Gutless. Feckless. Soulless.

It’s currently around the 78th minute mark and Blues have just conceded their 4th Derby goal. Let’s be honest, this game’s been over since the 17th minute, but being the glutton for punishment that I am, I’m still sat on the living room floor surrounded by Christmas chocolate and empty beer cans whilst the daughter’s Duplo train goes round the sad, fat heap of despair that is Mark Watson.

2020 has been one long kick in the goolies for all of us but throw being a Blues fan into the mix and it’s the kind of punishment that you’d have to pay good money for in a Japanese shibari club… don’t Google that kids.

Demanding “pashun” from the players has become somewhat of a meme on social media but it’s a simple request that resonates from the heart of the fan base. Just show that you care…

I haven’t written anything for a while – mainly due to my focus being on the Fat Lads Go In Goal Podcast (subscribe now!) and I’d have hoped that I’d return to blogging in happier times but let’s be honest, this season has been pathetic so fair and I feel like ranting my hairy ginger tits off!

Before that though, let’s start with the positives shall we. Erm… the green third kit is jolly nice isn’t it? Oh, and the ongoing lockdowns, tier systems and general government make-it-up-as-they-go-alongarisms have meant that fans are not currently allowed in the stadium so we don’t have to actually make an effort to watch this dross.

Now, onto the bad.

You know the phrase “would you rather be punched in the face or kicked in the balls”? Well with Blues it’s more a case of “would you rather be bored and frustrated or emotional and angry?” Because that’s essentially what’s on offer at the moment. Turgid, bore-draw, 0-0 football or pathetic, spineless losses – and in some cases batterings.

As is typical in these times of torment, one must invoke the name of Gary Rowett. Blues’ form had taken a slight turn for the worse back in December 2016 but we were sitting pretty just outside the playoff places when the powers-that-be decided it was time to bring in the coaching genius of Gianfranco Zola. We weren’t exactly taking the world by storm at that period of time but we knew what we were, we understood our capabilities and more importantly we had a manager that seemed to accentuate our strengths whilst making every effort to hide our weaknesses.

However, much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expected the Chinese Indicision! Dong Ren the wannabe football manager and his team of suitably oblivious morons jumped at the chance to throw themselves into the limelight and decided that Birmingham City – the long ball merchants – should now become a squad of tiki-taka whizz kids. Brilliant.

The old guard got pushed out and in came a cast of B-Movie blokes with poncey haircuts and YouTube highlight reels.

Out went Ryan Shotton, Michael Morrison, Johnathon Grounds, Tommy K and the like, whilst Dutch Mike was also halfway up the M42 to join his former manager. In their place came Keita, Sinclair, Nsue, and later under Redknapp; N’doye.

N’ochance.

I’m not a big proponent of ‘team identities’ but whatever insignia we used to have is long, long gone. Dong and his cohorts wanted entertaining football. We just wanted 3 points on a Saturday.

These invaders entered our fair city and tried to dictate our wants and needs. Whilst I have no doubt about their business acumen (that’s a lie, I have a LOT of doubts about it) their ability to run a football club day-to-day is laughable.

However! For once Dick and Dong are not the sole focus of my vitriol today.

No, this article is dedicated to the gutless, feckless, soulless passion vaccums that get paid an absolute bloody fortune to wear our shirt and kick a bag of wind around for 90 minutes.

We’re Blues fans. We know what we are. Our successes are few and far between but by God we’re a passionate bunch. Demanding “pashun” from the players has become somewhat of a meme on social media but it’s a simple request that resonates from the heart of the fan base. We don’t have delusions of grandeur. We KNOW we’re not going to win all – or even the majority of games, but we are SO EASY to win over. Just show that you care… Should be simple eh?

A very good friend of mine likes to describe the last few years at St Andrews as a “cancer” or a “disease” – essentially stating that there’s an ethos of “not my fault guv!” within the dressing room, and by George that’s an accurate summation. Shaggy would be proud.

When things go well on the pitch, we have the ability to pull off something special. We looked great against Bristol City and Reading. We looked very capable against Watford and we weren’t completely down and out for a large part of the Cardiff game. But the number of individual errors is creeping higher and higher and the distinct refusal to take accountability for any of these actions speaks volumes.

Cards on the table; I’m not a big fan of Harlee Dean as a player or persona. Contrary to popular belief, he does in fact give the ball (and penalties) away quite frequently. He also has an interesting history on social media regarding calling certain people “cowards” and reinforcing Covid-19 conspiracy theories, but that’s by-the-by. What truly concerns me is that we have a captain that talks the talk but fails to walk the walk.

Following the first lockdown he filmed a faux-passionate interview in which he blamed everyone (expect for himself) for the run of horrific results. On the surface it was goddamn inspirational. What followed though? More horrific results, players visibly frustrated with each other and the reprisal of the blame game.

George Friend is a leader.

Adam Clayton is a leader.

Lukey Jukey is a leader.

Harlee Dean wears an armband.

As with every loss, fans took to social media calling for Karanka’s head following the 4 – 0 loss to Wayne Rooney’s Wayne Rooney County FC. But I ask, what difference would it make?

Ok, Karanka isn’t working, maybe it’s his tactics? Too defensive with an emphasis on counter attacking! We should get someone in that will play the ball on the ground! Someone like… ZOLA!

Wait…

Ok, no, we need a steady hand. A name we can rely on. Someone with a proven Premier League track record like… REDKNAPP!

Ah, that didn’t work either…

See what I’m saying? We’ve TRIED different tactics, different styles and different “identities”. Even with Monk we shrugged off in-game tactics and opted for team spirit instead. That also ended in a relegation battle. Ok, the points deduction didn’t help but we were still slipping down the table prior to that.

Should we sack Karanka? No. Should he leave of his own accord? For his own mental well-being, he probably should because whilst this crop of passengers are still wearing the shirt he’s faced with an ever-elevating uphill battle.

We’ve chopped and changed so bloody much over the last 4 years that I just don’t recognise my club any more. Hell, even the home shirt is a cheap, Nike-third-party knock-off inspired by Ipswich Town!

I want to end on a positive note, I sincerely do. But at this current moment in time, as the Duplo train makes it’s 87th passing through the beer can forest before weaving through the Cadbury wrapper caverns, I’m not sure I see one.

Will we go down? I honestly think we have enough talent in our squad to survive and teams like Sheffield Wednesday are politely doing us a favour by self-destructing at our feet. But do I WANT us to go down…? Damn, that’s a hard question.

Hand on heart, no. No I don’t. But unless anyone else can think of a way of pressing the reset button on our ongoing plight, I can’t help but consider the positive repercussions.

I actually feel a bit sick typing that.

Up the bloody Blues I guess. Whatever doesn’t kill you apparently only makes you stronger…!

Avatar

Mark Watson is a blogger, opinionist and podcast host. He was a finalist in the Football Blogging Awards in 2018 and his work has appeared on numerous websites and match day publications. He also host the weekly Fat Lads Go In Goal Podcast on WAB TV Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkWatson1875

15 comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Mark you are absolutely spot on but remember Jimmy Kranky has a lot of his own signings in that team but the constant changes he makes are ridiculous.In my opinion I hope he and Ren step down.K R O

  2. Spot on!! The current team has no passion for BCFC, at least we should all be glad that we are not allowed to watch the dross served up as football at St Andrews (unless you subscribe to Sky Sports) I gave that up ages ago as I only ever saw BCFC win once on TV (against Arsenal at Wembley) all other TV matches we failed dismally (again & again) ALL HOPE HAS GONE!

  3. I couldn’t agree more the last time I felt proud to be a blues fan Gary Rowett was the Manger. Nobody wanted to come to St Andrews because they knew thay had a fight on there hands unfortunately now we are a soft touch an easy target. I would drop Dean now and keep him as far away from the dressing as possible, put an armband on a leader. Please just give us a bit of pride back.

  4. A brilliant blog Mark. Reading this the morning after the 0-4 Derby loss, your piece made me think. How does Karanka respond?
    Before retirement I was a production manager. My old director had a habit of quoting Albert Einstein in times of distress. “You can’t expect a change of results if you don’t change anything! “. Time for Karanka to consider 433 perhaps?

  5. Great article. My perspective is that Rowett and Monk had most fans on their side. Any other managers did not, though we had misguided belief in Harry for a brief while. One certainty for me is that I do not like Blues owners or the people like Dong they hire. Blues staff used to be thought of fondly by those who knew them including fans – they are all now all gone – WHY??? I have respect for owners of clubs like Norwich – reasonably wealthy owners but more importantly fans of Norwich. I would like to bring football home to England. I would like to have UK owners and UK managers. I think some Blues fans blew it when they turned against Gold and Sullivan. Keep Right On Bluenoses but Chinese owners – please sell……….

  6. If we go down I genuinely fear we won’t be back. The executive management of the club is so shambolic that I highly doubt they would have the capability to rebuild for a promotion push.

    Sacking Gary Rowett, when we were sitting just outside the playoffs, confirmed one thing to me: the club is absolutely rotten to the core and the top echelons have no clue what they are doing.

    What’s our track record on managers since Rowett? Zola, Cotterill, Redknapp, Monk, Clotet and Karbala. We’re averaging a turnover of manager every season.

    Our current regime are an out-and-out failure and there is no sign of change on the horizon.

    We’ve scrapped the academy, taken points deductions, run through managers and have a confused on-the-field playing style that has had us in relegation fights on the final day of the season in several of the recent few years.

    We are an absolute disaster of a club and it’s only going to get worse.

  7. Absolutely brilliant post Mark! Agree with everything that you said and couldn’t have said it better myself. 65 years of being a blue nose, I love my club with a depth and a passion but in my opinion our club is going nowhere until the present owners sell the club. All the best to you and all the other blues fans. KRO, Andy

  8. Hi Mark.
    Just wanted to say this was a thoroughly well thought out article. I sympathise with the image of you sitting in the middle of the train set in bewilderment.
    I’m not a massive fan of sacking managers as soon as things start looking a bit dodgy but I, like many other Blues fans have a melting point.
    On the evidence of the performances this season, surely he has to go?
    No apparent plan, no style of play, no clue on how to set the team up to get the best results. Both Friend and Clayton look well past their sell by dates. I always thought the two players who performed well on a consistent basis were Colin and Pedersen. What has Kranky done for Pedersen. Apart from totally destroying his confidence. Is it no co-incidence that both of these players are at their best when we play the good old fashioned 442 formation?
    Karanka also has an annoying habit of dropping players who have performed really well in previous games. I don’t think there is a coaching manual in football that would suggest this was a positive way of creating a healthy team spirit.
    He doesn’t seem like a man motivator, tactically astute or particularly passionate. Ok it’s a given that this squad is a mixture of leftovers from previous squads, some genuinely talented footballers (Sanchez Bela). Surely it his job to mould the players at his disposal in to a team that at least looks competitive in every match.

  9. Our misery started when Sullivan, Golds and Karen Brady come to the club or rather when they sold it to the Chinese’s Hairdresser. They must have known exactly what they was doing when selling the club for over 50% more than what it was worth. We are now paying for it with a list of mistakes putting us deeper and deeper into trouble. Chinese Owners that haven’t got a clue about football and are using the club for financial reasons. We now have Dong Ren the man who has presided over a list of management appointments who have been a disaster in one way or another. And variety of dictates such as entertaining football hens Gianfranco Zola. Buying overpriced nobodies hens Harry Redknapp. And undermining the youth setup hens Garry Monk who wanted any useful kid to sign up to his management company. We now have the three year plan hens Karanka the well known drew one lose one plan. We shouldn’t forget about the bloke who wanted to join every other cub hens Garry Rowett. This isn’t about poor football it about poor, poor management from the top.

  10. Great blog mark, I for one ( and I don’t think I’m on my own) have never felt such negative vibes since the Kumar era. We blues fans never expect too much in the way of success, but by god we expect passion in a team. We need a good solid leader and I’m afraid dean doesn’t fit that criteria. Karanka and his backroom staff just don’t get it, and with wannabe manager ren chipping in we don’t have chance. I agree with you and the change of management probably won’t help immediately but I feel it’s the only way forward. A British manager who understands that is needed to reinstate our passion, and the only way of that happening is if ren was replaced. A sad sad state of affairs at the moment and I can’t see it getting any better in the near future KRO.

  11. A brilliant blog Mark,you have summed up everything that i have been thinking.I have followed my beloved blues for 70 years and cannot remember ever feeling so down.I think that there are not enough brummies in the team but i guess Karanka would not pick them.
    Carry on the good work Mark.

  12. There is some slightly deluded twaddle here, aside from the generalisations about Blues Fans and anodyne sound bites. Though I thought the Clayton , Friend and Jukey leader joke was superb . KRO

  13. Karanky wasn’t much better at his last club and and even worse at our beloved club, he has our players all over the shop not knowing what the others doing even our Goalie is starting to make mistakes too, the players just hit the ball anywhere hoping one of the players receive it, I don’t think the players know how to dribble and keep the ball anymore, It’s a complete and utter chaos and not the football we are used to, Rant over, KRO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *