NEW ERA STARTS WITH SAFETY FIRST
IF THIS match was billed as a welcome to the Zola-coaster, it was clearly the steep, slow climb before the thrilling descent.
The Italian may have been tasked with turning the Blues into the Madrid of the Midlands but he must know that while Birmingham can graft, genuine class is lacking.
This was an archetypal Blues performance – attritional and dogged – and though those qualities may not be glamorous, they are mightily effective. Very few sides have made Brighton look this ordinary, or this toothless. In implementing the kind of style his paymasters demand, Zola must ensure he does not undermine the rock solid foundation laid by Gary Rowett.
Judging by the reaction of supporters, Zola will get time. Pro-Rowett chants were tepid at best, flags and banners near non-existent. They too, it seems, are ready to embrace change.
Defeat was harsh on Blues, but testament to the Seagulls’ formidable resilience.