Often Partisan

Children are the future

Over the past few years, there has often been a criticism levelled at Birmingham City for not bringing through enough youngsters from the academy; for not developing enough of their own talent through the ranks – basically, not giving the kids a go. One positive that I think that can come out of the current financial climate is that maybe Blues will be in a position whereby they are forced to bring more youngsters into the squad.

In fairness, Blues have seen the breakthrough of two young talents this year in Jordon Mutch and Nathan Redmond. Both are getting game time with the first team squad now, and both look to be securing themselves a proper future as professional footballers. Jack Butland is now England u21 keeper having spent an excellent loan spell out in Cheltenham, and Jake Jervis has got five in thirteen appearances for League Two side Swindon Town. Whilst I don’t believe any of them are the second coming of the messiah, there is definite progress and is promising for the future of Blues.

It seems pretty much public knowledge that Blues are going to have to sell players in the upcoming transfer window; I’ve seen mention that any incoming players are likely to be on loan at best. There isn’t any money to spend. The question for me really is do Blues actually have to spend money though? I think the answer comes down to the level of expectation you have upon their season; if like me you can accept that we won’t be promoted this year, then I think the answer is no.

On January 5th the loan spells of Guirane N’Daw and Chris Wood will both expire (unless they are extended by the club). If they do indeed return to their parent clubs, it’s two fewer players in the first team squad – and in Wood’s case at least, one who has appeared regularly. However, I don’t think either needs to be replaced if Chris Hughton is prepared to push up into the fringes of the first team squad the likes of Enric Valles, Eddy Gnahore, Jake Jervis and Akwasi Asante. Likewise, if Liam Ridgewell gets his wish and indeed gets a move then could it be a chance for young Mitch Hancox to push into the fringes of the first team squad?

Although having only five subs on the bench has hindered us somewhat in the first half of the season, it could be that it helps us after January if we do have a reduced squad. For example, if there are only five subs it’s not like Hancox would have to sit on the bench as cover for David Murphy; we’d just need him around the squad and training with the first team group. On the other side, Luke Hubbins (who has just had a six month extension to his contract) is cover for the right back berth, but barring a couple of games at the start of the season hasn’t been near the first team squad.

After the glory of winning the Carling Cup in February, being in a situation whereby we’re almost reliant on teenagers to fill out the squad isn’t the greatest of feelings – however, if we can somehow move on some wage earners and develop them enough so that they get games, they will all become assets to the club – and may just help secure the longer term future of it.

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20 Responses to “Children are the future”

  • mickey07 says:

    you dont win anything with kids mate???

  • ScudMuffin says:

    worked well for FranzB, The Wenger Boys don’t do too badly at all, MattBuzby is probably a bad comparison considering how times have changed.

    then again imagine a club side from 73 with Cruyff and Francis, maybe other teen wonders from that era in it. the mind boggles at it’s possible dominance.

  • mickey07 says:

    On a more serious note do expect a phone in with pannu or a statement from them?as i feel we cant go through till november like this plus throw into the mix a load of players leaving then it dont bode for a good atmosphere does it….there will be a breaking point somewhere down the line i feel with the fans as this cant carry on.

    • almajir says:

      What do you want them to say Mickey?

      • ScudMuffin says:

        How about ‘Hi guys, sorry we’ve been dicks on the communications front. Here is where we are, here is what we want to do, here is what we can realistically expect to do with the money available and this is where we realistically expect to get the money from. Any questions?’

        Words to that effect.

        • almajir says:

          Hypothetical situation:

          So if they said “Sorry guys, we haven’t got a pot to piss in, we’ll be lucky to pay the wages this month let alone sign anyone, we’re willing to sell who we can for what we can get; we’re pretty much f**ked” people would be cool with that?

          I understand why people want them to say something but there is the possibility it’s better for the business that they don’t.

      • mickey07 says:

        what i want from them mayor is just to be up front with us for once and give us a fair crack of the whip,after all we are the fans/lifeblood of the club aren’t we??and plus like you said a few blogs ago you think that they should release a statement now to us fans…..not too much to ask for mayor i think is it….like i said fair crack of the whip mate…..

        • almajir says:

          You miss the point Mickey. It might just possibly be that there isn’t anything new to say – I mean, if they came out and said “we’re looking for new investment” what changes? We knew that already. “We are having to tighten our belts because of relegation” – we knew that already.

          It’s not that you want them to communicate Mickey, you just want them to say “we’re selling up for a price people will pay” – and I’m afraid I can’t see that happening.

          • mickey07 says:

            just something though mayor,it dont sit well with me when someone makes a certain promise to tom ross and goes back on it….plus its easy to say “there might not be anything to say at all” i dont think you should keep saying that mate as its an easy get out clause for you/them if they read this site…i will say us lot on these sites are more into the politics of the club at this moment in time as to where your average joe bloggs bcfc fan is not, and them are the ones i feel for as i imagine the majority of them would like to hear something from them and feel they are taking the piss a little…..

          • almajir says:

            I think the majority of blues fans don’t care if I’m honest.

  • Adam says:

    I do think we need some more players and I don’t think our kids will be sold in that Redmond loves playing for blues and butland signed a new deal at the start of the season.

  • pierre says:

    will the blues fans patient as it will take time for these young players to develop into regular first teamers,they will make mistakes and i would not like to receive the Keith fahey treatment.merry xmas

    • marky says:

      unfortunately some fans will get on there backs if they have a bad game most wont though fans can destroy players and clubs do Blackburn fan really think they are helping the club with this Steve Keen baiting the players must dread playing at home hopefully our Carson baiting wont get that bad just a silly song at moment

  • skareggae72 says:

    Look through a blues programme from the late 80s early 90s(pre Sulli/Gold investment phase) & the majority of the players were on YTS youth terms £28.50 a week if i remember rightly,frankly most of those players were not good enough(with a few exceptions)& were clearly there as a `cheap option`.
    Fans do relate to local players more,but they should only be in the side if they are good enough,none of these youth players are proven yet against experienced Championship players.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    The question for me really is do Blues actually have to spend money though?

    Question answered -No

  • ScudMuffin says:

    Depends how much money the EL brought in and how much of it remains. We need an FA Cup run. We don’t need to win it (though that would always be nice), but we do need the money. That campaign would help no end, plus there’s TV money if you get far enough.

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Tomorrow is another day!

    As that wonderfully miserable sod Khalid always says on Radio 4’s ‘phone in programme ‘Down the Line’, “Vat is point?”. (I’m sure he’s a Brummie)

    An awful lot of money is spent on a huge gamble that a young kid will develop into the next Tevez, and off he trots with nary a wave of a finger goodbye.

    For me, this article links with the previous one on Loans and Feeders. The rich clubs hoard all the good players plus buying up all the two-year olds who show any potential and then expect the lower clubs (us?) to develop them so they remain unbeatable and rake in more money. Liverpool, under Benitez, had over 60 fully paid professionals on its books ffs.

    So vat is point? It’s not the free market they say it is, it’s a rigged game!

    If it’s not a free market what is it? It’s a game with rules designed to… what? If it’s supposed to provide a level playing field (the myth beloved by all Sunday morning players) then it doesn’t cut the mustard.

    A cap on wages won’t work but a cap on the number of players (including apprentices) a club can register might. Excess players will flood the market, supply and demand will reduce wages to a level smaller clubs can afford, their crowds will increase due to higher quality and young kids who are good enough can develop through the ranks while actually playing competitive football. In addition we’ll find out who the really good managers are. Oh, and Sooty would be chairman of the sweet F.A.

    Lower clubs should not tie up essential resources in the hope of winning the lottery by picking up an overlooked Redmond or Butland. Cut your cloth accordingly. Save money and buy players with proven ability, claw your way to a position where you have the money to invest, or as the old saying goes: only bet money you can afford to lose.

    There should be one academy, run by the F.A. to which teams send their apprentices for education as well as football training.

    • DoctorD says:

      Good points mate especially about a cap on player numbers. And I agree it’s unlikely to happen.

      I think we’re already seeing the effects of the top clubs hoarding players and buying up the best — it’s why breaking into the top four or five of the prem is so hard. It makes the top matches in that division pretty exciting, but frankly the bottom 14 of that division are at a much lower level. It’s making a big chunk of top-tier football boring — sitting through to the bitter end of MOTD is grim and that’s not just Lawro’s mugshot — and one day will kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

  • bumpyfunk says:

    Just reading that:

    a) ManC are looking at offering 6mill for Redmond, and
    b) Jo Hart has suggested they also come in for Butland.

    So I think we probably do need to bring people in as it seems that good work is in the process of being undone by the fast emerging fact that we could just be a player farm to stave off the administrators.

    Ho ho ho.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    Let em both go for £10 million

    Good money for unproven players


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