Saving Blues – The Blueprint


Obviously the best situation would be the board going and selling to some responsible owners, but this article is written under the assumption that our mysterious friends aren’t moving for the next couple of years at least.

How sad is it, by the way, that of all the Chinese ownership that has arisen in our game, we seem to have pulled the short straw? Wolves have struck lucky and possibly the big time; the Albion seem fairly stable, and as mentally deranged as Dr Tony appears on Twitter, Villa seem to be run reasonably well from the outside looking in.

If any of the board happen to read this [unlikely yes, but we do hear stories that they occasionally monitor social media], they might well be scratching their heads wondering why they are being criticised given they handed Harry Redknapp a large transfer kitty in the summer.

But owning a club isn’t solely about chucking money at the team.

It’s about stewardship and decision making.

There’s intricacies of running a football club that they clearly don’t understand, from the other side of the world, and as a result they’re asking a confused and lost football club to compete in a league of well-run rivals and it’s producing the results you’re currently witnessing – chaos.

So, what can save Blues? What do we need to change?

Removing Darren Dein

Darren Dein is at the club to use his vast array of contacts to help us secure a top class playing staff, as well as advise our owners on footballing matters – well, it’s been a disaster.

I’ve got nothing against Dein, I don’t know the man, but we sit bottom of the table after one of the highest net spends in the division, with the fans on the verge of revolting, reports of dressing room infighting and the prospect of relegation on the horizon.

Our signings have been dreadful.

It’s hard to identify successful signings bar perhaps Stockdale and Colin. And it wasn’t exactly rocket science signing the keeper from the best team in the division last year, and one of our rivals’ first team defenders. It’s not as if Dein’s ‘vast array of contacts’ are unearthing unheard of gems.

Wolves signed Bonatini from Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, we’re paying a ‘transfer guru’ to bring in people from Brighton.

I don’t get it.

We spent in excess of £15m in August to make the team worse, when you spend that kind of cash, you shouldn’t be talking about just two signings that seem ‘alright’.

So i’m not sure what service Dein is offering us, we’re getting worse and we’re signing players your average Four Four Two magazine-reading slob could identify with their eyes closed.

Manifestly the Chinese are receiving a poor service. It would be infinitely better to replace Dein with a football person who could liaise between the unhappy supporter base and the board, relaying the concerns of the fans to the mother-ship.

Somebody like Trevor Francis; to just be there, be a face, connect the fans to the ownership, and offer genuinely helpful advice to the board.

At the moment you get the impression the Chinese are in the fog, waving their arms around, pressing buttons, making decisions in isolation, having no clue what’s happening at St Andrews – that needs to be rectified quickly, having a former player / knowledgeable go-between would be a significant step in reducing these problems.

The Playing Style

Anybody who’s read my blogs before knows i’m a bit of a football dinosaur. My main concern is winning games of football.

I like pragmatism. Put the players in the system that best suits their abilities, and brings about the most shots on goal possible to give us the greatest chance of winning the game.

I don’t know about you, but under Trevor Francis and Steve Bruce we played fast football, direct football, we played at a high tempo, that crucially resulted in us winning lots of games at this level. There were wingers who took their man on and whipped a ball into the box, two strikers up top usually, a central midfield that cared little for side-wards passing, but more about recycling possession and then launching an attack, getting the ball to the wingers and then breaking forward.

Oh for the wide-play days of Stan Lazaridis ghosting past three players and scooping a cross into the box; or Jon McCarthy; or Paul Devlin, Damien Johnson, Jermaine Pennant.

Ndlovu, Furlong and Adebola caused chaos for defences under Francis. Horsfield, John, Forssell, Heskey never gave the opposition a minute’s rest under Bruce.

Why have we abandoned this way of playing? To chase possession-based football, slow build ups, multiple sitting midfielders and inverted wingers who cut inside? I don’t get it, it doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked under Harry, Zola and now Cotterill.

Rowett brought in the 4-2-3-1 tactic, similar to Cotterill’s 4-3-2-1 tactic, but under Rowett we played with wingers like Demarai Gray, Otobor, Cotterill and Maghoma, even Lloyd Dyer, who were proper wingers and once our defensive players soaked up the opposition’s attacks, these wingers would spring the counter and we’d be in on goal within three passes.

Now, under Cotterill, we don’t play the old high tempo football of Bruce and Francis; but we don’t play the intelligent pacey counter attack of Rowett either – instead we play this groundhog day brand of football where we sit back with three defensive centre mids, and when we manage to get the ball, we play this vile, slow, side-wards and backwards possession-based football, giving the opposition chance to get back into position, before somebody miscontrols the ball or hoofs it out of play and then we’re back defending again.

It’s blunt. There’s no craft or subtlety to it, it’s just a weekly spectacle of crap midfielders trying to pass the ball between themselves before they lose it.

Watching Gardner, Davis, NDoye, Grounds and Kieftenbeld pass the ball to one another, as every one of them mis-controls, then struggles to get the ball into their feet and finally spins another pass to another player who struggles to control it, is maddening.

On the rare occasions we get the ball out wide to Jota and Boga, both of them look to cut inside every time; and they end up just dribbling into a wall of opposition players and lose the ball.

No crosses for the striker, the game isn’t stretched, everything is narrow, every Blues player trying to run through the middle of the opposition before being crowded out. Rinse and repeat, every week.

It’s little wonder we are the lowest scorers in the whole of the football league. It’s dreadful.

David Cotterill isn’t amazing, and his best years are behind him, but why do you release him from his contract before the transfer window opens, and then resort to playing David Davis on the right when you’re chasing an equaliser against Norwich, it makes no sense.

So what do we do?

A lot of the fans are blaming Steve Cotterill, and he has made a few mistakes [releasing David Cotterill prematurely; playing Gallagher on the wings in the early days] but really, and especially yesterday against Norwich, his hands are tied . Juke was the only fit striker available, we don’t play with wingers because Maghoma aside, we haven’t got any; and his only real decision to make was which combination of shite central midfielders he was going to pick out of Gardner, NDoye, Kief, Davis and Gleeson.

The squad lacks balance, quality and confidence. All Cotterill can do is try and put them in a formation that makes them competitive.

Even so, I would still let him go. His confidence is shot, and he’s taken to mumbling in press conferences begetting a crazed and defeated air; a lot of the fans have already made their minds up about him and he’s being painted as a Lee Clark type figure; he’s been making mistakes with his team selections and you can’t ignore the fact that we’re bottom of the league, the lowest scorers in the football league and look completely gone.

We need freshening up.

Rowett was the best manager we’ve had since our Premier League days, and i’d look at trying to find another Rowett.

Go into League 1 and 2 and try to unearth a gem. There’s a guy at Shrewsbury Town, Paul Hurst, who’s taken Shrews to the top two of League 1 losing only 4 games out of 24; as well as having a promotion with Grimsby on his CV. These are the type of managers we should be looking at.

Sheffield United went and got Wilder from the lower leagues and they’re having their best season in a generation now.

If it was me, i’d appoint somebody like Paul Hurst, then go into League 1 and put a £2m bid in for the fastest right footed right winger; the fastest left footed left winger, and try to recreate those high tempo Bruce and Francis days. Get the ball out wide, have a run, whip a cross in the box and let’s start making chances again.

Because this groundhog day brand of football, where we create no chances, no attempts on goal, try and pass through teams in slow motion and end up losing 0-1, 0-2, is not good for anybody’s health – especially the club’s.

Saving Blues – The Blueprint

Zola Resigns


The defeat to Burton has spelled the end for Zola. With just 2 wins from 24 matches [and one of them against 10 man Fulham] the Italian leaves Blues as officially the worst manager in the history of the club

I have nothing against Zola on a personal level. Many in the game go out of their way to note Zola as a warm, charismatic individual, but it was too apparent that he just wasn’t cut out for management here.

From game-costing substitutions at home to Brighton, to bizarre loan signings like Jerome Sinclair; the unwise loaning out of Cotterill to a relegation rival and an insane adherence to a 3-2-3-1-1 formation that saw Blues never concede so many goals – and yet never look so blunt going forward.

To persist with this formation for 24 games and just win 2 of them was frightening. Even today, when we were struggling at home to Burton, instead of changing the formation, Zola merely switched the personnel, swapping Gardner and Nsue for Frei and Maghoma.

I am absolutely convinced had we stuck to Rowett’s 4-2-3-1 formation we’d have been safe weeks ago. I cannot for the life of me understand why it was tampered with.

But it’s been a half season of the bizarre, odd and downright stupid decisions.

I won’t go over the terrible sacking of Rowett again, as that ground has been well-worn, and even the most vocal Blues fans online who celebrated removing Gary for Zola, have now gone quiet or accepted they were a little naive.

But I can’t be hopeful now Zola has gone, because the people who thought Zola was a superior option to Rowett are still at the club, still capable of making further damaging decisions.

How can we trust such people to make any sound judgements?

The sacking of Rowett showed that these people aren’t the smartest, and the complete abandonment of the fans in the weeks after with no clear message or statements issued, [save for Panos sniping on social media about ‘watchable football’] showed they weren’t just dim, they were unprofessional too.

So why trust them post-Zola?

The bookies list of possible new managers makes worrying reading. Aitor Karanka is 2nd favourite, a guy who ran out of Boro and went AWOL for weeks when things got tough – for me, that isn’t the conduct of a manager.


Others have called for Robbo to step in as caretaker. But with no coaching experience and a short temper, would somebody who’s more likely to get players round the neck and rule through fear necessarily help a fractious dressing room where tempers spilled out into the public arena last week at Rotherham?

Ideally Blues could do with somebody who is willing to just manage for 3 weeks in a caretaker role, to see us over the line, and then for us to refresh ourselves and start again in the summer.

To rush into a new manager at this point, with the derby just days away, could result in another Zola situation where we act too fast and bring in another dud.

We need somebody with experience in the game, a respected figure, but somebody with links to the club and can get the fans onside again. Trevor Francis in a caretaker role is the obvious choice, but with a recent family bereavement he is surely ruled out.

Would Barry Fry welcome a chance to help his beloved Blues for a few weeks before returning to his backroom role at Peterborough? Somebody of that ilk is required.

Otherwise we could be in serious serious trouble. With just a 3pt buffer on Blackburn and a much inferior goal difference, the time for an inspired decision that spares the board’s blushes, has never been more pressing.



Zola Resigns

Tickets for the Boys

blues snakes2

Thursday 23rd March, 2017, 7am – St Andrews, Small Heath.

A thick blanket of cloud enveloped the tired car park of the St Andrews football stadium, the home of Birmingham City football club.

The sky above the post-industrial suburb of Small Heath in the nation’s second city took on a dull grey hue.

It began to rain.

Fifty hardy souls, standing in a queue, shivered in the damp and cold March air. They’re here to try their luck and attempt to purchase a ticket to watch Birmingham City take on their arch rivals Aston Villa at Villa Park next month in the big derby game.

Reg, a humble worker at the near-by Land Rover assembly plant joins the queue. He’s number fifty one.

We approach Reg.

As we draw nearer, we ask him why he’s come here today, at 7am, in the rain, to stand in the cold.

He carefully reaches into his pocket and opens his hand to show a collection of rusty coins and a frayed photograph of what appears to be a soldier from WW2.

Me dad took me to my first ever Blues game when I were a nipper in 1954‘ reminisces old Reg.

‘And i’ve followed ’em ever since, through the bad times, and the badder’. Reg lets out a smile of nostalgia.

‘I’ve come to get me and me grandson a ticket for the derby game. So I can take him down, just like me when I was his age.’

We wish him good luck and let him re-join the queue.

Two hours pass. The rain intensifies and the now sixty Blues fans huddle together for warmth, like a bunch of penguins you might see braving the elements on Planet Earth. The ticket office opens for business.

Initially, the people at the front of the queue step away from the kiosks smiling and clasping their tickets, it appears their withstanding of the elements has seen them win the day, and they’ll be attending the derby game next month.

It’s now 9:15am, fifteen minutes in and unexpectedly, at a sudden, and seemingly prematurely, the plump lady behind the glass in the ticket office stretches towards the window and swiftly slaps a ‘Sold Out’ sign up.

2000 tickets, sold out after 15 minutes?

Something didn’t feel right.

We approach Reg, who was at the front at the time.

‘Did you get tickets?’ we enquire, more hopefully than anything else.

No….no…not today‘ Reg replies with tears in his eyes.

They, they told me that all the normal tickets were sold out in ten minutes, but that if I wanted to go I had to pay £169 for a ‘special’ ticket that got me a breakfast. But I can’t afford £340 for me and the grandson, I can’t afford it. What could I do?’

Reg wiped his eyes and carefully placed the photo of his dad back into his pocket.

‘I’ve got to get back to work’, Reg shook our hands and walked out of the car park, never looking back and disappeared back into the grey drizzle of Small Heath.

More and more Blues fans were walking by with expressions of sadness and disappointment, some even looked angry.

It quickly transpired that a great many had missed out, and a large number of tickets had been taken out of the ‘normal’ allocation and had been turned into ‘corporate £169’ packages.

The blinds flickered in the central heated VIP boxes above, you could hear laughing.

My phone bleeped. I got a tweet. It was from a guy who has traveled every inch following the Blues, home and away for decades – he’d missed out on the Villa game too.

blues snakes6

It was becoming clearer that a great number of tickets had been taken away from ordinary Blues fans and turned into ‘corporates’.

After sacking Rowett, shutting off communications and leaving everybody at the club wondering why, now we were further abused by the turning of derby-day tickets to corporate packages.

The corporate packages were quickly snapped up. Panos had done well for his paymasters, tickets once £30 were now sold at five times the value.

Here a Crystal Palace fan and a returning Blues fan after a 6 year absence brag about bagging one of these packages:

blues snakes3

blues snakes5

I slammed my laptop shut in anger.

I couldn’t help but think of Reg, with tears in his eyes, clasping the photo of his father and walking back to work drenched from the Small Heath rain.

Bastards‘ – I let out a swearword in anger and frustration.

Some other Blues fans took to Twitter to register complaint, but only a tiny minority, for it seemed the machinations of Panos and friends had worked and their plan had gone ahead without much notice.

blues snakes4

At the time of writing, one of the ‘corporates’ had published an article branding dissenting Blues fans ‘keyboard warriors’, and demanded that everybody backed the current set-up without question and fixed the ‘fragmented relations’.

Well, perhaps when the ordinary people at this football club, we the fans, are treated with a modicum of respect and dignity, only then, real fixes can come about.

Tickets for the Boys

Blog Wars – Response to Ron’s Attack

I’ve just got home from work, a bit worn out, bit upset that Gardner might be coming back [thats for another time], still upset about Rowett’s sacking [naturally] and I walked into VivaBrownie towers to receive some tweets asking if i’d read Ron’s blog attacking me?

I hadn’t until about half an hour ago. But I have now, well I better have or else none of this will make any sense.

It’s a good Ron blog. I’ll give the Muse of Moseley that. Well written, with a pace that keeps ticking along, a good bit of nostalgia and it manages to pull a few verbal punches while giving off that ‘i don’t really care‘ vibe, which was always the hallmark of a solid Ron blog.

It reminded me of all those great Ron blogs I used to read growing up, and his match reports, especially the infamous one about Burnley. That one went down in Small Heath Alliance history as a classic and even triggered a response from Burnley council.

I have nothing against Ron, and all those expecting [and hoping] for a bit of a personal slanging match are going to be disappointed. I genuinely like Ron, or the internet entity that is Ron, and I enjoy his output.

Sure I disagree with his thoughts on Rowett. I disagreed when he posted a tweet celebrating Rowett’s sacking with an applause smiley and suggested Rowett was going stale [can you go stale after having just one full season at a club?].

I disagreed when he sent personal abuse to Legdzins after the Burton error and I thought his tweet about not speaking to any ‘rational’ Blues fan who was disappointed Rowett was sacked said more about the echo chamber he resides in than anything else.

But I quite like diversity of opinion.

I like reading things that challenge the way I think, and make me question my stance.

It’s why my Twitter is awash with Blues fans, Villa fans, Alt Right accounts, Liberal accounts. I love that Twitter is a marketplace of opinions and debate.

Ron implied that he doesn’t like to see opinions on issues like Trump or Syria. I do, I love reading the informed and the ill-informed on these subjects. Not such a fan of the dreary and endless comments about food, and what cereal is the best. But I appreciate different people are into different things.

Twitter exists as a platform for the layman to have a chat and air their views. If you don’t like to read people’s opinions, it’s probably not the best platform for you, or you should perhaps be a bit more discerning in deciding who to follow.

But it’s not up to me to decide how people use Twitter. That’s the beauty of it, everybody will use it in their own way.

Before I quickly comment on the stuff Ron brought up, I will just say the following.

I am a little bit, a little bit disappointed that Ron has so massively bitten to my Baby Boomer blog, and has reacted in the manner he has.

It’s difficult to tell on the internet and Ron will no doubt say that his article lambasting me is also tongue in cheek, but it seems like my blog has annoyed him enough to set up a WordPress site and sift through 11,000 of my tweets in order to pull out a few ‘aha!’ comments I made about games a good while ago.

I mean, God, the amount of shit he’s had to scroll through to get to my observations during Wolves at home – when was that? August?

I can only apologise for all the crap he’s had to endure over the last few hours.

I thought that the tone of my Baby Boomer blog the other night was quite clear in its intentions, and was quite clearly meant to be read as being tongue-in-cheek and a bit of light ribbing and fun, at a time when there’s been a lot of negativity around the club.

Comments about asbestos roofing, the amicable and placid Holdsworth being an ‘attack dog’, Ron being a spiritual leader, people 40 years old being ‘Baby Boomers’ – I thought it was obvious that it wasn’t meant to be read seriously.

But hey ho.

Back to Ron’s blog. It seems to be evenly weighted between two concepts:

  1. Ron doesn’t use the internet anymore, doesn’t comment anymore, and has ‘grown out of it’.
  2. Because I criticised Rowett’s decision making in the odd game here and there, that means I lose all right to be disappointed he’s been sacked.

If we quickly deal with the first point.

It’s a nice sentiment to be ‘above’ giving opinions, but when you have SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND tweets [six times what I have]. I think it’s a difficult argument to make.

And i’d say to Ron. Who cares if you enjoy posting on the internet? It’s not the dirty word it once was. Loads of people post on here. In all kinds of forums and mediums. Embrace it.

You’re too good a commentator to shy away [not that you are, with 64,000 tweets] but I say be proud of it, and comment more.

So I won’t accept that Ron is some noble, old timey, quiet type that has had to come forward after years of silence to make a point. He’s bloody everywhere, and I think it’s great.

The 2nd point is that, yes I criticised Rowett. I praised Rowett too. I’ll criticise Zola, and i’ll praise Zola.

Isn’t that a healthy way to think? Not be so pro or anti one or the other?

Just because I thought Rowett was a fool to substitute Che Adams at 1-1 at home to Wolves, doesn’t mean I want him sacked on the spot, a week before Christmas, have his whole backroom staff wiped out, piss the players off, rile the fans and plunge us into utter chaos.

It is possible to critique, but have a sense of the overall picture.

The great H-Bomb once said ‘Just because me and the wife argue, doesn’t mean I want to divorce her’.

I’ll finish because i’ve waffled enough and as you’ve found out to your great horror this week, I don’t like to post too seriously for too long.

All I would say is that I like you as a football fan, I like your Twitter feed, I don’t care that you post a lot, I want more, more Ron more, and I believe football supporters do have the right to moan about team selections without having to blow the whole thing up, rip up the script and demand wholesale changes.

That’s all.

(Thank you for your time *TheSpecialRon)

Blog Wars – Response to Ron’s Attack

The Wrath of the Boomers


What’s that famous quote?

If an infinite number of Baby Boomers, had an infinite number of twitter accounts and were typing for an infinite amount of time – could they post a tweet that wasn’t laced with a misguided sense of superiority, underpinned by a subtle threat of violence?

‘No’, if you were wondering what the answer is.

There’s a weird split among the Blues fans at the moment, and it’s weirder than the Zola-Rowett divide, or the controversy over the Chris Holland question, it’s weird because it seems, oddly, related to…age.

What do I mean?

Well, there seems to be quite a few Blues fans online, aged roughly from about 40 to 55, the Baby Boomers, who are ranting and raving about the ‘young fans’ – and the ‘young’ label is being hurled at everyone who missed out on watching Blues in the 80s.

The Boomers’ arguments seem, loosely, to relate to the following:

–          Anybody upset that Blues have sacked a former player in Rowett [who was well-liked and over-achieving] smack bang in the middle of the season [therefore  throwing the players into disarray, riling the majority of the fans, derailing the club and undoing two years of progress] is somehow a ‘Villa fan’ that needs to ‘go to Villa Park’.

–     Those fans upset a promising young British manager has been given the boot, in order for the club to become a sort of ‘QPR’ circus, with a celebrity manager flooding the club with mercenary loans and disinterested foreign stars is, again, some kind of ‘nouveau fan’, a ‘Premier League fan’, not a real Blues fan, and should once again, traverse to Witton.

–     Most of the fans upset Rowett has been sacked are ‘younger fans’ who didn’t watch us in the 80s, and have therefore never experienced any hardship as supporters and therefore do not have the right to hold any hopes or desires for the club, they can’t complain ever, they cannot criticise board members. Essentially they just have to just ‘belt up’ because they didn’t see the horror of the 80s.

The first thing to say about these vile Boomer slurs is that point two is utterly and ridiculously flawed.

This argument that somehow younger fans AGAINST the need for big celebrity names, sexy football, foreign mercenaries, instant success and promotion means they’re a new breed of ‘Premier League type fans’.


How does that work?

Surely if you supported Rowett, and invested emotionally in the project, and were quite happy to see a slow progression; to see Blues stable, and signing players with the right attitude, and watching our team of misfits unite together to beat teams with much larger budgets and wage bills, using hard work, graft, discipline and tactics –  surely THAT is more in-line with what you’d believe a humble, ‘80s’ Blues mentality represents?

Not demanding Barcelona football on a shoe string budget.

That to me, strikes me as a very nouveau fan attitude to take. Yet, many of the online Boomers are making this very argument.

An argument that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

As for the 80s? Well, let’s deal with the Boomers’ outrageous lies, shall we!

The Boomers depict the 80s as some kind of Orwellian hell. Some rancid post-apocalyptic world for Blues which saw the club hit such intense lows that every fan who emerged from the era in one piece, subsequently went on to obtain ‘super-fan’ powers and consequently can never be questioned, or debated with.

It was like Vietnam, but worse.

And you weren’t there, man.

You weren’t there.

Well Boomers, how bad was it?

1980-81 – Top Flight

1981-82 – Top Flight

1982-83 – Top Flight

1983-84 – Top Flight

1984-85 – Championship

1985-86 – Top Flight

1986-87 – Championship

1987-88 – Championship

1988-89 – Championship

1989-90 – League One

….ONE season worse than what we’re dealing with at the moment.


And half the decade in the top flight.


A couple more years in the Championship under Panos and TTA, and the post-McLeish Blues will have comfortably endured a worse time of it than anything experienced in the 80s.

Three seasons of Lee Clark is a close contender in itself.

So hark! Hark! Fellow MTV generationers, we’ve been sold lies and propaganda by the Boomers. They’re not super fans, they’re just people who had to endure an uncomfortable year at the end of the decade, and now they’re claiming status as 80s martyrs to posture and portray themselves as superior.

Well the Boomers aren’t wise oracles that must have total silence in the room when they impart their wisdom on the world.

They’re mentals. Their minds have been fried to mush by Tiswas and asbestos roofing.

You have to be a fruit loop to think sacking Rowett was justifiable, or to believe we should be blitzing everybody out of the water with the third worst budget in the division.

Just last week, a SHA forummer was delighting in Blues’ three defeats out of four, by praising ‘the angles of the passes‘.

We Rowett Youth members looked at one another agog and aghast. How can anybody think the ‘angles of the passing‘ is something worth celebrating, let alone suggesting it’s as important as all 3 pts?

Other messages on SHA were posted that because Barry Fry punched a steward in 1996, nobody is allowed to criticise Panos.

The other Boomers were delighted.

‘Great post’ , ‘What a star’, ‘Sums it up’. The Boomers chirped.

I felt like I was taking crazy pills. Total Boomer insanity.

These people should be seen and not heard, and preferably not seen if they’re still wearing their usual Parker jacket and bucket hat combo.

They’re crazed. Utterly obsessed with Nigel Gleghorn and Synthesizers. Refusing to enter the modern day realm.

Well, you’re not a superior fan because your parents had sex in the 60s. You just happened to be born at a time which allowed you to watch Blues in the 80s, which actually wasn’t all that bad in the end as we discussed earlier. If myself, or other members of the Rowett Youth were around in the 80s, we’d have gone down the Blues too. So there.

It’s time to close the book of memories. Put down the glass of freshly squeezed nostalgia. Stop demanding that Blues stay shit forever and that nobody is allowed to hold Panos and co to scrutiny, and start living in the present.

Just because Blues have ownership problems, there’s plummeting attendances, a TV star is president of the United States and Star Wars is smashing the box office, doesn’t mean the 80s are coming back….

…oh, ignore that last paragraph.



The Wrath of the Boomers



I imagine this is how the Germans of the 1940s felt when Hitler died. Or middle class housewives of the 1990s when Princess Diana passed away.

Rowett’s sacking still hurts.

I wasn’t going to go yesterday. My enthusiasm for the club is sapped at the moment – and I’m hoping it is for the moment. The damage done by TTA and their snake-like sinister salesman Panossss, feels permanent, but hopefully I can snap out of this.

I forced myself to go, because I sit with one of my mates in the Kop [while the others sit in the Tilton] and it wouldn’t be fair to leave the guy by himself.

I was thinking of going but taking a blindfold so I could have my own individual protest, purify my soul, not legitimise what has happened by looking at it on the pitch – but I turned off this idea as I imagine sitting for 45 minutes blind would be pretty uncomfortable and could damage my eye sight.

I then thought about potentially taking a book to read while the game was unfolding. But I probably couldn’t concentrate on the reading while the fans are shouting, so I decided on a final plan: go to the game, watch the action impassively, boo and jeer any sight of snake-like Panosss and refuse to acknowledge the former star of the TV show ‘Renford Rejects’, Gianfranco Zola, should he be introduced to the fans.

As I walked into the stadium, I was immediately hit by the sign on the big screen.

‘Discriminatory chanting will not be tolerated’.

Still emotionally wrecked by the events of the past few days, I assumed this was meant to try to dissuade us from singing anti-Italian and Chinese songs. ‘Fat chance of that’, I thought to myself. I got my camera out to take a picture of the sign when all of a sudden,  I felt a hand on my shoulder.

‘That’s our new manager there, move a little to the left, you’ll get a better picture of him’.

I turned sharply to see who had put their hand on my shoulder, only to see a smiling, warm, humble, working class face staring at me, full of hope and simple happiness.

It was a steward. A thin little man, with a bright orange coat two sizes too large for him, sporting an impoverished brown moustache and looking at me through wonky spectacles that were being held together by sellotape.

The steward was the kind of guy that bleeds Blues. He’s so Blues that he even got a job helping out at the ground on match days.

I had a ‘fuck Zola’ retort lined up. But as I looked into his hopeful beady little brown eyes behind his wonky sellotaped spectacles, I couldn’t do it.

I just couldn’t do it.

‘Oh right, yeh that’s good, see ya mate’

I couldn’t hurt this guy’s feelings. I walked towards my seat, the game was about to start at any minute. I slumped into my seat and folded my arms.

I’d forgotten my glasses in my haste to make the train, so all the players were slightly blurred, but in truth I wasn’t too bothered. Today wasn’t about the football, it was about protesting what had happened over the past few days.

And even though sitting impassively and jeering Panos would achieve the square root of diddly-squat – it’d make me feel better, so it was worth it.

The Tilton started chanting the name of Gianfranco Zola, the man who had once appeared in Bonnie Tyler’s video ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.

I couldn’t believe it.

I looked at them in sheer disgust.

This spectacle reminded of an excellent television show i’d been watching of late, Westworld.

A show where a town of robot-like humans live at a Wild West-themed tourist resort, and the humans go along to kill, rape, abuse and torment the robots for their own pleasure. Every night the robots are taken back into the factory and have their minds wiped clean so they forget about the trauma.

Here the Blues fans had been taken into the TTA factory and their minds had been wiped clean.

The past 24 months had been totally erased from their consciousness.

‘What’s a Rowett?’

I heard a rotund woman in a fake fur coat titter as she laughed and sipped an alcoholic drink.

Oh my God.

Oh my God, the whole ground has had their minds wiped, and im the only one who hasn’t.


Jesus Christ.

Am I the only one here who remembers???

I can’t be, surely.

I turned to look at my mate who was smiling and clapping along to the pro-Zola ditties like a lobotomized lemming.

I suddenly felt sick and dizzy, my view was going black and white and the pitch looked pixelated, I was about to pass out, my head was spinning.

I quickly fired up Twitter, anything for some clarity on the world. What was happening?

And then I saw Bob Latchford’s twitter output, and H-Bomb and a few others, who had typed pro-Rowett comments and in an instant the colour came back to my face, and serenity rushed over me – not every Blues fan had their minds wiped. Thank God.

Blues started the game quite well. There was a high tempo, high pressing and we hit the post. The players were playing for their Blues careers under the watchful eye of the new manager, the guy who once scored a back-flick against Norwich, Gianfranco Zola.

We took the lead. I didn’t celebrate. Not today, I was on protest.

It felt horrible.

It took every fibre of my being not to jump up and cheer. But I knew I couldn’t do it, that’s what Panossss wants. To just assassinate good people at the club and for us fans to just carry on as normal. I had to sit on my hands and remain rooted.

I never want to be forced into that situation again.

Blues were ticking along nicely, and we approached the 80th minute.

Most of the self-declared intellectual clique of Blues fans who celebrated Rowett’s unfair and unjust dismissal informed the rest of us that Rowett’s football was ‘boring‘ and that famous Zola would give us the ‘unknown‘ and the ‘entertaining‘.

Around the 80th minute, Blues were winning 1-0 and were looking like seeing the game out.

This was unacceptable.

And so the celebrity manager, Gianfranco Zola, decided to shake things up a bit and whip out the ‘unknown’ card to proceedings, by throwing an extra right back onto the field, an injured midfielder and a 5 foot 5, thirty-eight year old Robbo.

Brighton promptly responded with two quick-fire goals to claim all three points.

We’d lost, but the last ten minutes were anything but boring I guess you could say.

As i boarded the train on the way home, the TTA sinister snake-like salesman Panossss, finally remembered the passwords to his social media accounts and re-emerged onto the public arena to celebrate the defeat and stress that we all ‘stick together‘.

Try telling Rowett that.

Snake-like Panosss was quick to lean over the side of the VIP area and have instagram selfies with Blues housewives when the times were good. He was at every wine reception and players awards night going. But he was nowhere to be seen when the shit hit the fan and the fans wanted answers over the past few days.

That should tell you everything.

Thankfully we haven’t got a home game for a couple of weeks now. It should give me enough time to go to the factory and get my mind wiped over Christmas, and then too, I will find Lee Clarkian substitutions of the new era to be the height of entertainment.

Merry Christmas and have a happy new year to all the readers of Make Blues Great Again.

One day we will! One day, I’m sure.




The Implosion of Blues: Day 2

It’s day two of the implosion.

After Rowett and his backroom staff were unceremoniously sacked on the spot yesterday, the situation deteriorated further into the evening and into this morning.

Yesterday tea-time, members of the Blues first team took to Twitter to post crying faces, confused and upset smileys in reaction to the devastating news. Other than Maghoma’s skilfully non-committal ‘wow’, no actual words were posted – but none needed to be; everybody understood the players’ united statement of anger, disbelief and despair.

Messages of shock and disgust poured in from football fans around the UK.

Well-wishers consoled broken Blues fans on Twitter, while key journalists and former pros slammed into TTA for their recklessness and improper behaviour.

As Rowett was clearing his desk, the failed manager and football celebrity Gianfranco Zola was announced as the new Blues coach, in what was increasingly looking like a sinister and pre-planned coup that had been formulated weeks ago when Blues were riding high in the top four..

At first, many fans, myself included, thought this was a reaction to a couple of bad defeats against Newcastle and Barnsley as well as being a statement that the vacuous new owners wanted a celebrity name in charge.

However, the ‘in the know types’ started suggesting Rowett had been sacked partly for under-using the weak and sickly Diego Fabbrini in his first team, but mainly because Rowett had been approached by QPR and Fulham over the past 12 months and had the temerity to listen to what they were offering, before opting to stay with Blues.

Apparently the package Fulham offered would have trebled Rowett’s wages.

The in-the-know types said that as a result of QPR and Fulham’s interest, Rowett was subsequently offered increased terms. He was yet to rubber stamp the new deal, but Rowett’s desire to be paid an equal rate to those managers at mid-table Fulham and QPR had enraged TTA sufficiently for them to give him the chop before he had chance to put pen to paper.

A small band of London-based, self-declared intellectual Blues fans that have always disliked Rowett were quick to praise the unaccountable TTA’s haste in sacking the highly rated young manager who took Blues from the bottom of the league to the edge of the automatic places.

They said his meeting with QPR and Fulham and the way it was used to increase his wages justified Blues taking this deeply damaging decision.

I would like those who associate with this wretched clique to think of this question: do you think it is right and proper that Rowett is paid three times less than his mid-table, Fulham counterpart?

If you believe Rowett should be perpetually stuck on the rate we paid him when he came from the lower leagues, you simply have no idea about performance related pay, and how to retain your better members of staff.

If you agree that Rowett has earned the right to be paid the market rate, then how can you praise TTA for sacking him?

Your position is illogical.

The other argument typically trotted out by this debauched troupe is that by speaking to Fulham and QPR and ultimately rejecting their advances, Rowett was obviously ‘looking to leave’.

Let’s face facts. If Rowett was looking to leave, he’d have done so, and QPR would have hired him over Ian Holloway in an instant. No argument.

Again, your position makes no sense.

And so the football celebrity, Gianfranco Zola became manager. A man with a poorer win ratio than Lee Clark. A man who was chased out of Qatar for being inept. A man who was given the boot by Cagliari for winning just two games out of ten.

The small band of self-appointed intellectuals hailed the decision as ‘progress’.

Meanwhile the famous Gianfranco Zola informed members of the press at his unveiling to the media that he would seek to ring Rowett in the week and ask him what to do.

A club that was moving in the right direction and getting scalps against teams with greater budgets and resources had been decimated in just 24 hours.

There was a momentum about Blues, we were selling out away allocations for every fixture for the first time in my life; younger fans were coming down and coalescing around DavoBirmingham and his media output; supporting Rowett’s Blues was cool, we were going places; there was a bond between the players and the fans, the likes of David Davis, Shotton, Juke, Kieftenbeld would leave nothing on the pitch at the full time whistle and the fans appreciated them for it.

With the promise of funds in January, things were looking bright and Rowett had earnt a transfer window with a proper budget to show us what he can do.

But all this, alas, is now dead.

We are now back to the Lee Clark days.

The well-known Gianfranco Zola told the press that he was to ‘implement the wishes of TTA on the football pitch’.

Team selections would now be handled by Hong Kong.

At the time of writing this, the Blues Trust were planning to put together a tasteful tribute to Gary Rowett to thank him for all his achievements over the past 24 months. At the time of writing this, they were currently being bombarded with hate mail and abuse by the small band of London-based self-appointed intellectuals on Twitter.

In-fighting and implosion abound.

Those days of promise in the top four of the division seem a long, long, time ago.

The Implosion of Blues: Day 2