Date: 20th June 2017 at 8:33pm
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In all levels of football, points can often be won and lost in a midfield battle. The centre of the park is the bedrock of the team – the heartbeat.

Take a glance at the Birmingham City squad. Now look at the central midfielders. You’ll find an abundance of endeavour but an alarming lack of quality.

Even when you single out the personnel, it rings true: Maikel Kieftenbeld, David Davis, Robert Tesche, Stephen Gleeson and Craig Gardner. If it’s honest, workmanlike players you’re after, you won’t go far wrong. Sadly, in the middle of the park, Blues are totally bereft of panache.

Gardner is the closest thing Blues currently have to a little bit of guile. And even that is only the faintest suggestion.

Kieftenbeld can be an asset for the dirty work – the breaking up of play, the harassing and chasing. Ditto Davis. Gleeson can be used in a deeper role, adopted to sit in and recycle possession with no great urgency.

What does Tesche offer?

I’ve said it on this very website before. And again, I address you readers – you ardent Bluenoses – to tell me what Tesche brings to the table.

Tesche’s loan spell at Blues back in 2015 was deemed a success. Admittedly, he did perform reasonably well in a handful of games and seemed to lift the spirit of a squad that was dangerously low on class.

However, the German didn’t set the world alight. And it can be argued that signing him was the cheap and easy option – and a popular one with the fans who remembered fondly his combative style.

The reality is that his combative style has evaporated since Gary Rowett bought him to the club permanently one year ago.

Rather than being a midfield enforcer, a battle axe or a creative mind, Tesche takes on the role of a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Gianfranco Zola rated Tesche but he came and went before you could say ‘stop giving the ball away’.

Harry Redknapp arrived and chopped Tesche out of the squad for the final three games of last season, surely an indication of where he sits in the managers thinking.

Blues fans – do you agree? Answers on a postcard…

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