There is some debate as to whether Mr Clark should be booed, upon his return to St Andrews, or given the ‘red carpet’ treatment. I don’t think the truth lies in either of those options.
The Joys and Sorrows Forum has a few ideas at present:
Aylesbury Blue: I’m really curious as to how Clark will be treated on his return. Hopefully by a thumping by his former club.
ITHunt9: I don’t see the need for people to boo him. I’d like to think our fans would have more class than to boo someone who passionately tried in the job, but ultimately failed. It’s not like he drained the club of money, never cared & walked away when things didn’t go his way. Yes, tactically he made mistakes & maybe it wasn’t meant to be for him, but at least he gave it a go when not many people would’ve looked at us twice. I don’t understand why some Blues fans & Facebook pages have an obsession with how Blackpool get on, he was our manager, we sacked him & he got a new job… It’s part of football. It’s a bit pathetic for people to constantly highlight his team’s results when they were already screwed anyway, nobody ever comments on how Steve Bruce & Chris Hughton’s sides do week in week out! I’m not saying he deserves rapturous applause, or any other applause but I think booing him would show a lack of class from Blues fans.
Azzagatecrasher: Gentle applause for his efforts pre match.
light hearted banter throughout or just ignore him.
certainly no need to boo him or aim any nasty or malicious chants his way.
He tried, and you could tell he genuinely cared while at us. He shouldn’t be booed just for being not very good.
I think these guys pretty much hit the nail on the proverbial. What do you think?
For my part, I thought it may be a useful excercise to look at the stats of both our most recent managers in terms of their respective Birmingham careers…
To start with Blackpool, they’re a weird team, under Clark, they managed to lose to second-bottom Wigan at the weekend, stranding them further at the bottom of the table, six points behind Wigan, where a win could have seen them behind on goal difference alone. They’re now also 15 points (and 21 goals!) away from safety, you’d almost have them pinned as a certainty for relegation, but here’s the weirdness – even with their barely-there team (a squad that had something like 8 senior pros in the team the week before the season kicked off) – they’ve managed to beat us at their place, beat Millwall and Brighton and had creditable draws against Forest (4-4!) and Blackburn (1-1), but capitulated 7-2 against Watford, after being 2-0 up. They’re like the proverbial “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, though you get the sense that the not killing is just prolonging their agony. With Lee Clark at the helm, you can’t rule out any result, can you?
Lee Clark’s first 22 matches – cup and league – LWWLLDDLLWWLWLLDDLWDWD – SEVEN WINS, SIX DRAWS, NINE LOSSES.
Gary Rowett’s first 22 matches – cup and league – DWDWWLWWLWWWDLDDDLDLLW – NINE WINS, SEVEN DRAWS, SIX LOSSES.
Clark’s run included two less wins and three more losses. The jury doesn’t seem so much as out, as back in, making their guilty verdict. Clark arguably had a better squad at his disposal, too, having Burn and Bartley, Zigic pre-retirement, Chris Burke and Tom (vice-captain for a day) Adeyemi in his squad. Certainly puts our current league position of 14th (after Tuesday’s fixtures) into a rose-tinted perspective eh?
Interestingly, Clark’s Blues played out one win and one draw against Blackpool, so it’s one area Clark will remain ahead of Rowett, win, lose or draw. Four points to a maximum of three available to Rowett! The other area he’s undoubtedly earned our respect is we won 9 away matches, last season. We’ve won only four this season, so we’d need to win every remaining away match, to eclipse Clark’s away achievements from last season. I hope we applaud him upon his return, if only for that reason.
Keep Right On, and Welcome Back Lee Clark!