Archive for the ‘Birmingham City Articles’ Category
On Tuesday Birmingham City and Chelsea prepare to do battle again after 1-1 draw in the first game at Stamford Bridge, for the right to face Leicester City at home in the 6th round of this season’s FA Cup .
With both teams not in the best of form at the moment this game will come as a welcome break from the chore of the league and a chance for either team to get that bit of confidence a win could bring to the team for the remainder of the season .
Birmingham City will be without new loan signings Ramage, Townsend and Huseklepp who are all cup tied and Carr, Murphy, Caldwell, Davies and Fahey all doubts .Chris Hughton is likely to turn to the fringe players who have served the club well during their cup exploits this season in the Europa league and FA Cup.This could mean recalls to the starting line up for Adam Rooney, Nathan Redmond, Wade Elliot and some of the fringe players from the youth team who be looking to impress boss Chris Hughton.
Chris Hughton Commented “All we can ask is that they give this club what they gave us in the first game and that will give us a chance.
Chelsea come into the game with the sacking of manager Andre Villas Boas at the weekend still fresh in the minds of the players who are being held mainly responsible for his departure.
Roberto Di Matteo has taken over as temporary Manager until the end of the season with ex-Birmingham City player Eddie Newton coming in as number 2 at the London club. Matteo will be seeking some sort of response from the players to salvage something from what could be a season defining game as this is their only realistic chance of silverware this season.With things at Chelsea so tense its unlikely that Matteo will risk resting any of his star players and will want to get off to a good start in his own pursuit to secure the vacant managers position on a permanent basis.
‘Birmingham is a tough opponent. They defend very well and they don’t give you much space. I know how Championship football is and it is going to be a hard fight with lots of long balls to deal with. We have seen how difficult they are to beat because we have already played them at Stamford Bridge. We will have to be ready for that.” says Roberto Di Matteo
Stats : Head to Head @ Birmingham…
Birmingham City won 16 .. Chelsea won 17 .. Drawn 13.
Birmingham City : Doyle, Spector, Ibanez, Davies, Reilly, Redmond, N’Daw, Mutch, Elliot, Rooney, Zigic.
Chelsea : Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Sturridge, Torres,
Referee : Anthony Taylor.
Prediction : Birmingham City 1 Chelsea 2
BLUES vs Derby
BLUES v Derby
0 -10 mins
Already see the difference Ndaw makes in midfield, Mutch has had a dribbling shot and Townsend has had a soft shot from 6 yards that looped into the keepers arms
Lots of head tennis but no real football being played. Townshend shoots, deflected off Huseklepp 1 – 0 to BLUES
20 – 25 mins
A stupid tackle from Davis gives away the free kick and gets himself booked. Derby getting more into the game working the their left-wing and testing new boy Peter Ramage. Ramage does well but concedes the corner.
30 – 40 mins Blues seem to have taken their foot off a bit, Derby becoming stronger and gaining confidence. Blues defence resolute as normal but then Barker manages to get a free header but it goes over the bar.
40 – 45 mins
Corner to Blues taken by Townsend who gets it back takes a shot which deflects for a corner. Better pressure from Blues thats the 3rd corner on the bounce, Huseklepp’s header hits the bar.
2 min extra time
Derby again in blues box, Davies picks a ‘fight’ with Tyson and wins, good defending by Davies
Half Time Blues 1 Derby 0
45 – 50 mins Townsend shows pace down the left and wins a corner, Mutch takes,cleared to Townsend who hits the post, still blues, Ndaw tries a low shot but off target.
50 – 60 mins
Derby are still working Ramage who concedes another corner, counter attack by Blues but no help for King and eventually peters out. Ndaw wins another tackle in midfield and plays a great ball to Burke on the right-wing, great cross, but no-one running in. Townsend makes a great charge down the middle and takes all the defenders with him and plays a lovely ball for King to get the glory and finish with a low shot across the keeper 2 – 0 Blues. Derby sub, Ben(whooo)Davies on for Nathan (whooo)Tyson
60 – 70 mins
Derby attack down the left its crossed and Davies seems to have the box to himself, Myhill gets his hand to the header but not enough and Derby get one back.
Townsend and Huseklepp link well down the left but play comes to nothing. Blues have switched off in defence, another attack and Derby get through too easily and score 2 – 2. Derby starting to improve and appear that they can cut blues in half whenever they choose.
70 – 80 mins
Blues sub Zigic on for Huseklepp. Blues win a free kick on left from a foul on Townsend. Mutch takes it but it comes to nothing. N’daw hits another of his long shots, this time on target but tipped over by the keeper, corner to blues- Mutch takes but too low. Zigic seems to be causing problems, He runs through the middle but the shot is blocked by 2 derby defenders, both get injured.
80 – 90 mins
Redmond on for Burke to try and get the winner, Blues have control but are getting nowhere. Zigic booked for diving and replay shows that derby got lucky, Can’t moan at the ref, we have given the game away ourselves. Derby subs Callum(whooo)Ball on for Steve(whooo)Davies and Jake(whooo)Buxton on for Tom(whooo)Carroll
4 mins extra time
Townsend again down the left but Zigic fouls needlessly in the box and gives a free kick to Derby. Redmond wins a free kick down the right, Zigic’s header gets a deflection – corner to Blues .Bad corner is swung back in by N’Daw – cleared off the line by Derby. Liveliest 4 minutes of the match for blues but no cigar.
Referee blows for full-time – 2 points lost
What now for Blues?
Complacency is my word of the day.
We now sit 6th and if Cardiff win their game in hand we’ll be 7th.Long way to go but it don’t seem so rosy lately.
Myhill; Spector, Caldwell, Davies, Ramage; Burke, N’Daw, Mutch, Townsend; Huseklepp, King.
Ibanez, Gomis, Elliott, Redmond, Zigic.
booked Davies(27) King(40) Zigic (89)
BLUES GOALS Huseklepp 19, King 57
Derby Goals Davies 61, Robinson 66
Bluenose crowd – 17996 (Bluenoses 16581, Rams 1,415)
Referee – Paul Tierney
Chris Hughtons Interview
Chris Hughton admitted that his team need to regain the defensive solidity that has been one of the keys to their success so far this season.
Blues looked to be cruising to a comfortable win today courtesy of goals from Erik Huseklepp and Marlon King until a quick-fire double from visiting Derby undid all the good work.
The Blues boss felt that his side had looked uncharacteristically fragile at the back as they twice allowed the Rams the time and space to restore parity.
“It was very frustrating – to be 2-0 up at home you’d expect to go on and win the game,” said Hughton.
“In the last couple of games we have conceded uncharacteristic goals by our standards, but that happens.
“It’s such a long, hard season and it’s very difficult to go through it without having a few of the lows that go with the numerous ups that we’ve had.
“But we have to learn from this and look to pick things up for the next league game.
“We’ve been so good all season defensively and we need to get back to that solid unit and showing the quality that we have.”
Blues may feel as though they have let two points slip through their fingers today but with over a quarter of the season still to go today’s result is by no means catastrophic, as the manager was keen to stress.
“The plusses are that it’s not a game that we’ve lost and it gives us a point that keeps us in the top six at the moment, but we need to get back to winning ways,” confessed Hughton.
“It has put more pressure on the forthcoming matches, especially as you can’t see too many of the teams around us losing too many games.”
One of the main positives to come out of this afternoon’s match was a terrific performance from loan signing Andros Townsend in only his second appearance for the club.
The Tottenham man gave the Derby defence a headache all game with his purposeful forward runs and dangerous balls into the box.
Hughton admitted: “He’s a talent. With all wide players they can be a bit up and down but I thought he was excellent today and at the heart of a lot of the good things that we did.
“He was always a threat particularly towards the end when we were pushing to win it, but I thought his overall contribution was good.”
Blues now look forward to a big night of cup football as they prepare to welcome Chelsea to St. Andrew’s in Tuesday’s mouth-watering fifth round replay.
“At the moment all my thoughts are on this game today,” admitted Hughton. “But come the morning I’ll switch on to Tuesday night’s game and when you’re at this stage of the FA Cup you want to make progress.”
by JK Cornwall (Member of birminghamcityforum.co.uk)
(P = Promotion, Play-offs or Perpetual championship depending on the depths of your Partisan beliefs).
On Saturday, Blues will be entertaining Derby, unfortunately they are another East Midlands side that are having a mediocre season and they are one of the few teams in the league that could actually ‘do the double’ over us. Let’s face it, if we play like we did against Forest we wouldn’t bet against it.
Quick and brief word about the Forest match, a little confused why we fixed the starting line up when it wasn’t broke, and felt a bit sorry for the likes of Elliot who hadn’t done too much wrong of late and didn’t manage to feature even on the bench. There again, we ain’t Chris Hughton and in Hughton we trust.
This will be Blues’ 46th game of the season.
In their last 6 matches they have taken 1 point ( lost 5,drew 1 ). In their last 6 away matches they have taken 5 points ( won 1, drew 2). They arrive at St Andrews having lost 1- 0 at home to fellow East Midland rivals Leicester.
Blues in the league have taken 11 points from our last 6 (won 3, drew 2).In the last 6 home games we have also taken 11 ( won 3, drew 2,). Blues are on a run of just one defeat in the last 15 league games, let’s hope we can keep it to one in 16. Chris Hughton has had the luxury of a whole week break from a fixture and hopefully will be suffering from a dressing room sore throat.
This fixture will hopefully be the start of another good run without defeat (including Chelsea) and will be a chance to show the rest of the teams in the league that it was just a blip and not our ‘due’ slump in form.
The FORUM posters think that poor old Derby will be on the end of a drubbing, nothing personal against Derby but we have to show that the team are not happy with our performance against Forest and that we can play much better, more clinically in the finishing department and a lot faster in midfield.
Blues have conceded just 8 goals in the 17 they’ve played at home in the league this season, fewer than any other team in the league. Only Man City(6) and Shrewsbury Town(7) have better home defences in all leagues but they have only played 13 and 14 home games respectively.
BLUES 3 – Derby 0
by JK Cornwall (Member of birminghamcityforum.co.uk)
Blues vs Derby - NPower Championship Saturday 03rd March - at St Andrews -
Birmingham City will lock horns with Derby County on Saturday at St Andrews with the Blues hoping to get back on the winning trail against their Midlands rivals after being beaten for the first time in 16 games against Nottingham Forest last weekend .
Derby manager Nigel Clough has a different kind of problem with his team coming into this off the back of a terrible run of form which as seen them only take 2 points from a possible 18 in their last 6 league games dropping them from the brink off the play off’s to 15th place and with a defeat to Premier League Stoke City in between making it 7 without a win.
Chris Hughton will nearly have a full squad to choose from with only Stephen Carr out with injury and will also be able to add all the new loan signing’s Huseklepp, Townsend, Folan and Ramage to the squad. For the first time this season it will give Hughton a bit of a selection poser ahead of the game.
Hughton commented “What we’ve got at the moment are players that have come in and are desperate to do well here and that will help us.”
The Rams Boss Nigel Clough has John Brayford out through injury and will decide between Naylor or Green for the vacant right back spot otherwise it looks likely he will stick with same starting line up he went with in their last game a 1-0 defeat at home to Leicester City.
Clough said “Birmingham have been on a terrific run recently, 15 games unbeaten I think it was, before losing at home to Nottingham Forest last week.
“Hopefully that has dented their confidence a bit. Forest went there not on the best of runs and we haven’t scored for a while so hopefully we can go there and have a go at them as well.”
Stats head to head : @ Birmingham …
Birmingham won 27 … Derby won 12 … Drawn 11
Possible Teams :
Birmingham City : Myhill, Ramage, Caldwell, Davies, Murphy, Burke, Fahey, N’daw, Townsend, King, Huseklepp
Derby County : Fielding, Green, Shackell, Barker, Roberts; Hendrick, Carroll, Bryson, Ward, Ball, Tyson
Referee : Paul Tierney
Prediction : Birmingham City 3 Derby County 0
By hootie63 (Member of birminghamcityforum.co.uk).
Eric Husekleppp Debut at St Andrews
So Birmingham City have signed 5 players on loan until the end of the season, but what do you know about them? and their past footballing history . Here we will try to fill in all the blanks so you know them a lot better .
First through the door came striker/winger 27-year-old Norwegian international Erik Huseklepp signed from financially stricken Portsmouth .
He was born in Baerum Norway september 5th 1984, Huseklepp started his senior career with Fylligen at the age of 20 in 2004 where he spent 12 mths making 42 appearances with them before moving on to SK Brann in 2005. He spent the next 5 1/2 years on the fringes of the 1st team mainly being used as an impact player until he had a falling out with the club over a planned move to Celtic which he claimed was ruined by Brann for not reaching an agreement, only for then to see AS Bari come in and pay £1.5million for him a week after the Celtic deal collapsed in January 2011.
He played 14 games for Bari before they were relegated to Serie B and with the following financial problems brought on by relegation Bari were forced to let him go and
Portsmouth stepped in with a 1.5million bid which Bari agreed and he signed a 3 year contract with the Championship team at the start of the 2011/12 season. He went on to make 27 appearances for Pompey before financial problems then administration meant Pompey had to lighten the wage bill and he moved to Birmingham City on a 6 month loan in February 2012 with view to permanent deal much to Portsmouth’s fans dismay.
So he has been at 2 clubs and both sold him because of their financial problems, so lets hope the only hat-trick he gets is on the pitch with goals.
I also had a look around the internet in some of the forums and below are some of the thoughts from the Pompey fans.
A very promising player who since he joined has just got better and better.
It is obvious that he is still learning the game and as yet we are not sure if his best position is on the wing or down the middle or even both as a forward.
He was one of our best players and one we were hoping to have a great future at our club. It is very sad to see him go. I understand why and wish him all the best in his new career at Birmingham City.
To be honest I did not find a bad word said against him and i can see why he talks so highly of the club, fans and also the fact he would love to knock Southampton out of the top 2 places. Lets hope we show him the same affection and one day he will want to turn over the vile as much as we do.
Another place I looked was of course the Birmingham City Norwegian Supporters Club for some insight into this young player, but without speaking Norwegian this became a semi dead-end. I have sent an email asking for their thoughts and as soon as I get it I will add it to this article. In the mean time I did find this report in Norwegian which Google translated, much to my amusement. I added it below, enjoy.
Birmingham City Norwegian Supporters Club Website Link
But the team went on a surprising 1-2-bang against the bottom team Nottingham Forestand lost ground to Southampton in the promotion battle.
- Of course there was disappointment that we lost. But the team has not lost at home before this season. Sometimes it so that the loss comes when you least expect it, saysKlepp Remember to BA.
Huseklepp was inserted as a striker when 22 minutes remained on the clock.Birmingham was below 1-2 and hunted desperately goals.
Huseklepp was not the savior Birmingham fans were hoping for, but he had several niceinvolvements during his tenure on the court.
- It was okay. I feel like I had shown me a little forward, said Huseklepp.
With a little more luck would have actually been scoring. Huseklepp was in the process of puzzling through the Nottingham-defense when he was stopped at the last minute.
- I came almost to a chance, but I did not find the opening to shoot, says Husekleppabout the situation that arose at the very end.
He was also close to a crossbar return. Huseklepp won head duel in the field, but had tosee the header to be averted.
WANT TO START
Thus it was no dream debut. Now Huseklepp do everything he can to become the first choice of manager Chris Hughton.
- I arrived two days ago, so I did not expect me I should play from the start today. I hope to play from start gradually, that’s what I plan, he said.
- I feel in very good shape.
Tonight puts Huseklepp heading back to Portsmouth, where he is until Monday. As the journey continues on to Belfast to prepare for Norway friendly against Northern Irelandon Wednesday.
A few memories of yesteryear.
By trev984 (Member of birminghamcityforum.co.uk)
My first game was Blues v Portsmouth on Saturday 26th October 1935. Blues 4.0 Portsmouth. I don’t remember much about the game, I was only 3 and half and on my dads shoulders. I remember a lot of men in Blue and white and men in Red and white running around. In case you are wondering I know the date because we were all sent out of the house because my mum was due to have my little brother. He was eventually born on the 29th, hence how I know the date.
Soon after this we moved from Muntz Street, Small Heath, to Cregoe Street, at the top of Holloway Head. We used to get to the games by way of walking down Holloway Head, across The Horsefair, and into and along Smallbrook Street. At the Bull ring, we would walk down, and along Digbeth to the Coventry Road then up Kingston Hill to the ground. It was called Kingston Hill, because of the Kingston Cinema on the left, where the car park is now. I saw a few more games before the war and they were all big gates. Kids like me were lifted up from the back, and passed over the heads of the crowds down to the front. It was advisable to wear wellies. I wont explain why, you can guess.
I suppose I must be one of the few people around today who saw Joe Bradford, and Harry Hibbs play, although Joe Bradford had retired in 1935, and of course do not remember him playing. I have met him though a few times when he came into the old “D” club in the late 60s and 70s.
After the war, I used to either come down in Dads car or on my bike, which I always parked up by the side of the maisonettes on the left coming up Kingston Hill, for two pence. I remember in 1945/1946 when we won the League South, I think it was our last game against Charlton Athletic. We were winning 1-0 when they had a penalty. Their goalkeeper, Sam Bartram came running up to take it. Gil Merrick was in-goal. Bartram smashed it against the crossbar, he hit it so hard it bounced back beyond the penalty area. It finished 1-0 to Blues and we won the league. We never got much credit for that win, in spite of all the London clubs being in it. Nothing has changed there then!
Going back to pre-war, I don’t remember much about the games as I was 8 when the war started, but I do remember the Arsenal game in 1939. I think we lost because I cried all the way home. The Everton game was memorable too, but only because of the huge crowd of around 66000 I believe. For years, we were up and down from one league to another. Nothing changes! Although a lot of us were a bit niggled because having won the League South Title, when the leagues resumed we had to go into the 2nd Division from pre-war.
Inter Cities Fairs Cup
In Season 55/56,I remember the first Inter Cities Fairs Cup Game at St Andrews. ZAGREB. I think about 40000 attended on a Monday night; we won 3-0. Bryan Orrit scored first, right after kick off, and a lot of fans missed it. The second by Eddy Brown and third by Peter Murphy, both in the second half. The Inter Milan game in April 1957 was a cracker. Alex Govan ( he of “Keep right on to the end of the road “fame) scored after a free kick from Gordon Astle. Govan then scored a second in the second half and we won 2-1.
Season 1957/1958 we had Barcelona come down here and at the time I thought it was a small gate considering it was Barcelona and later found we only had about 30000 in the ground. When you think we could easily get 50000 in, the ground looked empty. Again we scored almost straight from the kick off, from Eddy Brown and they also scored back almost straight away. It was end to end stuff. They scored next 1-2. Then Orrit netted for us, 2- 2. Then they scored again 2-3, and then Orrit equalised again for us 3-3, i am tired just thinking about it, half time. The second half was almost an anti climax, until Murphy scored to make the final result 4-3 Blues. The second leg in Barcelona ended 1-0 , therefore 4-4 and a replay in Basle, Switzerland. This unfortunately ended 2-1 to Barcelona and we were out.
1955/1956. FA Cup run.
What can I say? Every single round away from home. In round three my Dad and me, in his old pre war Morris 8, went down to Torquay in the January. 7-1 Blues. We travelled back up the old A38, through Bath and broke down half way up that bloody hill coming out of Bath. Got home next day. No telephone at home back then, so had to send telegrams. Then next down to Leyton Orient for the 4th round. No segregation in those days, everyone mixed together. It was trouble free though and we won 4-0. Away again for the 5th round at the Baggies. 1-0.Blues with Spud Murphy scoring. I seen to remember a fair few drunks at this game. I was a young copper at this time, and Albion was right on the boundary of my Division so I knew a few of the lads.
Quarter finals, Arsenal at Highbury. My Dads car seemed to know the way to London by now. We had been down to Millwall the season before too.. I was amazed by the size of the crowd, I believe around 60000. I had an uncle in Kingsbury near Wembley and we met up before the game. Had a couple of pints but as I was driving- no Breathalyser’s then- I didn’t have anymore, unlike my Dad and my Uncle. We won 3-1 but on the way home we ran out of petrol. We managed to get some just outside of Banbury.
Semi-final. Sunderland. Neutral ground, away again. Played at Hillsborough and got lost on the way there. Couldn’t understand the Yorkie accent either. Damn awful terracing in those days; part slag heap at one end. Anyway it was worth the trouble we won 3-0.
Birmingham City vs Manchester City F A Cup 1956
Then the final at Wembley. Manchester bloody City. Can you believe? I got tickets OK again but couldn’t get leave, no one would change shifts with me. To make matters worse, I was on the 2pm to 10 pm shift. Had to sell my ticket. Dad went by himself. When I turned up for my shift it got even worse, I was posted to Hockley Brook on traffic control. A six ways junction and stood there in the middle of the road until 6pm. Couldn’t even hear the radio- I had no idea of what was going on at Wembley. Two of these roads went to and from Aston, and believe me the traffic on them had a lot of delays that day. When I was relieved at 6pm, I found out the score. We had lost 3-1. My old Dad always said it was my fault for not being there. He reckoned I was the lucky mascot.
One game I do remember was back in 1954 just before Christmas. Blues 9-1 Liverpool. I’m not sure where this score stands in our highest score category, but I think quite highly for post war football. I can’t recall a better one, however for the life of me I cannot remember who scored the goals. No doubt one of you reading this can post it up. I think I’ve reminisced enough for now, plus my memory box is not as good as it used to be.
Bye for now. Trev.
By hootie63 (Member of birminghamcityforum.co.uk)
Chris Hughtons 3rd placed Birmingham City will be going into the match looking to extend their unbeaten run to 16 games and preserve their unbeaten home record this season when they welcome Nottingham Forest to St Andrews.
With Steve Cotterill‘s Nottingham Forest struggling at the wrong end of the table any points they can take away from their host’s ground would be a welcome Bonus in their battle to avoid relegation.
Both teams will be coming into the game on the back of good away wins so we could be set for an interesting game with Forest certain to try and contain what could be a rampant Blues attack at times to ensure that they at least take a point away with them.
Chris Hughton will be able to field a near full strength team with Nikola Zigic, Guirane N’Daw, both possibly could return to the squad after recovering from injuries and new loan signings Erik Huseklepp and Andros Townsend could also be added, the only certain absentee is Stephen Carr (knee).
Steve Cotterill has less of a selection problem with so many injuries to his team he is down to the bare bones with Radi Majewski and David McGoldrick joining Ishmael Miller, Marlon Harewood, Matt Derbyshire and Brendan Moloney on their lengthening injury list and missing out this weekend. On the plus side they will be able to welcome back Greg Cunningham in to the squad for the game .
With Cotterill saying “We are going to go there looking to do well in the game and will try our utmost to get a positive result.”
Stats Head to Head : @ Birmingham —
Birmingham City wins 20 … Nottingham Forest wins 18 … Drawn 12
Birmingham City : Myhill , Spector , Caldwell , Davies , Murphy , Fahey , Gomis , Burke , Mutch , King , Huseklepp
Nottingham Forest : Camp , Chambers , Wotton , Higginbotham , Elokobi , Gunter , Moussi , Guedioura , McCleary , Reid , Tudgay
Referee : Roger East
Prediction : Birmingham City 4 Nottingham Forest 1