Having said that, there is a lot to admire about the side and their manager Alex McLeish. They are so well organised that they are really difficult to break down. They are definitely in a relegation battle, sitting just one point above the drop zone, but they have conceded only twenty-six goals in their twenty-one games. That is considerably less than most of the other teams down at the bottom.
One of the main reasons for their decent defensive record is the central defensive partnership of Roger Johnson and Scott Dann who have been outstanding. That is why it is such a massive blow to the club and their chances of survival in the top league to discover that Scott Dann will miss the rest of the season through injury.
McLeish tried to put a brave face on things,
“You don’t want to see your back four disrupted too much but I’m philosophical about these things. You’ve just got to get on with it. Managers can’t legislate for injuries and we’ve lost a good man.”
Dann injured his hamstring in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at West Ham on 11th January and he has had to have surgery to repair the damage.
The 6’2” tall, twenty-three year old has been a revelation for Birmingham since he signed from Coventry in June 2009. He has played fifty games for the club and formed a formidable partnership with Johnson. His form this season has seen him mentioned in relation to an England call up and with Terry and Ferdinand on the way down, he could well have come into the reckoning.
Dann started his career as a junior at Walsall, signing his first professional contract in 2004. After playing regularly for the Midlands’ club reserve team he was sent out on loan to get first team experience. He played for Danish side Kloge BK and also for Conference North sides Redditch and Hednesford Town.
In the 2006-07 season Dann established himself in the Walsall first team and helped them to promotion from League Two as champions. After impressing in League One as well, Dann was signed by Championship Coventry City in January 2008. The fee was believed to be in excess of £1 million.
Coventry battled against relegation that season and Dann was instrumental in keeping them up. His form earned him two caps at England under twenty-one level.
For the 2008-09 season, at the age of just twenty-one, Dann was made captain of the Coventry side. At the end of that season, after playing nearly fifty games for Coventry, the Premier League came calling in the shape of Birmingham City. In June 2009 they paid Coventry around £3.5 million to capture the highly rated youngster.
Dann got his chance in the first team at Birmingham through injury in the September of last season and has kept his place ever since. His performances have been consistent and commanding.
He really will be a huge loss for Birmingham who’s whole team is built around the solid foundation given to them by their defence. That foundation will now have a crucial part missing and it will be interesting to see if Birmingham can cope with the loss.
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