Tag Archives: WBA

Blame

WBA won and we lost. That happens in football. I personally believe it is better to accept that losing happens rather than looking around for someone to blame. We’ve all probably felt like victims at times and that’s not a problem. It can become a problem if you always blame someone else or the English Football League (EFL) for everything that goes wrong.  Blaming others can be a way of avoiding taking any responsibility ourselves.

It was clear from the chants at the game that Birmingham City fans don’t like the EFL. For some it was just a topical chant. But one man told me that the EFL had instructed referees that they should rule against Birmingham City in unclear situations.  I don’t believe that.  I think that referees can make mistakes and can also have an unconscious bias against a team or players because of their reputations. I don’t believe that they start games knowing which side they are against. I’ve also spoken with someone who thinks the gambling industry has a lot of control over games. I really hope that’s not true.

I might be naïve and completely wrong, but I prefer to believe that the world is not conspiring against us.  Blues will lose some games and when they do, we need to get over it and look forward to the next game. I think that maybe my age has got something to do with my attitude.  I’ve seen an awful lot of games that Blues have lost.  I also remember Jeff Hall and have written about him several times on this blog. He was my favourite player and I was devastated when he had polio and died. A player dying a couple of weeks after playing in a game is a tragedy; losing a game is part of normal life.

I was glad that I had gone. The game was eventful, the Blues players put in a decent performance and I survived the maelstroms following our two goals as men threw themselves around in joyful exuberance. The Hawthorns has a quote from Psalm 23 along one of its stands that includes the phrase “quiet waters”.  It wasn’t at all quiet where I stood, and it felt good to be part of that crowd.

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The Blues

I didn’t realise how much I’d been affected by the uncertainty about Birmingham City’s sanction until it was over and we found out we would be docked 9 points.  My main feeling was one of relief, that I knew the decision and it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. That made me wonder how the uncertainty might have affected the players and hope that they now feel ready to ensure we won’t be relegated. The calm confidence displayed by Garry Monk in his press conference yesterday helped me feel that we could get a result against WBA this evening.

I also started to think about the contrast between us and another Blues. Birmingham City doesn’t have enough first team players and had to promote some Academy players to the first team. Chelsea has the opposite problem. It has too many talented players to fit into the first team and loans them out to play for other teams. While checking on their players I came across a list of 29 loaned out this season. Callum Hudson-Odoi started for England before he had started a Premier League game for Chelsea. One article I read said that he had “excelled in pre-season only to be consigned to the subs bench once the real action began.”

Another article said, if young players get a chance to go to Chelsea they should take it because they will get excellent training. But they shouldn’t “stay beyond their 16th birthday” because they need to play games and Chelsea doesn’t have a good record for promoting Academy players into the first team.

I think that Birmingham is a good place for young players. Those that are good enough are given a chance in the first team.  And I’ve heard, that young players who don’t get contracts are given help in finding somewhere else to go.  On a recent We Are Birmingham podcast, Chris, Matthew and Daniel talked about Reece Brown, who was released by Birmingham but is now doing well at Forest Green Rovers, and talked about how with some young players it takes time for the penny to drop and for them to put in the necessary effort to succeed. It was an interesting podcast and well worth a listen.  I was also encouraged that all three of them thought Blues would get a draw this evening. Made me feel I wasn’t being completely crazy to hope for a win.

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Here we go

The 9 points have been deducted and we are 18th in the table. It feels like the start of a mini season with 8 games left to play. The next 3 games will probably be very hard, playing against West Brom, Leeds and Sheffield United who are currently 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the table. The next 5 games against Ipswich, Derby, Rotherham, Wigan and Reading could also be hard. Derby are trying to get into the playoffs and some of the other 4 may be making a valiant attempt to escape relegation.

I don’t know how many points we’ll need to stay out of the relegation zone; Blackburn were relegated with 51 points a couple of seasons ago.  But I think we should be all right if players and fans make an effort and perform well. I trust that Garry Monk and the other staff are doing all they can to prepare the players. Fans can’t help with that, but we can make a difference with our support during games.  And we can get ourselves into the right frame of mind by reminding ourselves of how we’ve won in the past.

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Glad

I’m glad there’s a game to go to this evening.  Watching a game is usually better than reading online articles that regurgitate what others have already written about what a mess the club is in and a possible 12-point deduction. Even watching our last home game against QPR, which was not very good, was better than reading some of the rubbish that gets circulated on social media. Continue reading