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Rovers Versus Big City Club Round Ii



84 members have voted

  1. 1. Big Club Mom

    • Friedel
    • Warnock
    • Emerton
    • Ooijer
    • Samba
    • Tugay
    • Savage
    • Dunn
    • Pedersen
    • Bentley
    • Sant Cruz
    • Mokoena
    • McCarthy
    • Derbyshire

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I make no apologies for the early posting of this pre match thread, I am off on a short break with the missus to Cornwall after tomorrow and will be internetless until after the Thursday match at home to Larissa. I have to make some small sacrifices for the marriage to work and after a long sentence it still appears to do the trick. Spend a few days away with the wife and she forgets everything about football and BRFC as long as I treat her nice and spend some money on her. gents it works every year !

Now then back to the game......

Birmingham, or Big Club FC as we have come to know them more recently, some others would say Rovers rejects FC or whatever judging on the previous transfer history between the two clubs, be it acrimonious or simple, its certainly been colourful.

I have tried to think of a different way of introducing the game but, with work and other committments, as well as a lack of a brain, it really is a hard nut to crack.

Recent links between the clubs have become tedious, boring, entertaining and funny. We have had the Savage scenario rammed down our throats by dildo wielding mssrs Gold and Sullivan. We have seen Birmingham been fleeced by our own Graeme Sourness when he conned 5.5 million from the St Andrews coffers when they bought a certain David Dunn. We have seen players of the ilk of Martin "tiny" Taylor go for a million pounds plus as well as the likes of Damian Johnson, Dwight Yorke and Neil Danns all end up as part of Steve Bruces' Birmingham revolution (not to mention his son Alex). An historical look at players of the past who have represented both clubs are stalwarts such as Alan Ainscough, Andy Cole, Howard Gayle, Sir Roger Jones, Howard Kendall, Alan Kelly, Mike Newell, Alan Miller, Phil Starbuck, Chris Sutton, Gordon Taylor and of course a certain David Speedie.

So as you can see there has been a healthy link over the years and I am sure that I will have missed out players from the early early days which Den may know about ! (sorry Den).

I suppose, in thinking about it, there has been pretty strained relations between the two sets of fans, not helped of course by recent events. I can recall in 1984/85 a game at St Andrews when a Chris Thompson double ensured a Rovers away win in fron of around 12000 fans. The reception the travelling fans got from the then aptly named Zulu's was not to be forgotten. Rovers went on to complete a double over the Birmingham team later that season as they cemented a 5th place finish in the league. Indeed over the next few years into the 90's results between the clubs often saw home wins registered. Over the years Rovers definately have the upper hand over Birmingham at home. An overall comparison between the two clubs shows that Rovers just have the edge with 26 wins to Birminhams 25 wins.

Some interesting factoids about Birmingham include:

record defeat includes a 9-1 deficit against our own Blackburn Rovers although it was 1895 !

record transfer fee received is 8m for Jermaine Pennant

record transfer fee paid is 6.25m for Emeeel Heskey

most capped player is current second /first choice keeper (dependent on bruces mood) Maik Taylor

They have never won the League or FA Cup but they did win the old League cup in 1963.

probably their most famous player was Trevor Francis if we exclude Sir Roger Jones from that list !

Those of us who attended Ewood Park on Wednesday saw a Rovers 11 demolish a second string Birmingham with ease, it was really men against boys. I doubt very much that we will witness a poor midfield display from them come next Sunday afternoon. Rovers can expect the likes of Kapo, Quedrue, Muamba, Larsson and Ridgewell to feature and I think based on their recent performance at Anfield Rovers can certainly expect Birmingham to come to Ewood with nothing more than a 4-5-1 formation. They will come with a point and will hope to disappear down the M6 with it on the coach.

I spoke to a lad who I have recently worked with in the Midlands who professed to be a die hard Bluenose with nothing but hatred for everything in Villa colours. A lad called Jim, who on the face of it seem to hold Rovers in high regard. the one downside of my long conversation with him over a few pints was his continuing annoyance going on about Robbie Savage, for some reason he just couldnt let it go. I tried to mellow him by offering a game of snooker but having raced into a 4 leg lead he lost interest and tried to concentrate on talking footie.

I dont intend going into the old Q and A routine, but in brief I will summarise his thoughts.

Generally he was more than impressed with the way BRFC is run as a club and with all that they have achieved in their small ground, small town and the fair share of luck we have had courtesy of Sir Jack Walker. At this point he had to get his dig in about Sir Jack Heywood and his spending at Wolves. He couldnt manage to get his around about how we conned Brum out of 5.5m for crocked Dunn but stated that he was simply the biggest waste of space since Walter Pandiani aka The Rifle. He mentioned that he was impressed with the Cup win versus Spurs and even hinted that given the luck of the draw Rovers could well go onto the final this year, I think that was when he realised his beloved team had exited along with Villa. he had to have a dig at our lowly crowds but to even that score he was more than complimentary about Rovers stance on ticket prices. He himself had seen the benefit as he was one of the 290 brum fans that came to Ewood on Wednesday ! Ironic really when he mentioned support !

Moving on he mentioned the likes of Santa Cruz,McCarthy, Bentley and MGP as being the players to hurt Birmingham, he is frightened of Sambas aerial ability and will cry all the way back down south if a certain Robbie Savage does what he did at St Andrews and manages a goal.

Jim does not expect a win at Ewood, he will settle for a point. I asked about potential away fans and he seemed to think as the game is on Sunday we wont see more than 1000 fans coming North. he settled for a 1-1 draw naming Jerome or Larsson as the players Rovers should fear.

Our snooker game finished in a 5-2 win for the Rovers supporter and he footed the bill for the curry.

For me , if Rovers can produce anything like the amount of chances on Wednesday I can see nothing more than a 2-0 win. I would certainly settle for that.


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A lad called Jim, who on the face of it seem to hold Rovers in high regard. the one downside of my long conversation with him over a few pints was his continuing annoyance going on about Robbie Savage, for some reason he just couldnt let it go.

They just never let it go, whether it's blokes I'm talking to for the first time or folks I've drank with for years I'm forever having that same bloody conversation about Savage (whereas, like yourself I'd much rather talk about Dunn, Yorke and tiny Taylor :))

I caught the 2nd half of their game on Saturday, sharing the back room of a Birmingham boozer with the most clueless football fans you'd ever meet. Big Club put on a fine defensive display, decent attacks on the break but undone by a good bit of skill from Ronaldo.

They'll shut up shop like they against Utd but we're at home so we ought to beat 'em. Nobody's expecting the easy ride we had in the Beer Cup but I reckon 2-0's realistic (with me grinning at them all the way back down the M6!).

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Im not sure about this game, brum's first team look a hard to team to break down, and i always worry when we play against defensive minded teams about how we are going to break them down.

With our players no doubt putting everything in on Thursday night, i could quite easily see this being 0-0.

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When we come up against a side that want to put up the shutters we have to be patient, and hope for our set plays to be of a standard that will eventually produce a goal. We've been pretty good at set plays (apart from the Larissa debacle), but we don't rely on them the way Allardyce's Bolton did to get a result. I just think that, against Big Club, we will find the quality football at a premium...all we need is a Samba header on target!

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So as you can see there has been a healthy link over the years and I am sure that I will have missed out players from the early early days which Den may know about ! (sorry Den).

The hardest one for me to swallow was not a player but Birmingham poaching out manager Jim Smith at a time when we were going great. Despised 'em ever since

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First post, my prediction is 2-0 to us. We opened them up with ease in the cup and it should have finished 6 or 7 nil, had we took all our chances. This will obviously be tougher, they did well to get a draw against Liverpool and almost got something from United, so I agree with the poster who reckons they'll come to defend.

Let's get Morten back in and see how he does, resting him should have shook him up a bit, same with Benni.

Quite confident of a win, let's get Thursday out of the way first though!

Question: Would you sacrifice 3 points against Big Club for a 3-0 win V Larissa? :unsure:

No, the UEFA cup is fine, but in all honesty I think our season would benefit from us going out early, we should be aiming to finish 4th in the league and grab a Champions League spot or push on in the FA cup, too many games may hurt our league position in the long run.

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I cant see Benni coming back into the starting XI unless we have problems against Larissa. More likely to feature as a sub. My team:

-----------------Santa Cruz





Subs: Brown, Ooijer, Savage, Derbyshire, McCarthy

Dunn and Bentley to interchange down the right.

That formation is quite brutal in that it stifles sthe opposition by packing the midfield, but you have to say it works- mainly because in Santa Cruz we have a forward ideally suited to it. He can take the high balls, link up play and create space by dribbling at the defence all on his own. Also Dunn, Pedersen and Mokoena are players who are more suited to a 451 than a 442 (in my opinion) as none fo them are really standard 'midfielders'. Dunn in particular I think will prosper in a role off Santa Cruz and has excelled there before, in his short periods of fitness, for Birmingham. Bentley and Pedersen have shown they have real attacking threat on their day.

The one great shame of it is that it means we generally have a lack of bodies in the box for Bentley, Warnock and Emertons excellent crosses. But it does also allow Warnock and Emerton to get further forward safely with Mokoena moppin up infront of the defence. Aktogether it is a very solid unit.

I have a feeling 451 is here to stay for a while which is bad news for our three reserve strikers.

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Good preview.

Rovers to grind out a 1-0 win against a very defensive Brum in front of 18,000.

Don't think any of the rested players have done enough yet to earn a recall so I'd stick to 4-5-1 but play Sav in place of Tugay (who will be shattered by now) just to wind up the Brummies.

We are in deep trouble if Brum score first though.

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This week Lawrenson describes us as being in good form for the last couple games, yet last week described us as having stuttered in recent matches. So which is it? :rolleyes: The man is an ass.

To be fair we have been very up and down over the last two weeks. And although we went out we did win last night giving us three in a row.

Despite 451 not really working out last night in terms of giving us the goals I would expect us to trot it out again on Sunday. We could do with Reid (any update with him?) coming in to play alongside Mokoena but I guess it will be Savage.

The only thing that could threaten it is if Dunn has not recovered or if McCarthy looks hungry. I think Pedersen will start.

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