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Steve speaks


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58 minutes ago, Kid in the Riot said:

It's baffling that he continues to talk up the Academy as being a route to success when he won't invest in it to become Cat 1 and we have seen such little evidence of any Academy players (apart from Kelly) being promoted to the first team since Reid and Bryan departed. 

There's no need for us to need a cat 1 academy, yes you can recruit from a wider range of academies but would we? 'Sorry Steve we know you already put in ~£8m a season but do you fancy financing another £3m a season plus giving the academy a budget to bring in players we have no guarantee will even go on to get pro contracts let alone make the 1st team'. Believe me I'd love more than anyone for us to be cat 1 but in reality we don't need it.

42 minutes ago, ZiderEyed said:

The academy stuff and "pathway" is what most gets on my tits.

Blocking off the routes to first team football for home grown players is not a pathway. That is the opposite. It is a dead end for academy players at BCFC.

And why are we as a club so insistent about the fact theres a pathway, but unwilling to stump up the cash to become a Cat 1 academy? There are 26 Cat 1 academies now, so If Steve is serious about a pathway then Cat 1 has to be the next thing on the agenda. Otherwise, there'll be fewer Lloyd Kellys, and more Herbie Kanes. BCFCs youth development/recruitment is a joke all around really, but you'd have thought for a side purporting to care about a pathway that we'd be Cat 1 by now. 

We are not a club that takes youth development seriously imo. 

Add to the point above I made to KitR, why do we need a cat 1 academy? Yes we can recruit from where we'd want to but it doesn't stop any other academy recruiting from us (cat 1 can take from cat 1) so all it means is we'd get an extra £80,000 odd for a player taken by a cat 1 academy max. The Herbie Kane's and Jacob Maddox's could still leave with us unable to do anything about it. The other factor is being cat 1 obviously it means you have to play the other cat 1 clubs, realistically can you develop a squad of players who will be able to play well enough to compete at that level or would it be better to be cat 2 and be able to play better football? Again said to KitR £3m to run a cat 1 academy, Swansea are potentially dropping to cat 3 because their owners have said a cat 1 academy in the championship isn't financially feasible for them. Cat 1 championship clubs include Norwich, Stoke with parachute payments, Middlesbrough with recent parachute payments, then Derby, Reading and Blackburn. Being outside the premier league with a cat 1 academy or premier league money isn't normal by any stretch.

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1 hour ago, Kid in the Riot said:

Just watched it and still none the wiser as to why Holden was the best candidate for the job. Same as usual it's just "trust us, we know what we're doing". 

Well unfortunately after 20 years of significant investment and imo significant underachievement based on that level of investment, I have little faith that the right appointment has been made, or that it was made for the right reasons. 

It's baffling that he continues to talk up the Academy as being a route to success when he won't invest in it to become Cat 1 and we have seen such little evidence of any Academy players (apart from Kelly) being promoted to the first team since Reid and Bryan departed. 

We are miles away from the Academy contributing significantly to the first team at the moment. He used the Bears as an example and said they have the same structure as the FC. Well Bristol had 12 Academy products in their squad on Saturday! If we have the same structure then why is half their squad made up of Academy lads and we rarely name more than one Academy player in our matchday squad? I appreciate it's a different sport but Bristol are managing to do this at an elite level, too. 

It was also interesting that he revealed he was told by Danny Wilson, what must have been a minimum of 15 years ago, to invest in the training ground. Why has this taken so long to deliver, if as Steve says, it's such a vitally important facility to have? Very strange. 

Finally, he mentioned that City have always done things the right way and take their time in the interviewing process. Well, apart from the times you haven't done that, Steve. Most recently about six years ago when you appointed SOD within 24 hours of sacking McInnes.  No interview process for Millen's appointment either, or Cotterill i think. Seemed like he was trying to rewrite history a bit to fit the current agenda. 

Overall, not a lot to be positive about, training ground aside. 

With SL, JL and MA making what seems to be pretty much every footballing decision at the club, it will be more luck than judgement if we do stumble on a winning formula that gets us to the Promised Land. 

Some good points and your certainly on to something with many. 

But when do we just say and he's made mistakes he's tried to learn from them. (Whilst also trying to persuade his customers and all that)

It's really a stance of; he is overall the best thing to happen to this club, certainly when you look at other similar sized clubs disappear. 

Holdens who we got. Nobody really wanted him. But hay, might work. Let's give it our collective all.

With the club losing money "hand over fist" I personally would rather see us challenge affordably anyway 

 

Edited by Robin-hugh-blind
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6 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

I’m not a critic of SL, although I don’t agree with everything he says or does.  Some things I like, some I don’t.

There is however a streak in him that says “I’ve put millions in, I’m beyond criticism” (paraphrased).

There are multiple ways to skin a cat.  It’s possible to have achieved promotion without needing his millions every year.  A different strategy might’ve achieved it.  The current one hasn’t achieved it either.

His millions aren’t total charity either are they?  He’s got a big asset for his money....and kudos.  Some thrive on the power of kudos.

I’m grateful for his financial contribution and compliance, but I totally see why others aren’t, especially when you see failure / failure to achieve the objectives on the football side.

Criticism has degrees of justification, some if it on this thread and others is justified.

People who disagree with you aren’t all “negative”, nor a “bunch of critical pygmies”.  They have a different view to you.  Ever considered yours might be over-rose-tinted.  There’s middle ground here.

We were a club yo-yoing between the bottom half of the Championship (if we were lucky) and League 1.  We are now credible play-off contenders, with the infrastructure to match, and hopefully still improving.  I don't call that failure.  If you're not a critic of SL, I'd hate to see someone who is.

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6 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

I’m not a critic of SL, although I don’t agree with everything he says or does.  Some things I like, some I don’t.

There is however a streak in him that says “I’ve put millions in, I’m beyond criticism” (paraphrased).

There are multiple ways to skin a cat.  It’s possible to have achieved promotion without needing his millions every year.  A different strategy might’ve achieved it.  The current one hasn’t achieved it either.

His millions aren’t total charity either are they?  He’s got a big asset for his money....and kudos.  Some thrive on the power of kudos.

I’m grateful for his financial contribution and compliance, but I totally see why others aren’t, especially when you see failure / failure to achieve the objectives on the football side.

Criticism has degrees of justification, some if it on this thread and others is justified.

People who disagree with you aren’t all “negative”, nor a “bunch of critical pygmies”.  They have a different view to you.  Ever considered yours might be over-rose-tinted.  There’s middle ground here.

I liked the original post, but this is a good reply.

As you say, this middle ground. 

Imo . With everything gone on, he's probably playing it safe with DH and we should support that. 

As a collective, support is required if Holden is to perform the miracle.

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1 minute ago, Davefevs said:

I’m not a critic of SL, although I don’t agree with everything he says or does.  Some things I like, some I don’t.

There is however a streak in him that says “I’ve put millions in, I’m beyond criticism” (paraphrased).

There are multiple ways to skin a cat.  It’s possible to have achieved promotion without needing his millions every year.  A different strategy might’ve achieved it.  The current one hasn’t achieved it either.

His millions aren’t total charity either are they?  He’s got a big asset for his money....and kudos.  Some thrive on the power of kudos.

I’m grateful for his financial contribution and compliance, but I totally see why others aren’t, especially when you see failure / failure to achieve the objectives on the football side.

Criticism has degrees of justification, some if it on this thread and others is justified.

People who disagree with you aren’t all “negative”, nor a “bunch of critical pygmies”.  They have a different view to you.  Ever considered yours might be over-rose-tinted.  There’s middle ground here.

Dave, you make many excellent posts and this was not really aimed at you.  What really gets my goat is that people use their negative imaginations and work out what they think has happened and what they think should have happened and then started to post as if their suppositions are based on fact and not fiction.  Many of the decisions made by SL and the board will be finely balanced and we cannot know what the real situation might be.  The same will go for choice of players in a team. We don't know how they have trained, if they have a cold, if they have had a row with a team mate or member of staff.  Every aspect of a player will go into the decision of whether it pick him or not. We can speculate and discuss the issues b but surely not from an antagonistic position. We ned to have faith in the people leading the club and have sufficient respect to give them room to do their jobs.  Some people even criticise SL being proud of what he has put into the club. If we take a step back, we can surely recognise the enormity of the contribution that SL has made to our club - and this has warped our expectations.  Maybe we should be grateful and play our part as supporters.

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I thought his sniffy comments about Birmingham’s undue haste (!) by effectively suggesting that they just went for the first person who showed any interest by appointing Karanka inside 3 weeks was all a bit odd, too.

Clearly struck a bit of a nerve that it was even brought up, I thought.

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1 hour ago, Kid in the Riot said:

Just watched it and still none the wiser as to why Holden was the best candidate for the job. Same as usual it's just "trust us, we know what we're doing". 

Well unfortunately after 20 years of significant investment and imo significant underachievement based on that level of investment, I have little faith that the right appointment has been made, or that it was made for the right reasons. 

It's baffling that he continues to talk up the Academy as being a route to success when he won't invest in it to become Cat 1 and we have seen such little evidence of any Academy players (apart from Kelly) being promoted to the first team since Reid and Bryan departed. 

We are miles away from the Academy contributing significantly to the first team at the moment. He used the Bears as an example and said they have the same structure as the FC. Well Bristol had 12 Academy products in their squad on Saturday! If we have the same structure then why is half their squad made up of Academy lads and we rarely name more than one Academy player in our matchday squad? I appreciate it's a different sport but Bristol are managing to do this at an elite level, too

It was also interesting that he revealed he was told by Danny Wilson, what must have been a minimum of 15 years ago, to invest in the training ground. Why has this taken so long to deliver, if as Steve says, it's such a vitally important facility to have? Very strange. 

Finally, he mentioned that City have always done things the right way and take their time in the interviewing process. Well, apart from the times you haven't done that, Steve. Most recently about six years ago when you appointed SOD within 24 hours of sacking McInnes.  No interview process for Millen's appointment either, or Cotterill i think. Seemed like he was trying to rewrite history a bit to fit the current agenda. 

Overall, not a lot to be positive about, training ground aside. 

With SL, JL and MA making what seems to be pretty much every footballing decision at the club, it will be more luck than judgement if we do stumble on a winning formula that gets us to the Promised Land. 

Think you make some excellent points, just wanted to comment on this one though. 

There's a few things to consider with the Bristol academy. Firstly, to my knowledge, academies in Rugby are vastly different to football. Clubs like Bristol will use the school system to pick up the best players and have coaches connected to the club at various schools across the City. For instance, clifton college has big links with Bristol and Bristol provide them with a pathway for young players to make the step into top club rugby from school. Unlike football, kids won't join an academy from 7 or 8 but instead will be trained at the school and then cherry picked. Obviously this isn't always the case (a la Genge with Bristol) but it makes the whole academy set up very different. 

Secondly, the academy in Rugby is much closer to the first team than in football. As rugby clubs need bigger squads they need to utilise academy players more, so you'll find clubs talking about 'integrated academy' players, who whilst still being on academy contracts at 18,19,20 etc, will be training every week with the first team, ready to step in when needed. 

Finally, with regards to Saturdays game, Bristol had been forced by guidelines to include a number of academy players in the squad. Some of these (Lloyd and Powell for instance) have played with the first team before and so it's much more common, especially in the current situation, to see academy players in prem Rugby squads. 

I realise that's quite a long winded explanation for a small point but it's important to see the big differences between how academies are run in football and rugby, and why it seems that a lot more Rugby academy players are getting more game time and exposure than city academy players

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27 minutes ago, red panda said:

We were a club yo-yoing between the bottom half of the Championship (if we were lucky) and League 1.  We are now credible play-off contenders, with the infrastructure to match, and hopefully still improving.  I don't call that failure.  If you're not a critic of SL, I'd hate to see someone who is.

That’s why it says failure “slash” failure to achieve on the footballing side.  SL has set the aim, and its not been delivered on.  Some people see it as black and white “failure”....and will aim it as the man at the top. SL may himself see it as failure.

What happened the last time in SL’s reign we got to being in regular playoff contention?  It’s not like it’s been up, up, up.  I don’t think the period after Gary Johnson was deemed “success” was it?

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Once upon a time I would have hang on every word he says, now my initial reaction is he full of bullshit, it's the first time for many who now look at him with a lot of scepticism.

For his and Holden's sake I genuinely hope this works out, if it all goes pair shaped he has to take it on the chin, because the criticism is going to be pretty damning.

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47 minutes ago, Bat Fastard said:

All you negative types must be "supporting" a different Bristol City than the one that I have supported since the halcyon days before the Dolman Stand was built.  I see a club with a newly refurbished stadium, that would be the pride of any club in our division. I see that we are getting a new training ground that will be up there with the very best around. I see a large number of academy products playing senior and league football on loan and a couple joining the first team this season as important players. I see a club that has bought some very good players and managed to make a good profit on some of these after they have served the club well during their development. I see an owner who writes off millions of £s in our debts on a pretty regular basis so that we are not as vulnerable as many clubs who run continual losses. I see a club with huge infrastructure development plans that will feed further cash into the club to help in the goal of becoming sustainable after SL departs the scene.  I see stability - something Bristol City has not always known!

On the other hand I see a bunch of critical pygmies who say the support the club but criticise every decision without knowing the reasons for those decisions. At every turn they denigrate the members of the board, management  and even SL himself.  I see these people and am willing to bet that they are not hugely successful individuals, their sort seldom are, and that they represent a very small minority of the fan base but a larger percentage of the people on this forum who seem to have nothing better to do than obsess about what they see as failures.  We see things differently.

Exaggeration.

Better yes but it will not be up there with the best. 

Bristol City are not producing large amounts of pros via its academy. It is not a high performing academy. Last season the XI included regularly no academy graduates in its matchday squad.. A comparison, a large is Derby who fielded five graduates.  

Bristol City's youth coaching network is smaller than Exeter Citys.

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2 minutes ago, Cowshed said:

Exaggeration.

Better yes but it will not be up there with the best. 

Bristol City are not producing large amounts of pros via its academy. It is not a high performing academy. Last season the XI included regularly no academy graduates in its matchday squad.. A comparison, a large is Derby who fielded five graduates.  

Bristol City's youth coaching network is smaller than Exeter Citys.

We had 1 academy graduate in every match day squad..... partly because its an EFL requirement...

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1 minute ago, Lrrr said:

We had 1 academy graduate in every match day squad..... partly because its an EFL requirement...

No. Its is not a EFL requirement. Bristol City had Antonine Semenyo on the bench. He did not graduate from the academy he came from the SGS football programme to play for the U18 team. 

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1 minute ago, Cowshed said:

No. Its is not a EFL requirement. Bristol City had Antonine Semenyo on the bench. He did not graduate from the academy he came from the SGS football programme to play for the U18 team. 

And he counts as an academy product/club developed player by the rules of the EFL, brought in before pro deals are handed out. Same way Massengo will count towards being a club developed player this season as he spent a season here before the age of 19. Why do you think Semenyo was on the bench? And why Jojo then sat on the bench instead of Maenpaa?

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Just now, Cowshed said:

The player is not an academy graduate. 

Depends on your definition of academy graduate.... he played games for the u18's deal already signed or not, similar to how if you were educated somewhere but transferred somewhere else for your last year of your education, you'd graduate from the place.

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7 hours ago, bris red said:

Jon Lansdown is hopeless. I cringe so badly for him when he publicly speaks. Somebody on here (cant remember who it was) said they felt sorry for him because public speaking isn’t for everyone. Well **** me is that not one of the KEY aspects of being a modern day chairman? To be able to engage with your fanbase? This club is farcical and watching SL in that video has just wound me right up again. I had actually started to come to terms with Holden but **** sake people we are being taken for MUGS.

Well, I suggest you watch Elon Musk's broadcasts, most notably the most recent for his Neuralink company. It was a f****** traincrash!!! Incoherent, dithering etc, but he must be doing something right I'll assume you'll agree!?!?

 

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1 hour ago, Bat Fastard said:

All you negative types must be "supporting" a different Bristol City than the one that I have supported since the halcyon days before the Dolman Stand was built.  I see a club with a newly refurbished stadium, that would be the pride of any club in our division. I see that we are getting a new training ground that will be up there with the very best around. I see a large number of academy products playing senior and league football on loan and a couple joining the first team this season as important players. I see a club that has bought some very good players and managed to make a good profit on some of these after they have served the club well during their development. I see an owner who writes off millions of £s in our debts on a pretty regular basis so that we are not as vulnerable as many clubs who run continual losses. I see a club with huge infrastructure development plans that will feed further cash into the club to help in the goal of becoming sustainable after SL departs the scene.  I see stability - something Bristol City has not always known!

On the other hand I see a bunch of critical pygmies who say the support the club but criticise every decision without knowing the reasons for those decisions. At every turn they denigrate the members of the board, management  and even SL himself.  I see these people and am willing to bet that they are not hugely successful individuals, their sort seldom are, and that they represent a very small minority of the fan base but a larger percentage of the people on this forum who seem to have nothing better to do than obsess about what they see as failures.  We see things differently.

You really do talk a load of nonsense don’t you. What on Earth has someone’s personal circumstance and ‘success’ got to do with their ability, as a supporter of City, to discuss the tenure of SL and it’s ‘success’ or otherwise. Id suggest your wanton slagging of anyone that deems it fair game to question SL suggests that you have rather a lot of shortcomings yourself old chum. The ability to debate being one of them.  

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6 hours ago, MarcusX said:

Why is it so impossible to believe that:

It took so long because they didn't expect him to be such a strong candidate? That they interviewed a number of experienced managers who may or may not have come across well or agreed with the targets/parameters the club set out?

Happy to sit in the background, or working hard learning his trade? How do you know what influence he may have tried to have and how much LJ listened or wanted to use?

There's lots of coaches that go "unearthed", if he hasn't applied for another job then why would teams consider him over any other assistant manager in football?

 

That is, of course, a possible explanation of what happened. Or there could be others. But I won’t argue over that though. 

My question would be, if the club, who in their own words, interviewed a number of more experienced managers and NONE fitted the parameters, perhaps they should be looking at their parameters.

The fact remains, they’ve gambled, at a time when we had a real opportunity, not even on someone with a little experience or success, or even just lower league success, but on someone with next to no experience as a manager, let alone success.

So, rightly the fans are left doubting, wondering if it will be another season of rebuilding, of a manager learning his trade in the toughest league in the world where things can go wrong very quickly.

And this brings in more problems, 2 of them in particular: 1) We’ve been here before (Millen, Tinnion) and no one has huge trust in SL’s appointments from within anymore and 2) He can’t, nor even can MA or JL even explain exactly what took Holden, from, in his own words after LJ got sacked, someone who’d “like a shot a management one day”, to becoming the ‘outstanding’ candidate for a club aiming for the premier league (Owners words).

And the kicker in it all....he comes out and talks AGAIN about the premier league and the top 6 as if people will just swallow it. 

Or perhaps Holden was held back by LJ and is ready to shine. We’ll soon see and we can chat about this again in a few months!

For the record, I for one had pretty much gotten over the Holden appointment and I’ll certainly be behind him when the whistle is blown, but this interview, wow. It’s another episode in what has been a series of PR **** ups by the club, IMO. You don’t do what they’ve just done and then come out digging at the fans.

Edited by Alessandro
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3 hours ago, ScottishRed said:

How about a bit of honesty from the owner.

Particularly in light of the infamous Talksport interview, in what world was DH the best candidate? 

I would really appreciate your response to that.

Let's not forget they all say right not best for the job.

Also thought SL didn't look that well 

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12 hours ago, JonDolman said:

You think Jon Lansdown is hopeless because of how he struggles to talk in public?

And then again other people take a pop at Ashton for using corporate speak and perhaps being a bit too polished - not sure that they can win.

 

12 hours ago, JonDolman said:
12 hours ago, JonDolman said:
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8 hours ago, Bat Fastard said:

All you negative types must be "supporting" a different Bristol City than the one that I have supported since the halcyon days before the Dolman Stand was built.  I to, have been a fan since before the Dolman was built, buying a ST for the first 2yrs after it was, seeing evey home game and most away in those "halcyon days" I see a club with a newly refurbished stadium, that would be the pride of any club in our division. I see that we are getting a new training ground that will be up there with the very best around. I see a newly refurbished stadium from which we have no influence on who actually plays there or on how much income it pays us or we pay it I see a large number of academy products playing senior and league football on loan and a couple joining the first team this season as important players. I see a club that has bought some very good players and managed to make a good profit on some of these after they have served the club well during their development.As most clubs do I see an owner who writes off millions of £s in our debts on a pretty regular basis so that we are not as vulnerable as many clubs who run continual losses. I see a club with huge infrastructure development plans that will feed further cash into the club to help in the goal of becoming sustainable after SL departs the scene.  We have no control over Steves investmens I see stability - something Bristol City has not always known! I see us going around in circles can you not remember Tinion/Millen and many other SL selections? are there any that ended well?

On the other hand I see a bunch of critical pygmies who say the support the club but criticise every decision without knowing the reasons for those decisions. At every turn they denigrate the members of the board, management  and even SL himself.  I see these people and am willing to bet that they are not hugely successful individuals, I run my own LTD company have done for the last 14yrs, previously having worked on the most prestigous buildings in this country inc; Houses of Parliment, Windsor Castle, Clarence House etc, etc their sort seldom are, and that they represent a very small minority of the fan base but a larger percentage of the people on this forum who seem to have nothing better to do than obsess about what they see as failures.  We see things differently. WE certainly do, and unless you have surveyed the whole fan base you dont know how many fans share your somewhat everything is great head in the sand views

A critical pigmies view..... in red

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9 hours ago, Davefevs said:

I’m not a critic of SL, although I don’t agree with everything he says or does.  Some things I like, some I don’t.

There is however a streak in him that says “I’ve put millions in, I’m beyond criticism” (paraphrased).

There are multiple ways to skin a cat.  It’s possible to have achieved promotion without needing his millions every year.  A different strategy might’ve achieved it.  The current one hasn’t achieved it either.

His millions aren’t total charity either are they?  He’s got a big asset for his money....and kudos.  Some thrive on the power of kudos.

I’m grateful for his financial contribution and compliance, but I totally see why others aren’t, especially when you see failure / failure to achieve the objectives on the football side.

Criticism has degrees of justification, some if it on this thread and others is justified.

People who disagree with you aren’t all “negative”, nor a “bunch of critical pygmies”.  They have a different view to you.  Ever considered yours might be over-rose-tinted.  There’s middle ground here.

Excellent post.

What I found interesting was that SL addressed 2 of the most extreme view criticisms; he takes the cheap option and spends more money on the rugby.

This is IMO the ‘conspiracy’ view of a small minority of fans.

I’m convinced the vast majority don’t question his intentions, but do at times questions the methods. That does not make them pygmies criticising just for the sake of it or even unappreciative. 

The fact as you rightly say, is there is a middle ground, and that’s who you should speak to. The swing voters. SL had the chance to do that, to say Holden was the candidate because of X, Y, Z, or, just as the club would like to develop players, we’d like to develop coaches. Even that for budget reasons this season we’ll develop the squad we have and they felt Holden could hit the ground running on that with the right team around him. Given the level of candidates apparently available, he could without naming names, explain why some of the external candidates weren’t right. Something like that!

It seems to me there are a number of things he could have said that would have addressed the swing voters and that majority of people that sit in the middle ground.

Just a little humility to acknowledge his U-turn from the talk sport interview, rather than a politicians style deflection and denial, and back to the increasingly hollow old hymn sheet of “the aim’s the premier league”.

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9 hours ago, GrahamC said:

I thought his sniffy comments about Birmingham’s undue haste (!) by effectively suggesting that they just went for the first person who showed any interest by appointing Karanka inside 3 weeks was all a bit odd, too.

Clearly struck a bit of a nerve that it was even brought up, I thought.

Did you think so?  I thought his response to the question about Birmingham was measured and reasonable.  He says he didn’t see that six weeks was particularly long to make such an important appointment, and that he was pleased we didn’t rush the appointment by appointing the first candidate who seemed appointable.  I think it was a very good point.  It is quite common in business for the candidate who seems strongest on paper to reveal shortcomings and unsuitability when interviewed.  Sometimes this has to be tested further by a second interview process, because the important thing is to get it right.  It takes an awfully long time to recover from making the wrong appointment.

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