Tag Archives: Xuandong Ren

Another goodbye

It has been reported that Aitor Karanka’s departure from Birmingham City will be formally announced this morning. Football is a results business and we have lost the last two games and are hovering just above the relegation zone. I was hopeful when Karanka was first appointed because he seemed to have a good relationship with Xuandong Ren, which I hoped might mean that the rapid turnover of managers would end. But it seems that he was sacked by Wenqing Zhao. 

I must admit that when I saw a picture of Karanka trudging off after the loss to Barnsley, I thought that he looked like a defeated man. He also sounded like one in his post-game interview.  It has been announced that the club hopes to have a replacement by the game on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see who that is.

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Hope

It’s the hope that kills you they say. And they are right. If I could stamp out hope and expect the worst before every game of football, I wouldn’t feel so crushed when the worst happens and there would be times when I’d be pleasantly surprised by Birmingham playing quite well. 

But I can’t help feeling hopeful about this season. It started when Xuandong Ren appeared at the press conference introducing Aitor Karanka as the club’s new head coach. When Ren said that he had been looking for a partner to take the club forward, I started to hope that he had found a coach that he could work with and whose views he would respect. He said that Karanka would  have the time and authority to build and lead this football club going forward.

My hope has continued to grow as the club has taken time to bring in new players and they seem to be the ones that Karanka wants, players who play in a way that fits in with his plan and have the kind of personalities that will contribute to a good atmosphere in the squad. The performances in pre-season have helped me to believe that we have a head coach who knows what he’s doing. And the three goals against Walsall were encouraging.

I’m not hoping for promotion this season or that we’ll win a cup. I’m just hoping for steady progress and that we’ll be well clear of the relegation zone at the end of the season. It takes time to build a winning side and I’m hoping that Karanka will be given the time he needs to do that. 

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Season ticket

When my season ticket arrived in my letter box today, I realised how little enthusiasm I feel about next season. I always look forward to games and seasons with a mixture of hope and fear, but this season there is a lot more fear than hope.

I don’t know the whole story behind the rumours swirling around Birmingham City FC but it seems that departures from the club are due to a breakdown in relationships.  This could be interpreted in two ways, either Xuandong Ren must be a difficult person to get along with or it’s the people who left who were difficult, people such as Roger Lloyd, Julia Shelton, Gary Moore, Joanne Allsopp, Richard Beale, and Garry Monk.  I know which interpretation seems more likely to me.

I have a dilemma.  I want to support the players on the pitch; they haven’t caused the problems. But I don’t know how to support them without seeming to support the way Xuandong Ren is running the club. I think I will still go to games but may decide not to buy any club merchandise.

Whatever I decide, I’ll try to respect the choices made by other fans.  Togetherness is important in football. I don’t feel any connection to my club’s owners but do want to stay connected to the players and the other fans.

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