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LJ: the good and the bad


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Since LJ is apparently so divisive and so many here seem unable to articulate their thoughts without resorting to insulting each other, I’d thought I’d try to objectively disseminate the positives and negatives of LJ’s tenure as manager.

So here you go:-

POSITIVE

+ Year-on-year progress up the league; from relegation battlers to play off contenders

+ A good away record and some particularly enjoyable away wins

+ The Carabao Cup run and Man Utd win

+ The ability to develop certain players into highly valuable assets that we can sell on for a handsome profit

+ Some very good signings

+ At times, so very entertaining football - most notably the 17/18 pre-Christmas purple patch

+ A sense of being someone who genuinely loves and cares about the club

NEGATIVE

- Poor performances at home, and a lack of entertainment at Ashton Gate

- A lack of consistency in team selection, tactics and formation; a sense of not knowing his best team

- A lack of defined playing style

- Some poor signings

- Some questionable man-management and a tendency towards calling out individual players rather than taking responsibility for a poor team performance

- Irritating management-speak eg “box entries” etc.

- A lack of any previous notable success or achievement


This is not necessarily a definitive list and no doubt I’ve missed out a few things. But none of the above makes him “clueless”, and neither does it make him the next Guardiola. Whether he is the man to take us to the next step is not clear either way.

Grown up replies welcome!

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I think the positives outweigh the negatives so far but.... I think he is sometimes too quick to change formation, tonight being a case in point. No need to ditch Hunt and Dasilva and go to a back three tonight. Just needed Wells for Weimann and Henriksen (or Nagy) for Massengo. Hunt and Dasilva are perfecting good at getting forward. Slinging Benković on worries me that we have committed to playing him a certain number of appearances (although I’m sure LJ would say he wanted his height on the pitch).

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The most consistent criticism I have of LJ is that he is far too gung ho. We needed to tighten up and get a foothold in midfield where we were outnumbered as usual. There were huge gaps between the defence, midfield and attack that he did nothing to address.

So naturally he throws caution to the wind and effectively plays 4 up front, with none of them doing any defensive work.

Then he compounded it by throwing even more forward, though even then the tactic was essentially to hoof the ball into the box, which Brum defended easily.

In contrast, I have seen Brum 3 times this season and have been impressed with Clotet tactically.

Edited by chinapig
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31 minutes ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Since LJ is apparently so divisive and so many here seem unable to articulate their thoughts without resorting to insulting each other, I’d thought I’d try to objectively disseminate the positives and negatives of LJ’s tenure as manager.

So here you go:-

POSITIVE

+ Year-on-year progress up the league; from relegation battlers to play off contenders

+ A good away record and some particularly enjoyable away wins

+ The Carabao Cup run and Man Utd win

+ The ability to develop certain players into highly valuable assets that we can sell on for a handsome profit

+ Some very good signings

+ At times, so very entertaining football - most notably the 17/18 pre-Christmas purple patch

+ A sense of being someone who genuinely loves and cares about the club

NEGATIVE

- Poor performances at home, and a lack of entertainment at Ashton Gate

- A lack of consistency in team selection, tactics and formation; a sense of not knowing his best team

- A lack of defined playing style

- Some poor signings

- Some questionable man-management and a tendency towards calling out individual players rather than taking responsibility for a poor team performance

- Irritating management-speak eg “box entries” etc.

- A lack of any previous notable success or achievement


This is not necessarily a definitive list and no doubt I’ve missed out a few things. But none of the above makes him “clueless”, and neither does it make him the next Guardiola. Whether he is the man to take us to the next step is not clear either way.

Grown up replies welcome!

well my two-pennyworth would be that most of the positives you list have a whiff of a past rapidly receding in the rear-view mirror. Yep, we were great a couple of years ago...but have gone backwards. And that despite having an arguably technically better squad now than then. And I'd say that he's not responsible for player sales, he doesn't get the credit for that.

Basically I don't see what he has on his CV to justify handing him a job at a club with stated aims of promotion...at any level. He's not a manager with a promotion, or even a promotion challenge, on his CV. Contrast with a manager like Cotts and there is no comparison. That doesn't matter when things are going well, but it does when they are not. He has a squad that in my opinion are more than capable of securing a top 6 place...or more. I fear we have a manager who doesn't know what to do with the riches he has,

That's my view. Nothing against the man, liked him as a player, but out of his depth at this level at this stage of his career.

 

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45 minutes ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Since LJ is apparently so divisive and so many here seem unable to articulate their thoughts without resorting to insulting each other, I’d thought I’d try to objectively disseminate the positives and negatives of LJ’s tenure as manager.

So here you go:-

POSITIVE

+ Year-on-year progress up the league; from relegation battlers to play off contenders

+ A good away record and some particularly enjoyable away wins

+ The Carabao Cup run and Man Utd win

+ The ability to develop certain players into highly valuable assets that we can sell on for a handsome profit

+ Some very good signings

+ At times, so very entertaining football - most notably the 17/18 pre-Christmas purple patch

+ A sense of being someone who genuinely loves and cares about the club

NEGATIVE

- Poor performances at home, and a lack of entertainment at Ashton Gate

- A lack of consistency in team selection, tactics and formation; a sense of not knowing his best team

- A lack of defined playing style

- Some poor signings

- Some questionable man-management and a tendency towards calling out individual players rather than taking responsibility for a poor team performance

- Irritating management-speak eg “box entries” etc.

- A lack of any previous notable success or achievement


This is not necessarily a definitive list and no doubt I’ve missed out a few things. But none of the above makes him “clueless”, and neither does it make him the next Guardiola. Whether he is the man to take us to the next step is not clear either way.

Grown up replies welcome!

Where you at the game?

Yes or no answer please 👍

Edited by Oops
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37 minutes ago, Red Exile said:

well my two-pennyworth would be that most of the positives you list have a whiff of a past rapidly receding in the rear-view mirror. Yep, we were great a couple of years ago...but have gone backwards. And that despite having an arguably technically better squad now than then. And I'd say that he's not responsible for player sales, he doesn't get the credit for that.

Basically I don't see what he has on his CV to justify handing him a job at a club with stated aims of promotion...at any level. He's not a manager with a promotion, or even a promotion challenge, on his CV. Contrast with a manager like Cotts and there is no comparison. That doesn't matter when things are going well, but it does when they are not. He has a squad that in my opinion are more than capable of securing a top 6 place...or more. I fear we have a manager who doesn't know what to do with the riches he has,

That's my view. Nothing against the man, liked him as a player, but out of his depth at this level at this stage of his career.

 

I agree with a lot of what you say. But he has to get some credit for increasing a player’s value. For example it was LJ who turned Reid into a very successful striker, and we profited massively from that.

Edited by ChippenhamRed
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1 hour ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Since LJ is apparently so divisive and so many here seem unable to articulate their thoughts without resorting to insulting each other, I’d thought I’d try to objectively disseminate the positives and negatives of LJ’s tenure as manager.

So here you go:-

POSITIVE

+ Year-on-year progress up the league; from relegation battlers to play off contenders

+ A good away record and some particularly enjoyable away wins

+ The Carabao Cup run and Man Utd win

+ The ability to develop certain players into highly valuable assets that we can sell on for a handsome profit

+ Some very good signings

+ At times, so very entertaining football - most notably the 17/18 pre-Christmas purple patch

+ A sense of being someone who genuinely loves and cares about the club

NEGATIVE

- Poor performances at home, and a lack of entertainment at Ashton Gate

- A lack of consistency in team selection, tactics and formation; a sense of not knowing his best team

- A lack of defined playing style

- Some poor signings

- Some questionable man-management and a tendency towards calling out individual players rather than taking responsibility for a poor team performance

- Irritating management-speak eg “box entries” etc.

- A lack of any previous notable success or achievement


This is not necessarily a definitive list and no doubt I’ve missed out a few things. But none of the above makes him “clueless”, and neither does it make him the next Guardiola. Whether he is the man to take us to the next step is not clear either way.

Grown up replies welcome!

I would agree with you on them. Though, the negative football outdoes the positive imo. 

I feel, he has been here for 4 years. I feel he is tactically inept personally.

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Not relevant at all, but I was there, and I didn’t have the luxury of being able to stick my hand down my PJ’s to scratch my nut sack unfortunately 🤷‍♂️

And then come on to OTIB to defend the cascade of dross that I’ve been subjected to for the past 6 months. 

Apolgies for any offence that I may have caused to you or your SKY subscription 👍

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Seen a lot of games home and away, and overall, I think it’s positive. What we currently have is a pretty average squad, but with a lot of potential, that is, somehow, 6th. It might help if we had a consistent shape, and had players that fit this, rather than trying to find a way to fit in certain players, it might help. 

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To put this in context:

Started work at 5:45 this morning, had a bacon roll at 8:30. 

My little lad on the phone at lunchtime, super excited and talking team line up etc.

Drive home at 3:30 behind a 106 year old in a Honda Jazz, pick up my lad and off to AG at 4:15. Wife’s I’ll, etc.

same 106 year old girl in her Honda for an hour all the way to AG.

Feed my boy, get a beer, sit down in our seats and watch 90 mins of a chimp trying to **** a rugby ball.

I reserve the right to say we’re shit, and if you don’t like it, I don’t care 👍

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6 hours ago, Oops said:

Not relevant at all, but I was there, and I didn’t have the luxury of being able to stick my hand down my PJ’s to scratch my nut sack unfortunately 🤷‍♂️

And then come on to OTIB to defend the cascade of dross that I’ve been subjected to for the past 6 months. 

Apolgies for any offence that I may have caused to you or your SKY subscription 👍

What are you talking about?

I’ve listed, without judgement, the positives and negatives of LJ’s time here as I see it for discussion. How is that a “defence” of LJ?

Oh and I don’t have a Sky subscription, I pay for a Now TV pass when City are on. I also have two young kids and a wife who gets home from work around 6:30 on a Friday.

So what the hell is your problem?

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LJ is superb at improving players. Which is almost as important as anything else really. 

Results wise he won 4 in a row and has us in a strong position.

Entertainment? Well that can be improved. I think he needs to find a new formula to achieve that, certainly at home anyway.

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My take on this and the principal problem for some time. Lee Johnson teams' can play great football. On top of this,  Lee Johnson teams' can play terrible football. Performances are polarized.

Lee Johnson doesn't understand why.

Highly frustrating for us fans and explains why the forum is polarized.

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21 minutes ago, intercity said:

My take on this and the principal problem for some time. Lee Johnson teams' can play great football. On top of this,  Lee Johnson teams' can play terrible football. Performances are polarized.

Lee Johnson doesn't understand why.

Highly frustrating for us fans and explains why the forum is polarized.

Love this post. Sums lee up very eloquently!

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1 hour ago, intercity said:

My take on this and the principal problem for some time. Lee Johnson teams' can play great football. On top of this,  Lee Johnson teams' can play terrible football. Performances are polarized.

Lee Johnson doesn't understand why.

Highly frustrating for us fans and explains why the forum is polarized.

Great post!

That is the issue...things happen, Lee watches them happen. Most of the time he's not managing events, he's reacting.

Whatever other qualities he has, and no matter how much he and others want him to be one, he's simply not proving to be a very good manager. The more resources he's given the more apparent this is.

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1 hour ago, JonDolman said:

LJ is superb at improving players. Which is almost as important as anything else really. 

Results wise he won 4 in a row and has us in a strong position.

Entertainment? Well that can be improved. I think he needs to find a new formula to achieve that, certainly at home anyway.

There is probably a bigger list of players that LJ has held back by never playing them or farming them out on loan. To say he is superb at improving players is not 100% accurate, some maybe have benefited, but by no means all the players he has coached 

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On the business side of things you can’t fault LJ, but MA needs to take a bit of credit for that too. 
 

The sale of Kodjia and subsequently Reid, Bryan, Webster etc has enabled City to become an established Championship club where we are in a position to actually compete for promotion rather than try to avoid defeat or mount another ‘great escape’.

We are now able to buy and loan players of quality and when we sell we can sell for money we could only have dreamed of in the past.

The idea of bringing academy players through seems to have been shelved for now because either they are simply not good enough, or we prefer to loan them out for experience in the hope that they come back better players and therefore run less risk of them having their confidence shattered by trying to learn their trade in a team where expectations of success are higher than they have been in the past.

Yes we have improved year on year, but that isn’t something that will continue to happen due to the nature of football these days. As soon as a player hits a purple patch of form the vultures with the money start circling, so it becomes difficult to play a settled side for an entire season as in years gone by.

I don’t think that LJ has what it takes to get the best out of established and experienced players. He has never tasted success as a manager and that is evident in his constant tinkering. It appears to me that this is the act of someone who is ‘hopeful’ of finding that moment when things ‘click’ rather than being tactically astute.

LJ’s teams are found out far too often and there is no element of surprise, no real plan B. Even when it becomes blindingly obvious that we are losing our foothold in the game he never seems to be able to nullify the oppositions threats (Barnsley away and QPR 2nd half, Blackburn at home springs to mind) whereas I have seen opposition managers come to Ashton Gate and set up teams to get hold of the midfield, take advantage of our sideways passing around the back four and snuff out our creative outlets.

The only thing that ensured the 3 points at QPR last week was a bit of luck, defending and QPRs lack of end product. We go again last night and it’s more of the same, chasing shadows in the middle of the park and hardly any creativity.

I just don’t think that LJ has enough in his locker tactically to win dirty as well as clean. It’s just the same things being repeated over and over again until time begins to run out and we start slinging high balls into the box.

This could well be the last season at the helm because there is no doubt that we have more quality in the squad, but performances remain the same regardless of personnel.

As to who would replace him? Well that would have to be thought about very carefully, but we are certainly more of an attractive prospect than we were in the past and there is no doubt that we could go up to the Premier League. 
 

I would be worried if we did go up under LJ because the lack of experience and tactical awareness would be massively exposed in the top flight.

Edited by Gert Mare
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13 hours ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Since LJ is apparently so divisive and so many here seem unable to articulate their thoughts without resorting to insulting each other, I’d thought I’d try to objectively disseminate the positives and negatives of LJ’s tenure as manager.

So here you go:-

POSITIVE

+ Year-on-year progress up the league; from relegation battlers to play off contenders Can't argue with that

+ A good away record and some particularly enjoyable away wins : Any away win is enjoyable, regardless of how we play. 

+ The Carabao Cup run and Man Utd win . Over 2 years ago now

+ The ability to develop certain players into highly valuable assets that we can sell on for a handsome profit : True , but you have to question the consistency in the dealings.

+ Some very good signings : As. above

+ At times, so very entertaining football - most notably the 17/18 pre-Christmas purple patch : Again, 2 years ago. Very enjoyable at the time , possibly the best I've ever seen City play, but what since.

+ A sense of being someone who genuinely loves and cares about the club

NEGATIVE

- Poor performances at home, and a lack of entertainment at Ashton Gate : Around 2 years of poor performances , interspersed with games Vs Huddersfield.

- A lack of consistency in team selection, tactics and formation; a sense of not knowing his best team : I would defend him a little here. I think you need to be Able to be flexible . I do think he may take this to extremes , but you can't afford to be too rigid.

- A lack of defined playing style : This is a major bugbear. Even with the signing of Wells and Benkovic , how do you fit both into the line up? Add Paterson, who has played well since his return , and Palmer ( now we have someone who could feed off of his vision and passing ability ) , Henricksen? There is no pattern to formation to recruitment.

- Some poor signings : TBF happens at every club.

- Some questionable man-management and a tendency towards calling out individual players rather than taking responsibility for a poor team performance . : This is another problem, singling out players for blame? Never good but surely should be done away from the press.

- Irritating management-speak eg “box entries” etc. : That's just modern football I'm afraid. The amount of new stats to break down how a team has played will mean more of this type of thing. 

- A lack of any previous notable success or achievement : Doesn't really mean much either, everyone who has won something has done it for the first time, sometime.

 

It's not great at the moment, what makes it worse is 80-90% of fans watch only home games , so the view is coloured by the poor form at the Gate. I have mates that go everywhere, and they have said if it wasn't for the social side, going to AG would be a hard choice . 
The thing is, there is no point in banging on about "Johnson out!" , as the man at the top has said 'HE' will decided if and when LJ goes. I can guarantee he won't be swayed by fans opinions . I also don't see the home form changing any time soon, unless Henriksen is the 'magic bullet' and things change as soon as we have another experienced CMF dropped into the team. We signed a £13m CB into a team that already have 3 CB's ( Kalas you'd think will play when fit, Baker has been brilliant and AW sold) so we may go back 3. If we do , where does that leave NE? We have Wells , which could bring the best out of KP, but how do you fit either in , Fam being in top form and Pato as good as he's ever been. This is the main problem I have with LJ, what formation do we play, and what style of football? What we do need to do , is dominate possession more and be better WITH the ball. 
All I know is , anything can happen between now and end of the season.

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15 hours ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Since LJ is apparently so divisive and so many here seem unable to articulate their thoughts without resorting to insulting each other, I’d thought I’d try to objectively disseminate the positives and negatives of LJ’s tenure as manager.

So here you go:-

POSITIVE

+ Year-on-year progress up the league; from relegation battlers to play off contenders

+ A good away record and some particularly enjoyable away wins

+ The Carabao Cup run and Man Utd win

+ The ability to develop certain players into highly valuable assets that we can sell on for a handsome profit

+ Some very good signings

+ At times, so very entertaining football - most notably the 17/18 pre-Christmas purple patch

+ A sense of being someone who genuinely loves and cares about the club

NEGATIVE

- Poor performances at home, and a lack of entertainment at Ashton Gate

- A lack of consistency in team selection, tactics and formation; a sense of not knowing his best team

- A lack of defined playing style

- Some poor signings

- Some questionable man-management and a tendency towards calling out individual players rather than taking responsibility for a poor team performance

- Irritating management-speak eg “box entries” etc.

- A lack of any previous notable success or achievement


This is not necessarily a definitive list and no doubt I’ve missed out a few things. But none of the above makes him “clueless”, and neither does it make him the next Guardiola. Whether he is the man to take us to the next step is not clear either way.

Grown up replies welcome!

Tbf LJ has held his hands up in the past when hes got it wrong.

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16 hours ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Grown up replies welcome!

 

14 hours ago, Oops said:

Not relevant at all, but I was there, and I didn’t have the luxury of being able to stick my hand down my PJ’s to scratch my nut sack unfortunately 🤷‍♂️

And then come on to OTIB to defend the cascade of dross that I’ve been subjected to for the past 6 months. 

Apologies for any offence that I may have caused to you or your SKY subscription 👍

OTIB summed up haha, amazing.

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