I can’t say that it’s often I find myself celebrating on the way home from a defeat to Burton. However, these were unusual circumstances given that we finally emerged from a dark age of winless football, to see light at the end of the tunnel. Zola is gone, whilst people might have called for it earlier in the season, lets hope it’s not too late.
Whilst today feels like a victory it’s easy to forget we are still just 3 points off relegation zone with a hard run of games to come. Who should step in? In my mind, Paul Robinson is the perfect solution. The well-loved club captain, premier league veteran and all-round good guy has adopted a player-coach role this past season, meaning it is likely he is now a qualified coach and can take over in a managers absence. There’s no denying he’s well respected among fan and player.
Today’s performance was abysmal, there was no quality or effort and it was blatant these players were no longer playing for their manager. There was clearly mutiny in the ranks, especially after last weeks terrible afternoon that saw a draw at Rotherham and a lot of post-match tension. In today’s shambles Kuszczak was replaced at half-time, as well as Gardner and Nsue shortly after. Now it might just be that Kuszczak was injured but whilst it may sound absurd it did look as though there was something else going on. I’m not saying he fumbled the shot on purpose, but many Blues fans questioned whether his attitude in the dressing room had been poor during the half time break.
Instantly we saw three of our most senior players removed, which is a drastic change and possibly provoked by something other than a tactical reshuffle. Even if the players weren’t playing to have him sacked, they certainly weren’t motivated, I didn’t see Che Adams attempt a header all game, Jutkiewicz was lazy and the team looked lethargic. One thing I’ve never been able to complain at Blues for is performing when the time is needed but today was our worst performance of the season by a long shot.
Robinson could change this. Just look at the change in Leicesters performances following the sacking of Ranieri and a boost in moral. Rowett wasn’t an amazing manager, Lee Clark wasn’t a bad manager, the difference was Rowett could motivate a team to perform, taking a team of free agents and rejects to achieve things they really shouldn’t have. Whilst Robinson might be just a temporary replacement, the team would play for him, and what better appointment to get the fans back on the owner’s side. He mentioned in a recent interview that he’d be thrilled to manage the Blues should the opportunity come up in the future, well today’s your lucky day Robbo, that opportunity has come a little sooner than expected.
However I would just like to add that, whilst Zola had a terrible run at Blues, you can’t say he didn’t care about our club, that can be seen just in the post match interview which saw him resign. People will say he didn’t resign so that he could get his payoff or I the interest of ever getting another job in English management, but I think he also cared about fulfilling what he was brought in to do. Things didn’t work out for him and I can’t argue his case, he managed the team awfully and I’m glad to see him gone, but I also wish him the best for the future. For now, though, let’s get behind the club and see if we can’t avoid the drop.
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