Well it only comes once a year, but the Christmas period is always hectic. The 15th December saw Blues crash out of the Europa League on a high, a home win against NK Maribor was not enough to gain qualification to the last 32 as SC Braga could not beat Club Brugge KV. Blues dominated the game and won 1-0 with a classy Adam Rooney header supplied from a cross by 17-year old wonderkid Nathan Redmond pictured below.
Monday 19th December saw Blues travelling to London to take on Crystal Palace, a team with various youth and senior talent, luckily for Blues, Zaha was out injured. But it didn't stop Palace. Blues came into the game with a 451 formation with Marlon King as a lone striker, with Burke Fahey N'Daw Spector and Redmond in midfield. King was extremely ineffective and as the game progressed, Wade Elliot was bought on to the left in place of Redmond and strikers Nikola Zigic and Chris Wood were bought on, still no luck. The blow came in the 85th minute where Blues, as they had been all night, were being dominated in set pieces, a sloppy clearance from Elliot lead to Nathaniel Clyne crossing for the ball to be neatly headed home, the game finished 1-0 to Palace.
The 26th December will see Blues take on last seasons Carling Cup semi-finalists West Ham United who were also relegated at the end of the 2010/2011 Premier League campaign. The Hammers sit in the automatic promotion places in the npower Championship table and look in very good form under Sam Allardyce who has bought in many Premier League quality players such as Kevin Nolan and Matthew Taylor, whilst keeping hold of the likes of Robert Green, Carlton Cole and James Tomkins. It will be a tough game indeed.
Then the 31st December will see the other relegated side visit St. Andrews, Blackpool. Ian Holloway's tangerine army are higher than Blues in the table and the previous result ended in a 2-2 draw with Nikola Zigic firing home from close range in the last 10 minutes as seen below.
It will be a tough game but as I always say... Don't stop believing in Birmingham City!
So the Christmas period so far has seen a convincing win and an irritating loss, and with 2 tough games coming up, let's just say we will need to show Premier League class. To gain promotion we realistically need to be gaining points from all our home games, this will be the biggest test yet for Chris Hughton's men.
Thanks for reading and speak to you soon.