Massive Season For Everyone
By Bristol Boy
It’s stating the obvious to say this is a massive season for everyone connected with BCFC.
Just how massive a season it is for our manager cannot be overstated. Two managers, in recent times took City where many say we belong-our level if you will-Into the Championship.
Both managers left - Joe Jordan, headhunted by Hearts in what turned out to be a defining moment in his career. It was the moment that he became a manager that couldn’t do it at the highest level in many people’s eyes and he’s an assistant or a coach these days. He certainly lacked the same magic when he returned to City for an ultimately unsuccessful second tenure.
John Ward took City up and didn’t last a season. His next job was as an assistant at Wolves and he’s been labelled as a “lower division manager” ever since.
This season could see the same thing happen to Gary Johnson OR a good season could see our manager in demand. An excellent season and a man that was gaining a reputation at a historic non league football outpost in Yeovil only two years ago, could well be catapulted into the big time, enhancing his reputation and establishing a place as a true City legend.
Would envious eyes be cast from above and below and would we be able to hang on to a prized asset?
Couldn’t happen, could it?
Actually, yes it could - Either scenario is possible and with a good squad both in terms of spirit and ability, already strengthened with two quality signings with another “one possibly two” on the way. A relatively injury & suspension free run could see City competing to enter the promised land, earning about £60m, even if they fail after promotion.
Entering the play offs - a dream outturn for most City fans I speak to - this season, would entail gaining 5/6 more points than Colchester did last season. Surely, having spent far more and with crowds three times greater, we could do that?
On the other hand, with many imponderables and the Gods against us, we could fail again at the first attempt, creating a nightmare situation for both chairman & manager.
Would the ground redevelopment go ahead? Would we even start the new East End? Would both men choose to walk away?
Would a relationship that’s obviously based on mutual respect & trust stand strong against the obvious pressure & criticism that would come as sure as night follows day?
It’s something worth thinking about and this season is so pivotal to the future of BCFC for the players as well. Most, like the manager in fairness, have never plied their trade at this level.
Even the players we have signed from the Scottish Premiership in McAllister, Johnson & Sproule, have never experienced the quality of The CCC on a weekly basis. Carey & Murray have had runs of games with varying fortunes that saw them return to the City in fairly short order.
The recent signings have given us a lift and most people that have chosen to comment on the Forums, seem to think they were necessary and of the desired quality, although where they leave the other wide players is another question!
The season starts on Aug 11th. By the end of September we will have played eight league games. Four home & four away. These include WBA at home and PNE away, as well as a ninth “banana skin” cup tie at Brentford. A cup win and twelve points would seem an acceptable return - any more a bonus. And a point a game in this division would have seen you relegated in the last two seasons, with the clubs fourth from bottom achieving 49 & 50 points.
About 1.7 points per game is needed to make the play offs and GJ will have both figures firmly in mind as he calculates the return needed in blocks of ten games.
One thing’s for sure: This season will be one to remember!
The views expressed in this 'Soapbox' section are those of the author of each article and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bristol City Supporters Trust>