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The Swan and Cemetery

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Everything posted by The Swan and Cemetery

  1. Broadly agree. Personally not convinced that 16 teams was so wrong in 1978, that 48 teams in 2026 is the right answer. Probably somewhere in-between is right, with qualifying allowing everyone to have a go, but the finals being reasonably high quality. More than 16 seems fair given the game is now more global and (eg) England missing out on goal difference to Italy, but getting through 48 (Group P?!?) seems similar to removing your own eyeballs with a teaspoon.
  2. No doubt, and sure there are some England fans who are astonished every time the World Cup doesn’t come home, that doesn’t equate to all England supporters having lost the plot. Not sure audience seeking media folk equate to the views of a nation.
  3. Not sure many Scottish supporters think we’re great, we just support as other supporters do. Similar to City we have to hang on to occasional highlights, whilst accepting endless disappointment - often at the same time, eg the ludicrous 1978 World Cup results of losing to Peru, drawing with Iran, but beating the Netherlands. It’s difficult to be hubristic supporting Scotland.
  4. Guess that in itself was more than England managed. Anyone seriously suggesting Scotland have never had good players has a short memory of both Scotland and City, given our best team ever was awash with Scots.
  5. Pedants’ corner: Littlewoods both the season they won and the following season when they were runners up to Forest. With a bit more “Mardon the youngster” success following us down to the 2nd leg and the mud bath at the Gate, our histories would be entwined enough for current debates to be resolved with a simple “yeah, but we’ll always have Wembley 89”. Have been to Kenilworth Road a few times since living away from Bristol and enjoy the atmosphere and (very) asymmetric stadium - much better than more modern bowls.
  6. Better than 2/1 for one of the relegated teams to be champions seems pretty generous.
  7. Bonus pedantry: Billy Elliott: Record whilst caretaker (1972/73 FA cup winning season before Bob Stokoe arrived) - winning percentage: 0% (0/4) Record record whilst permanent (1978/79): 53.8% (14/26) Overall record: 46.0% (14/30) League record: 48.1% (13/27) Lee Johnson: Overall: 51.3% (40/78) League: 49.2% (30/61)
  8. From memory fences were only removed following Hillsborough, so with all seater stadia, no safety reasons not to put them back up? But maybe misremembering. Would be good if players/management could stop incessant goading of opposing fans, doesn’t excuse some things we’ve seen recently, but also can hardly help (not aimed at Vieira btw).
  9. Maybe there should be a referendum in Derby to vote on how best to spend £23m, if they choose DCFC over hospitals etc, odd, but fair enough and the local MPs can explain their heroics. Not particularly keen on a) my team suffering because of the debts built up by DCFC and then b) having fewer nurses etc where I live to ensure ‘a’ gets swept under the carpet. Moral hazard writ large.
  10. Think that’s a pretty fair assessment (SPL a long way above pub league, but below the top 2 leagues in England). Not entirely convinced by MLS, but hey ho.
  11. Yes, although TM hasn’t torn up trees for Hearts and is getting sent back as not good enough is the vibe? Is the EPL a higher standard than the SPL, yes, but the SPL has a Europa League finalist with PPG that implies no more of a two horse race than the EPL, so also seems plausible that it’s not a ‘pub league’ as some of the lazier posters on here and elsewhere would imply.
  12. Man City PPG this season 2.47, Liverpool 2.38. Celtic 2.43, Rangers 2.32. Pub league that EPL.
  13. Similar in Scotland. Bottom down, 1st automatically up. Then 3rd play off against 4th, winner plays off against 2nd, winner plays off against second bottom from league above.
  14. Surely as a minimum Rangers fans will be imploring the club/UEFA to let them dust off the classic quartered away kit for the final?
  15. 200,000 in Manchester wasn’t it? A wet and windy November Tuesday in Hartlepool for Rovers.
  16. They should be picking up life bans for the quality of graphic design and terrible fonts.
  17. Wonder if based on last few games NP might decide 5-2-3/5-2-1-2 is the way to go, rather than 4-3-3? 4-3-3 will need some significant personnel changes which maybe tricky, whereas in recent games we’ve started to look a lot more fluid with players interchanging more effectively. Suspect he’ll still try to go for 4-3-3, as probs easier to get Scott into a position where he can add most impact, but leaves problems at RB and LB to solve (assuming Klose retained) - Tanner a decent prospect, but need at least one more there, Dasilva not a LB and not sure NP would trust Pring, but again as a min would need one more. Probs need a GK to really push Bentley and a CB or two (if Kalas goes). But back on topic, he must at least feel as if CM is looking as if it might be in decent shape as well as our forwards - always going to be a work in progress season, so getting a frontline firing and midfield looking decent, plus signs of progress in defence feels decent to me. That said, an important summer ahead, too many of yesterday’s starters not here and we’ll be, to some degree, starting again.
  18. End of season, dead rubbers etc etc, but… comfortably our best block of 5 games this season. Only one that we’ve been undefeated, only one with positive goal difference, 11 points when next best was 7. NP clearly the opposite of LJ, as in all 5 game blocks we won at least once and until this one, lost at least once as well. A point or more next week and this season will have been our 4th best/4th worst points tally of the 7 since promotion. At the start of the season I was expecting middle 8, we’ve missed that by one place, but overall pretty pleased, given the development of youngsters, carrying a significant goal threat (joint 4th highest scorers) and maybe, just maybe, improving our defending in a sustainable way in recent weeks.
  19. Sure some of these are on earlier pages, but my 3 overriding (addled) memories of the Howard Kendall era, other than a great team: - classic Hafnia (for all your Danish canned meat needs) kit - 100% of their goals being Andy Gray diving headers inside the 6 yard box - a little ledge at the back of the away end where those after more of a periscope view would stand (/teeter)
  20. Think that’s a very fair challenge for both him and Zak (who I suspect is best suited to defensive mid) at City, concentration an issue for both, but must be easier to concentrate when you’re playing in a position that comes intuitively more easily to you. Argument against that for Taylor is @GrahamC point that Hearts are playing him in his preferred position and still not pulling up trees.
  21. And in the games he’s played against teams that probably are at Championship level (given Rangers’ performances in Europe and Celtic’s performances against Rangers), his record is P2, L2, GF 0, GA 7. Clearly he may have played brilliantly in both games, but if Hearts don’t want to keep him it’s probably further support for the argument that he’ll struggle at Championship level. Given Hearts are clearly 3rd best in Scotland, presumably the players they want to keep/acquire will be more Championship level to help challenge Celtic/Rangers, as they’re a long way ahead of the rest. Similar to Vyner there’s lots to like and, oddly, almost looks as if he’d do better at a higher level. Strong technically, maybe lacks the nastiness which only increases in importance lower down the leagues, where refs are poorer and no VAR to catch out untalented, but cynical players. However the big issue for both Zak and Taylor is, as loads have mentioned, concentration - it’s a pretty low standard of football where switching off doesn’t get caught out. If we were knocking up a spreadsheet for various qualities, the problem for both of them is that in the Championship you need all categories (say, technical skills, athleticism, mental strength, some other things…) to be a minimum 6 or 7, but whilst they may have some categories that are 8 or 9, those that are 3 or 4 will mean they won’t make it, whilst players who are less gifted in lots of ways, will. Could see both of them doing better abroad, where technical skill probably has more emphasis, maybe Taylor will go full circle.
  22. Guessing youngsters wages provide a bit of protection, ie will need to be serious offers as wage savings not that helpful for our finances. Whereas Kalas and Bentley (plus Wells and Palmer, but less bothered about them) may drive very low offers, which maybe tricky for us to turn down given benefits to wages?
  23. Get the point that a team is ideally more than the sum of its parts, but very difficult to assess objectively. Think this season we’ve seen more effort and more intent to get forward (strikers can’t do that on their own) and that’s partly coming from a team ethos. Lots of other things still poor, but not sure avoiding relegation is simply down to our strikers, any more than Fulham’s promotion is down to Mitrovic alone. Agree with @ExiledAjax that whatever the sum of parts, that is the team. Opponents’ managers/supporters might say “they’re awful, but that Weimann’s handy”, but he’s still part of the team and contributing to Bristol City’s results, they can’t say “we beat Bristol City comfortably, but lost heavily to Andi Weimann”. However effective/ineffective the parts, it results in a whole - maybe Barnsley are more of a team and make more of what they’ve got (maybe), but overall their results are worse, as a team, just as ours are worse vs everyone above us.
  24. We had a decent record against Liverpool at home during our Division 1 years (W2, D1, L1), but my dad always said the best 45 mins of football he’d ever seen by a team was the first half of the draw (77/78), they were 1-0 at half time (maybe we missed a pen?). I could claim to remember it as well, but can’t.
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