Often Partisan

Brighton Reflections

Birmingham City lost 2-1 for the second game in succession in a poor performance at St Andrew’s. Kyle Lafferty celebrated his debut with a neat finish but headers from Connor Goldson and Lewis Dunk won the game for the Seagulls.

For me, the whole game was encapsulated in one moment. Three months ago, had the score been 1-2 and the board had gone up for five minutes additional time, there would have been a roar from the Tilton hungry for an equaliser. Today, there was a collective sigh that another five minutes of misery would have to be endured. Many fans had already left anyway – but who can blame them for only staying for 85 minutes when many of the team turned up for about 20?

I’m going to sound like a moaner now, but frankly I don’t care – this has been coming for some time. The honeymoon is truly over for Gary Rowett and of late his flaws have been exposed somewhat: being a bit stubborn with tactics and formations when flexibility was needed; making strange substitutions that belied what was actually happening in the game and having a transfer record that is looking ever more questionable – one assist from Diego Fabbrini, one goal in a few short appearances from Will Buckley and a Dane who seems to be completely missing in action.

No doubt we’ll see the other great trait of Rowett – a smug response in an interview after someone has questioned him but questions do need to be asked. Clayton Donaldson has been ineffective of late as a striker – why play him on the wing where he looked even worse? Why, in a game crying out for pace and direct running take the one player off who can do that in Maghoma and bring on a tricksy player like Fabbrini when we have no possession at all? Have our defenders been told not to worry about defending set pieces and just allow free headers?

The sad thing is, had Blues stepped up a bit we could have got something. When we chased and harried Brighton, they looked as fragile as Blues did. When we went in with pace we worried them, and Lafferty clearly seems to know where the back of the net is. Yet too often we looked slow, lethargic; clearly there were no performance enhancing drugs in Donaldson’s system as he was guilty of ball watching on more than one occasion when he could have been looking to pounce on scraps in the box.

Rowett was quoted post-match as saying that Blues cannot let the season fizzle out even though playoffs were beyond us – if that isn’t the team letting the season fizzle out I dread to see what Blues are like when we truly are bad. Changes need to be rung now – although how I’m not sure of. Maybe some youth in Viv Solomon-Otabor and Koby Arthur or even Charlee Adams just to tell the first teamers their places aren’t guaranteed.

Before anyone says it – I’m not calling for Rowett to be sacked or anything that dramatic. I would just like him to learn from his mistakes and continue improving as a manager – because that will benefit the club. Right now, it’s hard to see that and the result is flat evenings like tonight.

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130 Responses to “Brighton Reflections”

  • mark says:

    sacking him seems pointless at this moment in time he knows where the door is anyway, if he felt he under achieved he would probably walk than be pushed.
    firstly was the appointment in GR to secure promotion i don’t think so, would the present board be happy with what been achieved so far i would probably think so, unless the fans call for his head.

  • Walker says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Very poor all round and a lack
    Of commitment and energy which was there for the first half of the season. Maghoma was still in the Congo, Donaldson in Jamaica and our midfielders well!!

    Then there is grounds! If it wasn’t for Spector and Morrison it would have been a lot worse. Caddie tried but didn’t have much help. Another bad day at the office.

  • mark says:

    just to point out daniel GR made 5 changes to freshen things up, now you think its time to blood the youth is your faith wobbling daniel……

    • almajir says:

      I wouldn’t go to Ronan Hale or that low – but Viv, Koby and Charlee have all been in and around the squad for a while.

      • mark says:

        i wouldn’t disagree but equally we need generals who have a footballing brain to go with energy of the youth sorry to say either came to mind this evening. the way to go is to have abundance of pace power, and take opportunity when they come, and goal scorer…GR finds them that’s his key….walsall attacker worth go??

      • Des says:

        I would stick hale in the squad and adams, cotts must play if Kyle is starting, Toral has won hands down over Fabbrini and Gleeson has to play so that’s midfield and attack more or less sorted with addition of Davis & Maghoma, in defence trial this man mountain M`bende?
        Ive satill got loads of faith in GR but we must finish higher than 1oth to show progress.

        KRO

  • Smithy says:

    Interesting over dramatic reflection on today’s game. Agree that today wasn’t great as we were out fought and out thought by a strong mobile team fighting for promotion but let’s not over dramatize surely. As fans let’s not forget how far the team have come in 18 months before we have hit this current slump of which most if not all teams go through a similar spell at some time in the season.

    Team selection and subs today were strange but he has earnt the right to make these mistakes as he searches for a formula to rescue the season.

    The one area I think should have been addressed was the centre half position we have made do all season with either Robinson or Spector neither of which should be any where need the team especially as finding a centre half is arguably the easiest position to fill

  • Dan Hickman says:

    Smithy,
    18 months is a long time though mate, we can’t keep living off being better than when Clark was in charge, if we weren’t then something would seriously be wrong, because we were bloody dreadful. I agree that all teams slump, and maybe if we had had ours earlier and we’re coming in to form at this point in the season maybe a confident side would lbe able to do something., but it seems the team know they will fall just short and want the season to end. I am a massive GR fan, but the time has come to judge him by his own benchmark and not his predecessor’s.

    Dan,
    Agree with just about all you have written. What was the point giving VSO a new contract to immediately drop him for unfit loanee’s?

  • Ken says:

    Looking at these comments suggests that a reality check is needed! There was never any expectation at the start of the season about reaching the play offs….the team punched above its weight and on occasions was fortunate to meet teams having an off day. We’ve all known all season that there is nowhere near enough quality and consistency to mount a sustained tilt at the play offs. So basically the team has run out of steam now and far from criticising GR we should be applauding the bloke for re-connecting the club all round. If you look at what he’s been saying this last few days, he’s made it clear that new blood is required in all areas next season to improve on this season….money needs to be spent in other words. I agree with Smithy above…massive over reaction to this result…like it or not…Brighton are a good team and have been up there all season

    • mark says:

      just opinion mate but i think we massively under achieved in 2013/14

    • Texas Pete says:

      Have yo agree with Ken. There has to be some sober reflections on the season. Now we have 7 games left there is room for more experimentation without busting up the team completely. Most players have done a fantastic job over the season and so has GR, but at this time though the disappointment at the performance is going to be stronger. Time to look forward to next season and the prospect of an even better season with a manager who has now had one full season with us under his belt.

    • Art says:

      Spot on- great posting.

    • Art says:

      Ken,l

      Absolutely spot on.

    • StevieW says:

      Ken
      Couldnt agree more some people have memories of a goldfish and there is not one of them who at the beginning of the season was calling for a playoff finish. Nothing like stirring some anti manager feeling when the going gets tough.

    • PutneyBlue says:

      Great posting Ken

      Let’s not get carried away, given where we were 18 months ago – as a business, our position in the league table, the squad he had – if we had been offered where we are now, we’d have bitten your hand off.

      We seemed to be best when we backed the same manager over a number of years – thinking Francis and Bruce most recently – not switching managers every season like some other local club I could mention. Rowett is doing a first class job and if we are having a dip in the team and manager’s form, that’s fine because the peaks this season have ensured we’re well placed in the league.

      Mid-table mediocrity never felt so good.

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    Totally inept performance tonight summed up where we are going as a club, know where until this business of ownership is sorted out. The players we have are what they are, free transfers in the main who lack quality. GR has a part from one or two games done well especially after the Clark era. To jettison him now would not solve the problem as any new manager would be faced with the same problem, lack of funds.

  • mark says:

    clark era was lack of funds>>

    • Tony says:

      Clark era was gross incompetence bordering on criminality, he was a disgrace . you have always been an apologist for the cretin Mark.

  • MA24 says:

    I agree somewhat with you as mistakes haven’t been learned. Against charlton, the corner they scored was atrocious. Despite charltons time wasting – Blues had ages to mark their man and set up defensively.

    It is frustrating that our promotion push is all but over – however to blame Rowett’s minor failings and severely criticise him is a bit too far. The man has done wonders for blues and it has been a productive season – one to be built on. All it shows is that we’ve found our level for this season and it was much improved to any since 2011/12.

    Finally – the one thing that separates bluenoses from the villa is that we generally live in reality. Yes the dream would have been to replace them in the PL for next season but it isn’t to be. Think some blues fans need to pull their heads out of the clouds. Let’s enjoy the rest of the season and bask in the villa’s demise – long may it continue.

  • carlos1875 says:

    Any chance the reserve goalkeeper can get a grame let’s see how well he does from set pieces we just need to liven the players up and I do think GR has blown the1 and a half million on fab he was good when he Was on loan but know he is shocking

    • Paul says:

      Our collapse in form comes almost from the day Fab signed
      Did he disrupt the dressing room because to a maN we have performed poorly.
      I am a GR fan but does he need help in the transfer market( Clark maybe)
      With the exception of Morrison his purchases have not worked out,Brock,Fab,Buckley etc

  • Stu says:

    While it’s disappointing that the dream is over it was really ever only a dream. Tonight was the first time I’ve been really critical of Rowett as i think the substitutions were awful and Brighton were beatable, but all in all we’re still overachieving with the squad and budget we have.
    The strangest thing tonight (and in recent weeks) was the lack of atmosphere. Considering the season depended on it we were quiet throughout, even then we took the lead. It makes me think that deep down most of us realise that we’re not good enough to do it and never really believed.

    • mark says:

      well only 14,000 turned up with about 1,500 from brighton that might tell you something…..

  • lcon-bleeds blue blood says:

    typical blues fan, we have a few bad games and its the rowett out brigade. its like ben stokes bowling the other night in that final over its easy pi55 to sit and say how you would bowl from the commentary box however your not there simply because your not good enough. 3 months ago it was rowett the messiah, oo please don’t go to derby please don’t go to Fulham. these clubs are offering a lot more cash than we are and at present a lot more appealing to any manager were a mid table championship side at best with a league 2 ownership situation and what appears to be some conference fans. yes we lost, but we lost 20 odd games at home under Clark who I also had massive sympathy for. if you want to be deluded and think we should be finishing top 6 of prem every season go and support the dingles. makes my blood boil the stick Gary is getting when all the championship manager fans in reality don’t have a clue. I imagine in the summer they expect us to sign the likes of toral for £3m ross mccormack for £12m. a;; teams above us have bought one marque signing worth 3-5 million we haven’t had that in 5 years people need to get realistic. and Daniel reading your pessimistic posts recently really makes me question what your motive is. its a fantastic blog but im sure if rowett left you would be the first one to complain we had lost an exciting young manager.

    • almajir says:

      its a fantastic blog but im sure if rowett left you would be the first one to complain we had lost an exciting young manager.

      I said on SHA last night that if Rowett left I would shed no tears. I stand by that. He’s a good manager, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get another good one to follow him. No one is bigger than the club.

      • Smithy says:

        Wow I’m stunned at that comment!!

        What confidence have we got in the regime to employ another good manager, personally I haven’t got much. Whilst I accept that Rowett will want to (and deserves too) further his career should the right opportunity arise it would be a massive blow to the club.

        People question his transfer record but surely this is the same for all managers for every bad signing there have been good ones, let’s not forget Morrison, Kusack, Tesche, Kieftenbeld, Toral…. In an ideal world he has more money available and can totally reshape the squad but we are currently not in that world.

        Just be careful what you wish for

        • almajir says:

          Why?

          I’ve been resigned to Rowett leaving us sooner rather than later for some time. It’s the way of the world, we’ll carry on.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Have to agree with that. No manager, or player, is irreplaceable.

            If a manager or player leaves, I say bye bye and good luck. I have no sentiments where that’s concerned, anymore than they do.

      • Tom says:

        Just like that ‘good’ manager who followed hughton

    • john says:

      I am amazed that people are still complaining about the team and the manager. As I have said before, the players we have, apart from Toral, are, at best , average Championship players. Some are not even that good. The club,, because of the incompetence and “irregular financial” behaviour of Carson and Pannu , is devoid of leadership at the top. With no “captain” at the helm, the ship is slowly sinking. It is not entirely the fault of the players, they just are not good enough. As for the manager he is doing the best he can. You cannot afford a Rolls Royce, when your,e on the dole. Ernst and Young need to start working harder, their restructuring would appear to be of a poor standard !

  • swissjonny says:

    Its clear that we have had a better season than envisaged a little while ago.GR needs a reality check as well.He and his team have had a salary rise this season and for good reason.However someone earlier called his after match performances smug and I think thats bang on.Yes he has done a decent job in certain areas but his his performances in the transfer and loan market have been naive and ineffective. His ability to change tactics when our winning style got found was lacking.I hope this summer he can reflect with some satisfaction on the season but also take a long hard look inwards and realise that he is far from the finished item.He needs help in the transfer market and also needs to open his mind to being flexible on the pitch when situations demand it. If funds are available-which is a huge question mark- he needs to have a merciless clear out. I do sympathise with him as nobody knows whats going to happen with the CY trial and aftermath.He does come across as a ditherer on the commercial side but maybe thats not him-its the lack of clarity from above.It could have been better but my word it could also have been a whole lot worse.

  • Art says:

    Very surprised at the tone and contents of your article Dan which would know doubt encourage GR to move on if he’s thinking about it.

    Is there a personality clash?

    • almajir says:

      Eh?

      I’m sure what I say affects what Gary Rowett does with his career… not.

      • Art says:

        I just get the feeling there may be a clash of personalities here Dan.

        • almajir says:

          I don’t know Rowett, so how can there be? I’m reasonably sure he doesn’t know me…

        • StaffsBlue says:

          It’s impossible to have a clash of personalities between two people who have never met. A difference of opinion is just that… a difference of opinion. Everyone’s entitled to them.

  • Mitchell says:

    Daniels comments really reflect on how most of us feel.If we had secured a mid/lower half of the table all season then we would have been more relaxed. However because of our sniffing 6th spot for a long time-then we were put into promised land. Victims of not only our own success but the inability of those above us to pull away . Now they are pulling away and reality stepping up a gear. finances come into strongly as well with the best example of all being Middlesbrough-they brought in Gaston Ramires for the totally feeble Fabrinni and Burnley who needed a leader hence Barton. All on big wages. GR may imo be tempted to move on now as he must feel a bit jittery after pointless and damaging signings of Shotton,Buckley,Vaughan,BM and the most expensive Fabrinni. My main issue with GR is typified by the loses at Charlton and last night all down to not having a decent CH. He brought in Shotton for surely must have been earmarked to play alongside Morrison-but no way-stick with either Robbo.orSpector. All season this area has let us down costly. If GR has to resort to Shotton etc then time for fresh eyes to remedy this vital position.

  • Art says:

    The squad was never strong enough to sustain a play off position and yes GR must be very disappointed as I am with the new signings.And yes we have a young manager learning his trade and making mistakes.

    Sadly we will never have a successful team until we get new owners with investment who realise the clubs potential.

    GR if anything has been guilty of over performing and raising the expectations of Dan and the fans .

    Seems the knives are being sharpened .

    • Mitchell says:

      Art. It isn’t about sharpening the knives. GR has done a job which we are pleased-but it is clear that survival and a bit more is imo his top level. Should new buyers come in with serious money I for one would like a more reliable manager to use it wisely. Gary is a one man show with a couple of helpers who will not rock the boat-not unkind but reality. Gone are the days when managers do it their way and not really concerned about hieracy. BCFC need premier league for new generations of supporters. Likeable,presentable managers don’t cut it in today’s game.

  • swissjonny says:

    Art,I think its just a question of applauding his strong points but challenging and pointing out his weaknesses. No point in living in cloud cuckoo land. You are completely correct about the need for investment.With his track record on signings -if it was your money-would you let GR unaided make those signings.? He seems to be very well focused on the young pro market but out of the loop for mature players who could make immediate impact. Gary seems hell bent on making all the big decisions alone-the richest people I know have the best advisers.There is nothing wrong in accepting a weakness-in this case probably down to a lack of experience-and then getting informed help to make it better. KRO

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    From one conversation I’ve had with a member of the non-footballing side Clark was friendly and approachable but he declined to comment on Gary.

  • John Ramsay says:

    Bloody hell what a load of moaning Minnie’s we’ve got.
    We have over achieved all season with a bunch of hard working but limited players which until recently GR has mostly got the best out of. Surely no one seriously believed at the beginning of the season that we would get into the play offs. I for one am not going to lose faith in GR just because of a new poor performances. What I think is clear is that the season has just caught up with us and it is clear that reams with better players and bigger squads are rising to the top of the table.
    Just one thought on last night, we could and should have gone 2-0 up but Toral volleyed a great chance wide from in front of the goal. Brighton go down the other end and score.
    Dan I hope your blog was a knee jerk reaction to what was a disappointing night, what surprised me most was your criticism of GR. Personally I still rate him and hope he stays for some time. In my view your criticism is unwarranted.
    I know it is disappointing for the season to fizzle out when our expectations have been built up but personally I think it has been a good season. KRO

    • Mike says:

      This is one of the only realistic comments on this blog. Every true Blue supporter knows and recognises we have over achieved this season. At least we have had a season where we can go to a game and believe we have a chance of winning not like when Clarke was in charge. GR has done a great job and we should recognise that. Alright some players have underperformed at times but at least we have an honest hard working team. Let’s just get behind the players and staff for the rest of the season and thank them for giving us a season better than expected

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    I believe we are in the best place and position for the club as things currently stand, if we did get promotion, it would be a lot harder to find a buyer for a club that in all probabillity would drop next season and the extra money we would cost, would come out of the transfer kitty of the new owner. Lets get the fiasco that is CY out of the way then, we can look to the future. All things considerd we can hold our heads high on the season we have achieved. Kro

  • Micko says:

    Steady on, Daniel. Is this your Peter Panu moment ? (having an online rant late at night with a three quarter empty bottle of whiskey next to the keyboard – allegedly). Your analysis is normally very intelligent and measured (which is why it is so widely read). You do not normally post so soon after a match and this piece sounds like you were tired, angry and, maybe, you had had a little liquid refreshment?? The team and GR have been performing wonders all season – now they are like a distance runner who has kept up with the leading pack lap after lap but, when the bell goes, they have nothing left and the pack pull away. I want to thank the team and GR for letting us dare to dream for most of the season.

  • Rkboosh says:

    Agree with the many who viewed this post as a major over reaction. Brighton are a strong, in form solid outfit. We lost to 2 basic set piece goals of the type we’ve not conceded all season till last game and a half. Yes we weren’t great. And yes the Donaldson experiment was baffling and didn’t work. But on paper there’s probably not one of our players who would make their team other than Toarl who is a loanee, so what do you really expect. There was a visible difference of one team with something major to play for and one who knew it was a 1 in 10 chance, so cause for a minor whinge or 2 but for this to escalate in to I wouldn’t shed tears if he went is remarkably OTT and frustrating for many Bluenoses.

    • almajir says:

      Rkboosh – if it helps, I would never have shed tears for Rowett going – not just based on this result. It’s football, no one is bigger than the club.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We’ve had a pretty good season tbf and back in August, we could never have envisioned being so close to the play-offs. It’s the fact that we were so near, yet so far away that is the disappointment.

    A lot of the players and, possibly, the management have maybe reached their limitations. Rowett can learn from his mistakes and move past them (it is his first season in this division after all) but I think that for some of the players, that’s it, they’re not going to get any better. Some of the mistakes we made last night have been there all season… and haven’t improved. Everytime the ball goes into our box, there’s panic. It’s the first area that needs addressing in the summer. Two new centre backs will do for a start.

    All in all, it’s not been that bad a season. If we’d been offered the top 10, without ever getting close to the play-offs, at the start of the season, I think we’d have all taken that, considering our circumstances. It’s not very ambitious I know, but it’s probably the best we can realistically hope for until the ownership situation is sorted out.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Last nights performance was an example of the whole season. Blues uncomfortable in possession ( lowest possession percentage in the Championship) the opposition playing better football.
    I for one do not enjoy watching the brand of football that Blues are serving up.
    If Dan’s assertion that GR will leave comes to pass, then I hope his successor believes an attractive, passing brand of football in the Jim Smith mould.
    PS Whose bright idea was to play a striker as a wide midfielder?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Lee Clark’s? lol

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Need a whole new squad for that though mate. I think that was Rowetts early success, taking a technically poor squad an finding a way for it to win. The next challenge for him is to transition in to a different kind of team.

      I’d love to be as glib about him leaving but in truth I would be worried. Don’t forget our first choice before GR was Robinson from MK Dons, look where they are now.

  • Dave Mann says:

    “Always look on the bright side of life ” .. “Smile though your heart is aching “… ” spread a little happiness as you go by ” … “Happy talking talking happy talk “… ” it’s a wonderful wonderfull life ” .. ” everybody’s happy nowadays “…. Sorry guys just trying to cheer myself up , roll on Reading. :-) KRO

    • mark says:

      Hi dave a little worried about this game reading score about the same as blues in their home fixtures, they are okay defense wise. where as blues have let too many in away from home. The way brighton open us up with set plays its don’t bode well meeting reading who by no means are poor team.

      • Dave Mann says:

        Ime just gonna go there and have the crack mark and hope to enjoy the day whatever happens .. If the vile are relegated by the journey home then it might make my evening . KRO

  • edd77 says:

    If the season was 25/30 games you’d back this squad to do ok but over 46 games they were never going to be consistent enough you just don’t get that type of player with our budget ,unfortunately 9-12th is still punching above our weight so overall we got to be happy,and now to nxt season we need to spend our whatever budget on a quality centre half because a 37 year old left back however well he’s done at times isn’t the way forward

  • Jaffa says:

    Yes Rowett has and is having a blip but so are the players.Cream always rises.Look at the top six teams, they are the one’s who have spent the cash.

  • ChrisG says:

    Looking back through our results, our season effectively ended on 6th feb against Sheff Wed at home, we let a 1-0 lead slip to a 2-1 defeat & for whatever reason we just never recovered. We’ve played 9 games since then losing 4, drawing 3 & winning just 2. We’ve only scored 4 goals in that time & conceded 9. Now i’m not trying to tell GR his job but if it was me i’d be scouring through the videos of games prior to Sheff Wed when we were in pretty good form to see what we were doing different then to now. This total collapse really doesn’t make sense & I really don’t buy into this utter crap of punching above our weight, we were where we were cos we deserved to be as we were playing good attacking football & we were winning games. If we hadn’t had a good 1st half of the season then on recent form we’d be staring down the barrel of relegation.

  • Brummietillidie says:

    I’m always disappointed when Blues play badly, particularly if they lose, but give the man a break. He will make mistakes, he’s still learning his trade. If we get some decent financial backing next season, he’ll be able to weed out the dross and go for some players of quality who can see us into the next stage. Also, we’re going to get to play the Villa at least twice next season, and I fancy our chances.

    KRO

    • mark says:

      regarding the vilers no i don’t fancy our chances why because they will have better players than us/ and funds…..but it wonderful to take pee oh how they thought they were untouchable..with the three coming down from the premiership unfortunately they going to have the upper hand…that leaves three spaces for the play -off’s…..give or take

      • Dave Mann says:

        And they still beat us in the Capitol one cup aswell so a lot of work to do in the summer . KRO

        • ChrisG says:

          Dave, a lot of work to do in the summer is a bit of an exaggeration mate, we only need 11 decent players & possibly another 11 as back up!!!!!lol.

          • Dave Mann says:

            Yeah , no bother mate , take the championship by storm next season … Hang on let’s wake up first :-) KRO

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I think that 6 better quality players will see us ok next season. The defence has to be the priority, two new centre backs and a left back. Then a good defensive midfielder, a creative/attacking midfielder (eg Tomlin) and a striker. As well as he’s done for us, we surely can’t go with Donaldson as our first choice striker next season. If we can get those positions sorted and get rid of the dead wood, we could be very competitive next season.

            It’s up to PP/E&Y/TTA to find the money. :)

  • Stephen says:

    I also don’t like watching the type of football we play, and yes I think GR has done a good job, but he also has had far more money than the clown clark to spend.

    There never seems to be a plan b, last nights team set up seems to be just a knee jerk reaction, and yes his substitutions were baffling.

    If he stays great but I hope he will learn from his mistakes, and if he goes then I am sure there are lots of other young managers who can do a job, with a better more flowing style of football, the loan signings in January have not fitted in at all, along with the signing of fabbrini.

    KRO

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    I don’t think I can face watching many of the same old faces next season: Caddis, Grounds, Spector, Robinson, Davis in particular.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I must say it was a very good turn out by the Brighton fans . KRO

  • David Sheedy says:

    Success next season depends entirely whether or not GR is able to see and address what has gone wrong. He needs at least a further season before we can judge. From where we were to where we are is an achievement.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I said as much earlier. It’s his first season in the division and he was bound to make mistakes. It’s all part of the learning curve. As long as he’s learned the differences between League 1 and the Championship, he’ll be fine. We’ll find that out next season.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        *sorry, League 2.

        • mark says:

          i hear what you say staffs…but i think there a gulf between those divisions,sometimes i think we need a little lady luck when having manager or player coming to blues, obviously vardy proving even the harden supporters wrong.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            There are players like Vardy out there, but in today’s results-driven game, not so many people are willing to take a chance on them, except in the lower leagues.. as Fleetwood did with Vardy. Although, I would have thought that Rowett would be well aware of any decent talent down in the lower divisions.

          • AdamTrueBlue says:

            Vardy would not be doing what he is doing without a good team behind him, he is getting a supply of quality balls and Leicester are not spending lots of time camped in their own half, inviting pressure on themselves. If Vardy was playing for us do we think he would be successful? Kro

  • mark says:

    GR stated one player was cut above the rest in the brighton game what happen to the other 10??/..
    one player does not make a team…11 players working together makes a team…

    • mark says:

      not everyone cup of tea maybe take a leaf out bournemouth manual on how to get to the promise land….

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Don’t forget, they were in the bottom division and going out of business not too long ago. Even they haven’t done it without the millions of their new owners. Unfortunately, that’s the difference between us and the likes of Bournemouth.

        • mark says:

          Burnley another unfashionable team at the top

          • Tmsblues says:

            But with a £40m parachute budget each season, and next year villa and the two others will get yet more. Without new owners and a new budget the club cannot expect to make a challenge to those relegated from above.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      I would say that was Gleeson

  • Bluey says:

    The reality. With no serious investment in the playing squad we were never going to get promoted,we can`t compete with so many other clubs in our division. The players we`ve mustered together are an honest bunch who have over-achieved but slipping back to mid-table was ALWAYS going to happen as the weakness of the squad gets exposed and others find us out. GR seems to be a good young manager but with a lot to learn,i`d rather keep my powder dry on his abilities until he`s given some proper financial backing.No-one can be sure if he`s the `real deal`. Yes mistakes have been made but most young bosses will be guilty of that.We all need to take a deep breath,be pleased with a solid,if ultimately disappointing,season and hope for new owners soon. KRO .

  • RichardM says:

    Only positive from last night was Lafferty’s performance, he looked really good – the move that he started and finished was the best move of the match – Brighton never cut us open to that extent. As soon as he went off Blues ceased as an attacking force, although to be fair to Rowett he’s not fully fit and probably couldn’t be risked for the full 90 minutes.

    Brighton didn’t impress me, but it was clear they wanted it more and that’s what hurts. I’m still fuming over the second goal – a needless corner given away (thank you Mr Grounds) followed by a free header in the box – unforgivable.

    Donaldson’s game is based on his work-rate, but second half last night he looked absolutely shot. For me, he needs to be dropped and let Lafferty run the line.

    IMO, no point slagging off Rowett, he’s gambled with the selection to try and generate more goals which we all know is the achilles heel. Centre half an absolute must in pre-season, and with nothing to lose (or gain now) I agree fully that we should look to blood Arthur, Adams, Mbende – nothing to lose – but it’s important he doesn’t get slated if he tries it and the results don’t come.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Was it not Kieftenbeld who cocked up for the corner leading to the second goal?

      • RichardM says:

        He was fighting for posession on the touchline, and passed it back to where he thought Grounds would be waiting for the pass…Grounds had decided to trundle upfield – poor defending and anticipation.

  • Matt says:

    Very dramatic article, I honestly believe this is as far as he will get with this bunch of players. Brighton showed why they are right near the top. Lewis Dunk is no doubt a Premier League player and they are simply better than us. No player of ours would get in their team, it’s as simple as that. Rowett has done brilliantly and I hope he is here for the long run!

  • Ted says:

    The unfathomable substitutions reminded me of the dark days of Clark. It seemed as though neither Rowett nor the players knew what was going on? Our defending from set pieces was of a schoolyard level. Both Grounds and Caddis were woeful. The Don seems to have lost his mojo? The only really plus was Lafferty but we only have him for the next few weeks. It’s sad how the optimism of January has turned it the current shambles… KRO

  • Preston Bob says:

    I am deeply disappointed that we were unable to fulfil the hopes we had at the turn of the year but I am also disappointed at the slating Rowett and team are getting from some quarters. Getting the likes of Lafferty and Fabbs to join the club is testament to just how well GR and coaching staff have done on a shoestring. Whilst this squad have not managed to stay the pace of a full season this is the best they could have achieved with the resources available, I am looking forward to positive news on investment and some good additions to the team during the summer. If we want to move forward we all know that there needs to be some changes but this can only be brought about with investment. Unless he gets that GR will move on and then where will we be?

  • ChrisG says:

    Does anyone actually know how many players we have out on loan & how many of those are still contracted to the club after this season ends?.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Excluding kids, Lee Novak, David Edgar, Mark Duffy, Denny Johnstone, Andrew Shinnie, Wesley Thomas are all out on loan and, except Shinnie, all out of contract in the summer I believe.

  • Barny Blue says:

    Gary Rowett has been fantastic for our club, giving us respect and credibility after much was lost under the previous management team. There is a need to reassess pre-season expectations after the disappointment of recent weeks, and it appears that we will in fact settle in around my expected 8th to 12th place in the table come the end of the season.

    However, I am bitterly disappointed and concerned, firstly, about our tactical approach and mentality in recent weeks, summed up perfectly by the performances against Wolves and Fulham when we only tried to win the game and play to our attacking stengths against inferior opposition in the last 30 minutes, eventually running out of time and effectively looking back at what might have been! Playing your most creative number 10 players on the wing has also been incredibly frustrating, particularly Gary’s persitance with this approach which has brought little joy!

    Secondly, I am concerned regarding Gary’s eye for a player and the money ‘frittered’ away this campaign whilst effectively standing still overall. Incoming players, particularly in January, have contributed little. Kieftenfeld, Maghoma, Toral and Kuszack aside, all have disappointed (I do believe Fabbrini will come good for us, and understand that his signing was essentially funded through the selling of Gray). Whether it is the desperation of spending £500k at the last minute on Brock, or what I imagine are pretty weighty loan fees and wages for Shotton and Buckley (rumoured £20k per week wages), I am concerned that we have spent money on depreciating assets or players who will return to their parent clubs come the seasons end, leaving us with another rebuilding job to complete in readiness for next season despite a significant amount spent using an ever increasing loan which is secured against St Andrews.

    If Gary Rowett overachieved in 2015 with Blues, I believe that he has certainly underachieved in 2016 and I hope that he can learn from the experience of the past 4 months and put things right moving forward into the summer and beyond with us. KRO!

  • River says:

    At least we r now surely playing the vile next season when we could finish higher than them in the league so not all bad

    • ChrisG says:

      River I was really looking forward to possibly playing vile next season but the way things are at the moment i’m dreading it, they’ve been sorting things out at board level & the fact is they are gonna be in a far better position than us financially, they no doubt will be bringing in a decent manager this time & they will be able to attract better players than us, and worst or all I fear this time next year the banner waving protesters will be back to their mouthy arrogant worst :(

  • Martin says:

    Bring on villa next season beat them twice watch them get league 1 football while we push on for play offs. Happy days all part of the plan I recon. Let’s get real here we spent nowt and tried hard yes we all want premiership football. Bust with our owners hairdressing goin down the pan we would b struggling to keep up. Every club gets the third money so and playing field
    Martin

  • Tony E says:

    I’ve been banging on all season for the need to bring in a central defender who can actually head the ball. We are always under pressure when the opposition swing crosses to the edge of the six yard box. At the start of most games I compare the size of the opposition to our players, they invariably have bigger, stronger players. All our central midfielders are the same size, so we won’t win many arial balls in the area either. Also I fear Donaldson needs a rest, he hasn’t been the same player since he returned from injury. Reaching the play offs was only ever a pipe dream I never believed would happen.

  • Retired&Weary says:

    Last night’s game can be summed up in 3 words: MEN AGAINST BOYS. Brighton were much stronger, fitter, driven, confident, organised & intelligent than our lot. We have far too many lightweight players in vital positions – not a recipe for success in this league. Having said all that if only Toral had converted that golden chance before they equalised ……..
    I think it is unfair to say that the downward spiral started when Fabbrini signed, in fact it could be argued that the Donaldson international call up started the rot.
    It’s difficult to understand how the away form plummeted so quickly after being our strong point. This has put great pressure on home games. Lack of spine again, I guess.
    I am disappointed that Buckley & Shotton have been bombed out after a bad game. Let’s face it their replacements haven’t been too good.
    Regarding expectation, I don’t think it was entirely unreasonable to hope for a play off spot; until this year’s slump our average points per game were at play off level, and had been maintained for at least 12 months.
    Perhaps now is the time for one or two with something to prove to have a few games – Arthur, VSO, Vaughan, Jones, Hancox, Adams,etc.

  • nicko says:

    hold on lads we have done very well with the players we have most of you have said we have medioca championship players even div 1 players but rowett has done a super job. I think it is time for the goalkeeper to be rested making to many mistakes grounds could possible play along side Morrison because he is not a left back fabrinni will come good next season lets see what players we bring in.kro and keep the faith

    • RichardM says:

      What mistakes were those then Nicko, don’t think you can hinestly blame him for either goal – he also prevented a heavier defeat with a couple of excellent point blank saves, one in each half?

  • Singapore Brum says:

    You can pretty much write off next season too with Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland pushing for a quick return and then those teams that lose in this season’s playoffs looking to improve so they can make it the following season. Then you’ve got the likes of Bristol City and QPR who are improving towards this season’s finish and will want to carry that performance into next season.

    Jeez, we haven’t even finished this season and I am depressed about next season already.

    On a more serious note – we just need 2 things to happen.

    1 – Get the ownership issue sorted and have a decent kitty to compete in the transfer market and
    2 – Hope that the money is well spent on a few real quality players rather than lots of mediocre players to make up the numbers.

    2 won’t happen until 1 is sorted. 1 could drag on for several more years.

    Hope I have cheered everyone up with that.

  • Peter bates says:

    Not for one minute am I slagging gr but he has to take responsibility for the last few weeks and must take criticism he deservedly got credit when it was due and I am sure he will take the brickbats as well but for me players must take responsibility as well and remember a few of these player’s will be looking to move on when the season is over new owners needed and whoever is manager next season money to take the next step not sure it will be Gary rowett though kro

  • Tmsblues says:

    Fabrini’s recruitment was generally applauded by the majority of supporters and we have all been disappointed by his contributions thus far. It seems that his signing and that of shotton and buckley on very high wages compared with the team average I suspect has upset the special against the odds squad spirit which existed before. The teams results have like our play off hopes fizzled out !

  • Ainsley says:

    To everyone posting about not getting carried etc you’re missing the point. Yes we’ve improved majorly since Clark, as he was a disaster, but when you compare the first half of the season, to this half, its clear we’ve gone downhill. We need some form of consistent performance, which is more important to me than results. Bottling it against the lieks of Charlton and Fulham isn’t really good enough, they’re in the bottom 7/8 teams. Dan makes a great point, if we have a struggling goal scorer, why put him on the wing. If we can’t/won’t play fan and toral, why buy fab, not a defender which we’ve been desperate for for over a year! Yes he’s done a great job, nobody’s disagreeing with that, but lately we’ve been in bottom-half form, and he either can’t seem to finda way to fix that, or doesn’t want to change, and either is as bad as the other. He needs to start finding answers, because there’s only so many times you can say at least he turned us around. Again, huge fan of rowett and everything he’s done for us, but he needs to show he can change it up or get some more consistent performances.

  • eric says:

    We are where we should be given ownership problems. The brief flirtation with top 6 was a fantasy. Look at the money in those above us. Rowett has been great – he will learn. Fans cant keep getting rid of a manager after two or three losses. We got rid of the last owners and they are fighting for chamions league. KRO and keep the faith.

  • Little Al says:

    I think if you actually read the blog in full no one is calling for the sacking of Rowett. He has done okay overall but because Clark was so bad people have assumed he is actually better than he actually is. He is still very inexperienced as a manager at this level. Dan’s comments were not based on the Brighton game but a reaction to the last few games, I agree that Rowett at the moment is not flexible in his style of play, I know we have not got the calibre of players and there are limits to what you can achieve but you don,t win games by not scoring goals, our very cautious defensive way of playing has not worked overall and as such perhaps another style of play is needed. Managers are quick enough to accept plaudits when the team is doing well, equally fans are entitled to criticise when the team is not performing well. I agree that realistically we are not good enough for promotion but another style of play would be welcome for some games. As regards Rowett staying at Blues it is unlikely if funds are not made available to bring better quality players in. Additionally if things do change regarding the ownership who is to say players are readily available for us to sign who would turn us into a promotion team. This is why it would be a good thing for the youngsters to be given a run in the team to see what they are capable of and hopefully a change to a more attacking style of play.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think we will finish lower next season than we will this season …Even with a massive turn round of players and Rowett at the helm with money to spend ain’t gonna make any difference whatsoever … We need new owners asap because this league is gonna get tougher and tougher and it’s ground hog day all over again next season … 10th , 11th or 12th at best this season and maybe 13th , 14th at best next season .. It’s a long long road that’s getting longer and longer so we all better keep walking for a couple of years at least , keep smiling :-) KRO

    • Little Al says:

      Agreed, I think! There again I do not know what to think anymore! I suppose it comes from being a Blues supporter, we will all go barmy if this saga re ownership carries on. I am three quarters of the way there already.

    • mark says:

      be like me dave look forward to the reading game be inspired, be joyful, be happy, keep smiling kro…….when will it stop…lol

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think these parachute payments are turning the Championship into another Premier league, where those without can’t compete against those with. It would be interesting to know how many teams in the championship are still getting parachute payments. There will be 3 more coming down next season… and with Wigan looking likely to come up, are they still receiving them?

      All in all, it’s a case of the haves and the have nots… and we are certainly one of the have no(w)ts.

      • mark says:

        should this be the case GR downs tools and walk way…..sometimes managers need to use other tools if their sack not full of money…..I cannot remember a blues team put out that has played a full 90 mins
        maybe a first 20mins here, maybe a good half here, poor second half, maybe poor first half, then crap second half…..can anyone remember a blues team that’s dominated for 90mins???

      • ChrisG says:

        The funny thing is staffs is that the Championship is becoming a far better division than the premier league because it is so much more competative & anyone can beat anyone on the day. If Leicester go on to win the league it will be a revolation because it’s been the same group of teams for so long now it’s got boring and predictive. Teams like Man U. Man C. Arsenal & Chelsea aren’t really interested in the league, they’re just interested in europe.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Have to agree with that. I would much prefer to watch the Championship… you can’t predict it, which is it’s best selling point for me.

  • Here I go again Dave ,We need around 80 goals to get automatic promotion in the future , with a 4+2+3+1 system , facts ,,the more we are in their half the less time they will have to score their goals and the more time we will have to score ours ., with three points for a win and one for a draw being in their half and scoring goals is the most important factor to getting 80 points , the more goals we can score the better our goal average could be so more chance of promotion ,so is a 4+2+3+1 system with one striker likely to get all this ..and is the football going to look good and exciting enough to attract large crowds and big sponsorship ..we have one chance to get this right , do ,GR has to get this balance spot on to get us up ..hard call let’s hope GR is playing the odds law and not sods law ..Come On. …..KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I wouldn’t argue with any of that. Personally, 4-2-3-1 bores me to death, but if we have to play it, we need our best players in each position. I can’t honestly say we’ve done that much in the last month or two.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes … Wow it think ! KRO

  • Martin says:

    Honest we should be behind gr and the team. In reflection we have done well and had some good results along the way. In truth I think we struggled after the sale of gray and the don got an injury. But I truly think we need stability in managerial terms. Lets be novel and go long term with GR and build a strong foundation. We do not have the financial backing to mount a charge for the prem let alone stay there. Steady consolidation regular top end championship, sort the ownership situation and see what we can attract and afford. Build a strong club sound foundation and financial stability then moved forward in a strong way. Forget playoffs build and push for automatic ney champions lets just KEEP RIGHT ON

  • kirkus says:

    The blue boys are on the beach now,with a month to go!! Disappointing but that’s the way it is you can’t beat mid-table mediocrity

  • atko says:

    I don’t understand why so many people are upset. It seems more people, including Dan, are more upset after last night than after other recent games where we should have won. Let’s not forget where Brighton are in this league.

    We were already punching way above our weight. Like I said in recent posts our squad isn’t good enough or big enough. I said we need about 6 players but after the last couple of games we may need more. Defensively, I’d replace the whole back four, none of them are good enough. We are very inconsistent conceding very sloppy goals.

    In midfield we need players who are creative and will feed the striker(s). We cannot expect to score consistently if we aren’t creating chances. Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Davis I would keep, they have proven their worth doing the job they are here to do. Cotts & Maghoma I would let go. They simply aren’t consistent enough for what they are here to do. We get more out of them defensively than attacking & that’s not right. Fabbrini? Not sure why we bought him. I’ve still yet to be impressed with anything he does. Another inconsistent player.

    Where do we go from here? We need funds that’s the top and bottom of it. I’d be asking Arsenal and Norwich about the possibility of Toral and Lafferty becoming permanent. I’d then be breaking the bank to make it happen. They would be the first names on my teamsheet every week. Then I’d be looking at creative midfielders, creative from the middle not out wide. We have Caddis who can push on from the back wide and put in decent crosses. We need someone to do the same on the othér side. Forget wingers. Two holding midfielders and two creative midfielders and we CAN play 4:4-2 effectively with the right players!

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    It appears that from the majority of the above posts, it’s clear that we need to invest big time in the playing staff next season and get rid of the dead wood which would probably cover most of the current squad. But to achieve this would mean resolving the ownership issue, which has been dragging on for far too long. I can see us struggling next year especially with the relegated teams benefitting from the massive parachute payments.

  • […] well to achieve what they have and those who wonder if we might not have achieved more. I think my post match piece showed which side of that divide I have come down on – and the comments show just how many […]

  • Mitchell says:

    Whichever way we view our current situation , we are massively disappointed how it has all ended. We can blame GR.CY,Hong Kong or even poor old Grounds etc.the reality is that we should have done better when incredibly placed in February -but we blew it. GR has been on a hero worshipping trip since he arrived and now he is levelling out as a decent manager but not infallible.Next season will give us hope as it always does-whether GR is still with us or not. TTA and CY final appeal next month should reveal our immediate fate.

  • AllsBblue says:

    just read
    Blue should be praised for blurring reality for so long, not criticized for eventually succumbing to it BY BRIANDICK

    I think he is sPot on

    • Bluey says:

      Some of us have been saying things along those lines for a very long time. He is spot-on but it`s hardly rocket science.

  • AllSBlue says:

    Not rocket science, really. I take your point Bluey but some blues fans are living in cloud cuckoo land in spite of knowing the precarious position the club is in. I do thim=nk a reality check is needed.
    I think GR will be around next season and I hopw he is as reading through his comments it appears that he has a long term plan in mind and I think under different circumstances he would be obviously looking at a better quality of player


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