Blue Fever

It’s flue jab season, and there needs to be something I can take to make supporting the Blues easier.

I haven’t posted a great deal about the Blues since the end of last season. There are several reasons for that:

Firstly, all the speculation and bullshit transfer ‘gossip’ pissed me off. It was just so needlessly over the top that there was no end to it. It’s partly my fault for wanting to have a grasp on Blues news from as many sources as possible, especially from being a non-brummie bluenose. Following lots of sources like this has a massive downside when everyone knew we were on a shopping spree and had Harry Redknapp holding the company Amex.

Secondly, we haven’t been great this season. We haven’t been bad either, results were awful (inconsistent if you really want to be kind). But whilst we had Harry it all seemed like teething problems.

Next, I’m not really feeling the love from the club. This is an incredibly odd one to explain, but I just feel as though the club don’t really give two hoots about me as a supporter.  And just like when two people realise they don’t like each other but neither want to be the first to admit it things have just gone cold.

Finally, I really had no desire to. There wasn’t any one particular thing that grabbed me by the throat, slapped me upside the head and said “You need to write about this!” everything that has happened down B9 has all been a bit shit, a bit meh! Yes, I wrote about TTA sacking Redknapp, but even that seemed run of the mill these days.

Anyway, onto the main article.

Five days ago Steve Cotterill took charge of his first game as manager since Harry Redknapp’s somewhat surprise sacking last month.

Now, straight off the bat I will be honest by telling you I was one of the fans supportive of the club taking on Cotterill when a whole host of names were being bandied about. He has a solid record, he has a history of turning round struggling teams, he knew what life would be like at Birmingham after his short stint as assistant last season and even knew some of the players that clung on to their squad place from last season.

So in my humble, not very scientific opinion I believe we have the right man for the job.  I was disappointed Harry and the club couldn’t convince him to stay on at the end of last season. But we’re hear now, let’s forget about that and get on with the important business of clocking up points.

Cotterill will be the first to admit he lucked out with the timing of his appointment. The squad heading into international break, enabling some solid training and bonding time as well as being able to watch the side get walloped 6-1 away at Hull not yet in charge was very fortunate for him.

That luck seems to have paid off with the result Friday night. For the first time in a very, very long time we’ve looked solid defensively. Every man knew what they were doing – I’m not sure if that is the case of hard training or simply the absence of Emilio Nsue, but it worked. The team worked hard, very hard for the whole 90 minutes. They utterly run their nuts off for the cause, it was great to see.

I think the only thing of note that wasn’t that great, which Steve himself mentioned was the passing and ball retention. We didn’t look like a side that could keep hold of the ball when being harried and hurried by the opposition. But one step at a time.

Acknowledgement also has to be given to the fact that Cardiff were denied a single shot on target for the entire match.  Although that’s as much down to Cardiff’s attacking players as well as our stern defence.

Another positive (for me at least) was the re-introduction of Maikel Kieftenbeld.  Left out in the cold by Harry Redknapp, deemed to not hold the quality he was after and a blundered transfer to Derby at the 11th hour saw Maikel cast aside. A promise from SC that places were up for grabs and he would look at the squad with a fresh set of eyes Kieftenbeld seized his opportunity and earned a place back in the starting line-up.  It was a great return to action for the Dutchman, doing what he does best and disrupting the opposition attacks.

It was really great to watch the team work hard the way they did. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t set the footballing world alight on Friday, but they put in a hard shift, which to be honest, was more important.

Playing players in their familiar positions was a great contributor to that. Not forcing things selection wise meant everyone felt comfortable enough to just concentrate on doing what they needed to do to get the job done – it was great.

What I am not a fan of though, has been the outpouring of “Playoffs” and “Promotion is possible” since the 1-0 win.  Jesus Christ, we’re just out the bottom three and are trying to turn around our fortunes, let’s just keep our feet on the floor for one second and hope that the next four or five games yield a respectable turn of points.  Otherwise we look like right dickheads!

Oh and Warnock, I’m really not a fan of Neil Warnock – that I don’t need to justify, it is what it is!

To all bluenoses with the fever, KRO!

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