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Pearson - looks like he's building something and maybe the club see this.


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3 hours ago, Edgy Red said:

I think the return of Semenyo has been pivotal to our improvement in the last half a dozen games. He is the only forward we have with genuine pace and power and he has made a huge difference to the way we play.

IF we can keep Williams fit, get Atkinson consistant and generally have a bit of luck with injuries, then the future looks bright.

I would imagine we may lose one of our young talents in the summer if we receive a decent offer, but for the first time in over 3 years i have some optimism.

Totally agree.
Semenyo has been high class. Excellent again today. A total menace. Created an ‘unmissable’ chance for Weimann and scored what should have been the winner. 

Edited by firstdivision
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1 hour ago, Kid in the Riot said:

I would also say it's encouraging that Pearson's aimed some vitriol at the officials of late.

I think he finally has a team of players he believes in and wants to protect. 

Yep. That and he probably feels the performances are good enough for a complaint about decisions not to look like an excuse for not winning games.

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I remember there was a post on here from a Leicester fan when he was appointed basically saying that it would be a bumpy road at first, with changing formations and personnel, and inconsistent results perhaps. But overall that things would be moving in the right direction until he found out who his players were, and overall there would be a big change in mentality.

They were so right.

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31 minutes ago, WarksRobin said:

Hopefully our defence will soon go from cack to KAK (Klose, Atkinson, Kalas)

There could be some future in us being CACK ( Cundy, Atkinson, Conway, Kalas) 


Sorry, had to make Tommy a defender for this gag. 

Edited by ralphindevon
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15 hours ago, TomThumb84 said:

I wouldn’t if not ready. Could damage your career longterm. Holden may never be a Number 1 again.

It is more likely that he was convinced he was ready and was the right man so someone else could selfishly buy time to enact their own exit strategy.

The reality is though it wasn't a case of him being "ready".  Holden had a number of years experience as an Assistant Manager. Some people succeed as managers with less backroom experience.

The real question was whether Holden was suited to being a manager or not. It turns out he wasn't but I honestly don't think another five years of assistant managers' experience would have changed that. He seems well regarded as an assistant/coach and that's probably where his skillset lies. 

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16 hours ago, Clevedon Red said:

They say you can’t polish a turd…..but perhaps Nige can and we are starting to see light at the end of a long tunnel.

Ahhh!.... breathe in that promising smell of success.

And in pursuit of success, Pearson isn't afraid of flushing away a few useless turds.

Edited by Bazooka Joe
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18 hours ago, BCFC Richard said:

I have been thinking of posting something like this for  a while, but this comment from the Preston forum stood out and made me finally do it- 

"Bristol City were technically very goal and worked very hard. Surprised on their league position. Expected Pearson would have been fired by now given expectations at the club but looks like he's building something and maybe the club see this."

I think the club definitely do see this and most fans too - for a few everything needs to be instant though. 

We are a club in transition and NP is doing a great job. He is mostly working with what he has, with the odd low budget addition. He has also had to let players go  -(some he may of wanted to keep, but we couldn't afford)  and make the tough decisions on players who maybe do not fit the clubs ethos and plans. That brings us to the next part, plans and identity! Something  LJ went on about, but we now clearly have. It shows on the pitch and it shows in how the fans at the games have reacted - Getting behind the team because we can finally see a plan, a willingness to play football (rather than jsut grind games out) and they trust where we are going. 

Our performances are getting better all the time + players are improving all the time. We have such a young side and they have come on so much since last season - imagine what they might be like next season if they make even half as much progress. The pathway is there, they are clearly being well coached and getting match exposure. We could easily field a team with over half coming from the club: Max, Pring, Vyner, Scott, Conway, Benarous add in club developed players/kind of home grown - Semenyo, HNM, Cundy. 

I think for me it reminds me of when Sean O'Driscoll was here - he had to transition the club and despite things not going well on the pitch I think there are a fair few who appreciate he did a lot of the work to transition us and set things up behind the scenes and with restructuring -  for Cotts to get us flying. That's what NP is doing now - only he is doing it and managing to improve us game on game and develop our own players. Anyone still not able to see that needs to take a step back and see the bigger picture. However I think most do and as we keep progressing more and more will. 

Post of the month! 

Exactly how I see things as well. Quite why some fans still want him sacked is beyond me. 

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Just watched NP’s post match interview and noticed, as I’m the last few games as well, that he’s coming across a lot more like it’s his team playing.

Last season and the beginning of this he seemed to speak as if he were commenting on somebody else’s club.

 You do sense that he feels that they are now ‘on the bus!’ and he’s more positive about things. Even if the results aren’t always going our way

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19 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Just realised 17 of the 18 man squad yesterday were already here before Pearson came in.

After being able to release all the players that were not good enough in the summer, we didn't really need many in.

Yes you can gave all the ingredients but it's what you do with them that matters.

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You can see the squad improving under Pearson as a collective, because he's getting the right people around him. Anybody who doesn't want to buy into it can leave and that's on and off the pitch.

As Dave Fevs has said you can't really count last season . It was just about getting through it and finishing the games.

This season its all about moulding a squad to his style. We are seeing the improvements on and off the pitch. I honestly think he relishes this clean slate opportunity and knowing he has the backing of an owner who is prepared to give him plenty of time and very much unlike what he inherited at Watford.

Its a completely different approach to the head coach chief exec method which ultimately didn't work out and may yet still hamper Pearson in the short term in having to sell a prized asset earlier than expected. I am not sure from the board/owner's point of view whether Pearson's appointment was forced upon them due to the increasingly desperate predicament his inexperienced predecessor found himself in but the timing couldn't have been any better. 

I once described Nigel Pearson as having the all the charm of a brick. How wrong could I have been. He has a very considered approach and its refreshing and insightful listening to his interviews.

I still listen out though when some reporter asks a banal question and listen with glee how he boots them into touch.

We are very lucky to have him. 

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I've just have a good feeling that Pearson in the 3 years he's here will improve our club 💯% will he get us to PREM I'm not sure and even he's said that but I know we will certainly see some quality moving forward and the great thing is he doesn't need vasts amount of money to achieve it. I'm not sure what others think but he just seems to be the right fit for Bristol City football club. 

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22 minutes ago, The Constant Rabbit said:

I'm glad the OP mentioned O'Driscoll

Did a similar attempt at doing the heavy lifting but was let down by those around him.

Pearson seems to have the support that SOD didn't.

Don't want to spoil an excellent thread but I consider that McInnes also began the recovery by dumping long serving players who were running the club and giving Joe Bryan his debut within a short time of arriving at City.

Edited by cidered abroad
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The main thing I judge Nige on is what’s happening on the pitch. For a few weeks now we’ve looked pretty solid or as he puts it like a “dangerous” side. All while playing HNM and Scott in the middle. There’s not much experience there and it’s clear now why he brought in King and James - to steady the ship while he gets the young players up to scratch. If performances continue this way, King and James might not get back in the starting 11.

Yeah sure we need to look at our game management but of all the points we’ve thrown away at the death this season, Saturday was the closest we’ve been to seeing the game out and taking the points home. 

Credit to Nige and his team, good coaches will make players play. 

I can’t remember the last time I actually looked forward to the run-in.

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It certainly feels that we have turned the corner even if results may take a little longer to evidence that. There is an identity as a team now emerging which can be credited to Nigel but also I think correlates to the appointment of Fleming and the departures of Simpson and Downing. Maybe I do them a disservice but I find it ironic that replacing two coaches experienced at working with young talent with Fleming has coincided with so much of our young emerging talent starting to grasp the requirements and demands of senior football. The rapid development of players like Antoine, HNM Max and Pring all who were clearly not fulfilling their potential under the previous regimes suggests something has changed in their approach and our expectation. The departure of Britton could be another example of higher expectations now in place. Several of our more experienced players such as Martin, Kalas and Weimann also seem to have rediscovered their best form of late. 

That we now have a CEO who appears to quietly get on with efficiently doing his job without trying to take credit for every little step forward could be another factor in recent improvements. There is a much clearer definition of roles now which I’m sure Nigel appreciates and can work with. MA seemed to be rather too comfortable  with a young manager and young Chairman who he could ‘influence’ and oversee. As a club we may have finally come through the stormy waters of recent seasons. We are nowhere near where we want to be but maybe, just maybe we are witnessing the dawn of a new era. Hopefully it will not be another false dawn.

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He’s not a magician, but what he has done with this squad is clearly evident. He has created genuine competition for places and he is instilling a sense of purpose into the psyche of the players. Yes there are frustrating mistakes but you can see the shoots of improvement. 

If only he had money to spend…..

We have definitely got the right man in charge. He talks complete sense when it comes to football too, unlike his predecessors.

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So I updated my comparisons. These compare four blocks of games in the league. Block one (blue) is Holden's final 10 games in charge. Block two (red) is Pearson's 14 games at the end of 2020/21. Block 3 (yellow) is the first 14 games of this season, ending with West Brom and then Simpson and Downing's departures. Block 4 (green) is the most recent 15 games.

At this point these four blocks almost cover a year's worth of games. Holden was sacked on 17 February 2021, and Pearson came in (initially on a short term deal) 5 days later on 22 February 2021.

TLDR: at the moment the stats agree with what people are seeing: there is improvement, but we're not world-beaters yet.

So have we improved? In essence, undoubtedly. Looking at our attacking play the difference between Block 1 and Block 4 is huge. We've nearly doubled our attacking threat. Shots on Target are up 84%, xG is up 93%, and goals scored are up 70%. So there's actually a reasonable argument that we perhaps could have expected to see a few more goals over the past 15 games. Probably only one or two more, but that could have brought more points. Our attacking play seems to suggest that we've been a little short changed there. Perhaps our lack of goals from set pieces, and some 'unlucky' refereeing calls in the penalty box might explain that. Had we scored just 2 or 3 more goals then we'd see goals scored following the other attacking numbers.


In defence we see less drastic improvement, but improvement nonetheless. Shots allowed is down 8%, with shots on target allowed following that at 9% down. xG against hasn't moved much though - and that tells us that although we're allowing fewer shots, each of those shots tends to have a slightly higher chance of being scored. And that explains why goals conceded is actually slightly up, 2.1 per game against a flat 2 per game in Holden's dying days. Note that each data set includes one 6 goals game as well, so those two anomalous results broadly cancel each other out.


So as I've said before. Huge improvements in attack tempered by only slight improvement in defence.

We also see that the attacking play has improved steadily over the past year. Block 4 v Block 3 (so NP this season without and with KD and PS) shows us a 20% uplift in shots on target, a 43% up tick in the number of goals scored, and a slight dip in xG per game. Defensively though this is where we see the bulk of the improvement. This might surprise us given we've conceded 31 goals in the 15 games since KD and PS departed, but the numbers suggest that this isn't down to getting 'worse' at the back. In fact we've seen all the key indicators improve. Shots allowed is down 12%, shots on target allowed down 13.5%, and xG against is down 16%. You can see in the second graph above that goals against had actually been steadily improving, before a big jump in the last block of 15 games.

So why have goals against increased by 44%? Is it the goalkeeper issue that's been discussed? Is it that we've just been unlucky? I don't know, but he numbers suggest that if we carry on as we are, those goals against will come down to a more reasonable figure, hopefully allowing us to pick up a few more points.

Finally, a look at the all important points on the board. After initially dipping during the close of last season, we can now see a steady increase up to our current 1.2 points per game. The graph below shows a rolling 10 game total of our points won from 10 games. It starts when Pearson had been in the job for 10 games. That lowest point is the end of last season, when we were trotting along at a wonderful 3 points from 10 games. One way to read the below is to think of the 10 point line on the vertical axis as being equal to 1 point per game, or 46 points over the season. Stay above that line and you're not getting relegated. Hence I've never really worried about that this season.



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