By Andy Munro.
Unless Peter Pannu sticks a multi-million pound spanner in the works (the only time he will ever be talking about multi-millions, by the way), it seems Big Eck could be crossing the city divide and, if he does, I’ll personally be delighted. The fact that he’s even considering it shows his contempt for Blues fans, who, not the board, are the real heart of the club. Anyway, let’s face it,he’s only marginally more exciting than Monsieur Houllier.
Of course, it is still disgraceful timing with only two of his signings concluded, several in mid-discussion, the footballing vultures circulating around our best players, and our unique European adventure just around the corner. Telling the Blues board by e mail also showed a lack of bottle and must be on a par with dumping your girlfriend/boyfriend by text. I also expect he blind-copied in half of Villa Park.
Obviously having his annual wages cut to an outrageously low £800,000 was a bitter blow and at that rate, it would no doubt mean holidaying in Cyprus instead of Corsica.
I went to a Blues fan forum a few weeks ago. The pro-McLeish camp just edged it over the doubters like myself and this was in no small way due to our unforgettable day down Wembley Way. My lack of conviction has been nurtured by watching many hours of tortuous and negative football down the Blues, which, to be fair, I had been warned about by Scottish mates aware of his Rangers pedigree.
It’s all a bit depressing, with our European campaign likely to be undermined, transfer activity suspended, Peter Pannu warning about the club’s cash problems and any new managerial appointment probably frozen until the courts make a ruling. Mind you, spot the difference between the Golds, Sully, Karen B and Carsson & co. None have been willing to make genuine marquee signings but McLeish must have known about this shoestring approach, particularly when he described us as a ‘small’ club around the time of the Carling Cup final.
As a manager, my criticism of McLeish, apart from his cautious approach to matches, is his lack of skill in spotting potential in attacking terms. For example, Blues never looked like signing the Demba Bas or the Peter Ogawindes of the world. In both cases their goalscoring exploits would have kept us up. His identification of Zamora and Pavlichenko was something any Blues fan could have sussed out for themselves. No skill required there.
So maybe it’s case of we’ll take the high road and you, Alex, take the low road(let’s hope it’s that way around!).Either Curbishley or Di Matteo would be realistic propositions and hopefully bring with them a long-awaited era of attractive, attacking football.