The Revolving Door

I’m going to start to run out of fingers when counting the number of managers we’ve had down B9 under the TTA rule.

The surprisingly unlikable Steve Cotterill has finally (for most) been given the old heave-ho by the Chinese owners, much to the behest of the majority of Blues fans.

I say unlikable when it comes to Cotterill because he lacked the media skills to cope with the level of job required at Blues. I will admit I was part of the “Cotterill In” crowd before he came on board as the best option from the list of names being touted. Now, we will never know if there was a better option, but his tenure was just littered with problems and fans quickly lost patience with him.

From his choice to play players out of position in favour of younger options, to sticking with underperforming players regardless of results, his team management seemed bizarre.  Then came his game management – losing 2-0, or struggling to cling on at 1-0 it wouldn’t matter – Cotterill would only make his first sub in the 80th minute; madness!

Following the match came the interview, always an absolute car crash of an interview: “if we had scored our goal and they hadn’t scored their 2 we would have won” and other such bollocks would be cited as the initial excuses for not getting a result. I think that was always a big part of what made him unlikable for me personally, was just the excuses, they were endless. Another part of this for me was also the changing stories.  One week leading up to the January window we had irons on fires, then come mid-Jan all of a sudden it would be unlikely we would sign anyone and that was always the case – Cotterill just became a walking contradiction of his own garbage.

Cotterill’s refusal to acknowledge any blame towards the players regardless of how terribly they had just performed began to irk the fan base. The “oh woe is me” list of excuses that came during the latter stages of his tenure made things worse.  The final nail in his Blues coffin came when he blamed supporters for frightening the players at home, that was it, the fans were officially gunning for him.

In my life as a non-brummie bluenose, I had never witnessed such dislike for a sitting manager. There would always be the faithful that would try and make peace, he is after all “one of us”. But fans throwing bottles and season tickets at their own manager is unheard of down Stans.

I don’t doubt that the task in hand is difficult at Blues, I am also certain that there is a lot more at play here than just Cotterill and forces out of his control, from up above in the food chain hampered him severely, but that fact remains – he simply wasn’t up to the complete job of running this football club.

Just as a point of note – this isn’t an opportunity to say look, we should have stuck with Rowett, I’m over it, just, but I have moved on.  The table below is just to demonstrate the ups and downs of the last few incumbents of the hot-seat at St Andrews:

Manager

P W D L

Win%

Lee Clark 116 33 35 48 28.4
Malcolm Crosby (Caretaker) 2 0 0 2 0.0
Gary Rowett 106 42 32 32 39.6
Gianfranco Zola 24 2 8 14 8.3
Harry Redknapp 13 4 1 8 30
Lee Carlsey (Caretaker) 3 1 1 1 33.3
Steve Cotterill 27 7 5 15 25.93

There is of course the standout in Rowett, however, if I were to go back another handful of managers Rowett’s torch wouldn’t have shined so brightly. I suppose all the table above tells us is that time under Cotterill was much better than it was with Zola. It also highlights our record under Redknapp wasn’t as dire as first thought. Assuming he was still in charge I don’t think we would be any worse off than we are now – I also don’t think we would be any better off either, just for clarification purposes.

Enter Garry Monk

Whether Garry and his coaching staff were given a little pre-unveiling PR course from the club or whether they just better understand football clubs and their fans I don’t know, but their first few days were a breath of fresh air.

With #KRO being thrown about and talk of unifying the team and fans into a single voice, all the right things were being said and done by the new manager and his support.

It’s a sure fire way of ingratiating yourself with the Blue faithful for sure, and as long as that message, that positivity stays, it will make up for any shortcomings on the pitch.

Let’s not kid ourselves though ladies and gentlemen, we’re up against. Unless the same dross can be polished enough to survive remains the biggest question mark. If he can get players like Jota, Boga and Adams working effectively with good end product (we’re not evening getting good end product at the moment) then that will make a huge difference.

The one big issue for me though, is how will he solve our defensive frailty? We’re crap at the back and have been since the Bromsgrove Mourinho left.

Answers to these questions begin tonight at home to Middlesbrough.

 

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