On Heritage Open Day, Bournville Junior School was one of the places that was open and I was able to visit the school I attended as a child. I saw my name written in a book recording when I had started and left the school and I walked around looking at displays and posters. The poster on values listed the values that I could remember being taught by that school and by my parents. It included exhortations such as:
- Be honest
- Play by the rules
- Do the right thing even when no one is watching
There are times when it seems as though those values have been completely discarded in today’s world. There are still rules, but more and more people seem to be trying to evade them. I’ve just read a very interesting but rather depressing book called Moneyland by Oliver Bullough. It describes and explains how rich people can hide their money and avoid paying taxes by moving it to countries whose laws allow them to do that. For some people, it’s all about money and acquiring luxury possessions.
The book helped me remember that it’s not just people in football who place too much value on money. In every area of life there are people with selfish motives, and also some with worthy motives and good values.
One of the reasons that I like Garry Monk is that he seems to have values. He believes that you have to work hard to achieve success and that it takes time. He inherited a group of players who looked as though they couldn’t play with each other and, somehow, found a team that could play well together. And they kept on playing well despite not getting a win in their first 8 games. It was typical of Birmingham City that they got their first win of the season against the team at the top of the League.
Monk has brought young players into the team and given them a chance to show what they can do. He believes in developing players, which is great because we can’t buy better players at present. It’s been good to see players such as Wes Harding and Charlie Lakin doing well.
Monk and his team have also gained the respect of most Blues fans. We’ve always enjoyed watching good football and have appreciated effort. During that winless streak we saw good football and loads of effort; that’s why we applauded the team off the pitch at the end.
Having Monk as our manager gives me hope and makes me fear. I hope because he has done well. I fear that all the off-the-pitch problems might tempt him to think of going elsewhere. I hope he stays; given time, he could achieve so much.