Was Hiring Zola A Mistake?

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Birmingham City shocked the football league when they fired highly rated manager Gary Rowett in December and replaced him with Gianfranco Zola, who had previously been sacked by Qatari side Al-Arabi in June. 

But with no win in the last nine games across all competitions, some fans will be questioning the new owners and their decision to replace Rowett with Zola.

The move to Birmingham City was seen as a marketing scheme, with Zola being a recognisable name across the world.

However, his managerial ability has not been evident yet at Birmingham as the team have failed to find three points in the league under his guidance and have dropped down to 12th from 8th.

Mixed feelings are surrounding the Birmingham faithful regarding recent performances with some fans stating the team is improving but with no results to show for it. 

However, Zola has looked to improve his side in his first transfer window. He has acquired no less than six players thus far and will be hoping his new boys to settle in sooner rather than later.

Birmingham have signed Lukas Jutkiewicz on a permanent deal alongside Emilio Nsue, Cheick Keita, Dan Scarr and Kerim Frei. Craig Gardner has also joined the club on a loan deal until the end of current season.

The acquisition of Kerim Frei raised eyebrows as Birmingham managed to pull out all the stops to sign the Turkish international from Besiktas.

The former Fulham man could cost Birmingham over £2.2 million with add-ons, but they believe they have a technically gifted player to help them back up the league.

With the slump in form, it is going to be a big ask for Zola and his men to fight for the playoffs this season; however, they have no choice but to push on and develop potential playoff form.

With the gap between themselves and 6th place Sheffield Wednesday being 8 points; it is not beyond the realms of probability for them to mount a serious attack on the playoff places.

However, the cogs need to click into place in a bid to stand a chance of gaining promotion this year.

The name Zola has not paid off so far for Birmingham City regarding results, but it may have helped them in the transfer market, as the signings of Gardner and Frei might have been influenced by the prospect of playing under Zola.

As a manager in the footballing world, it is hard to have the luxury of time from the owners and Zola could find that out first hand.

However, with new signings arriving and players beginning to understand the manager’s new philosophy, Zola has to be granted time to succeed.

But the results need to start coming fast, or we could be witnessing the second manager causality at Birmingham City this season.

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