Where can this Birmingham City side realistically go?

alex mcleishMany pundits and fans would have named Birmingham City as one of the favourites to return to the Championship at the start of the season myself included, but I must apologise to Alex McLeish and Birmingham City FC because how they are performing is just magic. Lying five points from a Champions League spot and three points away from a Europa League spot few would’ve imagined how great of start Birmingham City would’ve had. The question is why not?

With no problems of debt hanging over the club, peace and harmony in the board room, a manager who holds a squad of both experienced premiership players and youth and evokes self belief to his squad, why would they be fighting for relegation.

Now with a run of 15 games unbeaten questions have been raised on how far can this Birmingham side go? It all rests on a number of factors, firstly whether owner Carson Yeung continues to support McLeish in the transfer market. With a couple more days left till the end of the January transfer market, McLeish looks to add some quality to his strike force, with Roman Pavyluchenko the latest name. If I was Pavyluchenko I would take this opportunity with both hands. He could do some serious damage to the opposition. He has already made some super signings like Roger Johnson from Cardiff City, Christian Benitez from Santos Laguna and brought Joe Hart in from Manchester City.

A second factor is the successful partnership of the defence of Scott Dann and Roger Johnson, never have I seen two new players so comfortable and have such a great understanding. They look as if they have been playing together for years. If these two players continue to perform like they have been doing and stay injury free, it strengthens the backbone of City which only add to greater success. Possibly the purchase of the season must go to Birmingham City with the loan signing of Joe Hart, and what City must do is capture him permanently. Hart understood that he was never going to knock Shay Given of the number one spot at City so moved elsewhere and he has excelled so much that Capello should not leave him out of his World Cup squad.

Birmingham have far a greater squad this term than in 2007 when they got relegated on the last day of the season and McLeish is to be credited for this. He understood what changes needed to be made, what sacrifices needed to be taken in order for Birmingham to be in the position that they are in now. This Birmingham side can go far in terms of the future but need to be cautious as they do not want to suffer from second season syndrome like Reading in 2007 but with McLeish at the helm I do not see this happening.

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