Often Partisan

Learning Lessons From Failure of Others

As the close season approaches and Blues’ league campaign peters out I think it’s almost inevitable that our eyes once again turn eastwards to Hong Kong to see what happens next; how the club’s potential new owners Trillion Trophy Asia will invest and what sort of budget there will be next season.

I’ve seen people talk on messageboards of shopping lists for players and positions that need strengthening in the wake of a season that has ended in a whimper but I think this close season has to be about much more than that.

If there is one lesson we should take from the mob across the expressway and their utterly despairing, rancid season is that spending money does not necessarily equal success. The much-derided “transfer committee” that was in place during last summer is often blamed for the shocking, gutless way they have played with many of the players that were brought in seen as lacking in fight, spirit or plain ability.

Indeed, Blues spending in the winter window hasn’t turned out great despite Blues laying out much more in wages and transfer fees than they had in the previous five years. I can believe Gary Rowett might have been disappointed with some of the players he has brought in not performing as well as they should – and that Blues were buying from a limited pool of what they can afford.

However, I don’t think increasing amounts to spend is necessarily the only way to go. If there is one thing I’d like to see TTA/whoever else do this summer, it’s to provide funds to vastly improve the scouting network. I’d like to see Blues appoint a chief scout that not only can put together extensive lists of players with potential ability but also has the contacts and the network to have an idea of their cost in fees and wages, an insight into their character and mindset. I really don’t want Blues to go into this summer looking for new players armed with a laptop, a subscription to Wyscout and selection of DVDs and Youtube videos.

I can already see people saying to me that I’ve said all this before, and that I shouldn’t undermine Rowett; while I have said this sort of thing before it’s not about undermining Rowett – it’s about giving him as much help as possible to get the best players in. I’d never take away the final decision from him (as happened over the expressway with their managers); I’d expect Rowett to want to see players for himself and to make his own judgements. However, I want him to being able to pick his choice of players from the widest selection available and to be given every possible tool to bring in the best quality he can.

If Blues are to become successful, to rise into the Premier League again and once again make the city proud of the club which carries its name then it’s about getting things right on the inside first. If we can do that – then I really do believe the sky is the limit.

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52 Responses to “Learning Lessons From Failure of Others”

  • Rupert the bear says:

    I’m afraid money talks in the Championship.
    Just look at the top 6 again this season!
    The gap is getting wider.
    Our only hope for next year is big money coming in because free transfers and loans will only get you so far.
    Wages have to be competitive and a good manager to organise.
    Would also be nice to see more than 15,00 or 16,000 to turn up occasionally

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      The crowds won’t get bigger playing the style of football currently on offer.

      The stay alway’s will come back when they know they’ll see better players too.

      Dan, are you suggesting Gary does not do due diligence on his signings? Should he have found out whether Buckley would be prepared to the defensive duties like Gray and Maghoma. That can only be the reason he’s not playing surely?

      • almajir says:

        You have this unerring knack of reading things that aren’t there Julian. Rather than trying to read between the lines, read the text.

    • almajir says:

      Sorry, but no.

      Money helps but it doesn’t have to be the be all and end all. The best player in the premier league this season (Riyad Mahrez) cost less than Nicolai Brock-Madsen.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Absolutely my thinking too.

      • Andrew says:

        Rihad mahrez. this is one player. the next best ones that arent leicester city players were very expensive, money i cant see blues ever being able to compete with. Until we get a decent spine of players who will cost a fair amount we wont be challenging for promotions or anything other than midtable. like rupert said the fans wont come back if we are only in it for mid table championship year on year fact, man u real madrid barcelona dont attract so many fans because there loyal to the club.

        • having watched la liga strugglers Getafe and Levante last weekend. They have both got very good players that would be great for us. Would there be any chance of recruiting these? I dont see both clubs remaining in the top flight of spanish football.

  • Walker says:

    Are these the missing fans that will hunt villa tickets next season, just like he European and final.

    Annoys me

  • Martin says:

    Dont get annoyed , as i have written before promotion this season would have been disaster we are no where near ready for Spurs, Arsenal etc etc Let Mr Rowett build again on this season and next year ? well lets hope .

    • almajir says:

      Sorry, but I cannot understand this viewpoint.

      If you’re not aiming as high as you can in sport then you shouldn’t take part. I’d rather we’d have got promotion and worried about staying up when we got there myself.

  • Art says:

    Can’t see Rowett staying.!

    Think he will be gone before the start of the new season.

    Any bets for charity?

  • Nigel sale says:

    Have there been up monthly updates from EY lately on takeover

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t see Rowett moving on this summer. He’s achieved absolutely nothing in his managerial career so far, except a couple of top 10 finishes (maybe.) There’s nothing there (yet) to tempt a top 3 side into taking a chance… let alone a premier team. Let’s see what he can achieve next season then assess him again.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I am looking forward to the end of season offload list. I am dismayed that Rowett may be offering Robinson another year, Toral is on his way and if those trusted with the club’s finances don’t deliver, it could be a long season. I just hope we get fresh faces in early and don’t have another last minute panic buy scenario which results in paying under par players to sit on the bench. KRO!!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Hopefully, the manager will have a list of players already. That would be the sensible way to go about it. As you say, let’s get new players in early and get a full pre-season under their belts.

      I just hope the pre-season games are of a slightly better quality this summer. Let’s face it, you don’t learn jack from playing the likes of Kidderminster and Shrewsbury.

      • BhamCityJulian says:

        Our best drain since 55/56 was when he had that Asia pre-season tournament. That focussed use better than friendlies.

        • BhamCityJulian says:

          Drain!!! I meant start

          • StaffsBlue says:

            At least tournament football, with maybe a trophy at the end, is competitive. I just don’t see what we get from playing non-league and lower division teams. Maybe one, two at the most to blow away the cobwebs, but the rest should be competitive, to get the players match fit for the season.

  • Mitchell says:

    I still re-iterate past comments regarding TTA and funding our league fixtures for next season. Am I unduly pessimistic on all this? and the £10m will be provided. Let’s hope so as no matter what happens out in HK -we as supporters do need a bit of clarity from time to time even though it may be irksome for those better in the know.

    • Art says:

      A very valid point and I keep stating the obvious.

      Nothing will change until we get new owners!

      Hopefully Dan will uncover what’s going on- I just get the feeling the preferred owners are not too interested in success – more interested in making profit from the loans and don’t forget they have the ground as collateral should the club renege on payment…..very worrying.

      • Bluey says:

        The very day i heard St.Andrew`s was collateral for a loan given to us by virtual faceless investors the alarm bells started to ring. And you`re right,until new owners are in place we`re going nowhere unless it`s backwards.

  • Colin Carberry says:

    There are plenty of people around the game who have a soft spot for Blues and a good eye for players in the lower leagues (which is where Blues should be shopping). I’m thinking people like Barry Fry, Steve Claridge, Michael Johnson, Liam Daish. Blues should take some of those people on-board as a sort of part-time Scouting Team, pay them a small retainer plus an agent’s style fee if they uncover a player who does well.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It wouldn’t hurt to bring back Malcolm Crosby. He’s shite as a manager, but his scouting is excellent and his list of contacts must be enormous. We could do worse.

  • Big Al says:

    One positive – is it fair to say we’ve not had a reserve team that offered this much potential for quite some time?

  • Big Al says:

    Secondly the management won’t need to spend so much time focusing on contract negotiations next season.

  • Andrew says:

    I dont care what we do transfer wise we must bring defenders in during the summer, i dont know how a club can go through 4 transfer windows without buying any. If the scouts arent good enough then fine but if and when that is rectified the very first priority should be defenders in all positions. until we have some reliable players for these positions we will continue to be a disappointing team i think

  • DoctorD says:

    Rowett gambled on Fabrini and I don’t think it’s come off, yet. As our most expensive player, surely the team should be built around him? Otherwise it’s money down the pan.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agree.Incorperating Fabrini into an established counter attacking system has proved a problem for GR.Allowing opposition to dominate possession and hitting them on the counter attack does not really suit a ball player like Fabrini but I think there’s a lot more to come from him next season.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    New team: Tomasz Kuszczak; New, Morrison, Shotton, New; New, Maikel Kieftenbeld, Tesche, Maghoma; Fabbrini; New

    My gut instinct is that Cotterill and Donaldon will be sold for funds before they devalue too much.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Yes – New (Tesche)

  • Mitchell says:

    Although I respect those who wish the team to be built around Fabbrini-i can only shudder at this . Quickest way to league One is my thoughts. Build around a Carsley type is what’s needed. Championship football was never designed for the Fabs. of this world.Carsley,Barton and Tomlin set the yardstick.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    According to the BM:

    ‘Gary Rowett believes Birmingham City need ‘at least another four players’ to make Blues stronger next season. The Birmingham manager revealed he has already had discussions with de facto managing director Panos Pavlakis and has identified his summer targets.’

    That’s something at least. Let’s hope he gets them in early.

    • Bluey says:

      If he knows his targets that suggests he also knows his budget.That doesn`t bode well in my view.

  • atko says:

    I don’t think the signings are the problem. Those that he has picked up aren’t bad players. Where the problems lie are the team formations and have been for two thirds of the season. Once opposition figured out how to combat the way we set our stall out we never changed to a system that worked for us. We brought players in and tried them in the same system we had been using and that didn’t work either.

    The problem with playing the system that Blues do is there is very little you can tweak and that was what we were always trying to do and it ended up with players out of position and nobody really knowing where each other are on the pitch. The way we play next season needs to be addressed before we attempt to buy anyone else.

    As with the players that have come in this season, it’s not fair on them to expect to slip in to a system and perform miracles when the system hasn’t been working itself for a long time!

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Absolutely.Nail on the head Atko.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I second that. I hope to God that we’ve seen the back of the 4-2-3-1 by the start of next season. Our type of 4-2-3-1 at any rate. If we really do have to play it, get the right players in to make it work.

        • Hillfield Blues says:

          Agree.GR did very well with the resources available to him when he first arrived.His problems have arisen when he’s tried to deviate and give us a different dimension as a lot of sides had got our number.This will be the biggest test of his managerial career because he’s got to create a new fresher looking team next season that can play a different type of football which creates chances and encourages better possession.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            But for now, we need to give Viv S-O a place in the last 3 games. Let’s see if he can get us playing 20 yards further up the pitch with his pace. Detail him not to come into his own half of the pitch… with him sitting on the halfway line, with his pace, teams will sh*t themselves when we break. :)

  • Agent Abonlahor says:

    Agree that silly money does not need to be spent. Just look at the team at the top of the prem as an example. Also look at how much their top scorer cost.

  • Womboune Blue says:

    Just a thought about next season. I do wonder if Rowett could use some support from a more experienced ‘old head’ in making decisions. I’m not sure how useful Sale and Summerfield are, and I know that as ex players they are popular, but do they offer constructive advice? Obviously, only Rowett knows the answer to this, and he is very much his own man and I’m guessing would be very much against the idea of bringing someone in. It’s interesting to see how much Derby have improved since Harry Rednapp came in to help Darren Waddell, although I appreciate this may be a coincidence. I would like to see someone like Ian Holloway brought in, in an advisory capacity. I know a number of supporters will disagree with me but it’s just my opinion. Kro

  • Blue Steve says:

    I must admit I find your views on Rowet very confusing. When we are winning games he is a v necked champion and when he makes a few decisions that you don’t agree with you “won’t lose any sleep if he leaves”. Considering the financial parameters he has worked within the guy has done a great job. The fact is that with our budget for players and wages we have no right to expect more than a mid table finish.

  • We need more goals , a stronger defence , and a defensive midfield to bring the ball out of defence and into attack , best of luck ……..kro

  • Retired&Weary says:

    What’s disappointed me is that Gary signed some seemingly better players in January & gave up on them far too quickly in favour of some of the old favourites – not a policy that has worked. Very Clark- like.
    Hopefully he will concentrate on beefing up the spine of the team for next season.
    Finally, I see that Hancox stood out in the U21’s this week, surely the kid should get a chance to show what he can do in the 1st team bearing in mind the form of the current LB? Results can’t get any worse.

  • I think GRs fear is if that blues do not have a reasonable finish TTA might not back the club ….

  • Mitchell says:

    William. TTA is a very important issue regardless of our remaining results. Never have I felt so vulnerable with this arrangement in place. Our ground as collateral etc.for the initial input of £10m loan with no clarity as to whether the second batch of £10m. is forthcoming make for unease. Apologies for banging on about this in recent weeks-but why o why cannot we get a simple statement from this possible future owner without putting their bargaining procedure in jeopardy.


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