Editorial: The Great Balance

The last couple of weeks have seen some ups and downs as a Blues fan. The lack of business done by Blues in the transfer window was a cause of outrage for many on social media, while on the other hand Lee Camp’s recent penalty save heroics have been the source for many memes and positive vibes. Is football really this hyperbolic?

St Andrew's taken 26 December 2018

It’s a rollercoaster of a ride following Blues posts on social media.

The mood after the end of the transfer window was pretty poisonous, with many fans bemoaning the lack of spending as another reason to bash the club and CEO Ren Xuandong in particular.

That translated into a fairly flat atmosphere for the Forest game – and I got the feeling had Lee Camp not saved Lewis Grabban’s penalty then it really would have got toxic inside the ground.

However, Camp did save the penalty and the whole game turned on its head with Scott Hogan scoring on his debut from the resultant attack.

That penalty save and two more in the FA Cup replay with Coventry ensured not only did Blues extend their unbeaten run but that there was also slew of positivity and memes on social media with even the club joining in.

I have to admit that the schizoid and hyperbolic nature of social media is somewhat annoying.

It feels like that there are some people who are only happy when things are going to shit so they can moan about it, and that there are some people who can’t handle any criticism of a club and insist that everyone who isn’t a cheerleader online is not a proper fan.

I know that there are many that will have me in the doom monger camp because I’ve been very critical of the club and of the board of late, but I have to be honest I don’t see myself that way.

There is a lot to be positive about the club right now, both on and off the pitch.

On the pitch we’ve seen the emergence not only of Jude Bellingham but other players coming through the Academy which offers a glimpse of a bright future.

The recruitment in the summer has shown us that Blues can bring in young talent to develop and while things haven’t always gone to plan I think that players like Dan Crowley and Ivan Sunjic have shown that maybe the club have learned from past mistakes.

While there has been some upheaval off the pitch it’s also allowed for bright young backroom staff to make their mark and there is some real potential there for people to grow into roles and provide a bedrock for the future.

However, as much as I want to be a cheerleader for those positive things I also believe that it’s important that we recognise that there are also things that need improvement.

Part of wanting a better club is accepting that things aren’t perfect and that while some things are good, others could be better.

I know all too well how hard it is to accept criticism even when it is constructive, but I’m also aware that when I’ve taken on board feedback it’s improved who I am and what I do.

One of the things I don’t like about Blues right now is that the club seems very reticent to accept any form of criticism.

I can’t disclose what was said in the so-called “secret meeting” I attended at the club but people might be surprised at just how often I agreed with what Ren was saying – even backing up the club’s assertion to other fans.

However, whenever I raised a question that was maybe a criticism, I was shut down – it was as if there was only so far Ren wanted to go in a dialogue.

From speaking to other people I get the impression that supporters forums are often similar – a chance to air complaints but without much ever seemingly done about them.

This need to be continually positive from the club effects how they are seen and I think is part of what polarises fans online.

Until we can strike some sort of happy medium between bed-wetting and happy-clapping there is going to be continual arguments between fans on social media – and that isn’t good for anyone.