On the morning of the 21st of December, Birmingham woke up to the fantastic news that it will be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games- a cracking festive gift indeed.
Ignoring the Brum-haters, London-snobs and “my village has three potholes sorts, why are we hosting this event”, it seems that the majority of brummies were proud to learn that our great city will be involved in such an exciting event.
But it’s almost impossible to ignore that whilst one part of the city is smiling, the Blue corner of Brum remains extremely fearful with Christmas just around the corner.
That’s right, Birmingham City are rooted to the bottom of the table in the Championship and it’s safe to say that relegation is on the cards more than it has been over the past couple of seasons.
Perhaps the worst thing is that this fully-invested squad is, on paper, the best we’ve had for some time. You only have to look to the calamitous few months under hard-working but at times hapless Lee Clark, the rollercoaster of Bristol City away on the final day of last season to now- and it’s clear that this has been coming for a while.
Xuandong Ren, who I have met on a couple of occasions seems like an honest man who wants to see Birmingham City succeed. He and his team have backed Blues heavily since taking the reigns but the constant managerial turnaround, disgruntled players and differing salaries seem to have made their mark.
Board members aside, the blame now rests on two parties and it’s safe to say that right now, the jury is out on both. The players have been poor all season and this is not a squad that believes in one another in the slightest. Watching the Bristol City highlights this morning showed me a squad that is united, will battle and is capable of surprising anyone. Lee Johnson had a tough time just a few months at the helm of Ashton Gate but he’s turned it around and him, his players and of course, the GIF creating masterminds are now reaping the rewards for hard-work and honesty.
Steve Cotterill is a man that seems to have divided the football industry. A superb number 2 and coach, he’s taken the step into management and it’s safe to say his record is unconvincing. When I watched him get unveiled a few months ago, I thoroughly believed he was what we needed. Traditional, old-fashioned and hard-working. All of those I very much remain to still be true but quite simply, it hasn’t worked.
I won’t have anyone claim that he doesn’t want this team to win in the slightest because that certainly isn’t the case. He’s a man that loves football but right now, the players don’t want to play for him. Evasive interviews, a reluctance to reveal injuries and differing squad selection week-in, week-out, suggests to me a manager that is struggling.
In my books, it’s time to make a decision. Back Cotterill whole-heartedly now through the transfer window and into the summer or change now. I don’t want TTA financially supporting a manager they don’t believe in, nor do I want them leaving it too late to make a change.
There is one man-of-the-match performer in this story mind -every single Blues fan that has stuck with the team all season. Constant away sell-outs, continued 20,000+ attendances at home and unwavering optimism that this will be turned around.
Of course, point three is beginning to change as the days and weeks go on but can you blame Blues fans? TTA- it’s over to you.