Often Partisan

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”

So sang Michael Stipe of REM a long, long time ago. Of course, yesterday wasn’t the end of the world at all – it felt bad, but Blues have been relegated before. No doubt they will be again either. And like Mr Stipe sang, I’m fine with it. After about ten minutes of feeling very mopey, I came to the very quick realisation that relegation isn’t going to kill Birmingham City.

Like the followers of Harold Camping, rapture failed to come to Blues fans yesterday. For eight glorious minutes it looked like we’d snatched safety from the jaws of relegation after Craig Gardner scored a cracker of a goal – like he has all season – but as you all well know, firstly Stephen Hunt put one nail in the coffin with a second for Wolves to put them ahead on goals scored before Roman Pavlyuchenko – and didn’t you just know it would have to be him – put us out of our misery with a second blockbuster of a finish.

So, we fell through the trapdoor. Despite feeling all season that 38 would be fine to keep us up, it turned out the magical 40 mark was indeed the figure we needed. It’s all well and good for McLeish to blame injuries and the like, but the truth is all season we’ve not been quite good enough. Too often Blues have made critical defensive errors, and as these multiplied towards the end of the season we hurtled towards the Championship. We’ve not scored enough goals to cancel out the defensive errors; worse, we’ve not looked like scoring the goals. Expensively bought and loaned players have failed to give us the required guile to stay up. But it’s not all bad.

Our highest wage earners will either have their loan deals terminated (Hleb, Bentley), or be saleable assets (Foster, Zigic). A lot of the deadwood within the squad is coming to the end of their contracts, and with relegation we have good reason not to renew them. It’s up to McLeish (or whoever takes his place should Eck get the tin tack) to build a new team; a younger, leaner Birmingham City that can attack and play football as it’s meant to. Of the current squad, the only first teamers I’d be looking to ensure I kept on would be Ridgewell, Dann, Davies, Gardner, and Beausejour; to be supplemented with the likes of Mutch, Redmond and Asante. We won’t lose all the rest of the squad, but the ones who aren’t out of contract I’d say all have their price that they can go for.

People say that they’re worried about financial meltdown, but I’m not so sure. With the massive wage earners gone, and maybe a couple of decent transfer fees brought in, we should be okay for the short term at least. Blues won’t be laying out major fees I would think, but hopefully this will give the club the incentive to look at bringing in younger players with more potential and rebuilding the club from the ground up. As much as I’d like to see McLeish stay, I think it might be time that a new broom sweeps the whole place clean; Carson now has the reasoning to be able to do this – and hopefully a nice little clause in the contract where he can make changes for lower compo.

It’s going to be hard taking the crap from our brethren across the expressway. But remember this bluenoses. We’re still the ones going on a European tour. We’re still the ones with a trophy in our cabinet that we’ve won this century. A poster on smallheathalliance.com (IanT) likened being a Blues fan to riding on a massive rollercoaster, with the attendant emotions. At the end of it, the Blues fans would get off and have a beer together, and recount those highs and lows. Meanwhile, the claret and blue chaps from Aston would be going around and around on the teacups, convincing themselves that they were enjoying this immensely. He’s spot on, and I wouldn’t change the ride for anything.


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One Response to “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It”

  • Dan says:

    I like your spirit there :)

    I got crap today at work from a Arsenal fan and he quickly shut up when I told him that there is far more romance in staying true to your club in this situation then always complaining and moaning about not winning trophies, but having constant spells in Europe and all that.

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