Its been a fascinating week at Blues and as always its quite easy to miss what’s been happening in and around the club. We’ll do our best to make sure you don’t miss a thing. This week we see new playing and backroom staff, new contracts and another Barcelona comparison – Ready to get started?
Robbo v.1 signs new Blues deal
Paul Robinson signed a 1 year contract extension on Friday to keep him at the club until June 30th, 2018. I’m sure this has all been said before, but way back in 2012 when ‘Robbo’ joined on a months trial to try and earn himself a contract, absolutely nobody could predict he would go on to record 156 league appearances. Let alone that he would be about to embark on his 6th campaign in royal blue.
There is no doubt that he is a leader amongst the players and an important character to have around the changing room, he will no doubt continue his transition into full time coaching whilst offering extra cover at the back.
Bloomin' looooong day for everyone involved . . but all's well that ends well
— Colin Tattum (@colintattum) June 30, 2017
“All’s well that ends well” – the words from Blues’ Head of Media and Communications, Colin Tattum. What could it mean? Well, at the time of writing, it wasn’t quite clear.
Now we know that he was likely referring to conducting the interview and co-ordinating the photography of the 2nd signing of the season… Just like Panos tweeting ‘Happy Frei-day’ we can always be sure that something is about to be revealed when tweets like this appear!
Robbo v.2 joins Blues
It was widely reported late on Friday that Marc Roberts was set join Blues from Barnsley for a reported £3.5m fee. Early (9am) this morning both the player and club confirmed that Roberts has penned a 5-year contract and the deal is complete.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best barometer of an incoming transfer is the previous fan’s opinions – it is extremely clear that the Tykes faithful are more than upset at the prospect of losing another captain, to another West Midlands club.
Great captain and player but have to say could have done so much better than Birmingham.
— Carl Mellor (@CMellor1981) July 1, 2017
Robbo leaving this summer was always going to happen. But to Birmingham? Bad move i think. Unless they strengthen massively #Barnsleyfc
— Scott Antoniak (@Scotteee16) June 30, 2017
The value of the deal hasn’t been officially revealed, but if the reports are true, at £3.5m this would prove to be a rather shrewd, yet quality signing by Redknapp. A signing, that is a far cry away from some of the potential extravagant, ageing signings originally muted (I’m thinking more Essou-Ekoto and Krancjar as opposed to John Terry – though I personally believe this signing is a direct result of Terry deciding to go elsewhere).
New backroom staff
For a second week running, I will be comparing Blues to Barcelona, it’s also worth saying neither link has been tenuous in anyway – a sign off the times perhaps!
On Thursday afternoon, Blues’ official channels announced that David Álvarez has been appointed Blues Head of Sports Science and Medical and his countryman, Albert Altarriba-Bartés has joined as First Team Strength and Conditioning Coach.
David Alvarez was part of the medical team that helped look after Lionel Messi and co between 2008 and 2010 and Altarriba-Bartés working with Luis Enrique during his time at the Camp Nou. It is without doubt a massive statement for the future of the club that the boardroom has managed to convince two elite level sports scientists into the backroom team at Wast Hills. This along with the new state-of-the-art pitch the future is bright for BCFC, and to paraphrase a famous TV ad, the future is Blue.
First day back at training
We saw both the new backroom staff hard at work on their first day with the players immediately getting put through their paces by the pair.
The Blues first team reported back to Wast Hills to prepare for the new campaign with new and old faces coming together. Thursday saw the loan players of the 16/17 campaign return to train with their first team colleagues. Most notably was the return of Messrs Fabbrini and Brock-Madsen.
It is yet to be seen whether these two have a future at BCFC, but it is interesting that Harry has decided to let them train with the first team suggesting he is set to run the rule over them during pre-season. It’s also worth noting that Dan Scarr can also be seen joining up with the first team squad. Watch the official video below.
Twice this week, Blues have seen their fixture list changed. It is worth pointing out that the derby changes were very much expected and will come as no surprise to fans.
For anyone worried about Sunday lunchtime atmospheres, I refer you to last year’s game at St. Andrews. From the moment anybody entered the ground, you could feel the pulse of electricity created by the fans from start to finish, it was unforgettable.
As Harry’s squad begins to take shape, we see 2 departures from the first team squad with both Andrew Shinnie and Greg Stewart leaving to Luton Town and Aberdeen FC respectively. Both moves seemingly make sense as neither seemed to be in the clubs long term plans.
There might be hope for Stewart yet, if he rediscovers the form that earned him the move south. That being said, if Blues were to have a very successful campaign and find themselves in the Premier League – it would seem unlikely that he would find himself needed.