Three crucial home games, nil pois for Birmingham City. On the bright side, at least we haven’t got a home game until August! The form at Stans has been nothing short of abysmal and it is with a heavy heart that I say- I think we are doomed. Getting three points at Bolton is an almighty task with the current morale levels at the club, the players look beaten, Lee Clark sounds defeated, the whole aura around the place is that of a club that believe they will play in the third tier next season.
Just today, seven academy lads have had their futures decided, some will stay, some have been released. It seems a bit early to be deciding on that with a big relegation decider just four days away, but this is another example of Clark planning for League One.
So why are Birmingham City in this situation? Firstly, it is a poorly run club. The Chinese have stripped us of virtually everything, including the heart and soul of this wonderful club. Since lifting the Carling Cup in 2011, the club have been on a downward spiral, and a drastic one at that. Chris Hughton got us within touching distance of the top flight and then left for pastures new after he realised the board’s expectations couldn’t be backed up with financial backing and we were left with Lee Clark, an honest Geordie bloke who clearly wants to do well. Last season, Birmingham City looked in danger, but managed to turn it around after the turn of the year. This season has seen no such luck. With just two league wins at home all season (Blues’ worst ever home record) it has been a hard slog. Having the nucleus of the team ripped apart half way through didn’t help. Dan Burn and Kyle Bartley were called back by their parent clubs and were never replaced. They weren’t the world’s greatest defenders, but they were competent at Championship level. Since then, our defence has gone AWOL and we lack any sort of creative spark.
So yes, Clark has had it very hard. But flip the page and you’ll see his strange team selections haven’t helped. It seems as if he puts names into a hat and picks them out at random. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nikola Zigic was in goal at Bolton…Sometimes, you have to help yourself. Yes, you can only play the hand you have been dealt, but with that hand you must try and simplify things, not make it as difficult as you can.
And what about Paul Robinson’s comments that some loan players at Birmingham City have let us down? I agree, but the buck doesn’t stop with loan players. Jonathan Spector has been dire for most games he has played, especially at right back. Paul Caddis gets done more times than Katie Price down the right. Nikola Zigic, although he has started to pull his finger out of late, his effort at times has been questionable. Chris Burke just hasn’t turned up this season at all. So, some of our more ‘senior’ player have to take a long hard look at themselves.
I will be going the Reebok Stadium on Saturday more in hope than expectation. But this is football so whilst we still have half a chance, we as fans must do everything we can to help the cause. Leave the inquests until the final whistle. The hardy 3,800 following will be trying to suck the ball into the net and roar the lads on. It’s do or die. S.O.S.
Keep Right On!