Thursday, 2 February 2012

17,000 Brummies

Those of you insane enough to have read all of the articles in 'A Voice in the Wind' thus far will have probably clicked by now that though I'm a football man, I quite like crowbarring in a tenuous link with ancient history, and as we prepare ourselves for the arrival of Southampton on satdee, this snippet will do just that.

The 300 Spartans - the movie was alright, bit homo-erotic but then again good use of lighting. In the real incident, it were a bit different, there were 300 Spartans, but also 400 Thebans and 700 Thespians - though what 700 actors are going to bring to the table is anyones' guess.

They held that pass against two million Persian mercenaries from the sea, against the favourites, against the odds, until they were betrayed and each man fought till his dying breath. Tellingly, the Athenians stayed away, didn't join in the fight. If there were ESPN in those days, they might have watched from the comfort of their homes.

The Spartans' sacrifice turned the war, it held the Persians back for just long enough to prepare the rest of Greece for battle. And as we're all here today with our alphabets, democracy and EU debt crisis, ultimately, we know the Greeks triumphed.

In less that 48 hours the Physio and his band of League One mercenaries from the sea enter our land. 

Our St Andrews, the fortress yet to be breached by any opposition force.

As the Saints have been in the top two all season - and as they're a bit like middle class, watered-down cockneys - figures in the media have been donning red and white striped shirts, thinking of Le Tissier and inappropriately touching themselves proclaiming Southampton to be premiership in-waiting. They predict a Southampton win on the weekend, they want it.

I say, you forget Birmingham at your peril you rats. Blues are the black shadow. You didn't notice it at the start of the season, but now it comes, and nothing can stop it. Every month higher parts of the league table fall under its cloak.

This will be a tough game. Don't get me wrong. There's a case to say this is the most important fixture in the club's modern history. Should we lose, automatic promotion looks a lot tougher and guaranteed promotion perhaps moves a little out of reach.

What would missing out on promotion do to a club whose finances are supposedly on the brink? Could it knacker us for the next 20 years? I know that if we don't go up this season we'll lose our best players. I don't want to turn into Coventry. The Sky Blues haven't finished in the top 6 of any division in 15 years, given their financial ills and their lack of prospects any decent player they procure is swiftly moved on. 

The fans who still go have become zombified, numb to the world. Coventry are now nowt more than a dead shell. Take a hammer to the Sky Blue crust and you'll find no centre.

But should we beat Southampton we go a mere two points behind them with a game in hand. Imagine Chris Hughton taking his philosophy to a Premiership Blues? Newcastle last season blew Villa away 5-0 in a display of wingers; pace; crossing; attacking football and desire - straight out of the Hughton handbook.

You'd think then, that given the importance of this game the missing 10k Blues fans would return to roar the lads on. But no, by all reports the crowd is likely to comprise the usual 17k hardy soles.

These Athenians aren't coming. Oh, don't worry, they'll be back should we get to the play off final. They'll be back should we get to the FA cup semi final. They'll be ringing up their brother's father's shoe's uncle for spares. Spineless dogs.

It's up to you 17,000 Brummies to make a stand on Saturday. 

Bite Southampton! Vocally hit them hard! Don't give those shits a moment's peace. Make them fear the ball!
When the ball trickles back to their keeper scream ear-shattering screams and force the snarling skate into mistakes. We've seen it done before, Richard Wright didn't like it.

Boo them, jeer them, make them cry. Make them tremble before the St Andrews floodlights.

Don't get on our own players' backs. Let our players relish having the ball, make them seek it. Don't ironically cheer Zigic when he heads the ball, roar him on.

The Physio is laughing from his bedsit near the sea. He says his penalty appeals will blot out our chants. Shut his gob up for him.

The Blues are a class act, and they're on fire. But you know the difference a hostile passionate atmosphere can make.

You 17,000 Brummies, you have the chance to send these cocksure skates back into the sea. Give it your all. And we'll once again dine on the top stage, but this time with a manager who knows what he's doing.

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