As a football club, it is rare to see Birmingham getting any attention. They seem to go about their business without a fuss and remain off the radar normally ending Match of Day on a glum note. Now though, they have reached the Carling Cup final and it could all change.
Alex McLeish has installed a sturdy and efficient approach into his side which boasts a solid mixture of experience and flamboyant talent. Their recent semi-final clash only looked to go one way as star player Craig Gardner smashed Rob Green’s post until it couldn’t take anymore.
It is refreshing to see a solid defence with two relatively unknown players at the centre. Roger Johnson and Scott Dann have become one of the best centre back partnerships in the Premiership and that has been vital to the Brummies success. Veterans Lee Bowyer and Barry Ferguson provide a solid back bone with Gardner bursting forward to help out an indifferent strike force.
Although the talent throughout the squad is clear to see, it is in the striking department where a great big supply of frustration is served up. Maybe it is unfair to single out and criticise one player, but in this case it is justified.
A friend said to me: “Shouldn’t Cameron Jerome be a good player? He’s quick, strong, has good feet and finishes most of his chances.”
Sitting slightly perplexed by what had been said I took a moment to consider the point and look into it. He was right, Jerome has all the attributes to be a great player, but for some reason, it doesn’t all come together on the pitch.
He is not only being outscored by his team-mates but nearly every midfield player in the Premiership scoring just three goals in 18 appearances. It would be great to get a professional coach’s opinion on the matter because it just doesn’t make sense.
Strike partner Nikola Zigic has scored four goals and all he does is stand waiting for the ball to be launched at his head. It really is baffling and the answer will probably elude most for the foreseeable future.
For now though they are in a cup final and even if the result may seem obvious, even their strikers have a chance against Arsenal’s defence.