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Trying to understand SL


Dr Balls

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Since SL came out in support of LJ last week, I have been trying to understand the rational thought processes of LJ's appointment and take out of it the emotional one of him remaining cosy with the club & board.

So this time last year we looked extremely likely to go back down to League 1. That was a real risk but given our position & form, the incoming manager would not shoulder all of the blame. Therefore you could take a bit of a risk on appointing someone who would abide by the "5 pillars" and bring through some of the youth & academy players, unlike Cotterill who wasn't even naming a full roster of substitutes. Also a cheaper younger manager who already had experience at League 1 & done ok, would be fine for a post-relegation season. In other words LJ couldn't lose, and SL had hedged his bets.

On the other hand should we stay up or even flourish then it might be safe to assume that the new appointee actually can manage at this level and therefore we can invest in new players for the team in the summer. So far so good, at least until October. And since then the wheels have been falling off.

The evidence now would suggest that LJ can't manage at this level. Again we are at real risk of going down. From a business perspective we are back to where we were 12 months ago, except that this time the young new manager will be blamed if we go down but again might be ok back in League 1. However if you sack him, you have to pay him off, and there is no guarantee that any new managerial appointee can keep the club in this league AND abide by the way the club is now run. The risk for SL is he might end up with another Cotterill, which is fine when things are going well, but challenging when things aren't.

So the next thing to consider financially is whether or not you can take the hit of relegation. Obviously there will be a bit of a drop in crowds and season tickets but perhaps by only 25-30%. You can sell on a lot of the players and reduce the wage bill. Then you can start over with some younger players and be relatively successful but at a lower level, but hey a team pushing for promotion will bring back the crowds. There will be losses but they may not be catastrophic.

Unfortunately supporters don't think in cold financial terms. They have an emotional attachment to the club they support. They want it to win and do as well as possible. While keeping LJ might have been accepted last season if we got relegated (we even gave SOD the benefit of the doubt!) it won't be this time, as it will be perceived as his failure. And a manager who is deeply unpopular with the supporters is on a loser unless things go very well. And in LJ's case he was already at a disadvantage due to his baggage as a player here.

I am not sure that SL is thinking in purely cold financial terms, as another relegation after just 2 seasons back in this league would be very poor and reflect badly on him and the board. Plus I do believe he wants us to do well just from a sporting perspective. So he did drop hints that LJ is not "Teflon" but the problem may be that if he leaves it too late to make a change then the incoming manager will be left with an impossible task. Having gone this far, my belief is that we have to get at least 4 points from the next 2 games for SL to retain LJ as manager. If we can't even start winning our home games then we are doomed, and SL will be forced to act if only to retain some credibility with the fans.

So there you go. Hopefully more theory than conspiracy!

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I genuinely think IMHO the reason SL has not pulled the trigger is quite a simple one

He wanted LJ and has publicly spoken of him in glowing terms , and backed him and backed him

He is now faced with the ever growing threat of relegation and a dent to his pride , and another dent in his decision making CV

or

He gets rid and 

Suffers a large dent to his pride , and another dent in his decision making CV, albeit potentially mitigated by taking action now (Albeit too late IMHO) and if he gets the next appointment right

(Oh sorry - forgot - it will be MAs recruitment and recommendation ...... won't it ??? :whistle: ...... as other posters have said , if you employ MA to run the football side , then let him run it )

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1 minute ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

I genuinely think IMHO the reason SL has not pulled the trigger is quite a simple one

He wanted LJ and has publicly spoken of him in glowing terms , and backed him and backed him

He is now faced with the ever growing threat of relegation and a dent to his pride , and another dent in his decision making CV

or

He gets rid and 

Suffers a large dent to his pride , and another dent in his decision making CV, albeit potentially mitigated by taking action now (Albeit too late IMHO) and if he gets the next appointment right

(Oh sorry - forgot - it will be MAs recruitment and recommendation ...... won't it ??? :whistle: ...... as other posters have said , if you employ MA to run the football side , then let him run it )

I think SL wants to plan for the long-term and genuinely believes LJ is someone who can be at the club for a long time and turn us into a Premier League side. I don't think it's pride but a belief that, if he can get over this difficult spell, he can become a successful manager.  The problem is that, whatever potential LJ has, he's not showing it at the moment and it may well be too late by the time he does (if he ever does). 

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So if SL lets MA deal with the football side of the business, then I would suggest our chances of ending up with Appleton as an LJ replacement increase significantly. Appleton is not going to cause anyone at AG any "problems" plus yet again we have a League 1 gamble that hedges bets in staying up or being back in League 1. 

And we wonder why we have become a Championship-League 1 yo-to club....

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Just now, LondonBristolian said:

I think SL wants to plan for the long-term and genuinely believes LJ is someone who can be at the club for a long time and turn us into a Premier League side. I don't think it's pride but a belief that, if he can get over this difficult spell, he can become a successful manager.

 The problem is that, whatever potential LJ has, he's not showing it at the moment and it may well be too late by the time he does (if he ever does). 

Fair argument LB , and as a poster who is measured , one to definitely consider strongly 

Not sure SLs track record gives confidence in his belief if that's the case but he's certainly backed him at every turn and he pays the bills so is ultimately the only view that matters !!!!

 

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1 minute ago, Dr Balls said:

So if SL lets MA deal with the football side of the business, then I would suggest our chances of ending up with Appleton as an LJ replacement increase significantly. Appleton is not going to cause anyone at AG any "problems" plus yet again we have a League 1 gamble that hedges bets in staying up or being back in League 1. 

And we wonder why we have become a Championship-League 1 yo-to club....

Not so sure Dr

Not sure MA might not be a bit more ruthless .

If MA was brought in by him he will know that his reputation will also be on the line if it was a disaster

I Di get the vibe with MA that, given free reign ,  he'd only bring in MA if he thought he was the right man

(That doesn't mean he doesn't , and he won't , and it won't be a disaster, mind !!! - This is Bristol City after all !!!)

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Just now, BobBobSuperBob said:

Fair argument LB , and as a poster who is measured , one to definitely consider strongly 

Not sure SLs track record gives confidence in his belief if that's the case but he's certainly backed him at every turn and he pays the bills so is ultimately the only view that matters !!!!

 

Is this the time I once a-bleedin'-gain point out that SL's track record at picking managers is no worse than most football owners and better than many. We retain our managers for longer than the average club - that sounds unlikely, but it's true. We are also in the second tier. More clubs below us than above.

 

That said, a mighty bollock may have been dropped by him last week....      

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