The Pre-Judged, The Dreamboat, The Prodigal Son & Him From Down The Road


“I sincerely hope that Garry made the decision to join us for the right reasons and not just because he can scrounge a lift off of his big brother”

Is there anyone out there that actually doubts Monk has a plan? It may not be his Plan A at this point, or even his Plan B but I have full faith that whichever letter we’re at right now, it’ll all work out.

After going 12 rounds with the EFL over FFP that left us in the CRAP, the embargo was lifted last week allowing for a few new additions to the squad. It’s worth noting that the loan window hasn’t quite closed yet but as far as Blues are concerned our very limited bit of business seems to have reached its conclusion.

So, let’s take a look at the new arrivals. I’ll leave Craig Gardner’s little brother until the end since he’s probably the one you’d most like to hear my opinions on and I want to force you to read the rest of my drivel first!

We’ll begin at the back with Lee Camp and the continuing goalkeeper saga. I’m sure you’ve all seen the videos and comments circulating around social media. One, in particular, shows Camp putting in little to no effort during a pre-match warm up.

That’s it.

That video is being used to write him off before he’s even put on a Blues shirt. Now, my knowledge of players at other clubs could probably fit on the back of a postage stamp but as with every new signing, fans suddenly become experts and personal biographers to new arrivals. One YouTube clip and a quick search of Fifa 18/Football Manager stats coupled with a 5-minute browse of Wikipedia seems to have provided some fans with enough justification to abuse Lee before he’s even stepped onto the St Andrews turf.

Lee Camp may not be the Derbyshire De Gea and he may have had a poor season for Sunderland but which Black Cat didn’t?! It’s a madcap idea bit maybe we should give Lee a chance to show us what he can do before taking pot shots and chipping away at his confidence? It’s worth noting that Camp was voted Rotherham’s Player Of The Season just a couple of years ago and a dip in form is not unheard of in the world of football.

Perhaps the biggest issue fans have with Camp’s arrival is that we have Tommy K and Stocko on the back burner and there’s confusion surrounding their freezing out. As my regular readers know, I never quote sources or use insider information. There’s a very good reason for this; I don’t have any!

Well, I may have one little mole that feeds me nuggets of gossip so get ready for my first ever eXclusive!

As far as I have been told, the disillusion between the keepers and the club has reached its peak and both players have either refused to rejoin the squad or shown signs that if they were brought back into the side then their hearts may not be 100% in it.

Polish Tom was courting a move back to Poland or a final run in the Premier League but as neither wish seems to have been granted, he’s happy for the club to pay him what he’s owed and has been left with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Stockdale has denied the accusation that he’s refusing to play, although I’m not sure I’d blame him if it was the case. The whole situation’s a bit of a mess really with both keepers being told they’re surplus to requirements and no clubs are willing to take them on. Rumours arose that Leeds had tabled a bid for David although I’ve been told that an official offer was never made and Bolton who WERE interested failed to meet our financial terms.

I don’t blame either player for their annoyance with the club but in Monk’s defence, he can’t really bring them back into the fold at this stage. As a manager, he makes the decisions. As a strong manager, his decisions must be final. As a leader, Garry must stand by his convictions and to go back on them now makes him look weak.

I wish both Tommy and Stocko all the best and hope to see them playing again soon, it just won’t be for us.

Next; onto the worst kept secret in Birmingham – Omar Bogle. He’s played for us before and he’s back for more after we scooped him up from right under Ipswich’s nose. This loan signing seems to have gone down well with supporters as they’ve welcomed the Sandwell native and Blues youth product back with open arms.

Bogle’s bagged 62 times in over 100 games for Solihull Moors and he was part of my Champions League winning team of FM17 so he’s won me over already!

Omar will fill a gap left by Vassell’s injury and a couple of early goals could really get him fired up. After watching from the sidelines as Cardiff achieved promotion, it’s now time for Bogle to leave his own mark on the Championship.

Perhaps the most exciting loan signing is Blackburn’s own dreamboat Connor Mahoney. Having represented England at 3 different levels, the pacey winger was snapped up by Bournemouth following Rovers’ relegation back in 2017. Connor ‘Eye-Candy’ Mahoney now joins Blues in the search of regular first-team football, although my wife will never be aware of this since I’ve now banned her from the stadium.

Finally, we have Craig’s brother. Ohh this is a tough one. We all remember his goal and we all remember him running the entire length of the pitch to celebrate it. That happened and if he were to score against us again, he’d probably do the same thing but for now; he’s a Birmingham City player.

I sincerely hope that Gary made the decision to join us for the right reasons and not just because it’s close to where he lives and he can scrounge a lift off of his big brother. Gary may have an uphill battle trying to win over the St Andrews faithful but it’s not an impossible hike. Little-G won’t be the first rival supporter to play for the club and he probably won’t be the last. Whilst he’s here’s he’ll have my full support.

That’s doesn’t mean I have to like him just yet though.

As a semi-intelligent human being, I can disagree with someone without dismissing them altogether. I have friends that are Witton fans or “DVB”s as they’re commonly known but I’m not childish enough to let that affect our relationships.

I hate the Villa with all my heart. With the fire of a thousand suns and with every fibre of my being. But as long as Gary gives his all for the badge then I will give my all as a supporter. I’d suggest that anyone that doesn’t share this sentiment is somewhat naive to the predicament our club finds itself in and anyone that’s even considering being immature enough to boo Gary may as well head down to Witton to join their bedsheet wavers.

So as Monk & Co embark on Plan F, it remains to be seen how the new arrivals will slot into an already sturdy looking Blues starting 11 and the next teamsheet will make for some interesting reading. One thing’s for sure though, in Monk we trust!

By Mark Watson


  1. Great blog. Very sensible. If Gards IS (was) a Blues fan in hiding then his goal celebration – besides the fact it was his debut goal for his club (that had sent him out on loan umpteen times so he had a point to prove) – could well have been an expectation from Villa team mates and fans alike.

    I agree we should judge his actions on the pitch. If he scored thirty goals I could (just) tolerate him admitting wearing the vile shirt under the Blue one 😉 Keep Right On.


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