Tag Archives: Chris Hughton

Thoughts on the season

I think my dad first took me to St Andrew’s about 70 years ago. I can remember the noise, excitement, Gil Merrick, Jeff Hall and a couple of games in 1956 but hardly any other details. I’m not one of those people who have the history of Birmingham City stored in their brains. But this 2018-19 season was more memorable than most and I think I’m going to remember a few things about it.

In the 2017-18 season, Blues were managed by Harry Redknapp, Lee Carsley, Steve Cotterill and Garry Monk, with Monk managing to keep us up in the Championship. So we started the season in 2018 with a manager we liked but with a transfer embargo and the possibility of a points deduction hanging over our heads. It wasn’t the most promising of starts but turned out so much better than I’d expected.  The team scored 64 League goals, the most scored since the 2011-12 season, in which we scored 78.

For me, the 2011-12 and the 2018-19 seasons felt similar.  My expectations were low at the start of those seasons. In 2011, we’d just been relegated, the manager had left and our owner had been charged with money laundering.  In 2018, we had a transfer embargo and the possibility of a points deduction. But in both seasons, we had good managers and the results exceeded my expectations. Chris Hughton got the team up to 4th in the table. Garry Monk, like Hughton, exceeded my expectations and has kept us up despite the 9-point deduction. 

I would like to see Monk stay at Birmingham City for a long time and continue the work that he has started. He has brought everyone together: the players played together as a team and fans provided great support. My impression is that he not only says that the support from fans is important, he really believes it. I went to the Player Awards evening and saw his arrival and slow progress along the ICC concourse. It was slow because people kept stopping him to talk or to take photos. He showed no sign of impatience to get away and looked happy to stop for anyone.  He has treated us fans with respect and, in return, has earned our respect.

Here’s the table I constructed to compare our seasons in the Championship. It shows end of season position in table, goals for, goals against, goal difference and points.

SeasonPosForAgGDPoints
2011-12478512776
2012-13126369-661
2013-14215874-1644
2014-15105464-1063
2015-16105349463
2016-17194564-1953
2017-18193868-3046
2018-19176458652 (61-9)
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More important things

There are more important things in life than football and it’s good for managers and players to remember this. Gary Rowett and Chris Hughton opposed each other on Saturday but have some things in common. Both seem to be grounded in the world outside football, with family ties and values that help them to avoid extremes of elation or despair dictated by performances on the pitch. I may be naïve but I think Rowett is grounded enough to stick with a job half done and not snatch at a job in the Premier League. So I am inclined to believe Panos’ statement about his commitment to Birmingham City. Continue reading

Fans connecting with players

I was at St Andrew’s on Tuesday afternoon to watch the Player of the Season awards presented by supporters clubs and groups.  I enjoyed watching the training session and chatting with other fans but the best part, for me, was the chance to get nearer to the players. Continue reading

Coaching Fair Play

A Telegraph article about the Coaching Fair Play plan caught my eye this week; it helped that there was a picture of Chris Hughton at the top.  Anything associated with him gets my attention because it revives memories of good times.  The article reported that the Professional Footballers’ Association and the Football League have agreed to work towards the implementation of the plan and to do that they will have to get the 72 clubs to agree to it.

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