The last edition of the Made in Brum fanzine had a good question on its cover: “Has Cotterill broken Blues or have Blues broken Cotterill?” For me the question is unanswerable because it isn’t either/or but both/and. Blues handed Cotterill a near impossible job and he didn’t manage to do it.
I wasn’t at the game against Nottingham Forest but noted that Brian Dick, whose opinion I respect, wrote that Blues players “deserved their round of applause at the end.” In the same article, he also wrote:
“Steve Cotterill … is the fourth manager in 15 months to be spat out by Birmingham City who are struggling to make good decisions.
Cotterill had addressed many of the underlying issues head on, the disunity, the lack of fitness but he wasn’t able to deal with the lack of balance within the squad. January went by with no buys but plenty of leaves.
At some point the revolving door is going to have to stop spinning – hopefully it will if the next man, likely to be Garry Monk, can keep the club in the Championship.”
Brian Dick also wrote that Garry Monk’s final game as a player “came at St Andrew’s in the Swans’ 3-1 Capital One Cup defeat in September 2013.” I don’t remember Garry Monk but it was a memorable day because we beat a Premier League side and the ‘All we care about is BCFC’ scarves arrived and went on sale. That was two years after relegation, when it seemed that our troubles had been going on for ever. Another five years have passed and the problems are still with us. Changing the manager is a quick-fix response; it might help but it won’t solve everything.
Sunday was the third Sunday of Lent and the #LiveLent booklet I’m reading exhorted me to make a conscious effort to unclench a fist, put down a stone, and reach out on open hand of forgiveness and love. Rejoicing over Cotterill’s downfall doesn’t seem like a good way to do that.
When I went to church in the morning, it was foggy and the snow was melting and slushy underfoot. It seemed the perfect time to take a new mood-indicator photo (see the About this website page for an explanation of these.) I’ve put it at the top of this post; it reflects my feeling that everything has got rather messy and I still have no idea how things will work out. I hope Garry Monk is feeling more positive than I am.