Birmingham City scored 4 goals and lost in an incredible game yesterday. Others will write about what they did wrong but I want to say a few words on what they did right.
One article described the Birmingham City players lap of appreciation after the game on Saturday as looking ‘like a scene from Casualty’ as the walking wounded paraded with the other players. “Michael Morrison spent the afternoon in a protective boot, Harlee Dean hobbled past taking slow, tiny steps after his groin surgery and then Maikel Kieftenbeld came through on crutches.” Those injuries had led to a rearrangement of the team and that, together with windy weather, resulted in a scrappy game. But it didn’t matter because my team was already safe and, over the course of the season, had done better than I’d expected.
On Saturday morning I saw a man painting a fence blue and it gave me hope. I’m not superstitious but on Birmingham City matchdays my brain flips into an illogical mode in which I look for omens and feel as though the result is the most important thing in the world. Thankfully, I do calm down after matches and remember that it is just a game.
The 9 points have been deducted and we are 18th in the table. It feels like the start of a mini season with 8 games left to play. The next 3 games will probably be very hard, playing against West Brom, Leeds and Sheffield United who are currently 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the table. The next 5 games against Ipswich, Derby, Rotherham, Wigan and Reading could also be hard. Derby are trying to get into the playoffs and some of the other 4 may be making a valiant attempt to escape relegation.
As usual, I am looking forward to Birmingham City’s game at Reading with a mixture of hope and trepidation. The rollercoaster mixture of joys and sorrows that my team deliver has made that a lifelong habit and it would take more than one win to change it. But the win against Leeds did boost the hope. Continue reading
My support for my team doesn’t depend on the skill they display or the success they achieve. I’m just one of those Birmingham City fans who hasn’t found a way of breaking my connection with my team. I am not claiming any superiority over fans who will only go to games if the football is attractive or if the team is likely to win. Being a discerning customer may be the sensible choice. Continue reading
My initial reaction to the timing of Birmingham City’s game against Rotherham was that I would rather it was on another day. I can’t remember ever going to a football game on Good Friday before and didn’t want to go to a game today. Continue reading
I didn’t have any great expectations when I went to watch Birmingham City play Leeds on Saturday. That’s probably why I enjoyed it. If you compare our players with Premier League stars they probably seem terrible. I don’t know; I don’t watch Sky or BT. My comparison is with last season and this season is an improvement. Continue reading
Looking forward to today’s game is too nerve-wracking so I decided to look back instead, at some of the games played on this day. Continue reading
The title is not a spelling mistake; I’m going to write about more than one crisis, the first being the situation at Leeds United1. The present owners agreed a deal to sell 75% of the club to Massimo Cellino but the Football League blocked it, because of his conviction by an Italian court. Cellino had been supplying some of the running costs for the club but stopped after the sale was prevented. So now the club can’t afford to pay the bills and players have agreed to defer part of their wages for March. I don’t know all the facts but believe that the Football League was right to stop Cellino’s purchase of Leeds even though that has resulted in turmoil for the club. In the long run, it could turn out for the best if Leeds is taken over by some more suitable owners. Continue reading
While I was checking Wikipedia for some background information for this post I came across a heading that read: ‘Financial implosion and relegation’.1 It wasn’t referring to Birmingham City F C but to Leeds United from 2001-2007. In recent years both clubs have had their problems, which include owners disliked by the fans. Continue reading
There’s a huge gap between what I wish for and what I expect to see happen. If I found myself in the middle of a fairytale with someone promising to grant three wishes for Birmingham City, I’d ask that Blues could play good football, attract large crowds and be owned by supporters who cared about the club. In other words, I’d like them to be like Barcelona.
When Birmingham City play Leeds tomorrow there will be the usual exchange of insults and taunts between the two sets of fans. It’s part of the tribal culture of football; having a common enemy helps to unite a group. There have been times this season when different opinions on who the enemy was created a toxic atmosphere at St Andrews. The feel-good factor returned when we played Nottingham Forrest and our most vocal fans joined together to jeer at Alex McLeish instead of arguing among themselves.