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ray savino

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  1. Pity. Thought Mbappe could have done a job for us next season and would have still kept our WSM strike force going when Martin needed a break form midweek games.
  2. I don’t think we can say that a corner has been turned. But we’ve made some progress in an expected scrappy season. The biggest plus has seen a number of youngsters being given a chance and generally stepping up, at least in attitude if not talent as well. I think it really is that we’ve reached the end of stage 1 of change. This summer and next season I see as further demolishion work to be done and building/reinforcing the foundations for a rebuild. I would then hope the season after we might be in a better position to confidently compete at the other end of the table. What I do hope is that our building this time is more measured and realistic than under Mark Ashton. Less bullshit and ideas of grandeur, more Coventry, Luton, Millwall. I don’t mean in style of play, but more a sense of building a competitive team to a plan. Still ambitious, yes. But as I said realistic, doable, measured. I actually think NP realises this and there are signs that it might just work. But if we are expecting the narrative of the last 5 years, sleeping giant crap, etc, then forget it. It failed despite the flirtations with the top six, we didn’t possess the mentality to get over the line. Interestingly enough though, season 2016-17 we ended on 54 points in 17th place. All in all a bloody awful season apart from Tammy’s goals and, to be fair, a decent end to the campaign including that win over promoted Brighton. I’d hope we can trouble the top ten next year with greater consistency and a side taking shape, so that we only need to add a few pieces to a jigsaw the following season to then mount a challenge for top 6. Instead of ripping up a squad every 2 years and starting again. Whether NP sees this through who knows, but I think as fans we’ve got to hold our nerve at the minute, cos I just get the feeling that NP might just be the person to at least start building a more gritty and competitive mentality as he builds a squad. It won’t be an easy ride, and I do think that someone else may finish the job. As fans we are going to have to be patient sadly, cos we can’t spend our way to success, hence a more measured approach like Coventry, Luton, etc.
  3. Today was shit. As a team, the players looked like they were on the proverbial beach. One or two tried, made themselves available for a pass were sort of okay. But, all in all, that was crap. As for Pearson. Well ultimately he’ll go obviously and takes some of the responsibility. I say some, because the ultimate responsibility for this utter mess is the owner and his son for allowing such a culture of failure, passivity, high expectation (words are easy) with low execution, wasteful and poor recruitment at all levels. To their credit, thank goodness the Academy and its staff appear to have been a bright ray of sunshine behind the grey clouds hanging over Ashton Gate. Pearson has inherited a situation which I don’t think he even thought would be this shit. He’s not blameless by any means, but what I do respect about his words today that resonates with me beyond an obvious assessment of him playing self protection (which partly he may well have been) is this. Pearson has played and managed at the highest level of the domestic game, coming from a humble playing position, being efficient, solid, dependable as opposed to being a natural talent. He knows what it takes, the personality, drive etc, to make it, to get to the top tier of the game. For me, he can see the mentality isn’t right within the club to get there. There’s a soft belly and soft ambition here and has been for years. And I think it really has surprised him how much that is. Like him or loathe him (and yes words are easy), but Pearson got his assessment absolutely bang on about the club. Apart from the Dicks promo and div 1 team (5 seasons), the Cooper revival period (3 seasons), the Jordan promo and Div 2 squad (2 seasons), the Ward promo squad (1 season), Johnson Snr promo and Champ play-off squad (2 seasons), the Cotts promo squad (1 season), 3 league cup semis, 3 ”historic” FA Cup giant killings v Top tier teams, and an Anglo-Scottish Cup win, all my time supporting the club has been taken watching mediocrity. No matter I love the club (sometimes like today I hate them) and have seen some good players and performances down the years. But all in all it’s been a lesson in supporting mediocrity. Unfortunately, for all the shiney refurbed stadium, High Performance Training Centre, Rebranding the Robin, etc, etc, we are still left with an underlying feeling of this club talking the talk, but making decisions that only end in serving up mediocrity. Whether it was LJ, DH, Danny Wilson, even GJ (despite getting closest to the Prem), and now NP, all have ultimately served up teams showing glimpses of promise then disappointed. I hope Pearson succeeds. After watching today and hearing his interview, I don’t think he will. Problem I have is that I believe what he said lies at the heart of BCFC. A total culture change has got to take place. I don’t think that SL or JL have the stomach for it anymore. In some ways I don’t blame them. But they have brought a lot of the problems on themselves. Ultimately they have recruited and signed off the footballing strategies for this club which have by and large has got us into this stale mess. The club may indeed need a new manager soon? Well it needs a lot more as well. Energy, fresh ideas, desire and a plan to stick with. We’re stale and today confirmed it. If we don’t make significant changes throughout the club this summer, I fear that next season we will go down and yet again the big wheel of mediocrity starts turning again. Sorry to sound so bleeding glum, but that performance felt like it should be a watershed moment for this club, but I’m not convinced it will be. And thats why what Pearson said resonated with me. I’m not sure if the will or desire actually exists at this club to drive it on. We’re all hoping that a new manager will at last arrive to deliver that success at last. Perhaps we might strike lucky with our next appointment. Unfortunately, I think the problems go much, much deeper. With our recent recruitment record, who really trusts our Board to get it right?
  4. I think that Swansea have had a template in style of football and management since Martinez (about 15 years ago?). Hence them going for more progressive appointments like Martinez, Rodgers, Cooper, Potter, maybe Laudrup, and now Martin. They have veered off track with a couple of appointments, but gotta say they’ve had success and played some decent football. Preston I’d say have been steady and flipped around a bit. Will be interesting to see how Lowe carries on. Yep, Forest had a better squad and Cooper has got them performing although with I guess some expensive loans (compared to us). If they don’t go up, will they be in the shit for FFP next year, unless they sell Johnson, etc. I don’t think Cooper would have come to us and work under the current restricted financial situation. He seemed to move on from Swansea as they seemed unwilling to put in the investment that he believed the squad needed to move on. Let’s not kid ourselves, Forest are a still bigger draw than us, however long since their glory days. I would have been interested to have seen Lowe with us, given the task we have faced. As much as it would have been great to see what Cooper and Martin would have done with this City squad, not convinced they would have been much better and think the clubs they chose had either better players or club football strategy to suit them. In the future if we get sorted then who knows... First the club has to demonstrate a visible plan and most importantly stick to it, unlike the last 7 years since Cotts well planned promotion season. Too many false dawns and shooting ourselves in the foot I think.
  5. I think NP will have done the first bit of the demolition needed to clear the crap. I suspect that he may stay to do much of the rest of the clearance needed. I’m not so sure about a coupe of things though. 1) Whether he’ll be here to rebuild. 2) Above will depend on SL’s future plans. Will SL want to use NP to at least get the club back onto a more solid footing, i.e. average/decent mid table team but with potential to build a challenge for higher. Making the team more attractive for an investor to get in a new management team of their choice. Or does SL still have the ambition to see a plan through and try getting to the Prem while he still owns the club. Plus of course the completion of the new Sports Quarter. My gut feeling is that logically we may get a slightly better season than this year, but it will be a year to ideally get the demolition completed. I then think that by then SL will either be close to selling his stake in BCFC (or most of it) and NP will be replaced by a coach of a new regime’s choice. If doesn’t happen, and SL still in control, then I think he will get impatient and get a replacement in again anyway. We will look back and underestimate the job NP will have done in keeping us in the Championship while clearing out the club. We might strike lucky next year and hit a consistant spell with a couple of good signings and injury free, and do a Luton or Millwall. But let’s not kid ourselves that Luton, Millwall, Preston have been slowly building within their means for years. We’ve been a bit boom and bust with our transfer planning. Reality is we’re gonna need a few years of Millwall and Luton patient rebuild. In short, I think NP will be gone by this time next year, although I hope I’m wrong because if he’s still here then, that might mean we’ll be on the right track at last. But have little faith in SL making a good appointment and indeed, question if he still has the desire for it.
  6. This is absolutely bang on! In fairness to SL, he thought he probably had that with Mark Ashton, but put his whole trust in what appears to have turned out to be a wrong’un! I hope this hasn’t put SL off from the logical need for board representation with specialist experience and knowledge of the football world. He has sometimes appeared to show (and probably understandanbly) a reticence to employ a certain type of role or manager profile when his fingers have been somewhat burnt. (Think reticence and change from experienced to inexperienced coach/manager then back again. The difference this time compared to Ashton’s time and role, is that you have a CEO in Richard Gould who would hopefully provide a rational head between the owners and a football/recruitment director type of role. Ashton appeared to dictate the football narrative to SL, far more than he should have it would seem. It would be interesting to know the true feelings of LJ, DH, etc. They were party to big mistakes no doubt, but ultimate blame has to go to their management, i.e. Ashton. I have always believed we need a representative at director level on the board with a street-wise, progressive, business-like knowledge of the football world to input, advise direction in the structure of the football club with a long term strategy that the club has the confidence and courage to stick to. All other recruitment from Head coach/Manager to players, medical, fitness, etc. would follow the criteria for the football strategy. We have seemed to change far too much over the years, particularly since the last real (noticeable on-field) plan which was pre-season to the end of season 2014 -2015.
  7. I think so too. Should have gone for him after Cotts and give him the backing LJ had. Instead SL went for someone he knew and felt comfortable, trusted not to rock his boat or publicly challenge, more in control with LJ. Cotts was too abrasive for SL. Now to be fair, it was on the surface a brave SL appointment. LJ looks a knowledgeable young, modern coach type. And to be fair again, isn’t a bad coach. However, as I say, he was safe for SL, as far as in character/personality. Now I get that nobody wants to work with a spikey, disruptive person as it can bring down a whole organisation. But there are times you need to get someone to take you out of that comfort zone to move you up a gear. That’s something definetly needed in Bristol City’s case. Think we may be six years too late with NP, although I think and hope in retrospect that we may look back and see that he will have started to implement a more competitive and less comfort zone mentality within the club, however painful this period is now.
  8. I don’t think it should be about an acceptance of mediocrity. But it should be about an understanding of the reality of where we are as a football club in the Championship. I don’t accept that we should have been turning out mediocrity for most of the time I’ve followed City since 1966. But I see a reality of where we are in the football world. I feel most angry at how this has been allowed to happen, along with shooting ourselves in the foot when we have built an upward momentum. Think our last well balanced side, built with what appeared to be planed and identified recruitment, very successful with tons of momentum. Yes, Cotts side of 2015. Look at the contrasting lack of planning and support when we went up. Think of LJ’s 17/18 Cup run, 2nd place in December to Wolves, who found a style of high press, energetic play (was that our identity, our DNA, or just stumbled on by accident!) that was attractive and seemed successful. Okay that tailed away miserably. However, what did we do (yes, I know, the loss of Reid, Bryan and Flint was not to be underestimated), but pretty much rip up the style book the following season and change plan about 3 times over the subsequent seasons. We don’t stick to our plans even if I sometimes doubt we have one! We have paid the price on spending a lot of money (relative to our history), since we came back up in 2015, to basically be a lower mid table side that has failed to make the play-offs when well placed on 2 or 3 occasions. The cupboard is now pretty much bare, save selling off our most hopeful assets which puts us back to square one. Coventry, Millwall, Luton know what and where they are, and are trying to progress accordingly. I would suggest that apart from a few cup runs, 2 short periods in the top tier and lower league yoyoing, we have a very, very mediocre history over our 127(?) years. The trouble is our management from top down talk the talk of sleeping giant catchment area, massive potential, build nice stands, buildings infrastructure, etc., but when it comes to the nitty gritty of footballing knowledge decision making are at best mediocre and cautious, but more often totally inept. Which brings me back to plans and managers. Brentford and Swansea the most obvious. They had a plan 10-15 years earlier and was reflected in the style of play, and subsequent recruitment of managers and players. Swansea may struggle again, but have tasted success, and still play decent football. Before we do anything about our manager, we have to seriously ask questions about “Our Plan/Vision” of our board of directors/owners. Yes, SL and the rest are not beyond criticism however uncomfortable, nice stadiums, training grounds, well-meaning benefactors... but would appear woefully short in terms of footballing world nous and direction. To their credit, the best decisions made seem to be in terms of investing in young academy talent which does seem to be bearing some fruit. Wider recruitment seems to be a different story of wasting resources and money. Oh and by the way, I think Pearson knows all this sh*t anyway, but probably didn’t realise how crap the mediocre footballing mentality was at the club. Will he see it through? Who knows...but I get the distinct feeling he will clear a lot of the crap ready for someone to start with a more stable base again. Let’s hope the whole club wake up and get out of the total staleness that has developed since that brief 3 month glimmer of “ what could be” excitement at the back end of 2017. Still, mustn’t grumble...
  9. I want to stay behind Pearson, but got to say that the whole defensive frailty has become a joke. I do think NP knows we’re essentially shit with weak minded players, a cosy mentality that has been part of the club from top down for years. However, I genuinely think he would have got some boring organisation sorted by now. Yep injuries and all that, but at some stage you have to look at the management of the team. Change of management, or maybe a change of ownership/in boardroom first? Everything is so stale, needs a massive change in the summer obviously, or I think we will go down next season. I understand the need for patience, we’ve no money, some decent youngsters, but it’s really looking like a downward trajectory. As I say, genuinely want NP to succeed because I think he knows that a real big change in culture is needed. I just get the feeling he’ll start the job, but run out of time. Just really don’t trust SL to make a decent football decision, I don’t think he can. Big change of mentality, imagination and direction needed at this club. Yeh... that’s it so, so stale just sums it up for me.
  10. Norwich, Watford and… Brentford.
  11. This is absolutely the point. I am also frustrated in particular the likes of Davis signing foe Forest. He would have been great in the position up front with AS and AW, with Martin back up and in as suited. But that is what frustrated me with the presumptions on loans/no loans that the FBC Podcasters were making. How do we know that City didn’t cast an eye on Davis or other players? Is NP really ”anti-loans” for City as they kept saying? Pearson has loaned in the past at clubs. I interpret much of what NP says as tied to what is going on at owner/board level. I saw it that he wasn’t going to waste funds on a player in a pretty much dead rubber season during a three year minimum rebuild plan when we are struggling with finances. If we were fighting to stay up or go up, I’m pretty sure the purse strings would have been loosened slightly and damn sure NP would have loaned the right character to get us better success. Do they not realise that we probably spent a lot on loans over the last few years which have contributed to our financial problems now, and have often contributed to blocking a pathway for a young academy player? Do they not realise it costs to loan GOOD players like Davis, Garner, Tammy, Tomlin, etc? I do think that a lot of the contributing factors behind NP’s decisions at times is what is going on with contracts, finance, potential plans to change ownership, etc. Look, if Pearson stays or goes is neither here nor there as far as my influence over ultimately SL decision making, but I do think there is no magic wand, we have been wastefully managed at least since we came back up to the Championship. Squandering money raised through good transfer fees to keep us treading water at this level. My expectations of this club are not low, they’ve become even more realistic over the last few years. My dreams for City are always high however, and I always think well maybe next season... The reality for me supporting City since season 1966-67 season is that we have been decidedly average apart from one second tier promotion, 4 seasons in the top flight, a few yoyo promos/relegations mainly between 2nd tier and 3rd tier, 3 league cup semi-finals and a couple of notable FA cup wins against Leeds and Liverpool. That’s not to dismiss those individual achievements, we all loved them, but lets be honest, collectively over 55 seasons or so, that’s hardly setting the world alight from the 6th(?) largest City in the UK. That also doesn’t mean to say that I don’t have aspirations for City and we get to the top flight or win a trophy soon. Ha, well, maybe next season... What I would find interesting from the FBC podcast @headhunter is what would they say would be their ideal model and maybe person to lead us into more success? Would be a good debate. Would also be interested to see how you @Davefevs evaluate the situation as I do think you try taking a fairly measured view of our progress (or lack of) as a club. I would also like to add that I myself feel just as knee jerk, angry, frustrated, whingeing, etc after a game like yesterdays, as much as the next fan. But I’ve got to the stage where I enjoy a range of views which might offer some more insights, possible ideas and offering solutions (and hope!) for debate. Again, despite some criticism for the FBC podcast, it gets me listening, and fair play to the time you guys (particularly @headhunter) put into this. The Rob Newman interview was excellent, so thanks so much for that.
  12. Yes, remember GG was fearless yet very raw at the same age as Scott, but developed a lot to his game over the few seasons after his debut. Eventually to become our probably our best, most influential all round midfield player. I see more a Williams type of player than Scott in the type of player Gow was. Must say with no exaggeration that Scott looks the most all round technically gifted, football savvy, comfortable at this level young pro I’ve ever seen to come through the ranks at AG. Just hope he builds on the exceptional promise he has shown and sticks around long enough to help towards the rebuild of this side, or long enough to get a really massive fee for him!
  13. I think you may be right. When I first read the story, it smacked to me of someone pissed off like any fan that we have conceded too many results which would have put us further up the table. No more, no less. If I had to be a bit more cynical then it was in part to put over a bit of populist fan frustration and a PR quote to keep onside with the fans, particularly with the problem of season ticket renewals having to be soon. It’s probably somewhere between both. Bit of a misinterpreted off script gaff, that was possibly a clumsy deflection from the mistakes that have to eventually stop at the owners, decision makers and recruiters at the top. Ultimately, judged on results the project in its many many incarnations has failed. This is not a nice thing for people who have built their reputation on success to easily take. However, there is no doubt that fans will start to question the decision making, wasteful recruitment and ultimate failure of management regimes to live up to the ultimate sales pitch of getting to the Prem. And not even making the play-offs when we have surrendered good positions to do so. Particularly in 17/18, 18/19 and 19/20 when we fell away badly, despite appearing to have better investment in being able to recruit and real votes of confidence for the management at these times. Didn’t LJ, I think in his final weeks of his tenure here, cryptically mention about people knowing the full story of behind the scenes, but wait till his book came out? Or something along those lines. I have always had this feeling that NP may be the O’Driscoll of this era, coming in to discover a bigger shit storm than they thought, beginning to do the clear out, knowing what should be done, telling quite a few home truths to the owners, but ultimately not the person who will have the benefit of managing in a better financial climate for the club. Trouble is, Mark Ashton should have been that character. The Lansdowns appeared to trust him and no doubt his tenure has left the club in a backward trajectory. I would be amazed if the owners don’t see this, however painful, and ultimately they have to take responsibility for this. I love Bristol City and supporting them. But it can be painful because let‘s be honest here, historically results and performance wise we are so bang average. Won’t stop me from supporting them, too late to change now! But would just like to see our club reach the top level again by having a realistic plan and the conviction to stick to it. I hope this perceived spat is nothing more than misunderstandings and they can both stay on the same page with a real plan and sense of reality for rebuilding this club, preferably in the Championship. It might just give us the chance of a few more brighter days to come.
  14. Well, it will soon be that time to sell season tickets again and I’d imagine as has happened over the last 5 years or so when our seasons have tended to end up going downhill and disappointing. I think a lot of fans understand the financial and squad mess that has happened, but it is testing fans patience at a time when cost of living will be forcing a lot of people to make some difficult decisions with prioritising what they should spend their hard earned cash on. I’m sure our owners will be at least be hoping that we can string together a nice little run of results with a few more promising performances, just in time to promote next seasons renewals to the fans.
  15. I can’t see us keeping Massengo and as much as I’d like to see him develop further at City, I do think we would adjust to him leaving more than the potential that Semenyo and Scott provide. The only way we would keep him is if we did a “Brownhill” with him by putting in a good release clause. Just think that he has all the cards and we’ll need to sell to offset FFP danger. This might also provide us with any funds at all to use in the summer, particularly if we get a reasonable sell on from one of Webster, Brownhill, Kelly moves should that happen as well.
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