Often Partisan

David Bentley

Scouting for Blues

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The Birmingham Mail reported yesterday that Birmingham City chief scout Paul Montgomery has been relieved of his duties. Whilst this hasn’t been confirmed by the club as of yet (probably due to severance being sorted), I thought it was worth looking at what this means to Blues.

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Comings and Goings

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One of the most frequent questions I get asked on twitter and on forums is what I think Blues will do transfer-wise this summer. There seems to be a fear online that Blues will not be competing this summer in the higher price brackets for players, due to not having the money; and that with a whole host of players out of contract come June 30 we’re really going to be struggling next year.

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The Fear

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One thing that has been extensively argued on Birmingham City messageboards this season has been the dour football that the Blues have dished up on a regular basis for the fans. Whilst the team is high on work-rate, and on battling for points, it’s low on creativity and fashioning chances, let alone goals. The accusation is often levelled at Alex McLeish that he is too negative with his tactics, and too careful in the teams he sends out.

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Messageboard Messiahs

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It’s a sad fact that players who are currently not in the Birmingham City team will be considered by many on the Blues Messageboards as the missing link within the team; the chosen one who will lead the team back to winning ways, and McLeish is only leaving them out because he’s an idiot. It doesn’t matter how poorly the player has played in previous games, or how well the player he would be replacing is playing, McLeish is wrong and the internet is right.

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Unlucky for the Black Cats?

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Blues can take another massive step to survival with a win against the Black Cats of Sunderland tomorrow, whilst pushing former manager Steve Bruce’s charges into a relegation dogfight. Whilst the game doesn’t have the same “must win” feeling of the last home match against Bolton, there is the sense that defeat would properly drop us back into trouble

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The Left Side

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It’s an important match for Birmingham City tomorrow in the race to beat the drop from the Premiership, against one of their rivals in the relegation fight Blackburn Rovers. Ewood Park has been a tough place for Blues to get points, with Blues not winning there since 1968, suffering five defeats in their last eight trips there. Defeat to Blackburn wouldn’t be the end of the world, but this is a game where Blues should be aiming to win to stay out of the drop zone and maybe force Blackburn into it.

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Shooting Boots

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A constant criticism of Birmingham City this season has been the perceived lack of attacking from the team. Many posters on messageboards have had a go at McLeish for being too defensive, and for not “giving it a go” enough. From the Guardian’s excellent chalkboards function, I have compiled some statistics on just how much Blues shoot on goal, as part of a bigger plan to have all statistics on this site. Please note all statistics are league only.

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After the Lord Mayor’s Show

Here are my reflections on the Birmingham City v WBA game. Due to illness, I was at home watching this on Sky Sports 2. 1) David Bentley is going to have to improve As things stand, I don’t think we can afford him anyway, but on today’s performance I wouldn’t sign him. He has got […]

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Defeat

Some reflections on the game against Newcastle United: 1) The Corinthian Spirit doesn’t win matches I admire the fact that McLeish has tried to impress on the Blues team that they should play the game in a sporting manner; not going down from a challenge unless they have to, not niggling the ref or other […]

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Transfer review

Well the window finally clanged shut at 11pm; Sky Sports News collectively orgasmed at three huge deals wrapped up in the last few moments, and up and down the country fans are breathing with relief that it’s all done. Here in Birmingham, it’s not been too bad a window for us on the Blue half […]

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