Pep Clotet left Birmingham City yesterday, after we lost 1-3 to Swansea. He was given an impossible job and tried to do it.
I’d like to thank Pep Clotet for what he has done for Birmingham City FC and wish him all the best for the future. The headline for an article about media comments on him leaving included the words ‘Not been an easy club’ and I think that sums it up nicely. The impression was that he was given a difficult mandate. In an article on why he is leaving, Brian Dick commented:
Hogan’s late equaliser was a great way to end the game and it sent me home happy. I thought Blues were better in the first half but not so good in the second so a draw seemed like a fair result. I always want Blues to win, whoever and whenever they play, but I can’t say that I wanted Garry Monk to lose. I remember how he kept us up in 2018 and feel grateful for that.
There was a lot of news about Birmingham City this week. On Monday, the draw for the FA Cup fourth round brought up the intriguing possibility of Blues being the away team at St Andrew’s if Coventry win the third round replay. The FA confirmed that Coventry would be the home team if the tie goes ahead. A club announcement said that the Middlesbrough game would be moved to Tuesday evening, 21 January.
Birmingham City’s decade did not get off to a good start. They didn’t play well against Wigan and, at times, some of the players who can usually make decent passes seemed to launch the ball into the air without thinking where it might end up. It was a dispiriting game to watch.
The best team does not always win in football; that’s what makes it so interesting. However, I wouldn’t bet on Birmingham City beating West Bromwich Albion today. I’m just hoping that they don’t score too many goals. This will be the first game I’ve gone to in December as I didn’t go to the QPR game on Wednesday. I have a season ticket and rarely miss home games but I had something else to do that I thought more important. It sounds like it was a good game to miss.
Eight years ago, on 13 August 2011, I went to a meeting of Birmingham City fans to discuss setting up a supporters trust. Daniel Ivery had suggested on his blog that might be a better way to react to the club’s problems than waving a slogan on a bedsheet. I got involved with the steering group that set up the trust and have been involved in various ways since then. Most recently, I’ve been the secretary but I stepped out of that role after our AGM on Saturday.
We’ve lost three games in a row and some people are discussing who to blame.
Is it Pep Clotet’s fault and should he go? Or is Pep just following instructions from Ren Xuandong and should he be the one to go? For me, the most important factor is not who goes out but who comes in and I agree with what Daniel said in his editorial:
We lost on Saturday and our performance was not too convincing. Birmingham City didn’t score any goals and Nottingham Forest scored 3. It doesn’t mean that we are going to be relegated; that will depend on what we do in the other 43 games.
I can sympathise with Brentford boss Thomas Frank, who said his team did ‘everything’ better than Birmingham City during their 1-0 defeat at Griffin Park. The stats back him up. Brentford had 76% possession, 15 shots, 3 shots on target, 6 corners and hit the woodwork 3 times. Birmingham had 1 shot and 2 corners. Birmingham won because their shot went into the goal and none of Brentford’s did. I just listened to the commentary on Radio WM and probably shouldn’t comment on the game, but I will. I think we were lucky.
I’ve never liked transfer windows. I’m usually irritated by the silly rumours about who Birmingham City might bring in. This window I’m worried about who might leave. I feel bad that Omar Bogle’s loan has been cut short; he scored a great goal against Stoke and I would have liked to see a few more like that. I will feel a lot worse if we lose one of our first team regulars. If someone like Che Adams is sold, it will feel as though the team is being ripped apart.