Birmingham City have endured a season to forget so far, with Lee Bowyer tasked with keeping his former club in the Championship.
A decent start, which includes an impressive win over Reading, suggests he may be the man to turn things around at St. Andrew’s, although it’s obviously early days.
The fact Blues are once again fighting to survive in the second tier is a worry though, and even if they do stay up and can’t hide the fact that they’ve underachieved this season.
With that in mind, we look at THREE things we’ve learnt from Birmingham this season…
Problems run deep
Firstly, whilst Aitor Karanka clearly wasn’t good enough and deserves criticism, it’s clear the problems run deep at St. Andrew’s.
They are in this position because of years of mis-management from the top, with Xuandong Ren someone who the fans have understandably turned on in recent weeks.
From bad signings to poor appointments, the hierarchy haven’t got much right for a long time, which needs to be addressed in the summer.
Can you name the club’s top goalscorer from the last 13 seasons?
The squad lacks quality
It’s not just as simple as blaming the board though, with the reality that Blues have issues in so many places.
And, the squad isn’t good enough. Whilst there is decent depth, Blues lack quality players at this level. They struggle to keep clean sheets and are among the lowest scorers in the league.
Bowyer may keep the team up, but he will know that a major overhaul is needed in the next window.
They need a goalscorer
The lack of goals scored is a major issue for Birmingham, with 32 goals in 37 games just not good enough.
Scott Hogan is the club’s top scorer with six, which isn’t good enough, but perhaps the biggest worry is the fact that no player after the Irishman has scored more than three times. To be in that position after 38 games in the Championship is pretty embarrassing.
That’s not to say the strikers are solely to blame, as Blues don’t create enough chances, however the lack of a goalscorer is a real problem.
It would’ve been interesting to see what would’ve happened if a January deal for Kevin Nisbet from Hibs had come off.