On Saturday morning I saw a man painting a fence blue and it gave me hope. I’m not superstitious but on Birmingham City matchdays my brain flips into an illogical mode in which I look for omens and feel as though the result is the most important thing in the world. Thankfully, I do calm down after matches and remember that it is just a game.
I went to the game with the usual mixture of hope and fear. The team’s performance at the Hawthorns had boosted my hope but the result increased my fear. During the game, I felt mainly tense. According to the match stats, Leeds had 73% of the possession and I worried every time they got the ball. I thought the ball had gone into the net when Bamford kicked it but it bounced off the goalpost into Camp’s arms. Shortly after that Che Adams scored. Kieftenbeld got injured and carried off so our midfield had to be rearranged but somehow their attack failed, our defence held and we won.
I went home happy but exhausted just from watching. It’s hard to imagine how the players feel after a game like that but I think they might have similar feelings judging from a Tweet by Connor Mahoney. He said, “Result You brought the noise we brought the 3 points now someone bring me a new set of legs thankyou”
On the way back from the game I noticed that the police did not seem to be trying to keep Blues and Leeds fans apart and later read an article in the Birmingham mail saying that WM police have been able to have fewer police when we play Leeds “because of the decreasing trouble the fixture has enjoyed.” That was good news. I was also pleased that Blues fans applauded when the Leeds fans turned their backs to the game in remembrance of the two fan who lost their lives before the UEFA Cup tie against Galatasaray in Turkey 19 years ago.
As I’ve written before, I don’t think that loving one club means hating another one. I don’t want any club to beat Birmingham City but I don’t hate the fans of any other club.