Trapdoor Opens

28 Apr 2024 | 1 comment

In Off The Post
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.

On a day when Sheffield Wednesday showed us what a fight looks like, Blues spurned yet another chance to escape the trapdoor to League One. Plymouth lost at Millwall and Blackburn failed to beat 10-man Coventry, but we showed less fight than was necessary to make up ground on our relegation rivals.

If last week’s inept showing at Rotherham hadn’t persuaded supporters this group of players has none of the attributes needed to make a fist of staying up, yesterday brought home how truly bereft of character we are as a team.

We may have some talented individuals. But the truth is the collective of these artisans does not include enough of the soldiers Tony Mowbray demanded. This Blues team is not a fighting unit.

When Coventry City strolled into town a fortnight ago, avoiding injury as they awaited an epic cup semi-final against Manchester United, we had the space to play our game. It flattered us, as the limp display at fighting Rotherham exposed just a week later. Again yesterday, against a limited Huddersfield  side which was poor but one that was prepared to fight for survival, we came up short.

In the Championship you need to fight for your right to party, as the song goes. Blues fans have been raised on a diet of attritional sides who would more often than not scrap their way to victory. Sides who earned the right to play their game and gave no quarter to reputations or odds. But not this lot.

How hollow now the battle cry of Garry Cook, as he ushered in “no fear football” while tossing away a perfectly good manager for the unformed and unwanted Wayne Rooney? What use is a vibrant social media footprint in the third tier? How attractive is a losing team to potential advertisers?

Most Blues fans would settle for no surrender football and accept the pretty stuff as and when it comes along. A football man would understand you have to earn the right to play. This is not a computer game, where algorithms dictate the outcome.

The slimmest of hopes remain that we can finally show some spirit, some gumption and frankly some balls against Norwich next week. Even then we need Hull, or Sunderland, or Ipswich to do us a favour. The one positive is that whatever happens now, most of these players will be gone next season. And the much needed rebuild can start whichever division we start in.

If Blues do descend back to the third tier then expect at least a couple of seasons before we are challenging for a return to the Championship. I look forward to seeing our young talent show the commitment and desire which should be a given when Blues players cross the white line.

I hope Tony Mowbray is the man leading that charge. I think we can all see he is a class act, who shares the values and work ethic of the fan base. I wish him well in his recovery, whatever he decides to do with his life.

We can all accept not being good enough. God knows we’ve been there over the years. But not having the fight to compete, not leaving everything out there in front of such wonderful support is completely unacceptable.

I will pick out four individuals who perhaps have come out of this season with credit. Stansfield, Sunjic and Bielik, along with the ever-reliable Jukey. I’d let the rest go and start again.

Whatever happens now against Norwich I won’t rejoice, even if by some miracle we survive. New stadiums and fan forums are all very well and good. But we go for the football. And this season it simply hasn’t been any where near good enough.


Jez Hemming

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1 Comment

  1. Ed Truman

    You’ve nailed it Jez. We are where we are because we 100% deserve to be. The spin merchants at the club will no doubt hype-up next Saturday’s game for all it is worth in the hope of generating more keyboard clicks and selling more merchandise. We’ll all be encouraged to raise the roof and lift the lads. And of course we will. But even if we get lucky…very lucky…and avoid the drop, it will mask the true picture and I will get no satisfaction from it. This has been a woeful season.

    The frustration and anger that I have felt since Rooney was appointed in October has now turned to indifference. Ok, Eustace was probably not going to lead us to the promised land but I’m as sure as I can be that he would have stabilised things through this season of transition whilst we await FFP improvements in the summer. To sack him when it wasn’t necessary now looks exactly like the stupid decision many said it was at the time. Why oh why do unqualified club administrators feel compelled to meddle in on field matters? Is it an ego trip?

    I don’t know for sure who made the fateful decision to chase Rooney. But it derailed our season, and was a decision from which we have never recovered. But I’m assuming it wasn’t instigated by Tom Wagner? If I’m right, what on earth must he be thinking now? All I hope is that he now finds someone competent to lead the total rebuild which is so clearly necessary, whichever division we are in. Those that he has entrusted so far have, in my view, failed him big time.


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