Desperately Seeking Safety

20 Feb 2023 | 16 comments

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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.

After two avoidable defeats against lowly opposition, the target for the remainder of this month and what is left of the season is to seek safety with forty eight points. A pathetic target now reduced to a paltry ten which, with current form, looks like climbing Mount Everest. The sooner we get over the line the better.

Since the victories against Swansea and West Bromwich Albion, the uplift in supporters confidence has been well and truly blown away with now ever increasing annoyance. As Tracey Tyler correctly points out, an awful haul of only six points out of a possible twenty seven has been achieved since the victory against Reading before Christmas. This for a squad of reasonably decent players is pitiful. Of course, injuries can be pointed at and, let’s face facts, pulled hamstrings are getting to become a joke. But the current situation is serious.  

We all know something is wrong and we all know the situation will not be changing anytime soon. But we desperately need to survive again this time around, and live for another season in the Championship. My real concern is that the longer this barren accumulation of league points goes on, the more anger will be felt at St. Andrew’s. And heaven knows we already have enough problems off the pitch.

Many will point the finger as to what is going wrong on match days, with questions being asked about formations and so on. Or simply which are the  best players who should be taking to the field. My opinion, and mine only, is that we have too many elders dictating the on field play, leaving our likeable manager on the fringes. ‘Sticking together’ and ‘lads giving everything’ doesn’t wash anymore.

Of course we need strong leadership on the pitch and, yes, that certainly includes the captain. But the person calling the shots has to be the manager. At the moment I don’t see that. Perhaps this is a subject for another day.

In the meantime we need that safety line and we need it like yesterday. After the false dawn of the two victories seen against Swansea and Albion, the prayer mats had been prematurely returned to the closet. My foolishness and my apologies. Starting against Norwich City tomorrow evening, and until further notice, they are down again.

Mitchell Bray


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  1. Peter Bates

    I agree with the we stick together sentiment but over the last two games we have had two sides who have completely out worked us ,on Saturday we should have got at least a draw but didn’t against Cardiff we didn’t have a shot on target .the fans are being asked to not get too low when we lose but this happens season after season ,the fans are the only constant at this club and we go through it with optimism I for one am sick of hearing how good we are on the training pitch I like a lot of other fans want to see it consistently on the pitch matchdays.we are beginning to listen to the same old record kro

    • Stephen Harrison

      Yes the last 2 defeats have demoralised the majority, but Cardiff was the real shocker, at home coming after 2 spirited victories. We didn’t actually play too badly at Huddersfield, away against a club buoyed by the Warnock factor. That said the result was avoidable, as stated by others we should have got the respectable draw.
      A loan player I know, but Khadra offers pace and a goal threat, we need him back now!

    • Ed Truman

      Completely agree Peter. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as flat as this supporting the Blues. And that’s saying something after the past decade that we have had to endure. After turning things around at Swansea and then performing well against the Baggies, I’d hoped that we would continue to build momentum against two poor teams below us in the table. But no, two shocking results and here we are back to square one.

      You hope the manager and players care for the club as much as we supporters do. But in all honesty I’m no longer sure that they do. It seems to be just a job to most of them. And very well paid jobs at that.

      I think JE has received a lot of sympathy and understanding so far this season. But we need to see more from him now in my view. He needs to step up and stop appearing to be just one of the lads.

  2. Tracey Tyler

    Unfortunately this is a recurring situation that is happening season after season since Rowett left and what is really depressing as a Season Ticket holder for many seasons is that you cannot see any light at the end of the Tunnel.ln do think we will survive,more by grim determination than anything else but what then.l am really surprised that Eustace is still here after the culling of the Managers at Huddersfield,Cardiff,Wigan Nd Blackpool whos records were in fact better than his,only conclusion is the Owners can’t afford to sack him.l still cannot fathom out why Eustace is obsessed with 5-3-2 when in our position and with the calibre of players available to us surely a 4-2-3-1 system would be better.Why on earth does he keep playing 2 strikers l do not know.Hogan has scored once since the world cup and that was a penalty which he nearly missed,Jukiewitz has 3 goals and Deeney has more penalties than goals from open play.There is no pace with Jukiewitz or Deeney,Hogan yes so however out of form he is l would play him on his own up front.He is a better player if he can run on to the ball as he proved against Burnley when he teamed up with George Hall for a beautiful goal and he can be a provider too when he set up Halls goal against Watford.I just think we need to play the 4-2-3-1 system and play with pace.

    • John P

      I 100% agree with you Tracey. I’ve tried to not blame the manager this season, I didn’t want him personally but once in place you have too support him; however, he seems to be stuck in a rut and can’t decide how to get out of it so continues in the same way game after game though it clearly isn’t working.

  3. John P

    The honest truth is that right now we aren’t good enough for the Championship, the players are failing, there’s no spirit or fight in them, we’re second best to everything. it doesn’t help when our best keeper is sat in the dugout to save money, on paper we have a decent squad, on grass they’re awful.

    I blame the owners, the doom and gloom begins and pretty much ends at the top, but once again we’re the team everyone wants to play because we’re easy to beat, the team has no heart and no desire, or if they do they leave it in the dressing room.

    The fans will KRO, what a shame the playing staff don’t.

    • Ed Truman

      And now news is breaking that the EFL are charging the club and individuals with rule breaking! Honestly, you couldn’t make it up!!!

  4. Mark R

    I thought Blues gave it a good go in the second half v Huddersfield but alas our lack of quality meant we couldn’t convert our possession into goals.
    Deeney looks like he did a hamstring so could be out for a few weeks, but this may work out okay, especially if Khadra comes back into the side tomorrow night.
    There’s a lot of talk of formations on this site, but we should play a system that suits the players available primarily (as well as taking the oppositions strengths and weaknesses into consideration).
    My observations on this: 1.Trusty is a great left sided centre half in a back 3 or 4, but is not good enough on the ball to play left back in a flat back 4.
    2. Bielik can still ‘control’ a game but is not the quickest so needs help alongside him -so I’d rather see 2 central midfield ‘anchors’ together in front of the back 3 or 4, such as Bielik and Gardner, for example.
    3. With the players we have available in attacking positions Eustace still hasn’t quite found the right blend, so I would be inclined to deploy 3 attacking midfielders just behind a lone striker, ie the 4-2-3-1 formation that Rowett was a fan of! That way we could accommodate 4 from Chong, Mjebri, Hall, Khadra and Hogan.
    4. Then with Jukey and Bacuna on the bench we can switch things up if we need to during a game. Bacuna is as skilful as anyone else in the squad, but he can be a liability at times and is frustratingly inconsistent in his performances.
    So my preferred Blues system and personnel would be 4-2-3-1 and ideally Ruddy in goal, then Colin (RB) Dean and Trusty with Longelo (LB), Bielik and Gardner as the 2 midfield anchors then Chong, Mjebri and Khadra as the 3 behind Hogan or Hall.
    That team has ability, energy and pace, plus experienced heads in key positions. And should keep us in the Championship-comfortably!


  5. Peter Bates

    It’s worse now the efl are charging us with wrongdoing over the alleged takeover and breaking the owners test rules can’t get any worse can it ,what a complete shambles and no sign of it ending anytime soon

  6. Peter Bates

    Everything that can be done to rid our club of these people who have no interest in the club and only use it as a tool to keep the listing on the hkse, they must sell our club before we have no club to support,I also accuse the efl of not doing their job properly and they must be bought to account for their negligence in the ownership of the club .because they passed the owners as fit and proper .we haven’t prospered in any way by having these owners so we are being charged through somebody else’s incompetence

  7. Tracey Tyler

    Yes the EFL charge is the last straw,does no one at the Club no the rules for running a Club, pathetic,l feel another point deduction coming on,if it’s this season we are probably done for.

  8. Peter Bates

    I still think the efl needs taking to task they as an organization are run horrendously and appear to make the rules up as they go ,but the charges shouldn’t surprise anyone because with these owners anything is possible,I have one message please sell our club or you won’t have a club to sell and I hope the trust passes these messages to bshl and not to Mr Dutton or Mr Gardner kro

  9. Stan Moye

    An absolute shambles. Surely the owners, the club secretary, accountant and Ian Dutton must be aware of the rules and regulations. Once again it will be the fans who are potentially penalised. I’m fed up of hearing the same old spin from John Eustace, fed up of hearing “we’re all disappointed” don’t tell us, show us. Tactically we appear naive at best. This is relegation form, never mind the threat of a points deduction, we’re as much in the brown stuff on the pitch as we are off it. In many other walks of business the CEO, Managing Directors and Board members would be down the road due to the apparent lack of leadership and diligence. Birmingham City FC your becoming a laughing stock, it’s totally depressing.

  10. Mitchell

    No amount of papering over this EFL charge will help. We need rescuing with a capital R. We sink lower each season and today, for me, must be defined as the turning point for the club. Do we have genuine mitigating circumstances to beat these charges? Are our owners ready or have the stomach for a fight? I know the answer to this as I am sure many of you do.

  11. Stan Moye

    Early morning press reports suggest that if found guilty of the EFL charges announced yesterday we could be looking at a suspended points deduction similar apparently involving Rochdale. But the situation still beggars belief that if true was allowed to happen. Whilst l believe Paul Richardson as a true Blues fan wanted to “help” it does appear somewhat naive again if true. I remember reading comments where he stated he even had to ask for permission to attend games. These charges don’t apparently include the EFL investigation as to who actually owns the club. Whilst l understand any potential comments could undermine the situation legally, it would go some way to communicate with the supporters. Let’s hope any outcome is finalised as quickly as possible so we know exactly where we stand.

  12. Mitchell

    Stan. Shabana Mahmood has been made aware of our situation. Cap in hand I have requested her help by email. No time for pride now, we need to be humble and fight on all levels now. Whoever reads this might just have a few contacts that have some influence- use them.

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