Testing Times

17 Nov 2023 | 7 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.

Recapturing the mood and excitement from the start of the season must be the overall target for our new management. Our amazing August still lingers warmly in the memory, with the vibrant St. Andrew’s of that time the only place to be for those that follow our beloved football club.

Fast forward to where we are today, and what we find ourselves experiencing, and things are bordering on utter disbelief. We know the reason, and we know the familiarity of the territory having lived through the Rowett debacle when he was sacked almost seven years ago.

What we don’t know is how the next five games will pan out for our under pressure manager. Ten games is a decent and fair opportunity for any newcomer to set out their stall, particularly with the footballing knowledge and experience that our manager has. It’s fair to say that, so far, things have not gone well.

Wayne Rooney needs these next five games to resurrect the belief that he is the one to deliver. Fixtures against Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn, Rotherham, Coventry and Cardiff are his chances to show why Tom Wagner and co. appointed him. Failure to drag the club out of the present quagmire will say it all, whereas a successful run will get us back on course and the rotten weeks since Rooney’s introduction will fade away. That being football.

Apart from these next five games and their obvious importance, another current factor is the issue of tolerance which, these days it seems, is very much in short supplying. Frustration with results is all to quickly spilling over into anger and vitriol, making for very ugly atmospheres. We see almost everywhere we look an unpleasant vision which is taking away all hope for better things. Nothing is impossible in the arena of football however, and for that reason I believe, in its own small way, success for Rooney over the next five games will make St. Andrew’s the place it was during August. Quite simply, a very happy one.

Mitchell Bray


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  1. Peter Bates

    Think what the supporters of this club have gone through since Carson young and tta and it is completely understandable how fans feel,the euphoria of knighthead taking over has gone and there is nobody to blame but the people now running the club ,but Wayne Rooney is here and ultimately he will carry the can for a decision made by the hierarchy kro

  2. Smithy

    Fans know when things don’t look right and it is obvious the action on the pitch isn’t working. Damage limitation is the best we can hope for under Rooney. 18th in the league must remain for long. By January we need to be within touching distance of 6th spot. Testing time it is most definite.

  3. Ed Truman

    They certainly are testing times. But I think the sense of frustration is particularly bad at the moment because of the excitement created by the new owners and the slight improvement on the pitch under John Eustace. So our expectations had been raised.

    But it’s still only 5 games for Mr Rooney and that is not long. An excellent article by Tom Ross yesterday reminded us how quickly things can change. I was at Pride Park in October 2006 when Stephen Clemence shanked one in with just a few minutes remaining and turned the season around. So the end of the world is not nigh. At least, not yet.

    I had doubts about Rooney’s appointment in the first place. I still do. But he’s the guy in charge so we should back him until he isn’t. And leave the toxic stuff well alone. How it helps to improve the situation is beyond me.

  4. Harry Parker

    In order to ‘. . . resurrect the belief that he is the one to deliver’ that belief would have to have been there from the start. Given the arbitrary way the decision was to replace JE was made and the backlash from fans who objected to the appointment it was always going to be difficult. Garry Cook’s disrespectful reasoning for John’s dismissal did nothing to help the change. Rooney himself has at no time acknowledged the good work John did and seems childishly reluctant to even mention his name, referring to him as the ‘previous manager’. In my opinion, he can win some support by giving some due credit to JE and Craig for the outstanding transfer window and stop criticising the players and their fitness. He needs to own it, accept personal responsibility for the results and find a way to get these lads playing to the ability they have. He can’t wait till January just to spend money – we could be in the bottom 3 by then.

    • Mitchell

      Your excellent comments Harry are exactly what fans feel. Poor respect for the previous manager and the overall blame for players fitness etc. are but two examples of excuses for five abysmal results so far. Ten games will be a fair chunk in order for overall assessment as to Rooney’s worth. Meanwhile let’s rid what is definitely a nasty agenda to ruin everything that is good by a small minority of the ‘toxic hateful’ ( and not just football), and keep what was surely the feel good factor we all felt in August. St.Andrews represents for most of us a sacred plot where we can be in another world for a few hours without the worry of everyday life. So important we keep it that way and not let frustration boil over. Respect and accepting personal responsibility is your point here and Harry you are spot on.

  5. Stan Moye

    I think a great deal of the anger and frustration felt by fans is they are still trying to understand why the decision to replace JE was made when it was, and how it was done. The last five games have been abysmal, apart from the 65/70 minutes against Ipswich Town. The international break should have been spent at the training ground working on routines, set plays and defending! A couple of behind closed doors friendliest could have been beneficial too. But where is Wayne Rooney? Sending players away with individual fitness plans just don’t cut it for me.

  6. Tony Routley

    After nearly 12yrs of inept management . It is now upto knighthood to turn things around . How long it takes we won’t know . Football fans are impatient these days and we need to understand that the process of turning our club round could take years not weeks . Regarding JE. Prior to the 2 wins the five games previous we managed 2pts from 15 ..
    We never won a game in the last 6 last season , and if my memory recalls lost 8 on the bounce ( or never won ) after the world Cup last year. Personally I’m buying into the Project .
    Knighthood and Co have earned there right to pick there man . If we finish above 17th in 2024 . It will be success on last season .
    They have a choice and so do we .. we can back and follow them . Or sit at home don’t invest and moan ..
    I know which one I will be doing. KRO

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