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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. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
    125 points
  7. 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.
    120 points
  8. 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
  9. 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.
    117 points
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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!
    99 points
  14. 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.
    96 points
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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?
    89 points
  21. 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
  22. 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!
    86 points
  23. The team gave everything. Throughly undeserved and nothing like prior losses in my opinion.
    85 points
  24. 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.
    84 points
  25. 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
  26. 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.
    81 points
  27. Just gotta suck this one up. Mitrovic is on over 100k a week such is parachute payments. This game doesn’t define us. The aim this season was to shed a tonne of the wage bill and survive. We’ve done one and will do the other. COYR
    78 points
  28. My all time favourite Leicester player, playing under my all time favourite Leicester manager. There's no manager I'd trust more than Pearson to build a squad to succeed. It might not be immediate but given time I'm sure he will succeed. With regards to King, hard to know where he's at having not played much recently but you won't get a more committed player in the squad, also one of the best characters to have around. Listen to most of our new signings over the last few years and they always mention him being the one to help them integrate and settle. He's not blessed with great pace but keeps everything nice and tidy ticking over. He is a fantastic finisher and our all time top scoring midfielder. There's a video on YouTube of all of his goals for us, some of them are sublime. Really hope they succeed for you this season, will try and get down for a game if possible.
    77 points
  29. Pearson just isn't the man for this. It's easy to blame Ashton etc but this team, the way we play and the mentality is ******* dire and doesn't seem to be improving. I wouldn't be too upset to see him gone anytime soon
    76 points
  30. I try to reset and be positive, but that was frankly abysmal. We are only going one way. 1 deflected free kick from 35 yards was our only shot on target in 102mins of derby football. That line up is so much better than what we dished up despite deciding we can play without a left-back. The substitutions? Our best midfielder for two games running hooked, and our best midfielder across the course of this season dropped. A centre-forward who refuses to commit himself to this club has somehow become a man that has to play every minute of every game. McCarthy and TC are probably beside themselves with disbelief at how easy that was. Plus Marlon Pack who seemed more animated and tactically aware than the whole of our bench. Deary me, time to be realistic, this is dire. Out-fought, out-thought, out-played. Only silver lining for the board is that there was not 25k plus in the ground today as that would have been toxic. Cannot see how anyone can draw any positive signs from the descent we are in.
    76 points
  31. 88th minute, has a shot blocked for his hat trick, chases back past 3 Cardiff players & gets a challenge in to stop them breaking. That’s why Nige picks him, that’s why I ******* love him.
    74 points
  32. We need to get him to sign a longer term deal ASAP. End of the season is only 8 weeks away and there are a hell of a lot of decisions to be made in terms of incomings and outgoings. Him committing long term will be a major factor in whether players want to stay, and he will be a big selling point for attracting new players to the club. Get it done, SL.
    73 points
  33. I’ve been watching City for 35 years and this is by quite some distance the city team I’ve disliked the most - I would not care one bit if i never saw the vast majority of this lot never pull on a City top again
    72 points
  34. ......bring it on, It made a pleasant change to see a game where we looked like we had more players on the pitch than the opposition. I know it was "only Birmingham" but in the Championship every team is there to be beaten or lose to, and we looked in control for longer periods than I have seen for a long time.
    72 points
  35. Gutted at the result but my wife has just had a successful operation today to treat bone cancer on her hip joint so even city cant get me down today.
    72 points
  36. Does anyone else feel like this? I thought I would be annoyed but I actually don't care that we lost 6-0 which is pretty bad... Completely disconnected from the club at the moment!
    72 points
  37. Brilliant article in The Athletic this AM: Roughly 30 minutes have elapsed of Shrewsbury Town’s game versus Oxford United, on the face of it a regulation League One fixture on a Saturday afternoon in sunny Shropshire. The home team have just taken a 2-1 lead and a voice emanates from the directors’ box. It’s raspy, hoarse and a little faint, but what you can detect loud and clear is anger. Two of Shrewsbury’s coaches stop watching the game and turn around to face the shouty man. Then journalists in the press box turn around. Then Shrewsbury’s substitutes. Then Oxford’s. The man is holding court to pretty much the entire stadium. His words are hard to decipher but they include “distribution” and “slow”. Steve Cotterill is back. It’s hard to underplay what Shrewsbury’s boss has been through in the past four months. To put plainly, he was close to death. The 56-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 in January and went into intensive care, before recovering and leaving hospital in mid-February. A couple of weeks later he took a turn for the worse and went back to Bristol Royal Infirmary, suffering from COVID-pneumonia. Despite his life-threatening prognosis, Cotterill, who was appointed in November and took charge of seven league games before being struck by the virus, continued to work. In total he spent 69 days recuperating and being treated in hospital. He spoke to his assistant boss Aaron Wilbraham on every single one of those 69 days. Sometimes Wilbraham would wake up in the morning to receive pages of detailed tactical instructions, sent by Cotterill at 4am. The former Bristol City striker, in his first coaching role, calls it an “overwhelming, crazy experience”. On Saturday, six weeks after being discharged, Cotterill returned to the club. After driving himself 120 miles north from Bristol to Shrewsbury — a tiring task in itself for someone who had spent the majority of this year in a hospital bed – he arrived at Montgomery Waters Meadow and took it all in. Cotterill walked down the tunnel and out onto the pitch. He was said to be overwhelmed at being back. He and Wilbraham met face-to-face for the first time in four months, then he met some of his players for the first ever time, such as January transfer window additions Nathanael Ogbeta and Curtis Main. Cotterill chatting to Dave Edwards and Karl Robinson before the game (Photo: James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images) Cotterill is still on medication and has CT scans and x-rays to undergo in the coming days, so this was intended to be a “muted” return, as the stadium announcer described it pre-match. It was anything but. The Shrewsbury boss gave the pre-match team talk, the half-time team talk and the post-match debrief. At 5.45pm he was still in the dressing room chatting to the players. If this was supposed to be him taking it easy (Cotterill sat in the directors’ box throughout the game and forewent media duties post-match) then full-pelt must be something to behold. “SWITCH ON… STAY THERE JOSH,” Cotterill screams as he organises his players from the very back of the main stand. “Get the pass off! *******… ****… ****,” his voice tails away as a player dawdles in possession. Ever seen a substitute trot up a flight of stairs, studs clinking, to receive hushed instructions from a manager in a directors’ box? It felt like there were a few firsts at Montogomery Waters Meadow. “GET THEM UP THE PITCH,” Cotterill yells at his assistant Wilbraham. “UUUUP, AARON!” The fact Cotterill is the loudest man in the stadium and every single player can hear this appears to be irrelevant. It is Wilbraham who must pass on the instruction that everyone has already heard. Wilbraham is wearing earphones via which he was meant to communicate with his boss. As Cotterill ramps up the volume the longer the match goes on, they’ve become completely redundant. With the score at 2-2 and time running out, Shrewsbury win a free-kick 10 yards outside their own box. Cotterill, full volume, demands keeper Harry Burgoyne’s attention as he instructs him to take it. After three shouts of “Harry!”, he gives his manager a thumbs up. Even in quiet sections of stadiums there’s always one absolutely enraged supporter who kicks every ball and bellows instructions to every player from the back of the stand, eyes bulging, face reddening. Today it’s Shrewsbury’s manager. Play-off chasing Oxford score a late winner and, despite forcing two good chances (and two great saves) in six minutes of stoppage time, Shrewsbury can’t force an even later equaliser. But in the grand scheme of things, it matters little to the home team. The day’s focus, for a club that has already impressively secured League One survival in his absence, is all on one man. “It’s not in the manager’s nature to take it easy,” Wilbraham says. “He’s had to take it easy for the past four months and he’s hated every minute of it. I could tell he was a bit overwhelmed and nervous (being back) but he was soon having banter with the lads. “I gave him a big hug when I saw him. First of January to first of May, I’d not seen him. “You could see people’s faces beaming when they saw him. It wasn’t like; ‘Oh I’ve missed you’, it was just banter, telling them what they look like. That’s what everyone wanted. “I never felt any pressure while he was away, only from him to produce and get the club safe, I like that pressure. When he came back I did feel relief. It was a strange feeling.” The goodwill towards Cotterill was universal. Oxford boss Karl Robinson chatted to him for half an hour before the game. “He’s a good football man,” Robinson says. “Me and him went toe to toe for 46 games five years ago (at MK Dons and Bristol City). He’s a pleasure to share a touchline with. To see him back is a nice feeling, to know he’s on the mend, we look forward to welcoming him back to the football community next year. “You could still hear him (from the box)! You could put Cotts in the car park and you could still hear him.” A strange day of strange feelings and heightened emotions, topped by a moving and poignant speech given by Cotterill to the players before the game. He told them how close he came to dying, he told them everything he’d been through. He told them how hard life has been. He told them he didn’t think coronavirus could “get him”, but it had and that they should be careful. He told them to run their hearts out on the pitch and enjoy it while they could. He told them to appreciate life. “It was special to be in there,” Wilbraham says. “At times he might have thought he might not come back. A lot of the boys, as soon as he walked out, were saying ‘wow’.” Cotterill in the directors’ box on Saturday (Photo: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) The players, who found out two days before that their manager would finally be returning to the dressing room (his voice had been there for months, via occasionally dodgy bluetooth speakers), have never heard anything like it. “I was taken back, I got quite emotional,” former Bolton man Josh Vela says. “He’s got a family at home, he’s got children. He was close to dying. The type of person and character he is, he’s come through it. It’ll give us a big boost going into next season. “I could hear him in the first half shouting something at me! He’s not the type of person to chill out, he wants to be involved in the game. Even when he wasn’t here he in the last few months he was shouting and bawling at us over speakers. “The job (Wilbraham) and David Longwell have done is unbelievable. It’s (Wilbraham’s) first job. They’ve got us up and out the mess we was in. “It’s put things in perspective, football comes second when someone you look up to has health problems like he has. He’s come through it because he’s a fighter.” With Cotterill missing 24 games and going through what he has, Shrewsbury comfortably avoiding relegation is one of the most notable achievements in the EFL this season. All that matters to Shrewsbury Town, the English football community and to everyone who knows Steve Cotterill, is that he’s still with us.
    71 points
  38. Hello all, my presence on this forum is somewhat limited these days, due to this 13 week old monkey, however I can’t help but feel guilty that I haven’t coordinated a card for Steve Cotterill in the same way I’ve done for others connected with our club who have been ill or suffered tragic events in their lives. Therefore I’m happy to put one together and get it to him, it just might take me a bit longer than usual. If people think this is a good idea, leave your messages below and I’ll put them all together in a card as I have done before. Hope everyone’s ok in these strange times
    70 points
  39. Today we celebrated the life of Scooter at the Willem II stadium, because legends never die!
    70 points
  40. Can't win can he! Honest interview i thought. Confirms he is still the final decision maker.
    70 points
  41. I thought Semenyo was excellent & he certainly is a striker.
    69 points
  42. He was unlucky on The Chase tonight
    69 points
  43. Doris the tea lady at Ashton Gate is leaving the club with immediate effect to join Ipswich Town where she will again link up with Mark Ashton. Doris - the Head of Refreshment and Beverage - has been at Ashton Gate for 5 years and previously worked with Mark at Oxford and Watford. Speaking to Ipswich Live today Mark said "Before I commence any task I sit down and have a nice cup of tea and Doris can deliver a class leading brew. As soon as I accepted the role at Ipswich Town the first person I wanted to come on board ws Doris. She will bring a strong work ethic, excellent people skills the right DNA, and of course always has a packet of my favourite iced biscuits on the trolly for me"
    68 points
  44. Mate, people aren’t desperate for us to fail. I was sat there kicking every ball and desperate for us to hold on. People are negative because the football is negative. People are negative because Holden plays negative. People are negative because if your tactic is to hang in a game, pretty soon your goalie won’t be in the form of his life and the woodwork won’t save you. People aren’t desperate for us to fail. They’re bloody worried as to how we’re set up and can see it’s not sustainable.
    67 points
  45. I’ve read this several times, but I just can’t understand what you mean. There are Rovers fans, who obviously support Bristol Rugby, in the Heineken lounge! Surely even a hardened Rovers fan once he or she is at Ashton Gate must realise how big the gulf Is between City and Rovers. How has developing Ashton Gate and bringing Bristol Rugby to the ground mean “ we have lost a significant part of our club because of Mr Lansdown’s Bristol Sport franchising.”? The more the ground is used 24/7 the better. To be successful a club just can’t use a ground to play it’s home matches. I can remember the old Ashton Gate and it was total crap. Thank you Steve Lansdown for spending your money to redevelop it
    66 points
  46. "In addition to the school measures announced by Mr Johnson, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the restrictions that stopped Bristol City players leaving their own half will be relaxed. From this week, the PM continued, City's midfield and defence will no longer have to maintain a 15 yard social distance from its attack; City defenders will be allowed to tackle opponents who are likely to score; and City attackers will be allowed to visit opponents goal mouth and may bring a ball with them."
    66 points
  47. Been diagnosed with renal cancer. Good luck in your recovery Paul from someone who has just gone through it. Very best wishes and hope you make a full recovery and return to work
    65 points
  48. Really impressed with him tonight. Showed great maturity against a very tricky and strong opponent. Also to comeback with a performance like that after the Watford game shows the character of the lad . Well done
    65 points
  49. I nearly did watching that rubbish yesterday
    63 points
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