Losing is not fun. I can understand why fans leave early when we are losing but it made me sad to see so many people walking out at the Fulham game. It’s been over 70 years since my dad first took me to a Blues game so I have had plenty of time to get accustomed to the fact that Birmingham City can and do lose some games. When I did a quick count of relegations on the Wikipedia list of seasons I counted 14 relegations. That may not be accurate but we do get relegated quite often.
Over 70 years of supporting the Blues have left me with a tendency to worry before games. I know that, regardless of who we are playing, we could lose. So Saturday mornings during football season usually find me worrying. But today, I can relax. I did all my worrying yesterday evening and saw Blues get a win. Blues went up to 4th in the Championship table. We’ll probably go down a few places after today’s results but I’m enjoying our elevation while it lasts.
In my last post, before the game with Cardiff, I wrote that I would “not mind if Lee Bowyer experiments with the team and we lose”. He did experiment, we did lose, and I did mind. But I still think it was the right thing to do. Before the game with Blackburn, I thought that it was ok for him to experiment again but realised that I would mind if we lost. Before the game Bowyer talked about resting players and his team selection made it clear that the team was experimental. That helped me feel prepared though it felt strange that Bowyer was not there. I hope that whatever family business kept him away was not too bad and that it ends well.
I don’t enjoy final-game escapes from relegation, so It feels good to be safe with a couple of games still to play. As I thought about this, following our win against Derby on Saturday, it seemed as though we had had mainly final-game escapes. But when I checked our games since we were relegated in 2011, I found that we had escaped on the final day of the season four times and had been safe before that six times. Here is a summary of where we finished in those seasons.
In theory I know that there are more important things in my life than Birmingham City FC. But in practice, I do not behave like that. I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday, checking to see if there was any new news about the change of manager. Only when the club finally announced that Karanka had left and Lee Bowyer had arrived, did I manage to stop checking.