Here is Dale’s latest article, this week about us achieving the magical 40 point mark!
Birmingham City have secured another season in the premier league! All seems a bit of an anti-climax though doesn’t it? No last day heroics, no depending on other clubs results and no pitch invasion to get at the owners of the club! Nevertheless, to have reached this points tally quickly and quietly, almost assassin like will be the much preferred method for most fans and I say this with a certain degree of certainty! I know it may seem a bit premature but my thoughts of reflection have begun on what has been nothing short of the most amazing season to date. Some may argue that such a remark is exaggerated and sensationalising a merely “successful” season but I urge to those who do, look at the facts. Birmingham City was hanging onto 16th place and looking over our shoulder at the gaping relegation zone ready to swallow us up! We lost four games on the bounce and won just one game in six. Fans began the “4-4-2” chant after a somewhat shambolic display at home to Bolton, patients were wearing thin towards Alex McLeish and all fans were geared up for the usual dog fight at the foot of the table!
But no such fight was needed and most defiantly was no managerial dismissal necessary! The team of “old boys” and “inexperienced championship players” has produced the leagues success story of the year. McLeish’s men have shown that organisation, spirit and a touch of Lee Bowyer is enough to surpass any expectations that a know-it-all pundit may place on such teams. A shared similarity of most players in this year’s squad is the need and determination to prove a point. If to nobody else but themselves. Joe Hart’s ability to emerge as a possible England keeper and challenge Shay Given as Man City’s number 1. Stephen Carr digging out his boots from under his bed after retirement and returning to have an outstanding season. Agent Ridgewell and his broken leg – enough said there! The two “Championship” centre halves that have been nothing short of colossal! Our two “Bad Lads” in the centre of the park. Their temperament? Age? Ability to play at this standard? I think all has been answered there by Bowyer and Ferguson.
Is it possible that the effects of the Italian match fixing scandal that propelled Canavaro and his pasta slurping team mates to the heights of World Cup glory in 2006 has been replicated right here in Brum? Controversy breeds Togetherness? Or is it simply that McLeish has assembled a squad of winners, troops who seek the adrenaline rush of the battlefield. One thing is for sure, nobody can deny the achievement that the gaffer at the helm of these over-achievers has brought this season. To take a team on a 15 game unbeaten run in any league in the world is an accomplishment to say the least. To do it with the Blues is a near miracle. Or is it? Are these signs to come, is this article outdated and has the tide changed somewhat down at St.Andrews? Has the fortune inside those Chinese cookies found its way to Small Heath and has that evasive F.A cup got out name written on it? Only time will tell but can I personally say congratulations to everybody connected with Birmingham City football club for a season that NOBODY anticipated.
Now let’s give the likes of Gardner and Michel some playing time, see how high up that league we can get and maybe, just maybe engrave our names on that F.A Cup. A Sight that even the most optimistic of fans never expect to witness. Congratulations and Keep Right On!