One Or Two Things…

Just a couple of things regarding the blog…

- The content and upkeep of this place has been absolutely terrible over the last few weeks. Apologies for that. I’ve been having to deal with one or two things away from the blog. Hopefully things will be a bit more normal again from now on. I’ve caught up with a lot of things behind the scenes today and I’m crossing my fingers that it’s a sign of things to come.

- Comments – I’ve had to turn public commenting off. I don’t have the time to manually go through each and every comment and unfortunately, there have been some incorrect accusations aimed in my direction so therefore, I have decided that membership is the best way for people to comment on articles here.

I’ll post more details tomorrow on how to go about commenting if you still wish to. Meanwhile, I’ll point you in the direction of the Joys & Sorrows forum. It’s mainly run by Kev and a sterling job he does too.

- I know quite a lot of you have signed up with the Fantasy Premier League fantasy football game. Games like that are fairly popular and we’ve been invited to start a league at SquadGod.com. Signing up is free and you can win £10,000! Why not have a go? Click here to sign up.

- New poll on the right hand side. Do you hope Blues go on and capture the signing of Mido from Tottenham Hotspur? Vote now.

The last poll saw 160 votes with 45% thinking that we’ll just about survive, 35% thinking that we’ll end up mid-table, 8% think we’ll go down and the other 12% need mental help!

- Finally, Blues take on Peterborough United at London Road tonight (Tues.) It’s the featured game on Radio WM. No commentary but regular updates for those who can’t be there tonight.

Mido & Ghaly

Is anyone else’s head spinning at just what’s happening with these two deals? The sheer amount of articles and rumours floating around various websites is too much to take in. When such things happen, I tend to stick with Tatts in the Mail. He’s usually closer to the mark than off it and so it seems in this deal.

A few nights ago, a story claimed that both deals had broken down. The story included quotes directly from Mido saying that he – and Ghaly – had had problems with certain clauses that Blues wanted to insert into the contracts.

I sat down with Birmingham to discuss the new contract. I totally rejected some clauses which were included.

Ghaly’s situation is just like me, his negotiations with the club have stalled for the same reasons. I don’t know what will happen next.

I won’t go to Birmingham unless these clauses are changed, otherwise I will return to Tottenham and wait for another offer or remain at Spurs.

It doesn’t exactly sound like someone who wants to play for Blues, does it?

Since then, we know that the issue is not wages. And we also know that Mido wasn’t speaking for Ghaly since Blues hadn’t even met with the midfielder when Mido released these quotes!

The story’s become somewhat clearer over the last 24 hours or so and there’s lots of stories currently doing the rounds that Ghaly has signed for Blues. Ghaly will be a good signing if it’s true. At the time of writing, it hasn’t been announced on the official Blues site  which leads me to believe that it’s a) not true or b) Blues are desperately trying to wrap up the Mido deal to announce both together. I can’t see what good it would do either Ghaly or Blues to announce a signing before it happened.

The story regarding Blues and Mido being a “million miles” away from happening doesn’t bode well, does it? It’s made a lot of people quite angry and there seems to be a lot of people going to extremes.

There’s those that blame Mido. He’s a trouble-maker, arrogant and they do not want him. And those who blame Blues for making grand statements and making big bids for players like Mido knowing that they wouldn’t sign him in the first place due to ridiculous clauses that the club’s going to install.

I’m in between. Mido’s a difficult player to handle. We’ve known this from the start. But are we able to sign someone with his ability – or should that be potential ability? – who hasn’t got lots of baggage with them? I’d say no. If Mido plays to what he’s capable of and didn’t have such a chequered history in the game, we probably wouldn’t be in the running to sign him in the first place.

As far as I’m aware, all the stories of Blues being interested in Mido were announced by him. Bruce has only spoken about him when called upon it after Mido told journalists. Blues have tried to treat this transfer like any other. However, it seems to have gotten out and now certain Blues fans are blaming the club for it. I don’t see it that way. After all, our other transfer have been done very professionally this time around.

Stories have done the rounds that Middlesbrough are now interested in the player. Yeah, a lot of people have their noses out of joint about that one! After all, ‘Boro seemed to be linked with every single player that we are, albeit a couple of days later. I don’t think there’s anything particularly sinister. I’d just like to believe that we’re competing at a similar level, despite this only being our first season back after a brief absence.

Initially, it wouldn’t have been beyond reason to think that they were perhaps interested in taking Mido from Tottenham Hotspur due to them selling one of their striker – Yakubu, perhaps? However, Gareth Southgate has dashed such hopes and so we’ll have to look elsewhere if the Mido thing doesn’t come off.

Time’s getting on and we’re still a left back, a centre half and a striker light. The Mido thing – up until a few days ago – was done and dusted. Now, it’s looking decidedly dodgy and I’m not comfortable with us scratching around for a striker with so little time left. Certain sites have made a simple leap and suggested that we’ll resign Andrew Cole from Portsmouth. I can’t see that happening. £6m transfer of Mido from Spurs turned into a potential freebie for a 35/36 year old from Pompey. The Blues board surely know better…

Part of me still thinks we’ll tie Mido up. It’ll take a few days but usually we get our man. All this has made me more dubious of the man though. Announcing the potential transfer and then the contract problems like he did and then going on to suggest that he’d be perfectly happy to stay at Spurs and wait for another club isn’t exactly inspiring or making the fans believe that this is where he wants to be.

Regardless, he can be a quality striker and a quality striker, as we all know, can be the difference between staying up and going down at this level. As usual, it’s going to be an interesting time…

Rafa, Jerome, Djourou & Signorino

A few player related stories popping up today. Nothing truly spectacular so I might as well whack them all together in one blog.

Black : Rafa can be Prem star – I don’t know why but when I read this story, I wasn’t enthused at all. Usually if Black gives a player a ringing endorsement, I feel a lot more confident but I don’t get that sense with Schmitz. Maybe because he sort of skulked in, no fanfare, through the back door? I don’t know, either way, I still feel like we need at least two centre halves.

The plus side is that he has a good left foot and has played full back before. If we do sign Ridgewell from Aston Villa and Johan Djourou from Arsenal, it means that Sadler could be fighting it our with Schmitz for the one left back spot available.

I think I’d be okay with that although I still would’ve preferred Paul Konchesky. Wouldn’t we all? I’d much rather have Schmitz – although admittedly, I don’t know much about him – at full back than Robinson from West Bromwich Albion. He simply wouldn’t be good for team morale.

Jerome : Attack is the best way forward – All in all, a very encouraging read.

I said yesterday that I believe Brucey will have more of a go at playing attacking, attractive football this season and Jerome looks as though he’s confirmed that. There’s no way Bruce will be able to keep everyone happy if he decides at some point that it’s not working. There’s too many quality attack-minded players to keep happy this time around.

The stuff about players playing on form and not on name is interesting too. I think Jerome – despite people expecting big things of him – knows that he isn’t going to be first choice, at least initially, and will have to wait for his chance to come along. Missing a couple of chances at Championship level is fine. In this league, you have to take at least one of those chances if you want to survive. I think he knows that and is prepared to work at it.

Blues still keen on Djourou – I think Arsenal have got bigger things to worry about at the moment! Maybe we should organise an SAS type raid to just nick Djourou in the middle of the night?

I think he’ll end up coming here despite it having gone quiet in recent weeks. There’s lots of articles talking about Djourou today. Him and Ridgewell and that’ll be us done for this transfer window. They’ll all be bedded in for when Chelsea rolls around in a few weeks. I’ve been very impressed with the way we’ve gone about things this window and Djourou and Ridgewell would seal the icing nicely on the cake.

Blues in for French full back – No doubt that this link has come from Eric Black’s time in France. If this happens, it’s unlikely that we’ll sign Ridgewell and Djourou. I’d say that Djourou is likely to be put on the back burner if this one comes off.

I could’ve sworn I blogged about Signorino about a week ago but a quick search shows that I haven’t. If this one develops further, say a link in a local, I’ll perhaps blog about it more in depth.

Next Page →

Explanation!

You have arrived at the archive site of the Birmingham City blog Joys & Sorrows. If you were looking for fresh, meaty stuff then this way, please.

This section of the site covers the blog portion of J&S from 26th April 2006 - when the site returned after a catastrophic hosting failure causing the loss of over 500 articles - to 28th April 2008 - when I decided to have a prolonged rest from the site.

Here, if it so takes your fancy, you can find every single article, totalling over 1,000, written by myself and many others over that two year period.

Unfortunately, the formatting on some of the posts is a little rough but since this is an archive, it doesn't matter too much. Nothing is unreadable although a great deal of the links will now, sadly, be broken. So internal Joys & Sorrows links will lead you to 404 errors.

I decided to archive them in this way because I wanted to start something fresh for the main part of the site. Hopefully you'll be able to see that up on the main portion of the site now.

Commenting for the archive section has obviously been switched off. You can flick around the archives by using the 'Find It' function in the middle column or the respective 'Categories' or 'Archives' headings in the sidebars

- Aff, 03/08/08.