The wait is finally over and at last it’s time for the talking to stop and for those in yellow and green to deliver. Quite how we’ll all be feeling at 5pm tomorrow is anyone’s guess, but to gauge what kind of shape our opponents are in, I’ve been chatting to Adam Dee – the founder and writer of BCFC Followers.
Cheers for agreeing to do this, Adam. So… here we go again!
Before we start, could you briefly tell us a bit about you, your Brum supporting journey and how you found yourself writing about them online?
Adam: Hello people of MyFootballWriter! I’m an aspiring journalist from Warwickshire and a life-long Bluenose thanks to my uncle taking me when I was a kid. Since then I’ve grown to love the Blues so much I started my own fansite, (bcfcfollowers.com), which luckily has grown to become one of the most interactive on the web.
There have been plenty of joys and sorrows over the years (as our famous Keep Right On song goes) and hopefully, there is better news on the horizon…
Joys and sorrows are the bread and butter of being a football supporter mate – unless you’re one of those who choose to follow one of the big boys with the sole intention of piggy-backing onto the celebrations when they win something. But then again, they’re not proper football supporters. Following clubs like ours are always a series of heartbreaks interspersed with the occasional moment of ecstasy!
Okay, so, transfer embargos, talk to us … some of our readers may be unaware of how it arose. How did you end up here?
Basically, Harry Redknapp – or as many like to call him the ‘wheeler and dealer’ of football – went on a spending spree that has completely backfired. He brought a total of 14 new faces into the club and the next thing we knew we were handed a ‘soft embargo’ from the EFL to try and establish a solution.
Oh blimey … part of me wanted it to be something other than Arry just willy-nilly, spunking money he didn’t have on a whole load of players with no regard to the consequences, but it sounds like, as per, that’s exactly what it was! His lovable cockney, wide boy persona is wearing a bit thin now if you ask me.
So, what’s the latest (on the embargo)? How has Monk managed this almost impossible situation?
Well, CEO Dong Ren and his staff were unable to come to a solution after Garry Monk saved us from relegation on the last day of the season and the club still remains in talks with the governing body. In a statement, the club said they were ‘hopeful’ of coming to an agreement before Blues director, Edward Cheng, tweeted “Finally, the positive news we have been working hard towards is coming” on Wednesday night. As you’d expect, this tweet blew up online and Blues fans are clinging on to any last bit of hope that this embargo is lifted before the season starts against you tomorrow.
So, the club are still hoping to get some new faces in before the window closes?
Yes, hopefully, Monk can get to put his stamp on the team further before the window closes, as that is the least he deserves. He’s brought in promising Danish full-back Kristian Pedersen, who looks to finally be registered and hopefully that’s one of a few more to come. Our youth set-up does looks stronger than ever, mind, so on that basis, I doubt Blues fans will be too anxious that we haven’t brought many new additions in.
Loads of new faces over the summer – a la Redknapp – is not always a good thing mate. Those players invariably take time to settle and bed in, and so sometimes it’s those who had the fewest changes that hit the ground running. There are exceptions of course, like Wolves, but for normal clubs – like us! – it’s often an issue.
You sound as though you like Monk. Is he the man for the job? The St Andrew’s faithful fully behind him?
Definitely. In my opinion, we haven’t had such a professional figure in the Blues’ hot-seat since Chris Hughton. Everyone is fully backing Monk and his backroom staff, who have been excellent in interacting with the fans and putting smiles on the faces of everyone involved with the club, including the youngers. Fingers crossed we can get off to a good start and there are then better times around the corner.
Sounds weird to hear someone singing the praised of Hughton! Despite doing really well here in his first season and (of course) being a really nice chap, it all went horribly wrong towards the end of his reign and the board kept him in a job for rather too long. Hasn’t gone too bad for him since though!
On the subject of successful Blues’ manager, do you still look back and wonder ‘what if they hadn’t fired Gary Rowett’?
Yes, even more so when we had the likes of Gianfranco Zola and Steve Cotterill in charge, and it still angers me to this day. I just hope the owners have learned from their mistakes and they fully back Monk for seasons to come, because I couldn’t go through that again as a fan. That was worse than a breakup!
Crikey… am feeling your pain! Given that Rowett had you in the play-off places when he was fired, it looks a crazier than ever when you consider what has happened since.
The embargo aside… once that’s been resolved, are things stable off the field now? A plan’s in place?
Yes, very much so. I think Monk is here for the long haul and he wants to take us to the Premier League. The owners have been quite secretive in the past few months, so we only know the short-term plans and even those are cloudy thanks to this embargo, so we’ll have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, the fans are the club’s biggest asset and they’ll still turn up in their numbers down St Andrews, whatever happens.
Sounds like the club is not lacking in ambition, that’s for sure. You’ll just have to hope that you get the Swansea version of Monk, rather than the one who didn’t hang around for too long at either Boro or Leeds.
Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow. Who do we need to be wary of? Who’s going to hurt us?
I’d say Maghoma and Jota. Both have looked very sharp in pre-season and look more than ready for the new term. I’m also hopeful Che Adams can add more goals to his game this season, as he didn’t really live up to the hype last campaign, but on his day, he can definitely hurt teams on the break.
Fair enough. Had a horrible habit of asking that same question last season, and the named players would duly oblige and go on and ‘hurt us’! Wish I hadn’t asked now!
Your thoughts on our own chances for the season ahead? You up to speed on our German revolution?
I think you have a better chance of making the playoffs this season. You’ve got a top keeper in Tim Krul and I’ve seen your German additions. I saw Leitner at the back end of last season and he definitely looks like a great player with great technical ability. One that would probably walk into our midfield…
Thanks for that. Was beginning to have a wobble, but you’ve restored my faith in our squad ?
Finally, standard… score prediction and prediction of where you’ll finish.
I’m doing with a tight 1-1. I think both defences will cancel each other out and no one will be able to run riot in this game. We would certainly be happy with a draw to kick the season off.
Not a bad shout to be fair but given it’s the season opener and everyone will tell me I’m a miserable git for not predicting a win, I’m going 2-1 to the yellow City.
Thanks again to Adam for his time. He can also be found on Twitter @bcfcfollowers.