Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Birmingham City 0 v Reading 1 - EFL Championship

Tuesday 31st January 2017
SkyBet EFL Championship
at St Andrews, Birmingham
Birmingham City (0) 0
Reading (0) 1
John Swift 77
Admission £15. Programme £3
Attendance16,672 (inc. 627 away fans)
Sometimes in football, the truth is far stranger than any kind of fiction that you made up could ever be.
Take Birmingham City's current season for instance!
Tonight, just three of Blues eighteen attempts on goal were on target, as they chalked up a tenth consecutive game without a win since Gionfranco Zola took over as the first team manger, following the shock sacking of the fan's favourite Gary Rowett, when his side were just three points off of the automatic promotion places.
Rowett had a new improved contract deal on the table, but stalled when it came to signing it... and was almost (but not quite) sending out a vibe to other clubs and suitors that he might be coming available anytime soon, so from a business perspective, it was a shrewd move for the club's new owners to have an alternative sorted out, just in case they were left in the lurch, manager-less and rudderless, midway through what was always going to be a transitional season, with the transfer window about to open.
For what it is worth, I don't think that Birmingham City would have been getting promoted this season, regardless of whether either Rowett or Zola was in charge, they weren't ready for the step up and under the previous manager... and still aren't. Yet!
Trillion Trophy Asia, probably expected Rowett to put pen to paper and demonstrate his loyalty to the club, given that their massive cash injection was affording Blues financial stability and security after years of having to cut their cloth accordingly and they were nonplussed that their backing wasn't being grasped with both hands and a little more swiftly and maybe doubts were raised and alarm bells began to sound.
In the world of high finance, harsh and ruthless decisions are made on a daily basis, based on protecting fiscal interests, sans any emotion, sentiment, kowtowing to tradition and hanging around waiting for dispensable employees to make their minds up. Tis the way of the world I'm afraid to say.
Who really knows though?
And I am sure that there are several sides to every story and numerous versions of events.
But who wants to dwell on boardroom politics?
Not me!
What's done is done. And though I have a massive amount of respect for Rowett and hold him in very high regard, football is an industry with a turnover rate of staff bigger than any other and to that end nobody is excused from the perpetual cycle of comings and goings.
Image result for birmingham city the66pow
Zola has been very busy during the transfer window and now the fifty year old former West Ham United, Italy U16, Watford, Cagliari and Al-Arabi boss, will now be judged solely on his own merits, after having to make do and mend the squad he inherited.
Understandably feelings have been running high and still are, as City's loyal fan base react to Rowett's dismissal and the dismal recent run of poor results and some of the invective that has been aimed between the various camps that have emerged (when in trutheverybody should be on the same side) has been shocking.
But it was noticeable tonight, the only chants about the former manager, that were aimed at Zola from the Reading fans section of the ground... and to that end, he probably shouldn't have responded to their taunts in his after match aftermath press conference.
I'll give it four minutes before the Fulham fans visiting St. Andrews on Saturday, start indulging in similar chants, now that they know it will upset the Birmingham manager.
Image result for birmingham city the66pow
John Swift pounced on a defensive error to claim the only goal of the game as the Royals picked up their third win in a row, but on the overall balance of play, had the visitors actually deserved to win tonight?
I'd say they didn't and Blues did more than enough to take something out of this game, even though they hadn't actually done enough to dominate things and impose themselves enough and actually claim all three points.
But the shoots of recovery were clear to see.
Well that's the way of the world and the jist of things covered, just about, as I see them.
On Saturday when I attend the Birmingham City v Fulham game, I will write about the match instead and endeavour to be slightly more upbeat, about the current climate in the EFL Championship.
FT: Birmingham City 0 v Reading 1
I'm away now to remove the splinters from my big arse... these things tend to happen when you blatantly sit on the fence as much as I have.
Once again, none of the pictures that I have used to break up my monotonous text were actually taken tonight, apart from the Programme and team sheet scans.
I'm getting lazy like that. But I'll try harder in future.
Tonight's tedious drive in the rain, encompassed a 192 mile round trip... so that's all I've got to say about things as Iburn the midnight oil to update this here blog type thing.
I am up for work at 5.30AM and I am so hideously ugly, that I desperately need to get some beauty sleep ASAP.