Often Partisan

Frustration Again: Hudderfield Reflections

Birmingham City slumped to another defeat yesterday, losing to Huddersfield 2-0 to make it just one win in their last six games at home and 426 minutes since their last goal from open play at St Andrew’s.

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty frustrated leaving St Andrew’s yesterday. All the the talk I’d heard of being good in training, all the thoughts of getting back on track were unravelled in 37 seconds as Joe Lolley (who conveniently is also a fan of the dark side) slotted home a tap in. Blues did eventually come back into the game and probably should have equalised when Jon Toral saw his shot saved by Jed Steer (on loan from guess where) before Huddersfield broke and scored a second tap in with Blues’ midfield and defence gone AWOL.

I think the subs got me most of all. I don’t think Brock-Madsen is as bad as many make out; I think any striker would struggle without support within fifteen yards and with long balls hoofed up to him. Moving Jon Toral into a false nine position (to match the false 6, 7, 8 and 10 we were already playing as my friend @split_chips said on Twitter) was lunacy – he was the only player who was actually able to pass the ball forward into positions that were threatening and as such we pushed him into a position where he couldn’t do that. Viv Solomon-Otabor gave it his all but without a focal point we increasingly looked toothless.

Since the game, online many Blues fans have been seemingly divided into two camps – the fans who say Blues were in a false position anyway, that the team were over-performing and that Blues will now slip back into their rightful position in mid-table/relegation fight (depending on how pessimistic the person is); and secondly the people who say Rowett has lost it; that his head was turned by Fulham, that the team is unbalanced, that we should play two up top, yadda yadda yadda.

I can understand both viewpoints – and frustrated as I was I fell more into the second camp returning home. However, having had time to sleep on it I think it’s something that is fixable – I still think this squad could push for the playoffs if they have a little bit of luck on their side – but January will be a time when Rowett and Panos Pavlakis need to make their business in the transfer window count. I think recent defeats have a lot more to do with players becoming complacent and believing the hype without putting in the effort along with some strange tactical decisions.

As much as Blues miss David Cotterill and Clayton Donaldson, there are deeper issues. Jon Toral is neither a wide man nor a striker and shouldn’t have been pushed to play in either position – he showed he has great vision as an attacking midfielder, why can’t we play to his strengths? Both Gleeson and Kieftenbeld were poor in midfield – no distribution, mistiming tackles and allowing the Huddersfield players to seemingly bypass them at will. Jonathan Grounds looks shot at left-back; a particularly lowlight where he missed heading a ball that bounced over his head schoolboy style.

James Vaughan’s return after ineligibility will help; I think he and Gray/Maghoma either side of Brock would be a useful forward three. I’d honestly like to see Reece Brown given a chance over Gleeson if only to make Gleeson aware he’s not undroppable – and I think Shane Lowry has to be given a chance over Jonathan Grounds. If Lowry isn’t good enough – well, his signing is then a complete contradiction to the “small and tight” philosophy Rowett espouses.

Then it comes down to money in the transfer window. I’m not going to go into that much because the whole thing annoys me; again, it seems that fans think we’ll either spend the square root of naff all on players cos we won’t have two ha’pennies to rub together or millions cos Panos has promised us riches.

I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle – there will be money spent, although I suspect not much will go on transfer fees as wages are an important factor everyone seems to miss – any money brought into the club from TTA will have to go towards that too. We can’t afford to bring in players we’re not going to use though; and I think anyone we do bring in has to come in to improve the team, to displace who is already there.

The Rowett revolution has taken somewhat of a wobble of late; let’s hope he can get it back on track shortly – and at home – before the mutterings get louder.

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122 Responses to “Frustration Again: Hudderfield Reflections”

  • Russ says:

    I thought the missed header was Eardley? Either way, lack of attacking cover is our problem and Rowett tried to change to compensate. It failed. We need winning changes so Rowett and the team have a lot to think about.

    • almajir says:

      There was a header, second half that literally bounced over Grounds. It was comical.

      • Mike says:

        It was Grounds but did anybody notice there was just a bit Of wind about. I think Grounds is the fall guy at the moment. When things go wrong supporters always seem to pick on one player for extra criticism and at the moment it is him. It would be nice to have a left back who gives a bit more going forward but o don’t think his performances are as bad as some people are making out.

        • Steve Turner says:

          Grounds not that bad? You must be joking. I was at Brighton last week and the winger skinned him alive all of the first off. He got booked, then he argued with referee and later pushed a Brighton player into the advertising hoardings. Totally baffled how he never got sent off.
          Yesterday he was out of position most of the game, missed tackles and generally useless. Shame because last season he was one of our most consistent players.

    • Des says:

      It was het lack of intensity that annoyed me, God I hate to see our back four knock the ball across and back, wtf does that achieve!! Donaldson & Cotterill massive misses, Gray biggest disappointment for me, Maghoma only bright spark, Eardley has been a shocking buy!!

      KRO

  • Poppa999 says:

    Some tough games coming up. Some of the players who would make a difference are either injured or out on loan. Let’s pray we don’t get any more injuries to key players.

  • Lee says:

    If you rightly remember we had a ten game run last season where we didn’t win a game, we’ll come out the other side, yesterday was bad, very bad, thing that stuck out to me glaringly was the lack of leadership, I think it’s time Morrison stepped up to the plate and started being a captain, he was no where to be seen for the first goal and stood gormlesly looking round as they celebrated their goal, i didn’t see him geeing up players or making any attempt to install any kind of energy or inspiration into anyone, also remember the header he simply gave possession back to them with which was as bad as grounds completely missing the ball, it was almost like we’d given up yesterday, you could literally see it in the players, I think your right about gleeson, players need to know they are not undroppable, it was all to easy for Huddersfield yesterday, both goals were school boy stuff, I think dropping Morrison for a game won’t do him any harm neither, I think he’s become complacent

    • ChrisG says:

      You’re right Lee, we have no leadership & we don’t seem to have any whingers either who get in the refs ear, players just accept any decision. Everyone mentions us missing Don & Cotts, but we’re seriously missing Robbo as well, his legs might have gone a bit but one thing he has leadership.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I questioned Morrison’s captaincy right from the start. I didn’t agree with it, but, without Robbo in the team, I can’t see any other player who is good enough to do the job.

  • alex hurley says:

    I didnt make the game yest, but it sounds v frustrating. I agree re Toral – when mangers start playing players out of position it makes me think something is wrong.

    For me, the priorities in Jan are a centre half (we all know that – despite Spector playing his best games for us he’s still average at best) and a c.m. davis, gleeson & keiftenbeld are all too similar and too average.

    I’m ok with most of the rest of the squad – if theres more money, great, spend it, but i’m not sure wholesale changes are whats needed. A couple of additions and return if Don & Cotts & Lady luck, and we’ll siin be back on track.

    Keep trusting in G.R. the last thing we need is a toxic atmosphere at stans. That helps no-one.

  • Fange says:

    I still think we need to put things in perspective. If we began the season less convincingly and had climbed to 7th, there would be little grumblings.

    Money spent? Next to nothing. This if purely a retrace and I would rather we be in the this situation now with January soon upon us.

  • alex hurley says:

    Btw – anyone who thinks players weve loaned out are the answer is in cloud cuckoo land. They are triers but they are not good enough.

  • Adam Edwards says:

    The best bit of the day was chasing after my sons hat blowing in the wind……. thanks for trying to pick it up lol

  • ChrisG says:

    In his post match interview yesterday GR seemed to indicate that there will be some sort of activity in the january window, he also mentioned that we would be getting a couple of loaned out players back. GR looks very tired & I just wonder if things are getting to him a bit hence the strange player positioning. I read yesterday that blues have a 20% sell on clause for Butland, I hope this is true as he’s made a lot of people sit up & take notice of late & if he were to move from stoke it could be for big money, in another article one commenter said it wouldn’t matter if we got money from his sale as it would go in pannus pocket…..out of touch a bit me thinks.

    • almajir says:

      I honestly don’t believe any of Wes Thomas, Lee Novak or Mitch Hancox would make a difference.

      • ChrisG says:

        Nor do I Dan but I think GR maybe hoping they will

        • Waycoolblue says:

          Lone players coming back is no going to help but what it would do is decrees what GR as to spend on wages. Bringing them back will not help. I would like to see Kyle McFarlane given some first team football now he would make a difference he is a rocket and as a good finish. I could see him coming on in the last 20ms and ripping hols in defences.

    • chris says:

      i think Thomas would have more nous, more pace and more experience than Brock, but it would probably only be for yesterdays game as Vaughan will now return.

  • Blue Steve says:

    I would challenge anyone who is really honest with themselves to think back to when we were 2nd – Were you not surprised? I was because the quality of out squad is way behind that level. Now factor in injury to Clayton who is absolutely integral to everything we do and the result is our current slump. GR seems to really waiting for the window now but we may lose many more games if the strategy between now and then is just a waiting game.

  • Jaffa says:

    Piss poor yesterday.Rowett set the team up to try and score goals but it just did not work.Missing Donaldson and Cott’s.Agree with Grounds he needs a break.Bring on January because we need a bit of quality.

  • DaveP says:

    I think Gray and his agent are already looking ahead to January, didn’t look like he was at races yesterday…. again

    • Kaje says:

      If they are, then playing badly is an awful strategy – as nobody will be interested in a struggling young Championship winger.

  • Mattblue says:

    Toral was played out of position but was still the best Blues player on the pitch. He looked more dangerous as a striker than BM.

  • Mitchell says:

    Loss after loss at home against very poor lowly teams proves to me that GR and Co.do not posess the craft or tactical know how to overcome this.I have always wanted him to have a Jim Smith type of mentor who could add a great deal. GR is probably a decent motivator and coach etc. but this isn’t enough. Away games not a great problem as we soak it up and hope for a break away-not rocket science. Home is where you show true colours and GR like LC cannot figure any decent plan. I like GR but for his benefit I would keep him with the daily coaching and get in a seasoned guy because the ‘letting go of loan players’ and the incoming players( apart from Morrison) has rebounded and as a result has not proved cleaver.

    • Matt says:

      You’re deluded mate. Take a look at the teams around us and clock up how much they’ve spent. Then look at our spending.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I didn’t think I would write this but we need Robbo back asap. He gives leadership, commitment, organisation skills and drive, all of which were sadly missing yesterday.
    The players didn’t understand the new formation and seemed confused as to what their role and positions were.
    Davis was a case in point. What was his role? He played a sort of number 10 role in the first half, a position he is ill suited to because he kept tracking back to his natural defensive position. In the second half he was switched to the position Toral played in the first half i.e. wide right another square peg in a round hole decision.
    Gray looked completely lost. Until Rowett relieves him of much of his defensive duties we will never see the best of him.
    Brock-Madsen, what can I say? He is nowhere near Championship standard. When and if we get striker reinforcements he needs to go out on loan for a season at a League 1 or 2 club.
    In hindsight Rowett should never had let our other strikers (Johnstone, Thomas and Novak) all go out on loan at the same time without adequate cover.

    • Mitchell says:

      Richard.I think it is certain that the loan players will be back and let go again with I hope the exclusion of Edgar and Thomas. Gray going and money spent would be ideal but like Brock-M I would not be happy with GR in charge of spending whatever we have. I always remember Mick McCarthy saying ‘I like Gary and his ideas but he will need help in becoming a top guy’. It is difficult because Panos isn’t a football man like Pannu before him-so GR has to carry on or fall on his own. Would hate to see this awful run demoralise him with upcoming games.

      • Waycoolblue says:

        Complete and utter crap. YES we need to improve but nothing you have said here is true.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Pannu a football man – are you for real knowing what we know now and what he and CY have done to our club. He was good at awarding himself millions of pounds of “consultancy fees” that is for sure. If you are going to come out with statements like that then expect all you get and I am surprised a few more haven’t responded accordingly.

        • Mitchell says:

          I am sorry but you have totally misinterpreted my comments. NO WAY is Pannu a football man. He is a nasty piece of work who has no morals in my view. I was coupling him with Panos as NOT being football men. Perhaps my comments were misleading and for that I apologise. No wonder you got flabbergasted at the dreadful thought of Pannu being a footy man!

    • chris says:

      He may not have wanted them to, but it maybe one way of saving money for January signings / loans.
      None of us really know how tight things are finacially and the type of decisions GR has to make to try and make sdomething else happen.
      January might give us a clue

    • Des says:

      Think Robbo fair way off fitness, so forget that one.

  • Micko says:

    I have not been at either of the last two games but have followed the matches via BBC Final Score. One thing that bothered me is that reports from both matches said that GR spent a lot of time and effort berating the ref. This is a bad sign – sometimes the ref. is crap – that is the way it is. Complaining neither changes any decisions, nor does it help the players. If I was a player on the wrong end of a bit of bad refereeing I would respect my manager more if he told me to stop whingeing and to concentrate on my game. GR has been called the Bromsgrove Morinho – unfortunately he seems to be taking the comparison too literally – blaming the ref. impresses nobody. Maybe the pressure is getting to him ? I hope not.

    • Mattblue says:

      I never criticise refs but he was terrible yesterday; worst referee I’ve seen in the last several years.

  • atko says:

    What annoys me is the fans that say this team is not good enough because this team has proved it can be. Second place was no fluke, we managed that with a lot of hard work and team work. Other teams are catching up simply because they have strength in numbers, we don’t become a bad team overnight, we are looking tired and in desperate need of a break. Tiredness affects concentration and we lose focus. This is the problem with having a small squad, it’s a long, long season and to stay as a contender for the playoffs you need to rotate and I think we should have started rotating earlier in the season to keep the momentum but now we have a full team playing on autopilot. Sure this coincides with Donaldson and Cotterill’s injuries but the signs were already there.

    • paule says:

      atko when a team gets promoted they always seem to punch above their weight & then drop down the table!! do you think Leicester will be in the top 4 at the end of the season? At the moment I don’t think we are a top 6 team but if we get Donaldson & Cotterill fit plus 2 or 3 additions January who knows,

      • atko says:

        Problem with that is teams now know more than ever that Donaldson and Cotterill are our key players. They are gonna be marked men when they come back so for me it is imperative we have cover for them from January. I think we might find a player or two that can actually play a 4-3-3 system too.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    He’s walked headfirst into a brick wall for me.Not only is Donaldson our only striker but the fulcrum of which the whole side work around and GR hasn’t prepared for the eventuality of him being sidelined.He has done this before in the C/H position before and got away with it by riding his luck with injuries but it’s bit him up the arse this time.
    Ok,even if the funds are not there to buy players that will make a difference what you don’t then do is loan out all the cover in that position. Irrespective of what people’s thoughts are on Thomas/Novak/Johnson they provide 2 valuable amenities in cover and options……something our striking department is screaming out for right now.

    • Mattblue says:

      Key players were given new contracts on higher salaries; I suspect the senior players you mentioned were loaned out to facilitate this and balance the books. Take away any team’s best producer and scorer of goals and you have a problem. To get a striker with the same capabilities as Donaldson is expensive.

  • Martin says:

    From watching the match yesterday we ended up with 7 what you would call midfield/ wingers on the pitch and still just lumped the ball forward , bread and butter to the Huddersfield central defenders. we should have just passed it straight to them and done away with the middle man !

    Ps We travel from Bristol for all home games so it was a pretty miserable trip home .

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      I haven’t seen anything from Brock-Madsen that convinces me that he’s going to be a good signing.Apart from that there are no other fit strikers at the club.Is it any wonder we haven’t scored at home for weeks on end?

      • Mattblue says:

        Agreed. Works hard but has a poor first touch, lacks pace and fell over a lot yesterday when trying to win aerial battles.

  • Mickey07 says:

    So you think “this” current squad is good enough for the play offs with a bit of luck here and there?

  • Jpatty28 says:

    My view on the whole situation for what it is worth is that Rowett has got carried away with the whole ‘Plan B’ discussion.

    The reality is that we were riding high in the league, getting results and losing A few games against teams who came to St Andrews to forceably kick us off our perch by playing 10 men behind the ball and hitting us on the counter. But – we were sixth in the league.

    Rowett’s reaction to this was not to stick with his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation, employed almost for a year since he arrived here with great success was to start tinkering.

    Odd formations, 442, 4141, 433, people being played in unnatural positions Gray as a 10, Toral on the wing, Davis as a 10/7, and chopping and changing the team; Robinson, Toral, Shinnie, Maghoma, Davis, Kieftenbeld, have seen Rowett move away from his staunchly consistent approach.

    He needs to go back to our best formation and play players consistently in their rightful position. I am concerned seeing some on here suggesting we start to tinker more (Robinson, Vaughan as a 10, 442).

    In my mind play

    Kuszcak
    Caddis. Spector/Robinson. Morrison. Grounds/Lowry.
    Kieftenbeld. Gleeson/Davis.
    Gray/Viv, Shinnie/Toral/Brown, Maghoma
    Vaughan/Donaldson

    • Texas Pete says:

      Thank you jpatty 28. I agree with that. This is a counterattacking team and messing too much with it was too much of an experiment. With limited resources, It would be better to apply the successful formation for every game and adjust for a team that sits back with 10 men for any match that is say 1-0 down. We will be back to standard formation for Boro except for Cotts replacement……I hope for a surprise result but Boro are top and we are going to have lost confidence after this experiment.

  • Tony says:

    There is a lot of talk about Toral, its obvious he is an old fashioned number 10,not a main striker, and not a winger.the sooner GR sees this the better.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    The Xmas party rollicking should shake them up. It’s right to leave out Caddis. Now Lowry for Grounds, Adams or Brown for Gleeson, Halford for Spector, Spector in front of the back four

    • Tony says:

      Agree Grounds really is Abysmal and has to go, Spector’s experience is important Julian is correct he should play in front of the back four.
      Halford was decent when I saw him and should be given a chance, haven’t a clue about Lowry hardly heard of him but he’s big and strong and apparently puts himself about.

      • Waycoolblue says:

        Grounds is the only player to have played every game since GR took over its not a suppress he is having a bad spell he is tiered.

  • Martin says:

    Spectors best position Julian I agree in front of the back four.

  • Martin says:

    As for Gray ? There are a lot of talented young wingers around 2 or 3 good games a season do not make you a multi million pound player . In the Liverpool team ! not a chance !

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Are Blues going to be promoted this season?
    Let’s compare the strikers we have now against previous promotion seasons:-
    2001/2 we had Tommy Mooney (top scorer), Geoff Horsfield, Stern John, Marcello and Andrew Johnson.
    2006/7 we had Gary McSheffrey (top scorer), Cameron Jerome, Nicolas Bendtner, D J Campbell and Mikael Forssell.
    2008/9 we had Kevin Phillips (top scorer), Cameron Jerome, Gary O’Connor and James McFadden.

    2015/16 ??????

    • Tony says:

      EERRRRR The answer is no Richard there were no world beaters in the players you mentioned but they were all far better than we have now.

      • Richard Granfield says:

        EERRRRR….You don’t need world beaters to achieve promotion from the Championship just 2 or 3 strikers who can score goals.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think Burnley proved that. With players like Ings, Vokes and Barnes up front, you’re always in with a chance. Watford too, to a certain extent.

        • Tony says:

          Richard the EERRR Was to emphasise the goes without saying of your comment.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Yes it’s a point well made but if anyone tells me Novak and Thomas would have got us promoted I will just laugh. I think Brock-Madson has been as much a disappointment to GRas he has been to us – he looked out of his depth yesterday but any striker would have struggled in that starting line up. I couldn’t believe we played three predominantly defensive midfielders at home against a bottom three side.
      We do need to remember that GR is working to a completely different budget to either Bruce or Mcleish were – he is severely limited to what he can go for. He says he tried to get James Wilson on loan in his programme notes but unsurprisingly Brighton were able to offer a far more attractive package. Yesterday was awful from start to finish but I still maintain for us to be 7th is better than we could have hoped for at the start of the season. The team looked stale and lacking hunger. We desperately need Donaldson and Cotterill back and maybe with two or three decent signings in January we can make another push. Getting Tesche and Fabbrini made a big difference last season and maybe he can pull another couple of rabbits out of the hat.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        When Wolves signed Mike Williamson from Newcastle on loan GR also said that we were “unable to compete in that sort of market.”There didn’t seem to be a problem getting the likes of Lingaard and Ibe back in the Clark days when things were a lot worse financially.Agreed the likes of Tesche and Fabbrini breathed new life into the club but if our activity in the loan market over the last 6 months is anything to go by then it does make you wonder if Rowets hands are tied tighter than some people think.

        • Waycoolblue says:

          The difference is MAN U wanted Lingaard to go out on lone and paid his wages and there was no fee.

        • paule says:

          I don’t believe Rowetts hands are tied anymore than Clarks were!! I think Lee Clark was a better scout but a useless manager, the proof will be in the pudding come January, he should be preparing now so he can sign players as soon as the transfer window opens.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    With each home game that we don’t win, the next one becomes the most important game of the season. We need to get that monkey off our backs as soon as possible, if we’re to get back to where we were.

    It’s ok for Morrison to say that the home form is not an issue, but I beg to differ mate. Ask the players who were here before you if it’s not an issue. Ask the fans who pay nearly thirty quid to watch you lose if it’s not an issue.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Totally agree Staffs – I went yesterday expecting to lose despite playing a poor team and that is how it used to feel under LC. You would get a better atmosphere in a morgue that there was yesterday and that’s because of the recent home form which is terrible – 4 points from the last 21 I believe. Going a goal down after 30 seconds didn’t help one little bit. When I saw the starting line up I said we were going to lose and bringing Shinnie on instead of Halford didn’t improve our chances of avoiding defeat. It was very, very flat yesterday which is a shame given where we are in the table.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        When I saw the team sheet, I sent 3 texts to my son before the game.

        ‘Looks like Toral and Gray are the wide men. Bit weird.

        Need to watch out for the pace of Scannell and Lolley.’

        I’m not impressed with the line up tbh. Not one player in our team can shoot straight. Let’s hope they can change that today.’

        ‘I’m struggling to see how this line up and system will make us more attacking.’

        If I could see all that, why couldn’t Mr Rowett?

    • chris says:

      Stupid comment by the so called captain.
      If he thinks it doesn’t matter wait till the crowds start reducing again which would mean less money for GR to spend and maybe even leading to more players sales.
      A cluless comment when he and his team mates have equalled a record from the mid 80’s of not scoring at home in so many games along with all the other dreadful records matched under LC and Crosby.

  • ian ambrose says:

    Always blues team is sleep when start kick off and 2nd half kick off both lazy !!… Michael Morison centre hal is brilliant but who without new player partner need strong centre back half After jan 1st need new player centre half back and stronger !!

  • ? says:

    Don’t know what to think or voice an opinion .

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Do something else with your Sunday afternoon instead of posting on blogs you don’t have an opinion on you sad git.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I know a lot of people don’t like Novak, but for me, he used to give Grounds excellent cover down that left side. Grounds has been left exposed since Novak was let go… and it’s showing more with each game.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Novak didn’t play much once GR came in – a few substitute appearances. It was either Gray or Dyer wide left and Grounds was fine. As for the latter he is human and going through a bad patch – even the best players do sometimes – look at Chelsea. If our best hope is Novak coming back then to be honest I give up – having to watch him plodding up and down the left wing never getting a cross isn’t something I am prepared to pay out good money again for.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        SB, my point was, with adequate support, Grounds is more than capable, but left exposed, like he has been this season, then his faults become glaringly obvious. He’s getting done for pace almost every game and, unfortunately, he doesn’t have the positional sense to compensate for that lack of pace.

        I like Grounds and will continue to do so, but I think a switch into the middle would do him a power of good. For me, we need a decent left back in the transfer window.. we can’t keep coping with just the one.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Yes but saying Novak helped Grounds is factually incorrect because Novak spent three quarters of the season getting splinters in his arse sitting on the bench. Grounds is having a loss of form like all players do once in a while and I hope he gets through it soon. TBH there are other players who are not playing particularly well like Gleeson and Kelftenbeld but the boo boys seem to have latched onto Grounds.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I like Grounds, but he he could do with a change of scenery. Like Robbo, he doesn’t really have the pace to play full back.. but that doesn’t make him a bad player, any more than it does Robbo.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Grounds is always going too look a bit out of place at left back because of his size and he will be exposed to pace whoever is in front of him. If we are having to play a defensively minded player on the left hand side of midfield to compensate for that then that’s a big problem for me as you lose something going forward. If we were going to play with three centre backs he would be ideal to be the left sided one in that system. If GR does get another left back in the window he light consider switching Grounds to centre back.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I’ve thought that all season. 3 at the back with (maybe) Spector Morrison Grounds might work, but who would play left wing back? Even if Grounds doesn’t switch, we still need an alternative left back.

          • BhamCityJulian says:

            If you want a left wing back choose Hancox; for right wing back then Halford

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I’ve always said that Hancox would make a good wing back/left midfielder. The fact that he’s never been tried in a more advanced role is unbelievable really. He’s the best crosser at the club.. and we could certainly do with one of those right now.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    Its complacency when you lose to teams you should be beating but do well wen you play better teams.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    In the B6 Mail in the last sentence and half Gary seems to be suggesting that those who can’t deliver play offs quality will be out pretty smartish now. He must have money to spend in January to back that up otherwise he’ll be bring through some more youngsters.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Good article Dan which sums it up nicely. For me, I think it’s a bit of both views; we probably have been punching a bit above our weight and I don’t think that GR is too sure how to deal with this situation.
    We’ve previously surprised a lot of teams who have now worked us out but more importantly, we’ve been set up to only play one way. I don’t think there are many who could play the Donaldson role and be as effective up front on his own. Without Donaldson (and Cotterill) we cant hack it. I don’t know how GR set up his teams at Burton and if this method is his preferred way or if he he’s just utilised the strengths Donaldson has. Either way, there really isn’t a viable ‘plan B’ and it beggars belief that our only back up striker is still learning the role and clearly not yet ready.
    I’ve got a bit of a bad feeling for the next few games. Lets hope for something good in the transfer window. We also need to get Johnston back from Scotland in January. KRO

  • Pete says:

    Our squad has no depth whatsoever, that was the telling factor.
    Huddersfield also had a number of 1st team players and had to play quite a few inexperienced U21s but they came with a plan and a system.
    GR showed his limitations when expecting Huddersfield to park the bus because of there lowly position they did the opposite if this and we didn’t adapt.
    The fans turned up to watch a stroll in the park and never got behind the team whilst the away fans were having a party.
    ( probably the best we’ve seen this season ).
    Vaughan could be an answer upfront but with his injury record ( hence why he’s been allowed out on loan ) how long will he last ?
    Yes we’ve got to keep the faith and keep right on but if we are can the fans please show it, its becoming embarrassing.
    Fed up.

  • edd77 says:

    If you look at our next 4 games Middlesborough Preston both away ,Cardiff at home then Sheff Wed away ,there is a real possibility of getting no points ,i dont for one minute think i know more than Rowett but that striker situation was always going to bite us on the backside ,and yesterday playing 3 defensive midfielders at home against Huddersfield is something i dont get ,its as if he sets up for 0-0 at home so if we concede we lose ,Lowry has to come in now if hes fit because his history suggests hes got the balls and aggression to sort the defence out he cant be any worse.A chap next to me yesterday called Rowett the best Painter and Decorator in the world having papered over the cracks at Blues ,he followed that by saying get your paint brush out Gary it needs doing again

  • LuBlu6 says:

    I don’t often comment on here but I’ve been really shocked at the abuse Brock Madsen has received from the stands and online. Its like the fans want him to fail, of course he’s not Donaldson but how good was Donaldson at 22. For me its obvious that BM doesn’t want the ball in the air, he wants it at his feet, he’s always pointing at the floor where he wants it and the rare chance he gets it on the floor he looks decent with it. Unfortunately we haven’t got a midfielder who can dictate play and sniff out a pass, instead we result in hoofing it up to an isolated striker who can’t do anything with it and then the fans berate him. I can’t count how many times i said “whats he supposed to do with that” yesterday. What I’ve noticed from my years of following the blues, if the manager brings in something raw from lower leagues the fans instantly take against him but if the manager brings in a 36 year old that played for Man United, the fans will instantly love him. It does my head in, I’d rather the former than the guy looking for his last pay check!
    As for the Messiah (i don’t mean that sarcastically), I can’t for the life of me understand why he didn’t sell Novak, Thomas and Edgar in the summer you probably would have got 750k for the 3 of them at least. It’s clear that they don’t feature in Rowetts plans so why not just get rid of them and make a bit of money.
    Maybe I’m missing something and someone can explain to me the benefits of loaning them out?

    • Shirley Blue says:

      He didn’t sell Novak, Thomas and Edgar because nobody wanted to buy them or even take them for free. They were sent out on loan to release the wages. As far as I know they are all out of contract at the end of the season and as long as GR is still manager at the end of the season they will all be leaving the club none of which I have any problem with whatsoever.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We could possibly offload the likes of Novak and Duffy in the window. Both have done well at Chesterfield and Burton respectively. Thomas was playing regularly for Swindon before his injury, but can’t get in now because the club has 6 or more loan players. As for Edgar, he may as well go back home to Canada, he can’t buy a game anywhere these days.

        • LuBlu6 says:

          Am I too naive to think that the manager could just refuse to loan out only sell. I know they’re not massively in demand players but they are all fairly decent league one players! Strange about Edgar i thought he was a slither of light in the latter stages of LCs reign and I think if he hadn’t refused to play CB him and Morrison might have made an alright partnership.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            TBH, I think he’s burnt his bridges at the Blues. It would be better for his own career if he found another club.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            He wanted to loan them out so he could use the wages to bring in players he actually thinks are good enough to keep us in the top half of the championship. Novak was an integral part of a team that very nearly saw us drop into the Football League. I don’t want him back because it would be a big step backwards – we can do better. Thomas maybe could play a part coming off the bench if we struggle to get anyone better in the window.

      • Mitchell says:

        Not true as usual.Cannot state facts about nobody wanting to take them on free transfers if you simply don’t know. Dangerous talk about players livelihood.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Chilling out watching the footy ,hope everyone is not to down after yesterday though it was not to clever but hey never mind , were still in the top half and with away games coming up we can still hold our own …. Mitchell, staffs and paule , its your kind remarks and compassion that changed my mind and Ime back and you guys are for me the salt of the earth .. Mitchell Ime in your trench every time , staffs I agree as always with you and paule you will get my away reports as normall at Middlesboro ok .. Lol.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Welcome back Big Dave. :)

    • Mitchell says:

      I am really only after your Brixham caravan keys!! Welcome back.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Next year were pretty much full I think but for you mate I can sort something out .. Brixham is lovely and it’s a quality week away from the grind .. I will keep you in touch mate because I respect nice people , and you certainly are one of them . Kro & lol

      • Dave Mann says:

        Paule your welcome ..’my Boro moments are yours to read.lol

        • paule says:

          Thank you Dave Mann I can no longer go to away games due to a poorly wife so getting a true reflection on away games is more than welcome Kro

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Same circumstances here paule.

          • Dave Mann says:

            Ime sorry to hear that both of you but hope your wife’s are doing well and looking after them is ofcourse your major priority .. I go with my wife and son to all away games and I appreciate it even more now than before knowing that a lot of good people and good fans can’t make it to some games .. Hope all is well . Kro

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Thanks Dave. Appreciated!

  • LuBlu6 says:

    You’re probably right and it was a stupid question. Frustrating that we don’t seem to be able to generate any funds from selling the deadwood apart from freeing up wages.

  • Art says:

    We have a great manager who over the last 12 months has moved the club from relegation fodder to a potential play off position. This has been scheived despite the legal issues in Hong Kong and the lack of serious investment which know doubt will continue for a long time,possiibly years.

    The club will never achieve the expectations of the fans until we get new owners who will be prepared to invest in a team capable of achieving promotion into the premiership.

    In the meantime we should accept our limitations and not over react to the enevitable volitile
    results…..win some lose some.!

  • KC says:

    Colin Todd must be smiling all the way to the bank !
    Moving on my Sunday afternoon nap dream involved Tesche sraying the ball around and Gray and Soloman getting plenty of balls to run on to. Fabbrini/Toral were fighting it out for a place and Vaughan had just scored a hat trick as we awaited Donaldson returning from injury. GR was extolling the potential in Brown and even Arthur. News is we are due to bring in a proper centre back and left back in the January window. Sorry I have just woke up and reality or is it a nightmare tells me there are people advocating that Robinson and the likes of Maghoma will take us forward.

  • Tony says:

    Ideally we should get rid of all Blaster Clarks signings lets start again from scratch.

  • Little Al says:

    GR has already stated we cannot compete with the money clubs in the league , come Jan I cannot see the situation changing the better players whoever they are are going to go to the clubs who can afford higher wages. So we are left with a potential pool of players to choose from that perhaps are of a lessor standard. That,s the reality of the situation you cannot manufacture better players out of thin air. Sometimes you can pick up players from lower leagues who have potential to improve but they are few and far between. I think supporters have got carried away with the position Blues achieved in the league, we were punching above our weight! Additionally I would like to know where these potential signings can come from, for the reason as above, there is the option to look abroad but the signings from abroad have not inspired so far. GR has worked miracles so far, he tried something different Sat it did not work, unfortunately he really does not have many options the players out on loan would not make any difference to the team. Until things change re the ownership I am afraid we will remain in this position, the bottom line for the team is to amass sufficient points to stay in the league.

  • Tony says:

    Well Well, Newcastle have beaten Liverpool, pushes the filth further into the mire , there is always a silver lining.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    If we could get the same quality of loan signings as last season itt would be a boost.to a few that are currently struggling like Gray.Remember how his form improved with Fabrini in the side.The trick is finding them.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    GR’s hands are tied by the fact that we do not have the funds to compete with even the bottom 6 clubs in this league. Sadly the fantastic supply of rabbits that GR has been pulling out of the hat has finally dried up and you cannot expect a poor quality side to punch above their weight for 2 seasons. Eventually reality will find us out. I am very grateful to GR for the job he has done thus far, I will continue to support the team as ever cos thats what us Bluenoses do. I implore GR to hang on in there as the fickle ones are beginning to have the strongest voice and I can see him throwing in the towel if he begins to feel he is not being appreciated. We can only continue to pray that the prevailing behind the scenes bullshit and promises of jam tomorrow evaporate into history and this club gets taken on by new blood to once again give us a genuine and fighting chance to compete. KRO.

  • AussieBlue says:

    Sad to see this result and the past few. I think the signings, loans, depth and management of clubs below us are beginning to show while we are still surviving on string and sealing wax. Plus, Donaldson and Cotts have clearly shown their importance- without them we are not the same team. GR is doing his loyal best but, as Mr Churchill said “Give us the tools and we’ll finish the job”.
    Anyway, tired and weary though we may be…KRO mates. Merry upcoming Christmas…I’m off to Queensland.


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