'Arry has something Zola lacked - tactical nous
Four months. 142 days. Two wins. Thirteen points. Gianfranco Zola`s reign at Birmingham City summarised with numbers.
The Italian made the decision to tender his resignation immediately after yesterday`s apathetic 2-0 defeat to Burton Albion at St. Andrews. If any weekend since December epitomised Zola`s tenure, then Easter weekend it was.
One glance at the fixture list would have suggested relative safety for Blues going into games against Rotherham United and Burton Albion. But a solitary point over the Easter period proved to be a step too far for Zola. For all of his good intentions, he was incapable of turning his vision into reality.
Step forward Harry Redknapp.
At 70 years-old, 'Arry comes with a wealth of experience and a little tactical nous - two important things his predecessor did not possess. But, as Blues` new manager pointed out on TalkSport this morning, he does not have a magic wand.
His first task is to galvanise the squad. Losing can become a difficult habit to break when you`ve won only twice in 24 games so Redknapp will have to use every inch of his know-how to push Blues over the line.
First stop, Villa Park.
A second city derby that was being approached with dread now carries a slight optimism in the blue half of the city. Zola`s departure changes the mood around B9 - Redknapp`s appointment injects a dose of curiosity, excitement and hope into proceedings.
His claims that he will not 'turn them into Real Madrid` and that 'we need a win` was the perfect hit to the nail on the head. Forget pass, pass, pass and forget Zola`s 5-1-1-1-1-1 formation, because Redknapp will simplify the task in hand. Individually, the players will understand their role and collectively, the team will understand their remit.
Just as Redknapp understands his remit: safety. Nothing more, nothing less. We can dot the i`s and cross the t`s in the summer.