From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

The biggest summer in Birmingham’s recent history

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With the big news of the day appearing in the Birmingham Mail, Birmingham are waving goodbye to eleven players, and are looking towards a huge summer overhaul in terms of personnel.

Out of the St.Andrews door are: Gary McSheffrey, Franck Queudrue, Gregory Vignal, Lee Carsley, Artur Krysiak, Jared Wilson, Jacob Rowe, Shaun Timmins, Teemu Tainio, Joe Hart and Christian Benitez.

Both McSheffrey and Queudrue were out on loan already, and there was already feeling that we would not be bringing the players back to the club. With McSheffrey’s contract ending, he is now a bosman transfer, and he will be snapped up over the summer.

Lee Carsley had already announced his intentions to leave the club to pursue first team football, and this must be admirable. He quite obviously wants to make the most of his last years in football, and can still do a good job for another side.

Vignal did seem to be a bit of a shock, following stories in the media about how McLeish was impressed with Vignal and so on. One can only presume McLeish has his eyes on another left back, potentially Konchesky, and cannot see Vignal fitting into plans at St. Andrews.

There are always a number of younger casualties within the club, and we see this again this summer with four youngsters leaving the club for pastures new. Not much you can really comment on about these players who we haven’t had an oppotunity to see.

Two more loan signings will be going back to their parent clubs. Teemu Tainio barely featured for the Blues due to an injury sustained early into the season, which didn’t allow for the player to impose on the team. The second loan signing, Joe Hart, is someone who we will sorely miss, and he goes back to Manchester City leaving Blues fans with a heavy heart. He will always be fondly remembered by Blues fans, and he has been complimentary about the fans and the clubs management on his exit, which is always heartening to hear.

The question that has been on the lips of all Blues fans since the last game of the season is whether Christian Benitez would be staying. The question was answered today, with Blues deciding not to take the gamble on the striker who has delighted the fans this season. He did bring speed and style to the squad, but McLeish has quite obviously decided that paying the fee for Benitez, rumoured to have been around seven million, is too much of a gamble for the club and will now be looking at bringing different strikers into the club over the summer.The only worry now is that another club come in for Benitez, who will then score 20 goals next season after having all the ground work set by our club. If he does sign to an English club next season and fails to score the goals, then maybe McLeish will be vindicated a little.

With so many departures, the squad is now left threadbare, and this is potentially the biggest summer in the clubs history. McLeish has a massive job to do, in terms of bringing quality which can slot into the starting eleven, whilst also building a squad with enough depth to avoid the fatigue next January, when if, God forbid, we’re in a relegation battle, we’re going to need players who aren’t tired, and who can provide something different to lift us out of trouble. This is the biggest transfer window for McLeish since he joined the club. I’m fairly positive: in Eck we trust.

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One Response

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    May 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm


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