Here is another article written by Almajir, which was originally published here. We of course have permission to publish it in full.
An article in the Guardian last night has brought fear into the minds of Birmingham City fans everywhere, in that it suggests that there is no money available for transfers in the January window. With us lying fairly precariously in sixteenth position, I think many fans were hoping for a real strengthening in the window to the team, and the thought that we’re limited to who we can borrow does introduce a worry.
It’s brought out the predictable doom and gloom merchants on the messageboards; the “where’s the munny” brigade are posting in full force and coupled with our last result against Wolves it’s making the BCFC forums difficult reading for someone who is an optimist like myself. I’m holding on to the fact that there are no direct quotes from McLeish himself in the article about funding we might have, and that the owners have learnt the folly of announcing a massive transfer warchest.
I think it’s also a time to remember that it’s not necessarily about spending a heap of money, but spending that money wisely. Whilst it’s true a club is more likely to get a good player if they spend a wedge of money on them, it’s no guarantee of success. I wrote a couple of weeks back about goalscorers, and in doing that research the only player that stood out to me as being an excellent purchase for the money was Darren Bent. In short, I can well understand the reticence of the owners to spunk a whole load of Chinese Yuan on a striker that might not repay dividends immediately – especially bearing in mind some fan’s discontent with Nikola Zigic.
It’s also true to note that there could be some good loans available; loan signings don’t necessarily have to be acts of desperation. For instance, if we got (and I’m pulling names hypothetically out of the air) Bendtner and Obertan on loan, I’m sure fans would be more than happy with that kind of business as both would add something massively to the team. We’ve got two premier league loan slots available to us, and I believe we could possibly even bring in one more from abroad. We’re supposed to have one of the best chief scouts in the business in Paul Montgomery – maybe if he is as good as lauded, we’ll be okay as he’ll have picked up on someone who can give us an extra dimension.
I have a suspicion that McLeish might have something up his sleeve. If he was chasing a big name signing, it would be in his interest not to announce any intentions until it was in the bag for fear of being gazumped or spooking the player. I think our owners have enough nous to know that we do need someone new into the team to give the crowd and the players a lift; with O’Connor gone we’re a striker down now and we have a slot available in our overage squad. Add a couple of good loan players who can slot in and force players out of their comfort zone in the squad; McFadden to return to fitness in the next couple of months, Mutch to be recalled from an excellent loan spell at Watford and maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. Whilst it’s easy to be sceptical right now, I hope blues fans keep the faith a little until the end of January. If we don’t sign anyone, then is the time to a) worry and b) make complaints heard. Until then, it’s nothing more than speculation and all we can do is keep a watching brief and hope.