I sometimes wonder why anybody would ever want to get on the managerial roller coaster. They get so much abuse, there isn’t much job security and there are so few financially sustainable clubs. Lee Clark seems to have found one with an equally dodgy setup to the club he’s just left. And surely Gary Rowett has to be a bit mad as well as brave to accept the job of managing Birmingham City. He may be able to improve performance on the pitch but he can’t sort out the ownership situation.
I haven’t seen Rowett play (I was living abroad while he was at Blues) but I have heard him speak. He’s a good speaker, a useful attribute for a football manager and especially for one taking the helm at Birmingham City at this time. He needs to know something about football too, of course, but inspiring the players and restoring their confidence is essential. The team needs a charismatic leader in the mould of Henry V, who lifted a dispirited army and led them to victory at Agincourt when it seemed as though the odds were stacked against them. In Shakespeare’s version of the story, Henry says he only wants to fight alongside those who are prepared to die with him and bids those who have no stomach for the fight to go home; he also says that those who live through the battle will rejoice that they were part of the happy few, the “band of brothers.”
We need a band of brothers tomorrow, a team working together and wanting to play. So I hope Gary Rowett, and those who have come with him, can rouse our dispirited players and make them feel like that. They don’t have to get a result but they do need to put in a performance.