Here is another article from guest writer Lauren Round.
It’s now December, Christmas is edging nearer and I’ll admit like many others I’ve caught the festive bug. I’m optimistic as of late, the Blues have made good progress this season, defying a traumatic previous season and a hectic summer that brought numerous changes to the club. I haven’t ignored a few recent bad results; I’ve just taken them in my stride. These opportunities to collect points have been squandered, but they can’t dent my enthusiasm for the Blues this season. I simply believe that these results have been unfortunate and their mishaps every team faces, although I do consider the theory of it being a “Europa League Hangover” as the papers have called it over the weekend, yet I still value my own simple analysis above this one.
Yet when everything is going well, there is always something dark looming that could potentially threaten the existence of our current happiness, the menace that is the transfer window. Having already endured a clear out in the summer, and a pretty big one at that, to ensure survival of our club, as well as satisfying players premier league ambitions, we as the fans already have knowledge of how difficult the transfer period can be for a club. It’s not just difficult for the club itself, it primarily affects the fans the most, who watch the quality players leave the club, losing most likely a favourite player in the process, as I did with Craig Gardner this past summer.
Rumours have been circulating since the last transfer window; talk of Davies, Ridgewell, Mutch, Redmond, Beausejour, Carr and Zigic exiting. When I look at these names, some I know will inevitably depart from the club but others are highly unlikely and it would be a surprise if they did so. Top of the list of who I believe will be departing from the Blues this January is our defender whose versatility has seen him be able to play in either the role of centre-back or as left back, former Villa player Liam Ridgewell. The former West Ham youth protégé had already expressed his desire to find a new club nearing the end of the transfer deadline in the summer, which was rejected by the club, as well as a floury of offers for him.
I was happy to see Ridgewell stay at the club, since the departure of Craig Gardner, I had adopted Ridgewell as my favourite player in doing so I have been ignorant to the fact he is a want-away player. Now I have taken this fact into account, I’ve began to analyse why I value him so much as a player. I’ve come to the conclusion that although he is a player of high quality and a player who should be playing at the top level in the premier league, the real reason I’m so keen for him to stay is the fact that he is one of the last remaining players, who was primarily in Blue’s starting XI last season. He was part of the team that finished 9th in the 2009/10 season in the premier league, he was part of the starting XI that won the Carling cup on that glorious day in late February and he was part of the team, that as young bluenose I had come to recognise as the Blues.
On deadline day it was Newcastle who conveyed apparent signs of interest in Ridgewell, but with Newcastle on fine form this season, do they still need/want Ridgewell? Obviously I can understand the appeal of Ridgewell, his versatility would be highly useful in case of injury in the defence, but if he did leave Blues for the Magpies, I think he would spend more time sitting on the bench than actually playing for them, which I feel would be a shame. Another possibility and likely one is that Ridgewell may join a lower table club in the premier league who are in danger of being relegated at the end of the season, like our former centre-back Scott Dann has done.
Others I believe may leave St. Andrews this January are Jean Beausejour and Nikola Zigic. Beausejour’s quality has shone much greater than last season, and has shown at times outstanding effort; it would be a real shame if we lost a player who has found great form as of late. There was interest in him in the last transfer window and there is bound to be more in him this time round. I was pleased however, to read in a newspaper recently, that he is requesting not to be sold. I am hoping this is true and he will continue to be a valuable asset for the club. Nikola Zigic, on the other hand, I have no reluctance in saying goodbye to. His height seems to be his only advantage, and little quality has been displayed by him in the league and Europe this season and I see him as an incredibly clumsy player who doesn’t have great awareness like every good striker should have (that dreadful penalty against Braga, testifies this!) so isn’t the most valuable asset to the Blues.
To the other end of the scale, the players I truly can’t see leaving St. Andrews this January, these being the young midfield talents Jordon Mutch and Nathan Redmond. Both would probably be out of their depths leaving Blues, not because of a lack of quality, that is not the case both are flourishing talents, but because of their age. It would be a huge shock if they were to leave simply because of this reason; I see them staying put at Blues and continuing to develop with us. Captain Steven Carr is another I can’t see finding the exit door. The pace of the championship suits him and his quality shines even more than last season. With Carr being of a matured age, I think it is unlikely he will leave as younger players have done, because he has fulfilled his ambitions that other young talents have yet to fill, during a fairly glittering career. Curtis Davies I doubt will depart; he has shown good progress under the management of Chris Hughton and seems content at the club. It would be unfortunate if he was to go when he began making such valuable and important progress.
On New Years Day the transfer window will open again, and Blues may lose more players which will be unfortunate for both the club and the fans, but Birmingham City will remain strong and the fans will continue to keep right on with them and that’s what really matters.