After two weeks without City, you’d normally see fans thrilled to get back to club action. That eagerness is certainly not there right now. Usually the boredom that the international break brings gives way to the hunger for “proper football”. Recently the entertainment served up by England trumps the Bristol City offering a hundred times over. There is no comparison whatsoever. I don’t know why I even made it.
Now I imagine that all the Coventry fans were suitably entertained by their 3-2 win over us, two weeks ago. I imagine any neutral would have been too. I love a bit of schadenfreude, not when it’s my own team though. I enjoyed nothing about that game. I was keen to forget everything about it once it was over. Four of our last five games have been embarrassing in a similar manner. Barnsley the only game to bring any joy, for obvious reasons. Three of those four disgraceful performances have come away from home. Suddenly we’re putting our hope on a home match to write the wrongs from our recent travels. We still lay 5th in the away table, judging by recent performances that may not last long.
It’s obvious to everyone in and around Ashton Gate that we need to score more goals. The threat going forward is minimal, at best. Despite scoring twice vs Barnsley, I never got a sense we were a threat going forward. We scored twice against Coventry, not an easy thing to do. Did we seem a constant threat? Despite playing against ten men for the second half I’d probably say no.
Problems Going Forward
The forward line is the area of the pitch getting the most amount of scrutiny from Bristol City fans. Martin and Weimann have their qualities, you can never accuse them of putting in anything less than 110%. Both want it enough, both work hard enough but do both contribute enough in terms of goals and assists? The answer is, in my mind, quite possibly! Weimann has nine goal contributions (7g 2a), that puts him level with Lewis Grabban. One behind Karlan Grant and Jamie Paterson. Chris Martin is one behind with eight, (5g 3a). Those are solid numbers for our two main strikers. Perhaps the problem isn’t just them?
Look at the rest of the squad, the next highest goal scorer is Saikou Janneh. He has one start in the cup and a brief cameo against Middlesbrough way back when. Odd that he hasn’t featured more. Also poor that he’s third in our list. Wells has just the one goal, two assists however. Palmer one of each. If we’re going to move up the table, the goal contributions need to start coming from more than just our two main sources. Young Alex Scott and Ayman Benarous are the sorts of players who will create chances and have both scored many for the youth sides. Are they ready to do the same in the first team? I’m not sure. It’s certainly worth having them in the squad tomorrow. We need pace and skill in attacking areas. We’ve been missing it all season.
One person who we’ll all be happy to see back is Antoine Semenyo. Our top assister last season with seven. He’s the sort of player we need right now. Carrying it up the field, opening up spaces. Martin and Weimann are doing it all in the final third for us at the moment. They need some help. Semenyo has the power and the unpredictability to make a real difference when he returns, and I hope it’ll be this Saturday. Fans are devoid of entertainment, the team is devoid of pace. You’d think he’d go some way to solving those two issues. Start him Saturday, at the very least bring him on. Suddenly we’re pinning a lot of hopes on him, I hope he can handle the pressure.