As Blues go down to Middlesbrough, Andy Munro thinks about managers.
Depression has turned to embarrassment which is now turning to anger. That wily old fox Neil Warnock (and why didn’t we get him as manager when we had the chnnce?) bigged Blues up before the match, calling us a sleeping giant. If that’s of Gulliver proportions then it seems we only need a couple of Lilliputians to knock us down.
It’s difficult to know where to start with the latest defeat, but first let’s look at yet another set of changes. Continuity is the key to a winning consistency and the continual changing of the guard is having a disastrous effect, particularly in the centre of midfield. Just when Ivan Sunjic and Maikel Kleftenbeld look the answer, they are shunted out for a dubiously-fit Adam Clayton and the mighty Mikel San Jose who, mobility-wise, looks like he’s had one too many paellas.
The defence lacks leadership with Harlee Dean saying plenty off the pitch but little on it and Marc Roberts a cumbersome figure alongside. As soon as Boro got their equaliser, we knew the writing was on the proverbial wall. This leaves the ‘attacking’ players who were playing too far back with Scott Hogan looking like the little boy lost, devoid of support and of confidence.
The latter is a particular worry and that has to lie squarely as the fault of the manager. It’s embarrassing how many managers we’ve had over the last few years but these poor appointments are the responsibility of the board. Aitor Karanka can’t blame it on anyone but himself. He’s been allowed to sign a multitude of players for his self-styled ‘project’ and with almost all of them at his disposal he is dragging us right into a relegation dogfight.
At most, I would give Karanka one more match and, if we lose that, I would like to see us approach Slaven Bilic or Paul Cook, who did such an excellent job at Wigan in difficult circumstances. I’d even have a think about Ian Holloway because at least we’d support Blues with a smile on our face rather than a grimace.