One Blog in Bristol: Back Down to Earth with a Bang (Again)

Podcaster and Bristol City fan Stanley Hughes reflects on a disappointing result against Luton after the highs of the Cardiff game.

View from the stands of Luton Town v Bristol City in the EFL.

After Cardiff, it’s only right we were brought back down to earth.

Classic Bristol City. Just when you think you’re in for a nice run of form, they go and lose. It’s not a new sensation, it’s not even a sensation specific to being a Bristol City fan. We are in the Championship after all, I should probably insert some quip about it being unforgiving or the best league in the world.

Before Tuesday’s match, the euphoria from Saturday’s win was clear for all to see on social media. The manner in which we tore Cardiff apart, particularly in the latter stages, lead to many fans feeling optimistic. Many noticed how they were oddly excited to watch Bristol City play. A feeling that hasn’t really been there for quite a while. In recent years, more often than not, watching City has felt like a chore.

Great Start but Not Sustained

We started so brilliantly, a breakthrough goal was inevitable

If the instruction before the game from Nigel Pearson was to simply continue where they left off against Cardiff, then it worked a treat. We began the match brilliantly, confidently playing out from the back and combining effortlessly in the middle of the pitch. The surface wasn’t ideal for good football, yet we managed to control the game early on and had the majority of the ball. You’d think an inexperienced midfield duo of Massengo and Scott would struggle on a heavy pitch against physical opposition. They ran the show in the early stages. You feared for Vyner against Adebayo, in the first half barring one moment he marshalled him brilliantly.

Anyone at Kenilworth Road or watching on TV would’ve expected nothing less than a comfortable win, judging by early proceedings. The speed of play, the willingness of runners and the consistent pressure put on our opponents were all equally impressive. The first third at Luton was as enjoyable as the final third against Cardiff, just the goals were missing. The longer we went without scoring, the more you started to fear the worst. All that possession, all those corners and all that pressure. Please don’t tell me it’s going to be us who goes behind…

You couldn’t write it could you. Oh wait, you definitely could write it. Zero imagination was required to predict that the one ex-Gas player on the pitch would score the first goal. Fair play to Euan though, he actually tweeted it. We were let down on a few occasions by our forwards: misplacing the final pass, overhitting the important touch or simply making the wrong decision. The first half was summed up by Chris Martin failing to put an open Semenyo clear on goal.

Weaknesses at the Back

Our defensive frailties can’t keep costing us

Whilst our final third play left a lot to be desired on Tuesday, it was our defensive incapabilities that left everyone fuming. The manner in which we conceded those two goals was frustrating to say the least. They were weak goals, they took no imagination or quality to conjure up. We simply let them happen. Zak Vyner had a brilliant first half, the one time he was off the pitch, we conceded. A simple goal for Luton, far too simple.

Their two goals were very similar, it’s deflating watching them back. Twitter was awash with people begging City to sign a commanding, towering centre back. It seems those people have their wish, Timm Klose’s arrival was met with general positivity. His experience and aerial presence is sorely needed in a defence that has seen Nathan Baker and Rob Atkinson constantly drop out due to injury.

Only Reading have conceded more than us in the last six games. It is something that needs to change drastically. Here’s hoping Klose has an instant impact on our fortunes, starting this Saturday against Preston.

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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