Last Five Seasons
2005/06 – 18 (Premiership, Relegated), 2004/05 – 12 (Premiership), 2003/04 – 10 (Premiership), 2002/03 – 13 (Premiership), 2001/02 – 5 (Championship, Promoted).
2005/06 Cup Progress
FA Cup Sixth Round vs Liverpool (h) – lost 7-0.
Carling Cup Quarter Final vs Manchester United (h) – lost 3-1.
Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Mikael Forssell (striker) and Jiri Jarosik (midfield) – 8 goals each.
Cameron Jerome (Cardiff City – £3,000,000), Stephen Kelly (Tottenham Hotspur – £750,000), Neil Danns (Colchester United – £500,000), Bruno N’Gotty (Bolton Wanderers – Free).
Jermaine Pennant (Liverpool – £6,700,000), Emile Heskey (Wigan Athletic – £5,500,000), Kenny Cunningham (Sunderland – Free), Stan Lazaridis (Perth Glory – Free), Nico Vaesen (Lierse – Free), Jamie Clapham (Released), Chris Sutton (Released), Muzzy Izzet (Released), Mario Melchiot (Released), Chris Cottrill (Released), James Dormand (Released), Sam Alsop (Released), Njazi Kuqi (Released), Sam Oji (Released), David Howland (Released), Sone Aluko (Released).
Of the three teams mariobet giriş from the Premiership last season, Birmingham look perhaps the best equipped to make an immediate return to the top flight. Manager Steve Bruce has been clinical in who he has let go and has been shrewd with his purchases so far this summer.
Gone have many of last season’s ‘stars’, such as former captain Kenny Cunningham, Jamie Clapham, Mario Melchiot and Chris Sutton, while Muzzy Izzet has been forced to retire. Bruce even managed to sell Emile Heskey for £5.5 million to Wigan Athletic. Bruce has appointed Damien Johnson, who joined the club from Blackburn Rovers for £100,000 in 2002, as the new club captain.
In comes a group of hungrier young players, two of whom are proven performers outside of the top flight. Cardiff City striker Cameron Jerome, who scored 20 goals last season, arrived in an initial £3 million deal which could rise to £4 million while Colchester United midfielder Neil Danns arrived for an initial £500,000 which could rise to £850,000. Former Blackburn Rovers trainee Danns netted 16 goals for promoted Colchester last season and attracted attention from several clubs in the Championship.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Stephen Kelly joined the club for an initial £750,000 which could rise to £1.25 million depending on appearances while veteran Bruno N’Gotty signed a one year deal following his release from Bolton Wanderers. However, attempts to lure Fulham striker Collins John to the club were unsuccessful.
The dead wood has been shipped out an replaced by players eager to impress. Steve Bruce has signed two of the most promising players in the Football League in Jerome and Danns and have been made the bookmakers favourites at 5/1. They may not win the division outright but look capable of automatic promotion.