September 30, 2012 by Made In Brum
The void left by Chris Hughton at Birmingham City this summer was one that was always going to be difficult to fill. His attacking style of play which adhered him to the Blues faithful coupled with the romance of a European adventure, meant the new figurehead was always going to be difficult to warm to -particularly with the jobs allure being tainted by off the field issues.
Lee Clark took the hot seat and despite some scepticism, the general consensus was that out of the few candidates touted, he was the best man to carry on Hughton’s work.
So it borders on inexplicable that many are calling for his head after a mere eight league games.
It is surely only natural that when a new man comes into a managerial role, he brings with him a plethora of fresh ideas, a new way of thinking to his predecessor and it will undoubtedly take time for the squad to come round to his way of thinking. Especially after the successes the previous regimes work brought.
And yet the Blues start has left many worried about what the season ahead may hold but after this weekend’s win away at league leaders Brighton, following on from the embarrassing home defeat to Barnsley, perhaps they are finally beginning to show they have the stomach for the promotion fight.
Last week was a horrible day for any Blues fan but at the AMEX stadium, the players gave Lee Clark the reaction he was looking for. It was full of pride, passion, and a gutsy desire to put things right; denting the notion that the players don’t want to play for him in the process.
And what many seem to forget is that Chris Hughton also endured a pretty miserable start to his tenure at St Andrews. There were many times during the season where a performance at home to Derby and Nottingham Forest and away trips to Middlesbrough, Southampton, and Portsmouth where people were left scratching their heads.
I am not for one minute suggesting it wasn’t an incredible achievement to finish 4th with the amount of games our small squad played but what I am alluding to is that Lee Clark is not afforded the luxury of poor performances being masked by the excitement of European excursions.
It seems that Clark is in a similar mould to Hughton – a man of incredible dignity. A young, hungry and passionate manager who cares deeply about whichever football club is under his stewardship. Defeats appear to hurt him like it would hurt a fan because he wears his heart on his sleeve which is something that I admire. He is going to make mistakes, as even the most experienced of managers do, but I for one think that with the current crop of managers out there we have the right one.
Sacking him would be in keeping with the knee-jerk reactions that chairmen seem to make in the money motivated modern game which exists today.
With Cardiff on Tuesday and Huddersfield at St Andrews next Saturday, hopefully now Blues can kick on in the season. A season in which Blues fans need to unite and back their team and their new manager.
By David Hynds