Date:Thursday January 19 2006
Three o’clock on a Saturday may seem an odd time to begin a Premier League Football match, but that’s what Blues' fans have to contend with. Older readers may remember that all weekend fixtures started at that time. Alterations were not ever considered.
Regardless of the date and time Blues have to win this one. Traditionally January is a bogey month and Portsmouth a bogey team. St Andrews has proved a bogey ground for Blues this season so if Steve Bruce is looking for favourable omens then forget it. All that stuff is just excuses waiting to happen and what Blues need is to put all talk of bad luck, injury crises out of the way and beat Portsmouth.
This side will be the most important Steve Bruce has picked in his managerial career. No more ‘ the team picks itself’, no more, ‘can’t bring anyone in’. The fact that only Chris Sutton has been added to the payroll so far is down to the manager’s dithering. The needs of the side have been known for months and having only one newcomer is poor planning and using Heskey’s knee as an excuse is lamentable.
The Chairman informed us that whatever funds were needed would be made available. Players have swapped clubs already and Blues have stood by and watched. Should we sign a left back, ( Wayne Bridges, Matthew Taylor?) a midfielder, (Jason Euell), or a striker ( AJ, Earnie, or Hasselbank) in time to take on Pompey then great, but it isn’t likely .
Portsmouth’s new Russian Millionaire has apparently released his dosh so Harry boy Redknapp can get players in, almost at a stroke. The fact that they were included in Portsmouth’s defeated side last week hopefully means that the cash has not been wisely spent.
Steve Bruce will not do things hastily. That is one of his endearing qualities. He waited ten weeks to sign Pandiani and a year to get Nicky Butt. Both have not rewarded Steve’s patience. Pandiani has moved on and Butt who now cannot make even a weakened Blue’s squad is a millstone round Steve’s neck. Butt cannot be sent back to Newcastle who despite an injury crisis of their own, don’t see Butt as an answer to their problems and prefer Blues to pay for him. He could become a very expensive ornament.
Failure to defeat Pompey cannot be contemplated and really Blues players, staff and Fans must put aside all transfer thoughts. 100 % support, no late comers or early leavers. No groaning after the first chance goes begging, no jeers at half time when its goalless. This is a special match after all it starts on Saturday at 3.00!!
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