It is not only in his methods, tactics and his dismissive regard for the minor celebrity circus which revolves around England that coach Fabio Capello differs from his predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson. There is an "at-the-coalface" approach to his scouting, highlighted by the Italian's attendance at St Andrew's on Saturday.
Turning his back on the day's more glamorous Premier League fixtures,, Capello chose a match which promised to be little more than a swansong for Birmingham's owners David Sullivan and the brothers David and Ralph Gold before their sell-out to the Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung.
Then again, there was Gary Cahill. The Bolton centre-back remains far from an England breakthrough with John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Matthew Upson standing in his path but if, as assumed, it was his presence which enticed Capello to the West Midlands, then his longer-term prospects must be bright. The former England Under-21 star, who was called up for the World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in June, has been in exemplary form this season.
"I had no idea he was watching," Cahill said, "but it's probably better when it's like that and you can go about your game. I definitely think I can play for England one day. You have got to have that confidence in your ability."
Lee Chung-yong's late winner for Wanderers was the South Korean international's first in the Premier League, after Kevin Phillips had equalised Tamir Cohen's opener.
The Birmingham manager, Alex McLeish, plans to meet the club's new owners for the first time next week. "We're looking for it to be a positive change, not negative," McLeish said. "I'm not looking at what can go wrong, only at what can go right. I am sure our fans will welcome it."
Birmingham City (4-5-1): Hart; Carr, Johnson, Dann, Vignal (Phillips, 76); Larsson, Ferguson, Tainio (O'Connor, 61), Bowyer, Fahey; Benitez. Substitutes not used: Taylor (gk), Ridgewell, Espinoza, McSheffrey, Carsley.
Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Samuel; K Davies, Muamba, Taylor, Cohen, Gardner (McCann, 70); Klasnic (Lee, 53). Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), O'Brien, M Davies, Elmander, Steinsson.
Referee: S Bennett (Kent).
Booked: Birmingham City Johnson; Bolton Wanderers Samuel.
Man of the match: Cahill.
Attendance: 28,671.Reuse content