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Arne Slot


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On 07/07/2020 at 09:04, Kid in the Riot said:

Mick McCarthy worked under a Director of Football at Ipswich - Dave Bowman. 

Chris Hughton worked under a technical director at Brighton - Dan Ashworth. 

It's not the set up that is the concern at city. It's the individuals within that. 

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2 hours ago, The Bard said:

It's not the set up that is the concern at city. It's the individuals within that. 

I wholeheartedly agree.

But that's not the point that is being made by people. They are saying Hughton/McCarthy wouldn't come here because they wouldn't have full control over transfers. They haven't in previous jobs and wouldn't at any Prem or top Championship side. So our set-up in not unique, nor is it a barrier to being able to attract a manager of their ilk. 

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6 minutes ago, Kid in the Riot said:

I wholeheartedly agree.

But that's not the point that is being made by people. They are saying Hughton/McCarthy wouldn't come here because they wouldn't have full control over transfers. They haven't in previous jobs and wouldn't at any Prem or top Championship side. So our set-up in not unique, nor is it a barrier to being able to attract a manager of their ilk. 

In my defence the point I was trying to make (albeit not very well perhaps) was about the set up but specifically about whether they'd work with someone like Ashton and work well together. Reading between the lines, he has considerable influence in transfers which might put people off once this comes to light.

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30 minutes ago, Kid in the Riot said:

I wholeheartedly agree.

But that's not the point that is being made by people. They are saying Hughton/McCarthy wouldn't come here because they wouldn't have full control over transfers. They haven't in previous jobs and wouldn't at any Prem or top Championship side. So our set-up in not unique, nor is it a barrier to being able to attract a manager of their ilk. 

100% agree with the points here

I am struggling to think of why people on this forum seem to think any top-level or professionally run club would effectively give a manager "full control" over employment decisions, and enough capital and operating expense to bring the club/company down without there being other people in the loop to comment, review and check that it is the right path forward. 

IMO that "romantic" model of running a club where the manager does everything is unlikely to be used at higher levels where the organisation is run in a professional way.

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47 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

In my defence the point I was trying to make (albeit not very well perhaps) was about the set up but specifically about whether they'd work with someone like Ashton and work well together. Reading between the lines, he has considerable influence in transfers which might put people off once this comes to light.

It's part of his remit so this is uncontroversial and unsurprising. Even the rumours about him only using certain agents, I'm afraid that will be the same the football world over. It's what Wolves do and it's turned out ok for them. It's about building up a trusted network of the right people, and guess what....sometimes that's going to include friends and even family members. 

I seriously doubt any of this will come as a surprise to the likes of Hughton. He spent the best part of 17 years coaching at two of the biggest clubs in England. 

Edited by Kid in the Riot
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4 minutes ago, Kid in the Riot said:

It's part of his remit so this is uncontroversial and unsurprising. Even the rumours about him only using certain agents, I'm afraid that will be the same the football world over. It's what Wolves do and it's turned out ok for them. It's about building up a trusted network of the right people, and guess what....sometimes that's going to include friends and even family members. 

I seriously doubt any of this will come as a surprise to the likes of Hughton. He spent the best part of 17 years coaching at two of the biggest clubs in England. 

That's somewhat reassuring. The agent thing is a bit of a worry for me, the difference for Wolves is that Jorge Mendes seems to have far better connections than Ashton. Ashton's connections don't seem to bring in anything near that quality of player. 

I have a feeling this will be a long and drawn out recruitment process anyway, might not be until next month that there's any movement. 

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5 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

That's somewhat reassuring. The agent thing is a bit of a worry for me, the difference for Wolves is that Jorge Mendes seems to have far better connections than Ashton. Ashton's connections don't seem to bring in anything near that quality of player. 

Of course not. Jorge Mendes is probably the world's leading agent. Ashton's reputation in the game is still decent. Don't think we had a relationship with a club like Chelsea before he arrived, for example... 

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8 minutes ago, Kid in the Riot said:

Of course not. Jorge Mendes is probably the world's leading agent. Ashton's reputation in the game is still decent. Don't think we had a relationship with a club like Chelsea before he arrived, for example... 

Good, this is reassuring. Hopefully there's nothing to be concerned about then. I have no inside knowledge but from the outside, Ashton's role and influence looks like it could be an issue.

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10 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

That's somewhat reassuring. The agent thing is a bit of a worry for me, the difference for Wolves is that Jorge Mendes seems to have far better connections than Ashton. Ashton's connections don't seem to bring in anything near that quality of player. 

I have a feeling this will be a long and drawn out recruitment process anyway, might not be until next month that there's any movement. 

The Mendes one is interesting because didn't the new Chinese owners bring him in on a consultancy basis first meaning he was part of the project? Then he just happened to direct Nuno and a stable of talented players to them.

The owners, Fosun, already had business ties with his Gestifute agency and so were able to do broader dealing with him.

Basically, it wasn't a standard club/agent relationship, and his consultancy fee was probably huge and who know what other agreements were in place.

By all means City could enter one of these exclusivity deals with an agent but it seems an expensive and shady way to do it from where I'm standing.

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Slot is a very good coach. In the Dutch press it is often stated that he might/will be the next trainer for Ajax. If that is really in his mind I guess a transfer to Bristol City will not be possible. Nevertheless Willem II has a draw at home against AZ and a win away against AZ last season.... 

AZ is still fighting the qualification of Ajax for the group phase of the championsleague, since they ended equally with Ajax in the competition and have beaten Ajax twice last season. Being coach of a team playing champions league might also be different then training Bristol City. This may sound negative towards City supporters, but I just try to be neutral in this post.

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15 minutes ago, willem ii said:

Slot is a very good coach. In the Dutch press it is often stated that he might/will be the next trainer for Ajax. If that is really in his mind I guess a transfer to Bristol City will not be possible. Nevertheless Willem II has a draw at home against AZ and a win away against AZ last season.... 

AZ is still fighting the qualification of Ajax for the group phase of the championsleague, since they ended equally with Ajax in the competition and have beaten Ajax twice last season. Being coach of a team playing champions league might also be different then training Bristol City. This may sound negative towards City supporters, but I just try to be neutral in this post.

Yeah, but we can offer litre bottles of Natch and day-trips to Guernsey on Steve's private jet. So, swings and roundabouts really

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20 minutes ago, willem ii said:

Slot is a very good coach. In the Dutch press it is often stated that he might/will be the next trainer for Ajax. If that is really in his mind I guess a transfer to Bristol City will not be possible. Nevertheless Willem II has a draw at home against AZ and a win away against AZ last season.... 

AZ is still fighting the qualification of Ajax for the group phase of the championsleague, since they ended equally with Ajax in the competition and have beaten Ajax twice last season. Being coach of a team playing champions league might also be different then training Bristol City. This may sound negative towards City supporters, but I just try to be neutral in this post.

I posted his name originally as he appeared on Sky Bet a potential manager for us. I must admit i hadn’t heard of him previously, interestingly he isn’t mentioned for the Birmingham role or even Newcastle or Man Utd (appreciate there is vacancy) just seems strange he’s appeared linked to us by the bookies and not other roles 

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1 hour ago, cityal said:

100% agree with the points here

I am struggling to think of why people on this forum seem to think any top-level or professionally run club would effectively give a manager "full control" over employment decisions, and enough capital and operating expense to bring the club/company down without there being other people in the loop to comment, review and check that it is the right path forward. 

IMO that "romantic" model of running a club where the manager does everything is unlikely to be used at higher levels where the organisation is run in a professional way.

The other thing that confuses me is why people think having an old-school manager who wants to control everything would be a positive thing to aspire to. Clubs, including ours, moved away from it for a good reason and we are as good an example as any for the reasons for that.

Let's look at what happened from 2009 to 2013

Gary Johnson did a great job for the club in the short term but ultimately it was one where the foundations were built on sand. There was no youth structure or long-term plan. He made signings, one of the last of which was Jamal Campbell-Ryce. Within weeks of Campbell-Ryce signing, Johnson was gone. 

When he left, Coppell took over with no continuity plan in place. As a result, Coppell didn't fancy some of the players he inherited and made his own signings (plus, of course, SL signing James if rumours are to be believed). He left after 3 games but we now had players like Hunt and Stewart in the squad on long expensive contracts). Millen took over and signed players like Pitman and Taylor. Millen then left the following year and McInnes came in. He didn't fancy Pitman and Taylor but signed Pearson, Foster, Anderson, WIlson, Jody Morris, Davies and Liam Kelly. Then he left and SOD took over signing Moloney and others.

By the time we were in League One, we had had four managers in four years with no consistent transfer strategy and our first season in League One was hamstrung by unwanted players on long contracts taking up the wage bill. Where we had sold players, they were mostly the new manager casting off a previous manager's signings and were sold at bargain basement rates or left on frees as nobody else wanted them. 

The absolute last thing I want to happen at this point is for us to appoint a manager who is going to decide to bin off the entire of existing squad and start again. There are a few players who I think need to leave but we have 12-15 places under 25 who could make the nucleus of a good side and I'd much rather a new manager was brought in who was excited to work with the potential at the club, supplemented with a few signings who will prove shrewd investments for years to come - regardless of whether a manager comes or goes - rather than a new manager come in, re-shape the squad and then leave (either due to being offered a better job or being sacked) only for another new manager to come in and re-shape the squad again and again ad nauseum and go back to where we were from 2009 - 2013.

People romanticise the hands-on manager based on the handful of times and clubs where it has worked, ignoring that the vast majority of managers who dictate transfers leave their club with a stockpile of players the next manager cannot or does not wish to use. 

Edited by LondonBristolian
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21 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

The other thing that confuses me is why people think having an old-school manager who wants to control everything would be a positive thing to aspire to. Clubs, including ours, moved away from it for a good reason and we are as good an example as any for the reasons for that.

Let's look at what happened from 2009 to 2013

Gary Johnson did a great job for the club in the short term but ultimately it was one where the foundations were built on sand. There was no youth structure or long-term plan. He made signings, one of the last of which was Jamal Campbell-Ryce. Within weeks of Campbell-Ryce signing, Johnson was gone. 

When he left, Coppell took over with no continuity plan in place. As a result, Coppell didn't fancy some of the players he inherited and made his own signings (plus, of course, SL signing James if rumours are to be believed). He left after 3 games but we now had players like Hunt and Stewart in the squad on long expensive contracts). Millen took over and signed players like Pitman and Taylor. Millen then left the following year and McInnes came in. He didn't fancy Pitman and Taylor but signed Pearson, Foster, Anderson, WIlson, Jody Morris, Davies and Liam Kelly. Then he left and SOD took over signing Moloney and others.

By the time we were in League One, we had had four managers in four years with no consistent transfer strategy and our first season in League One was hamstrung by unwanted players on long contracts taking up the wage bill. Where we had sold players, they were mostly the new manager casting off a previous manager's signings and were sold at bargain basement rates or left on frees as nobody else wanted them. 

The absolute last thing I want to happen at this point is for us to appoint a manager who is going to decide to bin off the entire of existing squad and start again. There are a few players who I think need to leave but we have 12-15 places under 25 who could make the nucleus of a good side and I'd much rather a new manager was brought in who was excited to work with the potential at the club, supplemented with a few signings who will prove shrewd investments for years to come - regardless of whether a manager comes or goes - rather than a new manager come in, re-shape the squad and then leave (either due to being offered a better job or being sacked) only for another new manager to come in and re-shape the squad again and again ad nauseum and go back to where we were from 2009 - 2013.

People romanticise the hands-on , ignoring that the vast majority of managers who dictate transfers leave their club with a stockpile of players the next manager cannot or does not wish to use. 

But isn’t the only alternative that the new Head Coach will still have to come in and inherit a stockpile of players, but the only difference being, they’ve been accumulated under the watch of Mark Ashton?

Maybe I’m missing something, but I really can’t see much difference?  If we’re looking at the issue of continuity, does that mean MA has the final say on signings and players are selected to fit the club’s philosophy, rather than the HC’s personal preference?

If so, it would be a tough ask to find many applicants willing to work under those constraints.

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1 minute ago, BrizzleRed said:

But isn’t the only alternative that the new Head Coach will still have to come in and inherit a stockpile of players, but the only difference being, they’ve been accumulated under the watch of Mark Ashton?

Maybe I’m missing something, but I really can’t see much difference?  If we’re looking at the issue of continuity, does that mean MA has the final say on signings and players are selected to fit the club’s philosophy, rather than the HC’s personal preference?

If so, it would be a tough ask to find many applicants willing to work under those constraints.

I would assume a new manager would have the right of veto on a new signing but, generally speaking, players are selected to fit the club's philosophy rather than the Head Coach's personal preference. I would also assume the new manager will be selected to fit the club's philosophy and the extent of their willingness to work the current squad and buy into the approach and philosophy the club want to take will be a factor in the decision whether to recruit them or not.

It's worth saying this is broadly how the majority of European clubs work, including the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid and also that other clubs in the Premier League and Championship are increasingly moving towards that model, which is the only one that really makes sense in an era of Financial Fair Play.

The majority of applicants would expect to broadly work under those conditions to one degree or another. There will be old school managers around since the 1990s or 2000s who will not but that tends to be why clubs increasingly appoint them for "fire fighting" situations rather than with an eye to long term. Certainly I think a manager like Hughton would have experienced a similar system at Brighton so I don't think this will be a shock to the system for most applicants. 

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28 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

I would assume a new manager would have the right of veto on a new signing but, generally speaking, players are selected to fit the club's philosophy rather than the Head Coach's personal preference. I would also assume the new manager will be selected to fit the club's philosophy and the extent of their willingness to work the current squad and buy into the approach and philosophy the club want to take will be a factor in the decision whether to recruit them or not.

It's worth saying this is broadly how the majority of European clubs work, including the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid and also that other clubs in the Premier League and Championship are increasingly moving towards that model, which is the only one that really makes sense in an era of Financial Fair Play.

The majority of applicants would expect to broadly work under those conditions to one degree or another. There will be old school managers around since the 1990s or 2000s who will not but that tends to be why clubs increasingly appoint them for "fire fighting" situations rather than with an eye to long term. Certainly I think a manager like Hughton would have experienced a similar system at Brighton so I don't think this will be a shock to the system for most applicants. 

A lot of interesting points there LB and thanks for the well measured response.  

That all makes a lot of sense, but something clearly must have gone wrong with the LJ appointment then.  It seems pretty clear there were some players brought in that he didn’t want, so the question then is, were the wrong players acquired for LJ, or was LJ the wrong person for the plan and playing philosophy the club had?

Hopefully as you say, the system isn’t so rigid as to put off managers of the calibre of Chris Hughton, because that would seem like a big mistake.

Will certainly be interesting to see who we end up with.

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14 minutes ago, BrizzleRed said:

A lot of interesting points there LB and thanks for the well measured response.  

That all makes a lot of sense, but something clearly must have gone wrong with the LJ appointment then.  It seems pretty clear there were some players brought in that he didn’t want, so the question then is, were the wrong players acquired for LJ, or was LJ the wrong person for the plan and playing philosophy the club had?

Hopefully as you say, the system isn’t so rigid as to put off managers of the calibre of Chris Hughton, because that would seem like a big mistake.

Will certainly be interesting to see who we end up with.

I am guessing but I imagine it is a bit of one and a bit of the other. It's worth saying that, whilst LJ was a bit lukewarm in the press on players like Kasey Palmer and Sammie Szmodzics, I think he made it clear in the press he believed he had a squad that was good enough for promotion and I do feel some of his objections to signings seemed to emerge after the event when results weren't going the right way. 

With any system, not every signing is going to be perfect and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I think we've got every signing right. Obviously the people leading on the signings don't have experience of playing and managing and, whilst that is not necessarily a problem (or even unusual for Directors of Football), I think the data-led system has some advantages (in that it eliminates certain weak spots and biases that can lead to bad signings) it also has some disadvantages. Anyone who plays Football Manager or FIFA will know that there are players who, according to data, have everything needed to be top footballers but whose real-life careers never match what they do in the virtual world. People with experience in an area (in this case football) develop instincts and those instincts should not be trusted completely but sometimes an instinct is someone's years of experience quickly enabling them to come to a conclusion that is accurate but not immediately possible to explain and back-up.

My argument is more that "having a club wide philosophy and signing players and a manager that fit into that" is a good thing and increasingly common in football rather than that Bristol CIty's philosophy is perfect and every signing perfectly matches that vision. At the same time, I genuinely believe we've got a lot of capable players with potential that many incoming managers would be excited to work with and I think, with the right appointment, there is a nucleus within the squad that could be the basis of a team that play exciting, attractive football and challenge for promotion. 

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42 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

I am guessing but I imagine it is a bit of one and a bit of the other. It's worth saying that, whilst LJ was a bit lukewarm in the press on players like Kasey Palmer and Sammie Szmodzics, I think he made it clear in the press he believed he had a squad that was good enough for promotion and I do feel some of his objections to signings seemed to emerge after the event when results weren't going the right way. 

With any system, not every signing is going to be perfect and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I think we've got every signing right. Obviously the people leading on the signings don't have experience of playing and managing and, whilst that is not necessarily a problem (or even unusual for Directors of Football), I think the data-led system has some advantages (in that it eliminates certain weak spots and biases that can lead to bad signings) it also has some disadvantages. Anyone who plays Football Manager or FIFA will know that there are players who, according to data, have everything needed to be top footballers but whose real-life careers never match what they do in the virtual world. People with experience in an area (in this case football) develop instincts and those instincts should not be trusted completely but sometimes an instinct is someone's years of experience quickly enabling them to come to a conclusion that is accurate but not immediately possible to explain and back-up.

My argument is more that "having a club wide philosophy and signing players and a manager that fit into that" is a good thing and increasingly common in football rather than that Bristol CIty's philosophy is perfect and every signing perfectly matches that vision. At the same time, I genuinely believe we've got a lot of capable players with potential that many incoming managers would be excited to work with and I think, with the right appointment, there is a nucleus within the squad that could be the basis of a team that play exciting, attractive football and challenge for promotion. 

Interesting and certainly see where your coming from.

With you on everything in that last paragraph.  It clearly didn’t really work as planned with LJ, so we ‘go again’ as they say.

Hopefully the plan clicks with whoever we get in next and we can see if this squad’s true potential can be realised.

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57 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

I am guessing but I imagine it is a bit of one and a bit of the other. It's worth saying that, whilst LJ was a bit lukewarm in the press on players like Kasey Palmer and Sammie Szmodzics, I think he made it clear in the press he believed he had a squad that was good enough for promotion and I do feel some of his objections to signings seemed to emerge after the event when results weren't going the right way. 

My take on Palmer and Szmodics is that they were both brought in to replace Paterson, who was going to be sold, so that there was both a regular and a back-up. All that changed when Afobe got injured, Palmer got dropped, Rooney signed for Derby so Paterson was no longer wanted by them, and when LJ was stuck after Christmas he immediately went back to Paterson, who he trusted more than Palmer, so Szmodics has to go out on loan to get game time.

The new manager will have that conundrum to resolve, but realistically Paterson is the oldest of them and the one that you would look to move on.

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