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ray savino

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  1. I think this is exactly the case at the moment. Don’t think it was a particularly good game or performance, just pretty average but that is exactly where we are. We were much better against Swansea. But Pearson has put the brakes on a disasterous downward trajectory over the last 18 months and is very slowly turning it around. What we are seeing now is at least some commitment, some shape to the team to make it at least have more competitiveness about it and some individually good progression amongst the young players. I think Martin, King and possibly Vyner wouldn’t be the ideal candidates for their positions that Nige would choose. Decent squad members, but lacking that little bit of something to get to the top 6 or 8 in the division over a whole season. Bottom line is we blew any substantial budget we had on too many average players over the last few seasons and totally mismanaged the contracts. But that is where we are. As much as its frustrating, I rather we build steadily as we seem to be doing than risk going shit or bust. As I say, I actually think we aint got much choice at this stage. Nige has to turn it around and gradually get in those other players that will offer more threat within the team structure. So until the finances get back to a steadier position, we’re going to experience a few more huff n puff performances this season amongst one or two really good ones. But at least the team looks like it cares now though.
  2. Agree with both our full backs will be exposed and Dasilva looked caught out and vulnerable at times, but does possess the tools to recover even if it has to be coached more into him. He also does have Pring covering which given a bit more time for things to work may give him more confidence to go forward which by past performance we know he can do. Just think sadly that this system demands our full-backs are going to need the ability to recover. Everytime the ball came over to Simpsons side he looked like he was gonna get done and his body/footing positioning looked poor. That’s not to say he’s alone in any blame, but I really believe a good (and emphasise Good, in form) Zak Vyner good alleviate some of these problems. Sure, when our backs are against the wall for the last 20 minutes of some games, then Simpson’s guts, experience will be what we want from him. But if we want to be more on the front foot, which is what we gladly showed last night, then we’ve got to solve the full backs dilemma. Definitely agree that the style of play definitely has the potential and was a bloody sight more entertaining than recently, and dare I say that it could develop to have more in common with the better LJ performances in pressing energy front foot style of the 3 month late 2017 team. All credit to LJ for this period whether by design or accident most were good to watch. I think we suffered after this by believing our own publicity and tried to play styles of football that were either becoming too complex above the capabilities of most of our squad. I do think Pearson, if we give him a chance, is a realist, knows our squad deficiencies, knows we ain’t got no money, but is trying to engender a bit of belief and morale in the squad to keep us up at the minimum. He’s no super manager, but I think he has enough football know how and experience to leave us in a better shape as a club if and when he moves on. Actually, went with a friend who’s a Newcastle fan. I was a bit nervous, all the ’Sure you want to stomach this?’ jokes beforehand. But he enjoyed the match, thought it was entertaining, thought we were decent, deserved at least the draw, just thought we lacked a bit of cutting edge and quality in some parts. We got to get behind the team now, we are where we are, as long as they show the continued fight and commitment then I’ll be happy, hopefully more entertained and I think we may just be alright by the end of the season... famous last words and all that!
  3. Got to disagree here Dave. Agree stats may show a different aspect, but just still think Simpson was a weak link last night. True, not all his fault. Should have had better cover at times. But he looked well past his sell by, legs won’t let him do what he wanted or needed to do at times. He visibly looked indecisive what to do when sometimes, and when we had the ball and moved inside, he did not offer an alternative on the outside which is something I think he would have done a few years ago. I don’t believe he should go bombing up the pitch all game, but we need to have someone in that position who is fit enough to offer it on occasions, and knows they can recover if we get dispossessed. I won’t make him a scapegoat because I think he tried hard and was committed and so the least he deserves is our backing. I also trust some of the reasoning behind Pearson giving him a 1 year deal, experience in dressing room, etc. I also think that Pearson probably felt that he would be used sparingly which brings me onto the more problematic issue with right back, and that is Zak Vyner. He may not be a natural RB, but he has played there before, is athletic, decent technically, and can get forward as shown last year albeit in different positions. I actually rate him, but he hasn’t looked on it at all when he appeared this year. Could it be he’s one of the people Pearson doesn’t think has shown the right mentality this year, or doesn’t have the mental application? I believe he could do a job there, maybe not longer term, but give us a bit of athleticism we lack there. Overall we are where we are, and we definitely look better than last season, more agression and pride which is a massive improvement. Add in a bit more confidence, crowd behind them and I think we’ll be okay, maybe just. I know it’s gone now, but it still infuriates me that whoever has been responsible for messing with the reasonable foundations we gained from making money from recent transfer sells, wrecked most of it through some poor and largely decidedly average bloated recruitment. Whether Pearson is the man to turn things it remains to be seen, but the awful blend and make up of the squad we ended up with, I would be intrigued to hear who people think would change things around so quickly. True, McCathy got immediate results at Cardiff. But he already inherited players who could play a style familiar to his. Our squad was such a mix that lacked direction over the past few seasons I fail to see that this was going to be a longer job. I’ve said before, we should have been in a position that we only needed a couple of key additions to make us a contender, despite selling players, but our planning and recruitment was obviously flawed that we are left with little financial movement and an almost start again scenario. Still great to be back at the Gate and to be fair in the main the support/atmosphere was pretty decent last night. COYR.
  4. This is about right. Nagy is a good footballer. Doesn’t strike me as a Billy Big Nuts at all. In fact seems to have actually given a toss in a lot of games where other players hid during our worst runs. The fact seems clear that he doesn’t look likely to be in the Manager’s plans so best thing for both parties is for him to move on and get either a decent return for a fee, or at least help our FFP and get a a mobile main striker that after yesterday showed we desperately need (fair play to Martin who worked hard, took his goal well and had a decent game. I will be overjoyed if he can do this all season but even more surprised. We need someone with some pace, physicality, keeps the opposition on their toes and can press - Pearson I’m sure knows who fits the bill roughly out there, but as he says, it will cost.
  5. I’m looking forward to the season as ever, because there’s nothing like being at a live game. So like most seasons I dream of everything coming together, players not injured, on top of their form, etc. and we might upset the form and “do a Barnsley”. However, being in my mind realistic, not negative, I think we will end up lower mid table. As I say, I do think if the team hit some form, get momentum and confidence, then we could surprise a few people and flirt with those play off places. I do think we lack that mobile, main striker and as been stated, Pearson knows this. Nahki with good service is a proven finisher, Martin has a good football brain but is not mobile, Weiman has energy an a decent support, Semenyo, Bell, etc are good but still raw in areas. All can contribute, but that dangerous, physical, mobile plaer with good movement is missing. Kodjia (quick, skilful), Abraham (movement, finisher), Reid (Energy, skill, movement, football intelligence) were the best recent examples. Fam had some of these, but lacked that bit of football intelligence in his movement. On his day though he was a handful for opposition defences and did weigh in with his share of good goals. Never felt we played him to develop his true potential, but I guess we can say that about plenty of players over the past few years. Would be sad to see them go, but it looks like Kalas and Massengo could attract the funds that may buy that striker and maybe a loan/permanent centre back. By now we should have been putting the final pieces in the jigsaw for a real go at promotion/play-offs. However this is back to a reboot stage 1. Whoever we see as responsible, it has really hit home recently the amount of money we have wasted on recruitment for a club of our present stature and our strategy had been all over the place in terms of getting a balanced squad together. So I am glad with the response from Pearson that we will only spend the money with players who will improve the squad, as much as I would like us to go out and get that elusive striker. So mid-table will be good to me, as long as we can see a team and squad being built, some good competitive performances (and wins!). Top ten would be great, play-offs outstanding. More than ever, just so much looking forward to watching live football again...and obviously dreaming that we’ll upset everyone and reach the Prem at last!
  6. Yep same. Nothing but refreshing Nahki Wells pic.
  7. Nope. Payed a couple of days ago. Logged in and tried on 3 browsers but nothing.
  8. I LIKE Nagy and think he is a good footballer. yes he has weaknesses but doesn’t all our players. Not being suited to the Championship? Not sure, I think it’s more to do with the team he’s been playing for! BCFC have had no consistent playing style or team selections for a long time. Sadly I think he is one of those players that may have been the right player at the wrong time. Whilst I do agree that some players suit the culture of the league they play in, ( I remember the arguments saying could a Bryan Robson/Steven Gerard play in Serie A or La Liga at it’s best, Mark Hughes couldn’t settle, etc.) but I think part of this is about the pattern/style we have (or rather haven’t) adopted. It’s about the blend/lack of in our midfield and throughout the team for that matter. A lot of our squad frustrate the hell out of me, but I don’t think they are all shit players, they’ve shown capability in various games. What we haven’t got is a team. So regretably, we will probably not see the best of the likes of Nagy, but if we get a system with maybe a less gifted player and a team of players who at last positively complement eachother, then I will be happy because we’ll then probably win more than lose (or at least draw a few, or maybe even compete for 90 minutes!). The good thing about his decent performances in these Euros will hopefully mean he may get more interest and maybe generate a bit of a better fee for us when he likely moves. I’ll only wish him well, as I think he seems a decent bloke, and despite a few poor games, I think he has always put in a shift and tried to play football and I thought few of his best performances showed a class and intelligence on a par with the best players in the Championsip.
  9. Blimey, seems too bloody long after this season alone! Got into football like a lot from my generation during the ’66 World Cup and remember the first kick-about mass playground match with a tennis ball at Infants School. Before this landmark, I remember my Dad coming home from matches, talking about John Atyeo, etc. After the World Cup we swapped cowboys, war games, Thunderbirds, etc. for full on football. So Dad asked if wanted to see a match with him. I was 7 now. It was a pre-season July/August 1966, home to Southampton. We drew 1-1, Southampton had Terry Paine (played early games at World Cup) and I think still had Martin Chivers (later to be Spurs and England star). I was hooked. Then he took me to a reserve mid week match with my Mum as well ( a lad called Dickie Downs was playing and my mum knew his mum - I think that’s the only reason she went!). I loved it and I think my dad was glad he got me into City before any chance my head might be turned by Rovers. Although there was little chance of this living in South Bristol and all my family from a City background. The icing on the cake came when for a joint Xmas and birthday present, he got me a season ticket (Juvenile Season Card Season 1966/67) which cost him £5 - a lot of money to us in those days(hence a joint birthday and Xmas present). The journey began and despite the usual moans and groans of following the team I wouldn’t swap any of experiences I had following as a supporter all these years. Loads of great memories, including visits to Spurs (Greaves, Gilzean, Mackay), West Ham ( inc. Moore, Hurst, Peters) in late 1960’s FA Cup matches. I was lucky to get to know many of the players during those days and over the next 15 or so years, who were all great set of blokes. I was with my dad as tears rolled down his cheeks at Ashton Gate the night City beat Portsmouth to get to the First Division. It was then I understood what it meant to support a football club. Not just all the heartaches, the promotion success, the journey, but spending time and the shared experience with your family, friends, or even if you’re on your own you’ve got the rest of the City fans. That’s why I can’t shake off those bonds to this day, and I will meet up with my son next season (despite him telling me I’ve scarred him for life by making him go to watch City v Luton when he was 5).
  10. A really great west country sports enthusiast and writer. A respected journalist with knowledge and integrity. RIP David Foot.
  11. Many thanks to you for the link and for your son for making a very thoughtful piece of work. Really enjoyed that and yes, mirrors the thoughts of many fans across the country I would imagine.
  12. Sorry, I may have missed a post with your suggestions. But can you make a suggestion for who you would select/go after (realistically) to turn this around. Fine, no problem you thinking Pearson isn’t the man for the job, but who do you think will turn this around? Also, who in your opinion and what has been the heart of the downturn of our form over the last 2 or 3 seasons? Would be seriously interested in your viewpoint.
  13. Yep, you’re right. Sometimes invest that little bit extra in your management team to get it right off the pitch will cost you less on the pitch more often than not (although Mark Ashton may be an exception to this rule). I refer again to that Stuart Webber interview on the High Performance Podcast. Yes, he does blow his own trumpet quite a bit (must come with the territory, MA!) but was a great insight to in a nutshell is what our club needs. For this to happen SL has to prepare to be strongly challenged sometimes. As long as it’s constructive, a little disruption and boardroom confrontation now and again can be a positive thing. Blimey, we think SL might have found Cotts prickly, or Pearson might speak his mind too much, imagine if Brian Clough was doing an audit on our club at the minute - he positively thrived at having a ruck with the owners and authorities, but he oversaw (with Peter Taylor) two of the most incredible rises in success playing great football on crap pitches without having stars in every position at Derby and Forest. Come on SL, get your management team right this time. You don’t have to like them, just respect there know-how. Get it right and it will lose you less on the field eventually - playing wise and in your wallet.
  14. This all seems some such a mess of a situation culminating in poor performances and results on the field. From the outside it seems obvious that the powers that be should be able to see all the problems that the fans can see. I can only guess that the positive scenario/conclusion on this is that there are significant actions and negotiations going on which are about to bring significant changes to the structure of the running of the football club. If this isn’t happening with any scale of urgency measured against a timeline of preparing for a new season which includes the playing side and income (i.e. getting us punters to commit to another season), then we should all be shocked that seemingly successful and savvy owners would appear at worst ignorant and incompetent, or unaware, naive and complacent. I would guess that SL knew for some time of MA’s circumstances/plans and may also be negotiating with new investors as we speak. I also look at the try before you buy arrangement with Pearson was so each party could suss out their potential working relationship, particularly on SL’s side. He seems wary of bigger name, strong characters, which in football terms can empty his pockets. More importantly, I think he has seen this arrangement as like getting in an experienced troubleshooter business consultant in to evaluate the whole operation and file their report at the end of the season. Whatever is said in public, I’m pretty sure NP is and will be doing this. Remember, SL looks at his project which he publicly has stated is about ultimately delivering Prem football to Bristol City FC. and although timescales may have been a bit woolly on this, he would certainly think this model has failed in key areas and although there is progress in facilities and academy development, it is visibly going backwards. We can assume that the recent results has understandably cast doubts from SL on NP being here longer term. However, I think it probably has been (should have been!) a huge wake up call to just how the performance of our football operations has so badly regressed over the last few years (our year on year improvement had reversed since the last LJ season (to be generous with time scales - I actually think the seeds of this regression were sown after the 17/18 season). Whatever we think of NP, I think we can all agree that there needs to be a fundamental change in the future running and mentality of the football performance side, and let’s be honest, whoever came in under the present circumstances, would have really struggled under the present circumstances (and NP may not have been my first choice for Manager - but I do think he can be good for this moment in our history even if he doesn’t deliver the Holy Grail straight away, he may lay stronger foundations for someone else to do it soon after). We’ve got a new High Performance centre - FFS let’s try living up to it now! FWIW I could see NP will be taken on if he wants the job and will no doubt be giving an idea to SL what it will take, including the coaching and crucially recruitment side. I think it is happening but they can’t say publicly yet for all sorts of contractual reasons, etc, etc. If NP isn’t staying, then the biggest result and best legacy he can leave in his short reign can be the delivery of some pretty damning, yet constructive, home truths concerning the football operations of this club. It might, just might, waken our club out of years of complacency and a instil a winning mentality instead of it’ll do attitude amongst everyone...including many of us as supporters and I’ve been as guilty as any of this over the years as a lot of us. Since I’ve supported City too many years ago, all I ask is to have a fair few more enjoyable moments of feeling immense pride of coming from Bristol and supporting this club. A winning mentality, but not just the results. The excitement, a winning attitude by showing some passion towards how we go about playing. That sense of anticipation of games coming up. Deep down its still there for me, as it obviously is for most people on this forum whatever their differing opinions. Win or lose it would be nice to feel we’ve enjoyed the whole event of going to a game again. Yep, it is your money SL, and we are grateful to you for delivering facilities that are great and still have a stable football team to follow. But now the biggest challenge is for you to put your trust in appointing some experienced, demanding, driven and possibly spikey football people who can put things back on track. The whole philosophy that you have wanted doesn’t have to change. But a lot of the people who have so far executed your vision quite obviously need to. Onwards and Upwards or Sideways and Downwards? Over to you Mr Lansdown...
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