Tag Archives: Maikel Kieftenbeld

We lost

We lost on Saturday and our performance was not too convincing. Birmingham City didn’t score any goals and Nottingham Forest scored 3. It doesn’t mean that we are going to be relegated; that will depend on what we do in the other 43 games. 

I can tell when something is not working in a game but can’t work out why.  So I’m not going to offer any analysis of tactics or team selection but I’ll note a few random observations.

Seeing Pep Clotet described as ‘Caretaker Head Coach’ on the stadium screen felt weird.

I saw Maikel Kieftenbeld posing for pictures with fans at half time. And I heard that Grounds and Mrabti were in the crowd also. I liked that.

I also liked the way some of our fans started singing after Nottingham’s third goal. Our support was not bad.

It wasn’t the best day I’ve had supporting the Blues but neither was it the worst one. And tomorrow evening, the team has a chance to do better.

(I’m disabling comments on this because I won’t have time to keep an eye on them.) 

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Thoughts on the weekend

One article described the Birmingham City players lap of appreciation after the game on Saturday as looking ‘like a scene from Casualty’ as the walking wounded paraded with the other players. “Michael Morrison spent the afternoon in a protective boot, Harlee Dean hobbled past taking slow, tiny steps after his groin surgery and then Maikel Kieftenbeld came through on crutches.”  Those injuries had led to a rearrangement of the team and that, together with windy weather, resulted in a scrappy game.  But it didn’t matter because my team was already safe and, over the course of the season, had done better than I’d expected.

An account of the game at Leeds brought back memories of Blues’ League cup game at Yeovil in 2013. On Sunday, Leeds scored instead of returning the ball to Aston Villa and then allowed Villa to score.  At Yeovil, our goalie Doyle kicked the ball out when a player was injured and expected it to be returned to him when play started again. Instead, a Yeovil player received the ball that was thrown in and kicked it into the net to score an equaliser for Yeovil. This outraged our players and sent the game into extra time. Yeovil scored again in the first half of that but then their manager allowed Blues to score.  As I wrote in an earlier post,  “I had absolutely no idea what was happening when Novak wandered down and put the ball in their net after the kick off for the second period of extra time. It wasn’t until the Blues fans behind the goal started cheering that I realised it would count as a real goal.” The game ended with some dramatic penalties, a Blues win and me feeling glad I’d made the long trip down to Yeovil. (Click here if you’d like to see the highlights.)

And I’m glad that I’ve gone to games this season.  There has been the usual mix of joys and sorrows, but it’s been one of the better seasons. Our players have shown commitment and effort; our fans have responded by backing the team and creating a good atmosphere. That has felt good.

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Leeds game

On Saturday morning I saw a man painting a fence blue and it gave me hope.  I’m not superstitious but on Birmingham City matchdays my brain flips into an illogical mode in which I look for omens and feel as though the result is the most important thing in the world.  Thankfully, I do calm down after matches and remember that it is just a game.

I went to the game with the usual mixture of hope and fear.  The team’s performance at the Hawthorns had boosted my hope but the result increased my fear. During the game, I felt mainly tense. According to the match stats, Leeds had 73% of the possession and I worried every time they got the ball. I thought the ball had gone into the net when Bamford kicked it but it bounced off the goalpost into Camp’s arms. Shortly after that Che Adams scored. Kieftenbeld got injured and carried off so our midfield had to be rearranged but somehow their attack failed, our defence held and we won.

I went home happy but exhausted just from watching. It’s hard to imagine how the players feel after a game like that but I think they might have similar feelings judging from a Tweet by Connor Mahoney. He said, “Result You brought the noise we brought the 3 points now someone bring me a new set of legs thankyou”

On the way back from the game I noticed that the police did not seem to be trying to keep Blues and Leeds fans apart and later read an article in the Birmingham mail saying that WM police have been able to have fewer police when we play Leeds “because of the decreasing trouble the fixture has enjoyed.” That was good news. I was also pleased that Blues fans applauded when the Leeds fans turned their backs to the game in remembrance of the two fan who lost their lives before the UEFA Cup tie against Galatasaray in Turkey 19 years ago.

As I’ve written before, I don’t think that loving one club means hating another one. I don’t want any club to beat Birmingham City but I don’t hate the fans of any other club. 

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View from the Family Zone

I was a bit more nervous than usual before the game on Saturday.  I’d invited my nephew and his two daughters to the Bristol City game. I really wanted the children to enjoy it as it was the first game they had ever watched. You can’t guarantee enjoyment at a Birmingham City match so there was some fear mixed in with the expectation as we found our seats in the Family Zone.  Continue reading