BCFC: Patience

Birmingham City kicked off their pre-season friendlies with a 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic at Wast Hills. The Blues team was a mix of first team and youthful inexperience with only young keeper Zach Jeacock featured for the full 90 minutes as Blues rotated through their squad at half-time. With less than two weeks until the EFL Cup curtain-raiser against Cambridge United, can people be forgiven for worrying about the thin squad?

Birmingham City FC

I can certainly understand why some Blues fans might be feeling skittish about the squad going into the season.

After all, with the departure of Wes Harding to Rotherham United there are now only 18 players listed in the newly updated first team section on bcfc.com.

Of those 18, not one is a keeper while Josh McEachran is still returning from a long term injury. There is no doubt that the squad is a tad thin.

The lack of transfer news doesn’t help either. Because the club have made an effort to lock down information on incoming transfers as much as possible, there has been very little for fans to go on about who is coming in.

This has meant that every single snippet of information has been seized upon – with the corollary that when deals don’t immediately happen there is more frustration.

A good example of this is Ivan Sanchez of Elche.

Richard Wilford tweeted on August 12 that Ivan Sanchez was set to come in – yet as I write this eleven days later, nothing further has happened.

The reason for this is actually easy to understand, once you know the facts.

Elche only completed their season last night, winning the second leg of their promotion play-off final 1-0 to complete their return to La Liga. As Sanchez was very much still involved, there was obviously never going to be any movement until that was done.

Throw in a bit of gossip about Sanchez apparently moving to Huesca instead and it’s not hard to understand why at least some fans are growing restive.

However, I think right now is a time when fans need to learn patience.

So many of us have demanded the board bring in a manager for the long term and to allow that manager to build the team that they want.

We’ve seen in the past what damage a transfer trolley-dash can do to the club – and how long it can take to recover from it.

Therefore, it strikes me that we as fans must accept that with the transfer window open until October 5, transfers may take a while and it might be that we go into the new season with a slightly undercooked squad.

Indeed, I’ve seen people talking about how they are worried that Blues won’t pick up a win in the first month without some serious spending.

This just strikes me as being myopic; if we are demanding the board give Karanka the “time and authority” to get things right then we as fans have to give the manager and board the same courtesy.

While I never want us to lose games, I’m okay with us being undercooked for the first few matches if it means we’ve brought in the right players for the next 50-100 games. After all, no team wins promotion in the first month of the season.

For me, it’s imperative Blues build with the future in mind. If that means it takes a while for transfers to be done, so be it.