Date: 11th March 2017 at 5:06pm
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Birmingham City avoided a third defeat in eight days after Lukas Jutkiewicz bundled home Che Adams’ cross in the 89th minute at the Cardiff City stadium this afternoon.

In truth, Blues dodged a bullet as they were second best for the majority of this encounter. The late equalsier will undoubtedly paper over the cracks and buy Gianfranco Zola more time.

Despite coming under intense scrutiny after Blues’ defeat against Wigan at St. Andrews on Tuesday night, Zola inexplicably kept his job and led the side into this game under mounting pressure.

As soon as Joe Ralls put Cardiff ahead from the penalty spot on 53 minutes after Jonathan Grounds had brought down Sean Morrison, there seemed to be no way back for Blues. Jutkiewicz has more than likely saved his managers job for the time being at least.

Zola still believes he has something to offer the club but this latest inept display is another step towards danger despite coming away with a share of the spoils. Only six points now separate Blues from the bottom three.

Blues toiled, huffed and puffed, but they look like a side who are massively uncomfortable in what they’re being asked to do. From the hapless defending in which Blues look vulnerable to concending a goal every time the opposition mount an attack, to the toothless attacking which has produced just 12 goals in 16 Championship games and the second worst goal difference in the league under Zola’s watch.

At the Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon, Blues were laboured, clueless and lost. Zola gave off a similar aura as he stood with his arms folded in his technical area. To put it simply, he’s got away with it today.

Kerim Frei, who must be wondering why he bothered signing for the club, gave Blues a bit of life when he came on for David Davis in the 75th minute. The Turkish international gave Cardiff defenders something to think about with his directness. The same can be said about Che Adams who ran his socks off when he was eventually hauled on. His assist was a just reward for his efforts.

While the players need to take some of the responsibility for the horrendous form, they also need guidance. Zola appeared to have no answers and no dynamic solution to get his team back into the game. He got lucky with this one.

What the players need now more than ever is a new leader. Zola has tried – he’s used five different formations, countless different personnel and has tried various approaches – and we will all send him away with our best wishes. However, he is not the right man to occupy the Wast Hills office.

A season that promised so much is now solely about survival – and a new manager should be handed the reigns before Newcastle rock up next weekend.

Don’t hold your breath though.

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13 Replies to “Late Jutkiewicz equaliser papers over gaping cracks”

  • Sounds like we were expected to win. I’m happy with a draw and its no different to any other point away from home. It was a defensive set up and looking for a 0-0 but Zola changed it after going a goal down and we got a point so that’s job done.

  • Brooklyn – i don’t think that’s the case. Even if it was, that isn’t a great amount for a manager.

  • Sounds to me that some wanted us to lose …after a lifetime of blues that will never happen with me , no matter who owns blues and who is manager of blues ..Hey I do want wins , but I do except the Italian won’t build Rome in a day….

  • Never thought I would have to do it this season but have looked at the fixtures of the main contenders for the last 3rd drop spot. It looks like 51 points will be enough. With Zola I predict few wins,if any, draws our best bets. Burton home and Rotherham way could produce 4pts with another 3 draws making 7 points. Could be enough. Without Zola,I really feel with the team ousting Robbo.Tesche and the awful MK,we could see a new shape capable of winning.e.g Adams and Jukey together with Donaldson waiting to come on. Maghoma and Frei fighting it out for a start etc. with Zola we are just awaiting another calamitous team selection for the a Newcastle game.

  • David Village – i didn’t want us to lose. That would never happen. I’m reacting to another abysmal performance. If we’d played well, I would be the first to praise them like I always do. Read my match day musings blog from this morning. I actually said that three points is vital.

  • Hopeless I know,but if Panos does take any notice of this site-i would beseech him to save our Club from League one with 9 games to go. Zola is not remotely capable of mounting a 7 point target which is pathetically small but then again to Zola it is a monster. If Newcastle game is his responsibility then expect play,Tesche and MK with an attacking line up locked away until the 82 minute. Panos take note.

  • Rob. It takes a bit of time for the penny to drop,but I honestly feel I have worked out what’s going on with TTA and Panos as regards Zola. Saturday imo,will be Zola’s last. There is then a two week break which will give the new Coach a bit of time to plan the forthcoming vital 8 games. Quiet as Panos has been, I would imagine a new man is already lined up. Ironically,Zola could end up winning that last game similar to Rowett winning against Ipswich only to be shown the door 24 hours later.

  • Added to previous comment-spoke to a few fans who witnessed Cardiff.They agreed with you that this game emphasised how poor,clueless,basically hopeless this team selection and performance was and in total contrast as to how and why Rowett was sacked.If this is what they hoped to achieve by bringing Zola in then they are certainly the losers financially and we the fans emotionally.

  • To be honest like Rowett i feel Zola could finish the job but do we have time and will a new manager have time to change things or will we end up like manager McLeish and just fade away ..The players need a win but for me shooting from outside the box gives a keepers brain that split second to know which way to dive , whilst close in the box a player can beat the keeper by blasting the ball in with less fear of missing the target …

  • A few of the teams below us play each other next week so at least one of them will be 3 points closer to us. I can’t see where our next win is coming from. Would changing the manager now make any difference? It’s disgraceful that Zola would get a big payoff if he is sacked. It’s the fans that need to be compensated for having to watch this dross. Football must be the only business where failure is rewarded. Little wonder he doesn’t want to walk as he’d get nothing.

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