One Blog in Bristol: How to React to that Coventry Defeat?

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Bristol City lose to Coventry.

Six days ago, at the full-time whistle, Bristol City fans went into meltdown. Any passer-by travelling through our social media spaces would have been impressed by the rampant depression, anger and disbelief. The podcast always gets more interactions when City lose or play badly, people simply like the photo when we win. When the performances are lacklustre, people feel a need to share their disappointment. It’s only natural, there aren’t too many heated arguments in a pub after a win. Everyone is just happy to take the three points and begin the post-match merriness. After a loss though, everyone wants to get in on the tactical analysis.

I don’t think we need Carragher and Neville on the case to work out what happened against Coventry. It would be a waste of their time, the analysts working on MNF would serve no real purpose. There’s no need for the arrows, the circling of players, the shading of goal zones. Maybe we could have one big arrow, pointing in the direction of our team. Label it “WTF”, label it “embarrassment”, label it “bottlers”. It doesn’t matter, we’re all thinking the same things right now. How on earth have we lost that? What the hell were they playing at? Why has that been allowed to happen? What have we done to deserve these shocking performances? I’m sure we all have our thoughts on the tactics and the players, their suitability for each other.

Pearson Running Out of Time

I’m cautious of sounding like Lee Johnson here, we all know he was fond of a footballing cliche from time to time. If you wrote down the things the team are lacking right now, you’d imagine they’d be plastered all over his office. Belief, pride, determination, hard work, trust, encouragement, reward, loyalty and satisfaction. There’s one for the fans of Brent. Now at times Lee Johnson’s teams clearly lacked on those fronts. At our worst under LJ things were looking more inept than they do right now. LJ may still hold our longest losing streak record but Nigel is hoovering up similarly awful statistics at the moment.

Give Pearson time, it’s running out but give him time.

10 of the 11 players on the pitch vs Coventry were here before he arrived. Tanner the only new signing to feature. You could argue our other three summer signings James, King and Atkinson have all been similarly impressive. They’ve stood out for the most part, albeit in a lacklustre side.  A sign in my mind, that Pearson deserves more time and transfer windows. Give the man a chance to find players, to improve our weakest areas. Think about how much time Lee Johnson got to constantly develop the squad. Think about how much of a transfer budget he was allowed to manoeuvre with.

The Honeymoon is Well and Truly Over

Many fans are wondering why it’s going wrong and we’re running out of people to point fingers at. The players from last season are still here for the most part, lots of them playing worse than they did before Pearson arrived. Are some underperforming or are they just not good enough? Young players aside, there’s a dangerously low level of love for the current squad. We’ve seen some bad teams over the years, this one could be up there for least loved. Mark Ashton’s recruitment legacy may still be lingering over Ashton Gate but as time goes on it’ll be harder for him to shoulder much of the criticism. Another mass exodus like the one in the summer and we won’t be left with many players signed under his tenure. With Downing and Simpson gone, Pearson seemingly has the people he wants around him. Maybe he’d rather have Craig Shakespeare, I can’t imagine him wanting to be here right now. The injury crisis and lack of fitness was predominantly blamed on Andy Rolls last season, he’s moved on. If things don’t turn around soon, more and more fingers will be pointing Pearson’s way.

The honeymoon period is over for Nigel, an appointee met with universal support is now receiving more than his fair share of criticism. When he arrived, it seemed a perfect match. Some fans want it to be over already. Not me, I think with a good January window we’ll be okay. Relegation is a real threat, Pearson and the club know that. He may not even be here in January if we don’t start performing better. Fingers crossed he is and we are.

Stanley Hughes is host of the popular ‘One Stream In Bristol’, the original Bristol City FC podcast. He writes about The Robins every week for MansionBet.

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