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.