Smells Like Team Spirit

Posted on February 28, 2008 
Filed Under Blues News

I read that headline somewhere once. I remembered it since I knew that at some point, I’d get the opportunity to steal it. I’m too honest about these things and really, I should go ahead and pinch it and pretend like I’m some sort of tabloid hack who sits around thinking up bad puns to grab peoples’ attention. Ah well.

I came to do my catch up of everything Blues tonight and despite our relatively poor points haul in recent weeks, there seems to be a shining light of confidence – or something – coming from the playing staff at St Andrew’s. In fact, it’s been there since Big Eck first came in. At first, I thought that ‘that’ Seb Larsson goal against Tottenham could’ve been the worst thing to happen to him and the club since it massively raised expectation of what could be achieved under his leadership.

But he seems to have taken that on board and although points haven’t flowed as freely as we would’ve liked, people still remain strangely confident that the first game miracle goal from Larsson was just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe that comes from the ways the players and Big Eck himself have been with the media. From reading recent interviews, it seems as though there’s a lot more attention to detail these days and the togetherness and spirit of the squad shines through on the pitch as wel as in interview – you only have to look at the result against Arsenal and the way we responded to going 2-1 down to see that. There was a burning desire to compete and get something.

It’s a fairly slow news day and the handful of interviews floating around the local media confirm perfectly the point that I’m trying to illustrate. The year we went down, there was lots of reassurances of pulling clear of the drop and being ‘okay’ at the season’s end but somehow, it felt hollow reading the words from some of the players in that side. It’s like we were sitting back waiting for something to happen only, unlike the 94th minute goal against Arsenal last weekend and unlike the spectacular 30 yarder from Seb Larsson at White Hart Lane, it never quite came – bar Portsmouth at home, for all the good it did in the end. We never kicked on from there and we never proved that we truly wanted to be a Premiership side. With this current crop, you can’t believe that they’d ever fail to achieve an objective given to them.

And I don’t believe that it’s merely Big Eck’s influence by the way. Since McLeish came in, there seems to have been a very strong anti-Bruce feeling suddenly appear. I believe that the majority of Blues fans wanted Bruce gone and when he went, there was an air of relief and excitement. Still, in time, I also believed that people would be able to appreciate the work that Bruce had put in. But since he’s gone, people seem to have gone the other way. Everything that was bad was Bruce’s fault and everything that’s good seems to be the work of McLeish. I’m not a fan of that and whilst I believe that McLeish can do a good job here and take us clear of the relegation zone this season and beyond, I also recognize that Steve Bruce did a lot of good in his 6 or so years in charge of the club.

But that’s for another day. For now, I’m happy with the positive feeling coming from the club. Here’s the stories that I mentioned earlier in the article:

Like I say, slow news day today. I’ll be back tomorrow with a preview for the Spurs game.

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You have arrived at the archive site of the Birmingham City blog Joys & Sorrows. If you were looking for fresh, meaty stuff then this way, please.

This section of the site covers the blog portion of J&S from 26th April 2006 - when the site returned after a catastrophic hosting failure causing the loss of over 500 articles - to 28th April 2008 - when I decided to have a prolonged rest from the site.

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