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I may be totally irrational with my fears but after only three games of the season I really fear our battle this year is more likely to be to avoid the drop than win promotion. You can’t read too much into the first three results. On all three occasions the home team have been playing against a nine or ten man away side and have unsurprisingly taken the points. While we took three points at home to Blackpool, I think most City fans appreciate that up until the sending offs we had created very little. Brentford was much more of an encouraging performance but we still lost. Wigan meanwhile was the wrong result with a poor performance.
More worrying than any of the games individually are the trends that seem to have appeared. At the back we always look as though we could concede. In midfield we may have the ‘bite’ of Tommy D and Joe Burnell but we look woefully uncreative. And when we do create chances our strikers have not been finishing them off. It goes without saying that this does not bode well for the season. I don’t think we’ll be anybody’s whipping boys, but fear we will lose far too many games by the odd goal. As it would appear we won’t be signing anyone we may be relying on the experience of Messrs. Carey and Tinnion to rescue us. Maybe I’m panicking far too early but I fear that it could be a long season and a bottom half would not surprise me at all.
Pete Smith (Percy Parrot)
As I see it, the opening three games of this season have indicated
two main positives and two main negatives:
1. Phillips’ improved kicking, distribution and general command
of his area.
1. The lack of goals.
Burnell Millen Hill Bell
Hulbert Doherty Liam/Clist
Murray Peacock Roberts
With this formation I'd have Peacock almost as a lone man up front
with Roberts and Murray playing slightly deeper but closer than
wingers. This way, when defending Murray and Roberts can drop back
into midfield to give us five in midfield while still having the
pace to join the attack when we get the ball back. This would also
utilise Murray and Roberts' strengths of running at defenders.
I don't think it was just City's performance. Brentford’s own display also led me to this bout of optimism. All of sudden a league that I thought would be strong at the start of the season is caving in with the exception of the obvious two - Wigan and Cardiff. Brentford did nothing creative up front for the whole match. Our defence must be given credit for this as well, but isn't this the same Brentford that had just comfortably beaten Huddersfield away from home? I think the fact that Swindon are up the top of the league says a lot!
With no major long-term injuries or sales of players we will be up there again come May. And by the way, a slower start might be just what the doctor ordered as I think that our players are much better at playing catch up. Whenever they reach the dizzy heights of this division we ALWAYS come crashing down.
Will Collins (PhatWill)
At the end of last season I was unable to muster up any enthusiasm
for this current season because I could see nothing changing within
the playing staff. My philosophy is a simple one - if a squad isn’t
good enough one season then it won’t be good enough the next
without additions. No additions equals no progress.
Just found your website and it is excellent - one that doesn't talk down to the true City fan.
I am a season ticket holder in the Carling Atyeo Stand with my brother and we will be travelling down to the gate from West London for every home game this season. I would like to offer a lift to any other London-based fans who fancy sharing the journey. I am also trying to find out about any City supporters club in London - one where like minded City fans meet up for a few beers and discuss City-related stuff. I would be grateful if anyone could let me know if such a thing exists.
Meanwhile keep up the good work and I look forward to the next edition.
What do I think of it so far? My overriding impression is that we are playing a more direct brand of football than we have for a while. A couple of seasons ago we went through a phase of very slow, patient build-up with virtually everything being rolled out from the back through Tinnion to the wide men or central strikers. It enabled us to keep control of the ball for extended periods of play but inevitably meant that by the time the ball reached the penalty box the opposition were usually ready for us. I thought this was going to be the Wilson way and enjoyed what I saw.
What struck me at Brentford was the speed with which we were attempting
to shift the ball forward, with Phillips kicking the ball out more
often than not and Roberts dropping deep to pick it up and run at
the defence from the halfway line rather than waiting for it to
come to him. It didn't come off on the night but we did create four
or five good chances
The downside of this approach is, of course, that we give the ball away much more easily and Tom D, Matty Hill, Louis C et al are going to be kept busy winning it back. Will this more direct approach win us promotion? It's simply too early to say, but if the following three elements drop into place I think it could:
* Rosenoir replaces A Brown on the left flank to give us a more
* Roberts and Peacock click - I thought there were signs of this
* Tom D stays fit and plays the full season.
Martyn Hocking (Well Red)
It is with regret that I feel obliged to complain to your scurrilous rag.
Having read Issue One, I (along with many others, I feel) sent to you a cheque for £1 million. In return for this I was assured in your 'Reader Offer' section that I would receive a Tony Thorpe coaster.
I must protest at its quality. Having had the item for over a week now it has not enhanced my social standing. Indeed, I have been held up to ridicule by my friends from Bedfordshire.
They claim to have had a similar article several years ago, when at that time it was a highly polished new item that brought a return on their investment. In time they passed it on to friends in London under the impression that it would be nurtured and cherished. Instead a man with a 20-year-old cycling injury who claimed that he would indeed 'love it' soon disposed of the coaster.
I feel that an element of fraud is at hand here. How is it possible that a once highly regarded item that would have brought joy to many households can now simply be sold as a coaster?
Paul Watts (Working Late Again)
As Tony Thorpe`s number one fan (previously), I would like to take
umbrage at your attempt to ridicule our former top scorer’s
Name and address supplied.
In light of RedTop's pathetic begging posts for contributions (has he no shame?) I thought I'd share with you my feelings on the Brentford trip. Firstly, I regret not bumping into you or other forum members at Brentford. Maybe another time.
Anyway, here's the report. I can't pretend this is witty, insightful or even erudite but it does perfectly sum up my feelings:
"We lost. Bollocks."
For your records, my size is large and I'd like the home shirt. Thanks.
I enjoyed the interview with Liam Rosenior. Would it be possible to ask him: What it was that made him twice the player he was when he left us for a month?
Rich Bailey (RichieB)
P.S. I had no idea that RedTop and Edson were so close! Spooky.
Great site. I have added it to my favourites. I look forward to some intelligent and critical but irrationally loyal copy. And we will all need the humour!
The following contribution is from my CD: "Bristol City Ruined My Life; But Made My Day."
European Champions League Final:
This was splendid revenge for City's losing to Madrid in last year's quarter finals in Bristol after getting a promising, though goalless, away draw in Spain. Andrew Cole's hat trick surely confirms him now as England's most economical striker and bodes well for the country's chances of winning a record-breaking third consecutive World Cup. Veteran England manager (and former City star) Brian Clough describes him as the most exacting player he's watched since Len Shackleton, with whom he shared that dazzling 1958 World Cup triumph, along with Sir Duncan Edwards and other miraculous survivors of the previous year's Munich air disaster, and with whom the legendary City number nine Saint John Atyeo scored the best part of 200 goals for England (Atyeo 105, Shackleton 89). City have now won the European Cup twice in three years and despite losing an exciting three-way championship race to West Ham this year (pipping tee-totaller George Best's brilliant Aston Villa into third) also won the FA Cup for a record twelfth time since that historic 1-0 victory over Manchester United in 1909. That game, remember, was famous for the way that Billy Wedlock disputed the toss - a very important factor on a Crystal Palace pitch that went downhill with the wind all through City's utterly dominant first half - and won it on a second throw. All on the toss of a coin. I wonder how the history of football might have been altered in that moment. Who knows, it might even be Bristol City, not Alex Ferguson's gallant and under-rated Manchester United currently struggling to attain former glories in Division Three with only the Welsh Cup and a Skoda Windscreens Shield to their name.
P.S. Look out for my name on the back of a seat near you.
Best of luck with the new addition to City's online presence. Having three of you will help - one to take the plaudits, two to take the blame!
Mick H (Red'Un)
Editor replies: Cheers Mick, and good luck with the newly-relaunched www.bclife.co.uk. It’s a quality site.
Congratulations on the concept of The Incider.
With the three of you having different but such complimentary skills, I'm confident that we will have a fanzine that will be professional, amusing and well presented. I hope that you will receive the essential support from your fellow fans that such a project demands to maintain the necessary width of interest and opinion.
All the best for the launch. Where's the champagne reception?
Congratulations on the site from A Hammers fan. It’s very, very impressive. Must have taken you flippin' ages to set up though! Good luck this season - remember you're only a few years away from challenging the mighty Hammers for the Premiership title! Then you'll have to win the world cup like we did in 66 (Hurst, Peters and Moore).
Hiya to all of the Incider crew. Manchester United, Bristol City and England rock. I'd like to say well done for creating such a brilliant website. It is a great website and all the crew have put lots of effort into it. I will tell all my friends about it. WELL DONE. KEEP THIS SITE GOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lauren Edwards (aged 10), Warrington.