February 27, 2018 by Kane Styles.
Birmingham City slipped back into the relegation places on Saturday after falling to their fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Barnsley.
Blues looked a spineless, tepid and broken side, the best and only highlight of the grim and bitterly cold afternoon was David Stockdale’s penalty save.
It’s hard to pinpoint any specific positives, Harlee Dean showed signs of fight and desire; his bursting runs out of defence and through the middle were not met with any flourishes of quality and intent from the midfield. Both Jeremie Boga and Jacques Maghoma were sporadic figures during the game, they were isolated on the wings with Blues simply not providing enough ammunition in the middle of the park. Sam Gallagher was left to chase lost causes, not to mention that when he did win long balls there was no galloping runs either side of him to reward his hold-up play.
It was hard to watch, Bluenoses seem to be saying those words far too often recently.
So after five defeats on the bounce, scoring a single goal and conceding 14, it begs the question – how long has Steve Cotterill got left?
My calculated guess is not long. However, with the board being as reluctant as they were when it came to sacking Zola last year, in addition to the comments regarding Cotterill being the man to guide the club back to the top flight, the board will be petrified to accept that they’ve made another mistake through total inexperience.
Another thing that is highly concerning is that Cotterill seems toxically low on confidence, something which will influence the dressing rooms mood and ultimately affect the players’ performance. If your own manager can’t motivate you during a relegation battle towards the tail end of the season, who can? If the threat of Birmingham City Football Club dropping into the third tier for the first time since 1991 is unable to make your belly turn, nothing can.
The point being, with the current state of affairs, even if the managerial change is ineffective, then at least there was signs of urgency and effort.
Blues fans are notorious for showing consistent and devoted support, but when Cotterill finds himself requiring a police escort around St. Andrews, surely the bottom half of the hourglass is almost full.
If this is to happen, who is best suited to stop the ship from going under.
Rumours have been circulating on Twitter, with Alan Nixon stating that there are three managers in the hunt for the Blues hot seat. This has sparked whispers with the names Monk, Pearson, McClaren and Strachan doing the rounds.
Garry Monk is the man who instantly springs to mind, he has shown that he is a manager who is able to make the cut at this level. He resurrected Leeds United during his one campaign at Elland Road and should have made the playoffs if it wasn’t for a total meltdown at the final hurdle.
With that being said, he had slow starts at both Leeds and Middlesbrough and one thing that this Blues side are in need of is an immediate dose of confidence and belief. Many Blues fans feel that Monk is Blues’ best bet at this moment in time.
It is understood that the board are currently weighing up a managerial decision, and Monk is somebody that is being thought of in relation to any decision being made.
Blues travel to Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon, and could find themselves bottom of the Championship if results don’t go their way.
Follow the author; @KaneGStyles
Photo Credit: Birmingham_Live