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v Birmingham (A) - Matchday Thread


86 Hair Islands
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Birmingham City Vs Derby County
Tuesday 29th December 17:30 Kick Off

After  the bitter disappointment of losing to a poor Preston side when having worked so hard throughout the game, a strong showing and 3 points would be very welcome and would doubtless restore some Christmas cheer. Hard to imagine us having worse luck (or worse officials) than we did today and based on how we've seen we can perform, I'd be we can get back on track.

With Waggy now on holiday for 3 games (you absolute plonker, what were you thinking!), I'd imagine we'll see Lawrence restored to the starting 11. Other than that, I'm not seeing any reason to alter the starting line-up much from today's, unless of course anyone picked up a niggle. On the bright side, a win might well see us out of the relegation slots with Rotherham facing an in-form Barnsley side and the Gumps facing a tricky away game at Stoke.

Note the silly kick-off time chaps!

COYR

 

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1 hour ago, RamNut said:

We need to shuffle pack and add more attacking threat.

i wonder if Ibe will be ready to start a game? and Sibley?

I’m not sure we do.  I can’t help feeling we would’ve won today with 11 men and be still talking about not changing a winning side.  All conjecture of course.

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Quick turnaround over the festive period, so given the effort we had to put in today with only 10 men for 70 minutes, we may need to rotate here to make sure our fitness levels are high enough. Particularly some of the forward players who really put a massive shift in.

Marshall

Byrne Evans Clarke Buchanan

Sibley Bielik Shinnie

Holmes Hector-Ingram Jozwiak

Wisdom seemed to clock off on a few occasions again today, and we are going to start getting punished for it soon. He’s been the defensive weak link all season imo for whatever reason, so it may be time to given Evans another try whilst we wait for January. Knight put in a massive shift today, as per usual, and may be due a rest to keep him going at full capacity. Bringing Sibley in might add some extra attacking flair as well, which we desperately need. Holmes obviously comes in for the suspended Waghorn, with Ibe probably not fit enough yet. Kazim also put a massive shift in today, so probably needs a rest at his age as well. We lack options to come in, so will have to hope Hector-Ingram can step up to senior level. Would like to rest Jozwiak for similar reasons, but unless Lawrence is fit, we don’t really have any other options there.

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Some tough calls for Rooney to make. What I really do want to see is some effective use of the 5 subs rule in this game, but it's a fine line as a loss would see recent progress derailed and pressure mount, yet overplaying the likes of Bielik and Kazim could have far longer-lasting ramifications should either pick up an injury. Neither has played much football recently and we simply can't risk burning them out either, with so many games still to play.

The other quandary for me is Andre Wisdom. He's such a bull of a man that I think it's rather too easy to underplay the seriousness of what happened to him. Prior to what must have been a pretty harrowing attack, he was back in prime form and playing his best football since his initial loan. Most recently he has looked to be re-finding some form, but he has developed a tendency to switch off at critical moments which whilst understandable, is costing us dear. With Curtis out though, our options all beg questions; George Evans is himself very short of game-time, Fozzy has never looked a natural at CB and Solomon who while highly promising, lacks experience. Not ideal against a side with Hogan and Jutkiewicz available for the striking role, but I'd be resting Andre and drafting in Evans who has played well at times against the kind of aerial bombardment we may well see against Birmingham.

I think it's also a 'now or never' moment for Jordon Ibe - he must surely be fit enough to start a game and I'd rather risk him being shy of match fitness, than pitch in with Lawrence from the start who has looked woefully out of sorts since the first lockdown. Perhaps Jordon can get 50-60 minutes under his belt with Tom given a chance against tired legs in the final 30. Jozwiak has certainly earned a rest but JHI is not showing anywhere near enough for me right now and with reluctance and in the hope we are leading at the time, I'd be looking to get another 60-70 minutes from the Jozzy before giving him a well-earned rest. Stretton seems the obvious replacement for the ever hard-working Kazim, with Bird and Sibley as possible replacements for Bielik and Shinnie.

I think I'd line up as follows, with the subs to get at least 20-30 minutes:

 

image.png.b62e2236857194d81919229c198c449d.png

 

I think this is a tough game coming so soon after a hard shift against a very physical Preston side, but if we can start fast and take our chances, I can see us grafting a hard-fought 2-1 win with Colin and Jozzy getting the goals.

COYR

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21 minutes ago, RamNut said:

I see Birmingham have managed to sign Alen Halilovic on a free!

now that’s what i call recruitment. 

No doubt a talented player but I’ve never heard of him or seen him play. Makes you wonder, if he’s that good, how come he’s spent the last five years on loan spells and Birmingham managed to pick him up for free?

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Tough loss against a poor Preston side who I’m sure we would have beat with 11 men on the pitch. Show the same level of desire with 11 men and we have the quality to beat them. 

 

                           Marshall

Byrne Wisdom Clarke Buchanan

            Shinnie Bielik Sibley

Ibe        Kazim      Joz 

 

Knight deserves a rest and Ibe looked sharp for the u23’s. Seems like this is the moment for Ibe too. 2-0 Derby. COYR.
 

    

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                    Marshall

Byrne Wisdom Clarke Buchanan

          Knight   Bielik  Shinnie

       Joz     Lawrence   Sibley

 

I know, I know. 

CKR is a beast and full of the right stuff whilst Lawrence is a sulk blanket. 

I just think we need a bit of dribbling to get beyond Birmingham and the three selected offer the best option to start. 

I would give Ibe 20 minutes at the end. 

 

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                 Marshall

Byrne  Wisdom  Clarke  Forsyth 

      Knight   Bielik   Shinnie

    Jozwiak  CKR   Lawrence 

assuming Lawrence is fit, if not put Holmes there? Would look to give Bird, Sibley & Ibe a bit more game time as subs.

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Attack... Attack... Attack, attack, attack!

Seriously, Birmingham aren't great. Their back 4 is one of the slowest in the league. If we can get a combination of Ibe, Knight, Sibley, Jozwiak running at them then chances will come.

Marshall
Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan
Bielik
Ibe, Knight, Sibley, Jozwiak
Kazim

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10 hours ago, 86 Hair Islands said:

Some tough calls for Rooney to make. What I really do want to see is some effective use of the 5 subs rule in this game, but it's a fine line as a loss would see recent progress derailed and pressure mount, yet overplaying the likes of Bielik and Kazim could have far longer-lasting ramifications should either pick up an injury. Neither has played much football recently and we simply can't risk burning them out either, with so many games still to play.

The other quandary for me is Andre Wisdom. He's such a bull of a man that I think it's rather too easy to underplay the seriousness of what happened to him. Prior to what must have been a pretty harrowing attack, he was back in prime form and playing his best football since his initial loan. Most recently he has looked to be re-finding some form, but he has developed a tendency to switch off at critical moments which whilst understandable, is costing us dear. With Curtis out though, our options all beg questions; George Evans is himself very short of game-time, Fozzy has never looked a natural at CB and Solomon who while highly promising, lacks experience. Not ideal against a side with Hogan and Jutkiewicz available for the striking role, but I'd be resting Andre and drafting in Evans who has played well at times against the kind of aerial bombardment we may well see against Birmingham.

I think it's also a 'now or never' moment for Jordon Ibe - he must surely be fit enough to start a game and I'd rather risk him being shy of match fitness, than pitch in with Lawrence from the start who has looked woefully out of sorts since the first lockdown. Perhaps Jordon can get 50-60 minutes under his belt with Tom given a chance against tired legs in the final 30. Jozwiak has certainly earned a rest but JHI is not showing anywhere near enough for me right now and with reluctance and in the hope we are leading at the time, I'd be looking to get another 60-70 minutes from the Jozzy before giving him a well-earned rest. Stretton seems the obvious replacement for the ever hard-working Kazim, with Bird and Sibley as possible replacements for Bielik and Shinnie.

I think I'd line up as follows, with the subs to get at least 20-30 minutes:

 

image.png.b62e2236857194d81919229c198c449d.png

 

I think this is a tough game coming so soon after a hard shift against a very physical Preston side, but if we can start fast and take our chances, I can see us grafting a hard-fought 2-1 win with Colin and Jozzy getting the goals.

COYR

Top post ! .. Andre has come back brilliantly .. I don’t know how many noticed the sheer quality of his passi gnour from the back against knob Enders .. there were some peachy forward balls under pressure that found a man in CM. Then him rescuing Dave the Save sticking every sinew on the line. Hugely underrated player in some quarters. Let’s get Jordon Ibe on the pitch for a minimum of 30 minutes .. we need to see if he has got is game changing abilities. 
 

I can’t tell you how narked I was on saturday .. we did so well, players running for each other, over lapping, proving “interference” runs .. there was a huge bucket of good stuff going on. The ball didn’t always bounce for us, Waggy just lost his self control in the passion of the moment .. foolish but for me always forgivable in a team that wants to win. This is something Wayne has changed .. we aren’t about being scientific or clever - we are about giving it everything within our powers and ability 
Come on Derby .. this is the game. Be bold. 

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9 minutes ago, jono said:

Waggy just lost his self control in the passion of the moment .. foolish but for me always forgivable in a team that wants to win.

Passion of the moment?! Don't think so it was all fairly calm as we were going forward. It was a poorly judged tackle.

30s in:

https://www.skysports.com/football/Derby-vs-preston/report/429951

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6 hours ago, LeedsRam1999 said:

Tough loss against a poor Preston side who I’m sure we would have beat with 11 men on the pitch. Show the same level of desire with 11 men and we have the quality to beat them. 

 

                           Marshall

Byrne Wisdom Clarke Buchanan

            Shinnie Bielik Sibley

Ibe        Kazim      Joz 

 

Knight deserves a rest and Ibe looked sharp for the u23’s. Seems like this is the moment for Ibe too. 2-0 Derby. COYR.
 

    

The only thing that worries me there is Knight. Yes, he deserves a rest but boy is he good. Over time I’ve seen tough guys and few eager but headless chickens, along with those with skill and finesse. At this level at least Jason’s got the lot (without the headless bit) Engine room, passion, guts, a lot of strength for a young one and skills in equal measure. I don’t think “give up” is in his vocabulary. 

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9 hours ago, Tamworthram said:

No doubt a talented player but I’ve never heard of him or seen him play. Makes you wonder, if he’s that good, how come he’s spent the last five years on loan spells and Birmingham managed to pick him up for free?

Because he chose to join Barcelona and Milan where he will struggle to get a game. 

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44 minutes ago, RoyMac5 said:

Passion of the moment?! Don't think so it was all fairly calm as we were going forward. It was a poorly judged tackle.

30s in:

https://www.skysports.com/football/Derby-vs-preston/report/429951

You see this is where me and the rules depart ... Waggy was fired up, yes he’d lost any semblance of science and understanding of rules but he went for a tackle, full on. He wanted the ball, he connected with the ball first.. job done.

But it was reckless according to the rules. The rules are right .. they are there to prevent serious injury. Waggy lost it, he was wrong. I am not speaking to excuse him. he knows he effed up. .. Yet if you are a player and you care and it is a competitive sport .. these things happen. .. I want players that care enough that they occasionally lose it. 

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2 minutes ago, RoyMac5 said:

Watch the video again - he doesn't look vaguely 'fired up'. Not a rush of blood, just a bloody awful attempt at a tackle.

I think that is what you get with players like Waggy. But isn’t anyone allowed to make an honest error of judgment without being crucified ? Being pragmatic and sensible, he should B learn from it but it is easier said than done. 

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