Tag Archives: Lee Bowyer

Losing

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.

It was good to see Troy Deeney score the penalty near the end of the game. Those who left early missed that! I was also encouraged by the fans who stayed to the end, kept singing and clapped the team off the field when the game finished.  (The photo above shows some of them clapping.) Lee Bowyer said in his reaction to the game, “The players are grateful that the fans stayed behind to clap them off – I am grateful for that.”  

I support the Blues whether they win or lose; I appreciate the effort whatever the result. I’m glad I’m not the only Blues fan who feels that way.

Read more

Stress-free Saturday

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.

I was glad I went.  It was good to see a crowd in the Tilton, to see Troy Deeney step onto the pitch to play for the first time, and, of course, to see us get the win and a clean sheet.  As Lee Bowyer said in his interview, “clean sheets are not a fluke, it’s hard work.” 

Read more

Final game

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 felt cheered when Birmingham scored a goal although it was disappointing to only keep the lead for three minutes and to be 2-1 down at half time.  It helped when Jutkiewicz equalised early in the second half, but it was downhill from there as Blackburn scored another three. But I felt better about the game than I felt about our loss to Cardiff.  I think that was because we scored two goals and it did not feel like a team of kids being overwhelmed by professionals.

Now the season is over and the players and us supporters have some time to recover and get ready for next season.  I’m hoping that by then we will be able to go to some games.

Read more

No-fear final game

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.

SeasonPosition
In table
Goals
for
Goals
against
Goal
difference
Points
2011-12478512776
2012-13126369-661
2013-14215874-1644
2014-15105464-1063
2015-16105349463
2016-17194564-1953
2017-18193868-3046
2018-19176458652 (61-9)
2019-20205475-2150

I went to all the end-of-season games, except for last year when no crowd was allowed. The results of the final games of the season determined whether Birmingham City would be relegated in the 2013-14, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2019-20 seasons.

For me, the most memorable of these games was the one against Bolton on 3rd May 2014. The game was goalless in the first half but then Bolton scored two goals and their second was scored by Lukas Jutkiewicz.  When Zigic scored in the 78th minute and we learned that Doncaster was losing to Leicester, hope was revived.  Blues fans started singing “One goal, we only need one goal”.  And Caddis got that goal in the 93rd minute and it was followed by the most incredible outpouring of joy among our fans.

In contrast to that, all I remember feeling after our win at Bristol City in 2017 was exhaustion.  That was probably because Che Adams scored in the 16th minute and we held onto that lead for the rest of the game. I found it hard to believe that we would not concede a goal in the remaining 74 minutes but somehow we managed to hold on and win.

The 3-1 home win against Fulham in 2018 was played in front of a large St Andrews crowd, which made it more exciting. In my report of that I said I was elated and exhausted by that game. 

The situation when we lost 1-3 to Derby on 22 July 2020 was more complicated.  I’ll quote what I wrote in my report before the game, “An EFL statement has said Wigan will have points deducted after their game but that they can appeal. So there is a possibility that we might not know tonight if we are safe or not. If Wigan get 12 points deducted and end up in 22nd place and Birmingham City end up just above them in 21st place, we won’t know if we are really safe until we know if Wigan’s appeal is successful.  If it is successful then I think Wigan would stay up and we would go down.”  But, despite our loss on the last day, we finished 20th and stayed up. The main thing I remember about that game was that it was Jude Bellingham’s last game for us and how sad he looked at the end of it.

I’d like us to win the last two games of the season but will not mind if Lee Bowyer experiments with the team and we lose. It feels great to look forward to the end of the season without the fear of relegation.

Read more

Change of manager

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.

An article in the Guardian quotes Lee Bowyer saying, “I’ve got to try and implement what I want very quickly.”  And the result of that implementation might be displayed this evening when we play Reading.  I am hoping that Bowyer can wake up the sleeping giant and that Blues play well and earn a point or three.

Read more