This week as Alex Ferguson told of an improvement in the quality of the Premier League he spoke specifically of the team he would be facing on Saturday. And rightly so as there are very few that prove this point better than Birmingham.
The Midlands side are unbeaten in 11 having won 7 games and drawn 4 and now sit 8th in the table, only a point behind Liverpool, which isn’t bad for a team that were promoted this season.
Birmingham’s improvement is even more remarkable in that he done it without spending any of the millions owner Carson Yeung has promised as Ferguson pointed out,
“He only had a small amount of money to budget with when they came into the Premier League. He brought Barry Ferguson down from Rangers and brought in the centre-half from Cardiff (Roger Johnson). He used players who have been there for a long time now. What he has done has been marvellous.”
In the summer prior to the 07-08 season when Liverpool signed Ryan Babel, Birmingham were preparing for a campaign in the Premiership having just been promoted. If you had asked Ryan Babel about a move to the Birmingham then, having been linked with the cream of Europe’s clubs such a suggest would have been laughed off but this January Birmingham’s surge has seen the Dutch international linked with a £9m move to the Midlands.
Babel has fallen out of favour at Anfield and so he could reignite his World Cup dreams at St.Andrew despite also being linked with a host of other clubs including Bayern Munich.
Of course Carson Yeung’s millions are enabling them to compete in the transfer market but it is the teams actual performances that are attracting the players in the first place, Birmingham have already signed Michel from Sporting Gijon and both of this and the Ryan Babel link just show how far Birmingham have come.
So as Birmingham and United face off at St.Andrews tomorrow, Alex McLeish’s men will be chasing history as they look for their 12 game unbeaten in the top and with Man United not in the best of form McLeish will be confident that his team could get at least a point against the shaky champions.
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