Friday, 24 October 2014

Rival Lines: "It's been time for Clark to go for some time," says Often Partisan

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Birmingham v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Often Partisan

I caught up with Daniel at the Often Partisan blog, last Monday, on the day of Lee Clark's dismissal at Birmingham City. As you might have guessed I felt a little awkward in asking some questions but also wanted to know what Birmingham fans reaction was really like to the change that had ow happened and whether they were confident that Birmingham's results would improve.  

CC: Do you feel it was time for Lee Clark to go?

OP: Absolutely, 100% - it's been time for him to go for some time. One home win in the league in 24, in 389 days is abysmal.

CC: Who is the man who can lift Birmingham out of the bottom half of the Championship?

OP: Good question. We need someone who has experience and who can motivate existing players because they will not get money to spend.

CC: Which result has been most pleasing this season for Birmingham fans?

OP: Probably the Brighton one because we actually won at home!

CC: How do is Wes Thomas doing up front?

OP: So-so. He tries hard, he runs - sometimes he has good efforts but he is a limited player and it does show.

CC: While you've beaten Brighton at home it's still not really happening for you at St Andrews yet, why do you think that is?

OP: Honestly? Lee Clark. I think results may pick up now.

CC: How experienced are your back four as they have only had one clean sheet?

OP: Fairly experienced - in Paul Robinson's case wayyyyy too experienced. It's not about a lack of experience, it's about the lack of quality conjoined with a lack of cohesiveness. Too many changes, too much trying to accommodate the skipper (who shouldn't be in the team) ...

CC: Birmingham have scored quite a few first half goals but have conceded a lot in the second half of games, so are you a bit of a first half team?

OP: We can't play more than 45 minutes a game at any tempo for some reason, we just fall apart every now and then. That limited nature of players (and previous manager) I think.

CC: Which Birmingham player has impressed you most so far?

OP: Demarai Gray. He will go far.

CC: Have Birmingham been unlucky in some games not to get more points as you have had a lot of score draws?

OP: A little; the Ipswich game we should have got more out of (robbed by the ref) and Charlton away we could have got more out of; Brentford away we should have been out of sight at half time.

CC: Was the Fulham game the lowest point for you this season considering their league position then or was another game worse?

OP: Bolton was the worst for me, I wasn't at the Fulham game as I was in HK so I can't really say

CC: How do you think the team will line up against AFCB?

OP: Actually not sure. Randolph, Caddis, Hall, Edgar, Grounds, Davis, Reilly, Gray, Brown, Arthur, Donaldson? Depends on the management situation.

CC: Do you think the spirit around the club is better this season and do you think the team is anywhere close to getting back to back wins (question set before Bolton and Blackburn games)?

OP: It probably is with the fans with today's news (Lee Clark has just been sacked). The club as a whole though still has the whole HK ownership thing dangling over it.

Thanks for taking the time to answer all those questions Dan. There aren't many managers left in the Championship who were at those clubs last season now. The need for success has never been greater and while we wait to see who grabs the manager's chair at Birmingham City it looks like AFCB will be lining up against the Blues. It was also interesting to hear about points that have been dropped against some teams by Birmingham. AFCB have had their slip ups from winning positions too, but when you are in the bottom half those draws don't seem as good. Looking at Birmingham's home record I am sure that they will come out trying to upset the record book as a weight has probably been lifted from the fans now that a change has happened and spirits will be high as the home team look for a boost.

To catch up on the latest Birmingham City news, head over to the Often Partisan website.

You might spot Damien at the Birmingham 
match, he does like his inflatables!
While we are thinking about Birmingham City, my good friend Damien Hill (Twitter @hill_franco) was asked by Birmingham City's programme editor to profile the AFC Bournemouth squad for their match programme.

This is Damien's view of the players at the Cherries that you should see if you buy a programme tomorrow at the game:

1- Lee Camp. GK
Joined from West Brom last season on loan and signed a permanent deal in the summer. Spent 4 years at Forest making 163 apps 2009-13. Steady the ship last year but lost his place recently to loan signing Artur Boruc from Southampton.

2- Simon Francis. RB
Mr Consistent for the past couple of seasons, but at the end of last season and the start of this one he has really come into his own. Pacey defender who can run all day and can pass and cross the ball well. Has a eye for goal. Player to watch!

3- Steve Cook. CB
Joined from Brighton on loan in 2011 and signed a  permanent deal 2012. Great header of the ball and not afraid of a good tackle. He has formed a solid partnership with Tommy Elphick and has scored a few goals including a worldie overhead kick against Ipswich last season. Get in!

4-Dan Gosling. MID
A recent signing from Newcastle Utd, box-to-box midfielder and has mainly been used in cup games this season scoring in every round so far. Quality player and has good ball control and a turn of pace.

5- Tommy Elphick. CB
Captain fantastic. Also joined from Brighton in 2012 and has his own pre-match ritual (head butts the goal post). Solid defender and good in the air, but not as quick as Cook. Still, they have good understanding. Lost his place at he start of last season due to injury, but brings calm and leadership to the team.

6- Andrew Surman. MID
Started his career at Southampton and joined us on loan in 2005-06 and then joined Norwich City in 2010. He re-joined us last season on loan and signed on a permanent deal this September. he links the midfield to the forward line well, but just needs to score a few more goals. Solid player with a calm head.

7- Marc Pugh. MID
Our very own Jordi Cruyff. Usually plays left wing, but can switch to the right. Dazzling foot work with good pace and good crosser of ball. Will also pop up and score few goals. Crowd favourite.

8- Harry Arter. MID
Plays centre midfield and is a tough hard player. He can lose his temper easily and has a tendency to end up in the ref’s book. Also knows where the goal is and will work his socks of running all day.

9-Tokelo Rantie. CF
Our big money South African international striker from Malmo last season. He has failed to make a massive impact so far, scoring only 3 goals in 30 games. But he is a firm favourite with the crowd and 'if Rantie scores were on the pitch!' - is how the saying goes. He's got a big heart and big smile.

10-Brett Pitman. CF
Re-joined us in 2012 after a less than fruitful 3 years at Bristol City. Played a pivotal part of our promotion in 2012 scoring 22 goals along the way. Spent a lot of time on the bench last year and the same again this year. Nicknamed 'chicken' because of his running style.

11-Charlie Daniels. LB
Great left back and loves to over lap on the wing. Solid player and can ping a ball into the box. Suffered a heal injury last season and has not fully recovered and has lost a little bit of pace.

13-Callum Wilson. CF
Our £3 million pound signing from Coventry this season. He scored 23 goals in 55 apps for Coventry from 2009-14. Started well with us and has scored 8 goals so far. Speedy and loves to attack the defence and will run and run all day. He is young and still learning his trade, but the future is bright for him.

14-Ian Harte. LB
Legend. Don't need to say much else. Still wears his heart on his sleeve and still gives 110%.

15-Adam Smith. RB
On the books at Spurs from 2008-14 but spent most of the time loaned out including to us in 2010-11. Joined us last season and is mainly cover for Simon Francis. Good young defender and is also very quick.

16-Shaun Macdonald .MID
Joined from Swansea in 2011 and is a great work horse in centre midfield. Has a nickname of 'the Welsh Zidane' and has similarities to this great player. Lost his place recently but adds quality to the bench.

18-Yann Kermorgant. CF
Big, tall, rock centre forward. Holds ball up well and has bags of experience. Links up the midfield to the forwards well as he normal plays just behind Callum Wilson and will flick the ball on or run himself.

19-Junior Stanislas. MID
Has Premier League experience with West Ham Utd and was with Eddie Howe at Burnley. Great winger and has lots of pace, but yet to get a good run of games to find his best form.

20-Ryan Fraser. MID
Wee man from Scotland. A very, very nippy winger who loves to run at defenders. Has a low centre of gravity and is very nimble, also another player to watch.

30-Matt Richie. MID
Plays right wing mainly, but can play on the left and loves to cut in on his left foot. Great striker of the ball. Joined from Swindon in 2013 and was a massive statement of intent from us. Another player to watch. Doesn't score tap in’s

31-Artur Boruc. GK
Recent loan signing from Southampton with oodles of experience with Legia Warszawa, Celtic, Fiorentina and 58 apps for Poland. Massive presence in goal and has settled in quickly. Commands his area and uses the ball well.

32-Eunan O’Kane. MID
Started his career at Everton in the youth team and joined AFCB in 2012 from Torquay. Great midfielder and always wants the ball and most attacks will start with him. He'll usually will a play holding roll, but will get forward and can unleash a fierce shot.

1 comment:

  1. Not so long ago Artur Borac was on Birminghams books. Unfortunately, he was not wanted at Brum.