Should Steve Cotterill stay or go?
Birmingham City remain in the bottom three after another defeat on the road, losing 1-0 at Fulham yesterday.
The fixture at Craven Cottage marked Steve Cotterill's tenth game in charge. In that time, Blues have picked up eight points, scored three goals and conceded 11.
In comparison, Harry Redknapp's nine games at the helm this season saw Blues conjure up just four points, scoring four goals and conceding 12 goals.
The three games Lee Carsley took temporary charge of produced four points, three goals but saw seven conceded.
On paper, Cotterill's record doesn't look too bad. It's easy to forget that his entire squad has been signed by other managers. Compared to his predecessor, Redknapp, he has organised the defence better.
A worry about Cotterill is the lack of goals his teams score. His system sets up to avoid defeat rather than to win. Even though the goals scored column under Redknapp wasn't healthy, Blues were always a team who looked as if they could score and given time, there was always a sense that he could turn it around.
So, is Cotterill the right man for Blues? Should he stay or go? Below, I give my thoughts on certain areas of his management.
Looking at Cotterill's management past, his is very much a reactive manager who plays things very safe. Since he took chrage of Blues, he has tried to build the team from the back.
In order to do this successfully, the team needs to be a threat on the break - Blues aren't.
Sometimes, Cotterill could be a little more adventurous with his selections. You may as well attack and lose than sit back and lose, which is what Blues are doing currently.
This is the one area that has undoubtedly improved under Cotterill. The organisation is better and Blues appear harder to break down.
Having said that, they do still have a soft underbelly and are prone to conceding an early goal which gives them a mountain to climb.
The hope is that Cotterill can get a settled defence and then start mastering the others areas on the pitch.
Absolutely toothless. The midfield seem incapable of creating anything for the strikers and the strikers seem incapable of taking the rare chances that fall their way.
I can understand why Cotterill often opts for workmanlike players but leaving the likes of Jeremie Boga out until recently, and now Jota, indicates a manager leaving the shackles on.
While Jota has hardly pulled up tress since joining from Brentford for a club record fee, it is difficult for him to thrive in a team set-up in the way Cotterill sets Blues up.
It will be interesting to see who Cotterill signs in January, assuming he is still in charge.
PRESS / FANS
This area is my main criticism of Cotterill. Watch any Blues game, especially a defeat, then listen to his post match interview.
I've said on this website previously that I'm not sure he's watched the same game as me. Apparently we deserved a point against Wolves despite not producing a single shot on target.
And what's with the waffling? A couple of weeks back, BBC WM had to cut him off mid-interview because he was taking an age to answer every question.
Cotterill isn't the most popular manager ever to arrive at B9. And while most fans understand the job he has undertaken is a difficult one, the little things he does can really grate.
His failure to acknowledge fans after the defeat at Fulham yesterday was the final straw for some. A bit premature maybe, but the boss really doesn't help himself.
To summarise, Cotterill isn't doing any worse than his two predecessors. But the reason they are no longer at the club is because they weren't performing well enough.
To keep his job, Cotterill must oversee a drastic upturn in fortunes. That is very difficult to see at present.
Redknapp was sacked. Is Cotterill doing any better? I'd be reluctant to say yes. The next two games could decide what happens going forward.
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