Is One Year Becoming Two?

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.

Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.

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6 Comments on Is One Year Becoming Two?

  1. What a super article. I found myself saying “yes” and “so true” to nearly every sentence.
    All the best,
    Glynn

  2. good article. In 40 years of supporting Blues this was the most dire game i have ever seen. Pannu was quick to acknowledge his part in getting a good manager in Chris Houghton but i wonder if he will stand up now and say he made the wrong appointment in Lee Clarke. let us hope he doesn’t leave it until February before replacing him.
    the problem is not with the players, it is with the manager that sets the tactics and creates belief, after seeing some good managers in recent years, Clarke is clearly a division 1 or 2 manager

  3. A superb article, and I can’t find fault with it.

    On your Clark point, you’re right that he has passion but also right that he has very little experience and very few signs of quality.

    Someone once said that everybody loves a ‘tryer’, but ‘tryers’ never ‘do’.

    I’m afraid Clark falls in that category.

  4. Totaly agree withg the article but a sure symptom of the way the club is run was evident within the Barnsley side itself. The scorer of 4 goals Craig Davies is boyhood bluenose, along with other bluenoses such as Turner at Cardiff and Troy Deeney at Watford for example are allowed to slip through the net, Imagine the immense pride these players would feel pulling on the shirt of “their” club. They would probably give an extra 10-20%. The more troubling thing that crossed my mind was the fact that Jacob Mellis who ran the game on Saturday was released (sacked) by Chelsea and snapped up by Barnsley for free, why are we not snapping players up of this ilk? Ricardo Vaz Te was another freebie that Barnsley had last year and looking at their current squad there are 3 or 4 others who cost zilch who play with a passion that puts our players to shame. With the club ran in such a shambolic way player after player available for nothing will continue to be snapped up by clubs around us.

  5. Let’s be honest going in to the Barnsley match most were optimistic. The team selected by L.C. looked good enough to continue our good home form. The backline of Spector, Caldwell, Ibanez and Murphy looked strong. Likewise Lita and King up front was looking promising. In midfield Mullins and Elliot had shown improvement recently. Most were pleased that Fahey had returned and most felt Burke has the ability shown last season. No wonder L.C. is as frustrated as supporters. Why do Blues put their supporters through this pain? I hope the players take a long hard look at themselves and come back with fighting spirit at Brighton, they rather than L.C. got us in the mess and they need the guts to get us up the table.

  6. I’m surprised that the author thought that we were likely to gain promotion this season. Support your team but for heaven’s sake try to look dispassionately at the circumstances, or the actualité as a politician once said. After the sale of players we were never in with a chance of promotion and you’re dreaming if you think any different. Don’t forget the late, out of the blue (literally) disgraceful sale of Mutch, of which our esteemed manager was not given any notice or say and had no chance of mitigating. The best that could have been hoped for was that we avoided relegation. However, from the evidence of his chaotic, misguided selections, nonsensical tactics and trite, clichéd statements, Mr Clark will get us relegated.

    The previous level at which Clark has managed is irrelevant. What matters is that he has quickly demonstrated that he is clueless, both by his actions and his platitudinous, meaningless comments, and not capable of management at any level. His signing of Robinson today is the final straw. I had forgotten about the incident with Johnson, I just have an absolute dislike of this utterly crude disgrace to the game. The very thought of his demented, screaming face, with a mouth like a monk fish, leaves me in despair of decent standards in football. I’m ashamed that he’s likely to pull on a Blues’ shirt. I really would rather that we were relegated if it came down to a choice. In any case, within a short space of time, a game or two, he’s going to be suspended for a couple of games so we will still be without fullbacks. It is a signing which shows how clueless the manager is.

    The results have been no better than shaky and have descended to the historically shameful. We wobbled to a victory over Peterborough, who probably should have scored. They have no points, and have scored five goals and conceded 16 in seven games. Before the Barnsley disgrace don’t forget that we lost in the League Cup to Coventry, who are second from bottom of Division 1 with three draws from eight games having scored seven and conceded fifteen. I shudder to think what humility we going to suffer at Brighton with a team coached, selected, set up, briefed and motivated by Mr Clark.

    There are many things which are wrong and LC is a big one and one which can be changed soon. I’m not for sacking managers but staying with a wrong decision will be costly. He should be relieved of his duties immediately. We desperately need someone with basic competence who can keep us in the Championship whilst we wait in hope for relief from the strapped, immobilised and incompetent current owners in the form of a sale to someone of at least modest means and genuine, good intent. I can’t understand how Pannu fell for his clueless spiel but if he wants to stabilise the currently greatly reducing value of the Club then he has to act, preferably this week.

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