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  1. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but thought all should be aware that Richard (Havanatopia) passed away last Friday at Hammersmith Hospital after a lengthy illness. A regular contributor to OTIB over many years he will be sorely missed, RIP.
    221 points
  2. I have thought long and hard about posting this but feel that I have to say something. The ‘Gabe’ mentioned in the earlier thread which is now understandably, locked was my son. He died in a road traffic accident last September, as a pedestrian. He was 21. Gab, loved football, he would watch any game at any level, except when he was playing, but mostly he loved Bristol City. I first took him to AG when he was 5 and he was hooked instantly. For many years we have had season tickets in the Dolman. I have been unable to attend AG since his death as it is still very ‘raw’. The point of this post, and I am being very careful what I say here, is to state my utter disgust at what occurred at the game on the 18th of December and even more so at what happened afterwards. I cannot emphasize enough that I hope the victim of that cowardly attack makes a full and speedy recovery and, that justice is served. I know, without a shadow of doubt, that Gabriel would be equally appalled and disgusted. I am not going to say anymore other than the club meant so much to him and gave him a lot of joy during his short life.
    193 points
  3. Having left Bristol in 2011 for work reasons, a separation which means I don't get to see my kids that often, then recent COVID restrictions/lockdown, the chances to get back to the Gate for a game have been very limited for me, but yesterday it was if all the stars aligned... It was my sons 8th birthday, and despite the win-less streak at home I took a punt and got us some tickets for a very early start's drive to Bristol so he could experience his first ever game. He has the shirts and despite him living 3 hours away from Bristol and 4 hours away from me, he's grown up with Bristol City in his heart and we have watched all the sky/robins tv and highlights together etc. A trip to the club shop first so he could spend some of his birthday money, then a walk up the steps for his first experience of the ground... As kick off approached he was in awe of the experience, loving every moment. When Barnsley scored this upset him, and I feared the worst, but then us scoring twice literally had him crying tears of joy, it was just epic! A special thanks at this point to the two guys sat directly next to us who returned at half time with a bag of sweets for him because seeing the ups & downs of joy on his face apparently made their day! Also the guys in the rows behind us and in-front of us who all helped him feel at home and make his first match experience so special. Hearing him join in with the "Red Army" chants in the last 15-20mins, then the joy on his face at the final whistle, with a few verses of "Drink up thy cider".. it was all smiles. A monumental "best day ever" day in his eyes, and a very emotional monumental day in my eyes which took me back to my first game way back in 1990. So it's a thank-you to all the fans for the atmosphere, a thank-you to the guys around us in the Lansdown block W16 who made his first game so special, and it's a thank-you to the team for breaking the home-jinx! COYR. The only thing now is he's even more hooked and wants to go every week!
    185 points
  4. I wouldn't normally go in for this sort of thing, but just wanted to pay tribute to a fellow Red, my Dad, who sadly lost his long battle with COPD last week. He became very unwell in January 2018, and whilst he was in a coma fighting for his life I contacted the club who sent him a get well card and an incredibly moving video message from Mad Frankie Fielding. I showed him the vid very soon after he came out of the coma, and will never forget the moment. He was absolutely delighted. He first took me to AG in December 76, when I was 6 years old, when we played Leeds United. We stood in the enclosure in front of the Williams stand, and although the game was abandoned due to fog, I was well and truly hooked. He then used to take me and my two brothers into the East End, with a rickety stool each to stand on. He'd plant us right in the middle behind the goal, in front of a barrier to protect us from the surges. He was always one to start the chanting, and often used to nearly split my ear drums belting out "come on you reds". The only time I remember him leaving us alone was when Arsenal tried to take the East End. Well, he wasn't having that and off he went with his steel toe capped boots and donkey jacket to sort it out! Some great away days followed when me and my mates would pile in the back of our clapped out Bedford Romany camper, and go off on an adventure. One of those occasions was the notorious Corinthian Casuals game, where once again he stepped up when Millwall made their unwelcome appearance. He dearly loved the club, and would always write letters to various managers with his insights. In his mind, I think he was the best manager we never had He was also a great supporter of local youth players. Having not been able to visit him for six months because of covid, I was finally allowed to see him last week and even when I was saying my goodbyes he was asking about Zak Vyner! Sorry to bang on, but I just wanted to put it out there as he'd love the attention from fellow Reds! In the words of my dearly loved old man "COME ON YOU REDDDDSSSS!"
    171 points
  5. Hi everyone, a long time reader of this forum here, but my first post. My reason for joining at this time is to report on the sad news of my Dad’s passing a week ago. I have read a few tributes for long time City supporters on here over the years so I hope you find this one interesting, particularly the older supporters. Dad died aged 91 and had supported City since the early 1950s. Growing up and living in Wiltshire, Dad was a talented sportsman and had the fortune to play cricket for Wiltshire U19. In doing so he met a certain John Atyeo who was in the same team and they became friends. Once John started playing at City, my Dad became hooked as a fan and started regularly riding his motorbike down to the Gate at a great era in City’s fortunes. In the early 60’s Dad followed a job opportunity and we lived in Luton for a few years. In 1966, he was able to buy a book of tickets for the World Cup finals including the final itself. Some of my most treasured possessions are the ticket stub, the commemorative program and the London Evening Standard from that 1966 Final. We moved back to Wiltshire soon after and in the 70s Dad started taking me and sometimes my sister, to home games. I was still very young so whilst he stood in the Open End, I needed to spend the match sitting on the stanchion bars in front of him so I could see over shoulders, getting numb legs every time (hence the user name). I can remember some big games in those days. I was on that terrace to see the FA Cup run games v both Leeds and Liverpool plus was directly behind the net for the winning goal in the promotion game to Div.1. After that final whistle was the only time I got onto the pitch! We loved the big games and the packed crowds. As City progressed, life in the Open End for children was changing for the worse so Dad decided the best place for us was the Enclosure. I usually stood right at the front hanging onto the railings toward the East end, Dad was further back. I was happy with the new view as it got me closer to the magic that was Geoff Merrick’s left foot. We had our other favourites of course – Trevor Tainton, Gary Collier, Gerry Gow, Clive Whitehead, Tom Ritchie, and Paul Cheesley. We knew the team sheet well. The additions of Joe Royle and Norman Hunter in later years brought some glamour, but the core of the team, the unsung heroes were his favourites I think. We went to most home games before and after the promotion season. We would drop off Mum at St Nicholas Market before the game to do some shopping and pick her up from outside Brentford Nylons on Fairfax St after the game. My regular treat before each match was half a shandy in the Try Again pub after parking on Leigh St. and a cheese roll whilst admiring Marina Dolman’s dark red Rolls Royce behind the main stand – I even recall Harry’s old private number plate too. I can almost smell the beer in the pub, the cigarette smoke on the terrace and the line of buses warming their engines on Ashton Road after the game. I can remember the opening game in Division 1, a win away v Arsenal. In those days the ITV Sunday highlights always had a London club playing and everyone assumed (with London TV bias) it would be a walkover for Arsenal. It is those occasions (also beating Leeds and Liverpool away) you don’t forget. There were other games that were memorable too, beating Man Utd 1-0 when they had dropped into Div.2. I think Emmanuel scored the goal, the away support was ugly - my sister and I counted 65 smashed windows when walking down Coronation Road afterwards. A cup game v Wrexham which finished 4-4, what a thriller that was. Dad occasionally bumped into John Atyeo. When we were in Luton in the 60s, City played one night and John, now near the end of his career, spotted my Dad by the tunnel after the game and had a good chat. Dad last saw him a year or so before he died. He didn’t talk about it much but Dad was pleased to see the stand named after John, was very interested in the statue and recently, the blue plaque at the Atyeo family home. Jumping forward many years, eventually we stopped going to games. As Dad’s health declined I needed to prompt him to watch the games on Sky, but if I gave him a call he would always watch the games and we would still compare notes on what happened. We booked a supporters VIP day for a home game a few years ago, meeting Paul Cheesely as one of the hosts - that was a big thrill to meet an old hero of ours. For Christmas 2021, I bought Dad the John Atyeo biography. As he became more frail, I realised I needed to read the book to him. He was nearly blind and deaf towards the end, but when I started reading about Atyeo, his good ear would turn to me and he recalled many of the names from the 50s and 60s. Unfortunately I never got to finish the book with him. It remains with the bookmark at just over half way, but at least he got to recall the internationals and goals that were the highlight of the Atyeo career. At some point I hope to make a return to Ashton Gate. I admire all of you who support in person, especially to away games and hope City can have a better season. Reading the OTIB forum has kept me, and therefore my Dad, in touch with events over the last few years. For Dad, 1931-2022. Thank you for taking us to all those games and the lasting memories.
    160 points
  6. We’re generally very lenient here on OTIB but the current situation has brought about a few posts that just are completely unacceptable. To that extent we’ve removed the thread speculating about Nigel’s health tonight as it crossed the line into libellous territories. If you’ve read something on social media or a WhatsApp group then please leave it there and certainly away from the forum. OTIB will be 25 years old next year, we’d like to still be online to celebrate it. Thanks Tom & The OTIB team
    159 points
  7. Morning all, I’ve done a little reading of our greatest ever matchday thread author’s posts and I’ve attempted to write this tribute in his unique style. Truth be told his threads take one of two forms; reminiscing about fixtures of years gone by, or Marvelous historical references that appear to Segway out of nowhere. With history not my strong point I shall attempt the former. It feels entirely fitting that it’s likely that at a little over 1,600 miles away, I’m probably in with a good shout at being the OTIB member who’s geographically closest to Havana, Cuba. Today’s game sees us rekindle our favourite love/hate relationship with Ken Dodd lookalike Neil Warnock and his Middlesbrough team. To reminisce about our fixtures with the kings of smog, I’ll take you back to the 06/07 season. Plying our trade in league one, we’d eventually win promotion back to the championship, finishing second only to a A Scunthorpe team spearheaded by 30 goal Billy Sharpe (wonder what happened to him?) But the 4th round draw of the FA Cup that year would see us draw Gareth Southgate’s Premier League Boro (wonder what happened to him?). A pasting was on the cards as we fell 2 behind to two early goals at Ashton Gate - Yakubu and Malcolm Christie - seemingly irrecoverable, until 50 something minute goals for a player made famous for shouldering the blame in a drunken car crash in Derby and another who didn’t enjoy a short holiday in Reading would score to take the replay to The Cold & probably wet Riverside Stadium. This time we’d go ahead through David Noble only to be pegged back by Mark Viduka. The game would go to extra time, and a late Boom-Boom goal would cancel out Yakubu’s extra time goal to take the game to penalties, which we lost 5-4, the decisive penalties missed by Craig Woodman and scored by future Paedo in the making Adam Johnson. But plucky Bristol City had done a job in those two ties and given themselves the confidence to have the consistency to climb into the Championship. Today’s opponents are a different kettle of fish to that of 06/07. We’re up against our favourite pantomime villain, only this time managed by our own. Not unlike ourselves, Middlesbrough have established themselves as a championship team, only having done so by coming down through the trap door, rather than our upwards trajectory (although this trajectory is somewhat questionable!). I invite you to raise a toast to Hav and all of our other OTIB friends who are now supporting from way up higher than the upper tier of The Lansdown Stand. To those who are no longer with us. COYRs.
    155 points
  8. Martin was beyond all of us. He followed City home and away for more than 50 years while living in South London. He was so positive and brought City fans together at away games all over the country. I spent hours with him on trains and night buses. He loved his friends and family and was chatting to me during 99% of my abysmal match reports. The best City fan ever.
    140 points
  9. LANSDOWN'S JOBS FOR THE BOYS. NUMBER 1. BRIAN TINNION. Danny Wilson had lost us the play off final and had failed to get us promoted in four full seasons. Lansdown wanted to cut costs, so they parted company, and then, suddenly, without advertising the job or running interviews (unprofessional), he appointed Tinnion as player-manager. From nowhere. He had no experience. This would cost us one of our very best players. The fans were bemused. The dressing room was bemused. Tinnion always implied he did not have the support of the dressing room, and that there were bad eggs in there not playing for him. Lansdown had to come into the dressing room at times for teamtalks (eg Colchester at home). But the truth is, the dressing room were probably just as confused as the fans. Lansdown came out fighting. "Tinnion is not the cheap option. He is the right option" It is arrogant of Lansdown to think that he is an alchemist who can just make a football manager out of anyone he pleases. You have to have certain talents. Brian Clough said "When you get success for a chairman, he is resentful, and thinks that anyone could have done what you did." But Lansdown was defiant. "Judge me on Tinnion." He said, loudly and publicly. OK Steve, I will. Tinnion is currently sat in the dugout in Swansea in an empty stadium 40 minutes after the final whistle. We have lost 7-1. He has a "Vietnam-Vet thousand yard stare" into the distance. He refuses to go back into the dressing room. He refuses to do the press, and Lansdown has to do it. "It could have been 10" Steve told the media. The next day Lansdown goes round to TInnion's house. Tinnion says he cannot face taking training on Monday. Let's be clear. He has not resigned. He has ABDICATED. He has remained in the post of manager while refusing to fulfill his duties. Lansdown has to sack him. I have never seen or heard of a manager ABDICATING like that in 30 years of following football. Since that day, Tinnion has never tried to be a manager again. He wasn't a manager that failed. He wasn't a manager at all. That bad appointment meant BCFC wasted another 2 years in the third tier. It is the old business saying. "You spend 1% of the time recruiting badly, and 99% of the time dealing from the fallout of your bad recruitment." And this from a so-called business expert!!! But Lansdown learnt from his mistakes, went through a lengthy search for his next manager, appointed Gary Johnson who had two promotions under his belt, and GJ took us up in his first full season, and then in the Championship, in our first season back, we were TOP with ten games to go. He took us from the bottom of the third tier to the top of the second tier in less than two and a half seasons. Brilliant. When GJ goes, Lansdown has learnt from his mistakes again, and appoints Coppell. But Coppell did not apply for the job. Lansdown headhunted him. Bad sign. Then Coppell won't take over because............he has a holiday in America booked. Clearly he did not really want the job. You can lead a horse to water.........etc etc. Coppell walks, and Lansdown looks silly. Coppell said on Talksport "I was a bit disappointed with the environment I found myself in." Yes Steve Coppell, we know. BCFC is run in an amateurish fashion. And now we come to.............................. LANSDOWN'S JOBS FOR THE BOYS. NUMBER 2. KEITH MILLEN. You could not have sneezed in the time it took for Lansdown to appoint Millen after Coppell walked. Most Bristol City fans went to bcfc.co.uk and saw the headline "Coppell walks, Millen appointed." Many of them said "Hang on a minute, what just happened there? Why the haste?" Here we go again. Again Lansdown comes out publicly and says "Keith was second in the list behind Coppell. Did a great job as caretaker manager." True, but City now find themselves in a relegation battle. Millen gets us out of it. But the next season another one starts. Millen was on the radio last night. Anyone with half a brain can see he is not a leader of men. He has a voice like soggy cardboard and the manner of a primary school teacher talking gently to six year olds. But no!!! Steve Lansdown can make a football manager out of anyone!!! You just have to flatter his ego and be a thirty-something ex- Bristol City footballer with no experience at all. Under stress people revert to type, and the stress of losing Coppell had reverted Lansdown back into his old error of mediocre internal appointments. Some of the things Millen said were embarrassing. After losing 3-0 at home to Ipswich on the opening day of the 2011/12 season, Millen said "I didn't see that coming!". By Jove, Keef, the ups and downs of being a football manager. And when we were 2-0 up at home to Reading with ten minutes to go and lost 3-2, Millen said, a few days later "I'm over it now." Well I'm glad you are over it now, Keef, because in a few days you are going to lead your team up to Blackpool, lose 5-0, and lose your job. There is a long delay while City appoint the next manager because..............................wait for it..............................our owner has gone to Africa. This is amateurish. McInnes has had his interview, wants the job, but is kept waiting (City now lose another two games) while Steve finishes safari. But he comes in, turns it round, wins 4 and draws 1 (away to West Ham) and gets us out of the relegation zone. Lansdown then goes on the radio. I could not believe my ears. I am expecting him to say "Didn't want to sack Millen but it had to be done, but what a great manager we have in Derek Mcinnes. With the same players he has dragged us up the league with 13 points out of 15. Great track record in Scotland, we are really looking forward to hitting the play off places next season." Lansdown barely mentions McInnes once. Instead he launches into a passionate defence of Keith Millen. Voice quivering with emotion, he tells us how he did not want to sack Keith, and how he cannot wait to give him a glowing reference. How must McInnes have felt hearing that? Clearly if you are a nice-guy yes man like Lee Johnson or Keith Millen then Lansdown feels a burning personal loyalty to you because you flatter his ego. A winner like McInnes or Cotterill? Not so much. They are discarded very quickly, as soon as possible. Note also that Millen, like Tinnion, never wanted another manager's job again. He was never a manager in the first place. LANSDOWN'S JOBS FOR THE BOYS. NUMBER 3. JON LANSDOWN. Do you know Jon Lansdown's job title without looking it up? I don't either. Do you know what Jon Lansdown actually does at BS3? I don't either. Do you know what thing Jon Lansdown has to do in the next 18 months otherwise he will get the sack? There isn't one. Look, of course Steve wants his son to have a job, and Jon Lansdown is surely not the worst employee at BS3. And I am not blaming him. He seems a nice down-to earth guy. And why wouldn't you accept a good job if it was offered to you? But it is jobs for the boys. LANSDOWN'S JOBS FOR THE BOYS. NUMBER 4. LEE JOHNSON. So City plummet down the leagues and are back where they started. Facing relegation to the fourth tier. Where they were when Tinnion left. We have spent 50 million for nothing because we can't get a good manager. Lansdown now approves of Keith Dawe's suggestion of Cotterill, who has a good track record. You see, Steve Lansdown can appoint a good manager. We just have to be in the relegation zone of the third tier for him to do it. His two successful appointments are Gary Johnson and Steve Cotterill, both of whom were appointed when we were facing relegation to the fourth tier. The Five Pillars goes out of the window and we sign 35 year old Wade Elliot. There isn't time for managerial mumbo-jumbo in a relegation battle. Cotterill saves us from relegation, gets us up, but Lansdown seems distant. He doesn't even attend the Wembley final (Africa again). Cotterill identifies Harry Maguire and Andre Gray, who would have been brilliant signings whom we could have sold on for a King's ransom. But the club isn't interested, Cotterill loses his mojo, so Lansdown appoints Lee Johnson. His record at Oldham and Barnsley is W1 D1 L1. 46 (yes forty-six) signing later, and 25 million pounds spent, LJ's record at BCFC is..........wait for it.....................W1 D1 L1. He only ever was an average football manager. We could have given the job and all that money to someone better. But note how a bland Yes-man excites Lansdowns loyalty, like Millen. LJ was given a 3.5 year contract, from 2016 to summer 2019. Generous. He keeps us up in his first half season. Then he spends 11 million. In October City are in 6th. He still has almost 3 years of the contract to go. But Lansdown gives him an extension of another year, to summer 2020. Why? We can only conclude that Lansdown is blown away by the talk, and thinks LJ is much better than he is. Why doesn't he just leave him on his current contract? He's not going anywhere. You know when single women finally find a man and start ringing their friends and family after only two weeks, getting over-excited and over hopeful? It ends and then they look stupid. Well Lansdown looked stupid when as soon as adding a year to LJ's contract City lost 13 out of 16 league games (including 8 in a row), and were in relegation danger. Before the Man U game last season, Lansdown told the Sun he prefers Lee Johnson to Jose Mourinho. Excuse me? Yes, Jose is alienating everyone with his negative talk. But he has won over 20 major trophies, including the Champions League, across all of Europe while Lee Johnson has won the square root of diddly squitt. What can we conclude other than that the major requirement of Steve Lansdown's manager seems to be that you flatter his ego first, and win things second? LANSDOWN'S JOBS FOR THE BOYS. NUMBER 5. JAMIE MCALLISTER. City are in relegation danger. Lansdown has to do something. Can't sack Golden Boy!!! So he sacks John Pemberton. Then he goes on Radio Bristol. He tells Twentyman "We've appointed Macca...............er.......................er..........................I mean............................Jamie Mcallister." Jobs for the boys. At some point in the next 5 years Lansdown will have to appoint a new manager. Let us face it, he will be pining and yearning and aching to appoint Jamie Mcallister. Mcallister is small. He has no managerial experience. He played for Bristol City. He is young. He is an internal appointment. He is the classic Lansdown appointee. Lansdown has shown he can appoint a good manager when he has to, like Gary Johnson and Steve Cotterill, but he prefers the Millen/Tinnion/Johnson style appointment. A businessman once said "I am intelligent enough to appoint men more intelligent than I am." Let us hope Steve Lansdown can do that. Socrates said "I know nothing. I am only wise because unlike everyone else, I know that I know nothing". Let us hope that Steve Lansdown can say to himself "I am rubbish at appointing football managers. But at least I know that, and therefore I need to get someone else to do it, or take bucketloads of advice as I do it." City fans were bewildered when Tinnion got the job without a proper process. City fans were bewildered when Millen got the job without a proper process. City fans were bewildered when Lee Johnson got the job when his record at Oldham and Barnsley was so mediocre. Please Steve. Not again.
    138 points
  10. Give him time. He will build a squad, an environment and and backroom to be proud of. There'll be bumps in the road and a few poor performances but stick with it. Yours is the result I look for first when our matches finish and it gives me a massive sense of joy when you win. All the best.
    132 points
  11. I’ve had a long break from otib. But I’ve conceded and just had to come back given the debate of late. Firstly, let me be quite clear on this. I don’t want to see Pearson sacked, but he has an awful lot to prove, for me. However, there is something that I’ve not seen mentioned in the Pearson debate/state of the club debate in these recent turgid weeks. Recruitment. And specifically, the Recruitment Department. Let me explain. When Pearson arrived, we’d been a few years down the line of a pretty horrendous player recruitment process. You all know my thoughts on Ashton (and I’m glad you all finally saw what I was telling you all 4/5 years ago!). The recruitment team basically consisted of Ashton and…..ummmm, no one else. He was the CEO, but was essentially acting as the Director Of Football, the Head of Recruitment and the Chief Scout, all rolled into one. Too much power for one man. Yes we know, we’ve been through that story all summer and autumn. Once he departed, what were we left with. Well, you’ll see it was made very clear in the Post article a couple of weeks ago. We have a chap called Sean Gilhespy and he has a team of 3 or 4 data analysts and a couple of interns. Yep. That’s your lot. Gilhespy himself was historically a data analyst too. So in short, we’ve got 4 guys and a couple of unpaid uni-leavers who all come from a background of number crunching and data slicing. Yes, they’ve all done their uni courses in football analytics, but none of them have any experience of professional football, nor of actual player talent identification. Gilhespy is now the person who is taking the calls from the agents and is the first port of call for any recruitment queries, player availability, transfer talk etc. Now, if I was to tell you that I know a number of agents in the game, all with a healthy bounty of players, and I said to you that Mr Gilhespy doesn’t answer his phone or his emails, you might be pretty disappointed. I have no cross to bear and no reason to doubt that Mr Gilhespy is a nice enough chap and may well be a good data cruncher, but he is not the person who should be talking to agents about player transfers. I know through these agents with whom I have contact that he is seen as utterly useless and completely out of his depth. Data cruncher - no problem. Acting Head of Recruitment - wow!!! Unreal. I think, though I can’t be 100% sure, that we are probably the only professional football club in the country who doesn’t currently have a Head of Recruitment or Chief Scout. That is the real scandal that is currently going on at our club. We’ve got a chap who did a uni course on football data analysis as our Head of Recruitment and 3 of his data crunching pals running the show. We’ve got an absolute amateur in charge of taking calls from agents, which he invariably doesn’t answer. It’s an utter utter shambles. Steve Lansdown seems to be happy continuing with this amateur recruitment set up that Ashton left him with, a set up which SL is probably happy with as he thinks we’re finding gems from an in-house database and not having to talk to those dirty agents touting their players around. Oh, how sweet and innocent. **** your morals Steve. This is football. You alone are not going to change the moral fibre of this sport. If you want to run a recruitment department which ignores player agents then you’ll always be 24th in line in this division for a players signature. Let’s bring this back to Pearson. We all know the Leicester story. Nige was a strong manager, with trusted assistants, but backed up with a head of recruitment in Steve Walsh, who pretty much signed the title winning team. The recruitment position is so so essential. Without Steve Walsh and Craig Shakespeare, Nige doesn’t put that Leicester team in the position he got them. That’s not to play down his achievements, Nige clearly had a major influence on that squad, but he was not responsible for putting that squad together and he also had an assistant coach, without whom he hasn’t really achieved any modicum of success (for reference, look at Pearson’s record with and without Shakespeare). It ain’t very pretty. Fast forward to February 2021. Pearson joins us. It’s clear that Ashton is departing. It’s clear that Pearson is a manager who needs his trusted back room team. We know for an absolute fact that Pearson is not a man who likes/wants to deal with agents. It’s clear that we are under financial constraints. Given all of that, what’s the most important thing we needed. Yep, you’ve guessed it - a Head of Recruitment. I must confess, I was absolutely amazed that we didn’t manage to bring Steve Walsh in. He should have been the first person SL needed to call once Ashton was on his way. We’ve left a huge void in one of the most important roles at a football club. Even more so given what was required and the financial situation. Ultimately we’ve made 7 signings so far under Nige. 3 of them were clearly his own call from the Leicester connections. Obviously 2 young prospects with very very little pro football on their cv’s. But we have to add Weimann and Baker too, both of whom should easily have been released. Both were on high wages and hadn’t really proven anything over the previous season or 2. Yes, they both took pay cuts, but they are still incredibly handsomely paid and still 2 of the higher earners we have. Both should have gone. But the problem was this - we had no head of recruitment. So we had no idea of any other players we could realistically have brought in to replace them. So I’d imagine Nige had to reluctantly accept their return - there was nothing else on the table!! If we’d employed a proper experienced head of recruitment when Nige joined in Feb, and also employed some proper experienced talent spotters (ie Scouts and a Chief Scout) to actually physically get out there and watch 10-20 games a week, rather than crunch some numbers on a computer, we might’ve given Nige a very different looking squad this season. The simple fact that we have a Manager who doesn’t like the recruitment/agent side of the game, a new CEO who isn’t particularly responsible or experienced in that part of the game and a data crunching head of recruitment who ignores calls from agents, topped off with an owner who seems to actively encourage us to steer away from those pesky agents and try to implement our own holier than thou model, basically puts us at the bottom of the list for player availability. There were plentiful deals that could have been had in the summer had we acted early enough or shown any semblance of interest in, and we could’ve improved this squad without having to shell out high wages to 2 returning players and 2 other 35 year old has-beens. The fact there is a tight financial situation is the very reason we shouldn’t have signed Simpson, King, Baker & Weimann. It’s the very reason we needed proper experienced people running the summer recruitment and dealing with the players and agents, the very reason we should’ve been in conversation for the best deals we could possibly get rather than ignoring the calls and thinking we could do things our own way. Nige has effectively signed 7 players. 5 or 6 of them featured in pretty much every game this season. So whilst this is still far from being “nigels squad”, half of the outfield first team each week IS his squad. Therefore, yes, we can begin to judge Nige on this teams performances as he has 7 of his own players around him and he really really should have been doing much better than what’s gone so far. But, in his defence, he’s being handed an absolute shit-show of a recruitment team. My thoughts - Pearson will be given time. No doubt. But he should rightly take some flak for performances this season. He really should be getting more fight from these players. But, we are going absolutely nowhere - correction, we are going backwards at a rate of knots, until we get a proper recruitment team on board. Lansdown needs to pull out whatever stops he can, and bring in a Head of Recruitment as a matter of absolute urgency. This needs to be supplemented by a host of scouts (not just 2 or 3 part-timers, we need countless bodies in every area of the country, an army of scouts watching 20+ games a week between them and reporting to a Chief) - actual physical scouts going and watching players and having conversations with agents and other scouts at games - it’s called networking. And you can’t get that from looking at a bunch of numbers on a screen. Without that network, there is zero relationships, and without relationships with agents, you are bottom of the list when it comes to an agent placing their player with a new club. I have zero problem with the data analysts. It’s a perfectly valid part of the modern game. But they shouldn’t be the first port of call on player recruitment. They should be there to back up any scouting reports, not to be the instigators of player ID. And Sean the number crunching shy-guy certainly shouldn’t be the person responsible for speaking to the agents. This is where change is paramount. And must be effected immediately. Everything else that’s being argued about on here is purely secondary - without a properly functioning recruitment team, we will go backwards, fast. Anyway - good to be back.
    126 points
  12. Good day everyone, This is without doubt the saddest match day thread I have ever written. I have no possibility to even begin to study and research our opposition this evening. Clearly you will all ask why that should be. Yesterday at 0730 UK time my 95 year old father died. Dad was a Burma RAF veteran who served as a Corporal Radio operator directing the Bristol Beaufighters in to bomb the Japanese positions in what ultimately became the longest battle of the Second World War; The Imphal Kohima campaign. Relatively little was written about this long struggle yet the victory that ultimately followed turned the tide of the war in Asia. My father, although one might consider had a great innings, was taken a little before I wanted him to go. He also wanted that letter from the Queen and I wanted to write his memoirs. He was a life long Bristol City fan. Let us win tonight and win promotion for him, for Gerry Gow for all those who will not see the promised land again. God bless everyone and god bless my Dad. I miss him too much already; back to Blighty it is for me next week and I shall watch a City match as a result entirely in his honour. Love to all. Rich.
    126 points
  13. Interested to learn that it wasn't just the men's team that Ashton neglected during his tenure at the club, but that it also extended to Bristol City WFC. Apparently he paid little or no interest in the WFC, which contributed significantly to their decline and ultimately relegation at the end of last season. I was told by someone that would certainly know that, and I paraphrase, "the WFC is in need of a complete rebuild outside of the Super League and it is likely to take 2-3 years to get back into the top flight and sort the entire structure of the club out". Now, where have I heard similar to that before? He wrecked the women's team as he wrecked the men's team. Now some people may have cynically seen those pictures of Pearson at the WFC game a few weeks back and thought he'd attended the game either for a photo op and good bit of PR, or because he was bored. Not so, he has in fact been quite instrumental in helping out and providing advice to the WFC. So much so in fact that he recommended the new Head of Operations Grace Williams to the WFC, with whom he had worked with at Watford. He considers the WFC to be part of the Bristol City FC team and project, just like he considers everyone that works at the football club to be part of the project, from the ticketing team, to the media team, to the changing room cleaners to the bus driver. How encouraging and refreshing to have somebody in charge that takes such a keen interest in all aspects of the club. A far-cry from the previous regime.
    121 points
  14. I know that many of you on here were members of the Junior Reds back in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s where there were many awaydays and the club room, formerly behind the Williams and latterly under the Dolman. The main man running the Junior Reds, which took up many hours and with many stresses, all for nothing, was my father, John Banks. Even after ceasing involvement in the Junior Reds, he continued to attend every home game in the South stand despite deteriorating health. John died today at the age of 72. Fittingly, the team won for him and he passed shortly after the final whistle. RIP Dad. Proud of you and the work you did at our great club.
    119 points
  15. Sorry Hampshire Reds, this might not be the thread for you In what was a hard fought victory the players are deserving of our plaudits. However, arguably Pearson has earned the most praise. The decisions made on the day emphasised the gap in expereince between Pearson and his predecessors. Frequently under Johson's tenure we would chop and change our system to adapt to the opposition. But Pearson chose to keep to his preffered system, instead choosing individuals who had the qualities to deal with Cardiff's threats. The decision paid dividends as I felt it was one of the quietest performances I've seen from Kieffer Moore at this level. Kalas and Atkinson delt with him well, Baker and Vyner offered more appropriate defensive choices when Moore and others drifted towards the back post. The most promising decision for me came part way through the second half. After Cardiff equalised it would've been easy for us to think 'we're under the cosh, let's get a defender on and take the point'. In the past it would've been typical City to make this change and concede late on. Pearson chose to bring on Semenyo for King. It was a proactive choice which took the game to Cardiff again. The result was Semenyo providing an assist for a fantastic Weimann volley. So - well done Nige, you got it spot on today and deserved your applause at the end of the game.
    117 points
  16. It’s quite apparent to anyone who would’ve watched this evening that there are some green shoots of recovery. Yes, we may have gone a long time without a win at home, but the performance was undoubtedly there tonight. We attacked with purpose and hardly ever played it backwards, although defensively maybe a little more work required. Tonight we may have lost, but I enjoyed it. And we played well. Let’s move on. Things look brighter than they have in years.
    116 points
  17. This may get moved to the Transfer Forum but I'll post here initially as the departure of Ashton may open up a different approach to recruitment this summer, so it's quite topical. We have 14 players in the first team squad who are out of contract and coming off the wage bill (including the loans of Mawson & Sessegnon). This is a huge opportunity to completely reshape the squad in one window. We’ve heard Steve Lansdown say that covid-finances will make things tricky, and we’ve heard Pearson say that we will need to be very “clever” in the transfer market. With this in mind, I thought I’d put together a ‘long-list’ and then shorten this down, of what I’d think are realistic (some semi-realistic) targets within the budget, but also trying to play the free agency market as best we can, and also utilising Pearson’s contacts and influence (these elements are the ‘clever’ that Pearson alludes). The OOC players should free up anywhere in the region of £6.5 to £8m in wages. I don’t think we’d need to spend anywhere close to that for replacements and upgrades. Out of Contract – approx. £130k - £150k pw These are approximate salaries, but I don’t think they’d be too far off the mark judging by most sources. Mawson CB £30k pw, Diedhiou ST £20k, Baker CB £19k, Weimann FW £18k, Lansbury CM £15k, Hunt RB £13k, Watkins FW £12k, Mariappa CB £5k, Paterson AM £7k, Walsh CM £6k, Adelakun RW £5k, Rowe LB £3.5k, Simpson RB £3k, Sessegnon RB £2k, Gilmartin GK £1k For players on the 'long list', I've broken them down into a few categories : Championship Experienced – Out of Contract Adam Reach 28 – LW – Sheff Weds £23k pw Andre Wisdom 27 – RB – Derby £27k pw Ryan Nyambe 23 – RB – Blackburn £4.5k pw Joe Rothwell 26 – CM – Blackburn £4.5k pw Cyrus Christie 28 – RB – Fulham £20k pw Nick Powell 27 – AM – Stoke £15k pw Britt Assombalonga 28 – ST – Middlesbrough £39k pw Ashley Fletcher 25 – ST – Middlesbrough £15k pw Alex Mowett 26 – CM – Barnsley £6.5k pw Prem Loanees/Others – Out of Contract Josh Knight 23 – CB – Leicester / Wycombe £4.5k pw Leo Ostigard 21 – CB – Brighton / Coventry £4.5k pw Izzy Brown 24 – AM – Chelsea / Sheff Weds £20k pw Ben Sheaf 23 – DM – Arsenal /Coventry £5k pw Callum Wright 20 – CM – Leicester / Cheltenham Taylor Richards 20 – AM – Brighton / Doncaster £7.5k pw Scott Twine 21 – AM – Swindon Reece Burke 24 – CB – Hull £3.5k pw Alfie Jones 23 – DM – Hull £2.5k pw Prem Loanees this season with potential Champ level loan next season Matty James 29 – CM – Leicester / Coventry £30k pw James Garner 20 – CM – Man Utd / Forest £9.5k pw Matt Clarke 24 – CB – Brighton / Derby £21k pw Luke McCormick 22 – CM – Chelsea / Rovers Dion Sanderson 21 – CB – Wolves / Sunderland Victor Gyokeres 22 – ST – Brighton / Coventry Ryan Longman 20 – RW – Brighton / Wimbledon Trevor Chalobah 21 – CB – Chelsea / France Timothy Eyoma 21 – RB – Spurs / Lincoln Harvey Elliott 18 – RW – Liverpool / Blackburn Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 22 – DM – Leicester / Luton Ryan Giles 21 – LW – Wolves / Rotherham £2k pw Jake Clarke-Salter 23 – CB – Chelsea / Birmingham Dan Ballard 21 – CB – Arsenal / Blackpool Champ Players in Contract at ‘lesser attractive’ clubs, but worth a fee Ryan Woods 27 – DM – Stoke £15k pw Lewis O’Brien 22 – CM – Huddersfield £5k pw Tom Lawrence 27 – LW – Derby £27k pw (Pearson link) Jed Wallace 27 – RW – Millwall £12k pw Callum O’Hare 22 – AM – Coventry £10k pw Jamie Lindsay 25 – CM – Rotherham £2k pw Matt Crooks 27 – DM – Rotherham £2k pw L1/L2 Players in Contract, but worth a fee/punt Elliott Moore 24 – CB – Oxford Stephen Humphrys 23 – ST – Rochdale Jacob Greaves 20 – CB – Hull Luke Jephcott 21 – ST – Plymouth Jerry Yates 24 – ST – Blackpool Jack Tucker 21 – CB - Gillingham Matt Jay 25 – ST – Exeter Josh Key 21 – RB – Exeter Joel Randall 21 – LW - Exeter Random Foreigner Thomas Henry 26 – ST - Leuven For me, if we want to look at the Championship ready free agents, our top targets should be Joe Rothwell, Ryan Nyambe & Alex Mowatt. I think the rest of them will be too expensive a wage to justify. All 3 will have a number of suitors, but we ought to be having the discussion. The only other one would be Ashley Fletcher, currently on a more reasonable wage than some of the others – he’s not actually someone I’d personally go for, but he comes with good experience in this league. Looking at the current loanees from the Prem who are due to be free agents, and other free agents, I am most interested in Josh Knight, Leo Ostigard, Ben Sheaf, Taylor Richards, Scott Twine & Callum Wright. Josh Knight is an athletic 23 year old CB who has had a very good season at Wycombe, on loan from Leicester. When I watch him I get the same kind of vibe as I did when I watched Alfie Mawson in a Wycombe shirt back in 2013. Knight always seems to be around the ball, his positioning and awareness seem good, in fact he’s been quite unlucky as I’ve seen a number of goals conceded have seen him so nearly block it or it’s gone through his legs and ricocheted. He’s played a bit at DM as well and is decent enough on the ball as a CB. Being a Leicester player, I am certain Pearson will know all about his qualities, but I’ve seen various descriptions of him as a “Rolls Royce” and a “Ferrari” of a centre back. Leo Ostigard, 21, has been on loan at Coventry from Brighton and is a Norway u21. He’s a CB who has a tremendous leap on him and is very much a threat/target from set pieces. Likewise Ben Sheaf, 23, has also been on loan at Coventry from Arsenal. He’s a DM who’s played very well in his loan at Doncaster last year and progressed to the Champ this year. Apparently Cov had a fee agreed which was ‘obligatory’ at £750k, which is why they’ve not played him recently as I think it would trigger the fee. I’m unsure of his contract status as I thought he was OOC but given the fee I think he may have another year. Scott Twine is a 21 year old AM/Second Striker. He was on loan at Newport before returning to Swindon and has been putting in some great performances and scored some superb strikes. He’s got a great free kick on him too. He’s bright and breezy and a definite threat. An ideal replacement for Paterson’s role. Taylor Richards is a 20 year old AM/W on loan at Doncaster from Brighton. Brighton had signed him from Man City a couple of years ago for £2.5m. He’s done well in L1 this season, with goals and assists. His style is a bit of a mix of Palmer and Semenyo, but I think he’s got more talent than both, as long as he commits to it. He’s been said to be able to dribble a football in a phone box. Callum Wright is a 20 year old CM on loan at Cheltenham from Leicester, where he’s been skipper of the u23’s. He arrived on loan at Chelts at the end of the last window and has been magnificent so far, chipping in with 3 goals from CM already. Again, someone you’d hope Pearson knows a fair bit about. As side thoughts, both Reece Burke and Alfie Jones have been doing very well at Hull this year, and Jones is a Bristol boy. That’s the OOC market, now onto any current Prem loanees, who might either be available for loan again or worth an enquiry for purchase. Matty James and Matt Clarke will likely both be available for loan or purchase, but I think both have wages that I wouldn’t pay. Likewise James Garner would be a great loan signing but I wonder if Man U might allow him back to Forest or even want him loaned to the Prem next year. Luke McCormick is a 22 year old CM on loan at Rovers from Chelsea. Yes, he’s playing in an utter tripe gas side, but he’s been doing well by all accounts, and wouldn’t it be hilarious if he joined us next year, ha ha. Ryan Giles is a 21 year old left winger at Wolves. You may remember him tearing us open on numerous occasions when we played Shrewsbury last season. I like Giles, and he’ll no doubt be available for loan again next year. Dan Ballard is 21, a CB on loan from Arsenal to Blackpool. He’s been instrumental in Blackpool’s fantastic form that sees them vying for promotion. Very highly thought of at Arsenal, definitely a Champ loan beckons next season. Trevor Chalobah is an interesting one, 21 year old CB at Chelsea. Did well on loans to Ipswich, then Huddersfield, but he’s gone to France this season. Would Chelsea loan him to the Champ again next season? We then come to players who would cost. If we have a decent enough budget available, these players would interest me : Lewis O’Brien, 22, CM at Huddersfield. He’ll have 1 year left on his deal. I love O’Brien, such a tidy footballer. May have Prem interest, but I’d love us to be asking about him. Jed Wallace – again one year left this summer, could Millwall be willing to sell? I’ve always liked Wallace, makes things happen. Callum O’Hare, 22 year old AM at Coventry. He’s still got 2 years left, but if Cov get relegated I’m certain he’ll be leaving. Jamie Lindsay, 25, CM at Rotherham. An under-the-radar type who goes about his midfield business in a neat and steady fashion and works hard. Contract up next year and again, if Rotherham are relegated, can be picked up. Next we look at lower league ‘punts’. I use that term, but none of these are ‘punts’, I think they are all very capable players who could do a job in this league. The ‘punt’ element would more be in regard to how much they may cost in a transfer fee vs the gamble. Elliott Moore 24 – CB – Oxford. Big lad, 6ft 4ins, known to Pearson through Leicester & Leuven. Stephen Humphrys 23 – ST – Rochdale. I really like the look of this lad and had my eye on him a few years when back at Fulham. Started drawing serious attention when on loan at Southend and now at Rochdale and proving a real threat. He’s quick, strong, a powerful runner, has a bag of tricks and a hell of a strike on him. His style reminds me of a fitter, faster and more dedicated Tomlin. Jacob Greaves 20 – CB – Hull. Ex Cheltenham loanee, performing well for Hull this year. Luke Jephcott 21 – ST – Plymouth. Many already know of Jephcott’s record at Plymouth. He’ll have a number of Champ clubs interested. Jerry Yates 24 – ST – Blackpool. Likewise, lots of Champ clubs will be keen on Jerry. I think Yates links play better than Jephcott and is a bit quicker. Jack Tucker 21 – CB – Gillingham. In the same kind of mould as Josh Knight, above. He’s had interest from the old firm and I think he’s definitely leaving Gills this summer for a fee. We’ve then got 3 very good lads down the road at Exeter. Matt Jay 25 – ST, Josh Key 21 – RB, Joel Randall 21 – LW. All 3 are worth a shot, but Exeter drive a decent deal nowadays and all are under contract, so they won’t be normal L2 prices. We do need to establish a better relationship with Exeter though, as they continue to produce talent. Finally, a bit of a random shout, and unlikely, but we have Thomas Henry at Leuven, who Pearson signed when he was managing over there. Big striker, banging plenty of goals, great target man, with good control and tidy feet (for a big man!). Ideal Fam replacement. However, I think Leicester, through their joint ownership of Leuven, might be interested. That’s my long list, then whittled down to a shorter list. If it was me, here’s what I’d do. Release all of our Out of Contract players, freeing up around £7m-£8m in wages. I might keep Walsh, but only if he accepts the same wage he’s on. We are ok at left back, with Dasilva hopefully fit and can be backed up by Pring. At right back, we need 2. I’d try to attract Ryan Nyambe on a free and Josh Key from Exeter. Both are young and talented and can share the load at that position, lots of energy required so keeping them fit on rotation. At centre back, we have Kalas and then a need. Vyner is ok, and Moore is meh. I’d make Josh Knight a priority on a free from Leicester. Due to his age I’d guess there’d be compensation. As noted earlier, Pearson should know all about him and can use his influence at Leicester to attract him. I think we need one more there, and I’d target Leo Ostigard on a free (compensation). Failing that, I’d put in a bid for Elliott Moore and ask Arsenal for Dan Ballard on a season loan. In Centre Mid we have a decent-ish stock if all fit. Williams, Walsh & HNM should be a decent midfield. Behind that though, I don’t particularly rate the rest of our midfield. We should be asking serious questions to one of Rothwell or Mowatt. We should also look at more depth and I’d be keen on Ben Sheaf. In an ideal world I’d make Lewis O’Brien a priority, but I’m not hopeful on that one. If not Rothwell or Mowatt, I’d have a look at Jamie Lindsay for a fee and Callum Wright on loan. In the attacking midfield and wide positions, again I’m not convinced on our current options. Semenyo is likely best as wideman or wide striker, so I include him here, Palmer is hit and miss, O’Dowda is, well, yeah. I would already be talking to Scott Twine’s agent and get him in pronto. If Cov went down I’d enquire about Callum O’Hare’s fee. Failing that, I’d also give serious consideration to Taylor Richards. If we went for a 3-pronged attacking midfield, Semenyo one side, Richards the other and Twine behind the striker would be a scary prospect for defences. Finally, up front. We have Wells and Martin under contract. I would want a younger player with movement, pace and strength, and also a younger, more mobile target man than Martin. Of the 3 players which will attract the most attention this summer, Yates, Jephcott & Humphrys, if I had to choose 1, I’d put a bid in for Stephen Humphrys. If we had money available, I’d see what we could nab Thomas Henry for, but I think we’ve got to get in there quick to have any chance on him – although again, Pearson’s link could play in our favour. Failing Henry, it wouldn’t be my first choice by any stretch, but you’d probably have to look at Fletcher on a free as your targetman type. In summary, I’d be looking at : RB – Nyambe & Key CB – Knight & Ostigard CM – Sheaf plus one of Rothwell or Mowett AM – Twine & Richards ST – Henry & Humphrys I realise that’s 10 players, but we are losing 14 from the current squad, so the squad places are there to fill. Thanks for reading.
    114 points
  18. What the **** are you talking about? Being told not to sing it is not trying to erase history. Singing a chant about WW2 at a football match just because we're playing the Germans is ******* tin pot. Time and place - that chant doesn't pay any form of respect. It's meant to antagonise opposition fans (the vast majority of which I'm sure are hugely ashamed of their countries history). This is intended not to pay respect but try to stir up trouble. Lest we forget??? Chanting that at a football match does not show respect to the memory of the heros and innocent victims (on boths sides) of WW2. This is right up there with The Sun/Dailymail sensationalist headlines that will probably reference the Hun/ dad's army at some point.
    111 points
  19. Am I alone in being the only one who liked and appreciated it? He may have a shoddy record in appointing head coaches, but he comes across as well meaning and that interview has given me some confidence he might just get it right this time. I wasn’t expecting the interview, but I feel better now than I did before it.
    107 points
  20. This is why Pearson is the right person for the job and patience needs to be shown. Attitude in football and dressing room culture is vital to a happy team, that is then a successful one. This mess started with Ashton and Johnson - arguably some forced on them, due to players we sold and cashed in on, but ultimately, the process of checking the players coming in was not good enough and did not look beyond their natural and potential ability. Holden walked into a ticking time bomb, with a squad of unfit, unhappy players with a few who were causing issues behind the scenes. Nige has come in - taken stock, and is slowly but surely getting rid of them, to enable the culture required to come back. Players have to do it his way, or no way. When players like Kasper Schmeichel or Matty James speak so highly of him, it is for a reason, however some of our players don't like the harsh realities being served to them behind closed doors. To his credit, Pearson always said it was a 3 year plan to convert and we are nearing the end of year 1. I've no doubt following a summer overhaul, we'll see a big difference in the next 12 months. Today is a good day for this club, and his honesty should be a further warning to those players who think they can do as they wish.
    104 points
  21. We can all agree 2020 has been a year like no other any of us have experienced before, and with that has brought many added pressures to people at a time of year where suicide rates increase. Please, if you feel alone or are struggling, try to talk to someone. Life might not always feel like living and you may feel like you are at rock bottom, but the world is a much better place with you in it. Personally this site really helps me, I have really low and negative days but keeping in touch with the Bristol City family is a massive thing. If anyone ever feels alone, please reach out. You can message me, or one of the many other supportive posters on here, or even talk to someone. I won't divulge personal information but I can't thank those people enough that have picked up when I've been struggling and taken the time to message me. We come from all backgrounds, beliefs, age groups and football teams etc, but I believe everyone on here would look out for a friend in need. A few of the Bristol City social media accounts shared the below today. Hopefully it'll also appear on the official website too.
    103 points
  22. Andi has just been called up for the Austrian international team. What a man, fully deserved.
    102 points
  23. been busy in lockdown just finished revamping my home bar,do hope you like it even got jacki,s corner with Williams posh seats. some big cheese and even a team sheet from the 70s a very kind old man gave me a interview board with all signutures {could do with some help on this one} anyone one out there with a couple of the dolman b block wooden seats or any eastend stuff would be interested one side is city the other is boxing related and England hope you like and this keeps your spirits up in tough times any questions chaps please ask and keep yourself and your family's safe
    101 points
  24. Incredibly tedious to try point scoring immediately after such a good result so early in the season. Honestly, the best thing you could do is not start antagonistic threads like this and keep quiet. All the satisfaction would then be if we keep doing well and the appointment speaks for itself.
    101 points
  25. My brother Dave passed away this morning in a Poole nursing home after an 18 month battle with the big C. He was a Red home and away in the 60's and 70's 'till he moved to Christchurch (Dorset) he then took up with Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (so not a glory hunter), but still had City at heart. He will have a grandstand view of his two favorites now .
    100 points
  26. Fantastic performance both. I genuinely think their courage and fearlessness in the midst of the battering we were getting at the start helped them more senior players grow in confidence. 100% effort and plenty of skill , Top job!
    98 points
  27. I have been thinking of posting something like this for a while, but this comment from the Preston forum stood out and made me finally do it- "Bristol City were technically very goal and worked very hard. Surprised on their league position. Expected Pearson would have been fired by now given expectations at the club but looks like he's building something and maybe the club see this." I think the club definitely do see this and most fans too - for a few everything needs to be instant though. We are a club in transition and NP is doing a great job. He is mostly working with what he has, with the odd low budget addition. He has also had to let players go -(some he may of wanted to keep, but we couldn't afford) and make the tough decisions on players who maybe do not fit the clubs ethos and plans. That brings us to the next part, plans and identity! Something LJ went on about, but we now clearly have. It shows on the pitch and it shows in how the fans at the games have reacted - Getting behind the team because we can finally see a plan, a willingness to play football (rather than jsut grind games out) and they trust where we are going. Our performances are getting better all the time + players are improving all the time. We have such a young side and they have come on so much since last season - imagine what they might be like next season if they make even half as much progress. The pathway is there, they are clearly being well coached and getting match exposure. We could easily field a team with over half coming from the club: Max, Pring, Vyner, Scott, Conway, Benarous add in club developed players/kind of home grown - Semenyo, HNM, Cundy. I think for me it reminds me of when Sean O'Driscoll was here - he had to transition the club and despite things not going well on the pitch I think there are a fair few who appreciate he did a lot of the work to transition us and set things up behind the scenes and with restructuring - for Cotts to get us flying. That's what NP is doing now - only he is doing it and managing to improve us game on game and develop our own players. Anyone still not able to see that needs to take a step back and see the bigger picture. However I think most do and as we keep progressing more and more will.
    96 points
  28. I have been a little surprised, maybe even shocked at some of the recent comments related to our start of the season. Of course it is a forum, and a difference of opinion is welcome , and is what makes life and football so interesting. I have a particular take on the current situation , and whilst I do have to reference the past few years, it is not to ignite another debate of previous custodians, it is to highlight where we went wrong and why we may just be on the right track once more. I thought the employment of LJ at the time reckless. Whilst hindsight would temper that view, he was not a disaster, but equally was not the solution. Why ? Well we had just had a great promotion, and finally we saw once again what a genuine team looks like. SC and Burt (and a bit of SOD) had put together a team that was at one, together , and that magical playing beyond the sum of its parts. Hey we had seen this before, with GJ. So we do know what a strong team looks and feels like. It has been there in front of us. When SC left , it hurt a lot, but equally he left a very strong but faltering side. But there was a core there who were united. Indeed some have gone on to better things, others had a great career at the level we are at now. Few L1 sides create that situation. Over the LJ and MA years , we started with a transfer bonus from the sale of Kodja, and then started the hit and miss years . Why ? Well there were players like Webster that were a stunning transfer success, there were bonus sales of players like Reid, Flint and Bryan who had cost nothing or low fees. This was big profit on transfers. But where it went wrong, was that the recruitment became ever more haphazard, with a lack of clear playing "identity" and as we progressed that internal team ethic, spirit, and desire became less and less as the L1 team dissolved into history. Again, not wanting a repeat discussion about this period (I am as wrong as someone is right), as the main point is the future. Stay with it. During this period, it seemed to me we were disregarding reference points of success. We have all talked about Brentford, and I feel we should add Southampton and the big one Leicester. Our strategy did not follow any of those. Why would Bristol City not be able to emulate any of those 3 ? But despite those clubs having a clear strategy and following it, we paid lip service to it, as our signings went back to the old way , trying to buy success, with increasing wage bills, transfer fees and no real backbone of strategy. We stopped buying young players to develop, hungry players out to prove themselves or looked deep enough int the character of players signed. We started signing players we had never even scouted physically. So for me, when Pearson came on the scene, I was interested. I really wanted him post SC , indeed at that point we would have got Walsh and Shakey too, the full bundle. Why ? Well you cannot deny Leicester have done something special, and it would be remiss not to understand what they changed. Why is it we have a great financial owner and backer, a decent stadium , now have a training centre of a great level , and a decent Academy (I would prefer it expanded - but that is another topic) So on paper we have had all of the right ingredients, but the application has been missing. If we look at the 3 clubs mentioned, the essential factor we have been missing is recruitment, and recruitment to a plan. What changed Leicester, and NP and his team were architects of that, was and to this day remains recruitment. When selling a player, Leicester were always prepared and advanced in having a replacement ready. We never did that, we always seemed to panic, and scatter that income. Leicester and others (Dortmond another example) invest in players with something special and bank of their development. Hey that is what Brentford do/did too. The scouting system is based on internal diagnostics, matched with external data bases but then there is a network of physical scouts (Brentford the same) . All of these teams focus on areas where the big teams are less focused, so they can be a bigger fish in the pond, and can demonstrate development and potential sell on. We gave lip service to that, had some success, but it was never structured or planned. In NP we have one of the few people that has overseen a genuine change in a club approach and philosophy. They are a rare item. We have had millions spent by our owner and his return I would suggest has been poor. So you have to step back. It is no crime to look at others you aspire to follow, study and replicate. We now have one small part of that jigsaw, but we need to now build on that. We have seen other clubs gain a a manager, who has some success and leaves. That is not what we need, we need to build a genuine change in football approach, we have to become something we have never been. This will take some time. We have the bricks and mortar but we do not yet have the deep , very deep , footballing set up that will allow us to follow Leicester or Southampton or Brentford. For all that we see on the pitch right now, and it is far from great, we are seeing very early steps toward generating a Bristol City that can become a genuine Prem club. That is going to take time, and as we have seen already with Rennie, when you bring in high quality, they raise the bar. That is what NP wants with James and King too. But those few signings, with minimal transfer fee potential are always going to be a stepping stone. NP will need time, he also needs to build our scouting and recruitment systems. Many can have the data, or technical recruitment these days, but it goes beyond that , and you also need to move fast. Because everyone else will be looking at the same data. You need to know who you want, where they fit in and the attributes you need for your team. But sign to a plan and philosophy. NP could do with support, that looks more and more likely going forward. He surely needs Walsh somehow to come back from the USA . We have not had anyone at our club for such a long time that really knows what getting to the Prem looks like or what is needed to create a Prem club. So whilst it may not be instant , overnight, sticking with and supporting NP has a far greater probability of leading to success. Heck we stuck with LJ for years and with millions. NP will need 3 to 4 years, need maximum FFP support , needs more off field staff at the right level and as explained, we need to raise substantially our recruitment network. Promising start mind , Atkinson looks the real deal . NP is willing to develop youth players too. How many would do that ? How many can define a plan to raise the club to the next level ? So recruitment, recruitment, recruitment. That is where we have to make the biggest steps in the shortest amount of time. NP knows better than anyone, how key that is , and we all have to support this painful transition this season. The upside will be that in 2 years we should see a side with Atkinson, Massengo, Semenyo, Bell, Scott, Conway etc ripping it up, combined no doubt with a number of new faces recruited correctly. We may have to sell someone along the way, but sell well, and recruit better. If the recruitment cycle is broken, you go back to square one. (Signing Wells was an example of breaking the cycle. Nothing against Wells, but it broke the cycle and is lost opportunity in future. You have to believe and follow the strategy). So the biggest signings BCFC and NP need to make now are with the recruitment team. NP will know that and I hope the owner does too. There are some great posters on here who have talked about this for years. They had reason to. Maybe now we have a manager who can implement a top to bottom philosophy , we have not had this , and in part NP is being a DOF (that maybe his long term role) . The results are not what we want, but I can see a plan, and it actually excites me , because the previous approach got us in this mess and did not get us to the Prem. We had to change and we are. So I hope many can see beyond the immediate , have some patience, and enjoy the ride - and recruitment.
    95 points
  29. I have rarely ever in the last few years experienced such an outpouring of negativity and posters seemingly desperate for us to fail. We didn't. We won. Get over it you muppets. Still in the chase , still in the pack - winning very ugly yet up the league and still in the FA Cup.
    95 points
  30. It is with a heavy heart that I have to share with you that OTIB member “One Team in Keynsham” (Phil is his real name) has sadly lost his fight with colon cancer and passed away in the last few days Many of you would have known of him, he’s someone I counted as a friend. He used to live in the Cayman Islands, but returned to the UK in 2019 to get treatment for his cancer. It sadly spread and he was told in March that there was nothing further they could do. He’d been writing a blog, and I’m going to share the last post he wrote on there, when he was told that treatment was no longer an option. Night mate https://roadtorecovery1967.wixsite.com/website
    92 points
  31. On any objective measure, he's one of the best owners in the football league. He consistently funds the club as generously as the rules allow and has invested in the stadium and training facillities to put the club on a sound footing for the long term. Although I appreciate his loyalty to LJ infuriated some, I respect and prefer his measured approach which contrasts to knee-jerk decisions that you commonly see elsewhere. There are SO many examples of poor ownership littering the football league and its recent history and he compares SO favourably, that it's difficult to understand where this impression comes from.
    92 points
  32. Can't believe how excitable some of you lot are. Just chill and have a relaxing evening away from all the nonsense like what I'm doing.
    90 points
  33. Dean needs to go and I wish him every best wishes for his future. But please please can we at least appreciate that whilst he was not the right - can posters on OTIB at least let him go with a bit of dignity and not the personal attacks that seem fair game for so many. He is not personally responsible for all the faults at BCFC, or the injuries, or the strategy which comes from the top. Top bloke- wish him well but time for SL to rethink exactly what he wants from this Club because, Lord knows, he's testing our loyalty.
    90 points
  34. City goal (Naismith): https://streamja.com/gwwyz
    89 points
  35. Good for him. Hopefully he helps a lot of other young people.
    89 points
  36. This isn’t aimed at the club, it’s Manager, SL or anybody officially connected to our club for that matter, it’s aimed at many of our so called ‘fans’. I too am disappointed at where we are as a club BUT we all know how we have arrived at this point. Significant numbers this season renewed ST’s knowing full well that we have a small squad lacking general quality. We were always destined to struggle this season and anything above the relegation zone was acceptable come the end - we are where we expected to be, surely? What really annoys me though is the awful, highly personal vitriol spread by many. Football fans now seem to demand instant success and don’t seem to appreciate players and Managers are doing their best plus that they are people after all! They too feel shit after losses and it hurts them badly too. Why do people bother posting negative rubbish on a regular basis, all it seeks to do is help people spiral into even more of a negative world. Life is hard enough without continually slagging people and situations off. People underestimate how important confidence is in any worker and that includes footballers, imagine being told by many people on a regular basis you are shit at what you do, and they then wonder why you aren’t performing. Are some not aware some of our players are actually kids? One window into a three year development journey, all aimed at a much needed rebuild exercise and fans are singing about ex players and that NP is getting sacked in the morning, wtf..? We go again on Saturday when OUR team needs you, and remember if you keep screaming at people that they are shit, they will quickly believe you, I think with the title ‘supporters’ there’s a clue in the title .
    89 points
  37. Really gutted to have heard lifelong friend and fellow City fan Lester Solway has lost his battle with cancer. He passed away listening to The Wurzels earlier today. I first met Lester watching Weston-super-Mare FC and other time got more involved in the club there, he even roped me into repainting their old Woodspring Park ground one summer !! When we realised we had a mutual liking of all things Bristol City we started following City more and more, home and away Those that know about the "Yellow Submarine" he was a regular on the early coach trips that were organised including the infamous double decker bus to Sheffield Wednesday He always had a smile on his face and would light up a room with his funny anecdotes and jokes May he now Rest In Peace
    89 points
  38. I've been reading this forum from afar, and I've now finally had enough and signed up. I've been supporting Bristol City for 30 years now, followed home and away, so I'm not a new fan by any means. What has shocked me though over resent years it the complete entitlement of our fans, especially at the moment. Mark Ashton For me, the man has a done a decent job at the football club. He is a fantastic negotiator and for the first time that I can remember we have been a force to reckon with when it comes to negotiation etc. We've already heard from several employees within the club that Mark is a decent guy and works extremely really hard behind the scenes. David Lloyd also said as much on OSIB this week. He's obviously highly regarded within footballing circles as he's been giving a role on the EFL board! So, because some of our fanbase wouldn't have a pint with him, wears a suit, he's suddenly slimy and a snake. Honestly, who cares? He's overseen one of the most successful periods in Bristol City's history. He is an articulate and intelligent CEO, but lets hound him out with an absolute pipe dream of getting Scudamore in. Are you having a laugh? Lets be honest, most people who have jumped on this witch hunt, as that is what it is, haven't got a clue what his role actually is. Fans just see a well groomed man in a suit and have just made their minds up that they don't like him because he, funnily enough, talks like a CEO. Lets be clear for the fans that can't compute this...... MARK ASHTON DOES IDENFIFTY PLAYERS TO SIGN. Mark Ashton overseas the recruitment team who finds the players. They send lists of players to the manager, who then says YES or No. The manager will also suggest players for the recruitment team to analyse. Where people have got the idea Mark Ashton identifies players, is beyond me and blows my mind. But that doesn't fit in with the narrative does it. Why do our fans expect so much? I don't know another CEO in the football league that is expected to come out on radio and talk all of the time, its madness. Steve Lansdown It beggars belief how anyone would have a bad word to say about one of our own, who has ploughed over £200m into this club. He has built a premier league standard stadium, a premier league quality training ground and has moved this club forward beyond recognition over the past 18 years. But yet all people want to do is abuse the guy!! Are you serious? Its like people think that running a successful football club is easy. Simply black and white. Could you imagine where we would be without the mans help? I'm not saying that he's always got it right, but he's sure got more right than wrong over the years and he is still ploughing money in. You can tell that SL and JL are both at the end of the road with it, ploughing millions upon millions trying to elevate this club with nothing put abuse. I'd have pulled the plug years ago. The club would have been in great hands moving forward under JL, but SL has also said this week he isn't interested. Are you surprised? Again, the abuse he gets on here is horrendous. 10 clubs in the championship are now on a transfer ban! We aren't one of them. Can you guess why? Yeah, thats it, the CEO and the Owner have done a fantastic job to make sure that didn't happen during a worldwide pandemic. We have a financially stable club when others all over the football league are crumbling. So if the fans got their way, we'd hound out an experienced CEO and a billionaire Bristol City supporting owner. But where do you go from there once they leave in this little fantasy land ours? Maybe we can get in some Asian investment from owners that could barely point to Bristol on the map and have Ashton Gate sponsored by a betting company, as that's what it sounds like supporters want. I'd hate to think what out fans would be like if we ACTUALLY had something bad to moan about. I love this club, I always will, but why do we as fans always have this need to press the self destruct button? We do we feel so entitled? We do we always need someone to blame? Every club go through ups and downs, but just think back and see how far we have come and tell me we haven't progressed in every department of this football club. I'm sorry if you don't agree, and I'm expecting a lot of abuse instead of constructive debate. But is everything that bad?
    88 points
  39. It’s now apparent that despite the talk of recent years, investment in the stadium and on players fees/wages, Mr Lansdown has given up on the promise of the premier league. Yes he has been great for the club over the years. As above, he has invested greatly. I’ve always had greatly belief in what he was trying to achieve. That’s all now out the window. As being as close as we are to a decent team breaking into the top 6, all that felt like it was missing was that quality manager with the know how to get us there. Today’s soon to be confirmed announcement all but confirms this is now nothing more than hope rather than expectation. He interests and loyalty lay elsewhere. Many of us had seen for years Johnson wasn’t going to deliver what was required yet he continued to stick by him. Worse than that is who he has chosen to replace him with. Thanks for the memories but time to hand over the reigns to some willing to do what is needed to get us over that line.
    86 points
  40. Fans want overnight fixes to complex problems . It’s tiresome that so few understand the depth of a mess we have at the club . Change feels good because it means you enter another phase of uncertainty and something has happened . But if you keep doing that without fixing deep rooted issues at the club it matters little . We have done this for 20 years . Yet here we are again with a group of average over paid players . In the past we got relegated during this phase . the issue this summer is not Pearson , it is recruitment .
    85 points
  41. The team gave everything. Throughly undeserved and nothing like prior losses in my opinion.
    85 points
  42. It's been confirmed today that SL approached Pearson, and SL made the call to give him the job. Thank You SL for giving us belief in Bristol City again. An inspired appointment (overwhelmingly popular with the fans), combined with last night's result has completely changed the mood, from grim despair to genuine hope for the future. Instead of thinking of the next game with dread, now looking forward to it in anticipation. If NP can lead us to comfortable safety with good performances thrown in, please make sure we retain him even if he steps on Ashton's toes!
    85 points
  43. Potentially, or potentially not. Strange how SL’s cheque book was found after he sacked SC wasn’t it. SC gave us fans the best season in decades, he deserved some loyalty from the owner imo.
    84 points
  44. Glad to have Lansdown, but these figures are by and large his fault. We had a really trim quality squad that needed two or three additions. Then he let Johnson and Ashton take him to the cleaners and treble the wage bill. This was always coming.
    83 points
  45. For as long as Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine they should be suspended from all sporting events.
    82 points
  46. This is a piece by Gregor Mc I thought it was a good , well written view / piece , by somebody who is pretty close eyes to what goes on , but without the anger that many of us fans feel Thought I’d post it for those that otherwise may miss it ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bristol City verdict: The football club excelling at everything except football Bristol City's ambition burns bright. But that red glow you see is not the sun on the horizon but the reverse lights after the current team crash from Championship defeat to defeat. The direction of travel is not so much south west. Just south. Everywhere the team goes or whenever they play host they impress. Whether it's food donations from the Robins Foundation, the club's imminent plans for moving into state of the art training facilities, to their top-class stadium, hospitality and concert programmes and burgeoning sports quarter plans. The work of the academy is regarded as top notch and there is talent constantly being pushed into the senior side (we'll come onto this more in a second) attracting attention elsewhere. Both the CEO and media teams have won industry best-in-class awards of late. But the club is simply not impressing where it matters most: on the pitch. Every year the mission is to go up or at the least be 'competitive' as Mark Ashton explained recently. The club is now failing on that account and it doesn't take a backroom team of analysts to work that out. If this writer is being harsh given that Manchester United were beaten not so long ago, then put down the cider and wake up to 2021. We're four years on from that point. The club has wasted those talents that forged those heady nights and the current squad looks way off the pace. Saturday's capitulation, the worst for a decade, will at least see BS3 gilded cages rattled and hard questions asked. Jon Lansdown gave up tweeting about Bristol City some time ago but after a fourth league defeat in a row, but a ninth in the last 12 games, there will at least be some discussion behind the scenes. City's relegation form for the last three and a half months (only Birmingham and Wycombe have taken fewer points than City since 1 December) demands it. Alarm bells will ring around super hub Ashton Gate after this one and a vaccination for incompetence needs be sought, after the defending reduced a club legend to swearing 'f****** hell' on live broadcast. By some twisted quirk, the Robins are still just one point off seventh position. But to acknowledge that is to dismiss the ineptitude of recent matches and a side that is in freefall. It was just one shot on target by the end of Saturday's one-sided contest, making it nine in total in the last five games, less than two per match. Savior them, Bristol City fans, as you're liable to have to wait around an hour of drab match action to see another. Indeed, given that City recorded an Expected Goals total of 0.02 of a goal at Carrow Road against Norwich City, this was a comparative feast of attacking football as Han-Noah Massengo shot low at Daniel Bachmann in goal eight minutes from the end to finally warm the Austrian's hands on a chilly day. It certainly was an attacking display of splendour going the other way up the pitch though, as City were once again outclassed. Ismaela Sarr was the star turn, but Ken Sema and Joao Pedro can have thoroughly enjoyed this one too.No-one comes out of Saturday's trip east well for the visitors, despite the Robins heading to parachute-payment enhanced opposition and a side who had a full week to prepare. City by contrast looked like they'd had a full hour. Watford were backslapping to the tune of John Barnes and Nigel Callaghan on the wings following this game, as the home side recorded their biggest margin of victory in a league game since 1982, when Eye of the Tiger by Survivor was top of the charts and Graham Taylor in thrall at Vicarage Road. But there was little fight on show from the Robins. Survival was gone after just half an hour of play, being three down. And to think that some critics have lambasted Mark Ashton for never solely helping the Hertfordshire club to achieve anything... Questions will be asked of Holden, Ashton, the board and the strategy going forward, and so they should be. This was men against boys stuff. Quite literally with 18-year-old Ryley Towler looking a good talent but why on earth would you put him on the left against arguably the best winger in the entire division, courted by Manchester United and Liverpool? For his second league game ever. Having not played that position ever before in a league game. And likely no team ever, bar last Wednesday. Perhaps if Alfie Mawson had been behind the academy graduate it may have been worth the risk, but an untested young talent thrust into the senior side because of injuries and not on ability was a recipe for disaster. Taylor Moore had a regrettable afternoon and the fact that he was on for a hat-trick of own goals and not mentioned by the head coach after the game tells its own story (Lee Johnson would have publicly rebuked; Holden takes the flak now). As for the head coach, he looked shell-shocked in his post-match press conference. We don't suggest that there will be a replacement as the message from the club has been that this is an extraordinary season and Holden has not yet had a fair crack of the whip. There are other reasons for the drop-off in form of late too: poor recruitment, a threadbare squad ravaged by injury and more, while the club seem happy to bumble along until pressed to actually do something. For City, things could rapidly deteriorate in the next games ahead with some difficult fixtures to come at home against Reading and away to Middlesbrough and Swansea City, with confidence having taken an almighty Harry Wilson-like stamp to the mid-drift. Things change very quickly in football and further humiliating scorelines may force a quick rethink. Mark Ashton explained ahead of the season that "challenging for promotion is definitely the aim". "It's definitely more than achievable," he added. Jon Lansdown expected a promotion challenge too. "I believe we had a squad last year that should have been challenging for the top six and I think going into next year, there's no reason to think that we can't be in that bracket again. We want to be at the right end of the table challenging for promotion," he said. What do you say now, chaps?
    82 points
  47. On this topic, I think we need to wait for NB to speak. It’s tragic any career is cut short due to injury. It’s highly personal and given the nature of the injury - very sensitive. He got a fair bit of shit on here for being a sick note but he always put in a shift. A real warrior. Wish the bloke all the best
    81 points
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