ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Birmingham City
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Birmingham City
Posted by Arun Verma on 09/01/2010

Negativity, nerves, tension. Can this new Blues side get things together after two poor performances? Yes, it is the results that count, but they've hardly set the world alight with their performances.
What now?
Where to now?

Bolton? A tremendous attacking display was matched only by the calamitous capitulation at the end...and we're back to square one.

N'Zogbia is set to sign, and Blues fans can once again raise their heads and fill their hearts with anticipation...oh...wait...nope, he's not coming, nevermind.

Now what?

...Now it's time for Deadline Day. Blues fans knew that this was important, and Alex McLeish well and truly delivered. After the N'Zogbia affair, Blues needed to bring in new blood and they needed to bring in someone of quality.

However, when Blues fans started to hear rumours of Alexander Hleb and Jean Beausejour coming to the club, very few will have even thought this to be a plausible prospect. Yes, Blues had money left over, we all knew that. But Hleb?! Why would he want to come to Blues?! However, as time ran away, stories emerged that his negotiations with Benifica had broken down, and Blues looked a good bet.

The signings of Beausejour, Hleb and Martin Jiranek have gone far to re-invigorating Blues supporters, with Alex McLeish finally achieving his aim of enhancing the squad, not just replacing like-for-like. Whether Hleb is still up for the fight, waits to be seen, but this transfer has all the hallmarks of a Brucie special.

When Steve Bruce pulled out his very own rabbit out of the hat, French international Christophe Dugarry arrived at St Andrews to shock up-and-down the land. This guy was an international star...why was he in Birmingham?! Did he really want to be there?!

The answer to the latter was a resounding yes. Dugarry changed around the fortunes of Steve Bruce's side, and he wrote his name in the folklore of St Andrews. His hat-trick against Southampton was more than just three goals, it was a masterclass of sheer genius.

As it was confirmed that Hleb was a Birmingham City player, my first text message sent to a fellow Bluenose summed up my emotions perfectly.
"Blues sign the new Dugarry. Alex Hleb."

If Hleb really wants to make a mark once again on the Premier League, this could work out perfectly for both player and club, and Blues fans could be in for a treat. Yes, he isn't the same player he used to be, but he is an exceptional talent, and he could well become a star.

The arrival of Hleb and Beausejour gives Alex McLeish a great array of options, and what he does now will be a point of interest for many. Larsson, Gardner, Ferguson, Bowyer, McFadden, Hleb and Beausejour will all be expecting to start, but with Keith Fahey also in the ranks, McLeish has some decisions to make. The competition between the midfielders should hopefully inspire the likes of Larsson and in particular McFadden to up their performance levels.

The only negative after the closing of the window is that McLeish never managed to secure another striker, but he will hope that loan striker Matt Derbyshire can prove to be a masterstroke. Derbyshire is something of a fox-in-the-box type, and he could well prove to be a younger alternative to Super Kev. He'll come on late in games when Blues need a goal and he'll look to feed off any scraps in-and-around the box.

A move for Cacau fell through, and the Dembele deal never happened, and Blues fans can only look and dream of what could've been, after two impressive performances from Delembee for Fulham.

However, it's time for Blues fans to take stock.

Three games in. A win, a defeat (EDIT: well, that's what it felt like!) and a draw. That only tells half the story, but the real stories lie in the deals done by Alex McLeish. He's managed to attract talented, young players to the club, and players of the calibre that we could only dream-of a few years ago.
Ben Foster?
Nikola Zigic?

Pinch yourselves Blues fans, trust me, this is real. We are a club on the move.

Onwards and upwards.


Posted by Kev on 09/01/2010

Quote "Three games in. A win, a defeat and a draw."

Who was our defeat to Arun! ;-)

Hope you're well mate.


Joys and Sorrows.

Posted by Arun Verma on 09/01/2010

Oh dear, thanks mate!


Posted by Kev on 09/02/2010

No worries, it's easily done. I bet you could find 3 mistakes in my articles for every one you might make.

I wrote a similar article to yours on J&S - have a look. (Feel free to point out any mistakes too!) :-)


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Arun Verma Arun Verma - I'm a student, and a massive Birmingham City fan. Football has played a massive part in my life since I was just a child, and the World Cup in '98 turned me into a footballaholic; my very first love was the beautiful game. My aim for the future is to become a sports journalist and in little over a year, I can say that I feel extremely privileged to have received the opportunities that have come my way. Apart from ESPN Soccernet, I also write for the official Birmingham City Football Club Matchday Magazine, Made in Brum, which is an unofficial Blues magazine, and (using the tagname akvbcfc). If you would like to contact me about anything I have written about, feel free to email me at

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