Our Job Is Already Done

Like Santiago Munez in the film ‘Goal!’, I’m back in the football world after a short hiatus. Some of you may have read my drivel in the past on another Birmingham City blog but I’m happy to say I’ve found a new home at We Are Birmingham.

For any of my old readers that may be checking out WAB for the first time; hello and welcome to my new weekly blog! For those of you that have never heard of me before (arguably 99% of you); hello and welcome to my new weekly blog!

You’re all equal in my eyes and thus receive equally enthusiastic welcome messages.

So, here we all are. Like Santiago Munez in the film ‘Goal! 2’, my transfer is complete and I’m ready to bore you all with terrible dad jokes and unfounded opinions once again. I’ll be kicking off this week with a positive spin on some potential negativity:

We haven’t won a game since Boxing Day and have only picked up 2 points from a potential 12 in the league…

Now those of you that have read my blogs before should know that I don’t typically peddle a doom and gloom rhetoric (not since Stevie-C left anyway) and I don’t intend to start now, so let’s take a moment to look at those last 5 games.

Right; we can disregard the Dildo Derby (let’s test the site editors with a bit of blue on day one – see where the boundaries are). It was West Ham. It was away from home. It was a cup game. We played well, we threw men forward and we paid the price. Do we really care though? A cup run can be a magical thing but with our bare-bones squad, we don’t need the extra mileage that comes as part of the additional-games package. So scratch that loss off.

Onto the league. Firstly we have the Nobody Cares Cup Final – so called because it’s just another game to everyone without a Brentford postcode, whilst simultaneous being the biggest game of the season for the Bees.

If someone would have offered me 8th place 6 months ago, I’d have snapped their hands off. Hell, I’d have taken ANYTHING that wasn’t a relegation scrap

We picked up a draw and the world of football picked up a loss as Brentford proceeded to lower the bar of ridiculousness to Neymar levels of play-acting. This wasn’t a match, this was a shambles. Muapay & co proceeded to dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge all over the park and we were forced to sit there and watch as the ref allowed himself to be made a mockery of. It was like being back in the school playground watching the kid who owned the ball make his own rules up as he went along. Nevertheless, Brentford are almost becoming the new Burton for us. They’re not a particularly great side but they always seem to cause us problems so a draw was almost to be expected.

Our next single pointer was Wednesday away. A mid table clash that we should have taken more from if we’re honest, especially after we fired 3 past them back in October but alas, twas not to be.

Our final two league games saw us pick up a grand total of naff all. Pulis and Boro did what Pulis and Boro do best; score early then revert to a 9 – 1 – 0 formation. Blues looked good in the second half but if we’re honest, that’s mostly because Boro allowed us to. When we finally pulled a goal back, Boro launched another assault to strike once more before parking every bus in Teeside in front of their goal.

Finally, and most recently, Norwich away. Some fans may be disheartened at the loss and I suppose when taking our league position into account they may have a point. However, this is Birmingham City. The team that’s fought off relegation two years in a row and now find themselves just a few points away from a playoff place.

Given that we’re fielding largely the same team as last year, would anyone really expect us to beat one of the best teams in the league? Perhaps this season, yes, but that’s testament to the great work Monk and the boys have been putting in. Let’s be realistic though; we’re punching well above our weight and are still hanging around with the big boys. If someone would have offered me 8th place 6 months ago, I’d have snapped their hands off. Hell, I’d have taken ANYTHING that wasn’t a relegation scrap!

It’s worth reminding ourselves just how far we’ve come since the Redknapp days of olde and although we may not have taken a great deal of points from the last few games, we are still absolutely flying (See, I told you this wasn’t going to be all doom and gloom!)

As far as I’m concerned, our job’s done this season and there’s only one truly important game left – V*lla at home.

Call me pessimistic, call me negative, call me downright boring but all I really want by the end of April is a nice, dull, slow winding-down of the season which sees Blues linger in mid table security. Of course, anything more than that would be a God send but I’ve had my fair share of doomsday showdowns over the last few seasons and I’m ready to put my feet up and watch the FA Cup final in peace!

“But what about the FFP points deduction?!” I hear you cry, “15 points will send us to the danger zone!” You’re right, fair reader, it would indeed.

But it won’t happen.

Did we break FFP rules? Certainly. Will we be punished? Most definitely. Do I think we’ll be lumbered with a huge points deduction? Well, logically that just wouldn’t make sense.

Firstly, there’s no precedent for it. QPR absolutely smashed FFP laws about 10 years ago and they earnt a whopping great fine for their troubles. How many points were deducted? Zilch.

So for us to be stripped of points would be simply unprecedented. Now I’m not saying that it can’t happen BUT… if they go too big with the punishment then they leave themselves no wiggle room. Assume for a moment that we were lumbered with a 15 point deduction, what happens when another team that commit worse offence than us (I don’t know, sayyyyyy V*lla?) come under fire? Where do the EFL go from there?

The offence is worse, so the punishment should be greater. If Blues pick up the dreaded 15 point deduction, and that’s the maximum allowed for breaking FFP rules then the EFL box themselves into a corner. It’s a similar story for a 12 point deduction. The next team gets 15, the next team after that gets.. well, there’s that brick wall again.

I just don’t see us being punished half as much as people are fearing and I honestly believe that any deductions will be minor, which returns me to the central point of this article – our job here is done.

We’ve got the points we need to survive, Monk and co have got the team firing on all cylinders and just like Santiago Munez in the film ‘Goal! 3’, Blues will be back to set the league on fire next season. THAT’S when I’ll worry about making the playoffs. For now though, I’m happy to sit back and enjoy a relatively stress-free second half of the season.

Ah, bliss.

Mark Watson is a blogger and opinionist. He was a finalist in the Football Blogging Awards in 2018 and his work has appeared on numerous websites and match day publications. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkWatson1875

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