It is a pity that Sunday’s game is probably going to be remembered for the clappers that were used as missiles rather than for anything that happened on the pitch. Clappers, inflatables, big flags and flames are not necessary to create an atmosphere at a Birmingham City versus Aston Villa game; you only need the fans. Though I did like the display of pictures outside the ground, showing some of our history. It was good to see some of my favourite players — Gil Merrick, Jeff Hall, John Frain etc.
It wasn’t a good idea to give out clappers or to throw them on the pitch. In general, I don’t like anything that disrupts the game and believe fans shouldn’t throw anything onto the pitch without a good reason. I can sympathize with the Charlton and Coventry fans who threw plastic pigs onto the pitch in coordinated protests against their owners at Charlton and at Coventry. They had good reasons for their protests. I don’t consider that thinking clappers a silly idea is a good enough reason for throwing them.
The saddest sight of all was Isaac Vassell walking off the pitch injured. It was sadder still to learn that it is a serious injury, a ruptured cruciate ligament. Josh Martin was sidelined for eight months with a similar injury. I hope it won’t be that long for Vassell and that he won’t get too discouraged; he has the potential to be a very good player.
I was pleased to see the commitment of our players and that we kept a clean sheet. Steve Cotterill has started by trying to make the team hard to beat. I hope it won’t be too long before he feels he can concentrate more on getting them to work on scoring goals.
I was also pleased to see the way that the police were keeping their dogs away from the fans as we left the game and keeping them calm. A marked contrast to the Metropolitan Police’s line of barking dogs at London Bridge Station the previous weekend.
I would like to see the same commitment from our players at this evening’s game and the same level of support from our fans. It would also be nice to get a win and three points.
By the way, I’ve updated my cheat sheet to include Connal Trueman. I hope that being on the bench for first team games is proving to be good experience for him. If, and I know this is unlikely at the moment, we are ever several goals up in a game, it would be nice to sub Trueman on for a time, to give him the experience of playing in a League game.