SkyDaz On Leeds

Last updated : 05 January 2005 By Darren Porter

Let’s get things into perspective. We had just won four games on the trot and peaked at the dizzy heights of ninth place and everything was rosy in the Premiership garden. The team were playing like er a team, we have the finest (and richest!) boardroom in the history of the club, a determined resolute business woman at the helm and one of the best up and coming English managers in the game running the playing side.

There was no way it could continue, this is Birmingham City we are talking about. Sure enough we fail to turn up for the first half against Newcastle, the self proclaimed star of the show and club mascot Savage hands in a hand written transfer request (you can picture the spidery scrawl like a ransom note!) in order to join a club closer to Wrexham (may I be so impertinent as to suggest Wrexham, that’s got to be close to Wrexham, surely?) and we lose at home to a Bolton team that haven’t won since a long time ago.

That’s better, that’s more like it!

According to far better scribes than myself Newcastle would have beaten nigh on everyone in the first half at St James’s Park. I guess old misery Souness would eventually have a decent forty five minutes at some stage of his managerial career. It’s just a shame it was against us. Once we had unscrewed Tebily from the pitch after Bellamy had forced him into playing the spinning and fall over dizzy game we showed the Toon Army up for what they are. A very average side. Indeed in the live game against Albion they looked poor and surely a more determined first half would have seen us leave the grim north with at least a point in our pockets.

The match against Bolton was a huge non starter. The Savage debacle, which I will come back to, had somehow taken the fight out of the fans. A few noble souls attempted to generate unrest with songs about him being a liar and a merchant banker but, probably due to apathy, they petered out and were not taken up by the full choir.

The line up was the best we could muster under the circumstances and demonstrated the need for some additions during the transfer window. I’m sure Big Sam quaked when he read the midfield line up of Johnson, Anderton, Clemence and Lazaridis. Not exactly the Galacticos. But bless them, they tried.

Surely Tebily is on the verge of becoming a cult hero. And ‘cult’ is spelt correctly. The Celtic fans knew him as ‘hand grenade’ because anything was liable to happen when he is in possession, he could go off at any time. I am certain that Tebily thinks he is Zinedine Zidane. There was a fine moment against Bolton when he was our furthest player forward and so far from being in the left back berth it was untrue. Unfortunately for Tebily he has joined DJ on the fans’ hitlist. He can do no right. The good parts of his game are greeted with ungrateful silence and the bad parts, which are admittedly numerous, are loudly recognised by the vocal majority.

This does beg the question of exactly how bad Clapham has become? Bruce is prepared to play Tebily at left back and replace him with Lazaridis and then with Gray. When Clapham was finally introduced into the foray against Bolton he was despatched into central midfield! In other words Bruce was ready to give anyone a go at left back except for the only true left back we have! How bizarre! Maybe Clapham has done a Keiron Dyer and informed Bruce that he no longer feels able to play in the position he has occupied since he was an embryo.

Far be it from me to criticise the footballing knowledge of King Bruce but I would like to see a left back at left back, their positional knowledge is just a tad more instinctive. On the subject of tactics I was also disappointed to see Morrison replaced by Yorke. Morrison knows that when Emile jumps for the ball he has to sprint on past the big fella to anticipate the flick whereas Yorke is possibly the laziest player since Lazy McLazy from Lazyville won the laziest man contest. Or is that just the impression he creates?

The result of Mozza going off was that when the long ball was headed on by Emile it went through to the Bolton defenders or keeper and was hoofed back up the pitch to our defenders who were patiently waiting on the edge of our penalty area. We persist in defending in numbers, that number is normally eleven! I would prefer to leave one up front so that the panicking defenders can at least try and pick out a team mate when looking to boot the ball out. But what do I know?

Savage – I have this immense feeling that we have all been let down. He is, without doubt, the most despised footballer in the Premiership, there are young pretenders like Diouf, Boa Morte, Bellamy but none have reached the same depths of loathing as our Robbie and for that we love him! However his self promotion and bleating have become tiresome and his lack of respect for the club and the fans is nothing short of disgraceful. Many players come back to St Andrews and receive good ovations, even those who never quite made the grade, like AJ, Horsfield, Purse and Hughes. Savage will be abused and quite rightly so, he wants everything done on his terms and life is not like that.

In the summer he wanted a four year contract for the security of his family, we gave it him, we gave a thirty year old player a four year deal, an unbelievable but very decent gesture by the club. We were all informed that such a deal would end any speculation and that Savage would see out his playing days at the Blues. Savage thanks the club by slapping in a transfer request just six months later. I said some time ago that he was trying to engineer a move away and, like the spoilt brat that he is, when things weren’t going his way he forced the issue. I hope he rots in the reserves or gets relegated with Blackburn. The problem with this is that, if we admitted the truth, we missed him against Bolton. He is an important and integral part of Bruce’s team and in reality as we pay his wages the blonde haired, pony tailed ponce should be made to play for us whether he likes it or not.

Anyone around Robbie’s age has parents who are getting old and having health problems. That’s nature and as we have all seen recently there is little anyone can do to prevent the ravages of its wrath. No doubt most of us work during the week and any element of care for our parents is frantically slotted in on an evening or on a weekend. Robbie is fortunate to be in a profession which allows more free time than most of us. So stop moaning about your lot Robbie, look at the news footage and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get on with it!

I don’t care about the FA Cup! We should have got to the final last year but lost in true blue style at home to Sunderland. I threw my FA Cup rattle out of the pram a long time ago thanks to Fulham and its never been picked up since. In order to prevent me dreaming of the wonderful Millennium Stadium I am going to predict a Blues win, 6-0. Now that should guarantee an early cup exit.

Keep Right On.