The last day of the January transfer window was unusually calm at Birmingham City and the club’s website pointed this out. Doing the business was a summary of their transfer transactions with a list of the ins and outs during the window and a subtext, which seemed to be saying, “Trust us, we know what we are doing.” And the remarkable thing is that I do trust them.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Trying to make the playoffs is much less stressful than fighting to avoid relegation. We already have 47 points, which would probably be enough to keep us up even if we didn’t get any more. Diego Fabbrini should provide some excitement and flair and I found Demarai Gray’s departure less upsetting than I’d expected. That may be because I’m getting used to seeing our young talent depart and have learned to grieve less after seeing Jordan Mutch, Nathan Redmond and Jack Butland go off to other clubs. I also feel better about it because Gray has not disappeared into a mass of fringe players at a club that feels entitled to be in the top four but is getting some playing time for a team that has so amazingly exceeded expectations.
For the last few seasons, the Premier League has been rather predictable and boring and the Championship has been more fun. However, with Leicester at the top and Chelsea in the bottom half, the top tier has been more interesting. I feel it’s unlikely that Birmingham City will get promoted this season but if we did, we also might do better than expected. Despite many years of disappointments, I can still hope.
The conflicts and problems in the real world are, of course, more important than the joys and sorrows of supporting a football team. Today’s news of an earthquake in Taiwan and Syrian refugees is a reminder of that. But football is important because it’s not the most important thing in life. Worrying about misplaced passes as I watch my team provides a necessary break from more important worries and helps me cope with them. That’s why I’m looking forward to going to the match today.