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ray savino

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  1. 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).
  2. A really great west country sports enthusiast and writer. A respected journalist with knowledge and integrity. RIP David Foot.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. I think this pretty much sums up and hits the nail on the head. I’m not going to make excuses for Pearson and I think that there are bound to be doubts arising if he is the right person to turn things around after the latest performances. But let’s not pretend this is nothing short of a total mess of a club on the playing side (okay it looks like we are getting our act together on the academy and youngsters coming through). I think Pearson knows this is a mess and you can bet he’s mightily pissed off with the set up he finds. The key thing he has said so far is about the mentality of the team/squad, something that has afflicted the club for years apart from a few occasions. It’s the lack of a winning mentality, a collective complacency and it’ll do attitude, despite all the rhetoric spouted about a Premier League Club in waiting. A lack of sustained success and competition in our region has led to this attitude on both sides of Bristol. Whatever we think of Pearson and Barton, they have both experienced the attitude and demands to make it at a high level, as well as train, play with and learn from top coaches and players. They can see the appeal of building a successful team in a success starved big city, but they are probably surprised at just how poorly set up things are at both clubs. Even if Lansdown doesn’t want to go with Pearson, I hope he listens to Pearson as he surely would to an experienced consultant in his other businesses. I hope Pearson tells it as it is. Lansdown may not like it, but it might force him to confront his mistakes and implement a credible management team at all levels to provide the club with a realistic (but still ambitious) plan to restructure the club. Get people in who know the game. I listened to a podcast (High Performance?) with Jake Humphrey (?) who interviewed Stuart Webber (CEO at Norwich). Worth a listen, even if he does sound a bit full of himself at times. However he sounds driven and demands the best from himself as well as everyone around him. But he also believes in building a strong team and supportive attitude/culture from tea lady to owner. And you’ve got to see what happened at both Norwich and Huddersfield while he was there. He is also brutally honest. If things are crap he will say it. We need a management team who can instil that passion and mentality in the club, players, fans and yes, owner. Let’s be honest, Steve Lansdown is a business man. He will quite rightly want a return on his investments at sometime, but I do actually believe he wants to do something for Bristol and have a local legacy. He must be able to confront the mistakes that have been made, and now is a huge chance to address them. The first thing to do is appoint the management team to change the entire mentality and (lack of) competitive culture at the club. Sorry to go on, but after 55 years supporting the team, I too have become accustomed to this mediocrity, so I don’t expect or demand Premier League football, but at least want to go to games to follow a club with a plan, some fight and providing some excitement. Anyway rant over, sure I’ll end up renewing my season card, this bloody club is too ingrained in me now!
  8. I was at the first show. He played two shows that evening. Got Taunton tickets because he wasn’t playing Bristol originally. Then it was announced he was playing Bristol after all due to demand. Seen Plant, Jagger, Daltrey, etc but none a patch on Cutler... Adge the best front man of the lot.
  9. Bowie - Taunton Odeon 1973 Pink Floyd - Bristol Hippodrome 1974 Adge Cutler and the Wurzels - Cleve Rugby Club 1968?
  10. Football Maradonna v Man Utd 1984 Best v England 1970 Beckenbauer v England 1972 Cricket - Sobers Rugby - Pullin
  11. Staying up. Enthusiasm back. Club and new manager vision/ambitions aligned so both agree to take into long term contract. Manager allowed to reorganise/evolve plan in all football matters. We all look forward to getting back into grounds safely for the new season and enjoy supporting City again.
  12. This wouldn’t be my first choice, liked Cook. However there’s no doubting Pearson’s pedigree. The other factor is the initial length of the appointment. He is obviously a motivator, fire-fighter and organiser. At the moment this is exactly what we need. Both parties can suss eachother out. If he’s a success, then he’ll either want to stay and be happy with the structure or we will see the benefit in going the extra mile in accommodating him in terms of his overall influence on football decisions iwithin the club as well as financially. If it doesn’t work, then we either go down, or survive by the skin of our teeth, in which case is a whole different scenario. FWIW I think he is on paper the best available candidate for our situation at the minute. If he does well but goes to a bigger club in the summer, we at least may learn from him what we need to do with the structure of the football side and maybe open Steve Lansdown’s mind to maybe appear more flexible in the appointment of the next manager, as well as to evolving the football structure in the club. Whichever way could be a win win appointment if handled right.
  13. Lansdown mentioned about one or two names that they might want to approach added to the initial list. Does anyone think that this means there are actual names they like that they see fitting in to the structure or is he just supposing a couple of names might turn up. Surely they must have had thoughts on some people in mind and been sounding out while things have been so dire. They don’t do business behind backs. All very honourable, but football isn’t an honourable business. Nobody would want to knife someone in the back, but if things are going so badly wrong any organisation worth it’s salt will have a contingency plan.
  14. Woah! Rico Henry looks to have just pulled up with a hamstring injury. Blimey, the Bristol City virus has spread.
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