After Birmingham City’s start to the season we have to hope that We Are Going Up because there isn’t much below us in the Championship at the moment.
Blues sit 22nd in the table, and Lee Clark’s solitary point as manager came via an injury time Nicola Zigic goal at home to Charlton on the opening day. This is not a good return from a side that finished in the playoffs last season and acquited themselves well in the Europa League. However, we have not seen any signs of panicking by the board yet, and the fans that I speak to remain optimistic that Clark can deliver a season that’s more focused on clambering out of the division than dropping through it.
But this afternoon my attention has been piqued by happenings just a few junctions down the M6 (not least because we play Coventry in the League Cup on Tuesday night.) Coventry City’s Board have sacked their manager Andy Thorn (pictured) after three consecutive draws to open the season. What does it say about that Board’s judgement that they judged the manager to be the right person to take them back up after relegation and left him in post all summer, only to panic after 3 games when although they haven’t set the division on fire, they are still unbeaten?
Birmingham fans have our fair share of chancer owners and clueless muppeters in charge but we’ve never have a board do something this dopey aside from Brady and the Sullivans allowing Steve Bruce to pay £4.25 million plus Andy Johnson for Clinton Morrison, which given that Johnson was subsequently sold for £8.6 million valued Morrison at £12.85 million. This sacking is surely an omission of an aggregious failure of judgement on the Coventry board’s part to dump their manager so soon into the season.
We have three home games in the next four so hopefully, we’ll start to see Blues climb into the middle of the pack but even if we don’t I hope the board are more patient with Clark than our neighbours were with Thorn.
For a start he’s got a better pedigree, I like to think there’s something to be read into the Football League record 43 match unbeaten streak (excluding playoffs) he managed Huddersfield Town to. We’ve also shown battling qualities by scoring late goals in two of our three league games, the only concern is the age of the squad.
We have plenty of promising youngsters not least Jack Butland, Nathan Redmond and Ravel Morrison (on loan from West Ham) but there are a number of players for whom their twenties are but a fading memory. Obviously club captain Stephen Carr is one of these, but so too are Stephen Caldwell, Pablo Ibanez, Wade Elliott, Marlon King, Zigic and even two of the new signings, Hayden Mullins and Peter Lovenkrands are both 32 plus. They bring experience but it is not a massive squad and we do not know if can they handle the arduous Championship season.
Written by James Dixon, We Are Going Up’s Birmingham City blogger.
James tweets at @thejamesdixon