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Back to Basics - Birmingham City Story

bcfc1

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May 27, 2013
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April

1. Leicester.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Sottil, Bellingham (Sunjic), Garner, Jones (Gotts), Heredia (Jutkiewicz), Martinez

A good start to the month as we get 3 points away from home against Leicester. It is going to be a tough month so I’m hoping we can continue to get results like this.

2. Leipzig.png


Henderson, Justin, Milenkovic, Pierie, Seddon, Podence, Sunjic, Witek, Bulbul, Nketiah, Jutkiewicz

A good win in the first leg but the own goal from Sunjic gives them an away goal which could be important come the second leg. They didn’t have a single shot on target in the game and didn’t deserve the goal but now we have to go into the second leg knowing that if we lose 1-0 we will be going out of the competition.

3. Tottenham.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic (Pierie), Todibo, Davies, Sottil, Bellingham, Garner, Jones, Heredia, Martinez

An incredible win here as we were ruthless in front of goal. Two goals in the last two minutes of the game made the score line look even better but the game was over before them when it was 4-1. This win means we are almost certain of securing Champions League football for next season.

4. Leipzig.png


Henderson, Gotts, Milenkovic, Pierie, Justin, Podence, Sunjic (Bellingham), Witek, Jones, Nketiah (Heredia), Jutkiewicz

It wasn’t a classic performance but it was enough to see us through thanks to the late goal from Pierie. When we scored the early goal it looked like we were going to coast through but they got back into it and it looked like it was going to extra time before Pierie scored from a corner to take us through to the semi finals.

5. Southampton.png


Butland, Aarons (Gotts), Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul, Martinez, Heredia (Jutkiewicz)

Another good win here against at Southampton team that seem to be in free fall. For the first half of the season it looked like we were going to battle with them for a Europa League place but while we have kicked on, they have dropped down and are looking like a mid table team now.

6. Reading.png


Butland, Gotts, Todibo, Pierie, Davies, Podence, Sunjic, Garner, Bulbul (Jones), Nketiah, Jutkiewicz (Heredia)

A much tighter score line than it should have been as Reading at right at the bottom of the table and we shouldn’t have needed to rely on a 20 yard strike from Sunjic to get us the points. They defended well but eventually we got that goal we needed.

7. Chelsea.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Pierie, Davies, Podence (Gotts), Bellingham, Witek, Jones (Bulbul), Heredia, Martinez

A great win here against another big side. We really are capable of matching anyone at the moment. We got the goal early on and then we also missed a penalty in the second half that would have made our lives a bit more comfortable but in the end it wasn’t needed as we held on for the win.

8. Man City.png


Butland, Gotts, Todibo, Pierie, Justin, Sottil (Davies), Sunjic, Garner, Jones, Heredia (Nketiah), Jutkiewicz (Martinez)

The score line and the time we scored makes it look like we stole a point here but really we deserved all 3. They had two shots on target in the whole game while we had 10 but they took the lead and then held on until the very last minute where Martinez made sure we got at least a point from the game.

9. Arsenal.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies (Seddon), Podence, Bellingham (Sunjic), Witek, Bulbul, Heredia (Nketiah), Martinez

Similar situation to what happened with Leipzig here as we win the first leg at home but the away for them means we will have to be very careful in the second leg.

10. Sheff Utd.png


Butland, Justin, Milenkovic (Todibo), Pierie, Seddon, Sottil, Sunjic, Garner, Jones (Bulbul), Heredia (Jutkiewicz), Nketiah

A nice win here to end the month as Heredia gets a couple of goals which is good as he hadn’t scored since the we mauled Tottenham very early in this month. Garner also got a goal which is good as he has quietly had a very good month for us.


Summary

A busy, busy month as we played 10 games in 30 days. If we had beaten Man City in the FA Cup last month it probably could have been 11 games as well. Anyway a busy month has meant we have relied on rotating the squad and everyone has put in an incredible shift as we went the entire month unbeaten. The defence is still a little too open as we kept on 3 clean sheets out of the 10 games but we scored in every game and I even got the achievement of scoring in 30 games in a row this month, we really have been incredibly consistent in front of goal. Next month will bring everything to an end as we face Arsenal in the second leg and possibly the final if we can past them while we have 3 league games left and have somehow played our way into being involved in a title race, although its unlikely we will win it.

Player of the Month
James Garner


James Garner_ Profile.png


Garner has done exactly what I brought him in for and that is he has given us more control over games. He is playing in a DLP role and he has given us more control in games and a player that a lot of our football now runs through.


League Table

Premier League_ Stages-3.png

 
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bcfc1

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May

1. Arsenal.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic (Pierie), Todibo, Davies, Podence (Gotts), Bellingham, Witek, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez (Jutkiewicz)

And through to the final we go. The game was pretty balanced but we were able to get a late winner as they pushed to try and find a way back into the game.

2. Burnley.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez

A good win here after we scored two early goals and then the game just drifted by. The second half past so quickly that I got up to get a drink when the half started and by the time I got back the game was over.

3. West Brom.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez

Another really strong win here to keep our great record of scoring in games going.


37 Games.png


The league table is looking incredible as we go into our last game of the season. We have a chance of winning the title but we need 3 results to all go our way for that to happen.

4. Huddersfield.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic (Pierie), Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham (Sunjic), Garner, Bulbul (Jones), Heredia, Martinez

Champions? Unfortunately not. We got a great win here but Liverpool also won their game which means we miss out on the title on goal difference. Its disappointing to miss out on the title by such a small margin but the fact that we were involved was amazing.

5. Milan.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence (Gotts), Bellingham, Witek, Bulbul (Jones), Heredia, Martinez (Jutkiewicz)

Champions? This time yes. We were great here and fully deserved the win. We even missed a penalty in the 70th minute that would have made it even more comfortable. Bellingham was great in midfield as he ran the game from start to finish.


Summary

What an end to the season. 5 games, 5 wins, finished joint top of the league and won the Europa League. We played incredibly well in this month as we scored 14 goals across the 5 games and conceded only 2 which were in the 3-2 win over Arsenal. The hope now is that we can continue this form when we come back next season.

Player of the Month
Jude Bellingham


Jude Bellingham_ Profile.png


This lad really is something special. He can dominate a game on his own as he showed in our biggest game of the season as we beat AC Milan 2-0. He is now a regular for England and if he keeps playing like this for us then he will be that for a long time.


League Table

Premier League_ Stages.png
 

andy_14clark

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Aug 18, 2010
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View attachment 492551

May

View attachment 492552

Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic (Pierie), Todibo, Davies, Podence (Gotts), Bellingham, Witek, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez (Jutkiewicz)

And through to the final we go. The game was pretty balanced but we were able to get a late winner as they pushed to try and find a way back into the game.

View attachment 492553

Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez

A good win here after we scored two early goals and then the game just drifted by. The second half past so quickly that I got up to get a drink when the half started and by the time I got back the game was over.

View attachment 492554

Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez

Another really strong win here to keep our great record of scoring in games going.


View attachment 492557

The league table is looking incredible as we go into our last game of the season. We have a chance of winning the title but we need 3 results to all go our way for that to happen.

View attachment 492556

Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic (Pierie), Todibo, Davies, Podence, Bellingham (Sunjic), Garner, Bulbul (Jones), Heredia, Martinez

Champions? Unfortunately not. We got a great win here but Liverpool also won their game which means we miss out on the title on goal difference. Its disappointing to miss out on the title by such a small margin but the fact that we were involved was amazing.

View attachment 492558

Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Todibo, Davies, Podence (Gotts), Bellingham, Witek, Bulbul (Jones), Heredia, Martinez (Jutkiewicz)

Champions? This time yes. We were great here and fully deserved the win. We even missed a penalty in the 70th minute that would have made it even more comfortable. Bellingham was great in midfield as he ran the game from start to finish.


Summary

What an end to the season. 5 games, 5 wins, finished joint top of the league and won the Europa League. We played incredibly well in this month as we scored 14 goals across the 5 games and conceded only 2 which were in the 3-2 win over Arsenal. The hope now is that we can continue this form when we come back next season.

Player of the Month
Jude Bellingham


View attachment 492559

This lad really is something special. He can dominate a game on his own as he showed in our biggest game of the season as we beat AC Milan 2-0. He is now a regular for England and if he keeps playing like this for us then he will be that for a long time.

League Table

View attachment 492560
So unlucky not to win the league. Great effort. And we’ll done on the European trophy!
 
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bcfc1

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May 27, 2013
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End of Season Post

It has been a great season for us as we have had amazing success. We finished joint top in the table and won the Europa League. The league really kicked off for us in the second half of it as our form after January was superb. From February 1st onwards we played 18 league games and won 17 and drew one which was against Man City.

The Europa League was the real highlight though as we went much further than I thought we would and made it all the way to the final where we beat AC Milan 2-0 to secure the trophy. We played some tough teams during the competition including Arsenal, Leipzig and had Marseille in the group stages but we overcame all of them to win the competition.

End of Season Awards.png


End of Season Awards

Due to the fact that we made major changes in January, the team of the year is a weird of players who were good for a whole season and players who were great for half a season. I wouldn’t argue with much there other than maybe the LM position as I would say Jones was more important to us over the whole season than Bulbul was over the half season he was with us.

Podence won the player of the season award after being our main creative force over the entire season. I thought Milenkovic would have made the top 3 at least but Heredia and Bellingham did also have great seasons for us. Signing of the season is the biggest surprise as Pierie was arguably our worst player last season. He was pretty poor at LB and then dropped down to being a backup CB for the second half of the season. Pretty much every other signing had a better season than him.

Squad Overview.png


Squad Overview

Goalkeepers – No changes here. Butland is the number one and doing a great job of it. Henderson is a very good second choice keeper and he seems happy with the game time he is getting from playing in the cups and in Europe.

Defenders – The defence is looking a lot better but some work will be done on it again. Pierie didn’t impress at LB and then I put on loan Davies there so we will definitely need to invest in the LB position.

Midfielders – This is arguably our strongest area of the pitch as we have some real good quality players and decent depth as well. I can’t imagine too many changes here, unless we decide to sell some players.

Forwards – Heredia and Martinez have struck up a good partnership to the point that Jutkiewicz is no longer needed and Nketiah’s 3 year loan with us will now come to an end. We will need at least one new striker to provide more depth but we shouldn’t need major changes.


Plans for next season

The main target for this window will be to bring in a new LB who can improve us and a new striker for depth. After that it will all depend on who we sell.
 
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bcfc1

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Pre-Season

Its been another busy pre-season. I just can’t seem to help myself when I am given a big pot of money to spend. We sold 4 players from the first team, including a massive deal that broke club records, and I have signed 5 players for the first team, although some of these will be rotation players.

Transfers Out.png


Transfers Out

So it is very clear what the big deal here is. Daniel Podence leaves the club to join Arsenal in a deal worth £80mil. The deal is £40mil upfront and then £40mil in installments but we will get all of that money eventually as none of it relies on clauses. I wasn’t too interested in selling him but after Arsenal made their interest clear he wanted to leave and I negotiated for stupid amounts of money and they accepted it. He has been great for us but that money is a great deal for a player who was about to turn 28 years old.

The other deals involving first team players are the sales of Robbie Gotts, Kik Pierie and Steve Seddon. All three had dropped down the pecking order after other signings so I decided to push them out in order to make a bit of cash and save on the wage budget. The only one I’m slightly disappointed to see leave is Seddon as he had done well for us when called upon and was a home grown player but the replacements are a clear step up for the team.


Transfers In

The biggest position to sort out was LB and so the first signing of the summer sorted that out for us as we signed Brandon Williams from Man Utd for £19.5mil. He was transfer listed and looks like he could be a good player for us so the deal to bring him in was a no brainer. He will compete with somebody else that was brought in this summer.

Brandon Williams_ Profile.png


The next signing was a replacement (kinda) for Podence as we signed Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid for £17.5mil. He had just one year left on his deal and so I moved to sign him for a much cheaper fee than he is actually worth. The fact that his value has gone straight up to almost £40mil shows how good a deal this could be for us. He is a very different player to Podence but should still do well on the right wing.

Martin Ødegaard_ Profile.png


The next signing was the competition for Williams as we signed Ryan Sessegnon from Tottenham for £11.25mil. He hasn’t broken in to the Tottenham team and has spent a couple of seasons out on loan but was finally transfer listed this summer and I decided to bring him in. His versatility means he can also fill in at LM if we need him to as well which helps.

Ryan Sessegnon_ Profile.png


The next signing is a striker to compete with Heredia and Martinez as we signed Fiete Arp from Bayern Munich for £28.5mil. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I was looking at Arp and actually I have been following him for 2 years I think. Bayern were never willing to discuss a realistic fee until now so he now comes in. His signing should mean we have good rotation up top.

Fiete Arp_ Profile.png


The last signing of the summer was the biggest deal as I signed Ben Godfrey from Sheffield United for £34mil. This signing is more of a risk because of the fee and the fact that we are unlikely to make that money back from him. However he looks to be a class act at the back and should slot right and give us a chance to rotate at the back with Milenkovic and Todibo as well as Clarke-Salter being there as well.


Ben Godfrey_ Profile.png


Full Squad

GK – Butland, Henderson
RB – Aarons, Justin
CB – Milenkovic, Todibo
CB – Godfrey, Clarke-Salter
LB – Williams, Sessegnon
RM – Odegaard, Sottil
CM – Bellingham, Sunjic
CM – Garner, Witek
LM – Bulbul, Jones
ST – Heredia, Arp
ST – Martinez, Jutkiewicz
 

bcfc1

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May 27, 2013
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August

1. Liverpool.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Godfrey, Williams, Odegaard, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul, Heredia, Martinez

A good start to the season as we lift the community shield after beating Liverpool in a penalty shootout. The shootout went on for a while until the 8th takes where Heredia scored for us and then Van Dijk missed the important penalty for them.

2. Villa.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Godfrey, Williams, Odegaard (Sottil), Bellingham (Sunjic), Garner, Bulbul, Heredia (Arp), Martinez

A dream start to the season as we win against our rivals and were able to score a few goals as well. Arp came on for a great debut as he scored 2 late goals to win the match for us and win the MotM award as well.

3. Barcelona.png


Butland, Aarons (Justin), Milenkovic, Todibo, Sessegnon, Sottil, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul (Jones), Arp, Martinez (Jutkiewicz)

Add another trophy to the cabinet as we win the European Super Cup with a very comfortable victory over a strong Barcelona team. Both Messi and Suarez were on the bench but their front line was still Griezmann, Dybala and Bailey so they still had so real quality out there. We dominated the game though and limited them to only 4 shots on target throughout the whole game.

4. Tottenham.png


Butland, Aarons, Milenkovic, Godfrey, Williams, Odegaard, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul (Jones), Arp, Martinez (Heredia)

This game had draw written all over it until Heredia popped up in the very last minute of the game to steal the points for us. The game was very even and I couldn’t have argued with a point but in the last minute Odegaard played a great ball over the top to set Heredia through and he scored with just seconds left.

5. West Ham.png


Butland, Aarons (Justin), Milenkovic, Godfrey, Odegaard, Bellingham, Garner, Bulbul (Jones), Arp, Martinez

A very strong win here away from home. The goals just kept coming in the first half and the game was 4-1 at half time. After that, Jones added one more goal but we did all the damage in the first half really.


Summary

A very strong start to the season as we win our 3 league games and more importantly, we won the two cup games against Liverpool and Barcelona. The cups themselves are not the biggest trophies in the world to win but the fact that we could beat Liverpool and Barcelona is the key thing to take away from those games. If we can compete with these teams then we may have a good chance of winning major silverware this season.

Transfers

A few more transfers were done this month as we sold Ryan Burke to Watford in a deal worth up to £6.75mil. He has spent every season so far out on loan and in that time we have developed to a point where he was never going to get into our squad. Thankfully we made a bit of money off of him before his contract ran down.

We made 2 signings and they were both youngsters that will be involved with the first team but mainly played in the U23’s this season. The first signing is Helmut Scherr from Dortmund for £600k. This is a player that a scout found who was unhappy and wanted to leave his club. A very similar situation as Witek. Dortmund seem to have a problem with keeping their young stars happy and we are taking full advantage of that.

Helmut Scherr_ Profile.png


The other signing was a youngster that I found as we sign Fraser Sharpe from Aberdeen for £5.5mil. It is another striker so we are now have a lot of depth in this position but these two are still a year or 2 away from playing in the first team and in that time a lot could change with the players we currently have. Hopefully Sharpe will develop into a first team player for us or at least good enough to make us a healthy profit.

Fraser Sharpe_ Profile.png


Player of the Month
Fiete Arp


Fiete Arp_ Profile.png


It has been a strong first month at the club for Arp as he has scored plenty of goals and contributed to the team well as well. We now have 3 quality strikers to rotate between which should be handy for us as the season progresses.


League Table

Premier League_ Stages.png
 
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