Maghoma was. Solomon-Otabor is still raw, make no mistake about it – but I think we’ve seen flashes of what he could be already and if he can continue improving in the manner Dimmy Gray has since he made the first team then it will be hard for him to be dropped back to the under-21s when everyone else is fit.

I’d like to see this as an opportunity for one of Koby Arthur or Reece Brown to make a bench spot their own too. One thing I like about the small and tight squad that Gary Rowett continually promotes the idea of is that it should give opportunities for the brightest academy and u21 players to get into the matchday 18. While I don’t think players should be given chances willy-nilly and they should be earned by performances in training etc I also think that for a longer term future Blues do have to look at continuing to build from within.

On that front it went kind of under the radar but the appointment of an assistant to Kristjaan Speakman is an interesting one because as Speakman said it puts Blues into more of a Category One Academy footing – which not only would secure more money from the EPPP rules if we lose players makes it easier for Blues to bring in new youngsters from elsewhere. With Blues also looking to build up their u21 squad it does seem that a longer term plan is slowly being put into place.

For the here and now while I do hope Cotterill is back and fighting fit soon it’s not the injury issue it could have been – let’s hope that Jacques Maghoma et al are able to ensure that the only issue Blues will face is who to be left out when the Welsh winger is fit again.

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22 Responses to “Cotterill and Maghoma”

  • DoctorD says:

    I’m not saying there are exact parallels with Blues, or even any similarities at all, but I enjoyed the show on BBC Five Live last night looking back at the glory days of Nottingham Forest in the wake of the new film “I Believe in Miracles”. What struck me was how Clough moulded a group of seeming nobodies into a side that stormed the old Second Division. Of course, once he got the side promoted, Clough and Taylor splashed the cash on the likes of Peter Shilton, but it showed that, with the right manager, anything’s possible.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I was very critical of Maghoma pre season but he’s got his head down and is now looking a player .. Play him in the cotterill role alongside Gray and Donaldson with Gleeson, kieftenbeld and Davis in midfield and same back four with Robinson .. Same team basically 4-3-3 and give the Rangers a going over .. Come on Blues Kro

  • Luke says:

    Hi Dan

    “it puts Blues into more of a Category One Academy footing – which not only would secure more money from the EPPP rules if we lose players makes it easier for Blues to bring in new youngsters from elsewhere”

    Sorry, you’ve lost me. Can you expand on this?

    Cheers.

  • ChrisG says:

    I think in our current situation it’s a really good thing that we are concentrating on building a decent academy. If we can continue finding a few gems as we have been then all looks good for the future. It could be another 12-18 months before TTA complete their takeover & no one knows how much money they will be putting into the club for transfers, so this is pretty good forward thinking from Blues.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    IT IS a blow but I think it will be Maghoma or Solomon-Otabor in for him and a good chance for one of them to show us what they can do. We know Maghoma makes a good impact player off the bench so I would like to see him start. I like him he is a lively player and likes to dribble at pace he also seems to be a very nice guy he as a friendly personality and a good attitude off the pitch but becomes a terrier on it.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s ok putting the effort into the academy, but when you consider that, since the days of Butland, Redmond and Mutch, the only player to make his mark since then, is Gray. When you think that just a couple of seasons ago, we had young players like Townsend, Hancox, Packwood, Fry, Brown, Arthur, Reilly, Asante, Jervis, etc, etc. it’s all ended up a bit of an anti-climax tbh.

    I’m wondering what will be different about the present and the future? WIll the recruitment be better? The training methods? What will need to change to ensure we have more than one player make it out of a whole group?

    • atko says:

      Whilst I understand your point, Staff, I think there is more incentive for the younger players today & in the future under Gary Rowett. We had a big squad under previous managers & the door was pretty much closed to the first 18 unless you were outstanding. With upcoming removal of the loan system, the smaller squad can only give the academy players greater options & incentives. Every kid dreams of being a professional footballer & when they first sign with the academy they think they have cracked it.

      Obviously we all know the hard work only starts there & even more so when you do finally make an appearance in the first 18 but when your chances are limited like the period you refer to with those young players then the mindset I suspect is different. These days it is different & I think Gary Rowett names academy players on the bench without utilizing them simply to get them acustomed to the atmosphere of a first team match day. He will be mindful of whether they are scared out of their wits or whether they could do a job if he gave them the nod but I think the opportunities will be there now & in the future for academy players more than before if they can show the Blues Staff they can make the switch.

    • ChrisG says:

      I think Staffs that what the club are doing with the under 18’s team is a good step in the right direction, they played today against a good quality Stoke side featuring several 1st teamers & internationals, though we lost the match it gives the youngsters a good insight as to what they will be up against & the plan to play several of these type of games so as they’re ready to step into the Blues 1st team if needed will as they say sort the men from the boys

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree on that. U21 football is pretty sterile tbh. If they don’t get competitive football as they’re developing, they’re going to find the step up that much more difficult when it comes. That’s why I think Hancox going to Crawley was the best thing for him and, possibly, for us in the long run.

  • I was lucky to live near derby when old bighead run derby and then forest, and I also heard and prayed that cloughy would take over brum as did burnsy , and there wasn’t much difference in the beginning between blues now and derby then , that’s why I believe blues can do this , and at the moment were smoking ,so come on we can do this , kro

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Good luck to Maghoma/VSA . Both will see Cotrills injury as a chance to stake their claim and I hope both of them are given a good chance to show what they can do. Maghoma has done well so far and has a bit of the Louie Donowa about him with that bit of pace he has but like Donowa is a confidence player I think.VSA has the potential to make a bigger impact than Dimmi in my eyes so interested to see how they both do.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s what I like about Maghoma. I like wingers who are a bit more direct and aren’t afraid to take a full back on, on either side. Wingers who have to keep cutting inside are ten a penny.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Agree. We seem to have more pace up front these days which suits our counter attacking style. If we’re going to maintain our challenge we will need players like Maghoma and Shinnie to step in and find some form.

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    I think Maghoma will play RM though he has disappointed when he has started

  • Mitchell says:

    With Green in goal-Hall at CH and Austin injured, this must surely present an extra man up front. Forget about patient build ups and not altering our balance etc. I would go Gray and Soloman with Maghoma on the bench. I would shove Shinnie into an attacking two with Don. Not that risky really as a goal possibly conceded would be small fry if we got at QPR early. After Forest and Rotherham-something needs changing and the absence of Cotterill might just turn out to be the ‘home medicine’ required.

    • David Cotterill hasn’t done too much wrong and we will miss his ability at free kicks. I think we are going to have to be very patient and make sure we don’t concede the first goal. As soon as we went behind against Forest and Rotherham there was no coming back. If we play three central midfielders then one of them needs to make runs into the penalty area or we are going to be very predictable. If we can’t win it don’t lose it – we will get plenty of points away.

  • Dave Mann says:

    4-4-2 Mitchell, interesting but not happening mate .. Ime not diisagreing but you no as well as I do that ain’t happening mate .. It’s the 4-3-3- mate with the same team that beat Leeds but maghoma for cotterill.. No worries .kro :-)

  • Paul Champ says:

    Dr.D, thankyou for your comments re:GR/Brian Clough
    I have been saying this to my mates since last January
    I think we will see the fruitions of our thoughts nce GR has the opportunity of bringing in a bit more quality
    KRO,and 2-1 to Blues tomorrow

  • Mattblue says:

    Hi Dan

    Firstly, brilliant blog mate; been reading for a long time and your dedication towards Blues is inspirational. Agree with some of your points on Cotterill. Personally, I find him similar to Jesper Gronkjaer in some respects. He can produce a moment of magic that leads to a goal. Alternatively, I have seen him give away free kicks or possession this season which had led to goals against us. Jesper Gronkjaer and Cotterill would both feature in my current blues XI but the full backs must be prepared for a blunder here and there!


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