Continuing our series of guest articles, On The Ponty End has been speaking to supporters of the clubs making an appearance in the Championship this year - either as a result of promotion or relegation last season.

Our aim is to provide you with just a small insight in to the expectations and inside track on the fresh opposition that Barnsley FC will face this season. With that in mind, we hope we succeed.

We're delighted to introduce our readers to Birmingham City fan Almajir from the excellent Blue's blog Often Partisan.

You can also follow Almajir on Twitter: @almajir or the blog @often_partisan

Only at Blues

It's a rollercoaster supporting Birmingham City. This year alone we've had the massive high of winning major silverware at Wembley – something I never expected we'd ever do in my lifetime – and the lows of relegation, our somewhat unpopular manager being poached by our more unpopular neighbours and rivals, and now our President doing his own bit for our PR in China by being arrested for tax evasion and money laundering. I know most clubs think bad stuff only happens to them, but you can understand why Birmingham City fans have this “Only at Blues” viewpoint.

Badge of Birmingham CityImage via Wikipedia
As such, it's difficult to say what our aims are for the season. With the amount of stuff that's gone on in the last few weeks I think remaining in existence at the end of the season might be a target; alternatively we could be in the ludicrous situation of pushing simultaneously for promotion and European glory. We're such an oddball club at times that either is possible; or both at the same time.

Truthfully however, I don't believe we're going to bounce straight back up. We're going to be a team in transition this year; new players, new management, possibly new owners. The season for me is about the club rebuilding, bringing in new young talent and setting itself up for the next crack at the big time. I'm not sure how many Blues fans would be in agreement with me about this; I think there are many who think we should walk this division but I know it's not going to be that easy.


I'm hoping some of our talented kids get a chance to impress this season; I'd love to see Nathan Redmond, our England u17 winger given a regular slot on the bench at least for a start. We've got promising talent in the middle in Jordon Mutch, who had a good half-season at this level last year with Watford, and Enric Valles, who promised much in pre-season in China, back in 2010. We may well be losing our crown jewels in Johnson, Dann and Foster and as such we may become more rickety at the back, but with a bit of luck our new strike force of King and Rooney may gel quickly and get a few goals.

In fairness, I'll settle for most things; however, a 4-0 home playoff leg defeat to your chaps at Barnsley isn't one of them.

Ed: Thanks Almajir for your contribution to On The Ponty End



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Surprising article really ... considering that many Championship teams will see Birmingham City as potential promotion favourites. Paddy Power believe that also ... http://bit.ly/ix1Ji1