Writer: Saskia Bowes
Date:Wednesday July 30 2014
A Selection of Summer Signings:
Lee Clark must feel like he is on 'Football Manager 2014' - a game in which he has to create a whole new squad with the budget equalling that needed to buy a Freddo chocolate bar. But the first news of the summer was that St Andrews was getting a new pitch. Now, you know you've had a hard season when fans get excited at the prospect of seeing their team play on a lighter shade of green than the previous season. Small pleasures aye!
One of the first signings, despite looking a lot like Joey Essex with an overdose of fake tan and glistening, white teeth, was a risky signing. Grant Hall, a Spurs player, was brilliant for Swindon last season before hampered by injury. Plus, after losing Dan Burn and Kyle Bartley last year due to the recall option, crucially, Hall is ours for the whole season. I just hope that doesn't mean that we will be paying his wages, whilst he sits on the bench with an ice pack strapped to his leg all season. A centre back by trade, his height will add a lot to the back four and for such a young lad, he has great calmness on the ball. Attributes, I really hope we get to see next season.
The Lee Clark transfer train continued to rumble on! He seemingly was becoming a shopaholic, with another signing; Stephen Gleeson. A midfielder was certainly needed, but whether it had to be one who only looked average in an MK Don's squad, remains an issue. An aggressive player, with serious attitude problems, having sulked like a 2 year old child whilst losing one match with Stockport, strutting around the pitch like Sulley from Monsters Inc. He doesn`t add much in terms of goals, his highest stat, being the amount of yellow cards he gets. I can see him flopping like a paralysed fish.
Was Clark stopping there…after only signing some defenders and a midfielder? Of course he wasn't. The shopping bug had well and truly been digested as he sprung to sign Wes Thomas. Having previously had a spell at the Blues, Wes was welcomed back with open arms by many, especially with our depleted strike force as it is. Rotherham's campaign last season was boosted by Thomas, and with a keen eye for goal, for a fee of zilch, it certainly is a bargain. Cheeky eye candy for the ladies, however, may cause jealousy for many of you male bluenoses out there. But I guess, if he's banging in the goals, everyone is happy and in my opinion, the best signing of the summer by Lee Clark. Absolute steal. I'd go as far as saying, he is the angelic version of our Marlon King. (With faster pace and a bit more hair. Not much more, mind you.)
So with the remaining transfer budget of absolutely nothing, (after taxes, insurance and a new boiler for the hot dog machine,) Clark still wasn't done. He's like a younger Alan Sugar isn't he. Or some may say, the classier version of Del Boy. Either way, his dealings meant that David Edgar was the newest member of the squad. After a tiring evening, I did think this said Edgar Davids at first, and upon watching Soccer Aid, I'm glad that I wasn't the one selecting who to buy. Our man, David, shone for Burnley in his time there, like the KFC sign in Birmingham Centre. Standing at six foot and four inches tall, when he stands on his toes, he could be the new defensive Zigic, despite not being able to shoot. Oh wait, I guess he is exactly like Zigic then! (Just a joke, I love the big man!) Anyway, Edgar is versatile, brilliant in the air and has the exact experience needed.
The man with a bigger eye for a bargain than Gok Wan is at it again. I would say, it's all spend, spend, spend but we all know it's more like browsing freebies at a local market. None the less, Clark has acquired another summer signing and we are only in June. (However, our three days of sun for the year have occured, so for the Brits, summer is a loose term.)
The man in question was David Cotterill. Despite an unfortunate strike of baldness, 'Big Dave' as I like to call him, is only 26 years of age with a lot of experience playing in a variety of leagues. From a winger, I'd like to see a higher contribution to the goal scoring tally than that, but having had the top assists in League One in 2012, also achieving player of the year. So I can't be too critical. I have recently read comments suggesting he's a direct swap for Burke. Do people actually believe this? To compare, Burke is like a rusty 18-wheeler with a turning circle to match, Big Dave more like an Alpha Romeo, but he doesn't have a body to match, but then again, who does? (Except for Wes Thomas, who I may have a slight fancying for). But seriously, would people prefer Brian Howard, Chris Burke or David Cotterill? Big Dave has more talent in his left little toe than Burke does, at this current stage. Bizarre that people would suggest otherwise, but feel free to comment below if you so wish to disagree.
But it's pointless signing a winger, if there is no one to get on the end of his crosses. Roll up, Bradley from S-Club-7. Sorry, I meant Clayton Donaldson. The singer and footballer having an uncanny resemblance. Any 30 year old that can pull off a snapback, I'm all for. But I take it, some of you are harder to please, so I'll start off with the facts. In his full career, he has near enough 1 goal every 2 games, spanning from non-league to League One. The 6ft 1 striker scored 18 goals to help clinch promotion for Brentford last season, a team that the mighty Blues will play on the 23rd August. For me, he's a good signing. Not as good as Thomas and Edgar, but a close third. For want of a better comparison, Clayton is a broader Peter Crouch. However, he seems to have a commitment issue almost as big as Katie Price's, but just lasting a season at Birmingham is often seen as an achievement after the major holes left in the squad last January.
Date:Wednesday July 30 2014
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