What a year. That is all I can muster when someone asks me about Blues’ 2016/17 campaign. From the horror of the worst sacking in the history of employment to the disaster that was the tenure of Gianfranco Zola to the absolute elation at the appointment of Harry Redknapp. There is never a dull moment as a Bluenose.
On Tuesday, Blues put in another lackluster performance against a Burton Albion side who much like their hosts were struggling to stay afloat above the drop. After the whistle blew, Blues had lost 2-0 and Zola had just two wins in 24 chances since his appointment in December. About an hour later, Zola announced his resignation much to the delight of the tired and weary. The rumors began to swirl as they are known to do during those moments as to who would take the wheel to guide Blues through their last three games of the season. It was the consensus opinion that it would be our slightly aged and dressing room / fan favorite Paul Robinson who would be asked to steer the ship into safe harbor. Then, the next morning came. I rolled out of bed and as per usual looked at my phone. I took to social media and couldn’t believe my eyes. I truly thought that a friend of mine had been attempting to pull a joke on his fellow ‘Noses when his status explained that Trillion Trophy Asia had appointed Harry Redknapp as manager of Blues.
This is exactly what Blues needed. An English manager who understands the league, the style and most importantly, the club. I can’t put it any better than @DavoBirmingham did in his vlog from yesterday, which I strongly encourage you to watch, if you want the visceral reaction to the signing from a Bluenose in the trenches. This is simply fantastic. One of the things that Davo points to which is the most vital aspect of the signing in my opinion; is the fact that Harry Redknapp understands the fans and the fact that Blues are a, “working class club”. Anyone who knows anything about English football will know that Blues are a hard luck club. From the bevy of shady owners to the gypsy’s curse to the fact that we waited for so long to be rid of a Chinese-based contingent of gangsters only to have it replaced by a regime who so far has only proven that they may turn out to be much worse, we haven’t had it easy. It can be argued, that the heart and soul of English football is the pride, win or lose, that a fan base has in their team. So when Harry sang, “Keep Right On” on the radio two days ago, he won over the hearts of Blues fans in a way that lifted spirits to a feeling that hadn’t been felt since early December. The fans mean everything.
So what will happen? Will Blues achieve the 4 points that Harry says they need to stay up? Will Harry then come back to negotiate a contract for next year sometime this Summer? Will he decide that his brief return to managing a football team was enough to sate him? Does it matter? In short, no. What matters is that the fans are turning their hearts back to their club. That may be just enough to see a difference in the side as they will not have the dark cloud of Zola and the painful sentiment that permeated the Blues faithful which he brought to contend with this weekend when we play Villa. It remains to be seen. If nothing else, we as fans can breathe a little easier, at least for now. And for that, we are already eternally grateful to Harry.
Keep Right On.
Photo via The Birmingham Mail