Throwing It Away

8 Nov 2023 | 5 comments

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.

A failure to see out games following the introduction of fresh substitutes is clearly irritating Wayne Rooney. Against Ipswich, with the frustrating loss of late points despite a much improved performance, plus the surrender of a precious reward against Middlesbrough, backs this up entirely. The quality of the substitutes may not be there, but a do or die attitude must surely be the minimum requirement for any player who takes to the field representing the club? This is what our new manager is referring to and I completely agree with him.

In my opinion there is no doubt that we will not recognise this team in twelve months time, with possible only four who started on Saturday remaining. Recruiting the players who Rooney wants will not be difficult with our new ownership, with priority acquisitions likely being straight down the spine of the team with new numbers one, five and nine.

Add a creative midfield player, plus a holding one, and the picture looks set for the club to make a proper challenge, especially with the return of the first choice full backs in Laird and Buchanan.

Backroom staff, including recruitment personnel, is obviously a top priority right now which suggests the new broom sweeping through the club is giving it’s all.

Wayne Rooney, who has been a divisive appointment for supporters, myself included, is beginning to tell us how it is regarding player performance. His post match comments after the Ipswich game regarding the impact (or not) of fresh legged substitutes is the latest example. I like that.

Sunderland away next, and another test of character. Not least for those players in the starting line up who want to earn a place for a future with the club, but also those on the bench who are now crystal clear about what Rooney demands. Impact substitutes is one thing when behind in a game. But seeing out winning positions when defensive nouse is blatantly needed is quite another.

All pulling together at Sunderland and getting a minimum one point would be good. Going a little better and bagging all three might just result in the tin of Quality Street being passed around the coach on the way home. It’s that time of year.

Mitchell Bray


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  1. Mark R

    If we had a team of Ethan Lairds we’d win the league! He was magnificent v Ipswich—exceptional considering it was his first start for a while following his hamstring issue.
    His personality on the pitch seems to encourage his team mates to excel too.
    Once we get Buchanan, Keshi Anderson, George Hall and hopefully (even!) Tyler Roberts fully match fit, Blues will be a good side in this division.
    They ran out of steam on Saturday, and clearly Rooney and his staff intend to ensure the squad are much fitter, which, as we witnessed on Saturday, could be the difference between drawing 2-2 and winning 4-0!
    Sunderland away will be another really tough test, but if the lads show the same desire and quality we saw in the first half v Ipswich, they’ve every chance of taking home all 3 points.


  2. Ed Truman

    I agree with you Mark. It was a much improved and very encouraging performance for most of the match on Saturday. First half particularly, Blues were excellent. And Laird is indeed a thoroughbred. I could begin to see what Rooney is trying to do as well, and I’m excited for the future. Success may not come this season, but we are certainly moving in a very different direction to what we have been used to over the last decade. Patience is important now.

  3. Smithy

    Rooney pre match against Sunderland is putting onus on the impact subs. This could be a clever ploy. Fair play if it works.

    • Peter

      What Mitchell says makes some sense but Rooney himself must take some of the blame for the substitutions made and the chaotic direction given to them with regards positioning and formation. Also he should NEVER criticise any player however poorly they have played. What does that do for their confidence ? Eustace always backed his players and got the best out of each one. And as to fitness there was never any problem under Eustace.

  4. Mitchell

    This run of awful results now takes on a different situation. This being the quote by our manager after the Sky game declaring that he thought our defence was superb. This fellow supporters cannot be defended by anybody. I am hoping our hierarchy and each one of them digests Rooney’s comments before they have another meal.

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