I didn`t intend to stir up Christmas cheer with this post. But this really is the season that Bluenoses can be jolly. Or at least it is so far.
Blues can be commended in so many ways. First and foremost, the high level of performances we have witnessed are to be praised. Won two, drew two – four games against potentially tough opposition, two of which are promotion favourites.
Gary Rowett hasn`t set his team up to sit back and nick a goal, far from it. Birmingham City are actually playing football and competing with all that the Championship has to throw at them.
Sorry for getting excited. Perhaps my enthusiasm stems from seeing Blues go from potential relegation fodder to a very decent second-tier team in less than a calendar year. For the first time since Chris Hughton took the reins from Alex McLeish, Blues have top-flight aspirations.
Secondly, the fresh approach to the transfer window that Rowett is adopting is, well, fresh. No more signings just for the sake of it (see several Lee Clark signings) and no more desperation loanees who play quite well for 25 minutes never to be seen again (see Brian Howard).
Rowett, simply, bides his time and refuses to bring in players that he thinks will not improve the squad or offer a different option. And because of his patience, the success of his signings has been top class.
To be fair to Mr. Clark, he did make some very good signings. Stephen Gleeson (the most underrated Blues player) Paul Caddis (the Bolton hero) Jonathan Grounds (Mr. Consistent) Clayton Donaldson (talisman / target man) and David Cotterill (statistically on of the Championship`s most productive players) were all signed by Clark. But it is Rowett who seems to be getting the best out of them.
Several key first teamers have put pen-to-paper on new deals recently, all because of Rowett. But let`s hope Panos Pavlakis takes the bull by the horns and offers Rowett his very own new deal – with a massive ‘get out clause`. Premier League`s sacking season will soon begin and Rowett will be sought after?
Finally, the fans are back on side. The attendances at St. Andrew`s are on the increase again and the feel good factor is rapidly returning. It isn`t the world that Bleus fans long for – it is a decent side who produce some decent football and give their all. The rest will click.