Two wins out of 17, 19 points off the play-offs and now just eight points above the relegation zone. Not quite the outcome the Birmingham City owners imagined when they appointed Gianfranco Zola back in December.
Blues are now in a relegation scrap, there’s no hiding that. If fans hadn’t made their mind up about the Italian before, then last nights defeat to relegation-threatened Wigan surely did that for them.
The club made it clear a few weeks ago that Zola was their man and that they were going to stick behind him. But surely we have got to the point now where his position is untenable? We have seen some glimpses of what Zola has been brought in to do. The football, at times, has been impressive but it has also been pretty dire as well and even when we have played well, results haven’t followed. Ultimately, football is about getting results and Zola is proving to us all that he is incapable of doing that.
In a league where it can’t get any more nitty-gritty, Blues have capitulated on several occasions and we haven’t seen any improvement on an ever growing problem under Zola- defending. Only Rotherham, who sit rock bottom of the Championship, have a worse goal difference than Blues. Hard to imagine given that we were so solid under Gary Rowett.
We are past the point where decent performances are a sign of the team improving under Zola. We struggle to score goals, we concede too many and some of the displays have been pitiful. Those who had to witness last nights shambles would back me up in saying that, although there have been a few positive signs under Zola, nothing is there to show that we are moving in a forward direction. In fact, we couldn’t move further away from the right direction if we tried. As the games continue to tick by and the defeats rack up, it will only be a matter of time before we get within touching distance of the bottom three. We should have enough to avoid relegation but we can’t take that risk. A lot of people are likening this current period to Lee Clark’s time at Blues and they’re not wrong. The points we picked up under Rowett in the first half of the season are the only thing saving us from being in the relegation zone.
Zola is showing no tactical nous, no knowledge of how to win a game when it matters most and the time has come for him to admit defeat. There’s no doubting that he’s a decent guy and he has shown his passion for the club in recent weeks but as a manager, he has been dreadful.I’m struggling to see where the next win will come from to be honest. When you can’t pick up a result from a game as crucial as the one against Wigan last night, then the fixtures coming up against Cardiff, Newcastle, Ipswich and Brighton give us no hope whatsoever.
You’ve had your chance Gianfranco, but I’m afraid time is up. It’s time for the TTA and Panos Pavlakis to admit their mistake, move on quickly from this travesty and look to cement our Championship status. I didn’t think I’d be saying that a few months ago but that is where we have got to. Where do we go from Zola? Do we go internal with Richard Beale or even Robbo? Those two together could be an option but it’s a a tough one. We’re in a relegation dogfight and the first step is to let Zola go. Either that or he has to walk. Whichever way, it’s time for Zola to wave goodbye to his time at Blues.