Editorial: The Right Kind of Players

An opening day defeat to Ipswich left Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp disappointed with the result – and cursing the paucity of strikers he currently has to choose from. He told Radio WM that “it hadn’t been for lack of trying” that they had not signed a striker, but that he “was not prepared to pay” huge sums for players.

Birmingham City FC

If you’ve not heard the interview already, it’s available online here.

I feel for Redknapp¬†in some ways. Transfer fees this summer have been incredible and I do believe him when he says that prices have jumped overnight for players he wanted – it’s most definitely a seller’s market and Blues can’t compete with some of the bidders out there.

As much as I think Blues should have done the bulk of their business before the start of the season we know by now it doesn’t always work that way. Last season Che Adams was signed on August 8th while Lukas Jutkiewicz was signed on August 31st and to be fair to Gary Rowett both turned out to be good pieces of business. It’s easily conceivable Blues can bring in players they need in the remaining four weeks of the window.

I think as fans we have to reset our expectations somewhat.

As much as I think some have taken encouragement from Redknapp implying deals were far down the road for Diony and Moukandjo, I can’t honestly believe we were ever that much in the running.

The Abel Hernandez story that was in the Daily Star last week just seems like more pie in the sky stuff – Blues are not going to spend eight figures on one player.

Let’s be honest – the pull of Birmingham City is not as great as it could be. Players are not going to come to Blues because of the cultural delights of Small Heath.

However, that doesn’t mean things are all bad. It¬†doesn’t mean we’re rooting around the bins again looking for scraps.

It means we’re trying to be smart. We’re playing hardball.

And things will change.

We’ll start to see more movement from Premier League teams as they have to produce their 25 man squads and there will undoubtedly be some loans made available as the month comes to a close – and Jutkiewicz showed us last season loans can be very profitable for us.

Likewise, I think Blues will continue to look abroad. I think Blues have deliberately brought in a man of the ilk of Jeff Vetere because of his knowledge of continental players and I’m sure that there are bargains to be had.

The weird thing in all this is right now I’m more happy with the appointment of Redknapp than I’ve ever been.

Despite the cliches of “getting the band back together again” we’ve not seen the old pros sign up as I feared might happen.

He’s made it clear he’s not going to get ripped off. It’s not a problem with the board not wanting to spend money – it’s Harry himself who is saying that he’s not paying inflated prices.

I will confess I think Redknapp shouldn’t talk about agents so much bearing in mind the club have one working for them on a princely retainer of 25k per month – but that’s something else.

Right now, all I’m hoping for is that Blues will be able to add to the squad with players who have talent, something to prove and the will to do it – because that will not only help us now, but maybe in the future too.

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