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As we prepare to strap ourselves in for the 2020/21 season - what are your thoughts?


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What are others thoughts ahead of the 20/21 Bristol City roller-coaster?

As my youngest would say I’m a little bit, ‘nervous-cited’ which is her word for apprehensive.

I am looking forward to how the new recruits blend with our existing squad and I’m hoping (and reasonably confident)  that Deano’s approach will get the best out of our players. I’m also keen to see DH being given a chance to demonstrate what he can do. I believe we have a significantly better squad than last season and that the additions and departures (with some pending departures) illustrate that DH is very clear about our strengths / weaknesses and how he wants us to play. We’ve had a very good window so far IMO.

My nervousness is really about going from the known to the unknown. If nothing else at  least with LJ I knew what to expect!

Ahead of our first league game, on balance I’m far more optimistic than pessimistic. As a City fan of 60+ years of course I know that what is about to begin to unfold will be full of ups and downs, which is - in part at least - why my love for BCFC remains as strong as ever.

Can’t finish (given the Coventry link) without a mention of being at the infamous Coventry V City game in 1977, what a night! For younger City fans check this out: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/day-bristol-city-game-led-66455

Strap yourselves in and enjoy the season fellow Reds.

 

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I think people are a bit over optimistic. Eliasson was our only hope to set up goals last season and all those assists now need to come from elsewhere but from where?  I'm also worried Joe Morrell will not be given a fair chance. 

Edited by bristolcitysweden
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Looking forward to seeing what in particular Moore, Morrell and Walsh can do with a consistent and fair crack- last two in particular gained some valuable and consistent gametime last season. 

Fully fit and firing- if they remain so- Kalas, DaSilva and Nagy- both have had injuries last season- would hope that improves us. Massengo now 19 and with a further season under his belt- clearly has a high ceiling but should improve in the here and now? Hope so anyway!

Paterson returned and did quite well- Wells now has a proper pre-season under his belt that can only be positive.

Impressed with the range of players we both have and have brought in.

Having a clear and defined Plan A- this can only be a good thing.

The division as a whole also seems to be weaker at this point in time- us being no weaker than last season and quite possibly stronger on balance- this has to be a positive.

I'm cautiously optimistic about what the new season could bring. More so than a few weeks ago certainly!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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Having been pretty pissed off with the way the club has gone about its off the pitch activities this summer, I'm glad the football is back.

I'm probably about as optimistic as I was this time last season - not very. I'll be surprised if we get top 6, but equally surprised if we finish right  down at the bottom.

If Holden's system and personnel can create a high number of chances then we'll be ok. We've got the strikers to finish chances, they just need service. From pre-season I think Holden et al know this and are working on it. I'm hoping we can get the results in these first ten games to settle us down and get the ball rolling. Should we lose a few in a row I fear a panic and the return of Johnson's tombola.

Our opening games are no walk in the park. Games against teams like Stoke, Barnsley, Forest and Boro will be a litmus test and the way we perform in those will be educational. I'll be looking for us to take a higher number of shots, whether we concede or dominate possession, and how we use Bentley to start attacks.

I think ultimately I feel more set up for a pleasant surprise than I did last season. I think if anything we are all being too pessimistic. At least that's my hope.

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Are we going to hit the ground running and put in decent performances along with wins

Can we steer clear of injuries to key players 

Can we stop the streaky form and show some consistency

Will we actually watch the team live this season

Dean Holden will be the Messiah and deliver promotion 

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I was shocked when we appointed DH but have grown to accept it and even support the decision in Covid times. City in 20/21? In days of old I would claim that the day Man City died, we'd be the most unpredictable team on the planet. We wont go up, we wont go down and that'll do me in a Covid affected season

 

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The squad looks really good. I think I’d be incredibly confident of top 6, possibly top 4, if we had appointed the man SL described on talksport.

That being said, I hope Holden does incredibly well and I wish him all the best. 

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I like that the plan and the recruitment match. I think everything we've done has made sense, except appointing Holden. They explained it very badly, but seeing what's happening I feel a lot better about it. Since everything he has done has made sense, I'm much more positive on that too.

We've signed 5 players with championship experienced, 4 of which have promotion experience. We have cover everywhere, and quality is improved IMO. I think Paterson's form is exciting and I'm interested in seeing how the midfield shakes out.

We have a plan, the board has backed it with the coach hirings and signings made, lets see if it works or not. There's no excuses really, the coach has seemed to have got what he wanted, and so have the board. So let's go win some football matches! And if we don't blow it up, sack everyone and start again.

With hopefully no "tombola", a clear plan, less BS and an attacking intent, I'm feeling good going into week 1 of the championship.

Edited by Prinny
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I’m impressed with the additions. Nervous about the loans, they could be ‘Tammys’ but also could be duds (we’ve had too many to list). Many clubs do well with loan players, but I find it hard as they aren’t our players. 

No doubt we will probably have the ‘once in a lifetime’ type season, now we are prevented from being part of it (tv games don’t count as taking part for me). 

Hard to feel too much love for football right now, the club has to do something to win back many fans I think.

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2 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Looking forward to seeing what in particular Moore, Morrell and Walsh can do with a consistent and fair crack- last two in particular gained some valuable and consistent gametime last season. 

Fully fit and firing- if they remain so- Kalas, DaSilva and Nagy- both have had injuries last season- would hope that improves us. Massengo now 19 and with a further season under his belt- clearly has a high ceiling but should improve in the here and now? Hope so anyway!

Paterson returned and did quite well- Wells now has a proper pre-season under his belt that can only be positive.

Impressed with the range of players we both have and have brought in.

Having a clear and defined Plan A- this can only be a good thing.

The division as a whole also seems to be weaker at this point in time- us being no weaker than last season and quite possibly stronger on balance- this has to be a positive.

I'm cautiously optimistic about what the new season could bring. More so than a few weeks ago certainly!

Yes me too!

I'm a fundamentalist, so always think we can do well. Good signings and the youngsters coming through give us a strong looking team....So i guess I'm upbeat for the season!!

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I’m looking forward to seeing how the midfield shapes up particularly. At least we shouldn’t have to complain that they are knackered because we are flogging them to death week in week out a la Smith/Pack/Brownhill! Plenty of scope to mix and match and keep it fresh. 

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12 hours ago, Jerseybean said:

What are others thoughts ahead of the 20/21 Bristol City roller-coaster?

As my youngest would say I’m a little bit, ‘nervous-cited’ which is her word for apprehensive.

I am looking forward to how the new recruits blend with our existing squad and I’m hoping (and reasonably confident)  that Deano’s approach will get the best out of our players. I’m also keen to see DH being given a chance to demonstrate what he can do. I believe we have a significantly better squad than last season and that the additions and departures (with some pending departures) illustrate that DH is very clear about our strengths / weaknesses and how he wants us to play. We’ve had a very good window so far IMO.

My nervousness is really about going from the known to the unknown. If nothing else at  least with LJ I knew what to expect!

Ahead of our first league game, on balance I’m far more optimistic than pessimistic. As a City fan of 60+ years of course I know that what is about to begin to unfold will be full of ups and downs, which is - in part at least - why my love for BCFC remains as strong as ever.

Can’t finish (given the Coventry link) without a mention of being at the infamous Coventry V City game in 1977, what a night! For younger City fans check this out: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/day-bristol-city-game-led-66455

Strap yourselves in and enjoy the season fellow Reds.

 

EP’s version here: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/trust-process-14-bristol-city-4505274

 

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As I have previously said , I am excited by the coming season.

No BS , plain speaking , bloody Northerner at the helm, 

Championship strikers,

players with ‘ edge ‘ that were missing under LJ ,

youngsters who could break through and so on .

 I am a little bit nervous of a bad start , we don’t know how DH handles that situation and injuries to our key players particularly the strikers and central defence. 

Bring it on .

:bruce_h4h:

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Not exactly excited but feel DH has recruited to a plan which is refreshing and that he gives lucid explanations for any poor performances, ie we were poor and will work extra hard to put that right. Not over-arousal, lack of box entries and other tripe that meant so little to fans who could quite clearly see what was wrong.

Hope Brunt “has the legs” as I feel he will be needed to help the younger mids progress. Will be sorry to see Fam and NE go, if it happens, but that’s football. Hope we see plenty of Sessegnon as I think he could be exciting. My concern is the Joe Williams injury. He has missed some pre-season, I think, and I worry that the 3-4 week layoff could turn into 7-8 weeks or longer. We’ve seen these situations before. I think Coventry may fancy their chances of 3pts but I suspect DH has already hammered this home to avoid any over-confidence.

Up The Robins (for all those old enough to remember that war cry!)

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Firstly, I'm really glad that the new season is upon us and I can't wait for the first kick off.

I'm disappointed that Hughton isn't on the touchline, but hoping Holden can be a revelation. 

Holden couldn't ask for a better way to start... 3 home games back to back, all against 'lesser' teams.

With the additional home tie in the cup lined up, a new gaffer couldn't ask for a better way to have their tenure set up for them. 

The Stoke game will be the real reality check. Can we do it on a cold Sunday afternoon at [a rejuvenated] Stoke?

That's surely a game where Holden's mettle will be tested. Will he have formed the ideal line up by then, and will those players be able to execute his plans?

Let's hope so because October is packed with competitive games and it won't be long before this incarnation of BCFC has shown it's strengths and weaknesses. 

There are some concerns ahead of the league campaign...

How will Holden manage the bloated midfield? Even with rotation he'll have to shift a few and I'm predicting there will be a couple of controversial decisions to make on that front.

Can we defend with a back 3? Speaking with '20man' Holden acknowledged the vulnerability of the formation and touched on the important duties of the wide CBs. But will they be good enough and well drilled to deal with the more intelligent Championship frontlines?

Can we form a front 2 partnership? With Wells our primary goalscorer, who will be best alongside him? Will a partnership click? Where the hell will Weimann play?!

Do we have depth? At midfield, yes. But what if DaSilva gets injured. And is Sessengon as good as his pedigree suggests? Is LCB still a problem if (when?!) Mawson gets a knock? 

Do we have character? Holden evidently went to market to find some grit. We now have personality and experience in the shape of Brunt, Mawson and Martin, whose spirit and know-how will be added to Weimann and Kalas. In theory, that should combine nicely with the hungry 20 somethings in the squad, but will it work in practice? 

Can the young players handle the Championship? I have my concerns about Vyner, and while Moore less so, even he could need a long run of games to his game to this standard. Morrell and Walsh are full of ability but how quickly can they iron out any residual naivety? Can Massengo contribute on a consistent basis? Will Semenyo fade away again?

Can Holden withstand a crisis? When the inevitable happens and we hit bumps in the road, can Holden do what Johnson couldn't, and arrest the slide before it becomes more than just a wobble? Will having Downing and Simpson alongside him help him hold his nerve and make the right decisions? That's Lansdown's gamble.

I haven't mentioned Bentley and his form because I'm comfortable that we have an able deputy.

With this team it's very much a case of "if it clicks" it could be great. Meanwhile a few other clubs will be looking to continue what they've already started. Swansea, Derby, Brentford, Millwall and Cardiff should all be confident of a push for the play offs. Add the relegated sides and there's some serious competition. 

Holden's challenge is to make this new look squad cohesive and competitive as quickly as possible. A bad start isn't the end of the world but it gives us an uphill struggle later on.

Most import for me is how we play. I'm pretty sure the squad is full of hard-working, honest lads, so they'll be putting the effort in.

What we want to see though is players expressing themselves with attractive attacking football. We're being told to expect it and if Holden can make that happen, he'll be a diamond in my eyes. 

 

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Generally? Struggle to give a flying F about the season starting.

Not going out of my way to watch the stream on Saturday: if I happen to be about, I'll tune in, but if not, I don't care.

I enjoyed the night at Taunton Town on Monday, and if anything it made me consider going to some random non-league games on a weekend rather than sit and watch us play in an empty ground.

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A new season with the breath of fresh air flowing in with the two new assistants. Decent signings coming in as well. What’s not to like?

To coin a political term - I’m cautiously optimistic  about the new campaign.

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18 hours ago, REDOXO said:

Yes me too!

I'm a fundamentalist, so always think we can do well. Good signings and the youngsters coming through give us a strong looking team....So i guess I'm upbeat for the season!!

fundamentalist??? (optimist)?

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5 hours ago, mozo said:

Firstly, I'm really glad that the new season is upon us and I can't wait for the first kick off.

I'm disappointed that Hughton isn't on the touchline, but hoping Holden can be a revelation. 

Holden couldn't ask for a better way to start... 3 home games back to back, all against 'lesser' teams.

With the additional home tie in the cup lined up, a new gaffer couldn't ask for a better way to have their tenure set up for them. 

The Stoke game will be the real reality check. Can we do it on a cold Sunday afternoon at [a rejuvenated] Stoke? damn right. I am also looking slightly further ahead to the consecutive away games at Forest and Barnsley. They will be a real test against two teams that I think will be solidly in the top half of the division this season.

That's surely a game where Holden's mettle will be tested. Will he have formed the ideal line up by then, and will those players be able to execute his plans?

Let's hope so because October is packed with competitive games and it won't be long before this incarnation of BCFC has shown it's strengths and weaknesses. Absolutely, after the start you've just outlined, October looks absolutely brutal. The two games I've mentioned are followed by Boro, the return of Korey Smith's Swansea, the Bournemouth and Norwich. Very tough.

There are some concerns ahead of the league campaign...

How will Holden manage the bloated midfield? Even with rotation he'll have to shift a few and I'm predicting there will be a couple of controversial decisions to make on that front.

Can we defend with a back 3? Speaking with '20man' Holden acknowledged the vulnerability of the formation and touched on the important duties of the wide CBs. But will they be good enough and well drilled to deal with the more intelligent Championship frontlines?

Can we form a front 2 partnership? With Wells our primary goalscorer, who will be best alongside him? Will a partnership click? Where the hell will Weimann play?! Midfield if Holden continues with the way he's played at the end of last season and the beginning of this one.

Do we have depth? At midfield, yes. But what if DaSilva gets injured. And is Sessengon as good as his pedigree suggests? Is LCB still a problem if (when?!) Mawson gets a knock? 

Do we have character? Holden evidently went to market to find some grit. We now have personality and experience in the shape of Brunt, Mawson and Martin, whose spirit and know-how will be added to Weimann and Kalas. In theory, that should combine nicely with the hungry 20 somethings in the squad, but will it work in practice? This is probably the main thing giving me any serious optimism about a top 6 finish. We do seem to have a good balance of experience and youth. I guess the follow up is do we have enough players in their prime? You could say we've got Kalas, Diedhiou, Paterson, possibly Bentley as well...so maybe the answer is that yes, we do have enough youngsters to bring exuberance, enough in their prime to bring quality, and enough old heads to bring guile and experience. 

Can the young players handle the Championship? I have my concerns about Vyner, and while Moore less so, even he could need a long run of games to his game to this standard. Morrell and Walsh are full of ability but how quickly can they iron out any residual naivety? Can Massengo contribute on a consistent basis? Will Semenyo fade away again? Vyner played 31 games in the Champ for Rotherham, plus 8 for us last season on top of 16 in the SPL. I've seen him up close at training and he's a fit 6 footer who ran around for 3 hours in the Tampa sun. He can last 46 games of rough and ready Champ football. The others you mention - I've no concerns about Moore or Morrell. Walsh has quality but I feel he's a little fragile. Massengo is a wildcard. I personally expect Semenyo to be a bit part player anyway, cup starts but on the bench for the league.

Can Holden withstand a crisis? When the inevitable happens and we hit bumps in the road, can Holden do what Johnson couldn't, and arrest the slide before it becomes more than just a wobble? Will having Downing and Simpson alongside him help him hold his nerve and make the right decisions? That's Lansdown's gamble. Holden seems, from the small sample size we have, to be a decisive man. I don't think he will be as reactive as LJ was. I think/hope that he will stick to his guns through the inevitable tough times.

I haven't mentioned Bentley and his form because I'm comfortable that we have an able deputy.

With this team it's very much a case of "if it clicks" it could be great. Meanwhile a few other clubs will be looking to continue what they've already started. Swansea, Derby, Brentford, Millwall and Cardiff should all be confident of a push for the play offs. Add the relegated sides and there's some serious competition. 

Holden's challenge is to make this new look squad cohesive and competitive as quickly as possible. A bad start isn't the end of the world but it gives us an uphill struggle later on.

Most import for me is how we play. I'm pretty sure the squad is full of hard-working, honest lads, so they'll be putting the effort in. I just want some shots on goal. 

What we want to see though is players expressing themselves with attractive attacking football. We're being told to expect it and if Holden can make that happen, he'll be a diamond in my eyes. 

 

I love this post Mozo. Covers all the bases and is about as varied and (if you don't mind me saying so) rambling as I am finding my own thoughts. It almost feels as though there are so many 'what ifs' and unknowns that it's pointless having this thread. I've given a couple of my thoughts on some of your musings.

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I was worried when we signed DH as manager but since then I have been impressed with the players we have signed, we seam to be working to a plan to fit the way DH wants us to play, I am sure we will get in the top half and maybe even better, 

City being city I have this worry try will smash it this year and go up as no one's going to be in the ground to see it, would be so us to do that

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Struggling to be excited by the new season, I'm interested but that's about as far as it goes, haven't watched any games on Robins TV and dont intend to, I did watch the league cup highlights for a while last week but found it awful with no fans. I think it has hit home to me that the social side of football is almost as important to me as the actual game. Hoping to take in a few Bath City games as they are letting in fans from the offset, at the moment anyway.

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Looks like a squad capable of getting to the top 6 save for a prolific goalscorer.

Concerned about whether the tactics employed will allow us to to create enough.

This season will be more about if we have the coaching and management to take a step forward and none of us can really predict that at this stage.  Lets see where we are 5 or 6 games in.

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I’m more intrigued than excited. Watching City on TV with shit club commentary doesn’t do it for me. 

I obviously do hope we succeed and think that after the debacle of how the club handled appointing LJ’s successor, good business has been done in the transfer window despite viable fears of the financial implications of COVID-19. 

But I can’t get excited until I see the shape and we have a few results on the board. For example, seeing Weimann consistently playing in CM over a fully fit Walsh, Morrell, Nagy or Massengo will be a bad move.  

I firmly expect a lower mid-table finish, although this squad should compete for the top six. I’d be buzzing if we appointed Hughton or Jokanovich, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

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I was extremely disappointed when we appointed Holden.

Since then, I've tried to keep an open mind. To his credit, he speaks well, I like him (from what I know of him), and I really agree with his recruitment a lot - it ticks quite a few boxes of guile/experience that I like and I think we look strong. I'm trying to be objective though and not let my opinion be swayed by a nice (yet unremarkable in my opinion) interview or two. Games aren't won by buying pints in the lions - well, not games of football anyway...

However, what matters is now what happens on the pitch, and that's what makes me nervous. I sincerely hope he gets us off to a good start, and I'll be very interested what happens when we inevitably lose a few on the bounce at some point - that's where real managers can show their worth. For all the good recruitment and what would normally be a  big focus in my mind on the players, my focus is primarily on our head coach at the moment.

I hope he does well. I really want him to do well. I feel the recruitment is good, and the squad is strong. In truth I'm still not feeling that optimistic though, as I think Holden has a monumental task ahead of him given the infamous competitiveness of the league, and his lack of experience.

My head says a lower mid table finish and an even more fractured fan base, and it's currently outweighing my heart which of course says top 6 and a heroic inaugural season.

Edited by IAmNick
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I can’t get excited about it.

The recruitment has been decent, on paper at least. But the abject recruitment process that resulted in the appointment of Holden coupled with the soulless prospect of more matches in empty stadiums has left me feeling completely detached from football.

Plus, as a member rather than STH, there would appear to be little prospect of me attending any games this season, and I maintain that if I can’t be there to see it, I’d rather we weren’t promoted anyway. The experience matters as much to me as the achievement and one is nothing without the other.

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