Often Partisan

Long Live the Blue Revolution

Ten days after the shock resignation of Alex McLeish, Birmingham City have appointed 52 year old Chris Hughton to the managerial hotseat at St Andrews. It’s an appointment that was widely expected in the 36 hours prior to the announcement, and one that Often Partisan endorsed a few days ago. As I write this, there is a veritable flood of articles about this appointment, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to add much to what has already been printed. The only thing I can do is put my personal perspective on how I see things for you, the reader to rip apart and digest.

As I previously said, I decided a few days ago that Hughton was the candidate I wanted for the job. There’d been some outstanding arguments put forwards by fellow bluenoses for quite a few managers, and at first I found it difficult to decide who I wanted. I have to confess I was quite pleased with the three names that were declared to be in the running for the job -Roberto Di Matteo, Gianfranco Zola along with Chris Hughton. I felt that any of those three would be a reasonable appointment, and as such I doubted we’d be in the position that our brethren from across the expressway found themselves in when they decided on McLeish after going through five or six other candidates.

As much as the idea of a bit of Italian style and panache around St Andrews appealed, I had a fair idea it would have to come down to Hughton. I had a chat on twitter with the Birmingham Mail’s excellent WBA correspondent Chris Lepkowski about RDM’s time at the Baggies, and the answers I got pointed to a man with talent, but not one that would fit in with the conditions and the ethos at Blues. I read one of the main West Ham messageboards, KUMB (Knees Up Mother Brown) and whilst many of them were more complimentary of Zola than they were of Grant, I got the impression many saw Zola as a man out of his depth tactically as a manager.

As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as a team on loan to the Championship from the top flight, it’s not as simple as that; we’re a team in transition, with a raft of personnel changes and a seemingly precarious financial situation. The fact is we need a bloke who’s a grafter, who players will look up to and who knows how to deal with the pressures of a club which the media think are on the verge of implosion.

I’ve also had a bit of an epiphany about the departure of McLeish. If Alex had stayed, the pressure would have been incredible. After every single dodgy result; every perceived slip in the after match interviews; every single unfounded rumour about the club going under there would have been a reporter chipping away, writing something that put more pressure on the man. We’d have been cast as a club in crisis, and unless we won every single game convincingly by three goals there would be doubt on McLeish’s continued position. With Eck gone, that doubt is removed. With the swift appointment of a respected coach and manager like Chris Hughton, the board are shown to be assertive and shrewd. Reporters are going to have to work much harder to cast the shadow of fear, uncertainty and doubt on the club. The next few weeks are going to be all about new players, about change and about the club looking forwards; in short, the boost the fans needed after the pain of relegation.

Welcome to Birmingham Mr Hughton. We might look a bit battered and bruised at the moment, but this club is made of stern stuff and it’s fans are proud. Give us something to cheer and sing about, and we’ll give you our support and our loyalty. In the spirit of our new manager’s previous writing career, I’m using this as my rallying call for the future: Long Live the Blue Revolution!

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


5 Responses to “Long Live the Blue Revolution”

  • JohnR says:

    i like this ‘Blue revolution’ idea it’s got good ring to it and can be used as a rallying cry to bring back on board all those disillusioned Bluenoses.
    The first test for Hughton is to see how many of our big names he can persuade to stay and get Yeung to fund their wages. If they all go then no matter how good Hughton is then we will struggle. I just hope Pannu and Yeung can see the bigger picture.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Spot on summary. Like the Blue Revolution tag. We now have a manager that’s fresh and aggressive, replacing one that had become jaded and tired. If McJudas had stayed, and Chris Hughton had gone to the Vile, how would we be feeling now?

  • BlueSteve says:

    Its inevitable that we lose some players. Lets lose the right ones! Jerome , Johnson and Zigic have all had interest in them and we could definitely live without them ! My only worry is some of the remaining sell-able assets like Dann, Gardner and Foster will just demand a move and we will be backed into a corner as we do not want to keep unhappy players. Who does everyone think should stay or go given that some will have to leave?

  • Bluenose John says:

    Suspect that if fans of the Vile had been offered when their managers job became vacant either Chris Hughton or A**x M******h it would have been more one sided than a Zimbabwean general election. They would probably exchange even now if they had the chance.

    Hughton showed in his brief spell a Newcastle what he could do. He made sure they won the Championship and did not ease up at any stage. Contrast that to our promotion season under A**x M******h where despite having a strong squad every opponent seemed to be treated like it was Man utd away.

    Hughton also got rid of those who did not want to play at Newcastle. We should cash in on any similar personalities asap.

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