Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story


Birmingham 4 (Cutrone 10, 32, 72, Mawson 50)
Bounemouth 1 (Cook 88)

Pope, Dean, Mawson Gibson (Morrison), Achraf, Llorente, Gardner (Davis), Keita, Jota, Cutrone*, Ojo (Dasilva)

Disappointed to not get a clean sheet here especially as their goal only came after Keita was sent straight off and that red card got rescinded after the game.

Newcastle 3 (Long 22, Shelvey 34, Costinha 36)

Birmingham 3 (Cutrone 30, 54, Ojo 83)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Llorente (Kieftenbeld), Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita (Dasilva), Jota*, Cutrone, Ojo

We didn’t deserve anything from this game as we struggled to really get going. Thankfully we keep scoring goals and a late equaliser from Ojo got us a point at least.

Birmingham 6 (Loftus-Cheek 2, Cutrone 22, 43, 89pen, Jota 45, Adams 66)
Watford 4 (Doucoure 4, 79, Richarlison 24, Deeney 88)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf (Dasilva), Kieftenbeld (Llorente), Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota, Cutrone*, Ojo (Adams)

Another game with a whole load of goals. Cutrone is absolutely unstoppable at the moment and this makes it 8 goals in the 3 games so far this month for him. He was made favourite for European Golden Boy after this game and after his form this season he must be close for it.

Birmingham 2 (Jota 33pen, Cutrone 54)
Wolves 0

Pope, Dean, Mawson (Roberts), Gibson*, Davis, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita (Dasilva), Jota, Cutrone, Adams

Another game another Cutrone goal. Wolves have struggled recently and we took advantage of that in this game. Wolves failed to have a shot on target in the whole game.

Leicester 1 (Kovalenko 82pen)

Birmingham 0

Pope, Dean, Roberts, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita, Jota, Cutrone (Adams), Ojo (Maghoma)

There seemed to be some tiredness in the attacking players as none of them were really on it today. This was the boxing day match so we are right in the middle of the busy period so we may need to rotate more in the next couple of games.

Birmingham 2 (Cutrone 70, 90)

West Brom 0

Pope, Dean (Maghoma), Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota*, Cutrone, Ojo (Llorente)

An early sending off for Kieftenbeld made this game very weird tactically. I originally took Ojo off and put Llorente into midfield while playing Jota behind Cutrone. That wasn’t working so I took off Dean and brought on Maghoma so I had two wide men again and that was much more successful.


There were 6 games this month which involved 26 goals altogether. We are definitely happy in front of goal but defensively we are still struggling. The defense is where I spent almost my entire transfer budget on as well so I am not too sure how to fix the problem at the moment except to focus training on our defensive play.

Player of the month

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Young player of the month
Patrick Cutrone

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League Table

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Birmingham 2 (Ojo 26, Jota 72)
Tottenham 2 (Kane 6pen, Clyne 87)

Pope, Dean, Mawson (Roberts), Gibson, Achraf, Llorente, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita, Jota, Cutrone (Adams), Ojo*

We were definitely second best in this game but again we seem able to score goals. I will be disappointed to lose both Ojo and Cutrone from my front 3 as they are both on loan and it will be unlikely I can afford to buy them.

Liverpool 0
Birmingham 3 (Robertson 45og, Jota 64, Adams 70)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Llorente (Davis), Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita (Dasilva), Jota*, Cutrone, Adams

Back to winning ways here against a Liverpool side who are really struggling. After this result, Klopp was finally sacked by the club. I was surprised to be offered an interview for the job as I didn’t imagine my reputation was high enough yet but it is promising.

Preston 1 (Maguire 27)

Birmingham 0

Johnstone, Roberts, Morrison, Grounds, Colin, Davis, Gardner, Dasilva, Vassell, Adams, Maghoma

I decided to give the back-ups a run out here and they disappointed massively. Not only with the result but the fact that it really should have been 3 or 4 for Preston. I hope to use next summer as a chance to improve the depth of the squad as a lot of these players are not good enough to play for a premier league team.

Chelsea 4 (Hazard 42, 48, Willian 64, Morata 81)
Birmingham 1 (Cutrone 12)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld, Gardner, Keita, Jota, Cutrone, Ojo

Hazard gave us the run around here. Chelsea have been the best team in the league this year and we couldn’t do much to stop them. Cutrone gave us the lead but that was our only shot on target in whole game. These kind of results were always going to happen during the season so I am not too disappointed with this one.

Birmingham 5 (Loftus-Cheek 12, 21, 27, Jota 32, 58)
Southampton 1 (Stephens 83)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld (Llorente), Loftus-Cheek*, Keita (Dasilva), Jota (Adams), Cutrone, Ojo

An incredible performance from Loftus-Cheek gives us the 3 points here. All 3 of his goals were very similar with a cross being cut back to him on the edge of the box and he hit them low and hard every time. He has been key to a lot of our performances and if he can add a few more goals to his game then I will try and sign him from Chelsea.

Arsenal 4 (Lacazette 27, 28, Aubameyang 44, Elneny 66)

Birmingham 1 (Adams 89)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf (Colin), Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota (Adams), Cutrone, Ojo (Llorente)

Another top team put us in our place. It was the speed up top that beat us and kept on breaking our high line. I will need to play a deeper line against the teams that play with high speed up top.

Birmingham 3 (Cutrone 20, 51, Ojo 64)

West Ham 0

Pope, Roberts, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita, Jota (Maghoma), Cutrone*, Ojo

A great result brings the month to the end. It also brought a slight knock to Jota but I hope he will be back by the next game as a lot of our play runs through him.


I am happy with 10 points from 18, especially considering this month had games against Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. Losing to Preston was the obvious low point as it means we won’t be having any cup run this year. I am hoping to put together a good cup run next season, once I am able to improve the depth of the squad.


I made one signing but they failed to get a work permit under the new system so I have immediately loaned them out for the rest of the season.

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Luka Adzic looks like a great left winger and will hopefully replace Ojo once he returns to Liverpool. Obviously that depends on whether he can get a work permit. Even if he isn’t able to get a work permit, he should bring in a nice profit as he was signed for just £500k and he is already worth £6.5mil.

Player of the month

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Young player of the month
Sheyi Ojo

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League Table

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Stoke 0
Birmingham 0

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota*, Cutrone, Ojo

Possibly the most boring game I have watched this season and I believe it is our first 0-0 of the season. The game flew by before I even knew what happened but a point away from home is always helpful.

Man City 3 (Sane 1, 29, De Bruyne 33)
Birmingham 2 (Ojo 15, Kieftenbeld 90)

Pope, Roberts, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Llorente, Loftus-Cheek (Kieftenbeld), Keita, Jota, Cutrone, Ojo

To only lose by one against a team with their spending power is nothing be ashamed of but it was disappointing to concede 3 goals in the first 30 minutes or so of the game. We controlled the rest of the game but there is no point in controlling a game when you are already 2 behind.

Birmingham 2 (Cutrone 20, 89)
Man Utd 1 (Martial 86)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Llorente, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita, Jota (Adams), Cutrone*, Ojo

A great result where I thought we had thrown it away before winning it again. Man Utd were definitely weakened as they had injuries to Lukaku, Sanchez, Rashford and Pogba as well as a couple of other squad players.


February is always a short month but it was made shorter by one of the weekends being focused on FA Cup games that we are out of. I still have a couple of months to go and 11 games to play in the league but whatever happens I have been impressed with the tactic. I thought 3 at the back tactics would be too defensive but it has been the complete opposite and we are currently the second top goal scorers in the league.

Player of the month
Alfie Mawson

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Young player of the month
Sheyi Ojo

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League Table

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Burnley 0

Birmingham 1 (Ojo 74)

Pope, Dean, Mawson (Roberts), Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota (Adams), Cutrone, Ojo

Not a spectacular win but 3 points none the less. Burnley are struggling down at the bottom of the table so I thought it would be easier but they are fighting for safety so they were really hard to break down.

Birmingham 2 (Achraf 42, Loftus-Cheek 90)
Everton 1 (Tosun 21)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Kieftenbeld (Llorente), Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota, Cutrone (Marques), Ojo

Really pleased with this win as it means we almost certainly going to finish above Everton now. Loftus-Cheek got us the late winner but I also gave a club debut to youngster Marques. He was only on the bench as Adams was injured and Cutrone was playing poorly so I brought him on and he played perfectly fine. I have high hopes for him in the future.

Hull 1 (Bowen 90)
Birmingham 2 (Ojo 68, Cutrone 84)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson (Roberts), Achraf (Colin), Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota (Adams), Cutrone, Ojo

Hull are rock bottom of the league and probably not far from relegation already but it still took us a while to break them down. Their goal came very late on but it was annoying to lose a clean sheet as we haven’t got too many of those over the season.

Birmingham 3 (Jota 47pen, Kieftenbeld 57, Dean 72)

Crystal Palace 0

Pope, Dean*, Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek (Llorente), Kieta, Jota (Adams), Cutrone, Ojo

A solid win against a team that are struggling but have some real quality in their team. It is also a clean sheet which have been too rare this season.


A solid month puts us in a great position for European football. We still have a few hard games coming up but the gap to Southampton and below is big enough that I feel confident of achieving Europa League football.

Player of the month
Maikel Kieftenbeld

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Young player of the month
Sheyi Ojo

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League Table

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Bournemouth 2 (Kachunga 21, Gradell 36)
Birmingham 4 (Jota 1, 51, Cutrone 6, Castagne 23og)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf, Llorente, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota*, Cutrone (Adams), Ojo

A solid win here with Jota the star of the show. He has been absolutely incredible for me for 2 seasons now and as the only one of the front 3 that is actually my player, I hope that his form continues.

Birmingham 0
Newcastle 0

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Achraf (Colin), Llorente, Loftus-Cheek, Keita, Jota, Cutrone, Ojo (Adams)

Not as boring as the score line suggests as there were plenty of chances but neither team could finish. Mitrovic was incredible up top for them, to the point that I am thinking about him replacing Cutrone in the summer if I can get the right deal.

Watford 2 (Deeney 53, Gray 90)

Birmingham 4 (Cutrone, 7, 35, 80, Jota 90)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson (Roberts), Achraf (Colin), Llorente, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita, Jota, Cutrone*, Ojo

A very nice win here with Cutrone once again showing off his finishing skills. He is in a tight battle with Harry Kane for top goal scorer this season and this hat trick has now put him a couple of goals ahead.

Birmingham 0
Chelsea 4 (Mandzukic 42, 72, Christiansen 45, Luiz 81)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Llorente, Gardner, Keita, Jota, Cutrone, Ojo

We were always going to struggle in this game as Chelsea are champions elect and we are struggling with a few injuries and suspensions (Achraf, Kieftenbeld and Loftus-Cheek from the usual 11). They caught us with 2 goals just before half time and then they just picked us off after that.


It may not have been the perfect month in terms of results but it has been a great month for us. We have picked up enough points so that Europa League is almost guaranteed. It would take an almighty collapse for us not to get 5th​ place now. Really the battle is between us and Man Utd for 4th​ and 5th​ and I am happy to take either position. While the idea of sneaking into the Champions League sounds amazing, we do not have the squad anywhere near capable of even competing at that level and we would be the whipping boys of whatever group we were in.

Player of the month

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Young player of the month
Patrick Cutrone

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League Table

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West Brom 1 (Mbemba 69)
Birmingham 3 (Dean 44, Gibson 53, Colin 71)

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Llorente, Loftus-Cheek, Keita (Dasilva), Jota, Cutrone, Ojo (Adams)

This win confirms that we will finish at least 5th​. It has been an incredible season and I never thought we would be anywhere near the top of the table. It is going to be a massive challenge to try and get this kind of position again next season with the added games of Europa League football.

Birmingham 1 (Jota 3)
Leicester 0

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson*, Colin, Llorente, Loftus-Cheek (Gardner), Keita (Dasilva), Jota, Cutrone, Ojo

An early goal gave us the points here but Man Utd won as well so we are still in 5th​ position. Gibson has been the unsung hero the season so it is great for him to get his first goal against West Brom and follow that up with a Motm performance here.

Wolves 3 (Afobe 7, 25, Oliviera 40)
Birmingham 0

Pope, Dean, Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Kieta, Jota, Cutrone, Ojo
A really disappointing way to end the season here as we were dominated by Wolves. Afobe was our big problem as he played the lone striker role perfectly here. The most frustrating thing was that Man Utd also lost so just a point here would have been enough to get 4th​ place.


It is finally the end of a great season. I couldn’t imagine at the start that we would end up finishing the season by qualifying for Europe but that is what has happened. The Wolves result was a disappointing way to end the season but that won’t lower the enjoyment of the season. I will do a full end of season review in my next post.

Player of the month
Ben Gibson

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Young player of the month
Sheyi Ojo

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League Table

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End of season review

It has been an amazing first season in the premier league. We finished 5th​ and it could have been even better if we could have got a result in the final games against Wolves. I now have to try and improve the squad to do this again while attempting to go as far as we can in Europe and have a better run in the domestic cups. We have been given a massive budget of £90mil to do this so expect to see some changes at the club. I always attempt to bring in English players if I can but if I can find the right deal then I have no problem bringing in foreign players. This will be harder now that Brexit has happened in game though.

Premier League Table

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Player of the season

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It wasn’t really a hard decision as Jota once again is the player of the season. He got 18 goals and 16 assists in the league which put him second in both categories behind Cutrone and Ojo respectively.

Young player of the season
Patrick Cutrone

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He just missed out on winning this last season, even though he only joined in January, but he has done enough this season to win it. Ojo was close to winning this with 8 goals and 17 assists but Cutrone’s 32 goals were what took us up the table. I will find it very hard to replace him next season.


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Other Information

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It has been a hectic pre-season as I have tried to improve almost every area of the team. There have been changes to the starting team, the back-up team and I have signed some youngsters for the future.

Players out

There have been some big transfers out of the club so I will talk about those first of all. The first deal was the biggest as we sold Marcos Llorente to Leicester for £13.5mil. He was a good player but just didn’t fit into our system. I knew I was going to buy a midfielder or two so I happy to get him off of the books and to make a big profit on him as he was a free transfer last summer.

We then sold Che Adams for £10mil. Cheick Keita for £6.5mil and David Davis for £7.5mil. All three were going to be back-up players at best and to get such good money for them could not be ignored. Adams and Keita were around the first team last season but some of the signings I made pushed them down the order.

I also sold Jonathan Grounds, Michael Morrison and Jacques Maghoma for a combined total of just over £1mil to again make more space in the squad for other signings. And finally I loaned out a load of youngsters with the hope that the first team experience will be good for them.

Players in

I will go through my signings by position again as it splits them up quite well. There have been no changes in goal as Pope and Johnstone are still my choice of keepers, although I do have a couple coming through the youth system so I may look to move Johnstone off in the future to make space for them.

Centre backs

Last summer was really dedicated to improving this area, so this summer was more about just fine tuning it. I made 2 signings they have improved the choice of CB’s without breaking the bank. Chris Smalling was the first one to join on a free transfer after he was released from Man Utd. I was looking at signing Tarkowski after Burnley got relegated but they were asking for over £20mil and then when I saw Smalling on a free transfer I had to go for him. I also signed Rob Holding from Arsenal for £7.5mil. He looks to be a very good young English CB and I hope he can develop to be a starting player for me.

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Wing Backs

With Achraf going back to Real Madrid and Keita leaving I had to replace both sides. I signed Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham to play the LWB role for £12mil. He was the most expensive signing of the window but I think he is worth it as he has the potential to be even better than he already is and to play that role for me for 10-15 years as he is still on 19. I also signed Davide Calabria from AC Milan for £10mil. I was really struggling to find anyone for RWB and then when I saw Calabria I moved quickly to make it happen. He isn’t the greatest player but he should do a good job there while I try and find an improvement.

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Central Midfield

This was the position I thought I would end up spending a lot of money on as I wanted major improvements but actually I did it quite cheaply. I brought Loftus-Cheek back on loan again and then signed 2 more midfielders. Maroune Fellaini made it two former Man Utd players to join for free and then I signed Jefferson Lerma from Levante for just £4.3mil. I spent a lot of the summer looking at Tanguy Ndombele but he wasn’t going to be cheap and eventually I felt that the £28mil it was going to cost wasn’t worth it and so I got both of these guys instead.

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Firstly Luka Adzic has got a work permit so he has come straight into the squad. I also signed Mohammed Elyounoussi for £11mil and loaned Patrick Roberts for the season from Man City. Elyounoussi was my very last signing of the summer and will battle with Adzic for the LW role. I wanted a young English player to play back-up to Jota and Roberts fit that role perfectly. He is also out of contract at the end of the season so unless Man City give him a new contract I hope to make his move permanent as well.

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With Cutrone leaving and Adams being sold I had to make big changes up top. I firstly promoted youngster Nuno Marques to the squad to hopefully get him some game time but I also signed two strikers. I signed Lincoln for £7.5mil and Ashley Barnes for £8mil. Lincoln will be the main starter but I wanted an experienced striker to be his back-up and it was between Barnes, Callum Wilson and Troy Deeney. Their clubs wanted more than £20mil for Wilson and Deeney so it became an easy choice to bring in Barnes as the 2nd​ choice striker.

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I also signed a load of youngsters and immediately sent them out on loan. Our youth facilities are still not where they need to be so they will be better off at another club and getting game time. The most expensive out of the lot was Zambrano who cost £2mil, with Perpetuo costing £700k and the 3rd​ most expensive costing less than £100k. I hope to see some of these develop to be good enough for the first team squad next season.

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These are my two squads at the start of the season. There have been a lot of changes so I am still unsure on who my best starting 11 is so there may be changes in the first month of two but I do like to have a settled team so I hope to get that sorted early on.

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What a rapid amount of success you've made here mate! Great going my friend. That tactic is interesting one as well, did you make it up yourself? It's clearly doing wonders!!

Man City 1 (Sane 6)

Birmingham 2 (Adzic 21, 82)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Colin, Fellaini (Loftus-Cheek), Lerma, Dasilva, Jota, Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic*

A great start to the season against Allegri’s Man City that included Icardi, Fekir, Kovacic, Dier, De Vrij and Grimaldo as well as all the great players they start with. Adzic stole the show with two goals that both came from rebounds. I hope that is a sign that he has a poachers instinct and can continue to do that.

Birmingham 2 (Jota 4pen, Lincoln 52)
Newcastle 0

Pope, Smalling Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Fellaini (Kieftenbeld), Lerma, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Jota, Lincoln, Adzic*

A more straight forward win here where the interesting thing was that Adzic was MOTM after not contributing any goals or assists. I think that shows his contribution to the general play of the team.

Arsenal 3 (Luan 44, Lacazette 72, Mkhitaryan 88)
Birmingham 0

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Fellaini, Lerma (Loftus-Cheek), Sessegnon, Jota, Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic (Elyounoussi)

We really struggled here and Arsenal ran away with the game late on. We have some good quality in the team but we are definitely a few steps behind consistently challenging these kind of teams.


A solid start to season where we got off to a great start with an unexpected win against Man City. Arsenal brought us back down to earth as we really struggled in that game but I am generally happy to get 6 points from those 3 games.

Europa League

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Our group has been drawn and we have Zenit, Braga and AEK. Zenit will be very hard to beat but I am confident we have a chance of finishing second by getting results against AEK and something against Braga.

Player of the month
Luka Adzic

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Young player of the month
Ryan Sessegnon

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League Table

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What a rapid amount of success you've made here mate! Great going my friend. That tactic is interesting one as well, did you make it up yourself? It's clearly doing wonders!!

Thanks for the comment. Even I'm surprised by the success I have had. I'm worried we will struggle this season without Cutrone up top though. I made the tactic myself as I'm not a fan of plug and play as it takes the fun away for me. I'm still playing around with it but I think I have found a good base for it to work.

Birmingham 1 (Jota 81pen)
Middlesbrough 0

Pope, Smalling, Holding*, Gibson, Calabria, Fellaini, Lerma, Sessegnon, Jota*, Lincoln, Adzic

We dominated the game but struggled to break them down. It eventually took a penalty to get us the win.

Braga 2 (Stojilkovic 4, 62)
Birmingham 2 (Loftu-Cheek 49, Elyounoussi 52)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Dean, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Dasilva, Roberts, Barnes, Elyounoussi*

I am happy with this result considering the facts that I played a lot of my back-up players and we were away from home. If we can draw with them away from home then I hope we can do one better when we play them at home later on.

Leicester 2 (Vardy 30, 58)
Birmingham 2 (Sessegnon 27, Lincoln (47)

Pope, Roberts (Colin), Holding, Gibson (Smalling), Calabria, Fellaini, Lerma, Sessegnon, Jota, Lincoln, Adzic (Elyounoussi)

Another 2-2 draw and again I am happy with it considering the fact that Calabria was sent off in the second half. Vardy kept breaking behind our back line which has been a common problem for our defence.

Birmingham 1 (Jota 35)
Man Utd 2 (Martial 8, Matic 17)

Johnstone, Smalling (Kieftenbeld), Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Fellaini, Lerma, Dasilva (Sessegnon), Jota, Barnes, Elyounoussi

We are quickly out of the Carabao Cup as we lose to Man Utd. They started well and then even though we dominated the game, we couldn’t get the 2 goals needed to get back in to the game.

Birmingham 4 (Lerma 30, Lincoln 59, 60, Adzic 68)
Wolves 1 (Afobe 77)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Fellaini (Loftus-Cheek), Lerma, Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln* (Barnes), Adzic

A very nice win to end the month We really turned it on in the second half and could have scored even more.


A mixed month where the only loss was to Man Utd in the cup but we did draw two games as well. We scored in every game, so my worry about losing the goals from Cutrones departure has not come to fruition but we also only kept one clean sheet which is worrying.

Player of the month
Jefferson Lerma

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Young player of the month

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League Table

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Birmingham 0
Zenit 0

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln (Barnes), Elyounoussi (Adzic)

I am very happy to get a draw against Zenit. It means only 2 points from 2 games but we have played the two harder teams and remained unbeaten.

Sheffield Utd 1 (Coman 63)
Birmingham 2 (Fellaini 39, 83)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma (Loftus-Cheek), Fellaini*, Dasilva, Jota (Roberts), Lincoln, Adzic

A solid win but it should have been a lot more against a team like Sheffield Utd. Fellaini got his first goals for the club but other than this game he hasn’t really impressed and I am already thinking of changing the midfield.

Birmingham 5 (Lincoln 21, 66, Loftus-Cheek 31, Jota 52pen, Lerma 81)
Watford 3 (Richarlison 16, 21, 45)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Mawson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Fellaini), Sessegnon, Jota, Lincoln, Adzic (Elyounoussi)

A very nice win here as the flood gates opened up here with 8 goals in the game. Richarlison was unstoppable for them up top as he kept on breaking the back line.

Birmingham 1 (Barnes 59)

Pope, Mawson, Holding, Gibson (Smalling), Colin, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek (Fellaini), Dasilva, Roberts* (Jota), Barnes, Elyounoussi

We finally get our first win in Europe against the team that we need to beat twice if we want to get through to the knockout stages. Barnes got his first goal for the club as well which is nice to see.

Birmingham 3 (Gibson 30, Lincoln 61, 70)
Everton 0

Pope, Smalling, Holding (Mawson), Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Fellaini), Sessegnon, Jota, Lincoln*, Adzic

A great result against Everton here as things look to be clicking up top. Lincoln reminds me of Cutrone quite a bit but his finishing is not as consistent just yet as he missed quite a few chances in this game as well as getting his 2 goals.


Another positive month as the goals came quick and fast here after the Zenit game. Things are going well so far but the added competition means we are rotating a lot more to try and avoid tiredness and injuries which means not many players are building up consistent form like they were able to last season.

Player of the month
Jefferson Lerma

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Young player of the month

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League Table

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Thanks for the comment. Even I'm surprised by the success I have had. I'm worried we will struggle this season without Cutrone up top though. I made the tactic myself as I'm not a fan of plug and play as it takes the fun away for me. I'm still playing around with it but I think I have found a good base for it to work.

Not a problem. I'd imagine so haha! Aye it's always best making your own, I've never been a fan of downloading a tactic and I refuse to do it. Even the very few times I have tried it out of curiosity I end up reverting back to my own because if it's downloaded how to you change it when struggling etc.. Best finding something that works for you. It is an interesting tactic, very odd to the eye :D

Stoke 0
Birmingham 1 (Lincoln 87)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln, Adzic*

Stoke have had some big investment and have players such as Pickford, Petagna, Valencia and Rafinha and they should have won this game but they had Sturridge up front and he couldn’t finish his chances. We got the winner late on as Lincoln got onto a long ball an smashed in it from 20 yards.

AEK 1 (Johannson 64)

Birmingham 4 (Roberts 4, Elyounoussi 28, 84, Barnes 90)

Johnstone, Mawson, Holding, Dean, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Dasilva, Roberts*, Barnes, Elyounoussi

A very good performance by a lot of the back-up players as they put us in a very strong position to qualify from our group. The surprising thing for me is that Braga beat Zenit in both of their games so it looks as though it will be me and Braga going through with Zenit going out.

Birmingham 2 (Smalling 12, Barnes 84)
Tottenham 1 (Kane 58)

Pope, Smalling*, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Fellaini), Sessegnon, Jota, Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic (Elyounoussi)

It was a great defensive display here to hold Tottenham to just one goal. Especially considering they bought Aguero in the summer and therefore have the best strike partnership I have seen with Kane and Aguero up front.

West Ham 1 (Arnautovic 85)
Birmingham 2 (Lincoln 12, 33)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Jota Lincoln*, Adzic

Another 2-1 win here as we keep up the good form. I am finally starting to settle on my best 11 although I can already see positions that need improving.

Birmingham 1 (Barnes 47)
Braga 1 (Hackman 90)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson (Dean), Colin, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Roberts, Barnes, Elyounoussi (Adzic)

Really frustrated with this result. They equalised with the last kick of the game really which keeps them top of the group and means we are likely to finish second and get a harder team in the knockout stages. We did confirm out place in the knockout stages though with this game as Zenit lost to AEK somehow.


It was almost a perfect month until Braga got the late equaliser. Things are going extremely well so far as we have confirmed out qualification from our group in the Europa League with a game spare and also sit 2nd​ in the league with a game in hand on top place Chelsea. I have looked forward to the next month and found that we have 9 games in December which include the teams Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man city so this going to be a crazy month.

Player of the month
Patrick Roberts

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Young player of the month
Davide Calabria

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With so much of my squad considered a ‘young player’ I am considering getting rid of young player of the month. For example Roberts and Calabria are both the same age so it seems silly for Roberts to win player of the month but not young player of the month.

League Table

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Birmingham 2 (Lincoln 22, 87)

Huddlesfield 1 (Depoitre 88)

Pope, Roberts, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria (Colin), Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln*, Adzic (Elyounoussi)

I am getting frustrated with the number of late goals we are conceding. Thankfully it didn’t cost us any points here but it is costing us a lot of possible clean sheets.

Chelsea 1 (Mandzukic 81pen)
Birmingham 0

Pope, Smalling, Mawson*, Gibson, Colin, Lerma, Fellaini, Sessegnon, Roberts (Jota), Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic

Another late goal and it does cost us points this time. It also means we lose top place in the league. To be fair though we had absolutely no chances in this game and if Chelsea didn’t win it then it would have been a steal.

Zenit 0
Birmingham 4 (Kieftenbeld 34, Barnes 56, 79, Fellaini 64)

Johnstone, Dean, Mawson, Gibson (Loftus-Cheek), Colin, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Dasilva, Jota, Barnes*, Elyounoussi

What a result. With us already through to the knockout stages I decided to rest a lot of regulars but the back-ups pulled out the performance of the season so far. They never really had a chance. As our prize we have been drawn against AS Monaco in the knockout stages. So we won’t be getting further then.

Birmingham 1 (Lerma 15)

West Brom 0

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma*, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic (Elyounoussi)

The rest from Zenit’s game seemed to work as we controlled this game and even though it was only 1 goal, we never looked in danger of losing it. A clean sheet in the league is a great thing to see as well.

Southampton 1 (Redmond 90)
Birmingham 2 (Adzic 30, Barnes 78)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Lerma, Fellaini, Sessegnon, Jota (Roberts), Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic*

I feel like I am suffering with déjà vu with how many times I see us concede late goals. I have now created a slightly more defensive version of my tactic where I drop my wing backs to make a back 5 and that will hopefully help us see games out in the future.

Birmingham 4 (Roberts 9, Elyounoussi 76, Loftus-Cheek 81, 86)
Liverpool 0

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson (Holding), Calabria, Lerma (Kieftenbeld), Loftus-Cheek*, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Roberts, Lincoln, Elyounoussi

Forget what I said about the Zenit game, this is the performance of the season. 3 of the goals may have come late on but we absolutely controlled this game. Liverpool are collapsing and sit in mid-table but I still couldn’t have predicted such a good result.

Man Utd 5 (Asensio 8, Lukaku 9, 26, Sanchez 42, 46)
Birmingham 0

Pope, Dean, Holding, Roberts, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Dasilva, Roberts (Adzic), Barnes, Elyounoussi

And we are brought straight back down to earth here. I rested a lot of players here as I felt other games were going to be more important but I did not expect such a poor performance. This game could have been double figures with the number of chances that they missed as well. We had just one shot in this game and it wasn’t on target.

Birmingham 3 (Marques 9, Adzic 27, Loftus-Cheek 53)
Crystal Palace 1 (Benteke 69)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria*, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Fellaini), Sessegnon (Dasilva), Roberts, Marques, Adzic

Lincoln had a slight knock and Barnes was tired from the Man Utd game so I brought in Marques for his first start of the season and he delivered with his first goal for the club. For some reason both Townsend and Zaha were on the bench and it meant they struggled to hurt us at the back.

Birmingham 2 (Lincoln 52, 69)
Man City 0

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Elyounoussi, Lincoln*, Adzic

A great end to a busy month as we were pretty comfortable here. Lincoln delivered with the goals but it was Adzic who delivered two identical balls for Lincoln to tap in. I don’t regularly have playmakers out on the wing but it is so effective as they are able to get the space to play killer balls.


Well that was a hectic month. 7 wins and 2 losses from 9 games is not bad going at all. The Man Utd result was obviously a big low point but it was against a lot of the back-up players and if it meant that the players were fit to win other games like the Man City game then it was worth it.

Player of the month
Mohammed Elyounoussi

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League Table

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After a small break as I was involved in the four in one thread I am back to this story as I hope to finish this season as well as it started.

Newcastle 1 (Mitrovic 37)
Birmingham 2 (Adzic 43, Lincoln 68pen)

Pope, Smalling (Mawson), Holding, Gibson (Mawson), Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts (Elyounoussi), Lincoln, Adzic*

It’s always nice to start the new year with a win and that’s what we did here against a good side. Adzic delivered another great display to get us the win.

Norwich 0
Birmingham 2 (Barnes 24, Dean 73)

Johnstone, Smalling (Holding), Mawson, Dean*, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Loftus-Cheek (Lerma), Dasilva, Roberts (Adzic), Barnes, Elyounoussi

I made a lot of changes for this cup game and thankfully they were able to get the job done. We haven’t really challenged in the cup since the first season and I hope to see that change soon.

Birmingham 0
Arsenal 1 (Mustafi 14)

Pope, Smalling (Mawson), Holding, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Elyounoussi, Lincoln, Adzic

We couldn’t get any result here against a very good Arsenal side. When they have players like Luan, Aubameyang and Tolisso you can tell they have a very good squad.

Birmingham 3 (Lincoln 14, 82, Adzic 54)
Leicester 1 (Musa 60)

Pope, Smalling, Holding, Gibson, Calabria (Colin), Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Jota (Elyounoussi), Lincoln*, Adzic

A very nice win here that keeps us at the top of the table. These are the kind of teams that I thought we would lose to but these kind of results makes me feel that we really are close to being a top team.

Middlesbrough 0
Birmingham 1 (Lincoln 2pen)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson*, Calabria (Colin), Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Roberts, Lincoln, Adzic

A pretty poor result really against a team in the bottom 3. We need to be beating these teams with more ease if we want to challenge on more than one front.


A solid month with just one loss against Arsenal means we stay at the top of the table. There is a very close group behind us but they are a few points behind us as we have developed a gap between the rest. The next month brings us back into the Europa League against AS Monaco which I am excited about as we have nothing to lose against them.


I try to avoid doing too much business in January and there was only one change in this window. Marc Roberts wanted to leave as he wanted to get more game time so after selling him to Leeds in a £4mil deal I spent a similar amount on bringing in Mason Holgate. He will probably be no more than a back-up player but he is of a similar quality to Roberts and considerably younger.

Player of the month
Ben Gibson

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League Table

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Birmingham 2 (Colin 30, Barnes 71)
Everton 1 (Sigurdsson 48)

Johnstone, Holgate, Holding, Dean, Colin*, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Dasilva (Sessegnon), Jota, Barnes, Elyounoussi

I brought in a lot of back-up players for this cup game and they saw us over the line. Barnes has been a very good as the back-up striker and is very effective from crosses that the wing backs put in.

Wolves 0
Birmingham 1 (Loftus-Cheek 47)

Pope, Smalling*, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma (Kieftenbeld), Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts (Jota), Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic

The regular first team came back in for this one and they weren’t the most impressive. Wolves are a good team that have spent a lot of money but we should be more comfortable against these teams now.

Birmingham 6 (Jota 8, Smalling 13, Lincoln 48, Loftus-Cheek 68, Adzic 84, Mawson 87)
Sheffield Utd 0

Pope, Smalling*, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria (Colin), Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Jota (Elyounoussi), Lincoln, Adzic

This is the kind of result I am very happy to see. Sheffield Utd are struggling at the bottom of the table and we heaped a lot of misery on to them here. Smalling may have won MOTM but it was Loftus-Cheek who ran things from midfield. When he is on his game, he is a great CM.

Watford 6 (Romero 7, 48, Holgate 19og, Deeney 82pen, 90pen, Peneranda 90)
Bimingham 0

Johnstone, Holgate, Holding, Dean, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Sessegnon, Elyounoussi, Barnes, Adzic (Jota)

Well. I don’t know what to say. I have Monaco in midweek so I decided to rest a lot of first team players here but this result should never have happened. I wish I could explain it on getting an early red card or picking up injuries but none of that happened. We were just absolutely destroyed by a pretty poor Watford team as they sit just above the relegation zone.

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I haven’t seen this before but the squad knew how poor they were by refunding the fans for their journey to watch the game.

Birmingham 0
AS Monaco 0

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Jota (Lincoln), Barnes (Fellaini), Elyounoussi*

I am pretty happy with this result. Monaco are not as good a team as I thought they would be and they don’t really have any superstars in the squad. They weren’t able to get any away goals here so if we can score at their ground then we are in a very good position to qualify.

Birmingham 5 (Kieftenbeld 7, Lincoln 8, 14, Jota 32, Fellaini 42)
Wolves 1 (Gudmundsson 39)

Johnstone, Smalling, Holding, Dean, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Fellaini, Sessegnon (Calabria), Jota, Lincoln* (Barnes), Adzic (Elyounoussi)

I made some changes for this cup game but not as many as usual as we are starting to pick up some knocks and I do not have the depth anymore to rotate. I am hoping a few players are back soon so I can rotate more often.

AS Monaco 2 (Dendoncker 79, Jovetic 87)
Birmingham 3 (Lincoln 4, 61, Kieftenbeld 90)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Kieftenbeld), Sessegnon, Elyounoussi (Jota), Lincoln Adzic*

What a result. What a game. We got an early goal and then once we got the second I thought we were done. They then got 2 late goals to put us under pressure and then when there was a clip in the 92nd​ minute I was sure they were going to score again to screw us over but it was Kieftenbeld who scored for us on the counter and wrapped up a historic win.


The horrendous Watford result means the teams behind us have caught a bit more and that our goal difference has dropped as well but right now I am not too bothered as we have beaten AS Monaco in the Europa League and are through to the next round. I never thought we had a chance against them but we were probably the better team and now it will just be fun to see how far we can go.
Youth Intake

I don’t usually talk about youth intake as I have seen potential superstars become nothing and players with a potential of just 2 stars become World player of the year winners, but I have had this youngster come through and he looks like he could develop into a great Central Midfielder. I hope to see him develop into a superstar in the next few years but he is only 15 so it will take a little bit of time to get there.

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Player of the Month

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League Table

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Everton 4 (Sandro 4, 14, 27, Sigurdsson 90pen)
Birmingham 2 (Adzic 67, Barnes 90)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson (Dean), Holding, Colin, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Kieftenbeld), Dasilva, Elyounoussi (Jota), Barnes, Adzic

I rotated the team again here and the risk did not work. Sandro was lethal up top for Everton as he only had 3 shots but he converted all 3 of them and the game was pretty much over after he scored the 3rd​ in just the 27th​ minute.

Birmingham 2 (Jota 6pen, Barnes 44)
Stoke 1 (Petagna 10)

Johnstone, Holgate, Mawson, Dean (Gibson), Colin, Kieftenbeld, Miles, Dasilva (Sessegnon), Jota*, Barnes, Adzic (Elyounoussi)

A very nice win here and a debut for Adam Miles who came through the youth intake last year. I am hoping he will eventually be part of the starting midfield alongside the other youngster, Norris, that I mentioned in the previous post.

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Bilbao 0
Birmingham 0

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson*, Calabria (Colin), Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Jota (Elyounoussi), Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic

A solid result here away from home but I would have liked to get an away goal. We are going to have to be very careful to not concede in the second leg otherwise we are going to be a lot of trouble.

Tottenham 0
Birmingham 2 (Lincoln 74, Lerma 86)

Johnstone, Holgate, Holding, Dean, Colin, Kieftenbeld (Lerma), Norris (Adzic), Dasilva, Roberts*, Barnes (Lincoln), Elyounoussi

With this game sitting in between the two legs I decided to rotate again and this time it didn’t lead to a heavy defeat. I also gave another debut, this time to 15yr old Norris who becomes the youngest ever player for the club. He played well but tired very quickly but this is to be expected from such a young player.

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Birmingham 2 (Smalling 81, Elyounoussi 87)
Bilbao 0

Pope, Smalling*, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts (Jota), Lincoln, Adzic (Elyounoussi)

Another great result here as two late goals gave us the win. Between our two goals there were probably 3 or 4 really good chances for Bilbao to get the away goal but we got that bit of luck we needed to get through.

Birmingham 4 (Lincoln 25, Roberts 69, 104, Loftus-Cheek 105)
Newcastle 2 (Dawson 74, Mounie 89)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson (Holding), Calabria (Colin), Lerma, Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Roberts*, Lincoln, Adzic

We are through again in the FA Cup but it took extra time for us to do so. We threw away a two goal lead but then got it back again and are now through to the Semi-Finals.


A very good month here means we are through in the Europa League and the FA Cup and still involved in a title race in the league. With so many games the team are becoming tired and getting knocks so while the rotation is costing me some games, it is needed to try and focus on certain games.

Player of the month
Ruben Loftus-Cheek

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League Table

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Huddlesfield 2 (Holding 81og, Szalai 90)
Birmingham 1 (Barnes 89)

Johnstone, Holgate, Holding, Fellaini, Colin, Kieftenbeld, Norris, Dasilva, Jota, Barnes*, Elyounoussi

2 big mistakes cost us the points here and probably cost us the title. Holding some how scored an own goal from a sliding challenge outside of the box and Szalai’s goal came from an Elyounoussi back pass from in the oppositions half. It was very weird to watch but we have had some great luck this season so it had to turn at some stage.

Liverpool 4 (Salah 23, Lallana 29, Jose 68, Lovren 90)
Birmingham 2 (Lerma 37, Lincoln 66)

Pope, Smalling, Holding (Colin), Gibson, Calabria, Lerma, Loftus-Cheek (Kieftenbeld), Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln (Barnes), Adzic

This looks as though we are going out of the Europa League. They took a quick lead and even though we battled back to be drawing, they pushed again and the late goal by Lovren has almost put this to bed in the first leg.

Birmingham 2 (Miles 50, 70)
Chelsea 4 (Zouma 20, Wilian 40, Hazard 53, 66pen)

Pope, Smalling, Mawson, Gibson, Calabria (Colin), Lerma (Kieftenbeld), Miles, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Jota, Lincoln, Elyounoussi

Now this is the title gone. Chelsea are the team we were competing with but them winning here means we have a lot of work to do and very little time to do so. Miles got our 2 goals and these are his first 2 for the club. I hope to see this continue.

Birmingham 2 (Lincoln 8, 33)
Liverpool 1 (Bakambu 51)

Pope, Smalling (Holding), Mawson, Gibson, Colin, Lerma (kieftenbeld), Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Jota; Lincoln*, Adzic (Elyounoussi)

So close but we do fall out of the Europa League. We were 2-0 up for a while which would have seen us through on away goals but Liverpool got on back and we were unable to get a 3rd​ goal to get us through.

West Brom 2 (Rudiaz 33pen, Chadli 71)
Birmingham 3 (Elyounoussi 28, Norris 65, Barnes 76)

Johnstone, Holgate, Holding (Mawson), Fellaini, Calabria, Kieftenbeld, Norris*, Dasilva (Sessegnon), Roberts, Barnes, Elyounoussi

It was nice to get a win in the league and to have 2 in a row after what has been a hard month so far. Norris got his first goal for the club which made him the youngest goalscorer of all time at the club. That is 2 records he has taken from Trevor Francis now.

Birmingham 3 (Jota 37pen, 55, Lincoln 52)
West Ham 1 (Hernandez 34)

Johnstone, Holgate, Holding, Gibson, Colin, Miles (Kieftenbeld), Loftus-Cheek, Dasilva, Jota*, Lincoln, Elyounoussi

Another win here means we have all but guaranteed a top 4 finish. It would be amazing to finish in the top 3 and guarantee the group stages as that will bring in some good money for the club.

Man Utd 1 (Lukaku 50)
Birmingham 1 (Loftus-Cheek 83)
5-3 After Penalties

Pope, Holding, Mawson*, Gibson, Calabria (Colin), Lerma (Kieftenbeld), Loftus-Cheek, Sessegnon, Roberts, Lincoln (Barnes), Elyounoussi

We are out of the FA Cup at the Semi-Final stage. The game was very close and it took penalties to decide it with Elyounoussi missing the key penalty. I am slightly disappointed in going out but I am happy that we can take a team like Man Utd to penalties and not just by defending for the whole game.

Birmingham 3 (Barnes 39, Roberts 52, Fellaini 69)
Southampton 3 (Balotelli 12, 86, Raphinha 90)

Pope, Holgate, Holding, Gibson (Kieftenbeld), Colin, Lerma, Fellaini, Sessegnon (Dasilva), Roberts, Barnes, Jota

While it isn’t mathematically over, this has given the title to Chelsea, We are now 5 points behind with 3 games to go. They scored 2 late goals with Raphinha’s goal coming with the last kick of the game.


This was a key month in terms of the League, Europa League and FA Cup and we have lost all 3 of them. The Europa League was always a dream as there is such hard competition and I am pleased we were able to get to the quarter-finals. The FA Cup was a good run and I just missed that luck you need in a penalty shoot-out. The league has been a disappointment, with us dropping points against Huddlesfield, Chelsea and Southampton. This month has shown me that rotating the squad has really big consequences and next time I may get the players to play through knocks and tiredness.

Player of the month
Patrick Roberts

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League Table

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