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01/02: Preview: Birmingham City
BSaD opinion
by Matt Rowson

How did they do?
Comfortably reached the play-offs having briefly threatened to challenge for automatic promotion. Proceded to provide the most entertaining television spectacle in years as Tricky Trev threw his toys out of the pram at Deepdale, and with them any chance City had of winning that penalty shoot-out and another trip to Cardiff.

How will they do?
City have a strong squad, and the arrivals of Vaesen, to challenge the unconvincing Bennett, and Mooney, who Francis may yet waste by playing him as an out-and-out striker, both strengthen the squad still further. City could run away to automatic promotion, but should they slip back into the play-off pack don't expect them to go up. Tricky Trev has proven himself persistently fragile under pressure; indeed, his greatest achievement as City boss would appear to have been keeping his job this summer.

Do we like them?
Is the Pope Jewish ? The results of Watford's census poll tell their own story. As if a succession of unpleasant trips to St.Andrews, Tricky Trev bleating at some fanciful injustice and the aggressive seediness of the whole Brum set up wasn't enough, they had to go and sign Tommy as well...

(Actually, I ought to point out that the Brum fans who responded to the Census were amongst the pleasantest and most conversational in the Division. This challenge to the status quo left me feeling quite giddy. Helpfully, a volley of abuse from Palace fans arrived shortly after the Brum influx and the world was back to rights again...)

If they were a tv or radio show, what would they be?
"Who wants to be a Millionaire".

"So Trevor, this question for promotion to the Premiership worth millions and millions of pounds. Take your time, here comes the question. What was the cause of Birmingham's failure to secure promotion over the last three seasons ? Was it :

A: Watford's big strikers.
B: A referees' conspiracy.
C: The slowdown in the American economy.
D: You."

"Errrrr.... can I phone a friend?"

"You don't have any friends, Trevor"

"Can I use a lifeline?"

"Another one ?"

"What if I think it's A, B AND C....?"