‘Rubbish’ Star makes this Leeds United admission as Birmingham City flop reveals transfer mistake
Not ready Eddy
Eddy Gnahore has revealed his regret over cancelling his contract with Birmingham City, writes Shane Ireland.
“He’s a talented midfield player,” explained then-academy director Terry Westley. “(He’s) not really a Vieira because he’s not a tackler. He’s more a number 10 who can also do a shift in midfield.
“He is only a first year, only 17 years of age. He has just been picked for the French under-18 squad, so you have got a player who is one of the best in their country in his age group.
“That tells you the pedigree you’re dealing with. You’re not talking about the top 50, he’s one of their best players.”
A year later, Gnahore signed his first professional deal running until 2014 having impressed for the Blues youth side.
Then, in 2012, he was handed a first-team squad number and made the bench for an FA Cup clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
A senior debut followed, with Gnahore replacing Chris Burke when Blues were leading 4-0 away at Sheffield United in January 2012.
But disaster struck just a month later. The former France under-18 international ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a training session.
Ghanore made it back to the fringes of the first-team a year later but never forced his way back into contention and September 2013, left by mutual consent with a season left to run on his contract.
Six years on, 25-year-old Ghanore signed permanently for French Ligue 1 side Amiens in the summer following a season on loan there from Italian club Palermo.
Marc Roberts believes that even in defeat at Leeds United, Birmingham City’s new approach was clear for all to see.
Indeed the 29-year-old was impressed with what he saw from Marcelo Bielsa’s men and expects them to challenge for promotion once again this season.
But he was also encouraged by the way his team came back into the game after making adjustments at half time.
“It’s a sign of how far we have come in the last few weeks that we come away disappointed,” Roberts said.
“We came with a game-plan, we have got a definite way of playing but in the first half we were poor.
“Thankfully we got to half-time at 0-0 and we could come in and address a couple of things and I think in the second half we were arguably the better side.
“We conceded against the run of play, it’s a rubbish goal to concede again but I do think for the majority of the second half we were better side.
“It’s the little one-per-centers, I don’t think we showed enough quality when we got into the final third, I think we let ourselves down in that aspect.
What will be the result when Birmingham City play Blackburn Rovers at St Andrew’s
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“But I think you can see our identity coming into the games now, you look at Middlesbrough, you look at the Leeds game, we have tried to control the game a little bit more.
“You can see what we are trying to do, it’s coming together but we have just got to show a bit more composure in the final third.
“The first half we were poor but I think it was because we didn’t really get to grips with what they were doing, we needed half time to come and thankfully we did get in there at 0-0. It is just disappointing we have ended up losing to that goal.
“It’s disappointing but I thoroughly expect them to be up there, they are a good team, they have been using this identity for a while so they are used to what they are doing.
“We are still a work in progress but you can see what we doing.”
The Championship was back to its unpredictable best with only four of the top ten winning over the weekend, writes Tom Leach.
West Brom and Leeds United were the big winners as both claimed vital 1-0 wins to move themselves further into the thick of promotion race.
The Baggies extended their lead at the top of the table whilst the Whites moved up to second after seeing off Birmingham City .
That defeat for Pep Clotet’s side has left them sat in mid table, but the bookies are not predicting things to get much better between now and May.
Only Queens Park Rangers and Charlton were the other clubs to claim three points in the top ten after beating Hull City and Derby County which moved the pair up the table.
For Preston North End, Bristol City and Fulham, though, it was a weekend of frustration as they all dropped points against teams below them.
Reading, Luton Town and Stoke City were the trouble makers as they all secured unlikely victories against the promotion chasers.
Equally, Swansea City were held away at bottom club Barnsley, whilst Sheffield Wednesday dropped points at Cardiff City after a late equaliser from Lee Tomlin on Friday night.
Despite those results, with only four points separating second and tenth, the Championship is as typically tight as always.
Now we have put together a predicted table, courtesy of OnThePools.com, to forecast how Blues season could end up…
Marc Roberts is aiming to ensure Sam Gallagher’s St Andrew’s return is not a happy one.
The Birmingham City centre half could find himself up against his former Blues team-mate on Tuesday night.
Gallagher spent a rollercoaster season at Blues, on loan from Southampton as part of the trolley dash of 2017.
He arrived in the same summer as Roberts – and like most others didn’t make the anticipated impact with six goals from 33 league games.
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However, Roberts is enjoying his finest spell in a Blues shirt, while Gallagher left St Mary’s for Ewood Park in the summer.
He came on as a sub in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Huddersfield but in nine Championship starts is yet to score a league goal.
“He has not been playing that much, he is a good player, I like him,” Roberts said.
“He has been a bit unfortunate there because they are doing well and I think they have got a lot of players in his position.
“He’s a bit of a threat, we know what he is about if he does play.”
Asked if he’d like to prevent a happy homecoming, Roberts quipped: “Hopefully. I saw Blackburn’s game earlier on Saturday, they are a good team, they are well-organised by their gaffer, he is a good manager and they have bought some good players in this year.
“We know it won’t be an easy game but our home form is very important and if we can carry on from the Middlesbrough game and the previous results at home then we will give them a good game.”
Blackburn Rovers arrive at St Andrew’s on Tuesday with Tony Mowbray looking to oversee a similar style change to Pep Clotet .
Birmingham City’s caretaker head coach has spoken at length about the way he wants his team be more attacking.
To that end Blues press higher up the field in a bid to win back possession in more offensive areas.
And Mowbray appears to be overseeing a similar process – and like Blues it is a work in progress with even the most experienced campaigners taking time to learn.
“My belief is if you control football matches you’ve got a better chance of winning more games,” Mowbray told the club website .
“If you keep playing direct long balls, you’re basically giving the ball away 50% of the time and I want us to control games more.
“I want us to feel as if we’re playing in the opposition half more and creating more chances, but it’s not something I can just flick a switch and make happen overnight.
“We have to infiltrate gradually Lewis Holtby into the team, Bradley Dack has a slightly different job and he’s not just looking for knock-downs off Danny Graham all the time, he has to come and play.
“Stewart Downing has to know when to be inside and when he has to stand on the touchline, Adam Armstrong has to know when he has to come to the ball and run over the top with the speed that he’s got.
The 45-year-old replaces Neil Harris, who stepped down at the start of the month after four and a half years in charge at The Den.
Former Birmingham defender Rowett began his managerial career at Burton, before spells at the Blues and Derby.
He was sacked as Stoke manager in January, having won only eight of 26 league matches following the Potters’ relegation from the Premier League.
Caretaker manager Adam Barrett will oversee Tuesday’s game against Cardiff, which the Lions go into sitting 17th in the Sky Bet Championship.
Rowett’s first match in charge will be Saturday’s home match against former club Stoke.
“It’s incredibly exciting after eight months out of the game,” Rowett told the club’s official website.
“Just feeling that buzz again really and being desperate to be back part of it.
“Getting an opportunity at a club like this – a really, really passionate club with a great history – for me that’s what it’s all about and I can’t wait to get started.”