Often Partisan

Fulham Reflections

Birmingham City were held to a frustrating draw at home to Fulham in a game that has rocked their chances of a late playoff push. Michael Morrison’s header cancelled out Rohan Ince’s first half opener but despite throwing everything that they could at the Cottagers’ back line, once again Blues were restricted to a single point.

Like the Wolves game, it should have been all three. David Davis crashed a shot against the post and Clayton Donaldson was quickest to react just six yards out, only to shin the ball six feet over the crossbar. It capped off what was a fairly miserable performance for the Jamaican international, who had to contend with being manhandled continuously getting scant reward for his efforts.

It feels almost sacrilegious to say this but I think the time has come to drop Donaldson. It’s not that I think he’s become a bad player overnight, but more that I think we restrict ourselves in the way we play with him in the team. Rowett has said he is looking at four strikers on loan prior to Thursday’s deadline – I think the last two games is all the evidence he needs that if we are still in the playoff race as he insists, we need someone desperately up front who offers us something different.

The game against Fulham was also similar to the Wolves game in that playing all three “defensive” midfielders led to an absolutely turgid first half. Jon Toral is wasted out wide; if we are playing a formation that requires the wide men to get forwards quickly and often in support of the front man then we really should be playing pacy and direct players like Jacques Maghoma and Viv Solomon-Otabor rather than tricky technical ones.

As soon as Blues pushed onto the Fulham full backs, they found joy. David Cotterill turned the Fulham left back inside-out, Will Buckley turned the Fulham left-back inside out; blimey, even Paul Caddis was able to get inside or goalside of him at will. The fact it took us 55 minutes to actually realise this Fulham side wasn’t very good and that with pressure would surely give us chances sticks in my craw – but it’s something that has happened to Blues often of late.

There’s a two week break now until Blues play again – and then a mad rush of eight games in 27 days. There is a chance they can still make the playoff push but it will require Blues to be on it throughout April – and to my mind, that means Blues need to bring someone in. I’ve been critical of Rowett before regarding transfers – and as much as showed he can bring in a player in January the question begs to be asked what those new players have actually brought to the team. It’s imperative if he really does believe we can make the top six that he gets someone in who can make a difference by Thursday – because as it stands the squad isn’t good enough.

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159 Responses to “Fulham Reflections”

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Bringing in a striker that is in form,match fit and ready to go straight into the side to replace Donaldson with the obvious restrictions on the wages we are able to pay is nigh on impossible at this stage of the season.Vaughan and BM should be given the opportunity to have a go if they are fit.A bit late in the day to do anything at this stage I reckon.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Donaldson’s confidence is low so when he does get a chance he snatches at it. I have an enormous amount of sympathy and respect for Clayts because he has to deal with hopeful boots up the field from the back four against 2 or 3 defenders. No lone striker can prosper with that sort of service.
    He doesn’t deserve to be dropped but supported.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think if it was any other player but Donaldson on the end of that rebound of the post, I think it would have been a goal. (where’s Paul Caddis when you need him.) :) Although you could never ever fault his workrate for the team, he just cannot score from even the simplest of chances. I hope to God he’s not our main striker next season.

    As for the performance, it wasn’t awful, but it was one half again. That’s as much as we seem to have in us for some reason. Until we start putting two good halves together, this is as much as we can expect. IMO, It was a mistake leaving Maghoma out again, instead of Kieftenbeld. The rest of the selection, you couldn’t argue with.

    Listening to his after-match interview, I think even the manager has more or less given up on the play-offs now. So near, yet so far.

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    100% agree Dan, if we don’t get a fresh injection of talent up front i think our chance will swiftly slip away!!. Love Clayts effort and commitment but you do need a forward to be hitting the 15 goal plus mark to really stand a chance!! Maybe someone with a bit of pace up front would enable us to shake it up abit! My one criticism of Rowett is that he never tried ( or he failed ) to bring in another type of striker in January and opted for Fab!! Could prove a costly move as we are struggling a wee bit in front of goal now!

  • atko says:

    I think we will be hard pressed to make the playoffs now with 7 points to make up given our far inferior goal difference to Sheff Wed. I’ve thought for a while Donaldson should be dropped. He hasn’t been the same player since his injury. I also think playing Toral wide simply isn’t working as he doesn’t play close enough to Donaldson therefore we end up thumping balls up to Donaldson who loses possession in many cases. Some will say he gets man handled but like Fabbrini, if you go down so easily looking for a free kick then you ain’t gonna get the genuine ones!

    I don’t see bringing players in at this stage is the answer. Who is going to release an out & out goalscorer at this stage? If they are worth their weight in gold they will be in someone elses first team by now. If they are out of form then they are no use to us. We need goals now so someone taking 6 games to fit in is no good. What we need is Vaughan & Toral / Vaughan & Fabbrini or Toral & Fabbrini in a straight 2 up front! Of course it won’t happen because Gary Rowett simply will not gamble!

    Sorry but it is too late now for playing safe but when the season is over and you have all summer to reflect on everything there is no good saying if only we had done this or that in the last half dozen games or so! We have got sufficient in midfield & the back four to play a 4-4-2 formation if we include Davis in midfield.

    For me it’s a no brainer, we need goals. We give the opposition way too much respect and don’t start playing until the second half by which time we are often chasing the game. Take a gamble, play 4-4-2 & forget this nonsense about bringing someone else in unless you KNOW you can get lucky with someone who is in form. Failing that, don’t waste your time looking!

    • Ed Lane says:

      I agree it’s a bit late to bring in a striker, and if we do will he be ready to play and will he be effective, I doubt it.
      We missed out on Odumwingie who joined Bristol two weeks ago and scored yesterday. Might as well forget this season and hope that next season brings new owners and new investment.

  • Bluesfan says:

    Brock madson is shocking he needs to go out on loan to a second division team for a season and Vaughan has been disappointing never looks like he’s going to score. I’m sure their are strikers out their who we could bring in to go straight into the team though it looks like Gary Rowett has his favourites so he won’t drop them. We are safe now so I don’t know why the manager just doesn’t go for it instead of being frightened of the opposition.

    • atko says:

      I think you are being unfair to both players Bluesfan. Brock Madsen cannot be at fault, he was brought in with no English Football experience let alone Championship so unless he was spectacular he was never going to cut it! There is a reason why players who some people reckon are the best in the world never come to play in England – because those people wouldn’t be calling them the best in the world if they did. All foreigners get found out in English Football week in, week out unless they are outstanding!

      As for Vaughan, he cannot be expected to make a difference coming on for the last few minutes having just come back from an injury with no game time. I’ve said it before, his lack of match time is why he keeps getting injured & how he can he be prolific if he isn’t playing? It’s not their fault, it’s Gary Rowetts for sticking with the same players week in, week out unless an injury occurs!

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Vaughan has had injury problems throughout his career. It’s the main reason Huddersfield were prepared to let him come to us. Obviously your advanced medical knowledge is far superior to that of anyone at the club so you must be right.

  • Mitchell says:

    At least we now know our play off fate. We can now begin to play our final games with next season firmly in mind. As regards Donaldson -he deserves to move to a forward two club as we are close to his ruination after two slogging seasons that we should applaud him for. Buckley should get zero preference over VSO now with Fabbrini and Arthur also part of the next season plan.GR has missed a few tricks this term but will learn from it. As unpopular as this may sound I felt at the turn of the year when our position was very tasty an older head around GR to get the right players in following Gray departure was essential. Sadly the choice of incoming players-including Fabbrini-was his undoing.

    • atko says:

      Maybe we should have brought someone in to assist Rowett like Derby have done. That said with our financial situation that was a definite none starter. As has been said before, we are safe from relegation so we may as well have had a go at the playoffs but for me since the turn of the new year we cannot say we have really had a go. Is Gary Rowett more concerned with improving on last years finish & looking better each season as he gains more experience as a manager? Frankly I would rather he send a side out with a 4-4-2 formation since the new year & have a real go for the playoffs because I am sure we would be closer. Sure this league throws up some funny results week in week out but we are just not cutting it against sides near the bottom & that has to change!

  • Ken says:

    There’s been a distinct lack of quality throughout the squad all season and the recent results have been nowhere near good enough to sustain a play off place. When you have a lack of quality, you can compensate to a point with endeavour and luck…but free transfer players all share one major attribute…inconsistency. This has undone much of the good work done earlier in the season. It probably is time now to take Donaldson out of the firing line…everything seems to have to go through him and once the opposition suss that out we do look a bit clueless. It’s hard to be critical of anyone really…manager…players etc etc. But the bottom line is that these players, as honest and as humble as GR portrays them, simply are not good enough to achieve a play off place

  • Shirley Blue says:

    In the first half I think the formation was supposed to be 4-1-4-1 with Gleeson as the one holding the midfield and trying to push Davis and KB forward. It didn’t really work and we looked unbalanced with Toral on the left. I think the play-offs have all but gone now. We needed either Derby or Sheffield Wednesday to blow up big time anyway and it’s not happening. We now need at least 20 points from the last 9 games and that isn’t going to happen either. I am sure there is going to be a fair bit of critical stuff aimed at the manager and team but I would say look how much Fulham have spent on that team with players like McCormack and Dembele and they are struggling to stay up. Anyway Villa are as good as down now so something to look forward to. Target now is to beat last seasons points total of 66 and if we do that we will have done well and we build again for next season.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s a pretty good assesment.

      As for Toral, I stated after the Wolves game, that the one thing we learned, was that Toral is totally wasted out on the left… and today’s game proved that point once again. Why on earth the manager can’t see it is beyond me. If Donaldson plays up front on his own, then Toral has to play central behind him. It’s not rocket science.

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    To be honest I thought a draw was a fair result – Fulham had some clear chances they missed too. I have to say that we didn’t look (again) like a play-off chasing team to me. I still feel we are not positive enough at home – it may be sacrilegious to say this but Burton seem to have have really pushed on since Rowett left them which suggests that he still has a bit to learn as a manager. The play-offs aren’t totally out of reach yet but we would need a really strong run to get there and given our run-in where we still have to play several of the top teams I think this is increasingly unlikely.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I think we have won six out of our last seven home matches which has included beating Hull, Ipswich and Cardiff so that’s pretty positive I reckon. It’s the away form that has ruined our play-off chances and losing at home to Sheffield Wednesday – that was a real 6 pointer looking at the table this evening.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      To be honest I get a bit worried that some are viewing our efforts to get into the playoffs as a failure when I personally think GR has worked a minor miracle to have us in contention with 9 games left anyway.How can he be truly judged as a manager in this league when he is so massively disadvantaged financially.

      • atko says:

        I think the lack of ambition going forward in these last few matches is the problem Hillfield Blues. We cannot go down so be more ambitious, play a more attacking formation & we are more likely to score goals. At least look like we are a team that wants to compete for the playoffs because right now we haven’t looked like that team for some time!

        • Hillfield Blues says:

          I would argue that formations and tactics are only as good as the players you have at your disposal to execute them.We just don’t have enough quality individually imo.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I don’t think you’ll ever see 4-4-2 from Mr Rowett. He practically scoffed at it in his after match interview.

          • atko says:

            An ignorant manager dismisses any formation. You should pick your team, formation & give your instructions dependent on the opposition at the time. Same old every week is wearing a bit thin now don’t you think?

  • Teerev says:

    £2million spent on Fabbrini and Brock-madsen says it all really.The Fabbrini signing screams of a desperate buy,much of a “because we can” thing. GR has been fantastic for us and has given the whole place a much needed lift and a bit of hope.BUT.He seems reluctant to commit to spending.It is new to him having a few quid.I would worry if he was given chunk of cash to spend.He needs to get past this or find a wise head to give him a bit of help

  • We never had a shot on target till the hour cameup , which means we tried to score a games goals in 30 minutes which ain’t feasible, as our goal difference will suffer , ,we should give it our all 20 minutes before half time to score knowing there is a rest at the end of it …and the same at the end of the second half , unless we are behind and then we will then have to carry on through the second half , it will give the players an incentive to go ahead at the end of the first half , playing as we do increases desperation at the end to score givind erratic attempts on goal , that’s what I think anyway …..

  • Tony says:

    We just do not have enough Quality we haven’t all season I said at the start it would be 10-12 and it will be, there is just so much you can achieve through hard work and organisation, you need quality to get over the line we do not have it.
    Fulham had internationals out there we had league 1 players on the whole, we also have a manager who is afraid to attack I’m thankful for the points we already have.

  • Bluenose blue says:

    Is it just me or has any one else noticed that Fulhams goal came from Grounds being caught out of position yet again. Most of our goals conceded have come down our left handside but Grounds continues to be picked every week. Every manager has his favourites, but this one stands out a mile as one of GR’s.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Have a look at the highlights. When they broke out on us Gleeson went for a ball he was never going to get which meant Grounds had to move out of position . Wasn’t the greatest exhibition of goalkeeping you will ever see either.

  • Little Al says:

    Rowett has set up our team not to lose and hit teams on the break. It worked earlier on the season but teams have sussed us out. Donaldson does so much work he in knackered in the second half. This formation has not worked over a number of matches, I think it possibly should have been changed a couple of games ago. Toral playing wide does not work, we have a tough run in to the end of the season and I really cannot see us getting more than twelve to nine points. As Shirley blue stated the loss against Shef Wed a six pointer cost us together with losses at home to teams in the bottom half of the table. Four goals scored in the last nine games is just not promotion standard. Anything is possible but a play off pace looks beyond us now., lets face the teams who do get promoted from this league will struggle in the PL but I suppose the riches will compensate for it.

    • atko says:

      Ever thought the reality is we never really wanted promotion? Of course the club has to make the right noises but realistically given the clubs ownership problems the club was more than happy to just miss out don’t you think?!

      • Swifty says:

        What a ridiculous suggestion

        • jonno11blue says:

          Why Swifty? There are only 2/3 players in the squad that would have any chance of playing at Premiership level, the club would have to purchase at least a dozen players. Also don’t you think it strange that Gary is talking about extending Jaque’s and Davis’s contracts, you wouldn’t have either of them in a Premiership squad, that alone shows little ambition.

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    Today’s game summed up Blue’s position, woeful in the first half and only starting to show some positivety when going a goal down. Fulham were poor and should have been there for the taking but again our match strategy and tactics were so negative. Playing Toral and Davies out wide was never going to and belting the ball up to Donaldson was a waste of time as Burn and Stearman beat him every time to the headers and his miss in the second half was a shocker. I think Rowett needs to try and bring in a fresh face in the loan window and give Donaldson a rest although our chances of the playoffs have now virtually gone. Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Stand by my gut feeling that a win yesterday was a must and it didn’t happen so that’s it for me this season and 9th finish will be an improvement on 10th last season … At least the vile are nearly dead now so that’s something to cheer me up but loosing out on the playoffs for me and having to admit it is hard to take but that’s the reality I suppose so there you go . KRO

    • Art says:

      Interestingly I said this 2 months ago but was accused of being negative..

      The reality has set in at last.

      Next season should be different -assuming we keep GR of course.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Because two months ago Art we were in a better position and we were winning away games and and scoring goals so yes you were negative then but as you say reality as set in but it’s taken a bit longer than others would admit to , I admit it now because of our results and not that we weren’t good enough . KRO

        • atko says:

          You could argue also Dave that within those 2 months Blues have become a little negative too. The nearer the playoffs became a reality the more we were afraid to really go for it!

        • Bluey says:

          The truth is Dave we are NOT good enough.If you look at the squads of other clubs it`s clear we`re well behind them.GR has done a great job in keeping us where we are but there`s a limit to what anyone can do with constrained financial resources.If we don`t find new owners,and more importantly investment,next season will be more of the same. I also think GR will walk at the next decent opportunity he is offered if he`s not given a chance in the transfer market. Those of us who were classed as negative by you and others have been proved right. Give me realism over mindless optimism any day of the week.

          • atko says:

            Leicester proved you don’t have to be technically the best but you have to play consistently at a high level for each other. That’s something we haven’t done for a while!

          • Dave Mann says:

            Was it mindless ? .. Maybe but optemism is far more enjoyable than realism and keeps me young and happy , I’ll carry on my way if you don’t mind Bluey , keep it real . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The sad bit is, we were well placed for the play-offs but, with only 5 wins since the turn of the year, we were always relying on other teams to lose and keep us in it, instead of showing a bit of courage and keeping it in our own hands. Maybe next year.

  • ChrisG says:

    I don’t know where GR thinks he’s gonna get a striker from that’s match fit & ready to go at this stage of the season i’m sure. In any case if the idea is to just replace Donaldson & keep with the same formation then he may as well not bother bringing anyone in. His favoured 4-2-3-1 just isn’t working at the moment & although it’s unfair to pin our bad run on one player but is it coincidence that it seemed to start around the time Cottrill returned to the team?, he must be one of the most frustratingly inconsistant players i’ve ever seen & he seems to have completely forgot how to take a free kick

    • atko says:

      I’ve been saying that all through this article Chris but I guess we are at the stage where we are that bad when it comes to scoring at the moment that anyone might be an improvement. It’s all a little too late for me I feel.

  • bluemed says:

    Why not drop donaldson and play toral as centre forward with fabrini in thehole and two wide players cotts and maghoma

  • Stan moye says:

    My first home game for a while, but decided to make the 160 odd mile round trip. First observation was how quiet the crowd was, almost depressing. Though his legs maybe on the way out, thought Scott Parker ran the show in the first half. It was only when a couple of meaty challenges went in and the usual hand bag brigade ensued that we actually started to have a go. Colts cross for Morrison’s header was superb. But get the impression opposition teams have our tactics worked out.. We appear very one dimensional, stop Donaldson and we seem clueless at times. Agree Toral is wasted out wide. I do not feel Clayton should carry the can, he needs help and support, where is the attacking flair in midfield? Time for GR to twist, as sticking is not going to cut it, sure each place is linked to a point bonus money wise, but we only have that to loose, and we just might pull a 21.

    • atko says:

      Clayrton needs assistance or dropping. Without Clayton we would HAVE to play a different way but I feel that Gary Rowetts tactics, formations, etc are not to Blues strengths they are to Clyton Donaldson’s strengths. That’s taking nothing away from the Don himself, he is good at what he does but it has become all a bit too predictable. The crowd has probably become a little quiet knowing that they are in for an afternoon of the same as the last match. There is a lack of excitement, fans need to be entertained & we are not an entertaining side. We don’t create chance after chance. Sitting back counter attacking is not entertaining if you canot get it right & we can’t. We just hump the ball up to Clayton who if lucky might lay it off but more often than not will lay it off to the opposition or try to get a free kick. Fabbrini, Toral & Cotts are the kind of players that should entertain. Toral is played out of position, Fabbrini is way too inconsistent & Cotts won’t be interested again until he has played in the Euro’s this summer by which time we might be lucky to keep hold of him anyway! The irony is we have signed everyone up for the summer when we might be better served changing the squad. We know that we are going to get the same next season with the same players which I think will be a nightmare for us now everyone can nullify any threat we could pose. My prediction, we will struggle next year!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Been saying it for the last couple of seasons Stan that at home our support is more aggressive than supportive , we only make a noise when were moaning and not celebrating , my opinion ofcourse but away days are far more enjoyable . KRO

    • ChrisG says:

      I’m not even sure the away days are much fun atm Dave having not scored in the last 5. Ok Wolves was an improvement but after Blackburn I seriously considered joining a monestery & locking myself away from football for ever!!.lol

    • jonno11blue says:

      Dave Supporters want to be entertained. Like you I go to all the games but at St Andrews the teams so slow with the built up and we allow the opposition so much possession fans are fed up. People want to see them attack for the first whistle, we want to see wingers going down the wing not standing on the half way line, the midfield players on the edge of the box supporting the forwards. Unless there is goal mouth activity the fans are going to be quiet. Saturday evening the comments on leaving the ground reminded me of lee Clark’s era

  • peter bates says:

    Not going to slag Gary Rowlett Dave but didn’t he say we will give the supporters something to get them out of there seats the supporters still spend their money so in my opinion they have a right to be critical all the missed chances and not just Donaldson have cost us probably an extra fifteen points and a decent goal difference I think bringing someone in now in my opinion is not the thing to do Gary Rowett has done a superb job at our club and deserves the credit along with his team that they receive and remember there are still vacancies in the east midlands and at the vile that are available I for one don’t want to see him go but I think he just might and how many people on this site said at the start of the season last seasons position would suffice this kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes I agree Peter that Gary Rowett did sat he would make changes and get the home fans on the edge of our seats but that as not happened and yes supporters have there right to complain and moan but when your backs up against the wall you don’t want your loyal fans slagging every missed pass or missed opportunity and booing players , as a loyal fan I still clap the team off whatever the result and carry on supporting them no matter what , ok it’s other fans parogative to do what they thinks right if there not happy and as paying customers I can’t knock that but it annoys me that we are not united in what our achievements are and the negativity that was going round even when we were in the top six regular earlier in the season , reality as set in and all you fans who said so are correct and I take my peaky off to you but dont you all wish you were terribly wrong ? . I hope so . KRO

    • Bluey says:

      I said many times i hope i`m wrong but that was never going to be the case. I simply couldn`t see why there was such optimism earlier in the season,you only had to look at the various merits of top clubs to realise we were not going to be in the mix at the end.IMHO it was so clearly obvious.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Maybe but there’s nothing wrong with optimism Bluey , yes we are over achieving if you look at what we have and what the top six teams have but all I will say is take a look at Leicester , if there fans would have said we are going to win the premier league after scraping from relegation last season you would have sent them to a mental asylum True? There optimism will become reality so don’t keep knocking it all the time . KRO

  • Mitchell says:

    I will always be thankful for GR and co.for lifting our club from the dire Lee Clark tenure. However like Staffs comments earlier-we were in such a great position in January that the tactical decisions have failed. This has to be down to GR. We will never know but if GR had moved to Fulham or QPR would a new manager have taken advantage of our then tasty position and ditched this laboured team formation that Gary is so firmly set in and gone for a different mindset. The lowly teams who haven’t been beaten at Stans,this season is simply not acceptable.

  • Gary Davies says:

    I suggest that Donaldson should not be ‘dropped’ but ‘rested’ the kid gets kicked safe from pillar to post every week mainly due to lack of quality service.
    Regarding bringing in a new striker look at our own youth squad and give one or two of them a chance now a play off place is now out of our reach.

    • almajir says:

      Popa is out on loan at Kettering.

      Ronan Hale is barely ready for the u21s let alone the Championship.

      Who else?

  • I think that the biggest thing this season we need to address is the fact that the clubs we should find easy to Beat , those near to the bottom we struggle against , why is that , I think that when we play the lower clubs they realise that our football is no better than theirs E; G. Passing , and that it is only our graft and defensive ability and opportunist goals even though we havent been as good at scoring as we have defending that as got us higher up the league than others, which by them marking our lone striker has slowly blunted our effectiveness and give them the confidence to take points from us .,we really do need to bring the squad up to full size next season with a striker that can also pass a ball and a couple more quality players …..we can still get into the playoffs this season mind you but only if we attack more …

    • atko says:

      Look back over the years William, we have always struggled against sides down near the bottom. It’s something all Blues teams cannot get over. Okay I will agree maybe not so quite obvious as this year as it seems any time we play anyone in the bottom five or six then at best we can expect a point. Maybe clubs have identified we struggle against sides near the bottom so up their game against us. It’s certainly a mental thing that probably transmits from the terraces throughout the game as well and everyone becomes edgy & the same old things start to happen. Balls are lost, passes go a stray & the crowd get anxious & before you know where we are we’re one down. It’s as predictable as our long balls up to Clayton Donaldson every game!

  • Leigh says:

    Why not plan for next season, and look closer to home?
    I understand we could recall Denny Johnstone.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    When all is said and done the majority of the Blues team are full of free transfer players many from league 1. Gary has over achieved in getting them this far. Alright his tactics are negative, but he hasn’t got the financial resources of the teams above us.
    What disappoints me are the critics of Diego Fabbrini who along with Jon Toral and Clayton Donaldson are the only 3 Premier League standard players we have got.

    • atko says:

      Clayton is good at what he does but he is NOT a Premier League standard player! What position is he Premier League standard at? Personally I don’t know what Clayton’s actual position is. He is not a striker, he is not clinical enough. You could say he is more like the old fashioned forward who lays the ball off to a strike partner. Him & Toral might have been better served as a straight 2 up front. We all know it except Mr Rowett & his staff but Clayton is definitely not Premier League quality.

      Fabbrini is a good player but he is not consistent enough at this level & too lightweight. Toral is the only one that I could see doing a decent job in the Premier League. Most of our players are punching way above their weight. Nothing wrong in that, Leicester are punching way above their weight but the way they play together & work together as a team brings them success. That’s what happened with us for a large part of the season but we just became a little inconsistent & Leicester are a bit more adventurous going forward! :)

  • Zimblue says:

    What is all this hype about getting into the play-offs? If…..if….and if we reached the play-off final and won, what then??
    For a moment, consider the frustration and disappointment that will be evidenced by Blues attempting to compete with P/L teams next season. Just ask Villa fans how they feel and they have some decent players.
    As for GR?? Maybe it would benefit BCFC and the fans to change our manager next season for an experienced one who has the ability to motivate and lead the team to win rather than not lose. Some of you seem to think that he has done superbly well this season. But look where we are now and how poorly we play.
    We are struggling to maintain 9th and I would not be surprised if we failed to finish in the top half.
    At the moment I have more pleasure in following the Leicester blues than our Blues.

    • atko says:

      I may have been critical of Blues in the last few weeks but that is more to do with tactics, lack of ambition, etc. I would never knock the Blues like this though, Gary Rowett has done an excellent job & NOBODY can knock that unless they would rather go back to the days of 0-8 drubbings by Bournemouth!!! It was imperative we stopped a leaking defence….we did that! However, that was where the bulk of the money we had available had to go – defence plus midfielders who could defend! We play to the strengths of Donaldson holding the ball but we do not play close enough to him to truly counter attack.

      Our tactics were always only going to work for a maximum of half a season, the opposition were never going to allow us to play that way all season. We never had a plan B to Clayton Donaldson. We never had a plan B to playing it up to the lone striker. No matter whether you put Vaughan in his place, Brock Madsen or bring in someone who can find the net it would not make a difference playing that way!

      In my opinion, Gary Rowett needs help. He needs someone who can advise him or assist him with tactical decisions. He knows how to pick a squad, a team to ensure we don’t concede many goals but now we need to know how to attack & just maybe that is beyond Gary’s scope given he was a defender himself but I certainly do not think he deserves the criticism you are giving him!

    • Dave Mann says:

      Well follow them and don’t bother with us if that’s your attitude zimblue, sorry but that’s pathetic . KRO

    • Shirley Blue says:

      We might well finish mid-table but that’s a lot f’ing better than Fulham who with their multi-million pound squad are struggling to stay up. As I have said before be very careful what you wish for because it doesn’t take very much for it all to go tits up and it’s us staring down looking at the Football League as were before GR turned things round very quickly. There are some people on here who need to take a massive reality check. Derby and Sheffield Wednesday have been able to invest a lot of money in players.

  • Mitchell says:

    My desperation with GR reached rock bottom when I heard Stearman was playing yesterday. GR should have dragged VSO onto the pitch and reminded VSO exactly what he did to Stearman at Craven Cottage.Alas no..he didn’t get a minutes play. I can accept limited resources etc. but not totally unacceptable tactics especially at home. Rotherham,Charlton,Huddersfielf etc.etc.tell it all. As we stand our rivals across the city have nothing to fear from us next term. As Staffs earlier said we were in such a great position in January only to be ruined by inept signings and tactics. Next season cannot be approached in the same mindset.

    • atko says:

      Unfortunately next season will be the same Mitchell unless the takeover has occurred which we all know is highly unlikely. We have ensured that the bulk of the squad is all signed up to new contracts & with little money available we will have to rely on the same players. The best thing we can do is sink every penny in to a proven goalscorer if not TWO! People might say we need a centre half but I don’t think that is a matter of urgency. We have proven we don’t concede a lot of goals, we avergae less than a goal a game so that is not a problem in my view. Scoring is essential to winning games & we need goalscorers. We need to get out of this lone striker formation. Play it away from home maybe against stronger opposition but against mediocre opposition or at home we should be playing goalscorers and becoming a greater attacking threat!

      • Shirley Blue says:

        To turn the current lot into a squad genuinely capable of challenging for promotion we need five top quality championship players to be able to compete with even the likes of Derby and Sheffield Wednesday over a whole season. Yes obviously a goalscorer but a centre back, a left back and a couple of midfield players as well. TBH unless the ownership situation is sorted and we get the funds to do that I think mid-table is actually an achievement with the quality we have. If anything with clubs the size of Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland likely to be relegated it’s going to be a lot, lot harder for clubs with our resources to compete next season.

        • Dave Mann says:

          Three cracking away games though shirley . :-) KRO

        • ChrisG says:

          What worries me Shirley Blue is Rowetts ability to bring in decent players, Buckley, Shotton, Brock-Madsen, Lowrey have not worked out, Vaughan imo should be given a run in the side, Fabbrini has hardly played. He has had some success with Morrison, Maghoma, Keiftenbeld, Torel & Kuszczak, you can expect the odd one player to be a flop but we are not in a position where only 50% of signings work out. I think everybody said we needed a left back so GR brought in another right back where we already had cover. We needed another centre back so he brings in midfielder, where we already had cover for. Whether GR likes it or not maybe it’s time someone was brought in to give him a hand.

        • atko says:

          Sorry Shirley Blue but don’t you think you are contradicting yourself? I respect your opinions throughout the season & about the current form/situation with Blues but you say on the one hand how great we are doing, etc & then on the other highlight we need half a team to improve. Surely we need two goalscorers & that’s it, see how we go on with that!

          Surely anyone can see we are just outside the playoffs now and if we had had a goalscorer or two now then we would be IN the playoffs. I don’t get why people are highlighting other positions & have been doing all season when we have proven we can cope there. People were saying we need a creative midfielder, we need to buy Fabbrini, we did so & now they say it was a bad move! Of course it was a bad move, his purchase upset the balance of the team. We should have bought a goalscorer then but it didn’t happen but I think wasting money on other areas of the squad before a goalscorer or two is just asking for trouble. Other areas might be our ‘nice to haves’ but goalscorers are our only ‘MUST haves’!

          • Shirley Blue says:

            With regards to the five players I was thinking ahead to the summer and next season rather than right now Atko. Fabbrini was fantastic for us at the end of last season so I was delighted we got him and if Toral doesn’t come back we might be very glad we have him next season. He has had a toe injury since he came to us so that may have affected his form. It was always a big ask for us to get into the play-offs but until recently I remained optimistic we could pull off a near miracle. Obviuosly a prolific goalscorer would have helped but getting one is very much easier said than done because who would release one to us due to the very fact that they are scoring goals. Fulham have got a £10m+ rated goalscorer and look where they are. I think there are deeper problems with the team than you think particularly a lack of quality in midfield.

  • Dave Mann says:

    We need a goalscorer and we still need another centre half for next season if we’re gonna do anything different from this season , otherwise as Bluey rightly says it will be same old problems till the ownership his sorted and that I do agree with him on . KRO

    • Ed Lane says:

      Agree Dave we do need a striker and a centre half, but we also need a creative mid field player, a couple of full backs and some one to replace Toral when he goes back.

  • peter bates says:

    Totally agree Dave Mann I have my moans but will always follow blues wouldn’t enter my head to support another club I hope a buyout takes place and gr is there to spend some big money and for so called fans who enjoy other teams go watch them and stay away from St Andrews kro

    • Dave Mann says:

      Peter , if you said to me I’ve got tickets for Barcelona v Real Madrid at the Nou Camp , all expenses paid or stay in Birmingham and watch Blues v Burton Albion in a league game then it’s St Andrews all day every day for me and absolutely no regrets , it’s just ashame that other so called Blues fans don’t see it that way … Leicester are doing great and I hope they win the league but for a “Blues”fan to say they prefer watching another team is unacceptable in my eyes , my opinion but Ime so glad it is , cheers mate . KRO

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Totally agree with you Dave. Comments like that are just pathetic and as far as I am concerned they can go and do one to whichever club they prefer watching.

      • Mitchell says:

        Yes it’s Blues any day -even the kiddy pre season was an exciting day out. It’s just this Striker business that gets me. I have seen a few Kiddy games this season and keep looking out for a Vardy or similar from the lower leagues. Bloody hard to find.Bradshaw of Walsall looks ok but have we committed to Vaughan? Not sure. Poor B-M looks a non starter but who knows. Makes you realise how lucky we were to have had a Kevin Philips and Forsell in recent times. Like yourself we must stick to our targets of two vital players for next season- decent striker and a CH to pair up with Morrison. Sounds simple Dave doesn’t it!.

        • Singapore Brum says:

          Maybe can give you a different perspective here. If Zimblue lives in Zimbabwe (and I think he does), then he will probably be in a similar position to me, in that I get to see all 10 premiership games on a weekend but only 1 championship game.

          Rarely, due to obvious reasons, does that championship game involve Blues. I am not interested in seeing Hull vs Middlesboro or whatever championship game is being played on tv, unless it is Blues. So instead, I have the pick of whatever game I want to watch in the EPL. Nowadays, the team I tend to watch, no matter who they are playing, is Leicester City. Not because my allegiance is changing, but because Leicester have such a refreshing way of approaching the game, no matter who the opposition is. Plus they score plenty of goals. I am fed up watching a clueless Man City, despite their supposedly mega stars on show, or negative Man United, or has been Chelsea, inconsistent Arsenal etc.

          That’s where I come from anyway and perhaps Zimblue too?

          Dave – 9th is better than 10th. I just don’t see much to be excited about until (and maybe this will still take some considerable time to sort out) the ownership situation is resolved in its entirety, done and dusted with no appeals etc.

          Until then, honestly, we haven’t got a hope in hell in competing with those teams with backing. In fact, we should be fighting the drop more than making the playoffs.

  • .KC says:

    Really hope that the critics of Fabbrini are going to be proved wrong when he gets a run at it. Other recent signings , Vaughan, Shotton, Buckley, and B-M at best have added poor cover and have not remotely strengthened the squad.
    The cautiousness starts in the pre match interviews where we give far to much respect to quite often poor opposition and this then very often continues for the first 60 minutes before we have the self belief to believe we can win a game and then its too late as we go from cautious to “gung ho” with replacements who either should have started within a different line up and tactics or others who should never have been signed.
    However GR has done a fantastic job and he knows that he is lacking in quality all over the place. Agree with the VSO comment and hope Fabbrini comes good and Arthur and others coming up through the ranks. Thought our right back was our best attacker in the 2nd half yesterday.!!!

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I heard yesterday that Fabbrini has been struggling with a bruised toe which he had before he got transferred to us which might help to explain his form. I still think he will be a great signing in the long run even if he hasn’t made much impact this season.

  • Blue Blood says:

    Unfortunately, Donaldson has not been the same since his last international call-up …and injury. It’s never too late, provided it’s before next Thursday to get a striker on loan. Would the Baggies let Victor Anichebe join us or how about Liverpool’s Jerome Sinclair who has scored some terrific goals and has something to prove.

  • paul says:

    i think alls not lost, it does now make it harder and the game in hand is a must win but it is inevitable that Derby and Sheffieldnwill drop point before the season ends so its going to the wire!!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      We need a run of 3 or 4 wins on the bounce to keep up with the three teams above us. We’ve not done that since last Sep/Oct last year. At this moment in time, there’s nothing to indicate that we can win 2 games back-to-back, let alone 3 or 4. It’s still mathematically possible to reach the play-offs, but it’s looking more and more unlikely with every game.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Staffs I admire your positivity but with the reasons you give it’s not happening mate so let’s just accept it and keep all the realists happy . KRO

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m not that positive anymore tbh. Most of mine disappeared yesterday. Like I said, it’s still possible, but unlikely now.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      We need Derby and Sheffield Wednesday to feel we are breathing down their necks. Then they’ll feel pressure again. To do that however we need to a winning streak and to do that GR and the players need realise a much more attacking style has to be delivered

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I would ask the people whoare suggesting dropping Donaldson is the solution to our goal-scoring problem – are we really creating that many opportunities that bringing in somebody else would actually make any difference? A team that usually has far less than 50% possession will not naturally create many chances and other teams have wised up to not letting us catch them on the break. My view is that there are deeper problems particularly the lack of creativity in midfield and generally a lack of pace and power throughout the team.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I said last week that bringing anyone in on loan now would be a waste of time and money. But, I’m not convinced we have the solution to our goalscoring problem within the first team squad either. It is what it is, so we’ll probably limp along winning the odd game until the end of the season. The only thing that bothers me slightly, is that once the play-off chance has gone, performances will slack off and we’ll drop to mid-table. I hope not, but it’s a strong possibility.

    • atko says:

      My only reason for dropping Donaldson, Shirley Blue is because we would be forced to change our tactics without him. It’s all too predictable and when sides down near the bottom who are leaking goals have him in their pockets then something is wrong! I know playing Toral wide means nobody is close enough to Donaldson but even when someone is, it isn’t working.Our problem is more likely to be tactical given we have become predictable to everyone in the league these days & the fact that we are probably knackered & almost dead on our feet which comes with playing a settled side for too long. Fatigue is not just physical it is mentally too. Some of our players are probably on automatic pilot mentally & physically. That’s why you need to be rotating the squad!

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Rotate with what exactly? We are very, very thin below the 18 players that are either on the pitch or on the bench all of which he has been using in the last month or so. Sorry but I just don’t think dropping Donaldson for Vaughan which is the only real option he has got up front will make the slightest bit of difference to our goals for statistics and we will lose what Donaldson does give us. I think we will just have to agree to differ on this one Atko.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Our previous manager was very keen on “rotating” the squad I seem to remember. That very nearly got us in the Football League.

        • atko says:

          We have Donaldson, Vaughan, Brock Madsen & like it or not Thomas & Johnston are Blues players whether out on loan or not. By my reckoning that is FIVE players. If we don’t want them, transfer list them, get rid and get players in who can be rotated! We cannot keep playing the same 11 every week. As for your comment about the previous manager, that is just silly, the previous manager did it out of panic not for the right reasons! There is a reason clubs have squads & trying to play 46 matches plus cup games with a large part of the same squad is stupidity. Players want to play games not be sat at home or on the bench. At least if they are rotated they know they will get their fair share of game time!

    • ChrisG says:

      Shirley Blue, we’ve made plenty of chances but Donaldson can’t even get a shot on target let alone a goal, he could have had a hat trick against Wolves and the amount of crosses that Caddis & Cottrill put in yesterday was unbelievable one of which was where our only goal came from, so I don’t know who you’ve been watching mate but we’ve definately been creating chances

      • Shirley Blue says:

        How many real chances did he have yesterday -one I can remember. I am sorry but we do not create lots of chances. There have been so many games this season when we have had less than 40% possession even at home against lowly opposition and you cannot be creating loads of chances when that happens.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Just pumping crosses into the penalty area does not constitute a chance at goal. Most of them didn’t go anywhere near him and when they do he has usually got three men making sure he doesn’t get on the end of them due to not having any support.

  • Dave Mann says:

    It’s a propability mate more than a possibility mate . KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes , but like yourself mate I wouldn’t change it for any other club on the planet so in our own way we’re blessed , might not feel like it but were brummies and that’s worth more than any money in the world for me ,it hurts but it’s also pleasure beyond belief . KRO

    • ChrisG says:

      Dave, the optimist in me has just remembered something which in turn will possibly lift your spirits, this is blues & the majority of us on here have been supporting blues since the dawn of time & what are blues famous for?, keeping us waiting til the last day of the season!!!. Blues, Ipswich, Cardiff & Sheff Wed all have tough games to come & looking through all the fixtures I can see this going right down to the wire. KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Chris , again I love your optimism but we’re gonna fall short and that’s the reality mate . KRO

  • Texas Pete says:

    Last season we climbed out of a relegation position to finish 10th under the guidance of GR . This season, all season we have been challenging for a top 6 finish. It is the goal scoring that has been a problem recently and if that changes back to the previous form against Fulham, Derby and ipswich, we will be close Notice that both Ipswich and Cardiff got less than they wanted also. I hope our goal drought breaks very soon and we can finish on a high note. There is no reason why not, so don’t call this season disappointing at this point, nor start condemning GR for making this successful season less of a success with your unrealistic expectation. We are lucky to have him and not be in The position of Fulham or Bolton.

  • Martin says:

    I think that Mr Rowett knew at the start of the season that this was not our time for promotion , this was a team building year, a stable year, a year to get everyones head facing in the same direction . I think getting promoted this year would be a disaster for the club . We need to get this CY pantomime behind us , could you imagine us in the Prem with this team, I love all our players and our club but do not want to see us as a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. Next season is our season !

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      I agree with that but let’s not let the season go out with a whimper. Let’s steal that sixth place.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Except for the fact that getting promoted would be worth something like £100m and we would likely start next season with a very different team.

      • atko says:

        My pointy in why we can’t be more ambitious with our formation. We cannot go down so might as well have a go surely. At least that way by being more adventurous we can at least attempt to get a greater supply to Donaldson if you think the supply isn’t there to him!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        And that would throw up another question. With his limited experience as a manager, would you trust Gary Rowett with a £20-25m war chest? I’m not so sure I would.

    • .KC says:

      Problem is Martin is that we have not really built on anything better than was already there.

  • atko says:

    BTW….anyone else noticed how we have gone from not one but TWO matches over the Easter Period to NO matches this Easter!? In years gone by we played 2 matches in 4 days over the holidays but an international break has put a stop to that one this year. Players can actually have Easter off, lol!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      4 games in March, but 8 in April is ludicrous. But that’s the poxy international break for you.

      It’s also ridiculous that with 6 weeks left of the season, there will only be one more Saturday home crowd at St Andrews.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes we have noticed . KRO

  • Texas Pete says:

    Who knows what the next 9 games will bring or the next season in the championship. Will we get a big investment? Maybe not. So a repeat of this year.
    If with Rowett’s plan we get 72 -78 points, win draw win draw etc. That is 74 and we should be satisfied.
    Getting in the playoffs would be a bonus. Promotion is unbelievable but would provide experience plus big money for a real promotion buildup up when we got relegated. Also maybe the takeover will be sorted by then.

    • atko says:

      That’s the scary part Pete. Relegated teams from the Premier League will get huge parachute payments.

  • What ever system we use , we need an an all out attacking side to pull back an unlucky two goal deficit my thoughts on a team to do that would be , ……Kus .. …….Caddis …..Morro ….Specs…Grounds……………Mags …Cotts…..Gleeson….Fab……………..Toral …the Don………… in a 4+4+2 with the break we could now get used to it ..

  • Little Al says:

    Like it or not money rules football now, BCFC have no money compared to other clubs. We have done well considering the players we have. Its unrealistic to expect Rowett to go out and get players of a better quality they cost mega bucks its just a fact of life. Until things change regarding ownership things are not going to change. It looks unlikely that we are going to get a play off place now, but as supporters all you can do is support your team. We are where we are , I do however feel the time has come for Rowett to try a different formation there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Cotterill is scared of getting injured with the euros coming up, and you cannot blame him. So I don,t think we are going to get much out of him for the rest of the season, perhaps drop him to the bench and bring him on as an impact player. Toral is wasted out wide bring him central to pick up lay offs from Donaldson, if they can get Fabrinni fit play him as well. Why not, if it does not work so what, does it matter now. Next season is going to be tough again with three premiership teams coming down, Donaldson our target man is no spring chicken in footballing terms, Robinson is a veteran and will get even slower, so its probably going to be another hard slog. Unfortunately unless we can attract some better quality players I am afraid we are stuck where we are probably too good to go down but not good enough to go up. Lets just hope we get some entertaining football before the season ends and it just does not just end up a damp sqib.

    • atko says:

      Agree with most of that Al, although I’m not sure playing Toral & Fabbs in the same team. If we are going to rest Cotts then may as well play Mags & give Viv a go too on the other side. Also give Vaughan a game or three because I hope he isn’t going to base his decision on whether to keep him or not on 10 minutes every 3 games or so!! We’re as good as done now so be more adventurous & experiment a bit. You never know, we might actually learn something for next season!

  • StevieW says:

    I think we should be glad we have had some really good moments this season and the dire moments have not been that threatening.

    I cannot believe any of us believed we would make the play off’s at the start of the season, so be thankful for a spirited effort by the team, especially as they are mostly league one at best.who are achieving personally well above their normal abilities.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To be fair, of yesterday’s squad, only about 4 players were signed from League 1 or below – Legzdins, Caddis, Grounds and Gleeson. Most of the rest were signed from Championship or premier clubs… except for Kieftenbeld. Even the ex-lower league players have now completed nearly 2 seasons in the Championship. They might not be the greatest quality, but they’re Championship players.

  • Tony miller says:

    What I cant understand is as we are so close to the the play offs,why not have a go! What’s the point of playing safe in the first half against Fulham,surely in our position nobody would criticise Gary Rowett if we had lost,as long as we had a go from the start.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If we’d have taken our simple chances against both Wolves and Fulham, we’d be 4 points better off now… 2 points behind Sheff Wed with a game in hand. It’s the misses that have cost us, not goals conceded.

      • Dave Mann says:

        I wouldn’t blame the misses staffs , she comes with me and is as mad a Blues fan than me , well nearly anyway and she only tries to encourage the team , I blame the fact that we don’t score enough goals ! :-) :-) bum, bum!! .KRO

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    The reality is when we go up the only players of this squad I would definitely expect be in the first XI would be Kuszczek, Morrison, Kieftenbeld, Donaldson and Fabbrini

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t see a single premier quality player in our squad. Maybe Kuszczak because he’s played there before.. but even then, I’d think twice. The rest would get murdered in the prem.

  • Andy says:

    I think its dissappointing but we cant let that mask what a job Rowett has done in turning us into a playoff chasing team, i think our undoing has been a lack of ruthlessness at times we have lacked a cutting edge up front, overeliance on Clayton (this is not a dig at him) We created chances v Wolves and Fulham to have won both games… i dont think there is a major problem with the side… Only criticism i would have about Fulham would be that we set up wrong…surely on the back of a moral sapping defeat v Bristol City the week previous we should have started fast and looked for an early goal v them this would have settled us down and surely dented any confidence they would have had… We just never seem to start very well at home…I think this season could be a good learning curve for us though and hopefully next year we can give it a good go next year KRO!

  • Andy says:

    I think going forward i would like us to try a 442 diamond formation… Kus..Caddis..Morro..Specs..Grounds..Kieftenbeld…Cotts..Toral..Mags..vaughan..Donaldson…

    …..Kus….
    C…M…S..G
    …….K…….
    C………..M
    ……T………
    ..V…..D…..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Not bad, but I doubt Kieftenbeld could hold the midfield on his own. With a better defensive midfielder, it would probably work.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Donaldson bemoans the fact that the opposition defenders are “all over” him, but the truth is that he never jumps. If you don’t make a decent effort to win the ball, you cannot expect to win any fouls either. He needs to take those lead boots off!!

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Sorry I’m a bit late to the party on this, but one thing which has been really irritating is the quality of the passing.

    How many times do we give the ball away? Partly, this is down to lack of options but sometimes it is just rank bad execution. It is perhaps a feature of our defensive minded approach, but also as a result of the quality of player we have.

    Another grumble is that we are just too slow getting the ball forward.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Apparently, Blues linked with 2 players, Kyle Lafferty, who could be a decent steal..and Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham, who tbh I’ve never heard of.

  • It seems that we have that rare ability of having quite a lot of good all round players but if many of them have a slight fault it is in passing which lessens our chances of scoring and gives the opposition the upper hand to score ,

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The England Under 20 squad has been announced.
    Reece Brown has lost his place.

  • Swifty says:

    Look at the top six, their squads and the money they have spent. For Blues to still be in with a shout with our squad is down to good management. Nine times out of ten if you can pay top dollar and have better quality players you have a better chance of success. You can all bang on about Rowett’s tactics but the truth is his tactics have got us from second bottom to pushing top six. It comes down to your quality of players in the end and ours are not as good as most others above us

  • Mitchell says:

    To be even considering bringing in Lafferty at this stage is laughable. Why would we sign a player who will sit on the bench waiting for Donaldson to fail.Madness personified. Now if this was considered in January then great-but not now the horse has bolted. Our manager has missed the tricks in January and the promise of exciting times fell very short. Best give our young talents a run in order to get a good kick start for next season.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      You are entitled to your opinion but I think you are being incredibly harsh. We are working to a completely different budget in terms of transfer fees and wages not only compared to the top 6 clubs but also many of the clubs around us and below us in the table. For us to be even competing for the play-offs is down to good management. Have a really good look where we were less than 18 months ago. We were only able to get the likes of Shotton, Buckley and Vaughan because they were surplus to requirements at their respective clubs and don’t you think their might be a reason for that? He had to sell his best young player and ok Fabbrini hasn’t had an impact though we now know he has been struggling with an injury since he came to us. Be careful what you wish for Mitchell because things can go very wrong very quickly in our financial situation and the reality is that we are in a very good place when you take that into consideration.

  • I personally would think that we would be be better off with two strikers up front that can pass a ball to each other ,I feel in us playing deep two such strikers would get us more goals , but we can’t afford them YET , but on the other hand with having a very poor goal to crosses ratio Lafferty might be made to measure being good in the air , could be good for cotts as well ,

    • Mitchell says:

      Yes,I agree William but it must be done with the intention of getting whoever comes in -straight into the starting eleven. Never ever was a truer statement made by Dave Mann before the transfer window after Gray was sold that ‘whoever comes in must be better than what we have and should go straight into the team’. We ended up with Halford,Shotton,Buckley and Fabbrini. Imo we should stick with the old guard and blood VSO,Arthur and one of the promising young centre backs alongside Morrison.

      • .KC says:

        I’m with you on this Mitchell. Strengthening the team was what we were supposed to be doing. If the financials prevented this then it’s a waste of time bringing in second raters unless it is really just for cover. And on that basis yes give VSO more game time and move Arthur and others up to the bench. Why waste money that is limited in the first place.
        Based on last season I really hope from the names above Fabbrini comes good as he could add such a different dimension but do not hold out much hope with the others. I suggest you might have also included Vaughan who I know is incredibly keen, runs around a lot, supports the club, and of course hasn’t had much game time. But imo when he is on the pitch he never seems in the right place at the right time which in fairness is probably down to him and the players around him.
        I suppose the big question if he did bring in a decent striker would he play him instead of the Don or change his tactics and play them both ? No one decent will want to sit on the bench. Seems to me should have been sorted last summer or in January. However having said all that the guy’s done a brilliant job.

  • Texas Pete says:

    Keep talking about these LOAN players who were brought in as cover and complain that they are failures. We signed permanently Fabrinni only and he should be playing in place of Dimmi. He has a big competitor in Mags and now Davis. The prospect of another forward on LOAN is competition and cover. Don likely needs a rest and we still have 9 cup finals to play so yes bring in another forward because we have two injured these past weeks and Don is the only one left.

  • Mitchell says:

    Shirley Blue. You are right in all you say and we should never forget where we were pre- GR. However, we cannot be on our knees forever grateful. We were in a great situation and mistakes galore have cost us at a time when imo will not be in a similar position next season. Clubs around us and above have been no better than us all season and our players are equal to them most of the time. Home loses to dreadfully low opposition is unacceptable regardless of us all being no better than each other. Our chance of improving the team since Gray has left speaks for itself. GR is imo not flexible enough and certainly stubborn.-but your comments are as usual valid and good to hear.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      We have had some bad results but we have had some great ones too eg beating Derby and Ipswich 3-0 and beating Hull. If we had players that were good enough to turn in performances like that every week they would be playing at a higher level on much better wages than we can pay. I really think some people need to have a very big reality check. GR tends to be cautious in nature but I think that has got us where we are not made us worse but that’s just my opinion. There are clubs well below us with big name players on high wages like QPR and Fulham who would love to be where we are now.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        All of what you say is true, but you have to admit, there are games we could and should have won if we’d only put simple chances away. But at the end of the day, it’s the manager’s job to find a solution, not ours. We’ll just have to wait and see if he manages it.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          All the manager can be asked to do is improve us every season and if we do better than 66 points and 10th place then great I reckon. Yes there have been a few games we could have won but there have been games when we have got lucky as well eg penalty at home v Cardiff. The League table doesn’t lie over 46 games and I think we will finish 8th to 10th and that is how good we are.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve been lucky to win.. but imo, I think over the season, our bad luck has far outweighed our good luck.

  • Texas Pete says:

    Couldda shouldda wouldda. Read blog in the mail from Verna. Optimistic and good for our final run in to the end of the season. There is still a way to go the the end of the road.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    What’s the point in bringing in a striker if he is not going to played? Fabbrini plays second fiddle to Toral and Buckley sits on the bench.

    • Texas Pete says:

      The point of bringing in any player is to bolster the squad especially because ours is small. They cover is case of injury, loss of form change of approach and competition with others in the squad. We are talking about loan players to fill a gap on a temporary basis. Fabbrini has come in permanently and has been played but Rowett does not get rushed into putting in players immediately as he wants them to be fully fit and merged with the rest. We rely on Don even though his scoring is off and the other two strikers have been injured. Having the option of another striker available makes sense even though they would have to fight for that place in the team.

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    All this talk of our points tally being better than last years, have we forgot that half of last seasons points were down to LC, which if we take that into account then this season has not been as successful as we think, still a lot to play for and has been enjoyable whatever the outcome, but I would like to see us throw caution to the wind and really go for the remaining games, in the few games that we have had our attacking heads on we have looked a much better team. Kro

    • Dave Mann says:

      Last season Adam Rowett got 55 points from 32 games , this season we have 56 points from 37 games so you are correct to say that we haven’t really kicked on from last season and if anything is slightly worse but then things haven’t moved on off the pitch since then so until that’s resolved it’s ground hog day at best for the forseable future . KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I think we are, overall, better than last season.. except up top. Stevie Wonder could see where the No.1 problem lies.

        The main difference this season, is that Donaldson has scored 7 goals in 31 games. Last season he scored 15 goals in 44 appearances. Cotterill was our second top scorer with 9, compared with 2 this season. Who knows how many they’d have got if both hadn’t been injured. On the plus side, Toral has scored 7, with the defence contributing 11 goals. As I said, overall, we are better this season.


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