Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Problem with this Norwich Malarky

Hughton hasn't gone anywhere yet.  It's best to delay the mass outpouring of anger and bewilderment until you see the gruesome news sliding across the Sky Sports News ticker.

But tonight there is a frenzy of online hysteria relating to speculation that our Chris might have abandoned ship - and it's mainly come about due to the riddle-like tweets of local journalists - who usually get these things right.

The other caveat is that by screaming obscenities and turning on Hughton you might, indirectly, force him into exiting the club. Like when those crazed husbands push their lovers into affairs because of 'trust issues'. Don't whip up a hateful campaign before the guy's even come to a decision.

But let's ignore all of the above and work on the basis Hughton is going to go to Norwich...

Why? Why would you go to Norwich?

Norwich are a small town club in the middle of nowhere, owned by a relatively poor TV chef. There is a definite ceiling to their ambitions. What could they realistically achieve? Mid-table in the Premiership? A lengthy league cup run? 

That's about it.

Compare and contrast with Birmingham. A team that plays in the nation's 2nd biggest city. A city with 2 million people in and around it, a huge customer market; fantastic infrastructure; limitless facilities and business opportunities; unrivalled transport links and on the verge of high speed rail to London boosting the local economy  - Norwich doesn't even have a motorway.

As a result of this beneficial location, Birmingham will always be attractive for serious investors around the globe. Like pre-Sheikh Manchester City, Blues are one billionaire owner away from posing some serious questions in football.

Norwich as a base just doesn't have that pull...

It's no insult, it's just true. Big city clubs are more attractive for wealthy owners.

Ok then, maybe Hughton would forgo potential because Norwich are in a better position at the moment.

Are they?

They're a newly promoted club who survived in their first season but their best player has just handed in a transfer request; they're about to embark on the dreaded 'second season' and they lack the financial clout to make certain another survival. They'll be amongst the bookies' favourites for relegation next year.

Let's be frank. They aren't Manchester United. It's not an obvious career progression.

And Blues? Though we momentarily can't buy players, there's a strong argument that we could get promoted with the squad we currently have anyway [given we came so close last season despite playing 5 times a week].

Blues could quite feasibly leapfrog Norwich in 12 months.

Maybe then Norwich are offering Hughton more money.

If that's the case then Hughton will have gone down in most people's eyes.  Fans expect Hughton to be loyal because he comes across as a moral man with principles. He used to write for the Socialist Worker apparently, and has time and time again talked about Birmingham being a working class club with proper supporters.

He's hardly a Simon Jordan-esque callous yuppie, moving from club to club cackling and rubbing money on his chest. 
He comes across as a man with integrity. 

Surely repaying the fans' love and adulation from last season; showing some loyalty; overseeing your own tightly-knit side fighting to promotion is a greater source of pride for Hughton than taking the fast buck with the East Anglians and watching them lose every week before limping to relegation?

Go and ask Roger Johnson or Scott Dann if a short-sighted, quick-fire move to the Premiership is worth shitting on your legacy. 

The grass isn't always greener on the other side Chris. You'd do well to remember that.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Blackpool brave late Brum Blitz

BLACKPOOL made hard work of finishing their play off tie with Birmingham in a tempestuous and hostile night in the second city. Despite leading 3-0 on aggregate, the donkeys had to endure a hoof-biting final few minutes as Birmingham fought back twice to reduce Blackpool's lead to just one Colin Doyle error.

The Oranges took an unlikely lead in the first half as much-lauded Scot 'Chris Burke' switched off on the back post, leaving the much-lauded Scot 'Dobbie' with the time and space to jab the ball past the chuckling Doyle. 

The hordes of Donkeys fans in the John Merrick stand were incredulous, delaying their celebrations until witnessing Don Goodman in the skysports' commentary box banging the glass and dancing with impish glee. Blackpool were definitely 1-0 up. And now the Donkeys fans could commence their revelry.

Unfortunately the staff at 'A Voice in the Wind' left the ground at this point, so...but apparently the Oranges doubled their advantage and trebled their aggregate score with a quick-fire second just after half time.

Now the silent Houghton got his fingers out of his arse and got Birmingham playing. Birmingham were reported to have struck back twice, making the overall score 2-3 to the Donkeys.

Too little, too late.

Blackpool will go to Wembley and face West Ham United in the final of the playoffs to compete for a place in the Barclay Card Premiership.

Birmingham will ponder what might have been.  They'd been undone by goalkeeping howlers and inferiority in the middle of midfield. Yet their fat fans despise Myhill and Fahey - the antidote to these two troublesome areas.

Birmingham fans must get over their hate of Myhill and Fahey if they are to come back next season stronger.

Blackpool meanwhile march onwards to London. 

The play off tie had been billed as the mavericks of Blackpool versus the stoics of Birmingham and as the mavericks walked off into the sunset victorious, negative Houghton must have realised his folly in employing spoiler tactics at Bloomfield road.

For if you park the bus too often, you end up forgetting that buses.....are supposed to.......travel.