Birmingham City failed to build on the recent league victory over Leeds United, as the team could only manage a 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic.
Pressure mounts on manager Gary Rowett as the team has been unable to find a way to get more victories. Birmingham started the campaign with hopes of at least finishing in the play-offs even though there is not a lot of support for the manager from the board in terms of new signings. Birmingham have gone through a lot of financial difficulties in recent times, but Rowett felt confident coming into the game.
After only managing a draw with Wigan,Rowett did not help himself after questioning his own team selection. He claimed that he had a thought about the possibility of making some changes to the team, but resisted the urge after having watched the players perform well in the 2-1 win over Leeds United. Many managers do not tend to change a winning combination, butRowett seems to have been unable to spot the difference between a one-time performance. The manager is expected to now ring the changes in the hope of infuse some fear into the team about the first-team places.
Rowett claimed that he should have also gone in for a different formation.”I toyed with making a few changes, but I felt as though the players who played against Leeds deserved to go again.But I think some of the players ran out of steam. So, maybe I should have possibly made a few more changes in the starting eleven,” said the manager after the 1-1 draw. David Davies came up with the opening goal for Birmingham before Craig Davis secured a late equaliser for the home team. As a result of just taking one point from the opening three games, Birmingham are struggling.
After securing a 4-0 win over Kidderminster in the final friendly game, Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett claimed that he is feeling confident ahead of the new season.
The club failed to even come close to achieving their objective of getting promoted back to the Premier League last season. This time around, the competition is expected to be more intense with clubs like Newcastle United expected to be favourites for the top prize. Aston Villa are also in the mix to get promoted back at the first instance.
Even though the relegation of Villa means that the Midlands derby will renew once again, Birmingham are looking jealous at their arch rivals after having seen them complete the signing of Ross McCormack. The former Fulham striker has been one of the best forwards in the Championship over the last few years. Amidst a lot of fight between clubs like Norwich City, Aston Villa managed to sign him for around £ 12 million.Rowett is under extreme pressure to deliver the results this season. The club has managed to finish only 10th in the last two seasons under the former Burton Albion manager. Even though some would see this as a lack of progression,Rowett will feel pleased since he has been able to achieve this without spending a lot of money.
“You can name six or seven teams in this division who, if they want a deal doing, can massively overpay to get that deal done.We’re not in that position. We’ve almost got to try and underpay and see if we can make it happen. No disrespect to us, but that’s just where we are in comparison to some of the others,” said the Birmingham manager about the club’s inability to compete in the transfer market due to financial constraints.
With several clubs moving players to and from their ranks to others and so forth, Birmingham City is no exception.
The club is looking to transfer the Portugal striker from their ranks to the Blues who are looking for a similar player. Nelson Oliveira is known as the Benfica striker in whom the club is interested this season. He is known to play the center forward position. He has won about twelve caps for his country. He would definitely be an asset for the attacking positions that the team wishes to fortify this season. It is rumored that the player is available on loan. He is also being looked at by the rival club, Sheffield. The club is the rivals of the Birmingham which might mean that the club would have to step up their offer.
The Blues have been considering getting a move for the 24 year old. He had been given on loan the last season to Nottingham Forest. In 29 games that he played in a Forest last season he helped in scoring nine times. The end season games were missed out by him as he suffered from a groin injury. The career of this player has been built in Benfica, which has been his parent club.
He has been loaned out six times till now. Hence, it is believed that he will be able to prove himself if he is taken up by Birmingham City. On the other hand, if he is loaned out to Scheffield, it would definitely be a blow for Birmingham City. It is believed that Birmingham city managers have several strategies up their sleeves to spruce up the ranks ahead of the new season. With the friendly matches being on, it is the perfect time to get the new players on board who can then be made adjusted to the ranks and the playing style for the club.
Many Birmingham fans will be fearing at the possibility of losing David Cotterill in the summer, but manager Gary Rowett hopes that the player returns from international action after a fine Euro 2016.
Cotterill is with the Welsh national team at the Euro 2016. It is a momentous occasion for everyone concerned with Wales since the national team is qualifying for the major tournament after almost 60 years.Cotterill may be a squad player due to the presence of superstars like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but the possibility of the Birmingham City man featuring at least once in the group stages remains high.
If he manages to do well at the Euro 2016, Birmingham could be receiving a lot of offers for the player in the summer. Rowett is not worried about having to fend off interest from other clubs. Instead, he wants the players to have a very good international tournament and a return in a buoyant mood ahead of the new Championship season. Playing in the Euro 2016 also represents of a problem for Rowett in terms of maintaining energy levels within the player.The manager accepted that the player will have to be provided with an extra period of rest in order to allow him to recuperate.
“It’s easy for me to say I hope he doesn’t play. You know what, for him I hope he does play. I hope he plays and I hope he’s brilliant in every game and I hope I have a real problem in the summer.In a way I hope he goes away and has a great Euros. But I know he will be ringing me, whingeing like mad that he wants an extra couple of weeks off. If it’s easy we will probably give him an extra week off. But he will come back hoping for a big season,” said Rowett.
Gary Rowett admitted that he is extremely disappointed with the professionalism shown by his players in the game with Preston North End.
Birmingham have little to play for in the season after their recent disappointing results ruled them out of a play-off place. Even then, Rowett claimed that his professional players will give their best in the remaining few games of the season. This was not the case against Preston after the team lost a 2-0 advantage to draw the game. Clayton Donaldson produced a brace to see Birmingham played with a two-goal advantage just after the hour mark.
It seemed that the club was heading for their first win in three games. The 2-0 win over Reading is the sole victory achieved by Birmingham in the recent games. It has been a major factor in their failure to take advantage of teams like Sheffield Wednesday dropping points at an alarming pace. Wednesday still occupy the sixth spot despite their poor run. The first signs of discomfort appeared when Alan Browne pulled one back for Preston in the 73rd minute. The opposition were back on level terms with one minute of normal time remaining. Gregory Cunningham came up with the equaliser that saw Rowett become disappointed with his team.
“I can’t tell you some of the words I used in the dressing room.Short of me saying we were spineless, I’ve gone pretty tough on them.To be 2-0 up at home and end up drawing the game 2-2, I can’t accept that lack of desire.It looked to me like the game was won and I think my players thought it was too. We started thinking we were on the beach, making bad decisions and not defending when we need to defend,” said the Birmingham manager, as the club remained ninth in the table.
Birmingham City is scraping into the play offs of the English League Championship which is a huge turn around for the club which was located in the bottom section of the 2nd tier English league when Gary Rowett took charge of City back in October of 2014.
Making a transition from the bottom to the higher section of the league is something which is not easy to accomplish but Gary Rowett managed to accomplish this and it’s why he has been so .
Even though Birmingham City are doing much better than before, Gary Rowett is certain that his team can still be sharpened and improved further, this is why he’s eager for the winter transfer window to arrive in January as the English manager is planning on making a number of changes to his squad within the next few weeks.
“I think we’re in a better position this January. Without getting people overly-excited I think we’re in the best position we’ve been in for a while and I’m quite excited. I’ve probably not helped in some ways, but I almost can’t wait for January to come.
“I’m not trying to dismiss the next four or five games and mean they don’t matter because of course they do. But the point to me is that we’ll be in a very good position to strengthen and with the players coming back it’s quite an exciting time.” Birmingham City’s Gary Rowett stated as he voiced his excitement for what’s lying ahead.
One of the things that has been affecting the squad of Gary Rowett the most are injuries as this has forced some of the key players of Birmingham City including: Clayton Donaldson and David Cotterill but with the arrival of the winter transfer window, Rowett is hoping that with the upcoming transfers, these injury problems will be resolved.
Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta has rejected suggestions that he does not get along well with manager Luis Enrique at Barcelona.
Regarded as one of the best players at the Catalan club, Iniesta has been going through a poor patch of form especially in terms of scoring goals. Last season, he started only 19 of the 38 league matches. More importantly, he failed to come up with even a single goal in the league. Aside from these statistics, Iniesta will feel that he played a major role in helping the club win another treble. When Barcelona won the treble under Guardiola, Iniesta was just approaching the peak of his career.
Now, though, there are different situations at the Catalan club with Iniesta being seen as the senior member of the squad. Since coming to manage Barcelona last summer, Enrique has made some vital changes in terms of tactics and personnel. Xavi Hernandez has been allowed to leave the club in what is seen by many as an end of the era. The departure for Iniesta would also be viewed in a similar manner, but the 31-year-old has denied suggestions of a fallout. However, he admitted that the tactics of the manager does not suit his style of play.
“It is not true that I am suffering in Luis Enrique’s style of play. In the end, you always have to find your place and feel well in a certain formation and I am able to continue doing just that. It is true that perhaps some things have changed for me but that is not a negative thing, in my opinion.I have gone through all kinds of moments last season, with different emotions, I don’t think it was a bad season for me on a personal level. I am more than happy both on an individual and collective level for what we achieved,” said Iniesta.
Birmingham City will have several friendly matches lined up before the start of the season in the first week of August.
They have been quite convincing in the friendly games up until now, but manager Gary Rowetthas claimed that the players will have to start delivering over the next few games in order to claim a spot in the first team for the new season. Birmingham have undergone a number of changes in recent seasons and the latest change is in the manager.Rowett was appointed as the Birmingham City boss in October 2014 and he failed to lead the club to a play-off place.
The 41-year-old is likely to be excused due to the fact that he is one of the youngest managers in the Championship. It will take time before his ideas start to work their magic. Last season, the club finished in 10th place, which was pretty decent considering the budget in the transfer window. In a rather strange situation, Birmingham have scheduled two friendly matches on the same day.Rowett will be sending out two squads for the games against Shrewsbury Town and Northampton Town. The manager says that he will have a close look at both matches and arrive at a conclusion for his first-team.
“We will mix it up again but we are always looking to give people partnerships to have a little look at.It will be a case of us having to get through 90 minutes as a team. If we get one or two tire towards the end then we have got the Under 21s to fill in the gaps. It’s important to us that they get 90 minutes in and after that it’s a case of ‘OK, we now really need to start looking at the team and playing a stronger starting team that’s a bit more consistent’,” said Rowett.
Birmingham City have once again failed to reach the Premier League – even though the play-offs – after they could only finish in the bottom half of the table.
The continuing financial problems at the club can only be recovered either through investment from outside or by getting into the Premier League. The massive TV money available only in the English top division can help cure the financial problems of the club. The continuing failure to get into the English top flight could also lead to the club slowly slipping down the hierarchy. Manager Gary Rowett fears that this will not be the case.
The manager also believes that there will be significant transfer funds available for him to spend in the coming transfer window. Due to significantly lower transfer budgets than other competing clubs, Birmingham do not have a large squad. They are focusing on quality more than quantity and this will once again be the case during the summer according toRowett. The team finished 10th in the table courtesy of three consecutive victories towards the end of the season. All of them were narrow 1-0 victories and this will be an area of concern forRowett. Scoring much more easily will be the target for the new campaign.
“The easiest thing for me to say is that we certainly won’t have a lower budget than last season, I think that’s important.Whilst I wouldn’t want to go into specific details of figures I think it’s important the fans know we are not going to be reducing the budget.But when I talk about reducing the playing staff, for me that makes sense. How do you get better players in with a similar level of playing budget? For me the answer is to maximise all areas of it,” said Rowett.
Birmingham International Holdings is the company that owns the Championship League club and it has reported that a former employee of the club might have left £2.5m unaccounted for. The parent company of Birmingham City FC has already told this news to the police in their region which is in Hong Kong and they are now investigating this incident.
“The Company has reported the suspected misappropriation of funds to the Hong Kong Police Force and they are currently investigating the matter.” This was part of the statement that was released by Birmingham International Holdings.
An investigation committee has been set up which is going to examine what could have occurred in this event. Carson Yeung is the former president of Birmingham City but he had to resign and leave his role in the English club after it was discovered that he had been involved in money laundering and was jailed for 6 years.
Carson Yeung still remains being the majority shareholder but now the Championship League is receiving bids in order to switch ownership.
Jerry Ko is a former colleague of the convicted money launderer Carson Yeung and Ko was arrested by Hong Kong police but was later released after it was announced that more investigations needs to be done.
A total of 7 bidders and possible suitors of Birmingham City have shown interest in taking control of the English outfit and if any of them is accepted by the Birmingham International Holdings then the influence and control that Carson Yeung has will be reaching it’s end.
Even with all of the financial problems that the club is experiencing in this season, Birmingham City are going through a much better season than the previous one where they just barely managed to escape the bottom relegation zone. In this current season, Birmingham City has a pillow of 10 points over the dreadful relegation spots and with less than 7 league matches remaining, they should be able to survive in the Championship League for another year.