View From The South – What Do You Think Of It So Far?

No readers I’m not going to go all Morecombe and Wise on you and shout RUBBISH! On the whole, we’ve done OK but there is no doubt that we could and should have at least six or seven more points than we have. A combination of missed opportunities and some simply appalling refereeing decisions have cost us points. I won’t dwell too much on the officials since the ineptitude shown at times simply should not have mattered.

Blues have had enough chances even given our lack of fire power to have risen above such shortcomings and if you add to this plain and simple fact that we contrived to put in our two worst performances against Middlesborough away and Bolton at the Reebok it is not difficult to see why we find ourselves with only 19 points at just over half way in the league programme. We lie 16th at present, a position I felt at the start of the season where we would probably finish up although admittedly this is at the lower end of the range I estimated. (13th – 16th)

The recent run of games have highlighted where we stand in the Premiership. We failed to beat Reading because of a stupid back pass resulting in a needless penalty that allowed them an undeserved point. (same for the West Ham defeat come to think of it!) The crossbar then saved them twice – Two points gone the way of all things. At Bolton we were truly abysmal with three gift wrapped presents presented to an opposition that were rubbish too!

Middlesborough, were equally generous on Boxing Day, thank Heavens, allowing us an easy 3 – 0 victory. The Fulham game was spoiled by a gale of a wind that virtually scored their goal for them but poor defending contributed. As for Old Trafford, well I didn’t expect to get anything else but beat but somehow feel disappointed that we didn’t prise a point away from the champions.

Good performances are fine but are use nor ornament if you still get nothing from them. Still, only losing 1 – 0 was far better than I had expected. My lowest moment was the final sixty seconds at Goodison Park where we threw away our hard earned point and conceded not one but two goals in that nightmare period.

So it’s on to January and the transfer window. Key acquisitions at this time of the year can undoubtedly make or break a season. Examples include one Christophe Dugarry who transformed us into a side that survived easily from one that was likely to have to scrap for our collective lives.

One cannot let this pass here without mentioning Harry Redknapp’s miracle act in saving an appalling Portsmouth side from deserved oblivion with it seems to me, the purchase of a virtually new team! OK they rode their luck but we contributed to our own downfall with a series of expensive loans and signings that failed to live up to their billing. I steadfastly believe there are at least five or six teams in the Premier League that are worse than us. I will not list them since I am sure most of you know who these candidates are and I see no merit in rubbing the noses of the long suffering supporters of those sides in it.

So what do we need? (The following represents the personal view of the author and bears no relation to Birmingham City Football Club PLC’s policy now before or in the future etc etc etc plus any other disclaimer, legalese b*****ks!):

First of all, whomever we buy or get in on loan, PLEASE make it so that they can pass a football 5 – 10 yards to a team mate! We are the third worst team in the league for pass completion – 66% and this explains a lot as to why we cannot win games consistently.

Defensively, we require more height and pace starting with two centre halves. Jaidi is off the African Cup of Nations and is not a long term solution anyway leaving us with Ridgewell and Schmitz who are simply not a good enough combination. Our defending from set pieces is brittle to say the least. We also need another left back, a perennial problem for as long as I can remember.

Our other acquisitions should be a classy attacking midfielder like Dunn who has never been satisfactorily replaced. Our other urgent need is a top quality out and out striker to provide more goals – another perennial problem. Any other areas strengthened would be a bonus but those five players whether loaned or bought are an absolute must. Without putting on rose coloured spectacles, I think Blues will be OK but if this were an end of term school report the phrase “Could do better!” springs to mind. I hope and believe with our new manager and his undoubtedly proven coaching staff that better times can be expected – let’s hope so eh?

Happy New Year Bluenoses.

Ironing Out The Problems

I know there’s still a big, black gap at the bottom of the blog that needs filling, I know that registered users still can’t leave comments and I know that you may not have gotten a reply to an email that you may have sent me… these things are all on my To-Do list. A list that would’ve been considerably shorter had Mrs Aff not caught the ‘Girl Flu’ and had me playing the caring, considerate partner routine…

Last month was a good month for Joys & Sorrows despite the blog being away and Blues not having the best of months. The forum saw that busiest month ever in terms of posts and people were still sending in articles to help get the blog back online. That sort of stuff is really appreciated and I’m glad that J & S has a solid and knowledgeable community who make both the forum and blog great places to be.

As well posting like mentalists, they also opened their wallets and donated almost £200 to a local charity. It was decided at the beginning of December that we would, as a forum, donate some money to local charity at a time of year when money is traditionally tight. We chose SPoCC – The Society of Parents Of Children with Cancer – a Birmingham Children’s Hospital based charity that do exactly what it says on the tin… the donation page is still open (I’ll probably close it at the end of February) and you can find out more about it and donate by clicking here.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had people send in some articles – the latest being from Bazza, creator of the popular ‘View From The South’ articles. I’ll post his latest offering shortly – Note that it was written before the Huddersfield debacle.

Hello Again

First of all, let me wish you all a Happy New Year and say that I hope you all had a fantastic festive period. I certainly did although I’m not relishing the idea of going back to work tomorrow.

After a couple of weeks worth of delays, laziness and putting it off, I’ve gotten around to a bit of a redesign of the blog. It’s not complete yet but I wanted to get it rolled out to show that this place isn’t dead and that I’m still interested in running a decent Blues blog.

So here is… the new design. What do you all think? Comments welcome.

I’ll update more over the next few days with plans for the place as well as what’s been happening on the forum over the Christmas period. It’s been a busy month.

- Aff

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.