I didn’t go to Wigan so can’t comment on Saturday’s game but I will comment on the comments. There were a lot of suggestions from fans on changes that should have been made to win the game, player selection, formation etc. And these suggestions can’t ever be proved wrong because they weren’t tested on the pitch. It could be that Wigan were just the better team and would have won whichever of our players played in whatever formation. Birmingham City has spent hardly any money on players so I’m afraid a lot of teams are going to be better than ours.
The Under 18’s team has been doing better than the first team. An account of one of their games reported that they scored 9 goals and put on “a superb display of clinical finishing”, which is not a phrase I usually associate with Blues. An article in the Mail described their pre-season training, which included a League Football Education tournament in Holland. I was particularly interested in the importance placed on communication. Here’s the quote.
“We banned use of mobile telephones and headphones anywhere except in their rooms.
“I remember when we went away last year, they were waiting in reception for their dinner and there’s everybody just looking at their emails and stuff like that.”It made the players talk to one another, interact, and that’s an important part of the game – communication.”In the evenings we made sure it wasn’t the same people sitting on the same tables, we moved them around so that they had to engage with one another.”
Football is about more than technical skills and physical fitness. It requires communication and interaction between players. Each one of the 22 players could be having a good, average or bad day, which adds to the complexity. It is not just a matter of putting the right players in the right places.
Another item of news that caught my eye this weekend included the arrangements for the bubble match between Wrexham and Chester on September 22nd. All Wrexham supporters must travel to Chester on a coach organised by the club and be escorted by the police to the ground. Fans can get on the coaches at various locations, with pickup times from 5.30 to 6.15 pm. This is for a game 13 miles away that starts at 8 pm. One fan has set up a petition asking that the bubble match restrictions not be imposed. He says that, “Bubble match restrictions can be best described as using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.” I agree. Watching football is not a crime.