Tuesday, 17 April 2012
I'm in an unnamed burger bar at a service station near Peterborough, and I'm shaking with anger.
You go on a Blues forum post-match and you see the same thing on a weekly basis....Laughing legions of bleary eyed well-wishers chitter-chatting about nice days out they've had this season - totally plastering over the latest result with happy clappy nostalgia.
I've just driven on nothing but A road from Norfolk and I aint laughing, that's for sure.
'Don't matter that we d'aint win tonight, it's been a great season, Chelsea, Europe, great days, marvellous, KRO!'
An FA cup exit and a piss up in the Benelux countries suddenly eradicates the need to get promoted?
No No No.
For me? The season has been a disaster, for sure.
As we watch Reading get promoted, we scratch our heads wondering why a team that is so vastly inferior has so markedly outperformed us.
The Birmingham team is packed full of internationals and players with premiership experience - most good enough to still play at the top level.
Yet many Blues fans thought we'd finish mid table and are now trying to twist our top four status into being a 'remarkable achievement' - we must dismiss these people as being clinically insane.
A team with the players Blues have at their disposal must always compete for promotion, it is a fundamental bare minimum. Player for player we have no equal. Carlton Cole and Tomkins aside, even West Ham fall short in a quality comparison.
Today we drew again, this time at Ipswich after taking the lead. No team in the league has surrendered so many points from winning positions as Blues have. We took the lead at West Ham, and we dropped points. We took the lead at Leicester, and we dropped points. It's a familiar tale.
Let's be frank here...
Does Houghton know what he's doing?...
That's ultimately for you to decide.
At home to Bristol City the game was poised at 2-2, and the spaced-out Zidic walked around in a haze. The fans were mouthing:
...but Houghton stood in the breeze and stared at the clouds in blissful ignorance.
Tonight, wave after wave of Ipswich bombardment. The away fans lament:
...yet Zidic gets 85 minutes, and when he does go off it's for Rooney!
He's even started taking Townsend off and bringing Redmond on.
What's that all about?
The equivalent of shooing the Stone Roses off the stage in order to make room for the Stoned Daises - Bolton's tacky tribute act.
I'm not one for stats. People who live and die by stats are the 'geeks'. Strange people who said Gareth Bale was rubbish because Spurs didn't win when he played, or that Barry Ferguson was the best midfielder in the world because all 983 of his one yard sidewards passes were 'completed'.
But if we view the stats, as we should, we see that Blues haven't beaten a single team in the top ten this season away from home.
Houghton...MUST...start reacting to games quicker, or these 1-0 away leads will continue to turn into draws and defeats. In the play offs a couple of goals conceded can be the difference between going up and staying down.
Our promotion hinges on that away leg. But at this level we tend to lose narrowly to decent sides in their back yard.
That, is why, I want us to play the away leg second.
When I met José Mourinho at a Motd NEC function in 2005 he took me to one side and told me that in two-legged cup games you must 'always go out to attack in the first leg, and then stifle the second game.'
So let's play the opposition at St Andrews first, and build up a score, 2-0 or 3-0. Then we can afford to go away, play out our obligatory narrow away loss and still go through to Wembley.
I'll be able to finally forgive Houghton for a catastrophic stuttering league season. And the bleary-eyed well-wishers can have another day out on the piss.
Everyone wins. Huselklepp might even get a game.
Now I am talking crazy!