Thoughts after the Brighton game
Conceding a goal right at the end is a cruel way to lose a game. Before the game, I heard a Blues fan on the radio saying that he wanted Birmingham City to lose because they had sacked Gary Rowett but I never want them to lose. Before a game and afterwards, once I’ve calmed down, I can regard a defeat as just something that happens. But during a game, I always desperately want my team to win. So, Saturday felt like rather a disaster as I trudged away from St Andrew’s, listening to the jubilant Brighton fans praising Chris Hughton.
Now I have calmed down, I’m telling myself that it was a narrow defeat against a top team; our substitutions didn’t work as well as theirs did. One defeat after one day’s training with the team doesn’t mean that Gianfranco Zola is a hopeless manager or that our season is over.
I don’t have any inside knowledge of what goes on at the club so I can’t be sure which rumours are true. However, I agree with the Guardian’s view that “the key to any change of management is that you need to be pretty sure the new guy is better than the old guy.” I don’t see how anyone can be pretty sure that Zola will be better than Rowett. It feels like a gamble that may or may not work out. It doesn’t seem like the kind of gamble that would have been made by the senior management of our club, the people who have kept it running on an even keel during all the storms in Hong Kong. I think that their opinions have been ignored by the new owners and that worries me.
That’s why I’m glad that we had some ‘Thank you Gary Rowett’ posters printed and distributed before the game. It was a rush job and we had too few people giving them out. People holding them up were too scattered to make much of an impact. However, I’m glad I helped distribute them because doing something always feels better than doing nothing. It confirmed that many of the fans who came to the game were disturbed by the manner in which the sacking had been done. Some thanked us for what we were doing. Those who didn’t take one, refused reasonably politely, even the person who told me that what I was doing was pathetic.
It was a small gesture but I think the media coverage it received helped to convey a message to our owners, telling them that we were not happy with the way that our manager was sacked. Having done that, most of us will support the team and manager we have got. The article quoted above ended by saying, “As first big decisions go, for Trillion Trophy Asia this could be a whopper of a mistake.” Let’s hope it won’t be.
The picture above this post is of an article in The Times, published on 19/12/2016.