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What is the problem with playing at home?


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10 minutes ago, MarcusX said:

Il be surprised if he isn't aware of that.

Why would he be? I doubt he was looking out for Bristol City results when he was between jobs

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Just now, Bobby Bollax said:

We have a group of players that are mentally weak. I think that’s becoming more clearer.  Debate fans, tactics etc but it’s still down to the players on the pitch

Exactly. Too soft, too timid. Needs a huge clear out in the summer, this season can't end quickly enough. We are horrible to watch at home.

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We’re a side that for the past couple seasons have been a counter attacking side. Having Fam upfront, pace outside and a pretty average midfield isn’t going to dominate and dictate games. 
 

Most sides that come to Ashton Gate just sit on us because they know we get ourselves in a pickle trying to break them down. It’s been proven time and time again. The problems are a mixture of what I’ve stated above, Fam doesn’t move the back four not nearly enough, the likes of O’Dowda and Semenyo are quick but inconsistent and we haven’t had a decent midfield since 2018. 
 

If I was NP, the first thing I would do is replace the forwards we currently have. If I was a CB against them I would be rubbing my hands at the thought of marking Fam and Wells, I wouldn’t have to move all game! The away sides will happily sit in if the likes of Fam upfront...

This needs addressing and quick.

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It’s all to do with the ability of the players. 
When we first came into this division, we had players like Pack, Reid, Ayling, Smith, Freeman. Players who were happy to receive passes under pressure and have the ability to retain it. Then to have the awareness and technique to be able to pass it to other team mates. 
As we’ve gone along since, we’ve brought in players who are what I call, at best, runners. They can do the grafting, but they don’t have the technique or composure to play possession football. They are not ‘poor’ players, just have different qualities. 
I’m talking about the likes of Weimann, O’Dowda, Wells, Diedhiou, Nagy to name a few. Add Hunt to that as well. 
As said, they are not ‘bad’ players per se, but don’t have the qualities to retain possession very well. They’ll do the odd decent thing and they’ll (mostly) put in a decent shift, but they are not of the required ability to play possession football. 
 

Losing the players I mentioned at the beginning, who were all technically good and tactically aware, severely hindered our chances of keeping the ball in the oppositions half. 
LJ suffered with the recruitment of poor quality players, but (and whatever people say) he was a decent enough coach to get at least something out of them. Holden was a total failure and couldn’t get anything out of them. Pearson is a good coach and will get something out of them. But none of them will be able to get a possession-based team out of them.  Too many players who have little composure on the ball and lack awareness. Good runners, occasional decent performance, but not good enough to keep the ball for long periods. 
 

Today was a prime example of someone like Walsh coming in, who wanted to keep the ball, wanted to get it back, wanted to play it round and through midfield, but his supporting cast were incapable. 
 

 

Edited by Harry
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8 minutes ago, Harry said:

It’s all to do with the ability of the players. 
When we first came into this division, we had players like Pack, Reid, Ayling, Smith, Freeman. Players who were happy to receive passes under pressure and have the ability to retain it. Then to have the awareness and technique to be able to pass it to other team mates. 
As we’ve gone along since, we’ve brought in players who are what I call, at best, runners. They can do the grafting, but they don’t have the technique or composure to play possession football. They are not ‘poor’ players, just have different qualities. 
I’m talking about the likes of Weimann, O’Dowda, Wells, Diedhiou, Nagy to name a few. Add Hunt to that as well. 
As said, they are not ‘bad’ players per se, but don’t have the qualities to retain possession very well. They’ll do the odd decent thing and they’ll (mostly) put in a decent shift, but they are not of the required ability to play possession football. 
 

Losing the players I mentioned at the beginning, who were all technically good and tactically aware, severely hindered our chances of keeping the ball in the oppositions half. 
LJ suffered with the recruitment of poor quality players, but (and whatever people say) he was a decent enough coach to get at least something out of them. Holden was a total failure and couldn’t get anything out of them. Pearson is a good coach and will get something out of them. But none of them will be able to get a possession-based team out of them.  Too many players who have little composure on the ball and lack awareness. Good runners, occasional decent performance, but not good enough to keep the ball for long periods. 
 

Today was a prime example of someone like Walsh coming in, who wanted to keep the ball, wanted to get it back, wanted to play it round and through midfield, but his supporting cast were incapable. 
 

 

Debatable- in a setup that suits him ie with Hungary, he is quite confident and comfortable in possession often. I think he can give more technically, deployed better.

I think a lack of 3 genuine CMs doesn't help- Wells and Weimann aren't bad technically either. I've always thought Williams-Nagy-Walsh could have been an interesting CM 3.

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They don’t seem to be on the same wavelength in some games. I don’t know if what they have been preparing all week in training suddenly is irrelevant or they just fail to carry it out?

In most games if things aren’t going right players go into hiding and more and more lump it up happens due to desperation. We don’t like playing against players who rough us up, we need to get tougher and game smarter.

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4 minutes ago, RedM said:

They don’t seem to be on the same wavelength in some games. I don’t know if what they have been preparing all week in training suddenly is irrelevant or they just fail to carry it out?

In most games if things aren’t going right players go into hiding and more and more lump it up happens due to desperation. We don’t like playing against players who rough us up, we need to get tougher and game smarter.

Even when we try it doesn't often fall our way- witness the ridiculous 24 fouls ref deemed we conceded vs Reading in Holden's final game.

Diedhiou got fouled/held/tugged whatever a lot today, we got **** all.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Debatable- in a setup that suits him ie with Hungary, he is quite confident and comfortable in possession often. I think he can give more technically, deployed better.

I think a lack of 3 genuine CMs doesn't help- Wells and Weimann aren't bad technically either. I've always thought Williams-Nagy-Walsh could have been an interesting CM 3.

Sorry Pops, I have to disagree on Nagy. 
He’s played plenty of games for us now with plenty of different formations and partners and not once have I seen him try to control a game (possession-wise), like we saw Walsh try to do today. 
Don’t get me wrong - I’m not knocking Nagy. He’s actually stepped up at times this year and turned my prior opinion of him around a little, but essentially he’s still very much what I’d class as a ‘runner’ rather than a ‘technician’. 
You need runners, sure, but he lacks the composure, awareness and technique to be in a dominant possession team. 

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40 minutes ago, Harry said:

Sorry Pops, I have to disagree on Nagy. 
He’s played plenty of games for us now with plenty of different formations and partners and not once have I seen him try to control a game (possession-wise), like we saw Walsh try to do today. 
Don’t get me wrong - I’m not knocking Nagy. He’s actually stepped up at times this year and turned my prior opinion of him around a little, but essentially he’s still very much what I’d class as a ‘runner’ rather than a ‘technician’. 
You need runners, sure, but he lacks the composure, awareness and technique to be in a dominant possession team. 

I'm unsure. Can perhaps depend on how we measure- is Pass accuracy a fair metric? Would be better in a 3 IMO as might a lot of our CM options.

We are quite a reactive side, have been for a little while. I wonder if he (Nagy) could as part of a 3 be a bit of a mix of screening and continuity passing. Get-receive-distribute with a bit of defensive tidying up.

On a general note for much of the last year and probably more we've been regularly changing in CM. Doesn't help the side.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I'm unsure. Can perhaps depend on how we measure- is Pass accuracy a fair metric? Would be better in a 3 IMO as might a lot of our CM options.

We are quite a reactive side, have been for a little while. I wonder if he (Nagy) could as part of a 3 be a bit of a mix of screening and continuity passing. Get-receive-distribute with a bit of defensive tidying up.

On a general note for much of the last year and probably more we've been regularly changing in CM. Doesn't help the side.

I’m not looking at any metric such as pass accuracy, nor any specific formation. I’m using my own eyes having watched him for many games. He has his qualities, but ball-possession / retention is not one of them. 

Edited by Harry
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3 hours ago, Robbored said:

Why would he be? I doubt he was looking out for Bristol City results when he was between jobs

Well at the point of taking the job I expect he had a look at our results, dont you think? Maybe identify some weak areas?

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8 minutes ago, MarcusX said:

Well at the point of taking the job I expect he had a look at our results, dont you think? Maybe identify some weak areas?

From a distance?........:cool2:

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3 hours ago, Bobby Bollax said:

We have a group of players that are mentally weak. I think that’s becoming more clearer.  Debate fans, tactics etc but it’s still down to the players on the pitch

I think that’s right but a few weeks ago I said that I didn’t see Kalas as a leader, except by example.  We don’t seem to have any talkers on the field, geeing the players up, organising at set pieces, lifting the side when things go against them.  Even in the last few years we’ve had Webster, Bailey Wright, Korey Smith, Aden Flint, Marlon Pack, all on-field leaders and/or motivators.  But who now?  I saw no evidence of any leadership on the field today.

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3 hours ago, Harry said:

It’s all to do with the ability of the players. 
When we first came into this division, we had players like Pack, Reid, Ayling, Smith, Freeman. Players who were happy to receive passes under pressure and have the ability to retain it. Then to have the awareness and technique to be able to pass it to other team mates. 
As we’ve gone along since, we’ve brought in players who are what I call, at best, runners. They can do the grafting, but they don’t have the technique or composure to play possession football. They are not ‘poor’ players, just have different qualities. 
I’m talking about the likes of Weimann, O’Dowda, Wells, Diedhiou, Nagy to name a few. Add Hunt to that as well. 
As said, they are not ‘bad’ players per se, but don’t have the qualities to retain possession very well. They’ll do the odd decent thing and they’ll (mostly) put in a decent shift, but they are not of the required ability to play possession football. 
 

Losing the players I mentioned at the beginning, who were all technically good and tactically aware, severely hindered our chances of keeping the ball in the oppositions half. 
LJ suffered with the recruitment of poor quality players, but (and whatever people say) he was a decent enough coach to get at least something out of them. Holden was a total failure and couldn’t get anything out of them. Pearson is a good coach and will get something out of them. But none of them will be able to get a possession-based team out of them.  Too many players who have little composure on the ball and lack awareness. Good runners, occasional decent performance, but not good enough to keep the ball for long periods. 
 

Today was a prime example of someone like Walsh coming in, who wanted to keep the ball, wanted to get it back, wanted to play it round and through midfield, but his supporting cast were incapable. 
 

 

Can't agree enough with this summary. 

Really do believe devoutly there are very very few players in the squad with any real technical ability. 

We don't have the players to play creative, possession based football. Yeah we can get points on the road by counter attacking and frustrating teams but when we're asked to play a bit, we don't have the talent.

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3 hours ago, Boston Red said:

When Ashton Gate got redeveloped and the rugby came in, the pitch got considerably narrower. 

Also, Lee Johnson narrowed it further because he thought it would benefit our high press.

The result is that we the attacking home team have less width, less space, and it plays into the hands of teams who want to frustrate us by initially not conceding.

It also looks poor aesthetically to have 4 yards of pitch on the linesman's side of the line. 

Such a shame when Ashton Gate was traditionally a huge pitch with space for wingers and wide men like Alan Walsh, Dave Smith, Mark Gavin, Junior Bent, Darren Barnard, Jim Brennan, Mickey Bell, Greg Goodridge, Brian Tinnion. It was entertaining with those players out wide. Now we have less space it is not just poor results, it is very poor football to watch as well. 

 

No, the pitch is the same size it's been for many decades.

LJ in one of his loony moments, remember measuring the height of the grass, narrowed it by approx 2 metres. That lasted for two years and obviously Pat Lam got it back again to original width for rugby during second year. And so it then returned to original size for City and Bears.

I've said it elsewhere again and again, we have a squad where the culture to play as the the away side at Ashton Gate. Once again thanks to LJ and continued by Holden. This is their legacy.

So Pearson has one helluva jib to cleanse this from the squad and club. I believe he will do so but don't expect miracles overnight.

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1 hour ago, Harry said:

I’m not looking at any metric such as pass accuracy, nor any specific formation. I’m using my own eyes having watched him for many games. He has his qualities, but ball-possession / retention is not one of them. 

Shape/formation can make a difference in this respect. Easier to retain and control the ball with a true central 3. 

While it can certainly be misleading, is a pass accuracy of say 80%+ not an indicator of relative comfort in possession? Talking in general. 

3 v 2 gives you a better chance of controlling the midfield, conversely 2 v 3 gives you a lesser chance. The reason I raise the formation point is that I think Nagy better suited to a 3 than a 2.

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First off our movement up front is extremely static and has been for the last 3 years.

Secondly I have to say and as mad as it sounds but how narrow the pitch actually has been since the redevelopment. Gives an advantage to the away team to crowd us out and defend easier. 

I would love to also know how many goals we have scored at the Atyeo end in the past 4 years also compared to South Stand, to me we have been poor when playing towards that way for a long time.

 

By the way I also hate how high the camera angle has been since the redevelopment. Prefer it lower

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4 hours ago, Bobby Bollax said:

We have a group of players that are mentally weak. I think that’s becoming more clearer.  Debate fans, tactics etc but it’s still down to the players on the pitch

Absolute bollax Bobby bollax. It’s must be bollax because we are so smug and Ashton checks all the players dna

 

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5 hours ago, TomF said:

Has it been any good since the rebuild of AG? I’m wondering if we widened the pitch too much or something g

IIRC at one time we had one of the biggest pitches in the whole league pyramid, on a par with Wembley.  That gave us the width that our famed wingers enjoyed, I’d like to see us go back to a full size pitch.

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11 minutes ago, Maesknoll Red said:

IIRC at one time we had one of the biggest pitches in the whole league pyramid, on a par with Wembley.  That gave us the width that our famed wingers enjoyed, I’d like to see us go back to a full size pitch.

I believe this was before the Dolman Stand was built. Pretty sure we had one of, if not the widest pitch(es) in the league before then. Think we lost 2 yards when that stand was built, 1969?

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6 hours ago, Silvio Dante said:

My best thought is that we’re naturally not a possession based or front foot team with the players we have. Some extremes under Holden, but even pre/post him I don’t think we had over 50% possession in most games.

How that relates to home is interesting. You’d think with empty stands and no crowds, the inherent onus to attack would be gone. But it isn’t - home games are still seen as more winnable than away, and as such the home team both expects itself and is expected to force the issue.

So, we play better out of possession and not on the front foot (or like to play out of possession), but when at home we are expected to do both of those things. And that in turn means we don’t play to how we like to play, and play worse.

I don’t like playing without the ball but it’s a style that was developing under LJ, and got worse under DH. We have players who have been drilled to play that way, so asking them not to will require heavy training or turnover.

I think there’s a lot to be said for that Silvio.  If your football system is to play on the counter-attack don’t expect to build momentum, a thing we normally associate with home teams, e.g. they’ve been knocking on the door.

5 hours ago, Prinny said:

1. Outlets to move the ball up the field. Which of the players wingers, strikers, 10s etc can receive the ball and hold it long enough to allow people to move to support them. Who is a threat in behind?

2. Lack of mobility/quality in central midfield. These players have to have the ability and desire to get forwards and create passing opportunities both as goal threats and as options to receive the ball.

3. Who has the quality to beat a player straight up? Semenyo sometimes.

 

Where are the difference makers against a team that sits in. It's hard, but we don't really have them. We need space and counter attacking opportunities to do well.

Since LJ became afraid after burning his players out with the high press, we're so slow and insipid.

I honestly don’t think it was moving away from the high press that triggered the change.  I genuinely believe it was West Brom away in 18/19.

4 wins on the trot after a slow start to the season, away at a team full of quality, Jay-Rod, Gayle, Harvey Barnes, Livermore etc.  We got done on the break a couple of times, and post-game, LJ lamented Marlon Pack being dragged into wide areas.  From that moment on Pack had to stay in “the cage” (LJ’s phrase), and we lost a huge part of our ability to play in the opposition’s final third and probe and prompt for openings.

For me it was the start of LJ’s boring football.  As a team we sank deeper and deeper over a period of months until LJ decreed we were now a counter-attacking team.

The rest is history.  We are still recovering from that because the “evolution” (don’t make me laugh) of that change wasn’t fully understood we became a reactive side.

For a brief month or so at the start of this season it looked like we shook it off.

 

edit: for me LJ should’ve taken the defeat on the chin...against a quality opponent, and stuck to the plan.

Edited by Davefevs
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5 hours ago, Boston Red said:

When Ashton Gate got redeveloped and the rugby came in, the pitch got considerably narrower. 

Also, Lee Johnson narrowed it further because he thought it would benefit our high press.

The result is that we the attacking home team have less width, less space, and it plays into the hands of teams who want to frustrate us by initially not conceding.

It also looks poor aesthetically to have 4 yards of pitch on the linesman's side of the line. 

Such a shame when Ashton Gate was traditionally a huge pitch with space for wingers and wide men like Alan Walsh, Dave Smith, Mark Gavin, Junior Bent, Darren Barnard, Jim Brennan, Mickey Bell, Greg Goodridge, Brian Tinnion. It was entertaining with those players out wide. Now we have less space it is not just poor results, it is very poor football to watch as well. 

 

Dunno, have seen many oppositions teams wingers/wide forwards come to the Gate and have a field day, so not too sure the pitch makes a huge difference. 

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