The Optimist

Another week chocked full of good news and cheer for the youthful Joys & Sorrows optimistic blogger known as Jay.

Hi everybody, sorry for the lack of articles in recent weeks. I have been rather busy with college, work and whatnot. But I am back at last.

First of all I would like to start off with the win over Wigan last week. What a game it was! It had everything, goals, fouls, drama, ups, downs and of course, 3 points for the Blue boys. Again, I was at the game last week and thought it was a great game to watch. Of course we had the bad points, such as the defending at times, but overall I thought we actually played very well, we controlled the game and scored 3 goals. Brilliant. Another plus point was the crowd and the atmosphere, I think the fans got behind the players brilliantly and the noise when we scored the 3rd was brilliant. It is about time that we get the atmosphere back at St. Andrews and I am delighted that we are starting to make home games intimidating again.

Another plus point from the crowd was the chanting for Steve Bruce. I joined in as I have backed him since we he turned it round against Derby and WBA last season – And I think a lot of the fans have seen what a brilliant job he is doing this season. There have been quotes in the paper about how he appreciated it and I think he should – A lot of fans were patient with him last season and he has re-paid us with his signings and the way the players are going about their business this season.

Next up, Daniel De Ridder. Well, as I have only seen him in the flesh for 5 or so minutes at Chelsea and against Wigan I can only really give a first impression. And that impression is – Awesome. He looks like the player we have lacked for a long time, a winger that can beat a man time and time again, cross a ball, and work his socks off. He looks like a real prospect and I think the closest thing we had to him was Pennant, and I think De Ridder can be twice the player Pennant is. I hope that Bruce can nurture him and make sure he gets the best out of him, whilst also keeping the kid happy at Blues and make sure he doesn’t get snapped up by one of the bigger clubs.

Moving onto something of humongous proportions. Aston Villa at home, 11th November. I can’t wait myself, the banter has already started with my mates and the bets have been placed. I hope it lives up to the hype it has been receiving from fans of both clubs and I expect that it could be a brilliant derby, only if Blues win of course. There isn’t much more to say on that matter and until full time I don’t want to brag too much.

Moving onto a match closer than Villa – Everton tomorrow. I don’t really expect a fat lot from Goodison Park, Everton are a very good side, with quality players like Arteta and a man we all know very well Andy Johnson. They have looked solid at home when I have seen them and I think it’s a game that will be similar to Man City away. I think with Villa coming up, it’s worth looking back at our form over the years before the Villa game. We have never beat them at home and won the previous game in the Premiership!
I’m going to be optimistic as the title says and go for a 1-1 draw. Jerome bagging the goal.

I’ll wrap up this weeks article by talking about the sad news of Wilson Palacios’s brother being kidnapped in Honduras. There isn’t much I can/want to say on this matter as it should be treated with care. All I want to say is that I hope for the immediate and safe return of his brother and that he has the best wishes of every single Birmingham City fan and every single person that knows of this news.

So that wraps up this weeks folks!

Have a good weekend. Keep Right On.

Welcome Back To ‘The Optimist’

I’m going to start my second article with a big ‘Well Done’ to all the players and staff at Blues for our last 2 league performances. We travelled to Liverpool not expecting much, and let’s face it, we were amazing defensivley. From the word go at Anfield, every single player was fantastic, but as per usual, there was a downside. Oubina, supposedly a cracking player, injured, probably won’t be seen in a Blues shirt again, unfortunately.

Then the next league game, Manchester United, champions, at home. One word – Fantastic. I thought we were brilliant, head and shoulders above them in the first half, but par for the course, we mess it up for ourselves and lose the game. A lot of people I know were angry after the game, I for one was quite happy, frustrated, but happy. I thought I had just witnessed one of the best performances from Blues in the last few seasons, and it makes me even more optimistic.

That leads us onto the next few games, Blackburn, Man City etc which could prove vital, but after the last few games, I am very optimistic about the upcoming games, and our chances of picking up a few points.

Moving onto the cup, Bruce played our second XI away at Blackburn. For me there are two ways this could be taken; What is he doing, does he not care about the cup? Or, Who cares? I think the fans at the game would’ve taken the first option as their first impression, but I thought it was a wise choice off the back of an amazing effort from the lads at Liverpool, they deserved a rest, and surely everyone realises that the league comes first?

In all honesty I don’t care about any cups this year.

Onto things off the pitch, and David Sullivan has yet again opened his mouth, surely a man that short can’t have such a huge mouth!? Anyway, he has recently said that if Carson Yeung does not complete the deal by Christmas, he will pull the plug.

The only logic I can see from this is Sullivan wanting a bit more publicity. Let’s face it, he hasn’t said anything for a few weeks, he needs a few more column inches. He could do with a few more inches on those legs also now I think about it. I think Sullivan is just trying to get some publicity, Yeung has blatantly said he wants to buy the club by New Year, so why does Sullivan need to come out and shout his mouth off? It’s anybodys guess.

Moving onto the squad, we seem very short on numbers now that Vine has gone and Forssell is out. First of all it seems a little odd to me that Vine has been allowed to go. He may not play much, but surely we need more than 2 strikers?

Wasn’t this the whole problem last time round, not enough strikers, not enough goals, not enough points? The only logic I can think of is that the Forss will be back very soon, because I really cannot see any other logical explanation to why Bruce would only have 2 out and out strikers available.

Saying that, we have only been playing with one striker, and Kapo in behind. And we also have McSheffrey who can go upfront, leaving Kapo to go out left. We do have options and I think we will be okay.

Moving on to this weekend now, Blackburn away. A really, really tough place to go as many teams have seen, even us last week. I do think that this week will be a completely different ball game to the Carling Cup tie, and I do think we have a chance of getting a point, but nothing more. I think I’m going to go for a 1-1.

Have a good weekend,

Welcome To The Optimist!

Welcome to a new weekly column here at Joys & Sorrows. Every week, young forum user ‘Jay’ has kindly agreed to write a piece for the blog. I asked him since he’s the most optimistic Blues fan I know. He reminds me of how I used to be… I think the blog could do with a bit of optimism and Jay will certainly bring that. He follows Blues both home and away.

We hope to have a piece here every Friday. His first offering is below. Be kind!

Firstly I will start with the game against Bolton last weekend, for once this season we got a decent crowd, and got a result.

I thought that during the game, the boys played really well, a high tempo, hard-working performance in the middle, and we seemed to try and counter them quickly, which was encouraging.

What really stood out for me was the spirit that the players were showing, they were running all over the place, working for each other, putting their foot in and trying so hard to get forward.

Overall, a really good showing and Larsson for me was the outstanding player of the day, covered every blade of grass and he is getting better and better.

After the events of Saturday, the attendance, the performance and the 3 points, I think everyone associated with the club should be very happy, and hopefully going into the clash at Liverpool, everybody is in good spirits.

My only gripe with all of this is that we don’t push for more goals when we get that goal. Bolton looked scared at the back on Saturday, but as Bruce always does, he sits on that lead. Don’t get me wrong, I think Bruce is doing a very good job, but I think you only have to look at some of our biggest and best wins to see that you have to push teams and attack them to score goals, I think if we are going to get anything at Anfield, we need to be positive and press.

The way to do that for me, initially is to play the same XI this week, although I think Bruce will change it, I can see Oubina playing instead of Muamba, and Kapo being replaced by Johnson if he is fit, otherwise I can see a Nafti-Oubina-Muamba partnership in the middle.

I just hope we don’t sit back and get tanked 7-0.

Moving away from the actual ins/outs of the games against Bolton and Liverpool, another interesting story for me is that of David Gold and Mushroom-gate.

Personally I think that Gold is spot on, the thing is, as he said, he is going to be mostly, on his own in this attempt to reduce prices. Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea etc. will simply not reduce their own prices by 20%, they fill their grounds anyway, be it with tourists, their own fans or just neutrals.

Although, I do hope that Gold, Yeung and Sullivan do the same as they did against Bolton many more times this year, as the atmosphere was so much better.

From a fans point of view, I think they will back Gold in large proportions, and now he has come out and publicly called for a price drop, I think there will be a rather large backing from fans across the 4 leagues. Hopefully something will come to fruition by next season.

Moving onto Saturday, Liverpool away. They really have started the season well, but we do have a half decent record at Anfield, 2-2 draw, 1-0 win, a win here and there at home also.

I think that we can really get something from the game, Liverpool got mullered at Portsmouth last weekend, and looked rather shaky at the back. I think a lot rests on how Rafa rotates his side, if he goes all out for a home 3 points, we could be in a spot of bother, but I can see a few players rested and with Blues full of confidence I am going for a 1-1 draw.

Some people may be surprised at my optimism but why not be positive? We are 12th in the Premiership, level on points with the boys from down the road, and we seem to be improving. So, let’s get behind the lads, the manager and the board and enjoy the weekend, hopefully taking a point or three from Liverpool in the process.

Have a Good’Un!


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.