Date: 17th September 2017 at 11:10am
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The decision to relieve Harry Redknapp of his duties was erratic, the timing of it grotesque.

The soap opera at Birmingham City never ceases to amaze.

While yesterday’s defeat at the hands of Preston North End was disheartening – Blues’ sixth consecutive defeat, the worst sequence in Redknapp’s managerial career – the 70-year-old had an amassment of credit in the bank, especially where the majority of supporters are concerned.

To authenticate this fact, at approximately 3:35pm yesterday afternoon, Redknapp’s name echoed around St. Andrews. His popularity obvious.

Undoubtedly, football is a results based business and recent results have been poor. But to give your manager just three games after backing him with a significant amount of cash in the dying embers of the summer transfer window leaves many scratching their heads.

Yesterday’s encounter with Preston demonstrated the two differing sides of this team and after taking a one-goal lead into the interval, Blues pressed the self-destruct button and ended up comfortable losers.

Redknapp looked a forlorn figure in the home dugout. He seemed at a loss of what to do.

Yesterday’s game only told part of the story though. Rewind four days, Blues’ performance at Leeds United was as good as they have played this season. To come out on the losing side was a frustration. But the promise and hope to come out of that game far outweighed any adversity.

Whether you’re pro or anti Redknapp, let’s not pretend that we wouldn’t be playing in the third tier without him. Many point to the contribution of Steve Cotterill, Redknapp’s right-hand man for the three games at the end of the last campaign, as paramount to the club’s survival. Yet Redknapp picked the team, the system and the tactics.

Unsurprisingly, Cotterill is a front runner for the vacancy. However, as much as we fans appreciated his hand in guiding Blues to safety, his managerial record hardly arouses.

Fourteen players have arrived at the club since May with most of them singling Redknapp out as the reason for them opting for B9. Now these players, Redknapp’s players, will have to endure a new face, a new leader with new ideas and a new vision. That may sound like just the tonic the players need but let’s not kid ourselves here, managers are no longer given time at Birmingham City.

Where do we go from here? With Lee Carsley stepping in as caretaker manager, it’s obvious the owners have no replacement in the pipeline – as was the case when they callously replaced Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola less than a year ago.

Astonishingly, Zola was afforded more time than Redknapp with a board reluctant to dismiss him. Zola threw the towel in so we will never truly know how far he was from the chop.

Nevertheless, surely the club had seen enough from Redknapp to stick with him a little longer. But in the days of trigger happy ownership, time is a gift rarely given in football. And Redknapp won’t be the last Birmingham City manager to realise this.

 
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