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Painting Midlands Blue - The Rise of Birmingham City

  1. Painting Midlands Blue - The Rise of Birmingham City

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    Sunday 20th September 2015

    R: Hello, welcome Alex Cook. This is a strange situation for you as you find yourself speaking to the media just for the first time since you took charge over two years ago, why is that?

    AC: It is strange yes, I have been very reserved over the last couple of years, I was just focusing on my Birmingham side, I wanted to get the team into the Premier League before the pressure of the media came baring down on us. Now we are here I am willing to speak to the press.

    R: Okay, you must admit two years ago you would've never been expected to be hired and did it come as a shock to you that you was placed in charge of Birmingham City?

    AC: I was very shocked indeed, I am glad to get the job obviously but I never expected it. I guess I have more than made up for it as we are now plying our trade in the top flight!

    R: Interesting comment, now as it is your first interview we have clearly missed a lot would you mind telling us more about the past couple of seasons?

    AC: I would be delighted too...

  2. The first season, I want to completely forget about that season. It was a pointless season, too good to go down but not good enough to get promoted, that is what my thoughts were. Before you ask "Why didn't you make improvements to the squad" well the truth is I tried, it is impossible to bring in close to any talent to the team. Our old owner was in jail which meant we had no funds coming our way. It was a season written off from the start my minimum expectation was to be "competitive" and whilst the old owners had no ambition it would mean we would be affected from that and wouldn't move anywhere either, I will stop blabbering on.

    Our first year as I said was meaningless and I almost had to eat my words as we came within inches of claiming a play off spot right at the depth but it wasn't to be, I will go into a bit of detail about our then best starting XI

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    Our official best 11 of that season, seven of those players are still with us in the Premiership, we were blessed with the fine player which is Macheda. He scored 29 goals in that season and was a main reason why we actually managed to finish in the top half of the league, we tried to sign him at the end of the season but failed.
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    A brief look at transfers, we can not explain much really as our owner's were too lazy to get off their ar*es and provide for the club.
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    Confirming that for large parts of the season we had nothing to play for is this image here, we began in the league excellently and was in the top 6 for the first 8/10 games. Then a lot went on behind the scenes as the club were close to being sold, it never materialised until late May when the Window was already shut and no deals could take place until the Summer Window opened. Towards the end of the season we got very close to Leeds but nothing came from it and we had another season in the Championship to put up with.

    BTW sorry it is not good detail atm, I am really tired and really can't think straight, I will be continuing tomorrow but when we catch up I will be putting more detail in (trying too)

  3. Interesting choice of team mate! Don't think I have read a Birmingham save before. Hopefully you can restore them back to when they were performing well in the Premiership.

  4. As a Blues fan I will deffo be following this...I always find that I tend to struggle with the team I support and always end up just above the relegation zone or getting sacked after the takeover of the club has been completed...

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Rootsey View Post
    Interesting choice of team mate! Don't think I have read a Birmingham save before. Hopefully you can restore them back to when they were performing well in the Premiership.
    Thanks hope you enjoy! I've been contemplating one for a couple of days but haven't had chance due to the PL game

    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Wilkes View Post
    As a Blues fan I will deffo be following this...I always find that I tend to struggle with the team I support and always end up just above the relegation zone or getting sacked after the takeover of the club has been completed...
    Thanks, I'm yet to properly find out how I will cope in the PL, hope I can just avoid relegation
    Dean Wilkes likes this.

  6. R: So like you said the first season was written off from the start, did that make you lose any motivation in carrying on managing Birmingham City? May I also add that it was March when your club got took over not May.

    AC: Ah yes my apologies, I never lost any motivation in managing the club, I knew next season would be a better year, I just had to be patient for the takeover to eventually reach the finish line. It was longer than I expected but we could then look up and that is what we are certainly doing.

    R: Okay. What about the second season then?

  7. This season we had a proper preparation and we made a lot of early signings that maybe too good for the Championship, the likes of Nick Powell and Angelo Henriquez came through on loan from Man Utd... our then parent club, they may have been the reason we actually managed to get promoted, more specifically Nick Powell.

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    Our whole round up of the transfers last season. A big January for us as we had to bring in a couple of players, Adam Le Fondre was a must buy as you all know Angelo Henriquez was injured for 4 months around November time and we urgently needed goalscorers, before Henriquez's injury we was comfortably in first about 4/5 points off third place, when Henriquez got injured we just stopped scoring goals. That meant when we got to January we would need instant replacements for players. We signed all the players above for really cheap prices as there contracts were expiring in 6 months, Adam Le Fondre proved to be signing of the season as you will see below shortly. Jamie Paterson was also a signing due to constant injuries, Burke who was probably our best player all season got 15 goals and 13 assists down the wing in 33 games but he got injured around 7/8 times in the season and meant we needed someone with genuine quality whilst Burke was out.

    Our best 11 is definitely different from last season and we will include the stats for people to have a look around after the interview has concluded.
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    A forced change in formation as our only accomplished left midfield was a natural left back David Murphy. This side had a lot better attacking quality about it, we scored the second highest amount of goals in the division but the defence was definitely an issue, as much am I a believer of defence before attack, in that league you have to play to your strengths to get out of it and that is what I did.

    Finally a look at the league table, although we are in the Premier League let's just prove it...
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    A win in the Play Off Final as we beat Reading 2-0. In the Semi Final we faced Brighton as we lost 2-0 in the First Leg I didn't have a clue what would happen in the second but we ran out 3-0 winners and that is definitely the best moment in my career at this moment in time

  8. Will catch up with this season after I have sorted out my Chairman Game, if people are interested there is spaces available

  9. R: Okay, so you reached the big time and it has been a mixed start for your team, you beat the likes of Chelsea 2-0 which is your only win of the season, did you expect that to kick off your season?

    AC: It was a brilliant win against one of the top sides in England, we have played two games since and lost twice against Tottenham and Liverpool. The Liverpool was a hard one to take as we took the lead around the 78th minute and 5 minutes later we was 2-1 down. We will learn to not make those mistakes as we are adjusting to the Premier League.

    R: Interesting thoughts, can you now run through what happened before the season started and your ambitions for this season and the seasons in the future?

  10. AC: Certainly, so our pre season was a hectic one, I finally got a big budget and if you want the honest truth, I wasted it. Not till after my signings I realised I was a couple of players weak, I will learn from my mistakes and I will be careful with my spending. This is no insult to the lads that came in, they are good players but I wish we could've signed players for smaller fees and use my money more wisely.

    So I will get down to business with the transfers

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    Not all players were expensive we managed to bring in young winger Marco Rojas for a small fee of 1 million pound, he is yet to prove him self whilst settling in to the club but I hope for big things from the young man. He has good pace and dribbling and will be perfect for the counter attacking football which I wish to adapt for this season.
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    Next up is Santiago Vergini, he came from Sunderland as they were relegated to the Championship, he's a good signing and he has saved us from conceding goals at some points, he has been good whilst on the ball but with the tactics we are playing we are hopeful he is a better defender than a passer.
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    George Thorne, one I think is an excellent player but one of my mistakes, an 11m fee. I didn't immediately realise how much was leaving my budget but I realised it now and one I regretted instantly, not that he is a bad player but the fact the fee is too big and we may struggle if we don't manage to bring in anyone in January

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    My final signing Mattia Timoteo, my favourite signing. He is young and again a bit too pricey for my liking but he has an excellent future ahead of him. In the past two seasons I have used target men to great effect and that is the main reason why I have brought in Mattia, although he may not be the main man this season, the next couple he may just well be, hopefully he can shake off his two injuries since joining and not build up any more.
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    R: Okay may I interrupt you, this has been a lengthy interview so we will be going for a break and then we will finish off everything else then, see you soon.

    *Okay guys, I will be finishing off everything shortly also please take note I am not a cheat, you will see that the in game editor is enabled at the top but don't assume I am cheating I simply forgot to disable it after I was on the Chairman save.

    Before I started my save I forgot to tick prevent use of in game editor. In future screen shots you will see it disabled and if you don't know what it looks like when it is disabled it appears greyed out and not able for use (not till after the interview is complete since I already have all screenshots)

    Also how are you thinking of the start of this story? At one point I will state my targets and hopefully can begin playing either today or tomorrow.

    One last thing, are you happy with the screenshots being big? I feel it saves time from having to click and open them up or is this too big and ruins the look of the story
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  11. R: We are back and we continue talking to Alex Cook as he is adjusting to his first time ever in the Premier League, we were talking in the break and he has agreed to share some details about how he planned to set up for the up and coming season.

    AC: Thanks, we have worked through various different ways to be effective and we have three formations to plan for the up and coming season, we really plan just to use the one for this season a 4-5-1.
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    I have been honest with my self and I don't think we have a really strong team and think we will struggle, I have trained with the lads and have prepared this tactic, it is a defensive formation that plans to sit deep and soak up pressure from the opposition, when we retrieve the ball we will hit the flanks and attempt to break forward quickly and get the ball into the box. When Le Fondre plays we will want him to be a poacher and pick up on any loose balls in the box, when our young lad plays he will be a target man aiming to win balls in the box and to hold up play and bring others in. This will be our main tactic for this season, whilst we settle. When I feel that we are good enough we will go to the type of football I want to play, I have also listed in the 4-5-1 formation my preferred starting 11.

    My other two tactics are
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    Instead of going into detail I have printed off pictures of our fixtures, our position in the league table and the squad we have to date. (will be posted into small pictures as I don't want to use too much space)

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    R: There we have it a very detailed first ever interview with Alex Cook, thanks Alex.

    AC: No problem, bye.

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    Birmingham's targets for this season

    - Avoid relegation
    - Reach 40 points
    - Be competitive in cups
    - Do the double vs Villa
    - Finish above Villa

    Birmingham's overall targets

    - Win promotion to the Premier League
    - Avoid relegation
    - Finish mid table
    - Finish top half of the table
    - Qualify for Europa League
    - Qualify for the Champions League
    - Win the Premier League

    - Win the FA Cup
    - Win the Capital One Cup
    - Win the Community Shield

    - Win the Europa League
    - Win the Champions League
    - Win the Clubs World's Champonship

    - Become the most reputable club in England
    - Become the most reputable club in Europe
    - Become the most reputable club in the world
    - Become the richest club in England
    - Become the richest club in Europe
    - Become the richest club in the world

    - Become more successful than Villa
    - Become the most successful team in England

    That is all I can currently think of, suggestions would be great. Also any possible feedback would be great too.

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    Lambert joins the Blues

    Experienced striker Rickie Lambert, 33 has joined Birmingham on a two year contract after his contract expired at Southampton, Lambert was unavailable to comment but is believed to be delighted to have joined Birmingham. Alex however said "He is a very good player to bring into Birmingham, he provides Premier League experience and he certainly has an eye for goal. I don't believe he will be a starter every week but he definitely provides added competition and ability."

  14. October 2015

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    A good result against a strong side. Stoke certainly made it difficult for us as they were clear favourites for the match but a good counter attack lead to a good goal from Rojas, we were shaky at times but on the whole we was very strong defensively.

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    Bottom club Burnley definitely made us work for this victory, I took a gamble and went for a more attacking approach and it paid off in the end, maybe we can be a bit adventurous in some matches.

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    A game where we definitely took a risk again and went for a 4-2-3-1 and it just, just paid off Marco Rojas scored another and he well just be a key player for the Blues this season, the fans will definitely love him.

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    Maybe a draw was a fair result, the stats are better than they look. We played and battled well and had enough chances to win the game, a lot of Norwich's chances were hopeful efforts. Lambert got his first goal for the club in his first start and we now hope he can kick on.

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    Again this month we go for an attacking approach and it worked out for us, we had to work hard for it though after losing a one goal lead, McCarthy made a horrific mistake for the first. Lambert scored again but was forced off due to injury, super sub Adam Le Fondre bagged the winner though late on in the game.

    The League

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    A very good start to the season we sit in 7th and are two points off 6th place, is this going to be a very successful season or will we eventually be brought back down to earth?

    Player Of The Month

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    Marco Rojas

    The young winger was influential in many wins this month whether it was bagging goals or creating assists, he definitely left the fans purring after the month he just had.

    In not so good news

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  15. November 2015

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    A good shift put in by the lads today but we couldn't stop the quality the Man City squad possess for any longer Nasri scored a very lucky header and we knew from then there would be no way back.

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    YESSSS! We beat Villa! Not by one goal, or two bu by five goals to nil. Jesse Lingard proved how good he could be and got a hat trick, a game I very much enjoyed! Unfortunately though if it wasn't for this result it would be a very poor month for the boys in Blue.

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    Our final match saw us face Fulham, a game I expected to win but it wasn't to be. Mitroglou proved to be too much to handle for the defenders and we really should be doing better.

    League Table
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    Player Of The Month

    Jesse Lingard

    The winger got this award solely on his brilliant performance and hat trick vs Villa

    (picture didn't work for some reason)

  16. Enjoying this. Rojas is an old teammate of mine from the glory days. Hopefully a good run of results in the new year will see you finish well above the villains! Keep up the good work.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by chaidawg View Post
    Enjoying this. Rojas is an old teammate of mine from the glory days. Hopefully a good run of results in the new year will see you finish well above the villains! Keep up the good work.
    Good to hear I have had a long day so not too sure whether an update will be out tonight, but I have over a week off college now so will have some spare time I never heard off Rojas before now but he has been good. I hope so! Was shocked to see the 5-0 Villa score as I was emailing someone about a job interview when it was 2-0 and when I came back it was 5

  18. December 2015!

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    This will become pretty repetitive over the next month, we got completely dominated and didn't deserved to get a goal never mind a win. One positive is our young striker got his first goal for the club.

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    YES! A brilliant win against one of the best teams in the league! Did we deserve it? Not a chance but we got the win against Arsenal.

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    Disappointed. At home and we were completely dominated from start to finish, we managed to get a lucky goal but none of the team were motivated enough to hold on to the lead, I was not pleased with them and I definitely let them know that.

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    Another loss in a disappointing month, I didn't expect much as our poor form was getting worse and worse and surprisingly Nottingham Forest were 4th place. A 2-1 loss adds to another defeat and I was livid with the performance

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    Well what a signing Rickie Lambert has been 2 goals again for him, George Thorne also gets on the score sheet. A good 3-1 win.

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    Wow, just wow. They go a man down and we fully expect to come back in the game after pulling a goal back but it was just not to be, I would've accepted it better if we was the one on the front foot but couldn't manage to get the last goal but no Hull dominated even when they was a man lighter.

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    Let's just say I'm glad this month is over it began to become depressing with all the losses, we hope for a better January.

    League Table

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    On the brighter side of things

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    Four signings that can hopefully help improve the team! Bargains too for three of them, let me know your thoughts!

  19. This is alive still, my laptop has been wiped but I have saved my saves on a memory stick but forgot to do screenshots so now I'm a few month ahead with no screenshots but I have a plan but won't be as long

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    Slight problem, I didn't take the screenshot of the fixtures and I thought I did. I can offer a quick update and will probably be the worst update you will ever see on this thread. Before the beginning of the new month which will be in the next update we went without a win for a total of 15 games, that really wasn't good enough and there was only one thing on my mind at that point and that was that we was going to get relegated, out of those 15 games 6 were draws.

    Sorry for the poor update but I haven't got time to do in depth interviews at the minute which I would've done usually if I missed out any screen shots. The league table is below and I will get back to normal in the next update

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