Here is an article sent to us by Lauren Round looking at the season so far.
September 24th 2011, Blues had drew 1-1 with Barnsley in a lacklustre game at St. Andrews. I remember at the time accepting the half hearted attempts Blues had put in that day, blaming it on a new team learning to play together and it a being a bit of a hangover from the previous season’s relegation. I never expected a year later for Blues to be losing 5-0 at home to the same opponents Barnsley, in an abysmal excuse of a game on Blues part. Most of the team remained the same from last year so the ‘team are just gelling together’ excuse was incomprehensible as was the effect of last season as an excuse. If anything crashing out of the play-offs should have given us the motivation to kick-start the new campaign with a bang.
First game of the season, we had newly promoted Charlton. Blues should have been teaching the League One champions that the Championship was no walk in the park. But Blues being Blues let Charlton have it the easy way, and they walked away from St. Andrews with a comfortable point in their back pockets. Scores since have rarely looked pleasant. A 3-2 away loss to another newly promoted side in Sheffield Wednesday, another 3-2 loss to League One strugglers Coventry in the Capital One Cup and then throwing away a two goal lead at Nottingham Forest to let them come back to draw with two goals.
Two results did bring some pleasure to the fans. A 1-0 home win against pointless Peterbrough, but yet with the Posh’s struggles you would have expected goals galore not a mediocre and narrow 1-0 win. The 2-1 recent home win against newly relegated Bolton seemed to finally signal a change in Blues fortunes, but as soon as it seems we’ve got going a ton of bricks is dropped on the fan’s optimism in the shape of the 5-0 loss. To add to the humiliation of our sickening defeat on Saturday evening, scorer of four of Barnsley’s five goals Craig Davies, admitted in his post match interview that he was a boyhood Blues fan, oh the irony of it all!
With shocking performances like the one showcased on Saturday, it’s no wonder the home attendances have dipped on average to just below half of St. Andrews’ full capacity. It’s completely understandable. Why on earth would anyone pay good money to watch a team that lacks drive and plays a game that vaguely looks like football? So who do we, as the fans point the finger of blame at? First stop is the obvious, the manager. I was shocked at Lee Clark’s appointment back in the summer. I tried not to be pessimistic, but I couldn’t help thinking is a manager with only League One experience (as a manager) really the right man for the job when it comes to a promotion chasing Championship team? I seem to have my answer for now, a clear no. Yes he might have a valiant passion for the game which I appreciate as much as I admire his dedication to coaching beginning to form in his early twenties. Yes, I can see his passion clearly demonstrated by his frequently animated figure on the touchline. The point is though, if he failed to guide Huddersfield to promotion from League One in the play-off final a year ago, then how can we realistically expect him to guide Blues out of the Championship?
Another issue is, looking at the current squad do we really have a quality team with premier league potential? A lot of our players are at best top championship quality our biggest hope is the youth in our squad. Jack Butland in goal is our biggest asset, he did a fantastic job for Team GB in the Olympics and is tipped to succeed Joe Hart as England’s number one in the future. However, at times this season it does look as if the hype surrounding him sometimes gets to him and can be a bit wobbly at times, but still very impressive. This time last year Nathan Redmond was much talked about as Blue’s promising young starlet but this year I hear more moans and groans about him than good things. I myself am less critical of the young winger. You can see from his efforts that he’s keen to make a difference to the game and put in the effort, unlike some I could mention. He needs time to develop and I’m hopeful he will learn from his mistakes and improve his game.
I wish I could say I support a team that gives their all in the game, excites the fans and learns from their mistakes to make promising improvements, but truth is I don’t. I wish the players would read articles like this and listen to what the fans are saying. If something is going wrong the fans are the first to notice and when things go right the fans are the first to heap on the praise. It’s about time the team started giving back the dedication that the fans put into supporting. Maybe if they just did that, they could avoid one year in the Championship becoming two or maybe even more.