In theory I know that there are more important things in my life than Birmingham City FC. But in practice, I do not behave like that. I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday, checking to see if there was any new news about the change of manager. Only when the club finally announced that Karanka had left and Lee Bowyer had arrived, did I manage to stop checking.
It has been reported that Aitor Karanka’s departure from Birmingham City will be formally announced this morning. Football is a results business and we have lost the last two games and are hovering just above the relegation zone. I was hopeful when Karanka was first appointed because he seemed to have a good relationship with Xuandong Ren, which I hoped might mean that the rapid turnover of managers would end. But it seems that he was sacked by Wenqing Zhao.
When Saturday Comes describes itself as “the half decent football magazine”. It is one that I subscribe to and its arrival injects a little bit of happiness into the day. The March edition also brought a surprise. It included a report of a Birmingham City game that Birmingham won. The game was our 0-1 win at Middlesbrough.
I hope that Birmingham can play well and get a result on Saturday but I wish we were not playing Bournemouth. The last time we played a League game against them at St Andrew’s was on October 25, 2014, and it was the nightmare game that we lost 0-8. Unlike many others, I stayed until the end of that game and it left a mental scar that will probably remain as long as I live.
We won two games last week and are in the top half of the table. I’m struggling to believe it and have to keep checking to make sure it’s true.
I have to admit that I feel nervous about today’s game with QPR. As always, I think anything could happen and if we end up losing our third game in a row then I’m going to feel miserable.
Birmingham City have played two teams that were in the playoffs last season and got a win and a draw. Today we are playing Rotherham, who were promoted back up to the Championship last season, and I suspect I am not the only Blues fan fearing that we wll lose. So often in the past, we have played well against good teams and then been beaten by a team that’s not so good.
My copy of the Blues News Poster arrived yesterday. Buying this was a departure from my usual practice; I don’t usually buy any programmes, apart from the one for the last home game that contains most of the results. I think I must be missing Blues games more than I care to admit.
My expectations for this new season should be based on sensible reasons but they aren’t. I’m feeling hopeful because I like the manager and I like him because he has a nice smile. I’ve just watched his press conference and when he smiles, I feel he can work wonders. That feels like a stupid reason for a fan to hope but maybe it’s not as stupid as it seems. A manager needs to be able to encourage players and maybe his smile and some encouraging words can work wonders. Surely a manager who smiles can raise team morale more than one who looks to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And a team that hasn’t won a game since February, needs its morale lifted.
It’s the hope that kills you they say. And they are right. If I could stamp out hope and expect the worst before every game of football, I wouldn’t feel so crushed when the worst happens and there would be times when I’d be pleasantly surprised by Birmingham playing quite well.