Luton Up Next
In Off The Post
The following article has been written by one of our Trust members. They are the opinions of that person and not necessarily those of Blues Trust. Would you like to contribute a discussion point of your own about Birmingham City Football Club? If so, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Every Championship game is tricky if not tough. Luton is another encounter which throws up all kinds of possibilities. Only a few years ago they were playing my local football team, Kidderminster Harriers, in the National League. Under the guidance of our old favourite Mick Harford, still an important part of the set up at the club, they have risen sharply to be a real force. Incidentally, you will no doubt be aware that Mick is not in the best of health right now. As a true Blues warrior in his time at St Andrew’s, I’m sure we all wish him well in his personal battle with prostate cancer.
On Saturday we go to Kenilworth Road with confidence and, hopefully, enough strength not to leave empty handed. Last Wednesday’s home loss to Bournemouth I am deliberately skipping over quickly, as we played well but the need for a proper striker with true composure was again highlighted.
Back to Luton and physicality over skill comes to mind. This season, so far, has again showed the amazing need for fitness and strength, with players reaching blistering levels of physical performance from the first minute to added time. My point here is that although skill obviously tells in the end – especially in the Premier League – the Championship is entirely different. Teams can overpower others with sheer strength and if a couple of average to good strikers are in your pack, then the chances of continually staying around the top six are good.
Luton and then Barnsley away will give us a clear indication as to what’s ahead for Lee Bowyer and his backroom team. No doubt they are already acutely aware about the “goals for” column which, at this admittedly early stage of the season, doesn’t look too rosy. We have played three hard games against teams fancied to do well and four points isn’t bad at this stage, so Luton and Barnsley will hopefully allow our strikers to be more successful.
Taking chances is glaringly obvious to any team and in this regard, we need to up our game, especially Messrs Hogan and Leko. Maybe LB has plans away from these two, so again my feeling is that the next two games will be clear indicators as to their positions as regular strikers. Also, the need to compliment the efforts and form of the exciting Tahith Chong must be a priority, as this player deserves strikers around him performing at a decent level. No doubt this talented gem of a footballer expects this as not only does he need regular Championship football, but he needs to be part of a club sitting at least within striking distance of the top eight.
Luton then first beckons, and we do appear to be in a reasonably good place with our physical side and energy. It’s that bit of quality we now need to light up the “goals for” column. Winning at Luton would get the feel good factor back at full swing under Lee Bowyer, and he more than anyone deserves success at St. Andrews. He is no slouch and he will not like that meagre goals scored stat, so come Saturday kick-off at Kenilworth Road he will be looking at three points.
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Great player for us Harford. Frightened the living daylights out of centre halfs. As regards tomorrow I think you have to aim for the win- even if Leko and Hogan get the nod.
Another good piece Mitchell. And so right to mention Mick Harford. Smithy is right….he was some player for us back in the day. And a real hard man. In a team full of them. Great memories. Get well soon Mick. And KRO!
Good summary of things on the pitch so far. Still very early days of course, but the lack of offensive activity…not just a shortage of goals…is a bit of a concern. LB will fix it soon though I’m sure.
One other thing. Am I the only one shocked and saddened by the external state of the ground? Talk about decay! I was half expecting to see tumbleweed outside the Kop stand on Wednesday night. I know the situation with the stand repairs is serious and perhaps causing uncertainty, but come on Board…pull your fingers out! At least try to give us a club to be proud of. Not one to cause embarrassment.
I agree with you Tilton reference the conditions that have been found under the stands. Messrs Gold and Sullivan and the previous contractors have plenty of questions to answer. Why was this mess never cleared up, why are bolts missing and corroded? What corners were cut and what money was saved by the shoddy and incomplete workmanship? Who sanctioned the sign off that the works were both complete and in good repair? Have Birmingham had and ignored previous safety warnings reference the stands or have all these problems suddenly occurred since the last safety inspection?
Not so long ago we would have considered this game as three points in the bag, now we can take nothing for granted. I agree with you Mitchell, there isn’t an easy game in the Championship and personally I believe that this is the most arduous division anywhere in the world, even better than the foregone conclusions of the Premiership where only the rich can compete.
As for Birmingham it’s quite simply the age old problem in that we can’t score goals, it’s all well and good stating how many chances we may have made but if we don’t have strikers who can put them away then we will continue to have problems. So far this season we have scored twice, both goals from full backs. Also we have had three disallowed goals, one from a full back, one from a midfielder and only one from a striker. Leko should be got rid of, he’s quite useless and offers nothing to the team, as for the others at least they make some sort of attempt to do their individual jobs but as strikers just aren’t cutting it again.
We have massive off field problems with the stands, the resignations of the Academy manager and the Wast Hills groundsman. Even on our limited resources it hasn’t been a good week for Birmingham City and their fans.
Today’s game can go either way and I certainly wouldn’t place a bet on it but if the club are to progress the strikers need to start earning their inflated salaries.
Never saw that coming! Fair play to Hogan. Perhaps this is the cracking performance we have been waiting for
Apparently Birmingham City can’t school goals luton 0 Birmingham 5 how’s that for goals ????????????