Editorial: Learning from Mistakes

Defeat to Wigan Athletic left Birmingham City in 17th place, nervously looking over their shoulder at the positions below them. Judging by social media, fans who were up in arms are now rendered speechless by the calamity that has befallen the club. Once more, the club looks like a basket case.

Gianfranco Zola

I’m going to come right out and admit that I was torn about writing anything at all right now. Firstly because I meant to do something on the accounts and I’ve not found time – or to be more honest have lost interest.

Secondly – and more importantly – because I hate it when things are bad and I never like writing things like this. I had to be persuaded by three separate people to consider drafting something.

I said it was a ballsy decision to fire Gary Rowett – it appears to have massively backfired. The appointment of Zola and the push for “more attractive football” has not worked.┬áThe time to cut our losses and move on has probably come upon us.

I think Zola is toast. Prior to the Wigan game there was a rumour going around that he had to get four points from two games; with zero from one it’s not going to happen and I suspect it’s now a toss up between Zola falling on his sword and getting fired. His position seems to be absolutely untenable.

Of course, there is that Chinese thing about face – how can Mr Suen and TTA admit that they made an error? How can they “save face”.

This is where the other shoe drops – I think Panos Pavlakis is toast too. The only way I can see TTA saving face is blaming Panos for hiring Zola – and from what I know Zola was his choice – and firing him too. From what I hear Panos has some sort of meeting lined up with TTA very soon and if I was him, I’d be sorting out my CV and references.

However, assuming they bin off Zola and Panos (and maybe even Ewan Chester), then what?

For me, the big thing TTA need to realise is football is not like any other business. Sure, Rowett going for other jobs and rejecting a contract was offensive to them – but this is football. This is what happens. I think if someone had been able to say objectively to Mr Suen to hold back a little bit with the disgruntlement, and maybe said to Rowett that he should curtail his ambition a little bit until the end of the season… would we be in this mess? It’s impossible to say but I think that Blues have to learn from this mistake.

If Panos does go, then his replacement HAS to be someone with football experience. Someone – say, like Michael Dunford of days gone by – but given the full responsibility and title of Chief Executive. Someone who doesn’t just take the bouquets when things go nicely, who tweets pithy tweets when Blues win or dodges paparazzi outside the city nightclubs, but someone who fronts up when things go Pete Tong (as they invariably do).

It needs to be someone who can come into the club and raise the morale – which is on the floor on and off the pitch. It’s not going to be an easy job.

Likewise, if/when Zola goes, his replacement needs to be someone who can just grind out some results until the summer. Someone who can command the respect of the dressing room instantly and organise a team a little bit.

There is another rumour going around (which I have no idea of the veracity of) that Rowett has been sounded out about coming back. I’m not sure how I feel about that – and I’m not sure it would work. I suspect Panos and Ewan Chester would have to be binned for him to consider it – but would there be the trust between TTA and Rowett after last time? I can’t see it.

As someone remarked to me yesterday, when TTA took over all we hoped for was a bit of stability after the craziness. Some investment, some improvement and a road to happier days. That’s just not Blues though is it?

I really wanted Zola to succeed. I was excited by the new players brought in and by the intention to make games easier on the eye. It hasn’t happened – and while I’m sure a few will be “I told you so” about it no Blues fan should be happy with this current predicament.

Let’s hope things improve – with or without Zola.

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