*Update – this was top story for the Blues on the Newsnow feed 1/12/09. 🙂
Colin has kindly given me permission to use his recent blog post in this article, thanks Colin. You can read the original here. I have selected certain parts of his blog and given my thoughts on it.
Strange how football can change, isn’t it? Thirteen months ago Blues were sunk 3-1 at home by Reading. The Royals had not long defeated Wolves 3-0 at Molineux and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Eck was ridiculed when he said Reading weren’t necessarily any better than Blues, just more clinical. Most observers had Reading as certs for the Championship title.
I think I have said that I live in Devon. Well I remember this game, my lad had just played football in Plymouth and we were on the way home and we were listening to it on the radio. It sounded grim! I can remember saying to my son that we were going to spend another season AT LEAST in the Championship! Reading looked unbeatable.
The situation was made worse, by me having a colleague who is a Reading fan! I was seriously questioning the commitment of the board, the players and definitely the manager!
Fast forward to May and Blues won the shoot-out with Reading in Berkshire to clinch promotion.
I DEFINITELY remember that day! I blogged what happened on that afternoon. I remember thinking as the game went on, what had happened to Reading? Were they really the same side that appeared to be rampaging through their games in the first half of the season?
That day we were well organised, calculating and clinical. You could see the foundations of the side we see now.
Carry on some more to last weekend and Reading finally won at home – at the 18th time of asking in the league, stretching to 301 days. Blues defeated Fulham to move, temporarily, into 12th place in the Premier League. Reading edged out of the relegation zone into 20th by their win over Blackpool.
I spoke to my colleague the other day. He is so frustrated at what has happened to Reading. Coppell was being talked about as a future Man Utd manager, but has now seemed to have disappeared. Reading now seem more like a club going backwards rather than forwards.
Blues however, seem to be improving all the time. Roger Johnson and Scott Dann are an absolute revelation. I can remember wondering what Alex was thinking when he signed these two players, but hands up – I know nothing, and they are proving to be absolutely AWESOME purchases. Couple that with the great season Bowyer and Ferguson are having, and things are looking good.
I have seen comments around the WEB of fans believing that Alex McLeish could well become our best manager since Jim Smith, and although we MUST NOT get complacent, isn’t it great to be summarising positive things. We must remain focused, and I have seen enough that I believe that Alex will keep the players feet on the ground – and help us to progress.