On A Knife Edge

16 Aug 2022 | 13 comments

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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.

Blues supporters will no doubt have different opinions about the current goings on at St. Andrew’s, but my view is split between a fresh beginning and another season for sheer survival. Young players being blooded like Chang, Hall, Williams and James is fine provided the blend of older and experienced campaigners lend an almighty hand. Ryan Woods departure is no big deal as far as I’m concerned provided, of course, we have adequate cover or better. Returning players such as Gardner and Graham will help, as will the appearance of newcomer Krystian Bielik. So far not too bad as we stand, but the Cardiff game certainly highlighted the gulf between men and boys.

Our takeover saga adds further issues as to how far down the line we actually are. Strengthening the squad, especially at the top end of the pitch, is not only obvious but essential. Naming individuals is pointless, but relying on the experienced is surely not going to work. Again it is a case of not knowing how we currently stand, and whether we end up weaker or stronger by the end of this current transfer window.

Being on a knife edge is not new to Blues supporters, but this is something different. Getting rid of players to make way for younger talent is sensible and acceptable. But nursing them in with older heads is vital, especially when future talents like Jobe Bellingham await the nod. All down to finances I fully appreciate, but even more challenging when we are seemingly in the midst of a transition.

The next two weeks will be telling as last Saturday at Cardiff demonstrated how importantly we need a proper rounded eleven on the pitch. No doubt the watching Richardson/Lopez will have taken note and, let us hope, remain keen to help John Eustace. Transition at Blues is what we have longed for and my fingers are crossed that this takeover goes ahead with the arrival of much needed reinforcements.

This Championship season will be as tough as anything we have witnessed, which reinforces the need to survive and compete. Although quietly confident the next two weeks will work out, both on and off the pitch, it is difficult to escape the feeling of being well and truly on a knife edge right now.

Mitchell Bray


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  1. Tony

    Well after these two upcoming games we will either steady the ship or inevitably be sitting in the bottom three .I think if we pursue with a winger at wing back we will fail as we did against Cardiff and the majority of last season.

  2. pamela allsopp

    I agree with your article. I look at where we finished last season, and I see a strong championship with other teams who have substantially strengthened, whilst we have unloaded senior players such as Bela Sanchez, Woods and Sunjic, and have not matched them with replacements. The youngsters have undoubted potential, but it is a BIG ask to play the regularly in this league.
    The disappointment for me, is if we play the formation with wing backs, we still haven’t got one; we still haven’t got that crucial playmaker, and as for the front line……….Leko and Cosgrove didn’t do it in their respective lower league loans, Juke and Deeney are a year older, so it leaves us with Hogan. These areas are crucial and yet remain overlooked each transfer window. As you say, we are on a Kinifes’ edge.

  3. peter Bates

    Don’t know who sanctioned Ryan woods move but that is madness in our current situation,and what was abundantly clear at Cardiff is the need for a proper left back placheta ok short term at wing back but a defender he isn’t kro

    • Ijaz

      I agree about Placheta at wingback. What is more concerning is that despite Cardiff targeting this weakness Eustace did nothing to stem this flow. We lack creativity and our strikers are starved of service. Is wingbacks the only way we can play? The major improvement is the keeper as we know Etheridge would’ve conceded 5. Hopefully Hannibal adds a bit of bite (pun intended) to our midfield. It is gonna be tough this season. KRO

  4. Chris

    I don’t think you can read too much into things at this stage of the season, if you look at the table there’s Luton and Huddersfield who both reached the play offs last season below us, Burnley came down from the Prem and are on exactly the same points and goal difference. The Baggies, Coventry and Boro are all below us and who would have had Norwich bottom after 3 games?!. There’s going to be times that we will be outclassed this season, but I also think there are enough beatable teams in this league. I don’t expect us to get anything tonight but a point would be a real bonus. Kro

  5. Smithy

    Totally agree with Peter Bates. Have to wait and see and hope this takeover succeeds and provides a solid playing squad. We are so fragile looking.

  6. tracey tyler

    If we as humble spectators can see the folly in playing Placheta as wing back then why can’t Eustace or Bela when Bowyer was Manager ??? They must have the wrong conception of a wingback which is a attacking full back or are they obsessed with this particular system ??? Surely you adapt to the players you have. 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 would be far better for the personal we have.

    • Mitchell

      Couldn’t agree more Tracey. Left back has been our nightmare position for years. We had one ready made but tossed him away (Steve Seddon). Any good manager would have improved his overall play and wherever he has gone Seddon has been a success. Proper full backs sùit certain clubs and we are in that category.

      • Chris

        Mitchell. Steve Seddon wasn’t good enough for the championship which is why he’s now playing in league one.

  7. Peter Bates

    Football league world are saying Richardson and Lopez needed to prove they had the funds to take the club and deadline was extended to middle of August,what a shambles nothing reported by hkse and we still struggling will it ever end? Kro

  8. Mark R

    Before this season began we all knew that it will most likely be a pretty uncomfortable ride for us fans this season (when is it ever remotely comfortable?!), and we also knew that part of Eustace’s brief is to develop our home-grown talent this season.
    Obviously, if he can combine the cream of our talented young crop of players with some quality experienced performers, then we could be on to something special.
    However, the clubs finances dictate that lately we have needed to sell more experienced players than we have been able to bring in, but hopefully once the Richardson/Lopez takeover firmly takes hold, the owners will be able to help the manager out here.
    Credit Eustace for bringing in Bielik, who will ultimately provide an ‘upgrade’ in our central midfield over Woods anyway I feel, but as many others have said we could really do with at least a couple more experienced quality players.
    I’ve no issue with Placheta at left-wing back-he will hopefully learn quickly from a defensive perspective (Cardiff was a good lesson for him!), plus we need his energy in the side.
    For me the priority is a striker and another creative
    midfielder who ‘knows where the net is’, though it’s not that easy to find tried and tested options in those areas, even with adequate funds!!
    Overall though, I think we will have more than enough to stay up this season-certainly come February 1st, if not before!

  9. Very Tired And Weary

    The well used phrase “you’ll never win anything with Kids” is so appropriate in where we are at the present. There is no doubt whatsoever that we have some very talented youngsters coming through, probably the best quality we have had in many years. However they need to have time to develop and Eustace CANNOT depend on them week in, week out! There needs to be an influx of quality and experienced players to enable us to not only blend the younger talent in gradually, but also to compete in the top half of the Championship. There are far to many players that are simply not good enough or ‘past their sell-buy date’, we all have our thoughts on who these players are(I counted 8) but its all down to personal opinion of course, but until we get stability into the club off the field then I fear we will yet again face a relegation battle. The supposed takeover is now getting very laborious and quite frankly I have grave doubts about the new ‘prospective owners’ and more importantly what the hell the current ‘Charlies Angels mob’s’ intentions are?. I keep hearing about people who claim to be in the know but its obvious they draw their conclusions basically from a ‘variation of an original theme’ thats been already rumoured but without any real substance. Clarity and exposure is paramount off the pitch whilst we try to begin a building job(don’t get me started on the crumbling stadium please!!) on the pitch but not solely dependent upon tomorrows future players before they have had time to express themselves without the danger of burning themselves out……KRO

  10. Roy

    A year from now I expect to still be hearing rumours about a possible takeover though nobody will know who by. The HKSE still won’t have commented, the EFL will be concerned that Voldermort is our actual owner and that he has not passed the right and proper owners test. The whole stadium will have been shut due to safety concerns, we will have 9, 16 year olds and 2 60 year olds in our first team as we struggle in League 1 and we will have appointed or 15th new manager in one season.
    As you may have guessed, I have given up hope.

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