Often Partisan

Must Win Game?

Before the season started, I didn’t envisage that Blues would have a must win game by the first of September, but it does seem that it is that way. You only have to read the comments on the previous pieces on here, let alone anywhere else to see that there are unhappy people out there – and there is already people saying the dreaded words “Clark Out”. What has gone so seriously wrong?

I have to admit in some ways I’m mystified as to why Blues are playing so badly. They seem to have gone from the proverbial “band of brothers” to a collection of individuals who barely know each other. There seems to be a lack of resolve, of fight and of passion on the pitch – there was an almost noticeable change in the body language of the team on Tuesday night when Coventry scored as they seemed to all collectively think “here we go again”. Last season the Blues defence was a rock – this year, it’s barely gravel as it crumbles away at every single attack. Chris Burke was incredible last year, this season he’s incompetent. How can players that have been so good suddenly become so poor?

I think some of it has to come down to expectation. A friend on twitter @LeeAMurray commented that it was almost as if Clark knows how well Hughton did last season and he’s trying too hard to match that those achievements, with disastrous consequences. I can see the logic there – from what I’ve seen the defeats, and more so the manner of those defeats has clearly hurt and angered Clark. He’s not used to this feeling and I almost think he’s at a loss as to why it is happening.

I also think some of that has filtered down to the players because it does seem that when things aren’t going their way they panic. For the first twenty minutes (ie before the goal for Cov went in), they played some really nice football – tight control, excellent passing and movement and we were picking them off. But for the width of the crossbar we could have been 2-0 up and had that happened I have no doubt Blues would have cantered to a win. Similarly, when they got into the groove against Barnet they ended up running away with it as they showed what they can do.

As I commented yesterday, sacking Clark and his coaching staff is impractical. Blues don’t have the spare cash required to pay the severance pay to staff, or the time to make any difference to the playing staff. For now we’re stuck with what we have – this might not strike people as being the best news ever, but we have to deal with it for now. I live in the hope that a win – and maybe more importantly a clean sheet will change things for the better as the team rediscover that belief in themselves.

It’s this belief that is vital, and it’s where the fans play a big part on Saturday. I fear an early goal against Blues will turn the atmosphere ugly because right now I don’t think the belief is in the fanbase that the team can recover from a setback. Likewise, I worry that if Blues don’t get close to scoring in the first twenty or so minutes fans will start getting impatient and that will pass through to the players.

My hope for the weekend is twofold – a return to the basics formation-wise and a bold statement in Clark’s selection. A straight 4-4-2, two widemen, two central midfielders and two strikers. More importantly, not being afraid to take misfiring players out of the team and give others who have been on the fringes a chance. I will not apologise for saying that as soon as I saw the team picked to play Coventry I was apprehensive and I’m sure I was not alone. A bolder selection might get the fans more onside pre-match – and if the players are fired up knowing that they can hold on to the shirt… well, it could all be for the better.

Is Saturday a must-win game? In truth, I’m not 100 percent sure it is but I think what it must have is a good passionate performance. I think the fans would forgive a game where the team have played valiantly but have been robbed by a refereeing mistake or similar whereas a scraped win might be seen as papering over the cracks. If Lee Clark is to prove himself as a good manager, this is his first test of dealing with pressure – I hope he passes it.

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67 Responses to “Must Win Game?”

  • Mark says:

    To be honest I am actually embarrassed to call myself a Blues fan. Fans calling for a manager to get sacked having played only 1 Home League Game.? All the high and mighty attitude towards villa fans and their sack happy ways and plenty of our fans have that same mentality.

    Yes it’s been a poor start, but in the first 20 minutes against Coventry we finally saw signs of a good start only to see the confidence take a bashing after 3 mad minutes which in reality changed the course of the night because if Burke would have finished the easy chance I am sure we would have spent the night mocking Coventry.

    The key factors for me is, Clark has signed how many first team players? hardly enough to put his own marker down.

    Davies is playing like a defender who is far too busy avoiding injury, add this to Caldwell looking like he has had one summer break too many and is it any wonder we are shipping goals. We then add to that no settled right back choice and an England keeper in waiting who seems to have got an attack of the jitters far too early.

    The rest is down to signings that we expect to do at least twice as good as they are. But with Lovenkrands and Ambrose the fans can hardly moan at the manager because everyone was thrilled at their arrival but these two have been largely annoymous.

    Moving forward and we should….. Saturday is a big game and mainly because a win is required to stop the ‘NEW GENERATION’ of sack happy fans who will happily start a witch hunt if we don’t.

    As said previously I find it embarrassing!

    • Rathater says:

      And I bet your happy with Carson still in charge? Take those blue coloured glasses off and smell the coffee!

    • Ali Duncan says:

      I totally agree. The first 15 minutes at Coventry were easy on the eye and it was pleasing to see us using both flanks effectivley. The passing was neat and for the first time this season ball retention was first rate. It all seemed to fall apart once the levelled.

      I think we’ll get a true gauge of his mettle at 5 o’clock tomorrow as no matter what your view this games has become massivley important due to the poor football we’ve witnessed so far and the pressure that is no doubt seriousy mounting one him.

      KRO!

  • steve says:

    if a win is whats needed lets hope theres not another half empty stadium. Players need suppprt not a few hundred at watford and an empty st andrews.

  • Jack says:

    Hit the nail on the head. Once a team of brothers now playing like star individuals. This is 70% of the pronlem. No fight for one another and no ambition. You can see the poor body language and the lack of desire to go and press and win the ball back. It seems we have no one who really wants to fight for this club!

  • bluenose 11 says:

    to be fair clarke has a much more difficult job to do than hughton did in a lot of ways,
    for a start hughton came in following a manager that had us playing dour football and all we really wanted at the time was some atractive football and to stay up in the league so when we did well it roused the support and the feel good factor followed . clarke however is in a possition where he has to follow a succesful manager who the fans loved and after a rocky start where his signings are letting him down is now under pressure
    imo clarke needs to go back to basics mullins has to be dropped in favour of gomis and ambrose for morrison and back to a 442 formation that will settle the players a little more into a formation they know also for gods sake play players in there own possitions.
    kro

    • John says:

      It is the midfield that is the root of the problems. Because they are not controlling the game, the strikers are getting no service and the defence no protection, or support. Mullins is simply not good enough,and HAS to go, Elliot should certainly be playing. Clark does not instill confidence in me,he appears very downbeat, but to remove him now would be rediculous. It is at times like this,that the fans must be the 12th man and give whole hearted support to the team. Forget the manager,support the team. Thats what proper supporters do. So on Saturday,we must help them all we can, getting on at them, if things are not going right,is bad for the team and miserable for us. KRO

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    The boo boys can’t wait for this game. They will be waiting with baited breath for Posh to score first.

    Of course it’s not a must win game. We do need to win it though and the next couple. I am right behind Lee Clark although I didn’t want him, didn’t rate him and got pelters on here for saying so at the time. People need to think on. When you were all saying how ‘quietly confident’ you all were for the season and some of us said we weren’t we got stick again with the old ‘you’re Vile’ insult. I remember one post saying he’d never been so excited before at the start of a season :). Basically you all got carried away by a few large wins against nothing teams.

    This isn’t a ‘told you so’ post, just a reminder that just cos some folk have a different and sometimes unpalatable view you don’t have to slate em. Plus if you see any twonk booing tell him to STFU.

    • chris says:

      said at the time who was my first choice etc , but he’s here now and he won’t be sacked till xmas so get over it . move on ffs
      the whole lot of us need to pull together and support each other not rip the fans, players or club apart, that will gain nothing.
      i’m not happy and have my comments on LC’s tatics and team selection, but we know how most of those players can perform and we can instill confidence in them by encouragement not slagging them off during a game. how would you react at work by constantly being slagged off ?
      have a boo at the end maybe e.g. Cov on tues, fans were brill and Lovenkrands has said so.
      all we ask back is to give their all, use their brains to defend, break up play then to attack and have a go, plus keep the ball for longer spells.
      if we still lose at least we had a go, don’t go out with a wimper lads.

  • nicky wicky says:

    Thongs don’t forget the bedsheets!

  • nicky wicky says:

    Thongs don’t forget the bedsheets!

  • Jimmyjon says:

    What a ridiculous, defeatist and negative comment. Are you a fan of the Vile by any chance?

  • tc says:

    As fans we look to hopefully see some improvement each game but the current team are devolving.Some players look like they can’t be bothered and others just look not up to the task.Signing players that are clearly poor and lazy doesn’t help the managers cause but clarkes biggest failing is tactics and team formations.We play to high defencively and far to static in midfield.Clarke has to finally admit his signings are poor and drop them.

  • Mickey07 says:

    As the saying goes”you don’t turn into a bed team overnight”?? So Lee clark must be doing something different then….

  • I must say I’m going into this game with low expectations. We failed to beat a poor Peterborough side last season and the way we are playing I don’t see us doing so this time round. If we are going to continue to defend like a bunch of nine year-olds we will continue to ship two and three goals a game. I will NOT be booing my team though and Thongs I suggest if you are going to boo the team do us all a favour and stay away. Rathater, for heaven’s sake don’t bring Mr Yeung into all this; about the only positive to take out of our present problems is that people aren’t talking about him. We have no control over who owns the club; this is a football story albeit a rather depressing one. Let’s all stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get behind the manager and the team. The boys have to play their way our of trouble and they need our help.

  • Gnosall Blue says:

    Unfortunately I have to agree to it being a must win game, if only to reduce the negativity. If they do not win the pressure on Clark will be immense and with 3 homes games in quick succession he and the players will hide.
    I still feel there have been flashes of optimism, but work must be done with the back 5, and square pegs in square holes please. No more putting all the names in a hat and pulling 10 plus Butland and then trying to fit them into a formation.

  • Bluenosed says:

    If people pay their money and Boo this Bloke it’s upto them. Clark never shoulders the blame, the durge that was emailed to me yesterday was pathetic. He continually maons about the players and not his team selection which is a pathetic trait in a leader. The Bloke is doomed, and if we lose on Saturday he should do the right thing and go (he wont because he has no backbone or dignity)
    Why do people get attached to players and especially managers? We deserve better than this.

  • Grim says:

    What some fans seem to have forgotten about Chris Hughton is that nothing he achieved was actually AMAZING. We finished 4th with what was on paper, a VERY good championship side. Our top scorer and player of the year were both Mcleish signings. We got past what was a very poor Nacional side in the euro play off, then almost got through one of the weakest groups in the competition. We then got knocked out in the play-off semi-finals. Then he left to go to Norwich at the end of the season.

    Some of the matches were entertaining and I liked the guy, but can anyone tell me why Hughton is regarded as some sort of god around here?

    In Hughton’s first 9 games, we won twice and lost five. Lee Clark has currently played 3 games.

    • chris says:

      we also drew 5 out of the last 7 winning and losing the other two, so that was poor form as well

      • TR7 says:

        You’ve got to laugh when we’re earnestly comparing how bad we were last season to how rubbish we’ve started this year !
        Perhaps we should have ‘ crapometer’ installed at the ground , with milestone levels of shite over the years highlighted on it , so we can monitor new depths of mediocrity as and when they ( surely ) occur ?..

        • grim says:

          Well, that wasn’t really the point, it was more a knock on the people I’ve seen on forums and twitter, etc. constantly comparing Clark to Hughton.

    • budgie says:

      Spot on Grim. Apart from Spector, our best players last season were McJudas signings. Hughton inherited a good Championship team that should have made the play offs at least. Why do some fans have this misty eyed admiration for Hughton? He was a reasonably good manager who used Blues to his advantage then legged it at the first opportunity, taking the whole backroom staff with him

  • evesham blue says:

    I thought he would ring the changes against Coventry but he didnt. He tried another formation and persisted with underperforming players. Seems Butland is not to blame based on Doyle’s performance either with hoof ball tactics. I think the only bright spot is Loverkrands and Gomis may get their chance now.

    So what has happened to the team spirit? Perhaps Europeam football last year helped to galvanise us more than you think?

    We will get a win at some point but need to sort out the defence as soon as. It’s not just the defenders fault as well – we need to defend as a team and that means the midfield need to give the back 4 some protection. In other words – Ambrose and Mullins is not working Mr Clark so drop them.

    I think we will pick the win up. Posh are even more dire than us at the mo if that is possible!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I am optimistic that the Posh game will be our turn around. I would like to see Asante at least on the bench and also like to see Mullins dropped. I hate it when fans boo the players during the game, but if we are served up any more dish water displays, then I fear the team will be roundly booed off at the end, that’s human nature and some may say the only direct means the fans have of expressing their post match opinion and displeasure.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      Boo Boy

      Great fan

      • Bluenosesol says:

        You must get out more

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Almajir, can we get Villa fans like Voice of Treason banned from this site?

        • almajir says:

          Erm… just because Paul doesn’t have a similarity of opinion to you it doesn’t mean he belongs to them.

          I don’t agree with a lot of what he says sometimes BUT I’m not going to do owt unless he’s sweary or offensive.

          Sorry

          • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

            Cheers Al

            Trying to get folk banned off a site, how villa.

            Boo! Boo! Cmon everybody, the boo boys are back.

  • evesham blue says:

    Expectation levels are set way too high because of what happened last season. We got where we were on team spirit. It’s a team of free transfers, loan signings and the odd small transfer fee at the end of the day. How can we compete when teams like Blackburn are shelling out millions on a player?Footy is all about confidence and winning breeds confidence. We have the potential to get into the playoffs but kidding ourselves if we think we have enough quality to get us to the next level on a shoesting budget.

  • DoctorD says:

    Do you remember the managerial shortlist? Lee Clark, Roy Keane, Alan Curbishley and Phil Brown. Curbs I think didn’t fancy it and pulled out of the running. If Keane were in, he would be giving the players a bollocking though I’m not sure we would be much better. Brown — well who knows if he’d have been any good. He wasn’t exactly that hot at Preston. So LC is who we have and, for better or worse, we might as well get behind him.

    • chris says:

      But that was the board being shortsighted, not willing to pay compo yet they will pay out on transfer fees for players, but not the most important member of the team, the manager.

  • Ribeye blue says:

    It is right that this isn’t a ‘must win’ game – to call it such just be-littles the concept of there being something momentous to win or lose at the end of it. But this is a ‘must perform’ game and that applies both individually and collectively.

    There is no question that the defence has been woefully poor so far this season. But blame for that can be distributed further up the park than just the back four. In midfield, Blues have looked totally spineless for 60 minutes of every game. Nothing creative, nothing defensive, nobody to hold the ball up, play in the strikers or even inspire any confidence. Awful. I start wonder if the collective age of central defence plus Hayden/Mullins is too high a number to cope with 90 mins of full throttle.

    Looking elsewhere, I agree that team selection, players playing out of position and odd formations – with an inability to adapt or change things round quickly enough – put some of blame at the managers door. I thought these kind of things were what pre-season was for. If players aren’t performing their roles then change them – but it hardly helps if they clueless as to what that role is one week to the other.

    It’s early days. Blues must lift their game to have a chance against Posh who will undoubtedly smell blood. I think this team can do well but it’s time they came back off holiday and started some work.

  • jason says:

    I dont think the poor start has anything to do with tactics. unfortunatly you aint gonna win any match with so many players not turning up. the middle of the park has been very poor, its been like playing with 10 men as ive hardly noticed ambrose in any game. mullins has been doing his very best to give the ball to the opposition every chance he gets. add to this king with no passion or effort at alland davis looking very shaky. we could do with murphy and carr back too. sat team i think should be butland, spector, ibanez, caldwell, maybe gordon if no other options! burke, morrison, gomis, redmond, lovenkrands and rooney. although im not a fan of rooney he gets about the pitch and theres at least a lot of effort from.him. its early days and i do still believe clark will get it right.

  • james says:

    Any Blues fan who wants a change should grow up. How on earth after 3 games can any football fan be this negative – have a day off or get yourself down Villa park.

    Yet again we see a pathetic turn out for our first home game and another half ar53d crowd will be present on Saturday, some of whom will be hoping for posh to score first; I actually pity these fans.

    If you don’t want to support the team or manager ( no, it is not your god given right to boo because you have paid your money – try starting a chant for a change, try it, you might like it.), then stay at home with the other 13000.

    Give Lee Clarke a chance.

    KRO

    • chris says:

      sorry James but £27 (i can take the whole family to cinema for that) for Charlton is having a joke and £32 on the day!!
      ffs the club are doing their best to put people off going at the last minute.
      some of us don’t know till Friday eve or Sat morn if we are working or not, others phone mates on sat to see if they are going or not , now the club wants to rip us of by another £5.
      Blues ain’t a budget airline where the price goes up as seats are nearly sold out, they had 10,000 seat unsold but wanted to charge a rip off extra on the day.
      what other champs club does that?
      also it was Charlton not Wolves, Forest, Leicester or Blackburn, how they think thet are a B grade team i don’t know.
      Bolton night match is a C grade game which is about right as many can’t make evening kick off’s.
      Plus this time of year people are still on holiday or at the cricket or going out for the day if the weather is ok as you have to make the most of good weather at the weekends.
      Personally, footy ain’t what it was, too negative (fear) today, don’t even watch many games on tv as most games even in prem are boringly predictable, as we know from our time there.
      Most teams set up not to lose. Swansea being a breath of fresh air.

  • Leonmono says:

    “Must win game”… you’re having a laugh. Reading took 4 points from their first 6 matches last season. After only 3 matches people are calling for Clarks head… unbelievable!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Guys, I do not want to come avcross as a self appointed moderator, but as a lifelong Bluenose who comes to this brilliant site of Alamjir’s for banter with like minded fans, I am beginning to feel alienated by the degree of grammatic aggression and personal insults that appear to be becoming the norm. This isnt a forum for people who say support the club and never question the board or the manager, nor is it a sounding board to denegrade the club. It is a blog site to discuss topics as determined by the author and to enjoy civil comparison of ensuing opinions. Please stop telling people that do not share your opinions that they are boo boys, that they should get the bed sheets out, that they want Blues to lose or worse of all that they should go and watch the Villa. Please be nice to each other, voice your opinions for or against club incumbents, but always get behind the team on match days. As someone once said “I may strongly disagree with your opinion, but I will fight for the right for you to express it!”

    • Paulo says:

      Oh yes, a quote often attributed to Voltair (1694-1778), but was actually first stated and written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who wrote ‘Friends of Voltair’ (1906), and the quote was based on his assertment ‘Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privelage to do so too’.
      A very clever statement written by her (under a male psuedonym) and kind of reflects a lot of what is going on right now ..if only people actually wanted to look at this mess from a different angle!

      anyway, just thought I’d add a little history …lol. Hope you don’t mind?

      • grim says:

        Haven’t you learned that many blues fans will form an opinion with no knowledge, and stick to it stubbornly for as long as they can?

        You must not have been a blues fan for long!

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      Yawn

  • BND says:

    As I commented yesterday, sacking Clark and his coaching staff is impractical. Blues don’t have the spare cash required to pay the severance pay to staff, or the time to make any difference to the playing staff. For now we’re stuck with what we have

    I don’t agree with this comment. If the team is still in dire straits after 10 games he will be gone.
    CY cannot afford to let Blues slip into the First Division. He wont be able to give the club away never mind sell it.
    i would try and off load Butland (massively overated) and Zigic and try and bring a few players in.
    Mind you Clarkes dealings in the transfer market have been poor.
    I wouldn’t trust him to spend it well.
    Lets hope we survive this season and get new owners for the start of next season.
    That’s the best we can hope for.
    Anything else will be a bonus.

    • KeeprightCroydON says:

      BND there are 46 games in a season not 3, so why are you already in relegation mode. True it’s a very poor start, but there’s a long way to go. Get behind the team and help to spread some positivity.

  • nicky wicky says:

    to be honest it’s hard to tell whats going on at blues as they doevrything behind closed doors now. something is obviously not right,and the balance of the team doesn’tlook right. they say they are doing defensive trainng,but from the outside it doesn’t look like they’re doing any traing at all! The defenders can’t defend, the midfield is ananymous and the forwards couldn’t hit a barn door, except for Ziggy who could be on his way out, so then where are we? something needs to be done fast. The team at the moment is a joke!

  • NooBloo says:

    The players seem to be lost without CH and they need to start getting over that fast. Perhaps they thought that he would like the Pied Piper lead them all with him but they are not good enough for the premiership and CH knows that.

    When the transfer window closes maybe they will knuckle down and accept that their best way forward is knuckle down and start performing on the pitch and thats up to LC to make sure that they do or get rid of them

    You will notice how Alan Pardew got rid of all the players loyal to CH at Newcastle and kept only hte ones who wanted to perform for him.

    CH is a great Manager and a great leader but there is and there has to be life after him because he is gone and they all need to start accepting that

  • Dan H says:

    I think we just need to calm down and get behind the lads on Saturday.

    This is the craziest division in world football a run of 3/4 wins and you’re top of the league. We need to get a couple of players back (Fahey and Murphy) and they’ll look like a different team with good balance, he may not pull up trees but Fahey switching the play quickly was a key factor to our success last year.

    5 games, 3 loses, 1 draw and 1 win is not reason to Sack the manager

  • Art Watson says:

    Almajir ,

    While mostly agreeing with your summary there is another way in which to look at the current situation.Your argument that Blues cannot afford to pay off Clark and his associates is flawed in many ways.If the team continues its current bad form and we continue to strugglle at the bottom end of the table what impact will this have on gate revenue,TV money and the sales of commercial goods.What implications will this have with our sponsors and more importantly any potential investors?

    I therefore put this question to you.

    Can we afford not to get rid of LC and his staff?

    • KeeprightCroydON says:

      I see your logic Art, but look further ahead. If he’s sacked, there is more unstability, more uncertainty. Who will be available to take over reins at this stage? And even if we get somebody, will he make a difference? Yes we are all disappointed with the poor start, but it’s only 3 games played, so plenty of time to turn things around. Though I agree, a win against Posh is as good a time as any to start.
      Come on Blues!

  • Jay says:

    Has the blue world gone mad? I’d like to think that I am as passionate a blue nose as any commenting on this page, and occasionally: frustration, disappointment and the sheer desire to see Blues succeed cloud logic and judgement; this being, in my opinion, something which currently ails many fans. However, having had a few days to let the proverbial dust settle following the Cov game, I think it is time to reflect.

    Starting with Jack Butland –

    Certainly, over the past three months our young starlet has received numerous amounts of praise from many different sources, including: fans, previous players (i.e. Ben Foster), pundits and moreover the media. Indeed, Clark himself placed an eighteen million price tag on him following his forty-five minute international debut. Surely, such praise and of course media hype is enough to dislodge any nineteen-year old’s feet from the ground and into the heavens. However, people forget that with such praise comes the responsibility to maintain such heights and performances, something which becomes easily scrutinised with extensive fan access, by which I mean Butland being the Birmingham number one.
    As a result of what can only deemed rookie mistakes against Korea, Royal Antwerp, Sheffield Wednesday and in my opinion a mistake which was the catalyst for the penalty at Watford, it is not surprising that he has had a blow to his confidence. That apart, it seems to me that we have a tendency in current English football culture to pressure goalkeepers at a very early stage in their careers, with the likes of Green and Robinson before hand falling to the scrutiny of the public and consequently they do not reach their full potential. It is my belief that to prevent this occurring, albeit as a consequence of scrutiny from domestic fans not international, Birmingham need to perhaps protect Butland and ease him into experience, much light Chris Hughton began to do with Nathan Redmond last season. We are putting vast amounts of pressure upon the shoulders of a nineteen-year old and it will be to both our detriment and his own development. It has always been my understanding that players reach their peak at 28 and keepers, as a general rule, slightly later. Therefore, I think it is not without reason that we use Butland sparingly, although I do believe that his first team spot has been somewhat forced by the threat of a move away.

    Lack of N’Daw –

    Although very young, some may say that my own football philosophy is slightly archaic, but I firmly believe that we lack the correct personal in the central of midfield as I will now articulate. This season Clark has brought in predominantly central midfielders including Ambrose, Morrison and Mullins to strengthen the squad following the departure of N’Daw and Jordan Much. Despite Morrison having the potential to be truly brilliant and indeed, at times he displays stints of vision that is beyond the comprehension of most of our other players, I believe that him, Ambrose, Fayhe and Elliott are very similar players in that they are all very technically good, creative players.However, to allow these players to perform to the maximum of their ability they need to be playing in a balanced midfield. In theory Mullins was perhaps brought to achieve this aim anchoring the midfield and breaking down play, much like the Rey Wilkins role of old. Unfortunately, Mullins has looked completely incompetent and has not fulfilled what is required. He has looked slow on the ball, either being caught in possession or a culprit of giving passes away and does not offer the prescience of a defensive midfielder. This being evident against Watford, I cannot understand Clark’s reluctance to take him out of the starting XI (This is not an attack on Mullins, just a summary of his latest performances). I think we have missed is a Guirane N’Daw, albeit at times last season some of his decision making and reckless challenges made him seem somewhat of a novelty player (but he did give us all a lift). However, one player who I have been extremely impressed with is the out of favour Gomis, a player who came on after 65 minutes against Watford and changed the game, looking tidy with simple passes, full of energy and broke down play effectively. If we are to be able to give the likes of Ravel Morrison the licence to play, and do so without leaving holes in the midfield, Gomis is the solution. By playing him in this role it also allows the likes of Burke and Redmond to press further up the pitch and attack, providing cover when vulnerable to counterattacking play.

    The Defensive Unit –

    I think that this season our defence will, in short, be our largest problem; largely down to missing personal. If again we think back to our last league game against Watford, our main problem was our fullbacks. I will not say too much about Spector, as it is my opinion that it is a tall order for any player after months out injured to come back into the fold so quickly without match practice or sharpness; although he vastly improved in the second half and will no doubt keep improving. However, especially upon our left flank Ben Gordon was out of position on a regular basis leaving room for the opposition to utilise the space on the wing, isolating the central defenders and playing off their shoulders, which resulted in the second goal. Davis and Cauldwell have not become bad players overnight and they cannot be completely blamed for the defensive mishaps. Again it is about balance and the fullbacks, whoever, is chosen to play there, need to offer sufficient defensive cover; an aspect of Murphy’s game which is invaluable to us. This will improve over time as we get Murphy back from injury and Spector gains minutes on the pitch.

    Lee Clark –

    Clark himself is only a baby in football terms and he has been described as a “Brilliant young manager” on this forum and indeed on others. However, due this being the case, was he correct appointment for a club who very much needed and still do need a manager who is ready for the present rather than a manager who is very much still learning? I think this has been the question on the mind of many fans over the last week or so, asking “IS CLARK THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB” or quickly and in many cases nonsensically jumping to the conclusion “CLARK OUT”. I would like to share my feelings about this matter and some readers may disagree and say that this is a bunch of rubbish. However, I simply believe that Clark is trying too hard to find a solution to our dismal performances and that some of his seemingly crazy decision making, such as the out of sync diamond against Coventry, is a bit of managerial naivety and inexperience at the higher levels of English football. However, I do think he can be the right man for the Blues’ promotion push this season. As already been pointed out, he has the passion to succeed and his own disappointment mirror that of the fans, which is not something often seen if football. It is not just an occupational headache but something the guy quite clearly takes home with him if his statements to certain papers are anything to go by. If I could say one thing to Clark it would be this, GO BACK TO BASICS! The players need stability both tactically and mentally and for this reason I completely agree with the author of this article, and urge a 4-4-2, nice and familiar. Yes Clark may be learning, but if he takes this squad back to basics he has enough quality in the likes of Morrison, Burke, King, Davis and Gomis to see him through the tough games ahead. Things will certainly improve. In terms of his mentality, when things are going wrong the players first look at Clark for leadership and guidance, so yes it is correct that we need a team of worriers on Saturday against Posh but we also need Clark to be their mountain of strength and composure if things don’t go to plan straight away. We need a win against Posh but nothing less than 100 percent will do.

    Our Fans-

    Many of our fans I’m sure will disagree with a lot that I have said, and fair enough, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But one thing I would say is not only do we need 11 worriers on the pitch but a stadium of worriers to get behind them and cheers the lads on through both through “Joys and Sorrows Too” !!

    KRO

    • Jay says:

      please excuse the typo errors

    • denis thwaites says:

      I don’t disagree with the views you have expressed but what does concern me is the negative vibes I have picked up on forums where Huddersfield fans berate Clark as being hopeless and tactively naive and how they improved immediately when Grayson took charge. We were in the enviable position last year of having Hughton available and eager to join us and ready to prove a point. The competition last year according to the media was Di Mateo before he went as assistant to AVB at Chelsea and Gianfranco Zola. This year Clark had competition from Roy Keane and Phil Brown so it was a case of 3 questionable appointments. Good managers are priceless and I fear that Blues have picked a wrong un but had no choice in fairness .

    • NooBloo says:

      Central midfielders and central defenders find it easier to find consistency as opposed to strikers and wingers and goalkeepers. Our young starlets seem to be the latter, so we are not going to get consistency from them. I dont know whAT MY POINT IS HERE EXCEPT TO SAY THAT the consistency from these players will come…..BUT NOT IN A STRUGGLING team

  • kentucky blue says:

    Why do people go on about reading losing lots of games at the beginning of last season as if we will go on and win the next 40 games. With the way we are playing we will do well to avoid relegation. Sorry to be negative its just my opinion

  • Jay says:

    * presence* excuse the spelling I’m using auto correct on my phone

  • Paulo says:

    The odds of us not conceding a single goal on Saturday are probably very high, and although it would be like a dream come true for us, it does seem likely that we will. I agree that we are at the point of a ‘must win game’ and I only hope that the guys are physically and mentally fit and prepared for it. In other words …I hope they don’t get knocked down when it happens and get together and give a massive push forward, relelntlessly if they can, but attack this game with everything they have. That attitude is what I imagine blues fans want to see, and I’d be proud of the team for giving it all, even if it didn’t go to plan …this is Birmingham City. We are not in the same league as Chelsea or Man U (metaphorically speaking), so we have to accept some realism here …we are broke, our owner is up sh*t creek, we have been handed a situation that is out of our control and it’s back to the drawing board.
    God only knows what is going on, I doubt even LC realises the effect that doom and gloom has over a club! But let’s get accept we all have different opinions as we all see things from a different perspective, but we all have one thing in common …don’t we? Birmingham City to succeed.
    If anyone has a crystal ball handy, then please let me know Saturday’s winning lottery numbers would you!!!

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    A must win game ?

    For Blues.no….but it most definetly is for Clark..

  • FreddieB says:

    Calm down, calm down. When we say “we don’t know why this is happening…..” , who are we trying to kid? The most important part of the field is central mid and for the past 2 weeks this site has been slating Mullins and Ambrose, so we know 2 of the reasons why.

    Coupled with that, Clark has been quoting £18M for Jack Butter-Fingers, setting him up for a fall, which he has had in spades. That’s all we need right now – a dodgey keeper!!

    Trust me, Clark is not as dense as he looks or sounds, he will have seen what we have seen, and put it right……..keep the faith!!

    By the way – whoever came up with that pink away – shirt, not that we can blame that yet.

  • Tony Knight says:

    The BBC site says Caddis is being swapped for Rooney – discuss

  • Art Watson says:

    KeeprightonCryodon.

    I understand your response but in any business the first loss is not neccessary the greatest loss but you have to accept that it’s going to be a loss,right it
    off move forward and eventually regain the loss,make a profit and achieve success.

    LC and his team at the moment are a potential financial liability and they will only reverse this with success-sorry to say I can’t see this happening but I sincerely hope I’m wrong.To those who may think I’m just a negative supporter.My support for the team covers 55 years and I was born less than 100 yards from St Andrews ,supporting the team through good and bad times so maybe my assessment is of some value.

  • […] I’ve talked about before, this isn’t a must-win game, but the performance has to improve on what we have seen […]


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