Midweek Musings #3: Five players needing a fresh start
Upon replacing Harry Redknapp as Blues manager, Steve Cotterill offered the entire squad a 'clean slate'. Here, Rob Wildey gives his thoughts on which players could benefit from a fresh start under a new regime.
Marc Roberts has had a topsy-turvy start to life at Blues. He started the season as a regular and was even handed the captaincy for the League Cup tie against Bournemouth. Harry Redknapp then added Harlee Dean to his ranks and Roberts was sacrificed to the bench.
Roberts is a decent defender and is one who puts his body on the line. His long throw-in is also an asset.
I wouldn`t be against a partnership of Roberts and Dean at the expense of Michael Morrison who has been poor for the best part of a year.
For a free transfer from Oldham Athletic in 2014, Jonathan Grounds has done a decent job for Blues, predominantly at left back. While he`ll never set the Championship alight, he is an honest professional. Often, he the scapegoat the fans are looking for.
Grounds makes the odd mistake but can any Blues fan honestly tell me the team has defended better since he was dropped? Hull certainly suggests not.
Like every other player, Grounds has been given a clean slate and will look to force his way back into the team. He may not be the most attacking of full backs, but he offers Blues a bit of solidity which is exactly what Cotterill is aiming for.
There`s an old saying - "ability counts for nothing without effort". One thing Maikel Kieftenbeld can never be accused of is a lack of effort, heart and desire. The Dutch midfielder will never be the most technically gifted player at the club but he brings so much to the table through sheer doggedness.
Things haven`t been easy for Kieftenbeld recently. His agreed move to Derby fell through after the transfer deadline had passed - and Derby`s unsuccessful appeal - because he apparently signed the document in the wrong place. Now he is back at Blues and looking to have some involvement in first team affairs.
It`s expected that the 27 year-old will complete his move the the East Midlands in January but Blues may be keen to keep hold of him if he can force his way back into the team and perform as we all know he can.
David Davis is a highly popular figure in the terraces at St. Andrews but his form this season has been ghastly. He can be excused from criticism when he`s been pushed out of position but recently he has been used in his natural central position yet his form has still not improved.
His performance at Hull City was horrible. He looked as if he had no confidence, no belief and, regrettably, no desire.
But let`s draw a line under it now. Steve Cotterill`s arrival may give Davis a new lease of life. When he is fired up, he can be a useful tool in the heart of Blues` midfield. If this isn`t the case, then Cotterill has other options at his disposal.
The Welsh winger may not be everyone`s cup of tea but when he plays, the service to Blues` strikers is better. Coincidence? I think not.
David Cotterill was sent out on loan by Gianfranco Zola last season but returned to Blues in the summer expecting to depart permanently or be frozen out. To his credit, he played his way into Harry Redknapp`s plans and has been in and around the squad since.
His dead ball ability and crossing prowess cannot be denied.
Follow Rob Wildey on Twitter @wild3y86