Football: ‘How much things change in the course of just one week’

Dave Skinner, April 6, 2017

So, well. What can you say. How much things can change in the course of just one little week. Firstly, I would like to discuss some points I raised in last week’s musings – namely, that I suggested two loses in the games at Brentford and then Preston would most likely lead to us seeing City fall into the bottom three. Well, I was wrong.

As luck would have it, City may end up avoiding the embarrassment of relegation by the virtue of their being three teams worse than us. Rotherham are already gone and one would assume Wigan will be joining them in the not too distant future. That leaves one more space to fill for the drop. Blackburn are currently kindly obliging by filling that spot, but, given City’s capitulation over the last week, its certainly a case of ‘watch this space’.

I also commented that the win over Huddersfield had been achieved by finding the right balance and blend within the starting eleven. I now fear that Johnson may have read my blog and took it as gospel and will vow to pick the same team till the season ends.

I agree that going with the same team that beat Huddersfield, in what seems a long time ago now, made sense away to Brentford – although the inclusion of Bailey Wright must be questioned given the fact he had travelled some 30,000 plus miles that week.

But to stick with the same line-up that appeared to fail so badly at Griffin Park, albeit with one change where Hegeler took the place of the injured O’Neil, baffled me. Especially with the likes of Magnusson, Reid and Taylor waiting in the wings.

Matty Taylor must be wondering what he has to do to get a decent run in the team. City have been lacklustre in front of goal for some time now, hitting the net six times in seven games with four of those coming in one match.

Where Johnson goes from here is anyone’s guess. In the post-match interviews at Deepdale, he outlined the need for players that could deal with the challenge mentally. I would guess this means more experience, so be prepared for Wilbraham, O’Neil if fit, and Goldburne, perhaps.

I myself have been toing and froing as to whether Lansdown should fire Johnson. Around six weeks ago I would have said for sure. But now I am undecided. What good would it do with six games to go?

If we do decide to fire him, which I still see as being very unlikely, it would make sense to get someone in for the last six games and to then reassess in the summer.

I am certain that I am still in a minority among the Ashton Gate faithful who are even questioning whether or not our current boss should still be at the helm. The general view is that he should have been fired weeks, if not months, ago.

There was some speculation mid-week that the board may have been convening to discuss Johnson’s future. But, no sooner had the idle gossip found itself spreading around the internet, it was quashed by the club, who released a statement saying it was ‘business as usual’ at BS3.

So, if it is business as usual on Saturday for the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers, what does that mean for our already embittered side? Our last six home matches have seen City draw three times, win twice and remarkably lose just once, so, let’s hope ‘business as usual’ means avoiding defeat. And, who knows, maybe we’ll pick up all three points on offer and give City fans some much needed respite, after what has been a painful season, to say the least.

 

Read more: ‘Anyone can beat anyone on their day’

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