Down but not out: Birmingham determined to not let relegation define their future

Down but not out: Birmingham determined to not let relegation define their future

9 May 2024 0 By Total Football News

There is an acceptance the club tried to run before they could walk.

John Eustace was always going to be removed, even he knew it, but chairman Tom Wagner admitted last month he got the timing wrong when replacing him with Wayne Rooney in October.

New owners Knighthead wanted their own man and went for Rooney, a global name to put them on the map, but Eustace offered stability and the club only undermined themselves.

Chief executive Garry Cook’s promise of ‘no fear football’ under Rooney is likely to haunt him for a while longer.

Rooney was never a good fit, the players could not produce what he wanted and he has since complained he never had the backing of the fans.

The former England skipper’s reign lasted just 83 days with two wins in 15 games seeing them slide from sixth to 20th before his inevitable January sacking.

Yet there was still half the season remaining and time to pull away from danger.

Tony Mowbray replaced Rooney and won four of his 10 games before illness forced him away from the club for treatment in February, something no-one could have foreseen, but the ex-Sunderland boss is still due to return for pre-season.

His assistant, Mark Venus, was a reluctant replacement, staying in the role six games – arguably too long.

Ex-boss Gary Rowett was then parachuted back in to St Andrew’s but, while he made them harder to beat he had few options up front, aside from Jay Stansfield, with Lukas Jutkiewicz battling injury and Scott Hogan failing to score since August.

Birmingham have played Hull four times this season, twice in the league and in the FA Cup, and every time had a different manager.

Differing styles, messages and personnel – and the decisions of the board – have all contributed to the downfall.

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