Time for Clark to get tough


December 30, 2012 by Made In Brum

“The experienced players let the kids down today”- that was Lee Clark’s frank assessment after the Bolton defeat. He is right- but why has it taken him so long to realise this?

He went on to clarify that age isn’t a factor- he wouldn’t be scared to field eleven teenagers if needs must. Do it then Lee.

Senior players like Steven Caldwell, Chris Burke and Hayden Mullins (there are more of course) haven’t lived up to their billing. Burke especially, is showing why he has never played in the Premier League. Is he a one-season wonder? It certainly seems that way.

Young lads have been flying the flag for Blues of late- Callum Reilly, Mitch Hancox, Rob Hall and Will Packwood have been the face of the promise- albeit very little of it- that Blues fans can hold on to.

Peter Pannu confirmed what we all knew already- players will be sold in January. But why are we all getting irate? These are the players that have led us to the lofty heights of 20th in the Championship, half of them will be lucky to find a club that is willing to take them!

Pannu also said that Clark remains the right man for the job. I don’t see the need to sack him, not with the mess the board have left us in. No other manager would do a better job under the circumstances. However, for him to say that Clark wasn’t hired as the ‘cheap option’ is ludicrous. Does he think us Blues fans have jumped off the last banana boat? Peter, if you had all the money in the world, would you have hired Clark? The manager, in my opinion, deserves credit for even accepting the job, and trying at least, to do it with huge passion.

Now is not the time for shirking big decisions. Clark has to get tough before we are sucked well and truly into the relegation dogfight. As it stands, we’re seven points above the bottom three- but that could be dangerously less unless we beat high flying Cardiff City on New Year’s Day.

I was reading Pannu’s comments on the Birmingham Mail website earlier. Take a look for yourself. The ‘acting’ chairman states that we need a ‘good holding player and a striker’. But then shoots us all down by saying ‘on loan’. Seeing Birmingham City in this situation is not nice.

We need the players to take a look in the mirror- ask themselves if they want to play for this club, if the answer is no, then please close the door on your way out.

Blues fans deserve credit for sticking with the team, they haven’t turned on the players or Clark yet, except for a few boo’s after a bad result and one moron with a flag. But it is time for the players to respect us fans enough to run themselves into the ground. Prove you’re fit to wear the shirt!

By Rob Wildey


16 thoughts on “Time for Clark to get tough

  1. Boore says:

    Amen to that

  2. I completely agree. I’m very glad that one nutcase with the ‘Clark out’ banner at the Middlesbrough game was part of a small minority.

    The situation now I think is that we need to sell most of our more experienced players for all we can get, get this club out of debt and build from the academy. Selling the whole farm would be unwise if we can avoid it, because having some experience in the team will help the youngsters through- an entire team of kids may struggle but getting out of debt has to be the first priority.

  3. matt says:

    The only reason clark still has a job is that we can’t afford to sack him! He arrived stating all he needed to do was continue the good work done last season by chris hughton and from day one he tampered with virtually the whole team! He has also stated he keeps things from the press and supporters which also leads to the question of why is keith fahey back in ireland? Whats the big secret? We have a lack of experience in midfield get him off his arse he was happy enough to recall jake jervis from portsmouth! He now hides behind the kids because he can’t motivate the experienced pro’s!

    • tony says:

      fahey is back in ireland because he is known to like a drink or 3,turned up at training worse for wear and is rumoured to have had a spat with clark involving punches thrown so clarks bombed him out.

      • Made In Brum says:

        Tony, that’s the third different version of events I’ve heard- and they are all way off the mark.

      • tony says:

        it was just what i was told by someone that always goes up the training ground.I’m not saying it is true just gossip but when it comes to the blues we here more gossip than fact coming from the club.

      • matt says:

        what have you heard then? what do you know? Any player that gets suspended is immediately reported in the press look at di canio at swindon he can’t fart without it becoming news! So we need to know the length of the suspension if thats the case!

      • Made In Brum says:

        It isn’t a suspension. Let’s just say Fahey has a few personal problems

  4. Boore says:

    But Matt- surely the players have to stand up and take the flack? If you dont do your job properly, would your boss get sacked?

  5. tony says:

    i have never had a good word to say about clark since he has been at blues but after bolton i actually felt sorry for him.It was obvious he’d get more flak but that was the most inept i’ve seen some of our players this season and thats saying something.Cauldwell in any other job would be sacked by now for being useless at his job.You hope the senior players set an example for the kids but zigic,burke,cauldwell and mullins were so poor i’d fine them all and as for the sending off then zigic should be ashamed of himself and i for one hope he goes despite our lack of forwards.

  6. Boore says:

    Caldwell reminds me of my Nan and the speed she moves at…

  7. Matt- I think you’re wide of the mark on a number of issues:

    1. Clark only in the job because we can’t afford to sack him. Correct to some extent. But almost irrespectively of whether you like him as a manager, which I personally do, the answer is to support him. If we start a ‘Clark out’ campaign, that will seriously hinder the team’s motivation, we could get dragged into the relegation battle and the probability is that Pannu won’t listen to us. Plus, if we do sack him, as you say it would cost too much and there are hardly more lucrative alternatives out there who would want to manage us.

    2. He tampered with the whole team. Whenever a new manager comes into a club, it’s always going to take time for him to get to know his players, and his favoured starting 11. Rightfully so, people myself included hate McLeish for going to Villa, but he was a fairly successful manager for us. At the start of his reign everyone was saying that he didn’t know his best team. In the long-term, to achieve the target of having a manager in charge who does know his best team, is the answer to sack Clark now and start all over again the process of having a manager who doesn’t know? I would argue not.

    3. Keith Fahey. As fans, we’ve got to trust that Fahey left for Ireland for a very good reason. Would it have been better for Clark to disrespect Fahey and tell all of the press and all the fans why he left. If it’s for personal reasons which you would expect it to be, then we have no idea why and it would be wrong for us to speculate. Let’s just trust that Fahey wouldn’t somehow leave his professional career at Birmingham City for no reason at all. It’s a respect issue.

    4. Jake Jervis recall. Recalling Jervis has actually proved to be a sensible move which you can’t criticise him for. We only had one other fit striker in Zigic, none for the Cardiff game now he’s suspended, we didn’t have the money to sign or loan a new striker, and in his loan spells this season Jervis has scored 5 goals in 12 games at League one level. If he hadn’t recalled him, we wouldn’t currently have any strikers. Would you want that? That was good planning I think.

    5. He can’t motivate the experienced pro’s. Rubbish. He might not be motivating them as well as Hughton did, but let’s not forget Hughton he got that team punching well above it’s weight. Plus, we’ve had probably over twice as many injuries as we did last season, so playing the kids has largely been a forced measure. Furthermore, the number of times we’ve come from behind this season proves that the players are still motivated to play for him. A team that wants it’s manager to be sacked would have given up long before our team did.

    Matt, feel free to mouth off about the manager, but do it on trinity road.

    • matt says:

      Clark only in the job because we can’t afford to sack him. Correct to some extent! thanks!

      He can’t motivate the experienced pro’s. Rubbish. He might not be motivating them as well as Hughton did! thanks!

      Jake Jervis recall. Recalling Jervis has actually proved to be a sensible move which you can’t criticise him for. I didn’t!


      Clarke is the worst manager as st.andrews for over 20 years! In six months he’s taken us back to the relegation suffered under barry fry!

      Smell the coffee!

      oh! and as for the last comment coming from sutton should you be saying that?

      • I don’t think you’ve addressed all of my points. By saying that he’s only in the job because we can’t afford to sack him, it’s true that if we had more money and less uncertainty hanging around the club, we would have been able to attract a higher-calibre manager. In the circumstances, very few managers wanted the job because it was a poisoned chalice. Do you honestly think there are many managers out there, apart from Hughton which was a one-off, who could have done a better job?

        Again, you’ve not really addressed my full point. By saying he hasn’t motivated the players as well as Hughton did, I’m not granting you that he’s a terrible motivator and he’s completely lost the respect of the senior players.

        We’ve certainly played more kids than we’ve had to normally in the last 3 games, yes. But they’ve always been part of the squad over the course of the season.

        In your opinion, he’s the worst manager in 20 years. Bruce and McLeish had fairly healthy financial backings and better circumstances, and Clark has only had 6 months in charge. Surely you’re not blaming everything involved with our decline on Clark?? We’ve got a chairman who hasn’t spoken to the fans for about a year, we’ve been involved with possibly takeover bids and have had to rely on loans from the bank to get us by. Is that entirely Clark’s fault?

        Plus, I don’t understand what you mean ‘coming from Sutton’.

  8. Cliff says:

    Clark is our worse manager for a long time, his record is terrible. For me the players share the blame and should look at themselves.
    Burke – clearly not trying, making deliberate mistakes, I went to Bolton and was shocked by how obvious that was.
    Mullins – what can you say!
    Caldwell – again not trying.

    Clark out, some of the players if you don’t want to be here then get lost.

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