Date: 9th January 2017 at 8:53pm
Written by:

I leave myself open to ridicule by what I’m about to write. After all, if Blues suffer another loss against Nottingham Forest, many will regard my words as irrelevant nonsense.

Since the day Gianfranco Zola walked into Birmingham City, he’s been fighting fire. He’s been putting out the flames with the fans, seething at the sacking of Gary Rowett, and fanning the flames of the players, a hard working bunch of limited ability. He’s been on a hiding to nothing with nowhere to turn and no one to publicly back him up.

If football is about entertainment, then Rowett was redundant. If it’s about results, then Zola has had an abysmal start. Yet if it’s about progression, Zola is slowly guiding Blues into the light. It has, and will continue to, take time. As we knew it would. But the progression, in a football sense, is evident. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Zola can try, though.

People can point to results, they can point to Rowett’s controversial sacking (but no mention of him flashing his knickers to every possible suitor). The bottom line is this. I, like many others, go to St. Andrews to be entertained. While Rowett steered Blues away from relegation, something we will always be grateful for, the style of football, or rather the lack of it, made me want to poke my own eyes out and put them in the slow cooker.

In Zola’s five games in charge, Blues have enjoyed more possession than the opposition in three – in the previous 22 games under Rowett, two.

What Zola must embark upon now is to carry on building the foundations and not be tempted to turn his back on them because the results haven’t been going our way. Because the results will come, eventually. And the first win will do everyone the world of good. None more so than Franco himself.

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