Often Partisan

Wavering Faith

Birmingham City crashed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at St Andrew’s on Saturday. A first half opener from home debutant Che Adams was cancelled out by second half strikes from Joe Mason, Danny Batth and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

I can’t talk about the game. Not because I’m suffering some form of weird PTSD where I’ve blotted it from my memory, but because quite simply I didn’t watch it. I’m kinda glad I didn’t either – at £30 a pop for a ticket it would have been a bitter pill to swallow.

What I can talk about is statistics. I’ve always agreed with the “lies, damned lies and statistics” quote attributed to Mark Twain, but right now stats are all I have to go on. They’re pretty damning.

Two wins in 17 games in all competitions.

No home win in eight league games – in those games we’ve taken three points, scored nine goals and conceded 14 goals. Our last home win was March 3rd.

I can already hear people calling me fickle for daring to question their v-necked messiah after only four games this season. I’ve been called “the most pessimistic Blues fan online” – hell, someone even suggested I belonged to the mob across the expressway. If them’s not fighting words…

The thing is, this isn’t limited to this season. For a long stretch at the back end of last season Blues were poor. They were pedestrian, they were uninventive. Of course, Blues have rarely if ever played like Brazil in my lifetime, but it got more and more painful to watch them last season.

I’m not saying Gary Rowett should be sacked; far from it. What I am saying though is if we’d won two games in 17 in all competitions under Clark people would be livid. If we’d not won at home in eight league games in all comps under Clark people would be calling for his head.

Paul Caddis bombed from the team (admittedly, I think it’s possible he’s pulled a David Edgar), a reliance on effort over effervescence, a lone striker ploughing a lone furrow… it’s all grist to the mill but because Rowett isn’t from the East End of Newcastle, some people think he’s worthy of a free pass.

Being better than Lee Clark isn’t much of an achievement.

I might not know much about football but I do think things will have to change at St Andrew’s. I don’t know how Rowett will do it but he needs to find that magic formula of organisation that was so good when he first started.

It might be he needs more support from Panos to bring in the final piece of the jigsaw at the back; it might be he needs more from players who have rested on their laurels, not put the effort in and let him down; it might be he needs to move on from players who have have less to give – but he needs to do something.

I’ve done a few pre-season previews and I’ve said I think we’ll finish lower bottom half based on lowered expectations from the end of last season and the amount of money sloshing around the division. If we can’t start winning at home we might struggle to get even that high – and the last thing TTA will want is a relegation dogfight.

Concern is a valid opinion right now. I hope that my concerns are unfounded and that Rowett can once again convince me he’s the man to take us forward. Right now, my faith is wavering.

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