Often Partisan

Alex Jones Shows He’s The One for Rowett?

Alex Jones scored a first half hat-trick in Birmingham City u21’s 3-0 to give Gary Rowett a timely reminder that there is another youthful option within the ranks. The former West Brom forward was due to spend the second half of the season on loan in New Zealand but red tape ensured that loan didn’t happen and Jones returned to Blues.

With the goal-scoring exploits of Ronan Hale in the u18s and David Popa stealing the limelight somewhat in the u21s Jones has been a slightly forgotten man this season. However, with four goals in a week – Jones scored in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Monday – it’s possible the 21-year-old has given manager Gary Rowett a little more pause for thought, especially with chances of the playoffs now virtually zero.

Jones signed a two-year deal with a one-year option last summer and despite being given a squad number hasn’t been that close to making a first team squad this year. Indeed, with Clayton Donaldson, James Vaughan, Kyle Lafferty and maybe even Nicolai Brock-Madsen ahead of him for one striker spot it was never going to be easy for the young forward to stake a claim.

However, with no loan window next season it would make sense to me anyway to at least with seven dead rubbers to give Jones a spot on the bench to see if he can cut it at Championship level. I do believe that players should be given a chance on merit, not just because they are young but Jones has impressed u21 watchers like the Birmingham Mail’s Brian Dick of late and I think that sort of thing should be rewarded.

The other noticeable name on the team sheet has been errant midfielder Reece Brown. The Dudley-born midfielder has also done well and I think there has to be a faint hope that he has finally put his recent travails behind him and has decided that he would like to show Rowett he can be a professional footballer for Birmingham City.

It’s very easy to reel off a list of players who had the chops but couldn’t apply themselves mentally and I really hope that Brown has come to understand that he would become just another name on that list if he didn’t heed the lessons he was being taught.

In other news, 15-year-old Cypriot Andreas Juliu has spoken to reporters in his native Cyprus about his trials at Liverpool and Birmingham City. The Anorthosis Famagusta youngster said that he enjoyed his time at both clubs and hope he has learned enough to help him progress as a footballer – even if it is at Anorthosis rather than in England.

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76 Responses to “Alex Jones Shows He’s The One for Rowett?”

  • mark says:

    maybe GR is not as good as Clark when it comes to bringing youth through the ranks………this lad might have got a chance under Clark.regime….

  • mark says:

    sticks with tried and trusted as this his safety net……

  • BlueNoseDaz says:

    If we lose more ground on playoffs this weekend, I’d definitely like to see some reserves get first team experience. If not Jones, we seem relatively well stocked up front for one striking position, then definitely at the back. Maybe Mbende given a match or two at CB, Adams at CM, maybe even give Hancox a crack at LB to show he can perform at Championship level!

    • mark says:

      ask the question why any of those you mentioned not given a vote of confidence, should be now?
      in GR eyes.. why because he has no confidence in them. You put them in now they have a crap game fans get on their backs that destroy their confidence…..

  • atko says:

    You can’t just throw kids in, in the Championship. We have a full first team squad who are struggling and they are supposed to be seasoned professionals up for this level. We need to ditch the counter attacking formation with one up front and somehow get two up top. Next season we have to improve on the goal front and that can only happen by creating more and not relying on one person to score the bulk of the goals. We need to give someone else a chance for a sustained period of time. Clayton Donaldson has been one of our best players since his arrival but he HAS to rested for the good of the team and for his own sake periodically. Playing Clayton so many times this season, the opposition knew what was coming. We need to be playing two up top and make defences work. It’s all too easy for them against us!

    • ChrisG says:

      Atko have a look through GR’s comments this week, he’s stated yet again that he won’t play 4-4-2 cos he feels it leaves us too exposed

      • StaffsBlue says:

        He’s always stated that, defensively, we’re not strong enough to play 4-4-2. But, he’s had 18 months to put that right, surely?

        • mark says:

          spot staffs but he decided on more midfielders lol
          a solid foundation of any good side is to have a sound defense or if not good score more goals than your bloody opponents we had neither.

      • atko says:

        What does that tell you Chris? He picks the team and yet he has no confidence in his midfielders or defenders – the same players HE brought in! Now I have got a lot of time for GR and think he should be given a chance but I also think he needs to take a look at himself and ask himself is he right or is it just his stubborn way of letting everyone know he is the manager?

        I don’t recall us ever starting a game with 2 upfront so how the hell do we know we can’t play it? Sure we have reverted to 2 upfront in games where we have fallen behind and needed to do something but that has always been too little too late. Has GR stopped to think the more our defence is under attack the more likely we will concede a stupid goal?

        We need to be attacking more and we can play Davies and Kieftenbeld, Cotts and Maghoma or Gleesen and Maghoma in the midfield. They sit in the middle and defend fron the middle, feeding the front two who I would pick Lafferty and Toral. Those four midfielders should be able to cope easily enough and that should provide enough in midfield to support each other allowing them more time to be more creative.

        At the moment, we byepass the midfield because they are usually stuck with the back four sat too deep. There’s a huge gap from our penalty spot to Donaldso.n on the half way line! Forget wingers, Caddis can push up on his side and one of the midfielders can drop in to the space vacated when he does.

        It’s not rocket science, defend from the front and midfield, support each other from there and play together as a team for the team and then we might just win as a team!!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          We certainly need a new direction for sure. The train has come off the rails for one reason or another and shows no sign of getting back on at the moment. We need a spark from somewhere.

          • atko says:

            Indeed Staff because we have become too predictable. I should imagine because we can only play one formation it is probably not that difficult for opposition managers to figure out the little tweaks that we apply too.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Well, when teams in the bottom 6 can work it out with no trouble, then you need a serious rethink. We have some good attacking players… let’s use them to our advantage. Most of the time, they’re too busy defending.

  • ChrisG says:

    Earlier in the season GR likened Charlee Adams to a Gleeson type player & Adams also turned down a loan move in the hope of getting more 1st team game time. As Gleeson hasn’t exactly been setting the world alight of late I wonder if it’s time to give Adams a chance & put Gleeson on the bench tomorrow and have either Davis or Keiftenbeld alongside him. Put Maghoma, Torel & either Cottrill or Buckley in front of them with Lafferty up front. I know it’s not easy for a manager to make too many changes but I wonder also if it’s worth bringing Shotton in alongside Morrison, I know he struggled at right back but I just think he’d be better in the centre, he’s more of a natural defender than Spector & has the legs & height over Robbo.

  • mark says:

    imo I would like to see more youngsters playing and getting experience at this level right up til the end of the season. Why because some of those 1st teamers think they have a right to be there without being pushed.
    But I don’t think the paying bluenoses can stomach the losses if they occur.

    • Alex T says:

      Totally agree Mark… Even seasoned professionals can become complacent when there is little or no competition. Some little upstart taking their place on the team sheet will not only give much needed experience but give the pro’s a good kick up the bum!

  • Dan says:

    That might be a stupid question, but why is there no loan window next season?

    • Graham says:

      Dan there is in the 2 transfer windows, just not the so called emergency ones

      • StaffsBlue says:

        It’s the emergency loan system that’s being dumped… not the normal loan window. FIFA, or one of those organisations, have suddenly decided that the system has been abused or summat. Personally, I’m all for scrapping it.

  • Paul Hawkins says:

    With the playoffs now virtually over then why not give a run in the team for the youngsters. Surely it would makes sense to have a look at how they will do and could solve many positionaal problems in the team such as up front etc. I think its fair to say that one of our problems has been scoring goals and we just may the answer inAlex Jones so let him have a run.

  • Dave Mann says:

    The gap seems to be getting wider between the fans team and formation to that of the managers … When Ime in Reading tomorrow i will not be expecting to many if any changes to what Rowett sees as is first eleven , like many on here I would like to see Mbende, Hancox, Adams, Brown , Soloman,Jones all given a run out in the next seven games but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that … Whatever team plays I will support to the hilt as usual and try to stay happy and content and enjoy the day , my stroppy time is over :-) KRO

  • Walker says:

    Personally id drop cotteril from the bench and replace him with 1 of 4 .brown (if hes changed his attitute), mbende (my choice) or Jones.

    I especially would like to see mbende along side morrison. Both strong powerful players. I quite like spector and robinson because they are commited, but we need to look to the future.

    After all you dont play for dortmund if your crap

  • Walker says:

    One more thing. How can so many other teams player 4-4-2 and yet we are too open if we do. I personally think we have 3 of the best midfielders to chose from in the league (davis on his day).

    I think donaldson needs a good rest. As for vaughan I like him but he isnt the answer.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    For all the talk up about it, Rowett has given Solomon-Otabor a few games and Adams a few minutes. Other than that, not much. Gray and Arthur had already played for the first team before he took over. I’d be shocked if he started playing the youngsters now. Shocked, but pleasantly surprised if he did.

    For me, from what I’ve seen over the season, Alex Jones has been an option for a while now. When he gets the ball, he has one thing on his mind, he’s sharp inside the box.. and we certainly don’t have anyone like that in the first team. As for Adams, he must be wondering why he didn’t go out on loan now. For me, it’s not going to do any harm to try one or two of the youngsters out now… in fact it might jog a few first teamers into thinking their nailed-on place might not be so nailed-on.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Also, the likes of Spector and Robinson, plus Morrison at times have been p*ss poor. It’s time Shotton was given a chance at centre back. He was basically discarded after one poor game at full back. If that’s the criteria, most of the team should have been dropped by now. At least give the loan players a few games, so that we haven’t wasted our money completely.

    • mark says:

      some players GR got in might have taken division 1 by storm but not the championship, this what I mentioned earlier staffs one crap game and it life over lol

  • Paul Rushton says:

    I was at this game yesterday, & all three of his goals were very well taken. Give him a go I say, & Reece Brown too!

  • BlackCountryBlue says:

    Basically the squad needs to be overhauled – GR has moved it forward from LC’s days and full credit to him, however it needs to be taken to the next level if we are to achieve what we want. Too many are only average at best and perform to promotion/top 6 level for 3 or 4 games in every 10. Apart from a few highlights (Fulham, Derby etc.) we have looked an 8-12 place team i.e. mid-table and nothing more for most games. Assuming we think Morrison is good enough then build the back 4 round him, get more pace in the mid-field which is pedestrian at times (Toral excepted) and real options going forward.
    Same old problem – where’s the money coming from? I am sure everyone at the club is doing all they can but if you cant compete financially you will always be shopping at a level (or 2) below where you want/need to be.

  • mark says:

    just to throw the spanner in the works, wonder what the chances if GR were to be offered vilers job…..scary thought…..maybe daniel knows some think lol

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I could see him taking any other job but that one. He’d go from loved to hated in the space of a signature.

    • Dan Hickman says:

      McLean was doomed from the minute he walked in there, I doubt GR would go down that road. Villa have cost us the last two managers that weren’t sacked, with Hughton filling Lamberts post when they appointed him. That is more of a concern, that they will start a chain reaction that ends with us losing Rowett

      • Dan Hickman says:

        Meant McLeish!

        • Dave Mann says:

          They can have Rowett and we will have Pearson , Ime happy with that , Gary’s run is done after this season I think .KRO

          • Dan Hickman says:

            Pearson is just so volatile though. I would like to see us with some stability and don’t think his confrontational style would fit anywhere for an extended period of time. Also he may feel we are below him as he seems to be widely credited for Leicesters form this season

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Ooo, controversial. ;)

          • Dave mann says:

            Oh Dan please ! KRO

          • Dan Hickman says:

            Lol Dave do you mean at him being confrontational or seeing us as below him?! I just don’t like the bloke. I wouldnt fancy having someone swear in press conferences, grab hold of players on the touchline, go off on bizarre flightless bird based rants and (allegedly) leave because the club refused to back his racially abusive son, just not for me ta!

          • mark says:

            not since days of old baz throwing his arms up in the air in disgust yes dave with have him lol

          • Dave Mann says:

            Perfect for us .

          • Dan Hickman says:

            Bar was passionate and outspoken, not an arrogant pr1ck

          • swissjonny says:

            Dave I so agree.Nigel Pearson would be my man.Rowett has done a good job but we need someone like Pearson with his experience and contacts at the helm.Think his contribution to Leicesters success has been very much overlooked.Enjoy Reading.

  • One thing I have noticed through the up and coming young players is that top quality passing ability is scarce , what has happened to the players of old that could put a 40 yard ball on to a carton of chips , good passing makes a good side . .KRO

  • Andy says:

    I think in the last 5 games we should definately be putting some of the u21s or at least considering giving them game time in preparation for next season to see if they are up to being relied upon as back up next year, we seem to have a decent few coming through, i think Alex Jones is ready for a chance up front off the bench maybe he is banging them in for the u21’s and seems to have something about him, would like to see him alongside Lafferty or Donaldson, think he is ahead of Brock at the moment in the pecking order…surely he is worth a go…Mbende given a go at centre back? and we keep being told how Adams is doing well so give him a go… i’d much rather we promoted from within than develop other teams players… Reece Brown back in the U21 picture and seems to have had an impact in the last few games…mmmm wonder if the penny dropping?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Apparently, the thing about Mbende, is that, although he’s built like a brick sh*thouse, his heading is not as good as it should be. We can little afford to have another player in defence who can’t head a ball. We already have 5 of them.

  • Lich Blues says:

    Nice to have the not so stroppy Dave Mann back. But your right Dave – give the young uns a run out. I will also be at Reading tomorrow. The Play Offs are gone so let’s have some entertainment. If I have to come back on the train and we’ve lost but the game is great and some of the future players have had a taste of the action – no problem. If we lose and I’m bored rigid i’ll just have to concentrate on celebrating the Vile going down. KRO.

    • Dave Mann says:

      I have a feeling we will be celebrating something tomorrow Lich , what that is we’re know by about ten to five mate , Ime happy and relaxed now so the strop as gone but thanks for your concern mate . :-) KRO

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    With a different type of no.10 next season (Fabbrini) I’m expecting that Gary wants to plays more in the front foot. It will require a stronger defence for him to commit to it though

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    As I see it,, we need to blood some of the youngsters to give them the experience and see how they handle being in the first team, so lets say we bring on young Master Jones, and then as per usual the rest of the team have a crap game, this is only going to reflect on the youngster and perhaps hit his confidence, so we need to bring in 3 or 4 youngsters to play in our weaker positions, then if we do have a bad loss, it will be only one because we have watched 4 youngsters in one go, we know it will never happen, GR will Never change his team that much, from where I am sitting we could have played our U21 team against Charlton and perhaps got a shock result instead of the result we didn’t want but were expecting. Nothing to lose and not much to gain so lets shake it up a bit til the end of the season and treat the last few games as friendlies and see what we can do if we really go for it with no pressure. Kro

  • I would like to see a 4+3+3 system with brown on the right with glee and kief….and cotts ,..Jones and Lafferty as the front three …..

    • jonno11blue says:

      Why do people keep going on about playing Cotterill. He’s been abysmal this season. Most of his crosses are dreadful and his freekicks woeful. All he’s interested in at present is not getting injuried so he misses the Euro’s Madgoma no better, time fro Viv to have a run in the team and I’d play Vaughan and lafferty up front with Toral just behind them.
      What Rowett should be doing is trying to tie Toral up for another season before May 7th.

    • Retired&Weary says:

      Totally agree with you about Cotterill, Jonno.

  • Cotterill is one of the most skillful of our players ,on his day a match winner , all players have a bad season ,at times he needs dropping so he comes back stronger , but in gray we have lost a very good player ,losing cotts might be a step to far as he could come good again as the team gets better , by the way grow up lads ,

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Although he can be exasperating and a luxury at times, Cotterill is the only player we have (except maybe Caddis) who can cross a ball. That’s why most of our attacks come down the right side. Without him, there are next to no crosses going in, not decent ones anyway. Also, the only alternative at free kicks and corners, is Gleeson. Not much of an alternative to be fair.

    As much as he can be annoying, he’s one of the few players we have who can produce something out of nothing.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Well Caddis’ crossing on Tuesday certainly, in front of me in the second half, were terrible

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The wording was “except maybe Caddis.” The operative word being maybe. But go ahead and pick one game out if it proves your point.

        • atko says:

          Exactly! Like you say pick out one game, Caddis is the best crosser of the ball in the club….a fact picked up by our current AND former manager. I find it amusing that people slag him off for his defensive duties but those same people slagged Clarke off for playing him out of defence in midfield!

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I saw an interview with Caddis around the time he was playing midfield.. and he said he preferred playing in midfield. His own words. He also said he’d played there for both Celtic and Swindon. So it wasn’t so strange after all.

        • BhamCityJulian says:

          Whether one game or not I contend we won’t go up with him at right back.

    • Andrew says:

      I wouldn’t mind but we haven’t the players to capitalise from crosses anyway. We could have David Beckham but still never score with those strikers

  • Birmingham city juli when you mention caddis crossing on Tuesday you didn’t mean his legs did you only you make us want to pea at times , ha ha ha ha

  • Andrew says:

    Shoot me down if you like but one of the problems on our team is that ther is no real physical advantage we have over any team, speed or strength etc. I would say our bad run of results coincides with a sale of demari grey, since then we have no real pacey players who can show a little more than what I think is becoming a predictable 1 dimensional play. Gary rowett mentions how his team don’t see opportunities in play instead choosing safe or backwards balls. I think he knows himself all too well we can’t compete with that squad.

  • Dave Mann says:

    You mean we can’t compete with the top six squads in the championship but can compete with all other squads in the championship , if so then yes your right … My team or you could say Rowetts team to start today … Kuszczak, Caddis, Morrison, Spector, Grounds, Kieftenbeld , Gleeson, Cotterill, Toral, Maghoma, Lafferty … Where’s the young guns you ask ? .. On the bench I hope and three of them come on ….Pray for a victory and pray for the relegation of Ancient Vile today !! KRO

    • Mitchell says:

      This team line up could be so exciting with a few youngers players starting-not benched. Imagine you going to Reading knowing that the following players were going to start in what is to be a new dawn for next term. Kuszczak, Caddis,Morrison Mbende Grounds,Davis MK Brown,Maghoma Lafferty VSO.
      Dave, you would probably fear at first -but if it worked and it really could-great kick start for the new season. I don’t want to wait for pre season friendlies to see GR put a few in etc. do it now.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Aston Vanilla…the team everyone licks! :))

  • We will see if GR comes through with showing the young players off , I hope it’s not for just the last 5 minutes as that will not be long enough for them to stop dreaming of what might be and reality ..

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    We’ve had in the main the same players who have kept us up with comfort and flirted with the play-offs. There’s probably only a handful that you could see in a playoff team and two or three in a promotion one. With next season likely to be tougher than this one now is the time for a major rebuilt for a tilt at auto-promotion on 2016/17.

    The first stage to this would be bringing in our better development players so they grow with the team. Who are they? Mbende – appears he’d benefit from playing with an experienced partner, but should that be Morrison in the first team or Robinson in the reserves? Adams – it seems he’s ready? Brown? two rookies in the same midfield? Harding at right back when it’s more pressing to improve left back. Jones up front where we need the most improvement and is the most expensive to fix.

    A team rebuilt gives the opportunity to have a possession based game with tempo which would make a very welcome change


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