Awaiting The Familiar

28 Feb 2023 | 15 comments

In Off The Post

The following article has been written by one of our Trust members.  They are the opinions of that person and not necessarily those of Blues Trust.  Would you like to contribute a discussion point of your own about Birmingham City Football Club?  If so, we would be delighted to hear from you.

At the time of writing John Eustace has not been dismissed. But unlike the very safe bunch of professional footballers in his charge, he might be finding it hard to sleep at night right now. This in a nutshell is the reality. Our likeable head coach ages by the day, while those actually responsible for on field performances and getting results seem to be carrying on regardless.

Defeat after hideous defeat is resulting in an amazing run that almost makes for an entry into the Guinness Book of Records. But the players currently performing for the club are far better than this awful run of two wins in eleven games with nine defeats. Defending the likes of John Eustace is not the issue here, as no doubt many supporters will be expecting the axe to fall upon him. Awaiting the familiar is what we have come to expect every season.

Players at our club cannot get a point against any opposition at the moment, especially at home. Lowly opposing teams rule ok when St. Andrew’s is on the menu. How we have arrived at this pitiful state is not difficult to fathom, especially with the experienced players at John Eustace’s disposal. Comfort zone and low expectations are the reasons in my book.

We hear of “sticking together” and players “giving everything”, with “opportunities for those coming in for the injured” etc. All kindly excuses from what appears to be a very compassionate coach. But all that is wearing very thin now.

Time and games are surprisingly still on our side however. There are twelve league matches left, and only a measly ten points required for safety and another season in the Championship. But this current squad needs the proverbial rocket, and quick, if that is to be achieved. Supporters can clearly see the big picture and there should be no more kindly words from a protective JE.

Wigan and Rotherham are up next, and change needs to happen if zero points are not once again the outcome. Not necessarily in new managerial terms though, but in a firmer and tougher directness a la Ferguson or a Clough.

Taking chances and scoring goals is an obvious, and urgent, requirement. But stopping the rot at the other end is the priority in my view. We haven’t got the savvy striker nor the gifted midfielder to trouble the opposition at the moment. But at the back we do have defensive experience which should be enough to get the paltry number of survival points needed, starting at Wigan. Forty eight is the number and my advice to JE is to get that emblazoned on every player’s mind immediately.

Mitchell Bray


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  1. Peter Bates

    My big worry looking to the future is our better young players leaving for pastures new ,we are told the academy is strong and thriving but is it ,what must young j j do to get a game ,when he was bought on on Saturday with about two minutes left I was embarrassed for him ,the other youngsters must think they have no chance at all ,when trusty , Hannibal ,bielik all depart and return to parent clubs and out of contract players decide to leave ,it won’t matter much who the manager is I have said for a while the manager is soft I don’t want to hear about dressing rooms and training being good I want a team that goes onto the pitch and has the stomach for a fight and sadly that comes from management kro

    • John P

      I totally agree with you Peter at present we don’t seem to have a single player who will fight for the club, perhaps with the exception of Harlee Dean, but even that’s restricted to the dressing room.

      Of course the dismaying thing for the youngsters is that though all the loan players will leave in May, our academy players still won’t be given a chance as the club will just bring in fresh loan players for next season. Of course depending at what level we’re playing next season will determine the level of new loan players we receive.

    • rodney stephenson

      all down to injuries and what goes on behind the scenes………boycott and demonstrate properly!!!!!!!!!

  2. Tracey Tyler

    Basically the players or the Manager are not good enough enough even for this Division..l could go into details of the players abilities etc but l feel it’s pointless as it as been said so many times before.l don’t know what it is but l kept a close eye on George Hall on Saturday and it seemed to me like he was someone who knew he wouldn’t be a St Andrews next season,not the same player as earlier in the season.Why do we turn good players into bad ones ??? Remember Ivan Sunjic who will be back with us next season unless he leaves permanently, a £6 million pound signing,when he came to us 4 years ago l thought we had unearthed a gem of a player but in space of 3 seasons he was surplus to requirements,did playing for Blues drag him down,l wonder.

  3. Chris

    It annoys me that we know the kind of performances they’re capable of (like against West Brom) but they constantly play like they’ve never met their teammates. Why is this? Do they only play well when they’re live on TV to put themselves in the shop window? All these players when interviewed say they love the club and love the supporters but they have a strange way of showing it.
    Mitchell Bray we may be looking at needing a lot more than 10 points if the EFL get their teeth into us before the end of the season.

  4. Peter Bates

    Glad to read harlee dean had a blowout in the changing room on Saturday might do a bit of good, but I must admit on Saturday it felt like the fans were worn out with it all and it needs a massive boost at our club but this won’t happen till the club change hands but alas can’t see it happening genuinely believe I hope I’m wrong kro

    • Dorestblue

      Our style of play is shocking. We defend, win the ball and through our hapless passing give it straight back. Eustice seems too nice and protective. I like the guy but it’s all about survival now until the club is sold…and he may need to go to be placed with a kick up the arse type manager.

  5. John P

    The truth is that we’ve all had enough. We have owners that are non-existent both in appearance and finances. We have a manager who is way out of his depth, and we have a squad that looks good on paper but is awful on grass. There is no spirit within the club anymore, no fight, no-one seems to care.

    The fans have been marvellous up to now but we’re tired and weary, we sick to death of the same proactive words but lack of action. Five shots in ninety minutes on Saturday, none on target.

    Deeney has been a waste of time and money, he tells other teams to sign our youngsters and contacts a Premier League manager to offer his support, what has he done for Birmingham?

    I agree that many of our present squad won’t be with us next season, loanees will return to their parent clubs, those out of contract won’t wish to re-sign for just another year of struggle, and the owners will sell our youngsters and decent players to reap as much out of the club as they can muster. On top of this we have a manager who is struggling to even come up with any fresh ideas and still has four years on his contract to run.

    I hate to say this but perhaps Birmingham need to be relegated so they can rebuild, hopefully with new owners. None of us want this to happen but it’s inevitable that once the EFL get their teeth completely into us we will be relegated due to a hefty points deduction, if not this season then next.

    Even the home shirts are no longer traditional, our home colours are Royal Blue and White, they don’t include, reds, yellows, blacks or any other shade of blue.

    The club is crumbling, the ground is crumbling, the only thing left standing proud is the Birmingham City fan base.


  6. Tracey Tyler

    Exactly my sentiments John P,unless this latest attempt to buy 24% of the Club comes to fruition and that is questionable with the EFL charges hanging over us like the sword of Domiciles, Relegation and Liquidation may be a good thing,that way these owners will be gone and someone can buy the club and we can start from scratch.I know it will sound unpalatable to many but many clubs with a similar history to us have been in the same position and have climbed back from the abyss, Sunderland for one.What is the alternative,constant struggles year after year,not being able to buy players and just getting nowhere.

  7. paul

    you won’t ever get a settled side and a consistent side with 5to 6 loan signings per season, thats a part of the problem, no matter who manages.JE has done good job earlier in the season, but the fall away is due to a lack of specialist players,ie ,wing players, play makers, we just don’t have any apart from Chong,and this is the reason we struggle against lower sides, we just have not got the players that can spot a pass to open up a defence.We can scrap for points and fight, but eventually there will be a falling away, and that is exactly what’s happened this season.

  8. Stephen

    For god’s sake No way we will be relegated Things are not as bad as you are trying to make out Eustace will not be sacked he will get us safe with 5/6 to go If Hogan could put away 1 in 10 chances he has had this season we would be on 50 points by now The club will be taken over in the near future Try getting behind the team instead of boo hooing about everything and everyone We are Birmingham City and we fight to the end KRO

    • Smithy

      Try getting behind the team you say Stephen. Wow! Try driving back home from a miserable St.Andrews after game after game with zero points, zero atmosphere and road works galore. Very hard to find any joy. Getting behind the fans more appropriate and I mean the blinking players.

      • Stephen

        I do home and away Moaning about road works is exactly what I mean boo hooing about anything and everything Don’t like it don’t go simple Don’t need support like that

  9. Brush Strokes

    Whilst it’s clear John Eustace has not been able to turn the squad round, and guess his on borrowed time. However in his defence he has had to work with a squad that is devoid of any quality to compete in the Championship and clearly they are becoming an embarrassment with their consistently inept displays. Such an irony that club owners can easily sack a manager and not able to do the same with the players who at the end of the day carry the same,if not more, of the responsibility for such a ‘bad job done ‘!

  10. Stan Moye

    The skill of any Manager be it football or a factory is to get the best out of the personnel at his or her disposal. On Saturday we had a midfield of arguably the best ball players at the club, did we keep the ball on the ground, no! It was more like head tennis or beach volleyball. I wish John Eustace would get angry with them, same old phrases, does he think we’re idiots? Well done Harley Dean! The crowd only woke up when Mark Roberts made that strong challenge, a bit more of that please, well done to Jukey, never going to be a Messi, but your effort and commitment is beyond reproach, let’s hope some, no all of the other lads follow his example. Massive game on Saturday, don’t tell us, show us, make us proud again.

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