By Avenell Dave
I remember a Carling Cup game a few years ago where Alex Song played out of his skin to help us win at Ewood Park.
Dominant in the air, tenacious in the tackle and dynamic going forward, Song was the personification of the all-round player - and if I remember correctly, he was in central defence that night.
Fast forward two years and it's fair to say that the Cameroonian has had his fair share of ups and downs.
Whether he is the answer to our defensive midfield vacancy since Mathieu Flamini left, only time will tell.
But the last week has told us a lot about Song and it bodes well.
Firstly, in case you ahven't read about it, he had a falling out with Manu Ad*b*y*r during a World Cup qualifier against Togo which saw the Citeh player's side eliminated from the competition.
Ad*b*y*r ended up being asked to be substituted after losing his temper with the former teammate he describes as his little brother. Nice.
While old big head can watch the World Cup from the comfort of his TV, Song can bask in controlling the midfield and helping the Indomitable Lions to another finals tournament.
Birmingham may not be the best team in the Premier League, and certainly based on Liam Ridgewell's scything tackle on Theo Walcott and the moronic behaviour of their fans, they have learnt little from their last sojourn into the top flight two years ago.
At least we gave them what they deserved, which was a miserable journey home after another defeat on the road - even though they looked at times as if they would snatch a point, with Vito Mannone atoning for his mistake by making a great save with the score at 2-1.
But Song was far and away the man of the match, creating the first goal by RvP with a slide-rule pass and getting himself amongst his opponents and making a nuisance of himself.
It shows what a difference it makes having him in the side as the lone defensive midfielder without sideways-Denilson beside him to slow down the pace of play.
Of course there are things we could have done better, such as the cross taht led to Lee Bowyer's goal, and finishing off more chances, but a win is a win is a win and we're now looking like real challengers for a top four place and who knows what beyond that?
The injury to Theo is of course the only real low point of Saturday's victory - and another month on the sidelines is hardly ideal for the one genuinely fast player in the side.
But now we can bask upon Song's growth into a player of real value - and I wonder who will replace him when he goes off to the African Cup of Nations in January...