Date: 9th November 2020 at 3:00pm
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With back to back home defeats, against Wycombe and Bournemouth, leaving Birmingham City in the old familiar lower reaches of the Championship table, supporters are beginning to see the same old pattern.

Add to these defeats – the loss to Sheffield Wednesday at home and a lucky draw against Rotherham – what has actually changed?

Aitor Karanka has brought in players he feels he needs, with Adam Clayton and George Friend from former club Middlesbrough, and a mixture of others who have been made available for him to bring in. Early days, yes, with only eleven games completed and this international break will hopefully get a few injured players back.

We certainly do need a settled team and players being used in their proper positions, not players who are being tinkered around. This I am seeing with Karanka’s decisions. The Bournemouth game left a number of supporters amazed even before kick-off, with not one wide player starting, even though Leko and Bela were on the bench. Keifenbeld and Davis returning added to the confusion. Dan Crowley who is decent, appears to have gone down the plughole. Undoubtedly Bournemouth knew from that teamsheet that a decent first half would secure their winning points.

Nobody who genuinely supports Blues expects much, and disappointment is as regular as night follows day, but where for heaven’s sake is the reality check for any incoming manager regarding our most pressing needs?

We need pace up front and a finisher. We have what must be the slowest and sluggish pair in any division and this is no way disrespectful as they do not select themselves. We have midfielders coming out of our ears and an abundance of central defenders with Clark-Salter added on loan.

Many will point to the absurd cliche ‘work in progress’ which we all get, but in reality, this phrase is always trotted out when things are not going well. Karanka needs to get up to speed with this Championship division and realise goals win games and since his absence, teams like Luton, Barnsley, Brentford and Rotherham have goals in them.

Add Preston to that list and you see why 17th in the table is where Blues deserve to sit.

We have been looking in the wrong direction for some time now with our striker pairings – Juke and Hogan – and as the transfer window closed it appears that either Karanka was happy with them or he couldn’t actually get what he wanted over the line.

My hope that it was the latter as for me the former is worrying.

 
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5 Replies to “Birmingham City – Reality Checks Emerging”

  • Pity we don’t have a rich takeover of the lub like Derby have just had. Nothing will change as we stand and our fight for 50 points survival will continue. As regards strikers then Hogan and Jutkiewicz will have to do as there is zero coming through the ranks.

  • Rowett gave us hope when he converted an average group of players into a real team. He was sacked and the rest is history. The sequence of managers since shows our owners seem dazzled by Spanish names. We knew Karanka was a defence addict and we are getting what we deserve. No way was Hogan worth a 4 year contract and we need Leko, Sanchez and San Jose to live up to their hype but we must get a couple of strikers in the next transfer window. I really don’t think Karanka is the type of manager we need.

  • Brian is right and this crazy Spanish element must surely be a very cheap option.However since we do not even own our ground at B9 then each season now appears just a bonus to be able to complete the fixtures. Derby getting wealthy owners says it all and nobody can tell me that if Blues were a proper outfit these type of takeovers would certainly have ranked Birmingham higher than Derby.Nobody comes within miles for us.

  • The difference between the last few seasons and now is that Karanka has been given autonomy and has recruited the players he wanted. As a result we are over-stocked with defenders and mid-fielders which suits his tactical management style but means we have virtually no strike power. Unless we address that problem we are doomed to yet another season of fighting relegation. The end of December has to be judgement day for Karanka – if he controls recruitment in the transfer window will we get strikers or more of the same?

  • Hi Mitchell, I enjoy your articles and largely agree with what you say. I would make the point that to be successful at any level in football, the team has to be based on solid defence. There is no doubt in my mind that AK has improved this immeasurably since I am sure that I don’t need to remind all the contributors here that we were shipping three goals a game only a few weeks ago. Yes, I would love to see a marquee signing of a fast deadly striker coming in but there aren’t that many who are that good and those that there are are playing for Barca, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern, PSG etc. I can remember poor sides like Derby cruising this division with strings of 1-0 wins but they got found out in the Premier League with a paltry 11 points when they went up. As I said on Joys and Sorrows, it’s going to take two to three years in my opinion so patience is what is needed. Chin up mes braves!

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