Tag Archives: Garry Monk

Disappointing draw

Birmingham City’s goalless draw on Saturday was scrappy and I came away feeling disappointed.  Just over 4 years ago, I can remember watching on TV as Blues played at Wolves. They earned a magnificent 0-0 draw, which seemed wonderful because they had lost 0-8 at home in their previous game. Gary Rowett had been manager for less than a week and had managed to turn a group of demoralised men into a team that could defend.

Garry Monk has created a team that can defend and score goals. The upside to this is that he’s got the fans onside, providing fantastic support.  The downside is that our expectations have been raised and we find it harder to appreciate the value of a no-score draw and 3 consecutive clean sheets.  I also think that it’s good to be outside, look up from our screens, talk to the people around us, and feel part of a community. That feeling was reinforced by the Supporters Memorial. A list of Blues fans who died in 2018 was shown on the big screen and read out at half time.  Communities share their joys and their sorrows.

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Mind the gap

Don’t mind the gap

I’m not writing about the 1-point gap between us and a nearby team but about the financial gap between teams. According to the transfermarkt website, Stoke fielded the Championship team that cost the most on the opening day of this season and Birmingham City were 16th in that table. But, as Johan Cruyff said, “Why couldn’t you beat a richer club. I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal.”

It’s teams that win football games and Garry Monk has created a team from a collection of individuals. He’s also narrowed the gap between players and fans. Players have been involved in community projects that help to connect them to the people who support them.  Three years ago, I wrote about a phrase, “naïve with power”, that expressed how rich and important people don’t understand ordinary people.  That may be true of some in football but it’s not true of Garry Monk; he understands Blues fans and what they want. We want to see players who work hard and give 100% and that is what we are seeing when we go to games now. There is a togetherness between players and fans that reminds me of the atmosphere I remember from my childhood, in the 1950s.

There have been times when I’ve gone to Blues games out of a sense of duty, feeling that my team was so bad it really needed my support.  Today, I am going because I want to and am looking forward to it.

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Values

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. Continue reading

Elated and exhausted

It has been nearly a week since Birmingham City ended their season with a memorable win against Fulham. It was an incredible game, with a full St Andrew’s providing loud support from before kick off to the post-game players parade around the pitch.  It was absolutely wonderful and I felt elated.

But I also felt exhausted, worn out by the rollercoaster emotions generated by an end-of-season escape from relegation. Continue reading

Hope fulfilled

Birmingham City won a game, after losing 7 League games plus a Cup game.  And it wasn’t an ugly win; it was beautiful. Blues had 8 corners, 8 shots on target and scored from 3 of them.  Stockdale only had to make one save. It was hard to pick a man of the match because the whole team played well. Continue reading

Hope for Hull game

At this stage of the season, I think most Birmingham City fans would prefer winning ugly to losing better. The stats in Garry Monk’s first two games looked better but you don’t get points for possession or passion. In the game against Cardiff, Birmingham had 16 shots, with 7 on target, but one of Cardiff’s shots ended up in the goal. Continue reading

Snow, fog and not casting the first stone

The last edition of the Made in Brum fanzine had a good question on its cover: “Has Cotterill broken Blues or have Blues broken Cotterill?” For me the question is unanswerable because it isn’t either/or but both/and.  Blues handed Cotterill a near impossible job and he didn’t manage to do it. Continue reading