Often Partisan

Blues Take Up Options to Further Consolidate Squad

Birmingham City have confirmed this week that they have taken up contract options on David Davis and Charlee Adams, keeping both at the club until the end of next season. Davis was man of the match on his return to the first team against former club Wolverhampton Wanderers while Charlee Adams made his league debut this season as a substitute in the 3-0 home win over Ipswich.

I’m pleased we’ve decided to keep both players. I think Davis has much to offer in the closing months of the season – although his passing is a little more erratic than that of Gleeson or Kieftenbeld I think he offers much more energy and movement – something that was easily visible in the draw with Wolves with Davis popping up at the edge of both boxes and being involved in attack and defence.

I’d hoped that Adams would have pushed on a little bit more this season but it’s encouraging Blues are looking to keep hold of him and he has been very close to the first team squad when injuries took hold. I think Adams, Solomon-Otabor and Arthur are going to be important young players in the squad next season as there is no emergency loan window and we know all three can come in to do a job as and when needed.

It’s going to be a weird summer this year, as Blues have pretty much tied up all the players that wanted early on. As such, rather than a frantic dash in May to get players on new deals with the inevitable massive turnover of squad I think this summer is going to be a lot quieter, which can only be good news for consolidation.

With these contract options taken up only three permanent members of the first team squad – Neal Eardley, Paul Robinson and Mitch Hancox – are out of contract at the end of the season with Paul Robinson I would think the only one likely to extend his contract further. Two younger players with first team numbers – Connal Trueman and Reece Brown – are out of contract and it’s my understanding that Reece Brown will not be offered a new deal.

Of the first team squad out on loan, only Andrew Shinnie and Denny Johnstone have contracts that extend beyond this season while at least six of the development squad – George O’Neill, Jake Weaver, Josh Cogley, Kyle McFarlane, Liam Truslove and Perry Cotton – will be sweating on whether they have done enough to earn another professional deal.

Three loan players return to their parent clubs – Will Buckley, Ryan Shotton and Jon Toral – while James Vaughan will sign a one year deal with a one year option next season.

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63 Responses to “Blues Take Up Options to Further Consolidate Squad”

  • swissjonny says:

    Mate we need an out and out goal scorer.Difficult to find whatever your budget-but we need one.We also need another better centre back.If we had had these this season who knows what may have happened.Im delighted with the way we have performed in spite of all our problems and think GR must be congratulated but its a real shame we couldnt pick up these two missing players.

  • Bluesfan says:

    I agree with Swissjonny we need another central defender to go with Morrison and we need another striker ASAP I like Vaughan but he hasn’t scored one goal and never looks like he’s going to score a goal and that’s when he’s actually played so I don’t think he is the answer. It makes me wonder if Gary Rowett has got any money left for a loan because now is the time we desperately need a striker to help Donaldson to give us a push to try and get in the playoffs.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I would say getting a fit, on form striker on loan now is going to be just about impossible unless we were prepared to fork out silly money on a loan fee. Unfortunately Vaughan, Buckley and Shotton have not been good enough to get ahead of the players we already had and improve the team. On the plus side we have found that out while they have been on loan and GR can look elsewhere in the summer.

    • atko says:

      I think you are being a little unfair to Vaughan there saying he hasn’t been good enough to get ahead of Donaldson. If Donaldson is fit then NOBODY will get ahead of him & maybe that is the problem we have. I have said before on this site, Vaughan & Brock Madsen are likely to be injured as a result of lack of game time. A Development game here & there is not any kind of preparation for a first team Championship game. Neither of these players are likely to score in a first team game without a good run of games. The same was so for Thomas.

      You cannot expect a player to come in to a Championship match….probably the most competitive league there is…..and score if you give him the final 10 minutes of the game to make a difference. That’s what has been expected of Blues subs for Donaldson. If we had strikers of that capability then we would have scouts every game looking at them.

      What we need is a proven goalscorer and one that will be given a fair chance to play his fair share of first team games. Donaldson’s work rate we cannot fault, he chases a lot & his strength & determination is first class but he cannot score consistently. By all means play the Don in away games where he could hold the ball but for home games I think we need to be more adventurous & an out & out striker who will take the game to the opposition is what is needed.

      • Vaughan came to us off the back of serious injury problems at Huddersfield. He is injured again. He didn’t pull up any trees in the games he did get for us.Whatever you say about Donaldson he takes a battering for the team every game and is out there again next game. He hasn’t scored the goals he did last season but is still one of our best players. I don’t think Vaughan is better than Donaldson from what I have seen. Regular goalscorers even in the Championship don’t come cheap eg McCormack, Afobe, Rhodes – all £10m+.

        • atko says:

          I don’t recall saying Vaughan was better than Donaldson, I have no opinion on who is better because I haven’t seen enough of Vaughan to fairly give an opinion. That being my point though, he hasn’t been given a fair run when he was fit because Donaldson will always be picked. That for me is causing more problems than doing good & that is no disrespect to Donaldson & his capabilities at all!

  • DaveP says:

    Adams has got his work cut out with Davies, Kieftenbeld and Gleeson ahead of him, he won’t feature more than a handful of cup games, might be more prudent to send him out on loan to a League 1 side? I think Denny Johnstone should be given a shot next season, he’s had a great season regardless of the quality of the division he’s playing in and we’re desperate for another goalscorer up top as Donaldson looks knackered. I know we’ve got James Vaughan as an option but after his penalty miss against Bournemouth and his 15 minute disappearing act thereafter I’m not convinced by his mentality.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It seems that none of the players brought in during the January window – Shotton, Fabbrini, Buckley, Vaughan – have improved what we already had… they certainly haven’t improved our form or performance. I think we’d be better looking elsewhere in the summer tbh (except for Fabbrini.)

    • Shirley Blue says:

      To be fair to GR he had to get cover in during January and they all had decent pedigree but there were reasons their clubs were prepared to let them come to us on loan.As yet we haven’t had any major injury problems so he has tended to revert back to the team as it was. Toral’s form has mainly kept Fabbrini out but I still think he was a good signing for the long run.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Time will tell with Fabbrini. I’m not convinced and wasn’t before we signed him, as you know, but I’d be more than happy for him to prove me wrong. If he does, everyone’s a winner. :)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I would think that the likes of Novak, Thomas, Edgar and Duffy will be gone in the summer too. I don’t think we need major changes anyway. A new left back, a centre back, a decent playmaker and a striker who can, at least, hit double figures and we should be ok.

    With the likes of Adams, Arthur, VS-O and Maxwell waiting in the wings too, we could have a decent squad next season.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Hancox too. Assuming we don’t go up which changes the picture somewhat in terms of finances it would be interesting to know whether he has the option to use what remains of the Demari Gray transfer fee in the summer.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Yes, there will be at least 6 players leaving who won’t be part of the squad in the future. Novak, Thomas, Edgar, Duffy, Brown and Hancox. There might even be offers for some of our other players, who knows. But I would think that the wages saved plus what’s left of the Gray fee (listening to Rowett, it sounds like there is some) then we should be able to add some decent quality to the squad.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    It seems that Reece Brown is being treated as “Persona Non Grata” at St Andrews and Wast Hills.
    He hasn’t even been picked in any of the recent Development squads. I hope the truth will emerge as to why such a talented youngster has been shunned in this way.
    I for one wish Reece well in his future career.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Shunned or caused his own problems. Why should GR and his staff bend over backwards for one player when they have a squad full of players pulling their weight to worry about? If he is that good why haven’t any other clubs taken him off our hands?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Absolutely. If he was such a great prospect, how come West Ham and Man City couldn’t see it? Clubs are far more professional these days, they have to be. They won’t put up with the attitudes that clubs used to tollerate, no matter how skillful they are. One bad apple and all that.

        • atko says:

          And whilst we cannot comment for City or West Ham, one thing we do all kniow is that Gary Rowett will not stand for any player that disrupts the squad’s harmonious nature. He has said it many times & in fact identified that as a reason why other players have not been brought in that might have been available.

        • Richard Granfield says:

          Staffs……I don’t for one moment dispute there is a problem, but I would ask two questions:-
          !, What exactly has he done wrong?
          2, Why hasn’t management solved the problem? After all at age 19 he is young enough to be rehabilitated.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            1, What exactly has he done wrong?

            I’ve no idea, but it has to be something pretty important to jetison a player of his ability.

            2, Why hasn’t management solved the problem? After all at age 19 he is young enough to be rehabilitated.

            Again, I don’t know. Maybe the player himself doesn’t care or want it enough. It’s not just us though Richard, he’s been on trial at 3 other clubs this season. What is it they see that they don’t like? What is it that they all see that makes them believe he’s not worth taking, even for a nominal fee? They can’t all be wrong surely?

          • southcoastblue says:

            I’m sorry he hasn’t kicked on and got to play regular first team football. I’ve no idea what went wrong either. But it’s probably not one single thing (we’d have heard). More likely a combination of not training hard enough, not doing the business in training matches, maybe turning up late, whatever. He’s not a ‘bad apple’ – just a young lad who wasn’t mentally strong enough to play first team football despite great ball skills. Over the years we have let one or two players go who went on to have decent careers elsewhere (Sone Aluko), but not many.

  • .KC says:

    I suppose it was done to get Vaughan to Stans in the first place but I’m not sure agreeing a one year contract with another year’s option , following his loan period, was a good piece of business.

    • Mitchell says:

      Nothing made sense of the Vaughan signing. Not his fault but an injury probed player who simply does not score goals. Full of passion yes but so have we all.

  • Roy Flowers says:

    I wonder whether we can recall Johnstone from Morton. Scoring goals up there. I know it’s Scottish championship but he seems to know where the net is which is more than the current squad seem to know! Worth a try?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The trouble is, at that level of football, it doesn’t mean a lot. Lee Novak has scored 12 goals and 4 assists in League 1 – that’s a goal every 171 minutes. That’s only 2 goals behind Tom Bradshaw (one goal every 196 mins.) It doesn’t mean they can do it in the Championship… although, the goals are the same size. ;)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Hull City doing away with season tickets and having a membership scheme. Wonder how that’ll work?

  • biddy1161 says:

    It is unfair to expect Vaughan to make a difference at this stage of the season. He just hasn’t had the game time. Personally I would consider bringing Maghoma, who has had game time, into central attack alongside Donaldson. Play Toral just behind them and introduce Fabrini onto the wing.

    • KinverBlue says:

      Whilst we’re at it, let’s pop Ryan Shotton in goal, David Davis at centre-half and pop Jonathan Grounds in as tea lady.

    • Mitchell says:

      No sense at all bringing Vaughan in. History tells us he is permanently injured and simply doesn’t score goals.

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Shouldn’t you be busy managing Kilmarnock, Mr Clark?!

    • atko says:

      Tell me you are joking! Tell me you got the date wrong & a week or so early with the April fool joke, right?! Maghoma up front…PLEEEASSSSSEEEE!!! That is the worst idea I have ever seen suggested. Have you been watching him? Have you seen his one on one stats? I don’t think he has scored one yet, certainly not for Blues. I’d rather continue as we are than stick Maghoma up front. We have more chance of scoring right now!

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s where our manager up to now as got it massively wrong .. Brock and Vaughan look a total waste of money and bench space so let’s cut our losses if possible . KRO

  • I don’t like to see any player with talent walk away from blues no matter how he is unless it’s drugs , blues could loan brown out to other clubs and make money that way , and hope he comes good , that way he could come back or command a fee ….I think our scouts should start looking for a striker now in the poor countries where fees for obvious powerfully built talents with lots of pace are very reasonable , one with good feet to play with Donaldson , fabbrini is a winger , and won’t become hacked down so much there , Davis and maghoma for me is a hard call , we would like them in every match , but for now I think we are going to mix and match to get the much needed extra goals in what ever formation is needed to be a success with the additional players we get , GR has said that if a talented player comes free , he would go for him ., KRO

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Continually giving Brown chances would be a really bad precedent to set for other young players at the club. As for scouring foreign cheap players, it hasn’t worked out so well for Newcastle, and why assume that they are better than available in England? Give our own youth a chance!

  • Many players that have turned into quality players have been bad boys , we have signed enough on loan and they have been alright Dan H…there are some players that Newcastle have that would do blues nicely but we wouldn’t get them NO where near for what Newcastle paid for them , I am all for giving youth a chance in this country but with the shortage of carpark spaces now, the places we used to kick a ball about are full of cars and the kids are told to move on for owners fearing a dent in there used BMW, or the police telling the kids to move on from playing on the greens in front of houses , there will be a time where by mediocrity will cost a lot of money in home grown talent .it is starting to show now , on shooting from an angle at goal how many players swerve the ball away from goal in aiming for the far corner instead of swerving the ball toward it , we learned how to do that as 9 year olds ….

    • atko says:

      Why continue paying his wages if the club have a problem with him? Even if he is loaned out then the club still pay a percentage of his wages. Clubs are not queueing up for his signature so there is sufficient known about the situation within the game I suspect to warrant other clubs lack of interest.

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Not going to argue that we have taken players with issues and given them a platform to succeed again, but that was mainly because they were proven players who were grateful to be given the chance. Clearly Brown isn’t showing the same gratitude or desire, and as yet hasn’t achieved anything, so why bother? Newcastle certainly do have a few players that would improve our squad, but outspent the Bundesliga in January, so operate out of our league financially. What I am saying is, within any respective budget why is it assumed that foreign players will be better value for money?

  • swissjonny says:

    I think the game has changed so much now in terms of required fitness levels that the beautiful thought of a Frank Worthington leaving the Opposite Lock nightclub at 3 in the morning and strolling around St Andrews to make two goals and score a cracker himself are long gone.I cant recall who we were playing that day but Frank probably jogged 400 meters in total during that game.He juggled the ball,span and then lashed a half volley for his goal. Wonderful to watch. Sadly its history. Jermaine Pennant was a good bit of bad boy business for us.He played well and then we unloaded him to Liverpool at a cracking profit.Its a real shame that we cant harness Brown -GR has shown that he is a patient type and appears to believe in the long view with his attitude to young players and the academy etc. Brown must have really blotted his copy book-silly boy.The world is full of men on bar stools who could have been the greatest-a shame that a talented kid like that who had come so far along the road could not apply himself.

    • Mitchell says:

      Agree swissjonny. In the 80’s I managed a few junior league teams aged 14-17 year olds. Many players had loads of talent and I had them at West Brom and Blues under the watchful guidance of Norman Bodell. Many,many could have made it and some did but the greatest problem with the most talented of players was that they didn’t like football sufficiently well to make it 100% dedication. Strange thing I know but that was the stark fact-bags of talent but not sufficient interest.

  • My thoughts are based on our predicament at the moment and wouldn’t it be nice to have enough money to buy a good striker , and how much is his not shining through due to the possible gremlins in his head , is it possible that he could go elsewhere and be worth a fortune , different situation but I always thought Andy Johnson was a great prospect and we let him go for peanuts , if I am wrong I am holding my hand up now , it’s obvious others have made their mind up already excuse me for being slow on the trigger ….KRO

  • I used to have a friend that was one of the most skillful players that I have ever saw , but was to shy with big crowds watching him , until he got a girlfriend in his late twenties , some skilful youngsters have no interest much until they realise the alternative career is not so enjoyable , I am all for taking young players on a tour down a pit , or in a foundry , or let them see how boring and stressful an office can be , we all have to learn that the greener grass on the other side still has to be cut . and then there is the difference in wages that could be earned , all should be taken in in the early learning curve , as you do not know what you have got until you lose it ….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Jordan Mutch. Jack Butland. Nathan Redmond. Demarai Gray. Viv Solomon-Otabor.

    Those names should be all that Reece Brown needs to motivate him. If they don’t… then he’s in the wrong profession. One day, he’ll wake up and it’ll dawn on him just what he’s thrown away.

    At every match down at St Andrews, 90% of the crowd will wish they were in his shoes. It’s hard to have too much sympathy.

  • Your right staffs blue , I just think back of when I was young working out of town often near seaside resorts , should and want was a constant battle ,

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I suppose that in these modern times, the attractions and distractions for footballers are something that players years ago didn’t have. I often wonder what actually motivates young players these days, is it the love of the game, or the love of the lifestyle? For too many, I suspect it’s the latter unfortunately.

      • AdamTrueBlue says:

        I think the attractions and distractions were probably the same, the difference being people like Gazza were lorded for being able to hit the pitch under the influence and still be able to run rings around the opposition and score goal of the month, that just isn’t acceptable these days and then RB is not Gazza.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m going back further than Gazza. :) Back to the days when most of the distraction were booze or gambling.

  • Mitchell says:

    As commented earlier imo Reece Brown just doesn’t like football enough to make it a career. Pure and simple.Staffs is quite right that for us to have had enough talent to have made a pro.footballer would have been our dream. Alas we are all different and a lot to do with it is a good support whether it be family or close decent friends. We move on now to Saturday and hope the biggest part of one of our young players is given some minutes. This will be a major boost and still has the faith GR has in him.-VSO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Oh dear, in the Birmingham Mail: Just about sums up his Blues career.

    ‘Birmingham City suspend Reece Brown: Blues will hold an investigation into Brown’s conduct.’

  • Dave Mann says:

    As Ian Dury once sung ” what a waste “….looks like the lad as massive personal issued to deal with .. I think we should pass judgement when we know the real details of his problems whatever they may be , maybe in his head or he’s stuck up his own backside , we’re see soon enough I hope . KRO

  • I have got both hands up , stop smirking staffs ……hahaha your right that’s not short trousers stuff thats total disrespect , as a chargehand I would have sacked him for that…..as I have others , before I retired ..

  • Tony says:

    Does a chargehand have the authority to sack anyone?

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    My thoughts:

    Fabbrini has been brought in with a new formation in mind: the schemer in a team that plays on the front foot i.e. the counter-attacking style will be replaced

    Buckley will get more game time the closer we get to game 38 and need more quality on the pitch for must win games

    Shotton is now way down the pecking order

    Vaughan is no more than a contingency for a Donaldson injury or summer sale

    When we reach the time of needing three points rather than being happy to pick up one, then you’ll see Fabbrini, Buckley and Toral on the pitch at the same time.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Fabbrini was brought in because he did well at the end of last season – not sure any great tactical shift will take place because of one player. Buckley has looked off the pace to me – possible fitness issues after being out for a long time. Agree on Shotton – Spector was preferred against Wolves. Vaughan was brought as cover but can’t see us taking him permanently despite having an option on him. If Buckley, Toral and Fabbrini is our strongest option as the attacking three in midfield he would be playing that combination now because our chances of making the play-offs look slim so why wait.

  • I think against Fulham maghoma will be needed against the pace of overlapping Fredrick’s , I hope GR gives Davies another game so as to mark Maccormac , and perhaps the superior jumping ability of Spector over Robbo with the 6′ 7″ Dan Burn , I think your right bhamcity julien the players must be reaching the seasons pain barrier , …PS Tony if your a friend of the managing director you do ..

  • swissjonny says:

    Julian-the time to go for 3 points is surely now?

  • Mitchell says:

    Good example of shrewd management. Ipswich sign Feeney from Bolton .Would have been a great one for us-direct no messing shoot on sight winger. I would have traded Buckley,Cotterill and got Feeney. This is where hovering play off clubs get over the line. Frustrating.


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