Often Partisan

Bipolar Football

It’s a tough old life being a Bluenose. You go from the highlights of a thumping 3-0 home win with the first hat-trick scored by a Blues player for three and a half years, through seeing Blues make their debut in the Europa League group stages to the low of seeing Blues get tanked 4-1 away at Southampton, who spent last season two divisions below Birmingham City. You don’t have to read many Blues forums to see how fans react to this rather bipolar existence.

I suppose it’s understandable to see fans frustrated. Two seasons ago we finished in our highest position for fifty years. Last season we won a trophy; and now we find ourselves getting thumped by teams in the second tier and wondering where the hell we’re going to end up. It’s only halfway through September, and Blues have conceded eleven goals in the league – almost as many as Arsenal. It has to be said the statistics point to a leaky defence.

Is this truly the case though? I didn’t go to Southampton so I can’t comment on that game, but from reading reports of fans who went the scoreline wasn’t that accurate a reflection on the game. For instance, @TheSpecialRon, whose opinions I respect greatly opined that Blues had sufficient chances at 1-3 to draw the game; that the scoreline more reflected Blues profligacy in front of goal compared to the clinical finishing of the Southampton players – much like the Braga game. He went on to say that whilst undoubtedly questions do need to be asked of Blues’ defensive set up, it’s not because we’re playing that badly – indeed, he enjoyed the game at St Mary’s.

Think back to the Millwall game. Were Blues really that much better than Millwall, or were they just better in front of goal? Millwall hit the post, tested Myhill on at least two occasions – and we hit the third on the break after another Millwall attack broke down. Whilst it was an excellent result, was it one that confirmed we were definitely going to push for promotion? And in reverse, whilst the Southampton result is a poor one, does it mean we’re destined for the ignominy of another relegation?

My personal opinion is that Blues fans need to be a bit more circumspect with their thoughts – if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a dozen times, this is a season of transition. Thirty seven players went through the doors at St Andrews this summer (either in or out); we’ve got a new coaching setup and we’re having to adapt to new circumstances. The sheer quantity of games Blues have got over the next few months pretty much demand that the team has to be rotated, which means it’s going to be harder for the team to settle and gel. Yet we’re playing nice football, we’ve scored in every league game this season (how often can we say that after six games), and what’s even better we always look like we might nick a goal.

The simple fact is right now it’s not feast, and it’s not famine. The truth, as it nearly always does, lies somewhere in the middle. We’re not world-beaters but we’re not the lame ducks that some fans like to make Blues out to be. As the number of games slow down, and the team settles hopefully we’ll be in a position to benefit from these hard times. Until then, as ever, let’s just strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride.

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22 Responses to “Bipolar Football”

  • Mez says:

    Enjoying this season more than last few by a mile

  • Andifo says:

    Excellent article…the best yet in my opinion! I think you have absolutely hit the nail on the head & pray that the “fans” who spout dross about the team being rubbish and have now begun slating Hughton, will actually comprehend what you are alluding to! Unhappily i fear that it will go right over their thick heads!

  • john says:

    It was 4-1, like the 3-1 on Thursday. No matter what slant you want to put on it, Blues are shite. I genuinly can’t remember a worse era and thats going back to Ricki Otto days. Any body know what he is up to now?

    • almajir says:

      Well… let’s just say you’ve been spoilt. I can remember the first time Blues dropped to the third division and things weren’t rosy then – and that’s not the only time things have been bad.

  • john says:

    Andifo, I am more educated than you will ever be. This is the worst Blues team EVER, and thats hard.

    • almajir says:

      No sir, no it isn’t.

    • Andifo says:

      Probably the most ridiculous statement i’ve ever heard…you don’t know anything about how educated I am…and quite clearly you cannot separate emotion from football and actually see that we are playing some exciting & attractive football at times!! All we need to do is become a more solid unit, which i firmly believe will come given time! And if you genuinely believe that this is the worst Blues team you’ve seen then you prove that you are certainly uneducated when it comes to football!

      KRO!

  • Stuart says:

    Totally agree with everything said in the article.
    I think Chris Hughton hasnt quite got the right balance yet for us away from home but we are slowly starting to gel – he will get it right.
    In Hughton I trust.

  • Poppa999 says:

    On a brighter note we have played three of the top four in the league away and only played two home matches. We have scored nine goals in six matches.

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    Interesting football for the first time in years. The manager is doing the best he can with what he has: unfortunately some of our fans will have the same unrealistic expectations as the board. If anyone wants to change and watch the delights in B6 with an unbeaten team there they will find a lot of their fans unhappy at the type of football inspite of this.

    KRO

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    As often this article offers a balanced view in a crazy time. My view is:
    I) We have had more change since last season than probably ever before – it will take time for the team to gel. The (welcome) distraction of the Europa league is going to cause inconsistency in the league too. Automatic promotion was never a realistic prospect this season.
    ii) the team are playing more attractive football than for quite a while ( probably back to the Barry Fryd days)….but
    Iii) the general quality of players we now have and will bring in is not as good as we have been used to over the last decade due to the finances
    Iv) our away tactics don’t seem quite right yet
    V) so therefore we should lower our expectations – this is not always easy to do given the relative success for Blues over the last 10 years. I think mid table with an outside chance of a play- off is realistic although most of us would probably hope for better.

  • Deano says:

    Worst team ever? Methinks John has a very short memory…. Trevor Aylott, Martin Hicks ring any bells? The list could be endless.
    Having seen Blues three times this season I’d concur with other views above that we are finally playing some decent stuff. Yes, results have been mixed but you expect that with the turnover of players we’ve had.
    One mild concern that I do have is the level of squad rotation that we make. With this many new players, it takes time to settle into a) your own position and b) your position in the team. with the constant chopping and changing, I’m not convinced that our players are doing that. Whilst I appreciate that we face a lot of games. we are only a couple of months into the season and the players should be able to cope with two games a week for a while. Rather than make wholesale changes every other game, I’d like to see substitutes made earlier in games. Watford could be a case in point… keep the team settled but when players that played a few days before start to tire, sub them out for fresh players. That would have been 3 points in the bag with fresh legs…
    Does anyone (perhaps even CH) know what our first choice XI would be?

  • leigh says:

    Perhaps there were enough chances at 3-1 to nick a point, other reports said enough chances at 0-0 to lead 2-0, and against Braga at 0-0 to lead 1-0, but the fact is we didn’t and lost both badly,
    It is no longer how you play th game but the results over a season, how long before we stop making excuses, and start refering to ‘freefall’?
    It takes time to bed in, but how many goals has Kevin Philips scored this season so far in this division, and thats without Charlie Adam, and dare I say it D J Campbell, who I believe also scored for his new club, not to mention the other two at Sunderland in a team apparently not getting the breaks ( mind you that is what Bruce always said even at St. Andrews)
    As it was on TV I admit to watching the Braga match, there were moments of skill, but in general Blues were frenetic, and if that is what is called enjoyment for the fans and pride in the players shirt I call it on the edge of your seat nervousness for the fan, and lack of team confidence in most of the players.

  • Mark says:

    Great comment again, Let the true be known, we got beat, get over it ,and move on. KRO………….

  • Mark says:

    If we can become more clinical in front of goal who knows how these matches can turn out I think we hit the post again, Marlon had opportunity in last 15 mins We got accept the amount games and put our judgement in CH in his appoach to each game. Wednesday against Man city who cares………….. rather be out. If we can stay in Europe and continue our transition in this league great……………KRO

  • Andy Exall says:

    I agree with the lead article we will get better its not all doom and gloom at least with this manager we are getting chances we got beaten by a team who have been able to gel for the last 2 seasons my mate kept me up to date with what was happening at St Mary’s while i was settling my 18 yr old into university of what i could gather the first half showing by us was the saints total control of the game then the second half we came out fighting we will get better ” TRUST IN CH ” we had chance after chance in the 2nd half stop the whingeing and get behind your team and manager … come on you doubters start BELIEVING ……… KRO

  • Nobbynobrot says:

    Any body else noticed how the Old Blues players are suddenly finding their scoring boots?
    Ferguson,Phillips,Gardner,Larsson even Jerome bagged one…not bad eh?
    Speaking to a mate who went to see the girls in baby blue and pink reckons they are serving up some right shite at the moment and NZogbia looks like a donkey.
    Good to see McTosspot is doing a good job..lol.
    Early days for us…team rotation…differient style of play ( forwards not backwards) and on the deck instead of hoof and fetch.
    We’ll be allrite….get a couple more bods in to steady the ship and we are on course for a top 8-10 finish.
    KRO.

  • zoolog says:

    Face the truth we cant defend in CH I do not trust, Where was Murphy yesterday? he is the best left back we have. Even when we have won comfortably the opposition have had plenty of chances.
    We need a goalkeeper, a centre half, a decent midfielder, CH Was a decent right back in his time but thats all he manages like one too. Ridgwell has serious issues around him take him out of the firing line he is a liability at the moment.
    We should have moved for Allardyce when we had the chance.

  • Jaymeetee says:

    Worse team you’ve seen ever? How old are you John because I’m guessing you have to be 8 or 9?

    Good article again, what isn’t mentioned here is the fact that this league is probably the most unpredictable ever this season. Last season’s play off contenders are spread throughout the division with Cardiff up there, Reading just above us and Forest in the relegation zone yet is there much difference bewteen them?. I don’t think the league or our footballing consistency will sort itself out until Xmas. Let’s do what Almajir says and enjoy the ride!

  • @farmerfizz says:

    Love to say I’m disappointed with some of the negative comments but that’s always going to be the case with some Blues fans I suppose! I totally agree with the comment that if you think were bad now you’ve obviously not been a Bluenose very long because as a Fifty year old Blues fan ( which is hardly ancient ) I can certainly remember times that make today’s position positively utopian! It’s not that long ago that we were getting less than 10k for home games in the old third division and the Kumars made Carson Yeung look like a philanthropist! I know I’m sounding like Grandad but after the summer we’ve just had we don’t know how lucky we are! I’m not even convinced that had McJudas stayed and kept the players who got us relegated we’d have performed any better than we have up to now. How many of those so called ‘Stars’ went to top clubs?

    I’d like to know how many of these moaners and groaners actually go to the games? I’d be very surprised if they went at all and they’re probably the one’s who moaned that they couldn’t get a ticket when we played at Wembley. To slag CH off and say we should have gone for Allardyce in the summer beggers belief. I don’t know what planet they must be on or what substances they must be on because statements like that, 5 games into the season, are absolutely pathetic.

    Keep up the balanced, inceptive blogging Almajir and let’s hope CH proves the doubters wrong. I might not be doing cartwheels but I’m certainly going to enjoy my trip to Brugge and who knows I might even get a ticket for the game!

    @farmerfizz

  • Mark says:

    CH will prove the doubters wrong and he has already with attacking football and still in Europe……………KRO

  • chris says:

    kumars & wheldon days had far worse players than we have now.
    i don’t hold with squad rotation in september as many champ teams have also played as many games as we have (league and league cup) and are not rotating to the same degree we are.
    yes rotate in dec / jan onwards but not at the start of the season.
    this maybe one reason why our form is up and down.
    the squad will not gel till the end of october so give them time, but it may gel a bit quicker if we kept the same team more often.
    slightly disappointed though as i thought we might have got one or two loans in by now.


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