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Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story
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  1. Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-birmingham-logo.jpg

    Birmingham appoint club legend
    Gonzalo Flores as their new manager

    Birmingham City Football Club have announced that they decided to go down a new direction and have appointed former player Gonzalo Flores as their manager. Gonzalo is a player from many years ago now who is still the greatest player I have owned. He joined on a free transfer at 19 after being released from a Mexican team and became arguably the most decorated player in football history. I can no longer remember the numbers exactly but by the time he retired he had more than 10 Premier League, Champions League and World Player of the Year titles.


    As the username suggests I am a big Birmingham City fan so this is not my first save with the club this year. Rather than just doing another save I have set myself a few different targets that I hope to achieve or continue with throughout the save.

    21st century tactics
    After 15/20 years of sticking with 433 and 4231 tactics I want to attempt to build a 3 at the back tactic
    You never win anything with kids
    Build the academy to the point that at least half of the starting 11 are from the academy

    Knock them off their perch
    Become the most decorated club in the city
    FA Cup
    League Cup

    The biggest challenge will definitely be the tactics side as I haven’t really used a 3 at the back tactic before and I never get any enjoyment from plug and play tactics so I will be building them myself. The first challenge I feel will be to not be sacked before Christmas while trying to adapt to a new tactic. If you have any knowledge on 3 at the back tactics then feel free to pass on the advice and hopefully I can incorporate it into my tactics.

  2. As a Birmingham fan I wish you the very best of luck with this. KRO.

  3. Pre-season

    With a grand budget of £0 I will focus more on my tactics and the squad I already have at my disposal. The first thing I focused on was the squad. As a fan of the team and having done a career already on this version with Birmingham, I know the squad well but I have now had to look at which players will fit into a different style of play.

    Harlee Dean

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-harlee-dean_-overview-profile.png

    An absolute rock at the back who could be the heart of the defence for a number of years. Big, strong, smart and technically good, he has all the attributes already to play and at just 25 he could be important as we push for promotion and further.

    Marc Roberts

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-marc-roberts_-overview-profile.png

    Another summer signing at the back is Marc Roberts. Only 26 years old and very siamilar to Harlee Dean. I plan on these two being the two wider CB’s with the elder Morrison in the middle of them. These 2 will be central to all the play and will have to be comfortable on the ball which isn’t always the case for Championship defenders.

    Maxime Colin

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-maxime-colin_-overview-profile.png

    Generally loved by the fans after his first season and I am firmly in that camp. He has provided the club with a 21st century full back. He runs, crosses, attacks and most importantly can put in a shift defensively too. With Harding not really having the potential in game to challenge him, he will have the chance to take the RWB position for himself if he can.

    Maikel Kieftenbeld

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-maikel-kieftenbeld_-overview-profile.png

    Not as universally loved by the fans but I feel he is vital to the team at the moment. What he lacks in technical ability he more than makes up for with work rate and energy which is something that is vital in such a busy and hectic league. With 3 CB’s to control the game, the CM position is more about energy and tackling and there are few better in the league than Kieftenbeld at that.


    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jota_-overview-profile.png

    The man who has caused me the most problems is Jota. By far the best player at the club and one of the only attacking players who can play with the ball. My original plan was to play a 343 with wide men but Jota is a No.10 so I have had to create multiple tactics to try and fit him into his natural position more. I am hoping Jota is the key to a promotion push as he is clearly the jewel in the crown at St Andrews.

    My next post will be about the tactics I have set up and then it is onto the season.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by jackstringer19 View Post
    As a Birmingham fan I wish you the very best of luck with this. KRO.

    I don't see many Birmingham fans on here so it is good to see they do exist. I don't see many people playing with Birmingham which I find surprising as we are a good challenge in many ways, with the finances, the big city and being the smaller club in the city.

  5. Tactics

    After a busy pre-season where I tried to fit in as many friendlies as possible to test my tactics I have finally decided to run with the following 3 tactics.

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-birmingham-city_-overview.png

    The first one will probably be my main tactic for most games. It gives me the 3 at the back that I want and allows me to play Jota in his preferred AM role. I am still not sure about the CM roles as I would prefer to not play with 2 BWM but that is the current preferred roles of my CMs. I will have a look and see if I can change this and hopefully have a player who will sit and stay in position to not leave the back 3 too exposed.

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-birmingham-city_-overview-2.png

    This is a tactic to try and control the game more. It gives a DLP in front of the back to provide even more ball control and leaves 2 up top to try and create something. I'm still not convinced by this tactic as it leaves me very weak behind the strikers and leaves them both isolated at times.

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-birmingham-city_-overview-3.png

    My final tactic is something slightly different and will only really be used when our first 2 tactics are really struggling. It lets me play wide men which I am more used to but it can leave the striker very isolated as he doesn't have a partner or a number 10 behind him.

    I expect to be adapting these tactics throughout the season but this is how they will start at least. With pre-season now over it is the start of the season. The club are predicted to finish 16th but I am hoping to better that and finish in at least the top half but it will be down to how well we can adapt to the new tactics.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  6. August

    Ipswich 0
    Birmingham 0

    Not the way I was hoping the season was going to start. We were strong at the back but lacked any skill up top. Hopefully this will come with time

    Yeovil 0
    Birmingham 2 (Gallagher 18, Jota 56Pen)

    A nice solid win in the cup against a lower league side. We controlled the game and they failed to have a single shot on target. Let’s hope we can have that kind of performance against stronger opposition.

    Birmingham 2 (Adams 36, Lowe 86)
    Bristol City 0

    It’s great to get the first win in the league and to get some goals against real competition. It’s also very nice to go 3 games and get 3 clean sheets. Long may it continue.

    Birmingham 2 (Boga 4, Lowe 67)
    Bolton 1 (Le Fondre 34)

    We may have lost the clean sheet, but we still take the 3 points against a team who really troubled us. Le Fondre and Clough up top caused us a lot of problems and I hope to not face too many problems like that during the season.

    Burton 0
    Birmingham 2 (Gardner 11pen, 88pen)

    Both goals from penalties makes it look as though it wasn’t a great game and that would entirely accurate. Burton also play 3 at the back and we both just cancelled each other out. We got the penalties from putting crosses into the box and Gallagher getting dragged down. If he can be enough of a nuisance against 3 CB’s, then I have high hopes throughout the season to get goals from crosses.

    Birmingham 2 (Gardner 25, Boga 78)
    West Brom 1 (Rondon 3)

    An incredible result in the cup especially considering I rested some of the first team as well. I rested Jota which allowed me to play the 343 tactic with wide men and it worked a treat. I’m extremely pleased with this result against a premier league side and it means that the 343 tactic may be used more often, if I can find a place for Jota in it.

    Birmingham 2 (Gardner 49, Kieftenbeld 73)
    Reading 0

    After a boring first half, I had a go at the players and they delivered in the second half. I changed to the 343 wide tactic and it worked incredibly well and we could have scored even more. Jota on the right wing but playing as a AP(s) had so much space it may be something I try again.


    An incredible start to the season means we finish August joint top of the table with Middlesbrough. Its very early on but I’m optimistic of meeting my personal target of finishing in the top half of the table.

    A great result against West Brom means we are still in the league cup and we will face Leicester in the 3rd round which will be an even tougher test.

    Player of the month
    Craig Gardner

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-craig-gardner_-overview-profile.png

    Young player of the month
    Jeremie Boga

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jeremie-boga_-overview-profile.png

  7. September

    Norwich 0

    Birmingham 0

    A pretty boring game ends 0-0. Not much happened in truth and even after changing the tactic and the approach nothing really happened. This was the first game after the international break, so hopefully it was just a bit of rustiness after not playing for 2 weeks.

    Leeds 0
    Birmingham 0

    Another boring game ends 0-0. Leeds away is always a hard game so a draw isn’t the worst result but I hope to see some goals soon as we haven’t even been close in these 2 games.

    Birmingham 1 (Gallagher 90)
    Preston 0

    The first goal of the month brings the first win as we scrap a 1-0 win against Preston who are down at the bottom of the table. This month has still yet to take off but we are still unbeaten so far this year which is a big plus.

    Birmingham 2 (Adams 72, Maghoma 82)
    Leicester 0

    I never thought we had a chance coming into this game and when I saw their starting line up still had Vardy and Mahrez I was even more certain, but somehow we won this game and if anything it should have been by more. Adams missed a penalty when the game was 0-0. In to the next round we go.

    Derby 1 (Ledley 75pen)
    Birmingham 0

    The first loss of the season is a frustrating one as we lose to Derby and to a penalty as well. We weren’t great but neither were Derby and it looked as though the game was drifting to a 0-0 draw until Morrison dragged down Lawrence and gave Ledley the chance to score from the spot.

    Birmingham 2 (Adams 10, Kieftenbeld 12)
    Sheffield Wednesday 0

    It is great to get straight back to winning after the Derby game and it means we maintain our 100% record at home. Both goals had a big fortune of look as Adams latched onto a poor pass back to be 1on1 with the keeper and score, then Kieftenbeld’s shot took a big deflection which helped it in. I am not going to complain though as it means another 3 points on the board.

    Hull 2 (Wilson 43pen, Bowen 51)
    Birmingham (Adams 27, Jota 69)

    This was a really frustrating game as we should have got all 3 points. The penalty came just before half term with a pointless foul and then Bowen’s goal was a 35yd screamer but he shouldn’t have had the space to shoot from there. An away draw at Hull is not the worst result though.


    A very busy month finally ends where we played 7 games, with the first game not until the 9th of the month it meant we played those 7 games in just 21 days. Rotation has been the key for the month, especially in the CM roles, and it has shown me the strength of the squad.

    Player of the month

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jota_-overview-profile.png

    Young player of the month
    Che Adams

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-che-adams_-overview-profile.png

  8. October

    Birmingham 3 (Gardner 5pen, Jots 34, Kieftenbeld 58)

    Cardiff 1 (Zohore 62)

    A great start to the month and I have to mention Kieftenbeld’s goal who struck a 25 yard volley directly from a corner right into the top corner.

    Millwall 2 (Elliot t 52, Ferguson 90)

    Birmingham 3 (Adams 7, Jota 10, 62pen)

    We had an electric start which all but won us the game but after the first 10 minutes we were pretty poor. We got two late injuries which meant we finished the game with just 9 men on the pitch so thankfully we could hold onto the 3 points.

    Stoke 0
    Birmingham 1 (Jutkiewicz 88pen)

    I didn’t believe we had much of a chance in this game but when Ndiaye got sent off in the first 10 minutes, we had a more competitive game then I thought and it took a late penalty to get the winner.

    Birmingham 3 (Kietrenbeld 29, Gardner 45, Jota 62)
    Aston Villa 0

    What an incredible result. And it was a great performance too. Everything came together nicely in the most important of games as well. Kieftenbeld’s goal was another long range strike and Gardner’s goal just before half time really killed the game off. This drops Villa out of the play off spaces as well which just adds to the win.

    Birmingham 2 (Gallagher 16, Mepham 73og)

    Brentford 0

    The run keeps going and I am especially pleased with this win as we were missing a few players. Stockdale, Dean, Colin, Gardner and Adams were all missing due to injury or suspension.


    5 games, 5 wins and 12 goals scored in those games is incredibly good reading. We currently sit 2nd in the table behind the unstoppable Fulham and 3 points ahead of Wolves. If this continues then I will have to rethink my original target of finishing just in the top half.

    Player of the month

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jota_-overview-profile.png

    Young player of the month
    Jeremie Boga

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jeremie-boga_-overview-profile.png

  9. November

    Barnsley 0
    Birmingham 1 (Jenkinson 56)

    A solid away win but Barnsley are rooted to the bottom of the table so I was expecting a little bit more from the team.

    Birmingham 4 (Jota 7, Mancienne 23og, Jenkinson 39, Adams 45)
    Nottingham Forest 0

    WTF. An absolutely incredible first half meant we had the game wrapped up in 45 minutes. A win, a clean sheet and plenty of goals makes me a very happy man.

    Middlesbrough 1 (Howson 38)
    Birmingham 2 (Gardner 10pen, 50pen)

    2 penalties won us this game and we struggled to create much else. I have definitely created tactics that are defensively strong but we struggle to make many chances that don’t rely on set pieces.

    Sheffield Utd 0

    Birmingham 1 (Kieftenbeld 84)

    Kieftenbeld delivers another long range strike that secured us the points. He now has 5 goals this season and I believe all of them have been from outside the box.


    Another great month puts us top of the table and 4 points ahead of 3rd. It is still pretty early in the season but I am now thinking changing my target from top half to achieving a place off place at least.

    Player of the month
    Maikel Kieftenbeld

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-maikel-kieftenbeld_-overview-profile.png

    Young player of the month
    Cohen Bramall

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-cohen-bramall_-overview-profile.png

  10. December

    Birmingham 1 (Gardner 7)

    Wolves 1 (Afobe 51)

    The month starts with a couple of very tough fixtures and I am pleased to at least not lose to Wolves here. We played well in the first half but the second was all about holding on to the point we had.

    Fulham 1 (Kalas 14)
    Birmingham 1 (Jenkinson 10)

    Another top team, another draw. I am pleased to not lose points to a rival at the top of the table but it is disappointing to concede a goal straight after scoring, especially considering Kalas’ goal was from a set piece as well.

    Birmingham 3 (Gardner 7, Boga 9, Jota 50)
    QPR 0

    A quick start gets us the points here as we were able to get 2 goals in the first 10 minutes. I am happy to keep a clean sheet as well after a few games of being unable to do so.

    Man Utd 4 (Rashford 23, 69. 74, Rojo 45)
    Birmingham 1 (Maghoma 61)

    The cup run finally comes to an end at the hands of Marcus Rashford. His speed was too much for our defence as he broke our line multiple times to get his goals and to create other chances.

    Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 4)
    Birmingham 0

    The unbeaten league run finally comes to an end. We had gone 13 games unbeaten until this game and I was disappointed we weren’t able to break Sunderland down after they took an early lead.

    Birmingham 1 (Adams 22)
    Norwich 1 (Srbeny 90)

    I am gutted to not win this one. We controlled the entire game and I don’t recall a single chance for them other than the goal. Controlling the game is great but we need to turn that into 2/3 goal leads more often to make sure of the result.

    Birmingham 2 (Kieftenbeld 12, Jota 22)

    Leeds 5 (Roberts 2, 9, Sacko 33pen, Cooper 36, Diomande 77)

    WOW. Everything came crashing down in this game. They had an incredible start and even though we got back into it, we really struggled. Kieftenbeld got sent off and then we were just picked off by Leeds.


    A terrible month finally comes to the end. We crashed out of the cup to Man Utd which started a run of 4 games without a win. The win against QPR was the only win of the month which is extremely disappointing. I hope fortunes change in the new year.

    Player of the month

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jota_-overview-profile.png

    Young player of the month
    Jeremie Boga

    Keep Right On - A Birmingham City Story-jeremie-boga_-overview-profile.png

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