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Bristol City v Nottingham Forest Match Day 1


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Playing Forest before they'd chance to gel and taking a point were positives, as were a few performances of note. We were ultimately undone by a series of basic truths that one could cut and paste from any of my comments last season (particular last half) or from those few brave souls hereabouts who  resist the BS3 mentally of everything having to be rose-tinted at risk one is called a traitor.

First up to ask the question (again) why does WeeLee set up to defend so narrow? Yesterday, like last season, at times the back 4 were within the width of the 6 yard box. Note to WeeLee, it may limit the direct 'run-through' but doesn't really stop the 'cut-in' and gives savannah space for quality ball into the box (see their goal.) Countering with a more combative and mobile midfield is a far better option.

Secondly, playing out from the back is fantastic but only if you've access to creative, mobile midfielders. Pack's our only creative and despite another decent performance yesterday he showed even more how limiting his first 5 yards of pace are at Championship standard. His never say die attitude and the way in which he works to recover the ball is exemplar such we notice the recovery but often neglect it was he who failed to get to the ball in the first place. We can't simply rely on Pack to dictate how well we'll do.  We knock it around, take increasingly dangerous levels of risk in doing so only to knock the thing long. Time to stick or bust methinks. If the objective is to play through to feet and pace then it ain't working. If not we need a lump upfront able to stay on the pitch longer than The Gas remain competitive each season.

Thirdly, WeeLee's pre and post match press conferences always include reference to what they been working on in training - the 'inches'. So here's a free hint boss - practice the basics like being able to trap the ball or running with it inches, not yards, from one's foot. Stamp out the superfluous 'trickery', particularly when it's in dangerous positions on the park. The number of reckless and unenforced errors yesterday was worrying and we'll get punished big-time if they're not eliminated.

Of the performances: I loved the apparent change in attitude from Eliasson who at last looked positive and as though he has the training pitch talent we've heard of but never seen. Webster did just fine at Centre Back and the keeper, in truth, didn't have much to do. I see others are rating his improved distribution but I could have rolled and knocked the short balls he did yesterday. Hunt - like the attitude but he had several shaky touches and I'm not keen on his gung-ho approach in getting so far forward without support. Every time he lost possession we were very exposed to the break. Yesterday he got up frequently and with gusto (good) but was somewhat slower on the return journey (bad.) He needs to learn to pick and choose his moments. Bryan's few positive contributions came from when he was high up the pitch, not surprising given he's always been a defensive liability. Maybe I read too much into his body language but either his motivation was knowing he's out the door this week (if not for the hyped deal he and his agent had hoped,) else he's gone Basso, realised his golden chance has passed and is in a period of sulk. Either way play him high up or not at all. Weimann did OK first half with a very well taken goal, let's hope it doesn't prove to be a 'quarter' given his historic, annual tally. 

And that leaves the annual who's going to be the Ashton Gate whipping boy (for we always like one?) Good news is this term it's self-selecting, though was strongly hinted at last year. Some say Patterson can't help his body language and that it's not symptomatic of his attitude or ability. They're wrong. From his slouched shoulders, obsession with looking at the turf, pointing at everybody other than himself and wanting the ball less than Dracula wants daylight, he's an utter waste of space. His sole talent is his spatial ability to hide in plain site. The way he tucks himself between the opposition, creates the angles, such not even Messi in a City shirt could find him.  If Hide & Seek were a professional  sport he'd be World Champion. He ceded possession, uncontested, 6 or more times yesterday mostly in dangerous positions. That he did so being unable to control the ball is scandalous. WeeLee loves him but if he sticks with him much longer it'll end up with the boss paying the price.

So in that respect it's same old, same old. I doubt we'll be troubling the top of the table, I hope we won't trouble the bottom.

 

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36 minutes ago, BTRFTG said:

Playing Forest before they'd chance to gel and taking a point were positives, as were a few performances of note. We were ultimately undone by a series of basic truths that one could cut and paste from any of my comments last season (particular last half) or from those few brave souls hereabouts who  resist the BS3 mentally of everything having to be rose-tinted at risk one is called a traitor.

First up to ask the question (again) why does WeeLee set up to defend so narrow? Yesterday, like last season, at times the back 4 were within the width of the 6 yard box. Note to WeeLee, it may limit the direct 'run-through' but doesn't really stop the 'cut-in' and gives savannah space for quality ball into the box (see their goal.) Countering with a more combative and mobile midfield is a far better option.

Secondly, playing out from the back is fantastic but only if you've access to creative, mobile midfielders. Pack's our only creative and despite another decent performance yesterday he showed even more how limiting his first 5 yards of pace are at Championship standard. His never say die attitude and the way in which he works to recover the ball is exemplar such we notice the recovery but often neglect it was he who failed to get to the ball in the first place. We can't simply rely on Pack to dictate how well we'll do.  We knock it around, take increasingly dangerous levels of risk in doing so only to knock the thing long. Time to stick or bust methinks. If the objective is to play through to feet and pace then it ain't working. If not we need a lump upfront able to stay on the pitch longer than The Gas remain competitive each season.

Thirdly, WeeLee's pre and post match press conferences always include reference to what they been working on in training - the 'inches'. So here's a free hint boss - practice the basics like being able to trap the ball or running with it inches, not yards, from one's foot. Stamp out the superfluous 'trickery', particularly when it's in dangerous positions on the park. The number of reckless and unenforced errors yesterday was worrying and we'll get punished big-time if they're not eliminated.

Of the performances: I loved the apparent change in attitude from Eliasson who at last looked positive and as though he has the training pitch talent we've heard of but never seen. Webster did just fine at Centre Back and the keeper, in truth, didn't have much to do. I see others are rating his improved distribution but I could have rolled and knocked the short balls he did yesterday. Hunt - like the attitude but he had several shaky touches and I'm not keen on his gung-ho approach in getting so far forward without support. Every time he lost possession we were very exposed to the break. Yesterday he got up frequently and with gusto (good) but was somewhat slower on the return journey (bad.) He needs to learn to pick and choose his moments. Bryan's few positive contributions came from when he was high up the pitch, not surprising given he's always been a defensive liability. Maybe I read too much into his body language but either his motivation was knowing he's out the door this week (if not for the hyped deal he and his agent had hoped,) else he's gone Basso, realised his golden chance has passed and is in a period of sulk. Either way play him high up or not at all. Weimann did OK first half with a very well taken goal, let's hope it doesn't prove to be a 'quarter' given his historic, annual tally. 

And that leaves the annual who's going to be the Ashton Gate whipping boy (for we always like one?) Good news is this term it's self-selecting, though was strongly hinted at last year. Some say Patterson can't help his body language and that it's not symptomatic of his attitude or ability. They're wrong. From his slouched shoulders, obsession with looking at the turf, pointing at everybody other than himself and wanting the ball less than Dracula wants daylight, he's an utter waste of space. His sole talent is his spatial ability to hide in plain site. The way he tucks himself between the opposition, creates the angles, such not even Messi in a City shirt could find him.  If Hide & Seek were a professional  sport he'd be World Champion. He ceded possession, uncontested, 6 or more times yesterday mostly in dangerous positions. That he did so being unable to control the ball is scandalous. WeeLee loves him but if he sticks with him much longer it'll end up with the boss paying the price.

So in that respect it's same old, same old. I doubt we'll be troubling the top of the table, I hope we won't trouble the bottom.

 

That's why you play 3 in midfield. Especially v good sides on hot days.

You refer to the new keeper, and the distribution thing- truth is that is how you play out from the back..short passing is how it's done.

Through the lines, between the lines that's how it is done- keeper short to Webster (or the full backs, depends on the circs). Webster to Pack (Brownhill decent technically IMO).

Last year, a pair of Flint and Baker...not so capable IMO in that regard. Best of the 3 would have been retain Flint, buy Webster but obviously that's all hypothetical isn't it. Fielding could distribute it well at short range I'm sure- vary it yeah, a few long passes out fine or a quick roll out for a break, but with Webster now we can play the shorter passing game more readily again I think.

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51 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

That's why you play 3 in midfield. Especially v good sides on hot days.

You refer to the new keeper, and the distribution thing- truth is that is how you play out from the back..short passing is how it's done.

Through the lines, between the lines that's how it is done- keeper short to Webster (or the full backs, depends on the circs). Webster to Pack (Brownhill decent technically IMO).

Last year, a pair of Flint and Baker...not so capable IMO in that regard. Best of the 3 would have been retain Flint, buy Webster but obviously that's all hypothetical isn't it. Fielding could distribute it well at short range I'm sure- vary it yeah, a few long passes out fine or a quick roll out for a break, but with Webster now we can play the shorter passing game more readily again I think.

Good post- I’m amazed it took so long for Forest to catch on (Pre Game Analysis ?) To press on Webster and Pack and make us pass short to Baker

If we are going to pursue the ethos and improve we need another footballing centre half 

 

 

( Isnt it F*****G great that the footballs back though , giving us so much more to ‘debate’ :thumbsup::clapping:)

 

Edited by BobBobSuperBob
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1 hour ago, BTRFTG said:

Playing Forest before they'd chance to gel and taking a point were positives, as were a few performances of note. We were ultimately undone by a series of basic truths that one could cut and paste from any of my comments last season (particular last half) or from those few brave souls hereabouts who  resist the BS3 mentally of everything having to be rose-tinted at risk one is called a traitor.

First up to ask the question (again) why does WeeLee set up to defend so narrow? Yesterday, like last season, at times the back 4 were within the width of the 6 yard box. Note to WeeLee, it may limit the direct 'run-through' but doesn't really stop the 'cut-in' and gives savannah space for quality ball into the box (see their goal.) Countering with a more combative and mobile midfield is a far better option.

Secondly, playing out from the back is fantastic but only if you've access to creative, mobile midfielders. Pack's our only creative and despite another decent performance yesterday he showed even more how limiting his first 5 yards of pace are at Championship standard. His never say die attitude and the way in which he works to recover the ball is exemplar such we notice the recovery but often neglect it was he who failed to get to the ball in the first place. We can't simply rely on Pack to dictate how well we'll do.  We knock it around, take increasingly dangerous levels of risk in doing so only to knock the thing long. Time to stick or bust methinks. If the objective is to play through to feet and pace then it ain't working. If not we need a lump upfront able to stay on the pitch longer than The Gas remain competitive each season.

Thirdly, WeeLee's pre and post match press conferences always include reference to what they been working on in training - the 'inches'. So here's a free hint boss - practice the basics like being able to trap the ball or running with it inches, not yards, from one's foot. Stamp out the superfluous 'trickery', particularly when it's in dangerous positions on the park. The number of reckless and unenforced errors yesterday was worrying and we'll get punished big-time if they're not eliminated.

Of the performances: I loved the apparent change in attitude from Eliasson who at last looked positive and as though he has the training pitch talent we've heard of but never seen. Webster did just fine at Centre Back and the keeper, in truth, didn't have much to do. I see others are rating his improved distribution but I could have rolled and knocked the short balls he did yesterday. Hunt - like the attitude but he had several shaky touches and I'm not keen on his gung-ho approach in getting so far forward without support. Every time he lost possession we were very exposed to the break. Yesterday he got up frequently and with gusto (good) but was somewhat slower on the return journey (bad.) He needs to learn to pick and choose his moments. Bryan's few positive contributions came from when he was high up the pitch, not surprising given he's always been a defensive liability. Maybe I read too much into his body language but either his motivation was knowing he's out the door this week (if not for the hyped deal he and his agent had hoped,) else he's gone Basso, realised his golden chance has passed and is in a period of sulk. Either way play him high up or not at all. Weimann did OK first half with a very well taken goal, let's hope it doesn't prove to be a 'quarter' given his historic, annual tally. 

And that leaves the annual who's going to be the Ashton Gate whipping boy (for we always like one?) Good news is this term it's self-selecting, though was strongly hinted at last year. Some say Patterson can't help his body language and that it's not symptomatic of his attitude or ability. They're wrong. From his slouched shoulders, obsession with looking at the turf, pointing at everybody other than himself and wanting the ball less than Dracula wants daylight, he's an utter waste of space. His sole talent is his spatial ability to hide in plain site. The way he tucks himself between the opposition, creates the angles, such not even Messi in a City shirt could find him.  If Hide & Seek were a professional  sport he'd be World Champion. He ceded possession, uncontested, 6 or more times yesterday mostly in dangerous positions. That he did so being unable to control the ball is scandalous. WeeLee loves him but if he sticks with him much longer it'll end up with the boss paying the price.

So in that respect it's same old, same old. I doubt we'll be troubling the top of the table, I hope we won't trouble the bottom.

 

That's a mammoth post.

Defending. Defending narrow makes sense. It makes sense with the players the team has and the way the team plays (at times). When full backs push up and it is lost, get compact, delay and look for depth its logical. You are posting about having a more combative midfield = A lot of change. 

Playing out -  You want, or appear to want creative mobile midfield players. Its not necessary for Pack to be highly mobile at all to receive, retain, release and repeat as I put it in another post to keep possession but also be able to make penetrative passes, he can and does this. To play out a team will take risks. It requires being bold and brave. Risk and reward it will  go wrong and at times the ball will get lamped. 

Inches … Yes improvement can be inches because Bristol City cannot buy the best in each specific role. City have to improve by inches. 

Hunt? Ball playing improvement? Maybe. Webster? Yes. Keeper? Yes, not hard. That is possibly marginal gain. Pragmatic and practical v budget.

I would agree with stick or bust. Play out and be bold and brave, recruit and develop towards that approach. 

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As I wrote, I've no argument about playing out from the back save in our case it takes very little to stop us doing so, given we've few to play through. Cycle through the games and save against poor sides it invariably breaks down and we end up with misplaced long balls. To play from the back we need creative mids and we don't have them so rather negates the point in trying to do so. Moreover, when it doesn't work we've no effective Plan B.

Similarly, the point I made about defending narrow makes no sense from those responding. Again yesterday we dropped back in ample time such we've at least 4 in a line and with good shape save they were ultra narrow - there was at least 10 yards or more in which to work the flanks. For their goal Eliasson did exactly what he was supposed to, dropped back, held his man, but with nobody tracking back it's a simple lay off  to their overlap in space and guaranteed quality delivery into the box. If you argue that like last year we've no pace amongst the Centre Halfs and we can't afford to have them separated then you might have a point but I'm not sure that's true and seems lesser of two evils to me than uncontested balls into the box, against which we continue to struggle.

Edited by BTRFTG
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1 hour ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

Good post- I’m amazed it took so long for Forest to catch on (Pre Game Analysis ?) To press on Webster and Pack and make us pass short to Baker

If we are going to pursue the ethos and improve we need another footballing centre half 

 

 

( Isnt it F*****G great that the footballs back though , giving us so much more to ‘debate’ :thumbsup::clapping:)

 

Agreed- incremental improvement, means a second footballing centre half undoubtedly would be next o  my list- press a ball playing centre back and it makes a hell of a difference.

On the flipside of that, if you have 2 centre backs who aren't ball playing first and foremost- sit off a bit, press the midfield let them both have the ball and they (the opposition) will be at a loss for a while.

Along with a 3 man central midfield I think that's top of my list. If we get that 2nd ball playing centre back a lot of useful and intriguing tactical, fluidity of football options and styles will all open up IMO.

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Just had a look at Forest's equaliser.

Pack was on the halfway line for my money needed to be in a far more defensive position and a ball headed over him took him out of the game completely, he only arrived in our box as the ball hit the back of the net.

Baker was weak twice once on the halfway line when to be honest a foul might have been more appropriate and again when defending the header.

Brownhill was ambling back trying to cover for Pack.

The only person who came out of the goal with any credit was Eliasson who actually managed to stop their man trying to cross, but sadly he was left with 2 to mark and a pass back to the other guy resulted in the cross for the goal.

That said although we looked rocky for another 10 minutes or so, little by little we managed to wrestle our way back into midfield contention, something that has hardly if ever happened in the past 2 years and the introduction of Smith cemented that, it looked for all the world after the equaliser that we would go on to lose that game, so that was an improvement.

To be honest it was not a great game, it was a game that lacked skill and I cannot understand people purring about Forest because apart from the equaliser they never looked like scoring, whereas we had 2 cleared off of the line and Bryan's shot the a striker should have followed up on.

We have to go to Bolton looking for a win, these are games we should be looking to win if we are actually to show that we are still improving.

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3 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

That's why you play 3 in midfield. Especially v good sides on hot days.

You refer to the new keeper, and the distribution thing- truth is that is how you play out from the back..short passing is how it's done.

Through the lines, between the lines that's how it is done- keeper short to Webster (or the full backs, depends on the circs). Webster to Pack (Brownhill decent technically IMO).

Last year, a pair of Flint and Baker...not so capable IMO in that regard. Best of the 3 would have been retain Flint, buy Webster but obviously that's all hypothetical isn't it. Fielding could distribute it well at short range I'm sure- vary it yeah, a few long passes out fine or a quick roll out for a break, but with Webster now we can play the shorter passing game more readily again I think.

Well said. It baffles me that LJ seems to be unwilling to even consider 4-3-3.

I guess all coaches have their preferred formations and blind spots but I do find it frustrating that he seems to have ruled it out entirely.

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26 minutes ago, chinapig said:

Well said. It baffles me that LJ seems to be unwilling to even consider 4-3-3.

I guess all coaches have their preferred formations and blind spots but I do find it frustrating that he seems to have ruled it out entirely.

Agreed. Been calling for it, even as a Plan B for about a year on and off.  Now I'm no manager but knowing how this League is changing and evolving- quite rapidly at that- our setup (especially with more orthodox full backs and wingers than the great run last season) could see us slipping back and left behind I fear. 

Not towards relegation, but in a sense of stagnation, perhaps wasting opportunities to move forward.

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18 hours ago, TonyTonyTony said:

Horrendously average ? You are having a laugh mate

classic JB today. Some good moments - he is a player but too many daft mistakes

hopefully he will settle if he stays and gets his head down

Re Pato : he looks like he needs more bulk to me. Skinny as **** and cant challenge physically. Josh would also benefit from a bit extra bulk

Agreed, has anyone ever seen Jimmy Krankie and Pato in the same room together ? 

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21 hours ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

But but but

we conceded goals last season because of Flint Jon

Didnt you hear

No way Murphy scores if Flint is marking him not Baker

Watched Baker closely today and doesn’t convince me at all not sure what his ‘strengths’ are

Id have Flint over two Nathan Bakers

Awkward on ball gets done in air costing us goals here and there last season and today

Thought Webster was ok and would liked to have had Webster and Flinf together out of Webster , Flint , Wright , Baker

I don’t think your post is rubbish, but you’re mad if you think we haven’t conceded scores of similar goals with Flint in the team.

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