Often Partisan

Season 2012-13 Review – Pt IV

The fourth part of my reflections of last season looks at February and March as Blues climbed away from the bottom three to mid-table respectability.

February saw Blues take on Nottingham Forest at home and the first return to St Andrews for Alex McLeish since resigning by email and fleeing across the expressway. It came at a strange time; McLeish had been rebuffed twice in trying to sign Chris Burke (one of his final transfers for Blues) and the word was that McLeish was preparing to walk due to Forest not signing George Boyd because of some issue with his eyes on transfer deadline day. The script wrote itself; Burke played a blinder, scored twice and Blues won 2-1 with McLeish getting roundly jeered and booed throughout. The Scot walked out on Forest the day after.

After rescuing a point at Charlton, with Wade Elliott scoring in the 94th minute to cancel out Yann Kermorgant’s 88th minute opener, Blues took on Watford at home. With memories of the game at Vicarage Road still clear in my mind I expected the worst and Blues duly delivered, being thrashed 4-0 by a rampant Hornets side. Blues seemed unable to cope once again with a system that used wing-backs and pace and whilst they didn’t play as badly as they had against Barnsley it was still a shocker of a result. What made it worse is we all knew the weakness but it didn’t seem that Clark was able to stop it.

Having followed this up with a drab goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday notable for the return of Nikola Zigic after a major dressing down from Clark, the pressure was on Blues to pick up a result at London Road against Peterborough.

A large travelling contingent buoyed by the thought of standing on the terraces made the journey to Peterborough and they were rewarded by an excellent performance under pressure, Blues scoring twice without reply – although the clean sheet was massively down to one of the best saves I have ever seen made by Jack Butland.

Thoughts of corners being turned were once again shot down brutally by the next game at the start of March, with Hull taking Blues apart 5-2, with Blues’ two goals coming late on after a horror show of defending. Once again a team with pace took apart Blues and real question marks were once again put at the door of Lee Clark, with the club seemingly once again in real danger of relegation.

However, the remainder of March saw Blues take ten points from twelve and pull away somewhat from the drop zone. After picking up a point against Blackpool at home – which should have been three but for an absolute nightmare of a miss from Wade Elliott, skying a ball forty feet over the bar into the Tilton from about six yards – Blues took on Derby County. The first half was toothless but a double change at half time with Wes Thomas and Nathan Redmond coming on followed by Ravel Morrison early on in the second half saw Blues rip into the Rams and turn a 1-0 halftime deficit into a stirring 3-1 win. Wes Thomas, who had been poor up until that point found his shooting boots and scoring two decent goals, sandwiching an excellent effort from Redmond to give Blues the points.

Blues then nicked a win at Middlesbrough thanks to a Nikola Zigic goal before heading to Crystal Palace for another Sky game.

The stage was set for a mauling, and indeed the cameras got one – but this time it was Blues who did the damage. The young trio of Nathan Redmond, Ravel Morrison and Shane Ferguson all scored in a 4-0 win with Nikola Zigic orchestrating it all from the lead striker role. For Clark – it was vindication. Finally the team was playing as he wanted it to, with pace and width in wide areas and a creative force in the middle feeding off Zigic playing as the target man. However, it also saw Keith Fahey break down with injury again and indeed it was the last game the Dubliner was to play for the club in a season which had seen him suffer with injury and personal issues.

Blues finished the month of April in 10th position – a season high, 10 points clear of relegation with eight games left. From a season of relegation worries people started to dream the impossible dream – was the playoffs on?

The final part of the season review will be posted tomorrow, looking at April, May and season statistics.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

44 Responses to “Season 2012-13 Review – Pt IV”

  • mark says:

    Dan- it was a pleasure beating forest at home, rightly or wrongly the.abused mcleish recieved was self-inflicked by himself……yes we finished 9th and won cup. But the guy had no morals……and he eventually lost his way….. I am sure many bluenoses felt sorry for him….lol

    • RichardM says:

      Do you remember the ginger t**t blowing kisses at the Blues fans as he entered St Andrews at the start of the game – a man of no dignity, got all he deserved that day.

  • mark says:

    And rightly justfied dressing down of zigic by clark…….no one bigger than bcfc……

    • Art Watson says:

      A public flogging of any employee is never justified.In my opinion Clark should have resigned over the matter.

  • mark says:

    Palace game away was awesome if we play like that next season….there will very few who will moan, obviously Tony will fine something no doubt………

  • pete says:

    The key problem we had last year was the defence looking like strangers. I think think has to be priority. I think Matt killgallon, who is a free transfer and aged 29, is just what we need. He is being linked with Ipswich, who have a strict wage cap- surely this is what e need

    • mark says:

      I am sure Pete- clark has pondered this question 69 against last season was far too many. I am in agreement with you this area needs strengthing…….

  • KazakBlue says:

    This is from the Birmingham Mail today; can someone please enlighten me in to how a club in a lower division than Blues, with probably half the attendance can afford higher wages than Blues, no wonder the review is making even more depressing reading; Someone is laughing their socks off, and it is not the loyal Blues supporters.

    Lee Clark has missed out on one of his summer targets as midfielder Chris Taylor has signed for Blackburn Rovers from Millwall on a Bosman free transfer.

    Taylor, 26, who scored two of his three goals this campaign against Clark’s men, held talks with Blues but they just couldn’t compete with the salary Rovers were offering.

    • mark says:

      Just a thought maybe he like the surrounding area of blackburn………

      • StaffsBlue says:

        You’re spot on I think mark. As the player was actually born in Oldham, it makes sense that he might want to move closer to home.

        And who is this club who are in a lower division? Last time I checked the tables, Blackburn were in the Championship, having finished 5 places below us. Plus, just for their last 6 games, their attendance fluctuated between 13,000 and 20,000. Very similar to us I believe.

        Can’t say I’m that disappointed to miss out on Taylor tbh. He’d have been another option, but there are plenty more out there.

  • joking says:

    @KazakBlue
    Blackburn are in the same league as us and have their parachute payments still to rely on. Also their owners still have some money to use.

  • dave mann says:

    without dought palace was the performance off the season, we tore them apart and looked
    like premiership contenders, but that was our in consistency for you.
    went to peterboro, good performance, but they were a poor side.
    palace got promoted, we maul them and loose 5-0 at home to barnsley, which pretty much
    somes up our season.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If the 0-5 Barnsley defeat was the Nadir of our season, the 4-0 win over Palace was our Zenith. For me, that win cancelled out the Barnsley debacle. And, with Palace’s late surge into the Premiership…. that win looks even more impressive now.

  • Tony says:

    You are of course correct Art he should have resigned, but a man without honour would never do that

    • mark says:

      Always looking for avenue hey TONY to continue having a pop, Good managers rise above small minded people, and give them a wide birth. Unfortunately he does not listen to you anyway lol but zigic did……..

  • Tony says:

    Good performance against Palace BUT, it could indeed should have been 5-5 the number of times the ball flashed across our 6 yard line when normally a palace forward would have been on the end of it.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Who would you have in stead of Lee Clark? Ferguson? Mourinho? Wenger? They couldn’t do Jack Sh1t without millions to spend on players. Those managers are unproven without money. I thank God for Lee Clark, we could have ended up with Mark Hughes, who couldn’t do it even with millions. Poor Jack Butland, being managed by him next season!

  • dave mann says:

    bang on staffsBlue, but slightly dissagree on mourinho, he won eufa cup and champions
    league with porto and they werent exactly spending millions on players were they?
    tony, mate palace were lucky it was only 4-0 pal, total rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!
    kro.

  • Tony says:

    Staffs Holloway would have done

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Before Lee Clark came in, absolutely. Holloway is my kind of manager. But so is Lee Clark. Give the guy a break, at least for a while.

      If we’re in, or close to the bottom 3 at Christmas, I’ll agree with you. I can’t say fairer than that can I?

  • utbb says:

    Sorry to go off subject but who the hell is going to play at centre back next season, whos goin to b right back and left wing….i know theres some time left b4 next season but im pretty worried

  • dave mann says:

    watched holloway coaching at the nec when match of the day live was there.
    brilliat and a great motivator and would have been a good choice before lee,
    but give the guy another season at least because theres not a lot more he can
    do under the restrictions we have. if and its a big if at the momment, we get new
    owners then judge lee then, but not now! KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    we need at least 2 centre halves, an expierienced right back, and a natural left winger,
    so good point to bring up utbb.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I would add a defensive midfielder to that list. Someone who can put his foot in and his foot on the ball. Someone to bloster all this new young talent we’ll have next season. A Guiraine N’Daw, or, should I say it…. a Robbie Savage (we’ve never really replaced him have we?)

      • pete says:

        Added to the fact that king will be out for ages and we have no scorer we also need a centre forward. So that is basically a whole team…..

  • dave mann says:

    whats wrong in saying robbie savage?
    forget the blackburn saga, robbie was legendry for us no danger.
    never been replaced your right, and we could do with someone of
    his passion and none stop running, but not easy to find. maybe
    callum riley might fit the bill one day.
    pete we do need another striker, but i cant see us getting much
    better than we have to be honest, but lets wait and see.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I know a lot of Blues fans don’t like his name mentioned dave. It was a pity he tarnished his image with the cowardly way he left. But, although the guy is a complete pratt, I don’t think you can question him as a player. He did give us 100% while he was at Stans. Unfortunately, some people forget all that.

  • mark says:

    I think dion loved him to bits from the vilers.lol when robbie got him sent off for dropping the butt….robbie was our wind up, show no fear, get in their face love it……..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s the kind of player we’ve been missing. Someone to break it up, look around and play a pass. Barry Ferguson was half of that, but he got a nosebleed whenever he passed forward.

  • JohnBond says:

    Savage and Diblin are both d*******s!! Not so much Robbie thou.. Apparently David Dunn has been seen at St. Andrews

    comment edited – please asterisk swear words appropriately

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I hope we don’t sign Dunne. He was a waste of money last time. Always out with hamstring trouble (it must have been attached to his d1ck. Did you see his missus at the time?) lol

  • Paulo says:

    With thanks to Pannu being a judas, he left Lee Clark well and truly in ‘it’. He knew there would be less money than anyone expected, and got his promotion and pay rise at the same time and did one to HK. In all fairness to LC, the inconsistency of our performances and results was also down to him not having any control or choice over what he had to work with …then add some massive injury blows.
    By doing this, PP set us all up, and the main board over in HK couldn’t care less. I think Clarky’s redemption, for me, was simply the fact that looking at what he had to work with, he didn’t do a bad job for Blues. If anything, it was his initiation into our club, but also into management. I’m sure he’ll be wiser and if he sticks around when we get some investment (and closure) he could be judged a lot fairer.
    The team was the team on the day, that’s all really. That was our inconsistency problem, and we got picked apart many times, and for the most part, some of those on the pitch didn’t put the shift in. Birmingham has usually been a bumpy ride anyway, but always a frustrating one!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s a good assessment. Also, when the players cross that white line, there’s not a lot a manager can do (until half-time at least.) That’s why the team captain should be an extention of the manager and lead the team as such. Luckily, both Mcleish and Hughton had that, in Stevie Carr. Clark hasn’t had that. Caldwell? Davies? Neither would have been my first choice, or my second or third. It’s a pity Paul Robinson didn’t get the captaincy. Imo, he was the only captain material at the club last season. That’s why, I believe, that it will be an important choice for this coming season.

  • Tony says:

    Agreed Staffs give him until Christams I have said as much, Regarding Savage we have to get away from the infantile mentality that labels him and Mcleish as judas because they left, or the way they Left.
    Football is a job like anyother they left because of greed in the case of Savage as for Mcleish who could honestly blame him? he was privy to what the future held, bear in mind the guy had just won a major trophy and our highest position in 50 years.

    MMMMM Mcleish and Savage its growing on me, maybe a brand new dream team.

    • mark says:

      You waiting along time for that dream team????….. How about you giving clark credit at Christmas, rather than waiting for him to fall on his backside…….but again me think you are far too humble to eat slice of pie………..or give justified credit….you simply cannot stomach
      Clark end of……..i wait and I wait at Christmas time more chance of Elvis returning……

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I don’t believe for one second that we’ll be anywhere near the bottom 3 at Christmas. I made that offer fully expecting Tony to do a massive climb-down as a Xmas prezzie to all of us. lol

        As for McLeish, I was so glad to see the back of him and his boring football. McLeish and Savage, a dream team? Stuff of nightmares more like.

  • Tony says:

    Savage put his foot in and had a touch of class, most of all he tried ,Mcleish that was not a bad side he assembled

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It wasn’t a bad side…. it was just dire football. If you’d have given that side to Hughton or Lee Clark, I think we’d have seen more attractive football. Just my opinion of course!

  • Tony says:

    No Staffs we would have lost a lot more games, I would prefer to win 1-0 in a boring game than to lose 5-4 in an entertaining game.


Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating

Archives