Like many football fans I am always disappointed when my team loses but usually get over it quite quickly and move onto the next game. Losing rarely makes me angry unless I feel the supporters have been short changed by the players in terms of desire, effort and commitment. With all respect to Hull they are not a great team but on Saturday as former skipper Kevan Broadhurst said “they didn’t have to work hard for their goals”
Any team can lose any game so losing at Hull was not really the big issue for me. What makes me angry is the manner of the defeat. I did not see any desire or passion or inner frustration and anger from the players. Hardly a tackle of note and not one yellow card and that is not mean feat in this era where they are dished out by referees for most tough challenges.
I don’t mean hard work, or flicks and tricks step-overs or drag-backs but real honest desire when you make a ball yours in a situation where it is 60/40 in favour of your opponent. It’s an over my dead body attitude. Or being so angry and embarrassed that you might take a yellow card for a more than enthusiastic tackle borne from that inner frustration and anger.
Without that desire, passion and enthusiasm Blues would never have won the Carling Cup or even got promoted to the Premier League.
I remember seeing Blues come from 3-1 down to West Ham in the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final to win. I saw them all square going into the second leg of the playoff semi-final at Millwall and get through. Seeing Olivier Tebily tackling like a man possessed without his boot on-that is desire.
Of course you have to have ability but without desire it’s a waste of time. Desire is why we see teams with better players losing to so called lesser teams- because desire should never be underestimated.
I really hope it was a one off, a bad day at the office, and that they will bounce back in style against Cardiff.
I am also a huge admirer of Lee Carsley as a coach but I certainly did not agree with him taking all the blame for the performance/defeat at Hull. I get that he wants to protect his players and not risk losing the dressing room but I hope he said different things to the players than he did to us in the media.
I wish Steve Cotterill the best of luck and I was impressed with what he said at his unveiling media conference. His first thing is to play a way that will suit and get the best out of the players he has. He is one of the few managers that understand that motivation is a mainly a personal thing-not a group one. He will find out what gets each player at it and create the environment whereby they are motivated to achieve.
What I also liked was that he talked about improving the players by coaching and that is refreshing in this crazy football world where the answer to all ills is to spend. Hard Work will be one of the pillars on which he will strive for success. That reminds me of a famous quote “The only time you find success before work is in the dictionary”.
However Chief Executive Xuandong Ren said that the owners would be ready to help financially in the January window if the manager needed it suggesting there would not be massive spending.
It is quite apparent that Trillion Trophy Asia have an overwhelming desire to get into the Premier League and I am sure reading between the lines and after, listening to Dong on Monday, that if the team have put themselves in a challenging position then they would be prepared to help the manager get the team over the line by providing some money in the January window. This would then give SC a real chance in the final three months of the season.
What shone through while interviewing Steve Cotterill is that he is undoubtedly extremely proud to be the club’s manager? I think he understands the culture of Birmingham City- in other words he gets it!
However like all managers he is not a magician and will only be as good as the players he has in his squad and the results he achieves. In just under a year the club have gone from Stability to foreign-to charismatic-to stability in terms of the four managers employed and that is too many and not healthy when it comes to achieving promotion or any sort of success.
There is no short term instant fix to success so the owners must allow SC time to assess the squad, to improve fitness, to implement his ideas, to improve players individually and to formulate and instil a winning mentality. Some of the players have had different coaching and methods from various managers, they need stability as much as the supporters and directors only time will give them and the manager the platform needed. Practice does not only make perfect it makes permanent.