Ever since they controversially replaced Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola, Birmingham City is struggling to get points and get out of the relegation zone. Harry Redknapp managed to save them from relegation last season, but he has been sacked and replaced by his assistant Steve Cotterill. It is hard to say that Birmingham has any attractive and effective style of play this season as they are conceding too many, but more importantly, they struggle real hard to find the back of the net. At this stage of the season, it all seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Birmingham City.
Unfit squad and awful tactics?
Watching Birmingham play this season is quite depressing actually. Although they have quality, their squad is unbalanced and unfit, and it almost looks like Steve Cotterill is struggling to give a proper motivation to his players. Injuries are making everything much harder for Birmingham too.
When you have important players like Carl Jenkinson and Isaac Vassell injured, it is hard to find a proper replacement. However, wrong tactics might be the biggest problem for Birmingham so far. Playing Sam Gallagher as a winger proved to be a completely wrong decision, as he found a back of the net twice as soon as he started playing on his natural position.
Birmingham is basically sending a ball back every time they are in possession, and the only way they are trying to score is through those long balls for someone to win a header. Steve Cotterill will certainly be sacked soon, he doesn’t look prepared to make a proper change and results are not speaking in his favour. However, the club has issued the statement saying that they are backing Steve Cotterill up:
“The Board is fully committed to Manager Steve Cotterill, he has our 100 percent backing. He is leading the team in the right direction and it is important that everyone who cares passionately about this great Club gets behind him and the players.”
Which transfers could improve their squad?
Given the thought that they are struggling to score, it is obvious that Birmingham City needs another striker to play alongside Sam Gallagher. However, any new striker will struggle to find a back of the net too, as there are not enough passes provided to those strikers to score.
To change that, Birmingham City needs a few new creative midfielders as they need to improve their game and try to play more attractive football. With this style of play, it is hard for any creative midfielder to reach his full potential, so with new players Steve Cotterill will need to find some new tactics too. Although a most of the Birmingham fans disagree, Steve Cotterill doesn’t find Birmingham’s performances bad. When he was asked if their performance is getting worse after their game against Norwich, he replied:
“It’s not getting worse, not before today. What are you saying is getting worse? The performances haven’t got worse. It wasn’t a poor performance.”
If nothing changes in January, Birmingham is going down?
In some ways, if nothing changes in January, Birmingham City will certainly be playing in League One next season. Even if they don’t replace Steve Cotterill, they still need a few fresh players to make their performance better. They need to start scoring in order to get out of the relegation zone. They will also need to find a way to improve their away performances, as they still haven’t won a single away game and they lost nine of their twelve away matches.
The next few fixtures will not be easy for them, but if they manage to grab a few points against Leeds United, Reading and Derby County, they might just find their way out of the relegation zone.