After the Preston defeat, which wasn’t unexpected, I think we as fervent Birmingham City fans now question whether we buy into this season’s squad of players.
Yes, it is a new approach to work on and systems do change at clubs but I just feel, we the watchers, are not connected as we should be. Bluenoses are no mugs when it comes to the team we follow on a daily basis and much of what we have seen this season does not really wash with us.
We have thirteen points some may argue and that’s not bad, but in my opinion, they have been flukey. Against Preston, like the other games, we have offered little pace, little width and very little craft from the midfield. Harsh as it is, we simply do not inspire.
Jude Bellingham appears to be the solitary ray of hope and we yearn that this hope spreads throughout the team.
Evidence so far suggests we haven’t the craft from within. Pep Clotet is doing his best and trying to please too many people. This is damaging as we will never see him letting off steam when he should do, this never more in evidence than on Saturday. We were poor and he should say so. Progress being made is nonsense and we as supporters can see it. Midfield and it’s many formations are the problem, with a mix of uninspiring players trying to make a fist of it in this unrelenting league. Not their fault I am quick to defend – they simply are not good enough.
The next three games will determine our role for the season in my view, with Derby and Wigan away followed by Middlesbrough on Sky. Healthy haul then mid table a decent bet and the quest for survival, poor results will point to possibly a change of personnel.
Diehards will maintain we are ok and should move onwards and upwards, but seasoned watchers of our games will tell you this team is not right. Keep the core of last season’s players in the team with Gary Gardner back in, put Maghoma wide and keep Bellingham on the front foot. Villalba, Crowley and Marabti very much bench back ups, along with Gimenez. Seddon should be the one knocking on the door with his forays up the wing.
The Preston defeat was avoidable with good management know how and tactical awareness. Derby poses the same challenge to Clotet and co. but will they, or are they, up for it. Certainly the fans are and they will be there as usual. The question is whether we feel a connection with this current eleven that the club has brought in.