After the signing of Ryan Shotton was confirmed this week, there is quite a lot for Blues to be optimistic about going into the coming season.
The ownership issues that have plagued the club for years have settled for the first time in a while, the team looks solid going into next season and Gary Rowett is still at the helm, despite being linked with numerous other Championship vacancies.
Ryan Shotton and Robert Tesche have been brought in to improve the defence and midfield and at this level, both players can do a job and add something to the squad- as we’ve seen in their previous spells at the club.
But there is still an air of panic that seems to be drifting around regarding the current crop of players, and in particular, our need to bring in some firepower upfront. Wes Thomas, Lee Novak and Denny Johnstone have all left for pastures new after not quite making the grade under Gary Rowett and whilst there has been talk of Bradshaw, Ajose and Nicky Taylor- non have been confirmed.
And for some, it’s understandable that you are concerned about bringing in a couple of strikers to cover the void. Certain Championship sides began to figure us out last season as our long-ball tactic to Clayton Donaldson became more and more apparent. But at this early stage in pre-season, we still need to look at the bigger picture here. Blues are doing good business and reinvesting in players they know can perform in this side.
A risk or two will need to be taken somewhere down the line- we do need someone that can bag some goals but these sorts of signings take time. When you are on a strict budget like Blues will be, the need to scout and find the right man for the right price is of huge importance. Paying £750,000 for someone like Bradshaw doesn’t sound like an awful lot of money but at this level and in our situation, unfortunately we cannot afford to jump the gun as aggressively as some of our rivals.
It’s been almost amusing to watch Newcastle United spend millions on a side to get them out of the Championship- the likes of Dwight Gayle have failed to perform at the highest level and he’s been brought in for around £10million to get them out of the second division. Whilst Blues, me and the majority of our supporters can wish we had this financial spending power, sadly we don’t and we have to be a little more patient than others in the league.
It’s also important to reflect on how the situation could have been so very different as we look forward to the upcoming season. Memories of those 8-0 and 5-0 defeats to Bournemouth and Barnsley aren’t that distant just yet but Rowett has done a blinding job transforming the clubs’ fortunes in an extremely short space of time indeed.
Have a little faith people, Rowett knows we will need a striker or two and I trust in him to bring in the right man for the job. Ambition does sometimes cost a little bit of money but sometimes good old fashioned heart can get you just as far.