The game against Huddersfield was a disappointment after the game at Derby the previous week. In both games, Birmingham City didn’t play well and scraped a draw. At Derby, the two goals at the end didn’t erase the memory of the poor play in the previous ninety minutes but they did seem to remove the negative feelings about it. I think that most supporters’ assessments of a game are heavily influenced by how they feel at the end and their conversations in the pubs and on their way home. If their team wins or comes from behind to get a draw then they talk and think about that and there is less rancour about mistakes players made. Judging from what I hear on football phone-ins, very few fans make objective, rational assessments of how their team played; I certainly don’t.
Various factors contributed to the disappointment I felt on Saturday: the weather was cold and the home support seemed poor compared to our away support at Derby. The pitch looked bad; Donaldson left huge skid marks when a tackle took him down near the Kop touchline. Cotterill, in his video interview, called it a “difficult pitch” and blamed it for a missed goal chance for Thomas. He also mentioned taking the positives from the game and that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of this post. I’ll mention some of the things I liked about Saturday.
I liked the recognition given to Karen Carney, in the programme and on the pitch, to mark her induction into the club’s Hall of Fame. She deserves it. It was good to see a black football manager in the away dugout; I would like to see more of them. (Click here for a discussion of why there are so few.) I was glad that Cotterill got a goal; he’s come in for some recent criticism that seems overly harsh to me. There were nice touches from other players and Donaldson, as usual, worked incredibly hard. The referee brandishing vanishing spray always brings a smile to my face and sunset was after 6 pm so it was still light as I walked back to town after the game, feeling a bit disappointed but not despondent.