Often Partisan

In Hughton I Trust

It’s been a busy week down St Andrews, and for once it’s been because of the football – two home games, four goals and a fair few chances made has equated to some good times watching the beautiful game. I’ve said at least a couple of times before on this blog that I’m so much more enthused by this season. I don’t think I’m alone either.

It’s been noted on Blues forums more than once, but I will say it again: Credit must go to Chris Hughton. He’s taken a team that has almost completely changed over the summer, gelled them together rapidly and given them the belief to go and attack and try and win games. It’s not always worked, but there hasn’t been a game where we haven’t looked like scoring – and indeed there has only been one game we haven’t scored in. I think the dismantling of the relegated squad has assisted this paradigm shift to a flowing, pacy attacking game from some of the dour dogged displays we had become used to, and the new blood has revitalised the team and the club.

What’s funny is that McLeish, who jumped ship because of relegation and a lack of money to spend in the transfer market, now finds himself managing a team with massive expectations and no transfer funds – with the added hurdle of being hated by his own fans before he started. You have to wonder if he isn’t ruing the decision he made whilst on holiday to throw in his lot with the claret and blue mob; I think he must have underestimated the antipathy that would arise from his cross-expressway move and with all the pressure on him there, he’s got to be thinking that it might well have been a frying pan into the fire scenario. I have no sympathy for him; you make your bed, you have to lie in it. He did Blues a massive favour; we got rid of an unpopular manager to our neighbours, taking money in the process, and have brought in someone who has reignited the passion at St Andrews. Funny how fate works.

Another would-be local hero who upped sticks when the going got tough is Craig Gardner, and he’s finding it hard up in the North East. A brief look at the Mackem messageboards points to a fanbase that isn’t happy with Gards; he’s seen as a one paced midfielder who offers them nothing in the centre. Football is a fickle game, you’re only as good as your last performance and a season of goals is soon forgotten when the touch deserts you. I don’t have much sympathy for him either; it does seem he’s been badly advised, and that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed – but you can’t claim your undying love for a team and then demand a move on because you’re having to drop a level. Loyalty doesn’t work that way.

But that’s all in the past – already the fans have new heroes, new songs and new ambitions. Every game is seen as a winnable fixture – even against the Europa league finalists of last year – and every game is seen as another chance for an emerging team to strut it’s stuff and prove that it’s worthy of the royal blue shirt. It might not be the euphoria of scoring a last minute winner at Wembley, but there have been joyous moments already this season and with a minimum forty nine games to go, there promises to be many more. Here’s to a brighter future, under our new leader. In Hughton I trust.

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25 Responses to “In Hughton I Trust”

  • kev says:

    top comments mate

  • Monkiiboi1 says:

    Another Good article and totally agree, the football this season at times has had me on the edge of my seat. Unlike the last 3 seasons were I often sat back in my chair closed my eyes and knoded off. As for thongs CH did the right thing Thursday we don’t want to burn our players out! We are not going to win it, so it was ideal to rest some of the boys for what will be a tough task Sunday. KRO

  • leigh says:

    I have absolutely no sympathy for Craig Gardner. However who knows that the publicists write for them to spout to the media, and are we just gullible to believe everything they say. After all footballers are no more than men employed to do a job under a negotiatedcontract. How many of us would look alsewhere if our employers tried to change our conditions, or we saw our anticipated future progress being retarded. After all they are not bankers on guaranteed bonuses for failure.
    What is often said is they are overpaid, probably at this level -true, Bosman and agents has thrown the balance of power from the clubs much too far to the playersd.
    In business today much is made of loyalty but it is not how it was 20 years ago, the average worker gets little for loyalty and it is only natural the footballers see this and capitalize on what they can get.
    It ‘s unfortunate..but the sufferers are the fans. Read Gil Merrock ( Keith Dixon) and see how things have changed.
    Sport is no longer ‘sport first it is business first, and sport if it suits those invoved’
    Yes I am a pessimist, and never played football ( well 2 friendlies years ago for my employers) but did play Rugby at school and after, even with professionalism ,ignore the media off the field tales, and watch the Rugby World Cup and see an entirely different dedication and effort from the players. I will now sign off, stop boring you, and go cheer Ireland, and tomorrow England, and possibly even Wales, but most definitely France, I hanen’t forgotten Scotland they have plyed already this weekend.

    • Carl says:

      Leigh, I don’t agree with you.

      Gardner’s lack of support came from his own mouth – I heard the interview. He was worried about his career and his family by not playing the Prem’, you can’t blame that on the media spin.

      “How many of us would look alsewhere if our employers tried to change our conditions, or we saw our anticipated future progress being retarded. ” Gardner, was one of a number of players who got us relegated, had a contract to reflect that and should chip in to help get us back up. (Fans can’t blame CY for relegation, other teams managed to stay up on less funds!). To suggest that the Championship is retarded for Gardner is unbelievable – have you seen him play!!

      Another of many players who believe they only belong in the Prem, too good for us, apparently.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Hughton is doing a good job and Mcliesh will regret his decision. The Ginger Judas was however our most sucessfull manager even if his playing style was dull. he was well supported by blues fans inspite of his hort comings and not as unpopular as you suggest, his actions would not hurt so much if he was not so well supported by the fans,

    I agree thats all in the past and CH will take us forward, The board have unfortunately taken us so far back that forward is the only place we can go.

    We should not be going to saints on Sunday as underdogs facing a tough game. The game as all games in this division should be 3 point opportunitys.

    I expected a relagation battle this year but CH has raised my expectations. Sunday will be an indication of who and what we are..

    great site keep up the good work

    God Bless the bluenose nation

  • Sandycal999 says:

    Bravo Almajir, an insightful piece once again.
    I too am enjoying watching the style of football we’re playing this season. It’s in total contrast to some of dire performances we were subjected to under Agent451.
    All I can say is long may it last (“,)

  • Ali says:

    A great decision to play all of them. A chance for them to gel with no pressure, and keeps Morgaro, Dave, Burke, Davies & Caldwell a good rest and ready for sunday. Whether you like it or not, we can’t play our strongest XI every game with the amount of games we have.

  • Blue In Murcia says:

    Whats stupid and naive is to expect the same eleven players to play 2 games a week indefiantely. Whats criminal is criticising the managers selection.Then again nothing changes with our fickle fans!

  • alan AGM says:

    The fact is we will need to rest players at times this season as (potentially)we could face a maximum of
    49 games in the league(inc p/offs)
    17 games in europe
    11 games in the fa cup(inc replays)
    6 games in the league cup
    83 GAMES IN TOTAL
    The standout fact from this is only 6 games to retain our LC Trophy(and most premier sides resting their 1st team for this competition)in my opinion that is the easiest trophy to win this season(also gets us into europe again next season)unfortunately CH has already stated that he will be resting for our LC game at man city.

  • Carl says:

    Excellent piece again.

    I’m enjoying this season too. We’ve rid of the players who seem to feel no responsibility in taking us down and have assembled a good bunch who are led by what could be our best manager in years. Credit to PP for signing CH and let’s hope he stays!

    As for the other night, at least I walked out of the ground having enjoyed a game where we gave it a go and created chances; compare that with last season’s home games against the likes of Wigan and Wolves where the vile manager forgot the purpose of football.

  • gary says:

    Did anyone take time to look at the team and statistics from the 08/09 season in the championship? The squad was not that good even though there are players who should have been better. We scraped through without ever being impressive even though we were always talked about as being one of the favourites to go up. Mediocre teams did the double over us and it was far from exiting. We sold players and only spent 1 mil on Bent who either wasnt given a chance or was incapable of taking one.
    Take a look here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%9309_Birmingham_City_F.C._season

    I think we have a squad now who compare favourable with the squad of 08/09 and we have not disruptfull players dragging their feet waiting for the rest of the team to get thm back into the Prem.

    I am exited as any Blues fan should be about this season, and the way CH has got us playing so win lose or draw lets enjoy the ride.

    What are the words to that new song from the Tilton on Thursday? It was brilliant, and if the whole stadium sang it I am sure it would give the players a lift.

    All I care about is BCFC.

  • onlyme says:

    Good article as ever.
    The footy has been great under C.H he plays the football we all have been crying out for, for a long time.
    My concern is we have only got C.H on a year contract which is dwindling away as we speak,
    The board need to show a little respect to the Manager and fans and secure his services for longer, if he does well this season, and im sure he will, he will be targeted by others, especially on a free, and that will be detramental to the team and would be the final straw that turns the fans completely against Yeung & PP…………….Yeung and co take note…

    KRO…….

    • roy flowers says:

      Chris Hughton is on a 1 year rolling contract which means that today he has exactly the same amount of contract left as he had the day he was appointed.

  • gary says:

    In answer to my question I found it;

    We dont care about carson W….r
    He dont care about us C..t
    All we care about is BCFC

    KRO

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    Good article – spot on. Chris H. has no option but to rotate – look at Stevie Carr – out on his feet struggling – get Parnaby in ‘pay as you play’ – he’ll be OK in the Championship – and if we’re 3:0 up – we can give Stevie C. a rest. I was going let my season ticket go – but I love Chris H’s style of football – I’m looking forward to the matches again – I’m getting excited and not thinking about how ‘grim’ it will be. Brucie was defensive, Eck wouldn’t attack the lesser teams (I remember the Tilton singing “4.4.2” to try and give him a clue. I’d prefer a great season of ups and downs with great moments in the games – with spirited attacking football. Loving it. And i will be keeping my season ticket as long as Chris. H. is with us. Bausejour has been my player of the season – he even did a great ‘Martin O’Connor’ job in the middle for us. KRO with a smile on me mush.

  • Ben says:

    I agree he needed to make changes, and two or three I would have agreed with but personally I would have kept 1 CB in(probs Davies) and played Ibanez along side him.
    Midfield I would have left Wood upfront and would have had Redmond on the bench and brought King and him on later in the game.
    But different people different ideas,that why I manager non-league for just expenses while he gets thousands a week

  • mukaferg says:

    you havnt a clue pal im sorry no idea

  • Blue Steve says:

    I agree with CH’s decision to rotate. You have to be a realist. Our players would be knackered if we did not rotate. Plus Braga are a very strong side. It was likely that we would lose this game and CH knew that. Braga just have better players. And that is no disresepect to our lads at all given that Braga were finalists last year and are currently 3rd in Liga. I suspect we will put out a stronger team against Bruge and Maribor. I would also hope that he will put out a much weaker team against Man City. This is just a tie that is out of our reach so what is their to achieve by making our first team knackered? I’m sure many people will think this post is very negative but I CH has to work with the resources he has. KRO.

  • mark says:

    I am glad everyone appears to be getting behind CH now and can see attractive football regardless of who playing in a blue shirt……….. What you can see is all the players aleast give it a go and you can see CH will not let their standards drop. Another great blog Hopefully three points in the bag on sunday KRO

  • ScudMuffin says:

    I like ch. I think trolope has helped a lot too. just wish that Elliot was played centre of the park on Thursday.

  • Spotlight Kid says:

    Hoots inherited one of the most volatile situations in English football, with an incarcerated owner, no squad security or stability, and no realistic finances to rebuild (just frees, loans and Bosmans to replace the quality that was being liquidated by the day). On top of which he has a full length Championship season to contend (an extra 8 games) along with winter and wet weather on dodgy pitches at several less celebrated clubs (that can also take their toll with injuries). And there’s this matter of a beleaguered Birmingham squad being supposed to put on a show in Europe…..! Hello!!?

    It would have been great for the Blues to progress in Europe, that you will not be able to is 100% down to your previous manager and his under-performing players who simply blew it last season and scuttled the Premiership boat – landing Hoots with the poison chalice of Euro-expectation with an under-strength Championship squad. So just enjoy the ride (many will envy you), Blackpool style, celebrate the odd good result and applaud the chance to see every squad player getting valuable European experience that can only benefit your club long term.

    And, as the man says, trust in Hoots!!

  • bluenoseneil says:

    I think the consensus of opinion is right about CH, our chances this season (in all competitions) and the need to rotate the squad, which will take some careful management and an acceptance of the fact that for some games we will go in as underdogs and have to see how the squad players perform. Being in that many competitions at once should arguably help these guys prove their worth and try and get a place more regularly in the starting XI.
    There is one favour you can do though. Please don’t talk about McLeish any more. It’s already consigned to history and whilst large sections of the fan base would happily see him fail miserably at Villa, I am ambivalent. If he does well, he does well, so what? The same goes for ex players. They made their decisions due to money, agent pressure, inflated sefl-worth or a combination of millions of other factors, so let’s just drop it now ok?
    The most important thing is winning games, enjoying our football at St Andrews (and despite recent success this IS more exciting football now!!) but also not expecting too much.
    The more we go for it on the pitch and gamble the more we have to be solid and cover counter-attacking teams, which CH is working on with Carr, Davies, Caldwell, Ridgewell, Ibanez, Murphy and our defensive midfield players.
    The good news is goals seem likely in every game and Myhill has kept 4 clean sheets so far.
    I wouldn’t be shocked if we didn’t go up this year but we are playing a more gung-ho style akin to Blackpool which makes me think at the end of the season we will all applaud the players and management for having a damn good go, regardless.
    Long may it continue.
    Let’s just prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might not be racing straight back to the Prem, eh?
    (I just read this back and you can tell I am a born Bluenose, ending on a ‘let’s not get carried away’!!!!)
    KRO

  • Roy Smith says:

    All that matters to me is that I have started to enjoy going to matches again, and judging by the atmosphere this year so have most of us,
    If I had been Blues chairman I would have sacked the Ginger Ninja at the end of last season as I believe our relegation was entirely down to his tactical incompetence so I can’t be hypocritical and complain about his going across to the dark side, but as for all the badge kissers who helped take us down I have no sympathy with their reasons for leaving, they are just greedy, self obsessed and have a far too high opinion of their own talents. Hoping for a relegation trio of Sunderland, Wolves and Vile.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      ….although in reality it will probably be Swansea, Norwich and Wigan/Blackburn. Still it would be nice to swap places with 2 of our old managers, eh?!!

  • The CITY of Birmingham says:

    A lot of fans have said it already – under Hughton we are watching proper football.
    If we can tighten up on the road after the lung wrenching thursday evening games in europe we may be able to compete abit more in the league.

    It’s a real downer that we’re in europe with such a tight squad and tough task to try and make the league play offs?
    But on the other hand it’s a journey most of us are enjoying against the odds and as mentioned – watching proper football.

    No-one has stated (as I’ve seen yet) that we’d already be out of Europe and scraping probably another 2 places down the league if ‘McBeth’ had stuck around under these circumstances he helped to create. So there really is no need to mention the scottish ‘play’ again is there?!

    The vile are currently enjoying a new unbeaten run of four bore draws and a win. As rightly stated:
    We don’t care about Scim Scam.. W
    They don’t care about us… C
    All we care about is…
    C hughtons’s Royal Blue Army… BCFC

    Up The Blues


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