Often Partisan

The “P” Word

Paul Robinson has been quoted in the Birmingham Mail saying that the current Blues side reminds him of the characteristics of sides he has been promoted with before from the Championship. The club skipper talked about the “balance of skills” and “positive atmosphere” that are prevalent at the moment within the St Andrew’s setup.

I think this might be the first time that someone at Blues has actually dared to connect the team to the “P” word this season; although having taken 21 points from ten games I did think it was only a matter of time before there was proper talk of promotion from within the ranks.

As an outsider it’s difficult for me to make a proper judgement of the team; I’ve only been to one game so far this season although I’ve seen a couple more on the TV. What I have seen does ring true of this statement of balance – and not in the five left-footers, five right-footers kind of balance Lee Clark talked about before the fiasco of a home game against Blackburn Rovers.

I know everyone has their own particular likes and dislikes within the team but right now I can’t think of anyone who I would say is a definitive weak link; at the moment every player seems to be contributing and even when we’ve had injuries like the one to Welsh winger to David Cotterill we’ve seen players like Jacques Maghoma come in and give outstanding performances.

The biggest thing I can gather from talking to Blues fans online is that there is a sense that the team is currently now greater than the sum of it’s parts. Every player knows their role and their responsibilities and they all work together to create a proper team. Although Blues have been a counter-attacking side I do think this is the way football is going; from having watched a fair bit the last few months it does seem that the tiki-taka style is dying out somewhat and coaches are more focused not just on passing teams to death but actually creating chances from pace and power – which does make for more exciting games.

It’s still too early to say if this is indeed Blues’ year and I think like Gary Rowett we have to take things one game at a time. However, if we do keep this form up we won’t be under the radar much longer and I think more and more people out there will be looking at Blues as a promotion threat.

In other news, Paul Suen Cho Hung’s name has come up in business news in tangential connection with Birmingham City. The man revealed by this website to be behind Trillion Trophy Asia back in August has bought 27.47% of Hong Kong listed company Courage Marine Group (HK:1145) via his “Brilliant Epic Asia” vehicle based in the BVI. Mr Suen however hasn’t taken day to day control of the company, having left his longtime business partner Sue Ka Lok as chairman of the struggling shipping company.

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39 Responses to “The “P” Word”

  • Dave Mann says:

    The “P” word is better to talk about than The “R” word I think so let’s make no excuses for looking up rather than down .. The reality is were 4th , the reality is were 2nd highest scorers , the reality is we have 21 points from 11 games .. Let’s hope that fans keep remembering that until we start to fall from grace to a more Realistic position like some experts believe .. Those who go to most games no that we deserve to be where we are and it’s no fluke …optimistic and promotion to pesemistic and relegation is better for the soul and your stress levels .. Ime chilled and stress free but then I am in my caravan overlooking st Mary’s bay in sunny Brixham . :-) kro

  • Bluenosesol says:

    The crowds and the atmosphere are ramping up at Stans. Football is all about psychology and teams are now realising that when they play the Blues, they are going to have to go some to beat us. Its still too early to predict but the omens are looking good! KRO.

  • rhees says:

    To early for p word if were in top 6 at the end of January Then we can talk about it.
    Untill then lets enjoy the ride and enjoy some highs for a change without piling on any expectations and pressure on the lads imo.
    As ever Dan great article good to see you being able to keep up possertive posts looking forward to next pod cast

  • nicko says:

    spot on with your comment mr mann also blue nose sol the crowds are starting to come back the singing is much better we played a team on saturday that had 2 shots on target in 90 minutes robbo may not have the legs but what a football brain the back four were brilliant that team qpr are the top scorers in the division and but for a lucky deflection would not have scored till next week kro and well done dan another good write

  • Bluegirl says:

    I loved Robbo’s own attitude on Saturday – it completely epitomised the feelings which abound within the Club at the moment – one for all …. and he shared that with the fans with acknowledging the badge on his shirt, and applauding – and accepting the applause from – the fans at the end of the game. It’s what Blues has always been about for me, a genuine love of the Club.

    It doesn’t get much better …

    KRO

  • edd77 says:

    Real good feel around the place at mo , now onto to tuesday and winning against a team that are bottom something we’ve found hard to do in recent years ,but I’m confident of getting something .KRO

  • I believe , i believe, I believe , ….p.s. Cho Hung this club craves trophies , making money in life is good but will never beat the feeling that success brings in a sport that you enjoy , blues need owners that want to believe in them , we are only here once , football success can be constant in a recession money won’t be , blues need to be taken on another journey to success are you big enough TTA , make a name , we crave for fame , to bask in glory , keep right on

  • zxcv says:

    What excites me is like Nicko said above, we limited a good high scoring team to just a couple of shots at goal and they were a tad lucky with that deflection, and they are not the only team we have made look average tbh. Credit has to go to Gary and the coaching team as I don`t really think anyone would say we have the most expensive team or the best players in this league yet we are where we are on merit imo. I do still worry tho on the size of our squad in vital positions and just hope that GR will be allowed to bring in at least a couple of quality players in the next window, then we will be in with a real chance and a fascinating run in to the end of the season, fingers crossed.

  • Sam says:

    Hope I’m wrong but best I see us is finishing between mid table and play offs just hope we’ve got a chance of sneaking in.
    Just as I can’t see West Ham, Leicester or Chelsea for that matter staying anyway near where they are now.
    GR has built a tight and organised squad and speaks very well however don’t feel we have the strength in depth to really push for Promotion.
    To be fair I wasn’t expecting this at the start of the season so long may it continue! KRO

    • zxcv says:

      Like I said above Sam unless we get at least two quality players in or at least a really decent c/half as I can`t see Robo (as good as he has been thus far) lasting through the wet heavy pitches of a cold winter and it could cost us in the long run in.

      • AdamTrueBlue says:

        Teddy Sheringham 40 years 272 days,
        Ryan Giggs 40 years 191 days,
        Gordon Strachan 40 years 83 days,
        Bryan Robson 39 years 355 days,
        Dean windass 39 years 269 days,
        Ray Wilikns 39 years 233 days,
        Trevor Francis 39 years 215 days,
        (All above are dates for premiership games).

        Our Robbo is a nipper at only 36, and I would like to add him to the above list. Kro

        • zxcv says:

          Now that is interesting, all those play at the other end of the pitch, not one centre half. Its well known in football if you make a mistake as a goalie or a c/half it can be costly where as a striker can miss as many as he wants as long as he eventually scores. I would love nothing more than for Robo to last the season but I think most know in their hearts he can`t it is totally different for that position. I remember seeing an aging midfielder who had always played in the top league play for a team against us at St Andrews and he just stood in the centre circle almost the whole game and sprayed passes around all game we never got a look in, his name…..Jan Molby. He would never be allowed that time had he been a c/h.

          • atko says:

            Robbo won’t be expected to last the full season, ZXCV. Don’t forget he isn’t our first choice centre half & he acknowledges that. The way he is playing right now it would be dificult to drop him & we do have two other centre half’s on the sidelines now. I’m no longer concerned with defensive cover as I think we have the players who can come in & cover. Like Dan says those that are coming in now as cover whether through injury or to rest a player or two are now showing that the balance of the side is not compromised. Unfortunately the only position we all remain concerned about is Clayton Donaldson’s. It puts a lot of pressure on his shoulders to remain fit & in form. If there is ANY position we need cover for in the January window it is going to be that one. Whether GR has eyes on anyone right now who can contribute as much as Clayton remains to be seen but that’s my only concern.

    • atko says:

      Do you acknowledge the squad is stronger than last season, Sam? If you recall, we were bottom two when Gary Rowett came in & the tightening up of the defense & the massive improvement of the performances resulted in us being not a million miles away from the play offs. Had we another half a dozen games & we could have been talking of play offs last season. With an improved squad all working together as a team then why is it such a surprise? The one thing Gary Rowett has brought to Blues is the need for consistency, something that Blues have been lacking for a number of years. We are now seeing the consistency & hopefull long may it continue as that’s the only thing that will get any club out of this league.

  • David l says:

    Cheer up lads – just look at what Leeds fans are going through and enjoy and appreciate our current stability and degree of success!

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    Good piece again Dan, I have no issues with thinking about the P word because we are in a P position, it might not last but if GR finishes the same as he did last season – why not.
    I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Chelsea on a fine win at the weekend and also to Newcastle who moved up a place in the premier table. (:-)))) Kro

  • Must win , will win game coming up next , I believe,

  • Mitchell says:

    I think the mental issue with a number of us is the fact that we can’t quite believe where we are at. This rolls on to doubt and we then ‘get prepared’ for the fall. Myself included. This is as a result of 3 years of total misery and humiliation by the owners and the previous manager. GR hasn’t gone through this and fortunately for us he is starting with a clean slate. He is obviously a winner and we have to get on the same level- to believe we can win each game. Our problem is that ( if we are honest) that we haven’t quite reached that mentality due to the past damage that still lingers.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I won’t let the P word cross my mind until at least after the Xmas period… and even then, only if we’re solidly placed in the top 6. A few injuries or suspensions and a poor run will soon have us dropping back, so to think about promotion after less than a dozen games is jumping the gun a bit. For me, top 6 should be the aim, anything more is a definite bonus.

    As for ‘tiki-taka,’ the sooner that dies a death, the better. Bores me to tears. It’s the reason I stopped watching premiership football altogether.

  • Micko says:

    Like Dan, I do not get to many games because of geography (the wilds of East Yorkshire are nearly as remote as Poland !!). Saturday was my first of the season – and how impressed I was. Various things struck me. Firstly, there are no egos – just a bunch of guys running through brick walls for each other. I think that the small, carefully chosen tight knit squad has a lot to do with this. Secondly, the inclusion of Davis, a more defensive player than Toral or Shinnie, has, paradoxically, made us a better attacking side with the wide players being more confident to commit to attack. Thirdly, it was my first chance to see the two new players, Kieftenbeld and Maghoma in the flesh – they were both VERY impressive and just shows what a good judge of football talent GR is. Long may it continue. In some ways I would rather not think of the P word – I am enjoying the experience of doing so well in the Championship and not having to watch us getting turned over every week by a bunch of flash, overpaid teams in the Premiership.

  • J. Owen says:

    I think that whilst the team are in excellent form, it is important that blues fans remain level headed about our current league position. I agree with the posts that suggest that now isn’t the time for lofty expectations and with that, unreasonable pressure placed on the team.
    I do think that GR’s ethos of going about our business quietly is absolutely correct, not necessarily because we will go unnoticed by other teams and remain a relative secret in the perception of the wider perception of the public, but because GR is performing a highly professional job in his man management of the players; this is especially true of his management of their stress levels, expectations and mentality. As a team, this renewed sense of belief is an psychological tightrope, one which we need to steady with the correct balance of optimism and being realistic. A case in point of not getting this balance is when we played Rotherham. Having discussed the possible result of the match prior to playing them, many blues fans were arrogant and expected us to dispatch them with ease; with such an attitude comes unwanted pressure and consequently, arrogance and expectation derailed the performance. Let us not forget that two seasons ago, like Rotherham, we were near the bottom of the table.
    Having been a season ticked holder now for some eleven years, I completely understand the desperation of fans for glory after the amount that we have suffered in recent seasons; nevertheless, we must treat every opponent with caution and respect. We must earn the right to play and to win every time we step out on that field. In this league, every opponent provides a challenge (hence why it is one of the most difficult in the world) and because of this, I’d rather bench the optimism for now and replace it with caution and a determination from the squad to remain focused on the long task at hand.
    As fans, yes enjoy our change of fortunes, but get behind the lads when things aren’t going our way.
    For me, attendance still remains fairly poor considering how well we are doing. StAns needs to be full and the lads given the support and credit that they are due. As fans we can make the difference and whatever happens this season, we need to help push the lads as far as they can go and give them the inspiration that they need.
    It would be great to see some work done on throw-ins as players appear to be static and lack a bit of creativity. It would also be useful to focus on giving Donaldson balls into feet rather than always playing balls over the top. The guy’s a machine but give him a chance. Work hard but play smart.

    • zxcv says:

      Another excellent post J.Owen, and well put. Can`t disagree with any of that and your analogy on the Rotherham game sort of reminds me of the Arsenal team arguing who was going to lead the team to collect the cup after they beat us. No the P word is used in my house, not yet anyhow.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Our 10th place finish last season from being in the bottom 3 when GR took over had most of us believing we were punching above our weight. Having not exactly setting the transfer market on fire during the summer and missing out on our prefered targets most of us accepted that a mid table finish is what we should settle for. Money doesn’t allways equate to success and you only have to look at our division to illustrate my point. For every million that Burnley,Boro and Bristol have spent Blues have matched in blood sweat and endeavour and I cannot remember being so stirred by a Blues side in years. Most bookies still have us out at 10/1 to get promoted this season and I won’t be lumping in just yet,but betting against us would be stupid with this lot.

    • atko says:

      Our league is no different than the Premier League in that sense, Hillfield Blues. Those that have spent millions have done so on players that have under performed. A number of people on here were posting during the summer in despair when players THEY recognized as able to do a job for Blues were being snapped up by these high paying clubs but few if any have proven their worth so far. Just goes to show that it’s best to leave Gary Rowett to do his job, he DOES know what he is doing ;)

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Atko- I along with every other Blues fan that I know was frustrated with our transfer dealings during the summer,weren’t you?? It certainly makes our league position all the more remarkable and I’ve never suggested that GR doesn’t know what he’s doing either ;)

  • bluenose68 says:

    People are getting well overexcited with our current position in the league. Lets be sensible and have a reality check here.

    Yes, we are making great strides both on and off the field. But expectations of promotion this season need to be dampened down. Its not impossible – look at Burnley and Blackpool in recent years – but raised expectations will put pressure on the team and when the bad run of games comes along (and believe me, it will come) I hope that people don’t lose their sense of perspective.

    If Blues are in the top six come the end of the season that will be a miracle – nothing less than a miracle, and testament to the job that GR and his team have done.

    I watched a vid recently about the great Bill Shankly, and he was at Liverpool for 15 years, putting in foundations, establishing a playing philosophy, building several great teams before handing over to his trusted lieutenants who continued the success. I really do hope that we keep GR at our club for that length of time and beyond, because that degree of continuity is the only way that real, lasting success will be built.

    • zxcv says:

      Talking of Bill Shankly I remember a famous quote from him when some fan asked him, why are you retiring ? his reply was don`t you worry son this team is so good it would take an idiot two years to ruin it, lol.

      great post Bluenose68

  • Andy P says:

    Just goes to show what a difference a year makes. This Saturday coming is the anniversary of the worst result and performance in living memory.. Can we dare to dream that a year on we might be sitting pretty in Automatic spot.

  • Andrew says:

    Even in the unlikely situation we get promoted it still would not drive me back to being a season ticket holder. I had enough of watching Clarke and whatever he had to offer but I did not decide to stop because of that. I stopped because of the club’s situation, which let’s not forget still is no better for all I know. I couldn’t sit back and justify what had happened at the club for me to want to be part of it. Since then life changes for me and going to football games as much as I know I enjoy it is just not a top priority, an as I dare to say it about others too. I just want to see sustainability not dreamland scenarios.

    • Singapore Brum says:

      Andrew – imho the club’s situation is more likely to be resolved in a positive manner if the fans get behind the team and actually go down and support the team. Potential investors seeing a club pushing towards the top of the league with a full stadium would be more encouraged to proceed than if the stadium is just two thirds full.

      • Andrew says:

        Yet I’ve always thought if you own a business it’s in there interest to provide a good product or service to there customers. You wouldn’t buy a car say then it breaks and is really unreliable for the company to turn around and say ‘we made this car with shoddy material with terrible machinery, but when you buy your next car we’ll promise it’s loads better’. You just won’t buy their cars again. You need to be honest and give people what they buy into. No investment in you product or interest in your customers in this case the fans leads to dwindling numbers.

  • Steve0 says:

    If Andrew doesn’t want to continue buying a season ticket then that is Andrews choice.

    They’re not cheap and his priorities have changed. Why are football forums full of people that think everybody should be down the ground every week?

    • Singapore Brum says:

      I am confused then.

      I thought Andrew “stopped because of the club’s situation” – and that quote is taken direct from his own message.

      I agree with the fact that life changes, priorities suddenly switch around and I am certainly in no position to preach that fans should go down to the ground every week.

  • Strettonbluenose says:

    Strettonbluenose: By the “P word”, I assume you mean *Promotion*.
    Almijar,: Aahhhhh. Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends.
    Almijar: Aaahh.
    Strettonbluenose: What was that?
    We were exorcising evil spirits. Being but a punter, you will not know the great tradition that one does *never* speak the name of the “P word”.
    Strettonbluenose: What, *Promotion*?
    Almijar: Aahhhhh. Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends.
    Almijar: Ohhh.
    Strettonbluenose: Good lord, you mean you have to do *that* every time I say *Promotion*?
    Almijar: Aahhhhh. Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends.
    Almijar: Owwww.
    Almijar: Will you please stop saying *that*. Always call it the “P word”.
    Strettonbluenose: So you want me to say the “P word”?
    Almijar: [shout] Yes.
    Strettonbluenose: Rather than *Promotion*?
    Almijar: Aahhhhh. Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends.
    Almijar: Owwwwww.


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