Birmingham City man reveals ‘freshness’ concern as Blues suffer from wasted transfer windows
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Quarter Note Notes
Birmingham City are almost a quarter of their first full season under Lee Bowyer.
The Blues are in 16th place, with 12 points in 11 games and have so far organized an unbalanced campaign.
Indeed, this first quarter can be divided into two practically equal halves, after six games, the Blues were seventh, having won half of their games and with a positive goal difference of six.
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it was a little over three weeks.
Since then they have lost four of five, taken just one point, seen their goal difference collapse to -5 and drag them down the table.
Defensive strength eroded and opportunism in front of goal gave way to nervousness. The international break is timely.
And so, at the risk of aggravating the laws of recency bias, Blues writer Brian Dick is giving out ten marks for the campaign so far – all of it. Not just the last five games.
Matija Sarkic (11 appearances)
The Montenegrin is one of the three players who have played every minute so far. After a wobbly preseason, he and Luton’s Simon Sluga have kept the cleanest sheets in the championship – five.
He’s been impressive with his kicks and sweeps behind the last three. The Blues have disclosed 12 in the last five games and to be fair, you can’t attribute a lot, if any, to the Wolves loaned player.
Maxime Colin (11 appearances)
Colin is the second man to have played the 990 minutes. Saturday, he mentioned the “freshness” as a problem for the Blues. And this is hardly surprising. No position demands more than the rear wing, and Colin wasn’t faultless – but he wasn’t prone to mistakes either. The season started off perfectly with its winner at Sheffield United.
Rating: 6.5 / 10
The rest of the team here.
READ MORE: Chong, Deeney, Bela – Birmingham City player ratings for the season so far
Inevitably, when races like the one Birmingham City are currently suffering from occur in a season, especially so early in the campaign, attention turns to what happened in the summer.
Were the new recruits who arrived at the transfer window the right ones? Are they good enough? Do they adapt to the system? All perfectly logical and understandable questions.
The Blues side which lost to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, their fourth loss in five games, had three Craig Gardner / Lee Bowyer signings.
That’s three of the eight that the former teammates made, all without paying free. Four more appeared on the bench, only one – Juan Castillo, did not appear at all.
At this point it might be informative to revisit the starting XI, paying special attention to the managers / head coaches who brought them to St Andrew’s.
Matija Sarkic (Lee Bowyer)
Marc roberts (Harry Redknapp)
Harlee Dean (Harry Redknapp)
Kristian pedersen (Garry Monk)
Maxime Colin (Harry Redknapp)
Ryan woods (Lee Bowyer)
Ivan Sunjic (Pep Clotet)
Jeremiah Bela (Pep Clotet)
Tahith Chong (Lee Bowyer)
Scott hogan (Pep Clotet)
Lukas Jutkiewicz (Gary Rowett)
Do you notice that something is missing? Let’s look at the bench.
Connal trueman (Home made)
Georges friend (Aitor Karanka)
Dion sanderson (Lee Bowyer)
Riley mcgree (Aitor Karanka)
Jordan graham (Lee Bowyer)
Chuks Aneke (Lee Bowyer)
Troy Deeney (Lee Bowyer)
A new name appears, that of Bowyer’s predecessor, Aitor Karanka.
One final exercise before we get into the thick of the article, let’s compare how much effort has been put into improving the respective head coach team / team.
READ MORE: The ‘wasted windows’ spoiling Birmingham City Championship ambition
Maxime Colin believes Birmingham City have met “the first bump in the road” under the leadership of Lee Bowyer.
The Blues suffered their fourth loss in five games on Saturday, a 3-0 loss to Nottingham Forest, in which recent problems were once again highlighted.
Bowyer’s side have had plenty of scoring opportunities – but haven’t found the net in six hours, spread over those five games – and have also scored 12 goals in that span.
That left them into the international break in search of answers, with Colin hoping the 11 days before their next game will be plenty of time to “reset”.
Speaking after Saturday’s game, the defender admitted: “Obviously we’re losing way too many goals. I think five or six games ago we almost had the best defensive record in the league.
“In the last five or six games we’ve completely thrown it out and as defenseman five we’re not happy with that.
“We concede too many goals and you can’t win a game if you concede that many, especially with the way we play. If it takes two or three goals to win a game, it will always be difficult.
“I do not know [what has changed]. I would say the team is not that fresh. When the team is not so fresh, we struggle a little more physically.
“You want to do well and I don’t think anybody wants to throw things away, certainly not. It’s about can you do it physically? That’s more the question.
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“It’s hard to know why it’s not working at the moment, otherwise I would have known the answer but the international break came at the right time, that’s for sure. We will be able to reset a bit.
“It’s the first bump on the road since the manager’s arrival. We’ve done really well since the end of last season, so we can’t ruin everything.
“But it’s a big bump in the road, so we have to fix it.”