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Never to the dark side

Lee Johnson on Radio Bristol

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Like LJ being open on Radio Bristol, and Geoff is a very good interviewer always pushing for an answer.

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Another good interview from LJ. Clearly loves the project here and is happy here unless ambition and ideology changes from the board.

Edited by Kodjias Wrist
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Good interview. Thought LJ fielded some tricky questions well and with honesty.

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Just now, cidercity1987 said:

How lucky are we to have this chap in charge

You might want to duck. Incoming... 😉

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35 minutes ago, Sweeneys Penalties said:

Mo Eisa may be on the way out.................

The most pointless signing ever.

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1 minute ago, cidercity1987 said:

How lucky are we to have this chap in charge.

Yep, and more importantly I believe he has (during his efforts in the last year) turned an awful lot of doubters around 👍

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34 minutes ago, Kodjias Wrist said:

 

Well maybe we could have chucked them both out on loan in Jan. I don't get why this didn't occur. On their return if no improvement was seen then we can flog them.

Maybe I am wrong but my memory is LJ was open at the time about wanting to loan Eisa out. If so, I presume the reason it did not happen was because there were no suitable takers...

 

Edited by LondonBristolian
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2 minutes ago, ralphindevon said:

Crikey! There's some competition for that title

Most were given a chance though!

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13 minutes ago, Carey 6 said:

A lot of people keep saying let’s get rid of Baker but he wont be going anywhere. He’s our highest paid player, he won’t get that elsewhere because of how injury prone he’s been since playing for us. 

 

Loan maybe. Loan with wages covered and a modest fee.

Might be similar for Watkins- any savings and recouping of income better than none.

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I was expecting Kalas to go and was looking forward to Kelly moving to centre half, his best position.

We need to break the bank for Kalas, or similar now or it could be a long season

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1 minute ago, Kingswood Robin said:

Jody Morris?

Organised way more 'team building exercises' than Gustav.

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6 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

Maybe I am wrong but my memory is LJ was open at the time about wanting to loan Eisa out. If so, I presume the reason it did not happen was because there were no suitable takers...

 

Charlton were keen on him though I haven't checked.

A side high up in League One, Eisa knowing the area- could've been ideal I think.

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6 minutes ago, Super said:

Most were given a chance though!

True, not sure if he's failed to improve or actually got worse but a shame that's for sure.

 

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25 minutes ago, Carey 6 said:

A lot of people keep saying let’s get rid of Baker but he wont be going anywhere. He’s our highest paid player, he won’t get that elsewhere because of how injury prone he’s been since playing for us. 

 

Could we terminate his contract? That’s quite expensive isn’t it? I don’t claim to know too much about how football finances work, but I wouldn’t be a proper supporter if I didn't make presumptuous sweeping statements 😁

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16 minutes ago, Super said:

The most pointless signing ever.

Agreed. But I remember almost universal excitement about him when we brought him in. I’d love to find that thread, I think pretty much everyone thought he was a great signing when we brought him in.

Sometimes these things just don’t work out I guess. 

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Re Vyner and TM it sounded like they are on the cusp of stay or go. He mentioned that Vyner has proved himself in the Championship but whereas before we needed players coming through to be good enough for the Championship we now need them to be Premier League potential which I assume changes Vyner and TM’s situation,

The most worrying thing for me is that he seemed dubious about Kalas signing (wages ?) but said if he did he knows he can work well with Webster and Bailey Wright. Now that may refer to playing 3 at the back or with the mention of Bailey Wright could be that Webster bids incoming.

He said re his contract that things came up last week which meant it was put off for a week or so and that the board and he have to match each other’s ambition.

So with glass half empty I am worrying  LJ was in Portugal and hears about a bid for Webster which with Kalas possibly going elsewhere would probably kill off any chance of a better season ahead unless we spend very big bucks.

Probably just me overthinking but losing Kalas, Webster and LJ is a nightmare scenario.

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16 minutes ago, Kingswood Robin said:

Jody Morris?

Signed by Derek McInnes. Great debut v. the sags in a friendly but sadly more interested in instagram than actually playing football 

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24 minutes ago, BRIAN WILSON said:

Yep, and more importantly I believe he has (during his efforts in the last year) turned an awful lot of doubters around 👍

Let's judge that this time next year with the clock ticking NOW!!!! 👀

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So it sounds unlikely we will sign Kalas. People do realise there are other centre backs out there? I know Kalas would be ideal, but how about Ajayi? 

Great to hear about Dasilva looking likely to sign. I was even more keen on Dasilva than Kalas.

 

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18 minutes ago, Jacki said:

Agreed. But I remember almost universal excitement about him when we brought him in. I’d love to find that thread, I think pretty much everyone thought he was a great signing when we brought him in.

Sometimes these things just don’t work out I guess. 

Who- Eisa?

Meteoric rise yes but 24, 4th division- don't see the 'wow' factor at time of purchase tbh.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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9 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Walsh is only 21. Surely better to keep him

Dead wood m8 realistically how many starts will he get next season when it's an area we are looking to strengthen?? Good feet at times but no ball winner so move him on....

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32 minutes ago, Shtanley said:

Who's gonna start working out which games in Portugal he was watching then.

Wonder who he is after.

Well, it must be a good hunting ground as Wolves bagged some quality players to help them up!

Maybe LJ taking a final look before making a decision?

You don’t go to Portugal on the off chance to take in a few games - or at least most wouldn’t unless there is a point to going

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8 minutes ago, Allwaysred said:

Dead wood m8 realistically how many starts will he get next season when it's an area we are looking to strengthen?? Good feet at times but no ball winner so move him on....

Might as well move all 21 year olds that don't get in then if they have to be good enough now.

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7 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Who- Eisa?

Meteoric rise yes but 24, 4th division- don't see the 'wow' factor at time of purchase tbh.

Yes Eisa. At the time there was a lot of talk if Marriott coming and plenty of posters wanted Eisa instead as a cheaper alternative. When he actually signed the vast majority thought it was a good signing. 

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24 minutes ago, Johnny Musicworks said:

Re Vyner and TM it sounded like they are on the cusp of stay or go. He mentioned that Vyner has proved himself in the Championship but whereas before we needed players coming through to be good enough for the Championship we now need them to be Premier League potential which I assume changes Vyner and TM’s situation,

The most worrying thing for me is that he seemed dubious about Kalas signing (wages ?) but said if he did he knows he can work well with Webster and Bailey Wright. Now that may refer to playing 3 at the back or with the mention of Bailey Wright could be that Webster bids incoming.

He said re his contract that things came up last week which meant it was put off for a week or so and that the board and he have to match each other’s ambition.

So with glass half empty I am worrying  LJ was in Portugal and hears about a bid for Webster which with Kalas possibly going elsewhere would probably kill off any chance of a better season ahead unless we spend very big bucks.

Probably just me overthinking but losing Kalas, Webster and LJ is a nightmare scenario.

I think you may indeed be over thinking in that he means Kalas can work with Wright or Webster as circumstances require - 3 at the back, injuries, suspensions etc.

LJ is again throwing down the gauntlet to the club though. He has delivered his side of the bargain so far and expects them to go to the next level now.

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7 minutes ago, Jacki said:

Yes Eisa. At the time there was a lot of talk if Marriott coming and plenty of posters wanted Eisa instead as a cheaper alternative. When he actually signed the vast majority thought it was a good signing. 

I wasn't terribly enthused at the time I don't think.

Our recruitment is and has been hit and miss. We compounded this by no January loan to a suitable club 

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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Best news from interview surely is that (1) LJ didn't count this season as improvement and wants promotion next, and (2) is looking to recruit at potential premiership level of player.  100% agree with that.  But will the club back him, for that's the real question.

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Good point made about Liam Walsh's passes with spin. I remember an excellent pass he made with back spin. I'd thought modern balls didn't do this it had been so long since I'd seen one with that much spin. So many times Pack and co have passed long balls forward only for them to run out of play

 

Secondly, how good looking must Lloyd Kelly's GF be? He's  a good looking, intelligent guy on a premier league wage and he's punching above his weight?!? She must be a tad tasty 

Edited by ralphindevon
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5 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I wasn't terribly enthused I don't thing.

Some you win.. 

I never got the feeling that LJ was that keen. I can't help thinking some at least of the ones for the future signings are given to him rather than asked for.

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1 hour ago, Kodjias Wrist said:

Unless I missed it was hoping for specific info regarding Vyner and TM. 

He was asked. He said. The club has never had so many young players out on loan at league clubs, but to step up now you have to be premier league ready. 

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37 minutes ago, Boston Red said:

SUMMARY.

LJ has spent the last few days having one-on-ones and reviewing the season with individuals. Has had 45 one-on-ones with what sounded like the whole football club.

Recruitment; stressed they are looking at all positions all the time, and would not say explicitly that we did need a striker, despite Geoff pushing him hard to say that. As usual the club is looking at character when they recruit. LJ pointed out that we needed to fill left back slot because only Cameron Pring is a left back at the club. There have been relaxed discussions with JDS, and City have made him an offer, but LJ does not want to force the issue. JDS is ambitious, has received a good offer from the club, and is thinking about it. The ball is in his court. No decision imminent because JDS is off captaining the England U21s. Sounds like the only issue is whether JDS accepts City's financial offer. 

LJ stressed how much of a blow Korey Smith's injuries were this season.

Other clubs now believe BCFC can get promotion, so that helps when you are signing players because you can use a promotion clause to get the fee lower. 

LJ is painfully aware we haven't scored enough goals at home, owing to the respect other teams show us when they come to Ashton Gate. Says up to the box we have been consistent, but not good enough in the box at home. He says it is difficult when teams come for a draw, and that we have had 99 golden chances in front of goal, but only taken 35. We have hit the woodwork 19 times. 

LJ says he likes an unchanged side ideally, and when you pick a team you only have to pick it to get to half time. He said that as a lot of our players are under 23, that comes with inconsistency. Said that Nicolas Eliasson is "one minute the best player on the pitch, then next minute he goes mission." But he is not afraid to take someone off because you can always put your arm around them after the match. 

Semenyo. He needs work, because he has never scored a goal in the box in his career. "Physically he is a beast." 

Famara. Says he needs to be on the move more, so that he can get a cross out of a wideman with his movement, like Beckham-Van Nistelroy. 

Eisa. We have had a few bids for Eisa, but we do believe in him. LJ stressed what a big jump the level was for him, and seemed fairly clear that he was not ready yet. There have been offers, and that could be from SPL/League One/Championship/abroad. He will sit down with him this summer, and he could easily go out on loan. Says he has improved, though, but the Championship is "a big old level".

Vyner and Moore. Decisions have to be made about them. Because you have to be a Premier League standard player to play for BCFC, since to get promoted you need five or six of them and this is the fifth best league in the world. The usual story about they have to compete, and we will see how they are doing in pre-season. Reading between the lines you get the feeling LJ is dubious about them, but he did stress that you have to leave the pathway open for these guys, and they can surprise you in pre-season, particularly if they put on 3kg of muscle. He mentioned Rory Holden on loan at Rochdale, who is 21 but with the physique of an 18 year old. 

 

Kalas - Difficult to talk about. A host of clubs after him, and he will not come cheap. We are looking to sign him. Hopeful but it will be tough. 

 

Lloyd Kelly. When asked whether 13 million was correct LJ said he did not know (come on, Lee!) but said it was a record sale, which surely is him saying it is above the 15 million for Kodja, even if we never got those add ons. He points out that LK is going from an U23 contract to a Premier League wage. LJ sounded very disappointed to lose him and lose the opportunity to carry on working with him. Repeated he is a centre half. Physically a late developer. Clever from Bournemouth to go early and buy him, and LJ seems to think the bigger clubs were interested but will now watch him at Bournemouth. LJ assumes there is a sell on because Mark Ashton is good at his job. Thinks Bournemouth is good for Lloyd because he will get games. Says that it was Lloyd's England performances that got the top clubs interested. Said that at times this season he had to put his arm around him, and at other times he needed a kick up the backside, and that Lloyd is intelligent and over-thinks things, which creates its own problems. Oh yes, Lloyd has a new girlfriend, and is punching above his weight.  

Geoff Twentyman  said that Aidy Boothroyd told him that at an England training session they were practising diagonal cross field passes, and Lloyd, with little backlift, instantly pinged an 80 yard ball from left to right and the right winger on the end of it did not have to break stride. There were Premier League players there who were impressed. 

Joe Morrell. "I was thinking about releasing him, but I forced my dad to take him for free and it worked well, he is a great lad, a proper footballer and we plan to loan him out again. I believe he can play at Championship level, but we have had 4 or 5 offers at League 1 level.@

Walsh. LJ praised his talent, and said that he can pass a ball with backspin and topspin and all kinds of spin, but said he needs 40 games, either for City or for somebody else, plus some home truths, and a good pre-season, and I hope he can produce what we are after. Sounded less than impressed with him. 

Callum O'Dowda. LJ sounded very frustrated and disappointed when talking about Callum. Says after his injury he did not want to play because he did not feel 100%, but with knee ligaments you don't get 100% fitness, and you have to play through them a bit. COD made a wage demand of the club in negotiations, and the club eventually agreed, and then COD said no to his own demands, so LJ said someone has got into his head. Stressed he liked COD, and wants him to sign, but has to be professional and do what is right for the club. Really sounds like a lot of tension and ill-feeling between the two of them. 

How does LJ relax? He doesn't, but he is highly motivated and does not feel tired or exhausted. SL ordered Mrs Johnson to put Lee's phone in a safe for five days on their holiday recently. 

Next season. He wants promotion but obviously cannot guarantee it. Said finishing 7th is not progression. (that's a relief) Progression is top 6. Said if we make enough right decisions promotion will come to us. 

 

Future at BCFC. Says he is committed to the club and the project. Has no roving eye. Does not court the media. Does not go on "The Debate" on Sky Sports, even though he is often asked. They were supposed to speak about a new contract last week, but he was in Portugal and SL was not in England. LJ does not use agents, and negotiates face to face. LJ squashed Geoff's suggestion that LJ will make demands about transfer money to be made available. The usual PR about the club and the long-term project and the good working relationship SL, MA, and LJ have. 

 

Thanks for taking the trouble to write this, excellent summary.

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11 minutes ago, Ivorguy said:

Best news from interview surely is that (1) LJ didn't count this season as improvement and wants promotion next, and (2) is looking to recruit at potential premiership level of player.  100% agree with that.  But will the club back him, for that's the real question.

Which is pretty much the question LJ is publicly asking. Rightly so imo.

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3 minutes ago, Hampshire reds said:

cant see taylor moore being at city next season. we need a lot better than him sadly. league one player at best. 

Maybe so, but I also question how well we've developed him. Same goes for a few signings actually.

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19 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I wasn't terribly enthused at the time I don't think.

Our recruitment is and has been hit and miss. We compounded this by no January loan to a suitable club 

I totally agree and I wasn’t overly excited by Eisa either. I’m pretty sure that plenty of others were though. 

You’re right about our recruitment too. I’ve said it before but I still don’t believe a club like us should be spending £1m plus on players like Moore, Bakinson etc. only to loan them out and in many cases never actually play them. I can see why we do it but more need to end up in the first team than currently do imo. 

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30 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Might as well move all 21 year olds that don't get in then if they have to be good enough now.

Very few will step up from academy to first team regular in relation the the amount released . It doesn’t happen at any club in that respect . In my opinion vyner and TM will end up league 1-2 players longterm . I hope I’m wrong though. Semenyo and bakinson are on another level ability wise as was joe , bobby and Lloyd. 

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