Often Partisan

Enjoy the Ride

The way things are going – I see Blues future in simple terms: Promotion.

There, I said it.

Okay, I’ll accept that Blues will need to continue to play as awesomely well as they have been, will continue needing “that bit of luck” or “the rub of the green” – especially with injuries and suspensions. But I do believe we can do it.

What I can’t believe is that I’ve seen people who actually don’t want us to get promoted – because they’re worried about Carson. They’re worried promotion (and the mega millions offered by the Premier League) will only cause Carson to redouble his efforts to derail Trillion Trophy Asia, to hold on to the club and to “treat it like an ATM”.

I’m not going to pretend for one second that Carson is ancient history. I don’t believe that fight is over yet – and I think there will be a long way until something is sorted out. I also will confirm my continual belief that Carson doesn’t want to sell and will have to be pushed into it – somehow.

However – and this is going to probably sound bizarre coming from me – I actually am not that flustered right now about the Carson situation. I know that EY/BIH have taken him and Pannu to court, and that process is ongoing. I know that there will no doubt be reams of evidence in the civil action (not a private prosecution nor a criminal case for the avoidance of doubt) that EY believe will help sway the Judge into awarding damages against Carson. I also have no doubt that if there is evidence of wrongdoing the HK authorities might be pushed into doing something about it – investigation, criminal prosecution – maybe. But that’s all somewhere in the future.

Right now all I’m concerned about is Blues continuing to perform well on the pitch. The team is firing on all cylinders; the coach is performing miracles that probably would make Jesus himself say “woah”. In the here and now, that is all that matters.

Yes, if (big if) we do go up, then there would be more money coming our way. Yes, that money would intensify things in HK – but it would do more than reinforce Carson’s resolve. There is already pressure on EY to perform well with BIH; if BCFC get promoted to the Premier League then there would be a whole lot more scrutiny and a whole lot more people interested. Surely that too would also reinforce their resolve? If there was a chance of either selling BCFC for something approaching the 80mil that Carson paid for it or making money from owning BCFC, surely Paul Suen Cho Hung at TTA would have more desire to do things right?

There are still some unanswered questions about just how much control Carson could exert and how much shareholder power he has – Mr Liu of EY if you’re reading this, please respond to my email from Monday ;) – but right now things are good at BCFC. Let’s enjoy the ride.

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65 Responses to “Enjoy the Ride”

  • Tony E says:

    I can not believe how Gary has the lads playing and the results we are achieving. I have been going down the Blues for more than 50 years and apart from the early Bruce years (I think he lost his way later in his Blues career), this guy is getting more from his players than any other manager has managed. If the ownership situation can be successfully resolved I honestly believe a bright future may be just round the corner. I live in hope!

  • Fange says:

    With Blues I am the eternal pessimist. When at Wembley and Martins scored, I thought we would still lose. I’m sadly waiting our bubble to burst so i can sigh and go ‘if only’. Like i am now thinking that we should have beaten Forrest and Rotherham! if only eh?

  • chris says:

    If shares are trading before the end of any promotion hopes then i suspect shareholders will vote against a sale, who wouldn’t stay on the ride if your shares may substantially rise on the club’s promotion.
    The longer we stay at the top imo i can’t see either side making a decision on sale or purchase, it would be harder for E&Y to encourage shareholders to sell and would TTA be willing to up the offer if promoted?

  • steve says:

    I don’t think any of us can say we expected this. GR and the team are doing us proud and now they deserve our support more than ever. IF you can afford it,get down to the Dingles game and let’s have a sold out St Andrews. I think Saturday will be our toughest test yet.3rd v 2nd. If we win on Saturday then i will truly believe. I think we’ll beat Hull and then we’ll beat the dingles. My only worry is how we’ll cope with injuries to our main players.Still,that’s for another day.As OP says,for now let’s enjoy the ride.

  • GaryB says:

    Interesting stat after 12 league games only 16 players have started games this season and that includes Eardleys short appearance..18 in total have appearances in league including sub appearances. This I believe is what the success is down to a close knit squad. Another stat after 6 home league games attendances are up by over 2000 to an average of over 18,000. Happy days..onwards and upwards…KRO

  • Art says:

    Fantastic results which could lead to a push for promotion but I can’t see us getting there without investment- £2m should do the trick.Its a long haul after Xmas and injuries to key players will be key so we must invest to strengthen the squad.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    I was at the match. GR had the team cutting out their midfield witch forced them to play wide and long. I think with GR in charge this team is capable of beating any one.
    I fort Morison MOM although Robbo close & Spector was quality off the bench. it shows how we played when you here that Ben Amos Bolton GK was the sponsored MOM.

  • Neil says:

    An I right in saying, the entire team cost £750k?

    Bloody miracles.

    Well done GR and the whole staff.

  • RichardM says:

    Unbelievable, I want to be optimistic but 40+ years supporting the Blues makes it hard to be so. IMO we are not strong enough to get automatic promotion, especially with Derby and Hull starting to kick into gear. Play-offs? That’s a different matter, I would have laughed out loud at the start of the season if anyone had even suggested it, now it seems a distinct possibility. Either way it’s an immense achievement by Gary Rowett and his team – if he somehow gets us into the Premier with this squad I think we can safely call him the greatest Blues manager of all time!

    Next four weeks we have Wolves and Hull at home, and Middlesboro and Brighton away. If we’re still in second place after those games I might dare to dream…..

    Ohh and Paul Robinson – apologies mate, I wrote you off after the Bournemouth game last week, thanks for proving to me that even after 40 years I still know nothing about football!

    • steve says:

      Don’t know what fixtures you’re looking at. Next 5 games.
      Hull A
      Dingles H
      Blackburn H
      Fulham A
      Charlton H
      I,m pretty confident of at least 11 points from these games.

    • Carl71 says:

      Blimey Richard you have just made me realise i have now been going to blues over 40 years too. first match at 3 now 44 years old.

  • ChrisG says:

    Tbh there is so much going on in HK i’m struggling to understand all the ins & outs of it all, apart from that there is sod all I could do about it anyway so why worry?. There’s been a lot of scaremongering going on by people who haven’t really got a clue & the problem is anything negative & other people jump on it as gospel.
    Looking forward to going to Hull on saturday, it’s a massive game & i’m disappointed that we haven’t sold our full allocation of just under 2000 tickets.

  • Jaffa says:

    I want to believe the impossible I really do.I just wish we were at the end of the season.

  • Andrew says:

    I remember a post that you made near the start of the season called play to forget or something along those lines. And in all honesty with recent form I am starting to think less about the ownership problems. Let’s hope this continues. KRO

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Our on field success has been an unexpected and timely diversion from the tedium in HK. Nobody could have guessed we’d be in an automatic promotion spot after a quarter of the season. What a shame it will be if our challenge fizzles out because of a lack of investment in a squad of which will surely need some reinforcement after Xmas. Let’s hope not.

  • bluenose52 says:

    Im same as some of u gd ppl ive supported blues since the age of 9 im 52 now during that time ive seen real gd players with the blues but in away this team and gary will be up ther with the best soley because we aint spent a fortune the real fear i have is keeping hold of our manager but eh im loving this ride we are on wd players wd manager and of course the fans

  • Daniel says:

    I appreciate that we are currently second in the league but I don’t want bluenoses to get carried away, we are only in October. We have a lot of games left before I feel we should start talk about promotion. In my opinion there are over 12 teams in the league who without doubt are capable of getting promotion, I also feel we should take the Gary Rowett approach and just take it one step at the time. This is probably the blue nose in me but let’s everyone take a deep breath and calm down. KRO

    • Dave Mann says:

      Daniel, we are calm and we have taken deep breaths but if we want to get carried away with being where we are we have a damn good reason to be .. Stop telling fans like me to keep it real because that’s exactly what we are doing .. 2nd in the league with 24 points from 12 games and that’s the reality . Kro

      • Dave S says:

        I’m with you Dave.
        I don’t see many people actually getting carried away. Yes, there is a lot of “tongue in cheek” humour but that’s the way you have to be being a blue nose. What will be will be, lie back and think of England lol.
        KRO

    • Texas Pete says:

      You are right Daniel and GR is calmness itself. We should celebrate each game as it comes . It is too early to be getting excited for Christmas. I would like to see how November plays out, then if we are in the top 6 get really excited about perhaps just one Christmas transfer gift and the prospects for the new year.

    • Bluey says:

      You`re right Daniel,some fans are getting carried away. Yes GR and the team have done brilliantly, we should celebrate that. But in recent weeks we`ve beaten an injury-ravaged Brentford, bottom of the table Bolton and club-in -crisis Leeds. Let`s temper our enthusiasm a little bit and see where we at Chrismas/New Year after we`ve played some of the better sides. If we can get results against Hull,Boro etc.. then we can start to dream.In my opinion when injuries and suspensions start to bite the clubs with more depth and quality will rise to the top.I maintain that mid-table would represent a good return. Not for one minute am i saying fans shouldn`t dream and get excited but throw some realistic thinking into the mix.

  • BND says:

    Too early to talk about promotion. Usual reaction to winning a few games just the same as when we lose a few. If we are still in the mix in the New Year and GR is backed in the transfer window then who knows. But a couple of injuries could derail the team. I think we need to calm down a bit.

  • Ted says:

    So far, so incredible. However, I agree with Steve on here who states that the Hull game will be a true signifier of our chance of play- offs or promotion. Win on Saturday and I really think we might be in with a shout, injuries permitting. In GR I trust! KRO.

  • Mark H says:

    I have heard it said many times by Football pundits, that you will roughly know how well you will do after 10 or 12 games. We’re in 2nd place, so that gives everyone a lift. We’re not in 2nd by chance, or luck, we’re there by great management, getting the best out of players. GR knows exactly what he’s doing, and I have complete faith in his abilities. KRO.

  • Adam True Blue says:

    Ok as has been mentioned it’s only October and 12 games into the season, were in 2nd from top not 2nd from bottom, it’s never to early to dream. Kro

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    :-)

    These last few years ~~ We’ve been battered, abused and now we’re bewildered :-)

    I am, at least.
    I am looking for reasons for how a lower-league manager, a rookie really ~~
    can formulate, devise and produce results that get Blues up above the multi-million spenders like Boro and Reading and breathing down another ..and.the Parachuters who retained nearly full ex-Prem squads. On less than £600k.

    Is it basic common sense, motivation, training, tactics…all the cliches, if you like…that has made us punch above our weight for so long?
    We are due a few under-the-belt foul punches to balance out this good fortune shirley?

    Personally, my feelings are that a play-off place would be orgasmic, and no shame about a top ten placing come next May.

    We are Blues~~ we EXPECT NOTHING ~~~ and Hope can eat your soul.

    Let’s just enjoy this….and watch Evans lead Leeds to Relegation :-)

  • DoctorD says:

    I can’t see us staying second for long. I will be chuffed if we end up in the play-offs. A couple of defeats a la Rotherham and Forest and our mindset will quickly change. But it’s a great feeling while it lasts.

    • Texas Pete says:

      Hang on. That sounds like vu ja de. We already played Rotherham and Notts and bounced back with 4 wins in a row. I dont get it. I we lose again and bounce back again besides keeping the team on this planet, it will keep us in the no 2 spot.

  • paul whittaker says:

    DocD you are right ,we won,t be 2nd for long …we will be First!!!!!
    KRO

  • KC says:

    Daniel’s comment is absolutely bang on.

  • Singapore Brum says:

    I am another one on here who has supported BCFC for more than 50 years. At the beginning of the season, I thought we would finish somewhere near mid table. Now a quarter of the way through and in second place, obviously my expectation is that we now push on for a top 6 spot. If on Jan 1st, we are still in the mix, the expectation will be to cement a playoff position as a minimum and then as we approach the final run in and if we are still in the mix, to push for an automatic promotion slot.

    The problem I have, is that there are a number of things that could derail this train of hope.

    1 – We lose Donaldson through injury.
    2 – The small squad is unable to cope with the physical demands and feel the draining effects long before opposing teams who are able to rotate with their larger squads, keeping them fresh.
    3 – Small squad = more injuries, plus more suspensions.
    4 – For whatever reason, we lose the services of GR.

    I don’t think we will lose GR and there will be a game plan if Donaldson gets injured, but the small squad issue is a concern, but hey, whilst I will temper my celebrations with caution, as others have said, let’s enjoy whilst we can – this is Birmingham City after all.

    What I think we can all agree on is that there will be many twists and turns over the course of the season, but so far so good.

  • Art says:

    I entirely agree.

    Great post.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    From the clips I saw of the Bolton game we look a threat going forward but there were some scary moments at the back. Let’s enjoy being in the top two or top six because it is a good feeling and puts a spring in our step.

    Robinson has proved many of us wrong to date and long may it continue, however on paper a 36 year centre back and two average full backs doesn’t look like a promotion wiping defence over a full season but the over the last 12 months defies that doesn’t it

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Do you really only rate Caddis as an average championship right back? I would have to disagree with you there mate

  • Mitchell says:

    Reading most of the blogs since the Bolton win and our beloved 2nd.position- it is very clear that this unexpected meteoric rise has made us feel both nervy and a little fearful as to whether we can handle the forthcoming months and hold our position. My feeling is that GR is a wise owl who can also be ice cool when required, who will wield the axe if necessary should players not keep to the managers plan that has so far been successful. GR is not a bluenose and not a sentimental recaller of past blues memories. He is a winner who deep down realises that this league holds no fear which for him to be in 2nd spot can be handled.

  • Steve0 says:

    There’s a long way to and plenty to go wrong. Blues are not yet in equipped for promotion in my humble opinion. Why do I say that?

    Let us suppose Donaldson gets injured and sidelined for 10 games. Then what do we do? Mags has come in for Cotterill and done extremely well but all we need are a couple of major injuries to deal with and we are going to struggle.

    Let us suppose Morrison does instead, or even as well as. Then what? Spector and Robinson? How long will they be effective?

    If we can get to Jan on this form then we have a good transfer window THEN I will start to believe we can do it.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m proud of what we’re doing but just because you get off the blocks quicker than Bolt doesn’t mean you’re going to win the race. It might feel good but there is a ton of work and fortune required ahead.

    KRO

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The gap between the Premier League and Championship is an ever widening chasm, due to the money on offer.
    If Blues do achieve promotion a lot of investment in the squad is required to ensure we stay there. If that money is not forthcoming and new owners are not in position, it might be better to stay in this division.

  • Devon Steve says:

    It is not better to stay in the Championship. It is better to go up, even if we lost every match and get relegated with the massive parachute payment, it will give us the cash to build for another promotion. We don’t have massive reserves of cash let us see this as work in progress, and by taking the good (promotion) and the bad (relegation from Premier) over the next few years as a way to grow the club.
    I remember the joy of a promotion season and the woe of relegation. I know which I enjoyed the most.
    I do not believe we can ever be a major force in UK football but we can enjoy the roller coaster ride.

  • Retired&Weary says:

    Bluenoses are worriers, aren’t they? Understandably so, I suppose.
    The size of the squad seems to be the big reason for us not continuing what’s been happening for 12 months now. We’ve had bigger squads before, prone to lots of injuries, not to mention bingo machine team selections.
    GR’s policy of operating with a small tight squad seems to be working. I wonder if the mentality bred in to the squad has reduced the proneness to injuries as well. No crying off with the slightest niggle!
    There are still decent players not getting much game time at the moment.
    It may be all down to luck, of course, but as the old saying goes, better to be a lucky manager than a good one.
    Sorry to mention this, but a certain team from across the city won the league under Ron Saunders using only 13 players all season, if I remember correctly. How lucky they were.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Let’s stop talking about IF’S .. If Donaldson gets injured, if Morrison gets injured , if we loose at Hull , if the goals dry up .. That’s not happening NOW so when it’s good be good and stop finding bloody excuses to bring fans back down to earth .. I don’t want misery and depression about what could happen if reality or injuries set in ..We Know That… So for the here and now let’s stay positive and happy and enjoy it .. Or is it the Blues mentality to be bloody negative or to look for flaws .. Yes propably .. But not me thank god!! Kro

    • Mitchell says:

      Dave. As I blogged earlier it is not that some supporters are being negative- it is because they cannot quite handle the shock of being where we are. Afraid of staying the course,afraid of injuries etc all cumulate in the fear of feeling that we are not entitled to be 2nd. Very odd I know but after years of battering and insecurity of going out of business- the wonderful situation we now find ourselves in is quite simply too much for some fans to accept. Only when March/April comes and we are still there will the penny drop and negativity will be a foreign word to them.

      • Dave Mann says:

        I agree Mitchell , some fans find it difficult to except our position but I don’t like yourself .. Let’s see in January what happens with form and money but it’s only October so let’s not think about it . Kro

    • Art says:

      Sermon over?

  • southcoastblue says:

    The games I’ve seen this season I came away thinking ‘we’d have got stuffed if their finishing had been better’. But then you get home and you realise there’s a reason those guys are playing in the championship not the premiership. We’ve played plenty of the top teams. It’s not luck that we’re second – it’s down to GR’s management that means players know what they should be doing and are in the right place for 90 minutes week in week out. At championship level a well organised team of ‘good enough’ players (like Brentford last year) should finish higher than a disorganised bunch of ‘better’ individual players. Sounds easy but fortunately for us most managers can’t do it!

  • Singapore Brum says:

    Dave, some of us on here are cautious and others are sticking their heads in the sand. You obviously haven’t been brought down to earth with a bump enough times. Eventually you will learn.

  • Texas Pete. says:

    This is a great discussion, thanks Daniel. Devon Steve hits a good point. Lets take promotion if we can get it and accept relegation back down if we are too early. It means some joy, money and investment. The scenarios of promotion or not could be played out here logically and hypothetically Daniel. What happens if we do go up re buying the club, influx of new players and retaining GR? Does the togetherness go away with Premier changes? Will GR get poached by another club if we stay down? Will he be fired by new owners for some prima donna if we go up?
    I would like to create a scenario where he stays long term and builds the club and brings through young players under him. I would love the joy of promotion but will be happy with another Championship season to build the team further. I am almost thinking the key is no new owners until we get back down into the Championship or survive two seasons in the Prem so that GR is cemented in. He is the best thing that has happened to any club and I think we are riding the Rowett wave. Focus on him and we have a good future. (I sound like a Jesus groupie now).
    Oh BTW as Donaldson is over 30 so we have to believe in his replacement or understudy for the shared role. He is not being the prolific goalscorer we need. So he or someone else has to click into that role very very soon to complete our team. Similarly for Robbo’s position.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Singapore Brum , my heads only stuck in the sand because Ime on holiday, Ime from this planet and have had many bumps in my life especially on birthdays , I’ve learnt not to be as boring and as un funny as you are and Ime as cautious as I want to be ok ..patronising me is not gonna make Blues drop down the league as you expect .. Eventually you will learn . Kro

    • Singapore Brum says:

      Dave, putting aside your personal attack (comments which were out of line by the way), I really hope you are proven right. StaffsBlue makes a good point and I am simply one of those not going around high fiving after just 12 games.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Ime not high fiveing neither Singapore Brum but it’s good to enjoy it while it lasts .. To many fans expect us to fall away and that might happen , it might NOT happen so let’s stop predicting what we all don’t know .. It makes me think what the reaction would be if we were 2nd bottom.. You only live once so don’t spend time fearing the worst .. Just a point , not an attack on you personally mate :-) kro

        • Mitchell says:

          Dave. Please take my advice and don’t ‘bite’ at some of the bloggers seeming negativity. As said before happiness for the moment cannot be enjoyed no matter what for many souls in life. They are decent people but just apprehensive no matter what. Joy and what brings with it for ‘the moment’ is not fully welcomed by some. Since our 2nd spot I have personally been 2feet taller and nicer to more people! This is how this flippin club gets you isn’t it. I blame my late father for all this- after all I didn’t ask him to take me to my first game to see Bertie Auld knock out Haynes and Maurice Cook. Hooked ever since!

  • Duffin says:

    Since gods arrival at St. Andrews he has accumulated over 1.5 points a game. If he can maintain that, which in itself is only mid table form, combined with our great start puts us over that 70 point mark and historically good enough for play offs. So the question is are we able to sustain the firm of a mid table side. I believe so even if these “what if” injuries come to fruition.

    Plus if Donaldson gets injured we have a ready made replacement in Paul Robinson aka goal machine.

  • smudge says:

    I think most of us can say that we have experienced the high and lows of supporting Blues. I for one am enjoying the highs of this season and hope that they continue, god knows we deserve it. I cant help feeling that if come the end of the season we are in the play offs we will run out of steam (I think back to the Chris Hughton (excuse the spelling)days), the team that year did remarkably well but those last few games were hard and we just didn’t have enough to get over the line and yes it included a European adveture. The one feeling I get from Gary is that he uses the international breaks well and rests as many key players as he can. Another big shout must go to the medical/physio staff as they seem to be looking after the players better than ever before. I like every one on here hopes that this squad achieves the impossible but I wont be to heart broken if we fall at the last hurdle. KRO

  • Dan Hickman says:

    Reading interviews with GR, thought it was interesting for him to say how not having a huge squad means you cant change 3 or 4 players if there is a bad game, builds trust and belief etc. He seems to have the players working for each other and the shirt and there is just enough competition to stop complacency. Even if we do get injuries the loss made in that period I dont think would offset the gains made from running the squad this way. Basically Gary and his staff are maximising the potential of our playing squad and budget, and I am more than happy to cheer them along for the duration, happy knowing that wherever we end up, it will have been the best we could have managed KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Sorry, but for me, talking about promotion after 12 games, is as daft as talking about relegation after 12 games. A hell of a lot can happen in the remaining 34 games. We’ve done excellently so far, no doubt about it, but it’s a lot to keep up with such a tight squad. I’m just enjoying it whilst we’re doing well. :)

  • Dave Mann says:

    Exactly Staffs , it’s only 12 games so promotion or even relegation are still both possibilitys as is a mid table finish .. It’s all areas covered and we can finish 1st or 24th .. But as you’ve said and I’ve said many times , bloody enjoy it and let’s stop the cautious and what if approach … We ALL know what could happen but it ain’t happened yet so let’s stop expecting it like some fans are .. some fans will only be happy if and when we drop out the top six and then they can say “told you so” .. I think big not small and that applys to life outside football , positive not negative , it works for me. :-) kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Like most people, I’d love a top 6 finish, or dare I breathe the word.. ‘promotion’. But this is Blues and I’m not working myself up into a fever over it. Sit back, enjoy the ride and que sera sera.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I am mate I am! :-) kro


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