From the Press box

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

Archive for August 2010

12.5%

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After a somewhat disappointing draw against Bolton, it can sometimes be difficult as a Blues fan to see the wider picture and keep our eyes on the overall game plan, which is obviously staying in the Premier League for yet another season.

As a match by match feature now, I’m proud to bring you to you, the reader, the stats-o-meter. I’m hoping that it can provide happiness when things seem to be going wrong for us, or it’ll point out the doom and gloom.

Quite frighteningly, we’re already 3 games into the season. Blues current points total of 5, made up of two draws and a win, is 1 point ahead of last seasons standings after 3 matches (LWD).

In my previous article, “Has the forty point benchmark disappeared?”,  my table pointed out that the average point tally for staying up in the Premier League is 38.1 points, but for safety’s sake, it is probably useful to say that we need 40 points to feel any sort of security in this league.

With 5 points on the board, we are 12.5% of the way to earning a third successive Premier League campaign, compared to 10% of the way at the same point last season.

Here is a random comparison between this and last season: This season we have scored 6 goals in the league, compared to one goal in the same number of games during the 2009/2010 season.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

August 30, 2010 at 10:20 pm

The Zog Factor

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The public pursuit of one Mr Charles N’Zogbia has been almost like an elaborate game of kiss chase for Blues. Since January, Blues have fairly publically courted their admiration of the talented Wigan wingman, and he seems to be the man earmarked by McLeish to add width to what is a very narrow team.

I don’t mind public pursuits of players. It gives fans something to get excited about sometimes, a juicy name here or there generates interest. We’ve not been alone in chasing players, Manchester City, backed with financial clout, tracked and got their man James Milner.

What is starting to annoy me ever so slightly though, is the public knock backs. From what I’ve read, which I can’t is extensive, is that Wigan and their Chairman Dave Whelan have a definate price for N’Zogbia. I’ve gathered that this must be around £10 million, and after our £8 million approach was knocked back, I would have thought that with the new backing of the clubs owners, we’d of gone back in their and matched their offer.

At the end of the day, I see it a little bit like this. Some things you have to buy in your own lives, you’d class as essentials. For me, I’d class pants as an essential (although one man I dated did not class pants as an essential – I did question how he could handle wearing jeans but I digress).  Anyway, if I’m in desperate need of pants, I can shop around and see what pants I can get for my money. However, I can’t go to a shop, go to the till with the underwear I require and only offer 80% of the asking price. I could possibly negotiate, ask whether taking out a store card would allow me further discount, but essentially, I would need to pay the asking price.

After writing that all out, maybe it’s not quite the same. However, in an age where fans seem to be comparing old board to new board, is there essentially anything different in the way they are supposedly conducting transfer dealings? The old board were criticised for offering less than the asking price in an attempt to make it appear as if they were interested in a higher calibre of player. If we have the money, why don’t we enter into a negotiation with Wigan in which they will react seriously too, and where we might see N’Zogbia seriously consider a move to the Midlands.

Perhaps I’m just just reacting to new speculation that a further bid has been rejected, and maybe I should let things just play out for the next few days. In the Milner transfer, it was protracted over a number of weeks, bogged down with discussions over fees, player swaps and compensation.

With only a week to go though, messageboards will be tense as the clock starts ticking. Will the elusive wideman ever appear at St. Andrews, or will the last few days turn into the Zog Factor of massive disappointment? Watch this space.

Written by Nicole Carroll

August 25, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Are twitter footy predictions the future?

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I’ve been on hiatus for a while. Life seems to get in the way sometimes, and I’ve taken a step back from being too involved with football and I’ve just observed everything happening around me.  Birmingham have started the season well, and the Premier League is seeing a flurry of goals and early excitement.

The return of the Premier League means I usually return to the bookies to write out my accumulator, stick on a pound, and hope my fortune is going to come to me sometime soon. Thus far, it hasn’t.

Football predictions can be quite fun though, it’s nice to see how unpredictable football really is sometimes, and if you can spy a shock result before it has even been played, then you could be on to a money maker.

In my inbox this afternoon was an email from Wisdom of Fans, a new twitter based football prediction game. As a keen member ofthe twitterati, I was interested by the concept of tweeting my predictions and seeing how good I really am at predicting matches (which I’m not). Even better, at this moment in time their are cash prizes for the best predictor.

This isn’t an endorsement, rather it is an experiment. In the age of social medias such as twitter, can a service like this catch on? The nifty thing I’ve found by searching and playing with the site for ten minutes is that you can search for fellow twitter users and view how they are doing – perhaps friendly rivalries will fuel the popularity of such a site?

Football is the main interest to me quite naturally, however, these side show type games are always welcome, and it should be quite interesting to see whether the idea of sport and social media can cross over effectively to become a service which is widely known.

For anyone interested, my own predictions for this week can be viewed on my page here.

Written by Nicole Carroll

August 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm