Date: 26th February 2018 at 3:35pm
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‘I’ve been hit on the head enough recently’ was Steve Cotterill’s response to the scathing criticism thrown his way.

Understandably, the majority of Blues fans have lost patience with the 53 year-old. His negative tactics, baffling interviews and morale sapping finger pointing have worn very thin as, evidently, has his role.

His position has become untenable.

And while the search may be on for the club’s fifth manager in 15 months, you’d be a fool to believe that the man occupying the dugout is the only problem.

The tenure of this current hierarchy has been littered with errors and shoddy decision making. With a new boss at the helm, the club will not suddenly be run to perfection.

The playing squad was in desperate need of strengthening in January so Cotterill has every right to feel aggrieved about that. He could be in and out of his job without having the luxury of signing a single player.

Financial Fair Play regulations scuppered any plans the club had to improve their hand. I’m not one to believe any old tittle tattle but my suspicion is that the owners weren’t aware that FFP existed – or at the very least didn’t realise how close they were to the edge of the plank.

During Cotterill’s unveiling in October, club director Xuandong Ren spoke of the intention to back the new gaffer with funds. That didn’t pan out.

Staunch Cotterill critics will point to his treatment of Jota, a player decorated in quality at this level. He has been an peripheral figure, seemingly having the belief and confidence drained out of him.

Negative tactics have been a stick to beat Cotterill with and on that front, it is increasingly difficult to fight his corner.

The earlier part of his reign saw players being shoehorned into unfamiliar positions – adopting Sam Gallagher in a wide berth still remains a subject of ridicule.

Recently, it appeared that the corner had been turned after four wins in six presented Blues with a five point gap between themselves and the bottom three.

In hindsight, at least three of the wins were circumstantial. Sheffield Wednesday gifted three goals and were reduced to nine men while Sunderland and Reading were powder puff opposition.

After a derby day defeat at Aston Villa earlier this month, the players should have been seething, determined to bounce back. Cotterill should have been flying the flag for his troops – ‘we will be back’. Instead, defeats to Millwall and Brentford (a 5-0 drubbing) were followed by excuses of a post Villa hangover as the boss pointed to the inexperience of young players ‘finding the game too big’ – despite only fielding two players under the age of 25.

The final straw for many came with his team selection – and excuses for another abject display – for Saturday’s six pointer against Barnsley at St. Andrews. On paper, the team appeared to be one with attacking intent but in reality was anything but.

A striker out wide, a winger in the middle and, once again , a lone striker feeding off scraps. An inevitable 2-0 defeat. What was his reasoning? ‘The players are scared to death to play at home’. Ah, it’s the fans fault, then.

Cotterill is very much a man without a plan B. At Villa Park, the game was there for the taking with but for a tad more adventure. The changes he eventually made were too late in the day and with the game already out of reach. However, that is just one game. You could list several others where the lack of ambition from the dugout has been detrimental to Blues’ chances.

And there lies Cotterill’s limitations as a Championship level manager. Not proactive. And only reactive once the ladder has been pulled up.

Whoever the new man is, assuming the club get a deal over the line, will be entering a difficult situation. Inheriting a squad devoid of confidence and lacking quality with no means to improve it until at least May, by which point the club could have dropped into the third tier.

Follow me on Twitter @robw986.

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6 Replies to “The fans have had enough of the negativity and excuses”

  • Well said ROB …..but a new manager could prove to make the difference and also that the owners was thinking of spending more transfer money and now spend it on paying cottie off .

  • “And there lies Cotterill’s limitations as a Championship level manager. Not proactive. And only reactive once the ladder has been pulled up.”…….Says it all.

  • This’for me is a total surprise.can only think it is a safety measure aimed at the security for Cotterill. Next home game against Middlesbrough perhaps raises severe questions for his safety and therefore disciplinary action against the club.

  • I understand what Cottie s reasons was for what he has done, well i think i do , to get the team winning he first worked the players very hard to get them very fit , which is probably why we had so many players with muscle strains ,and he possibly played Gallagher on the wing to get him to butch up a bit in the box , which probably lost us a few games , and possibly for the same reason he has kept Jota on the bench for the same reason , which has possibly lost us a few games , he did get us winning though , but with two necessary midfield players out of the team he has lost us some pace by playing Ndoye with Gardner which has left us a week channel down the middle which has showed up in Ndoyes play which hasn’t done blues a favour ..and leaving Adams on the bench whilst we have been short of goals up front ain’t done us any good ….perhaos Cottie has learnt by all this and will be a better manager , but can we afford to keep him here now with so much adverse feelings , it’s a hard choice , but hey we need a boost in confidence ….COME ON

  • Good points David.One thing that should not go unnoticed is that of the non contributor in the form of our own quiet church mouse-Lee Carsley.When is he going to start geeing up the team when on the pitch. He is full of ?not ready yet? management etc which is a cop out in my book.Cotterill maybe poor but Carsley Support is left very much wanting.

  • Kusczak,Caddis Morrison Shotton Grounds,Davis Gleeson Keifenbeld,Maghoma Donaldson Cotterill. 25m.later Stockdale,Colin Dean Roberts Jenkinson,Ndoye Gardner Boga,Jota Gallagher Adams. All signings and loans courtesy of Messrs Redknapp and Vetere. If you add Zola and Nsue,Keita and Frei it is easy to see where our £58 m.debt has come from. New owners would never take this on or attempt to,so the only question that has to be asked is which way forward for the club.Only response I get is the importance of securing the £10+ million fron staying in the Championship.Failing that it will be a case of staving off a near bankruptcy with the dreaded consequences that brings. This is where I feel the owners may feel a Last,final attempt is to be made for our league survival- hence new manager search.One name I heard yesterday was the possible approach for. out of work Nigel Clough.

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