Scott Dann – Not Indestructible!

Chris Quinn wrote for us last year and has kindly said he is going to do a few things again in 2011. I know he is working on an article for next week – but he has written this about the disappointing news that Scott Dann will be out for longer than we thought.

So, it seems our chant isn’t quite as accurate as we thought.

“Always believe in Scott Dann. He’s got the power to know, he’s indestructible,” was the cry from Blues fans.

However, when he pulled up on the stroke of half-time at West Ham on Tuesday, most Blues fans feared the worst. And today, those fears were confirmed.

“Skysports.com understands Birmingham defender Scott Dann is set to miss the rest of the season through injury,” the report reads. It turns out Dann, who has being playing with a hamstring niggle for a while now, needs surgery after aggravating the injury whilst chasing back from a corner.

The original recovery time is mooted to be around four month, meaning a return to training as the season ends. But now that Dann is missing, where will the club be as he plans his return.

Last year, Blues finished a superb 9th in the Premier League and a lot of this was down to the brilliant defensive line of Hart (now Foster), Carr, Dann, Johnson and Ridgewell. They kept 11 clean sheets in the league last season and Dann was imperious. He, along with Johnson, headed, cleared and threw himself at every ball.

These performances have attracted the interest of Everton, and supposedly, Manchester United. A silver lining to this injury is that it is likely to put off any potential suitors at least in January, maybe even the summer. Although, whether he stays with Blues during the summer could come down to what division we are in.

Our current position in the table means that we can’t discount any possibilities, including relegation. With our full-strength defence in place for the rest of the season, I’d have had no worries about going down. But now a lot, including tomorrow’s big derby against Villa, could depend on how replacements step into the fray.

Martin Jiranek has a fantastic pedigree if he is to be considered as the straight replacement for Dann. Signed from Spartak Moscow for a nominal fee in the summer (around £400k), he hasn’t had a Premier League chance yet, appearing only in the early Carling Cup ties. The former Spartak captain has won 31 caps for the Czech Republic and played in the Champions League with Moscow, and at six-foot three-inches is of the same build as Dann. Jiranek’s deal is over in the summer and he will see this as the ideal opportunity to impress McLeish and secure another contract. He was tidy last weekend against Millwall and seems to have the experience to be able to step into the breach against Villa and not be fazed.

Another option available to McLeish is to switch Liam Ridgewell back into his favoured centre-half position and bring David Murphy into left-back. When Dann went off on Tuesday, it was indeed Murphy who came on and had a decent half. He bombed on nicely and put in two beautiful crosses and also went close with a header, although he may have felt he should of got it on target. The defensive aspect of his game has been questioned in the past, notably his positioning. Personally, I have frequently seen him tuck too far inside whilst the winger hugs the touchline, giving him too much work to do when he goes out wide. This deficiency was exposed again on Tuesday. Scott Parker slipped the ball inside of him and I felt he could have slid and cleared the ball. However, he let it run and from the resulting Spector cross, Carlton Cole scuffed home.

The injury to such a key player could force McLeish and Carson Yeung into the transfer market to search for cover. If Ridge is shifted inside then a left-back on loan is a necessity. If Jiranek gets the nod, then Ridgewell is the original cover for centre-back, but more cover could be required in case another injury occurs.

As a fan, it would be easy to bemoan our lack of luck at losing Dann, but we have been pretty fortunate with injuries the past 18 months and we were probably due an injury.

With an eye on tomorrow’s fixture, I would think McLeish will draft in Murphy, who he obviously rates, and shift Ridgewell inside. But if he was to play Jiranek, we should not be too worried. When he moved to Spartak his first fixture was against arch rivals Locomotiv Moscow, the Russian capital’s version of tomorrow’s game.

 Chris Quinn

(Durr, republished, I didn’t spot the spelling mistake in the title!)

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12 Comments on Scott Dann – Not Indestructible!

  1. Murphy had a brilliant game???? Are you mad, poor Ben got the stick for goal but the ball should never have been crossed in Murphy ran towards goal instead of pushing the player out. He is another love child, Jiranek is a class performer who has played at the highest level also I love ridge at left back but do fancy him in the middle? Murphy will get murdered by Albrighton he is the worst left back I have ever seen in a Blues shirt!!! Maybe he’ll put Fahey he there as he is the ultimate love child lol

  2. Figo, I guess we can always have different opinions about players. I personally think that Murphy did have decent half in Tuesday. I agree that he may struggle with some forwards, but to say he the worse left back who’ve played for Blues is quite honestly is a mad thing to say!

    That’s my opinion anyway.

  3. Watch the game again from Tuesday night on about 75min before westham score there is a move where two players bomb on onthe over lap and Murphy is on the corner of the pen box watching with his thumb up his arse…..that is two examples in 45 min of football where is defensive work was worse than a school boy! And no I’m not mad he is appauling

  4. But to be fair he hasn’t played that often. Also our regular back four have made plenty of mistakes too so I think it is unfair to pass judgement on a player based on a 45 appearance.

    🙂

  5. Murphy is the worst left back I have seen in all my years as a blue nose. He makes Ian clarkson look like ashley cole. Jarinek must be given a chance! How can eck not play him. It’s so obvious

  6. I have to say , I feel nervous with Murphy at left back , there’s a certain ” Never mind if they get past me , there’s someone else there to stop them ” about his body language .

  7. There is no way eck will desert the smurph for jiranek so we best get behind the guy. I think eck thinks he’s scottish just cause he played for hibs ?I am just as nervous bout the ridge at centre half because I just don’t think he has the right build to be a proper premiership centre half – there is a bit of the lightweight bout him. So let’s hope both of them score enough going forward to make up for the ones they give away at the back. With bentley, a decent striker and mcfadden back we might have to win games 3-2 rather than 1-0. Enjoy the game tomorro!

  8. I’ve already said in one of the forum items that Murphy did reasonably well for the second goal in that he was clearly outpaced but still held ther attacker up for a short while. It was the defenders in the box who weren’t marking who caused the real problem and then of course Foster’s howler. Sounds to me that some people always have a dislike for a particular player and will never change their mind. Let’s just make sure we give our boys all the encouragement we can tomorrow against the has beens regardless of who’s playing for us.

  9. One thing is for sure we all have an opinion but when the hour comes I am 100% behind the team. No one will be more pleased if Murphy has a stormer…. To be honest it’s not his fault I’m sure he’s an honest pro my main gripe will always be with the management team who pick him and the other talentless favoured few. Come on you Blue boys

  10. Actually Johnners you’re right about Ridgy at centre back. To me , he was a ‘ figure of fun ‘ in that position. Every game , a guaranteed clanger , often VERY significant.
    But then , forced out to the left by the advent of the best central defence partenership in the Premiership , he made the left back position his own ! no argument whatsoever ! AND chipped in with some important goals .
    But we are now looking at ‘ damage limitation ‘ ….. keep Ridgy left , bring in this Jarinek , otherwise we will definitely be looking at a’ scoring more than them ‘ scenario , as in 4 – 3 type situations , like the Man City – Wolves game today. Great for the impartial , but not for the long suffering supporter.
    I haven’t got a total downer on Murphy , he’s been out for a while , and he’s desperate to get his career back on track , the effort’s there , but is he Prem quality ? I honestly don’t know

  11. Figo – I thought Murphy done well when he came on. However, I did point out that I thought he could of cut out that through ball, while I also questioned his positional play at times…

  12. Murphy is too slow and plays narrow making us vulnarable to the early cross.The defence should have kept much the same Dann’s natural replacement is Jarinek so play him.Also lets’s stop playing this 4,5,1 or 4,4,1,1 why don’t we play 4,4,2 and have a go at teams draws will only see us relagated its better to win 3 out of ten than it is to draw 8 of ten.

    Foster

    Carr – Jarinek – Johnson – Ridgewell

    Bentley – Ferguson – Bowyer – Gardner

    Derbyshire – Phillips

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