This time last year the October international break couldn’t arrive soon enough. We had just lost 6-1 to Hull, and had just recruited Steve Cotterill to become our new permanent manager. Originally, we were positive about the appointment, but soon we knew what a bad manager we had on our hands. Fast-forward one year and there is a stark contrast to the feeling a year ago. I believe that every fan is excited about Garry Monk’s Blue and White army, and feeling very optimistic after the 3-1 win over Rotherham.
My opinion on the stand-out performer that day has changed over the past two weeks. Originally, after his thumping hat-trick, I was on the Juke train. He was brilliant that day do not get me wrong, but upon reflection, I have realised it is the unsung heroes that have kept our 8-game unbeaten streak alive. The likes of Maikel Kieftenbeld, Maxime Colin but most of all, Kristian Pedersen are all un-droppable after the Rotherham game, and hopefully Juke can keep firing.
However, on a more negative note, Maghoma didn’t deliver once again. I think Mags is a brilliant player on his day, but he looks a shadow of the player that won player of the season last year. He looks scared to take on his man, and it seems like he lost a yard of pace also. Surely now, Conor Mahoney has a start against Stoke, after some very bright cameos off the bench. Could Mahoney be our secret weapon to start pulling away from the bottom half of the table and to start putting away teams instead of drawing? We’ll see.
Talking of Stoke, they are unbeaten in three, with two wins coming against Norwich and Bolton respectively, they finally look like they are looking forward after a very unexpected, but by no means awful, start. They sit 3 places and 2 points above us. Benik Afobe has got most of their goals with 4 to his name, but has struggled to found the form that warranted his potential £12 Million price tag, if Gary Rowett wants to complete the purchase in January, after his loan spell.
Rowett will get a particular frosty reception from the 3,200 travelling blues fans on Saturday. He has become an unpopular name amongst them, following his surprising sacking in December 2016. However, despite the fans’ love for him while being manager, his popularity as fallen drastically over the last two years. Birmingham have not been able to register a win against him since, with 2 losses and a draw against his Derby side. But with a new Garry at the helm, that looks set to change on Saturday.
What are you predictions for the game? Comment below or tweet us @bcfcfollowers!