Written by Joseph Ashmeade
Okay, so we’re going down. I’ve accepted it, other fans have accepted it, it’s happening and has clearly been happening since Cardiff beat us 3-2 at Ashton Gate. I think the really sad thing about it, is that this all could of been avoided. As much as I dislike Johnson and his poor game management tactics, he’s actually just doing his job the best he can. Yes, he’s doing it very badly but that’s because he’s not a Championship manager. Anyone can see that. In fact, I actually think he’s the worst manager we’ve ever had. Although my problem isn’t with him really, my problem is with the board. Now, I love the Lansdowns. What they have done for this club is unbelievable and we’re all extremely grateful to have the new facilities we have now.
However that doesn’t mean they’re immune to criticism when it’s necessary and now it’s very much necessary. They’ve put friendship first, which you should never do when it comes to a results based business. I’m stunned that I have to direct this comment at Steve Lansdown of all people, who is one of the most successful businessman in the country. Surely he (as well as the board) should know this, yet Johnson still remains in charge after leading the team to the worst run in the clubs history. When you look at the squad, player for player, it’s unbelievable that we’re in the position we’re in and I often think to myself what an experienced Championship manager could do with that team. Just imagine where we’d be if we had a Simon Grayson, Nigel Clough or even (yes I hate to say it) Neil Warnock in charge. It’s a good squad, anyone can see that and even supporters of other teams were fearing we could do something special at the start of the season. We must have one of the worst managers to get this squad in trouble…and yes…we do. Once again though, this all goes back to the board. It’s all well and good paying out for a new Championship stadium with great facilities but if you don’t get a Championship manager to go with it, all seems a bit of a waste doesn’t it? I don’t know what it is with our board but they’re absolutely horrendous at selecting managers. They take too many gambles which I’m guessing are for money saving reasons.
Well my advice is you get what you pay for and if you want this club to develop into an established Championship club, then employ someone who knows how to get there. Stop talking about wanting to get the club in the Premier League as this won’t happen until things change. What do all of the clubs around us scrapping for survival have in common? Blackburn, Burton and even Wolves? They all have managers that have been there and done it, in the Championship. This is why I believe we will go down with Wigan and Rotherham. I just want to see some fight from the board and yes, that means sacking the manager. And if they dare even keep Johnson for our League One campaign, well I think that might just make me physically ill. The board are actually making it out as though Johnson is bigger than Bristol City, which is what angers me the most in this situation. Do you really think a manager who doesn’t know his best starting 11 after 35 games in the league is worthy of still being here? Do you really think a manager who’s slowly ousting out a fan favourite and successful assistant manager in John Pemberton, only to replace him with Dean Holden, is capable of making important decisions? Stop being so naive and do what needs to be done! I’m not saying the players are innocent in this, as none of them deserve their wage packet at the end of the week but it’s clear to see they’ve also given up on Johnson.
This is honestly the most separated the Bristol City board and fans have been since I first started supporting the club and it’s all because of one man. How on earth can the board criticise the fans who pay a lot of money travelling up and down the country to watch this boring and predictable football. The fans are genuinely the only good thing about the club at the moment. 17,000 went yesterday which is great considering our position and the sell outs against Newcastle as well as Aston Villa, further back my point. Do I condone fans booing the manager and players during the game…no. You pay to support the team, not get get on their backs. However after the final whistle, fans are absolutely entitled to boo and jeer all they want, to let the players and manager know, this isn’t acceptable! No one is expecting us to be Man Utd level, we just ask that you give it your all to make the club the best it can be. At least give us a chance to survive, or are you just too friendly with Johnson that you want to put him ahead our temporary Championship status. Poor show guys!
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