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Post by City 'til we're relegated on Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:55 am

I have felt very concerned about our football side for some time now. I keep telling myself not to be silly, that things might just come good. I believe that we have a group of fine players with plenty of ability. The problem is that this is not enough, and that is why clubs have managers. It is the manager's job to turn a group of players into a team that plays, at least, to the best of their ability. After Saturday, along with the very shaky start to the season and accompanying fall in attendances, I expected to read that City's manager had offered his resignation. Who wouldn't given the circumstances. The directors need to be given an opportunity to publicly back the manager, or accept the resignation. I am. Ever quite clear who our manager actually is. Jim Rollo appears to be our manager at TP, but is said to be a coach. The Director of football seems to be as evident during a match as the named manager, who often appears very low key. A confusing arrangement that I have never know before at City, and I wonder if this could be our problem, lack of clarity. A well defined management system might benefit players and supporters as we move on in this season with a small reward from some not too convincing FA cup matches.

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Post by comrade powell on Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:14 am

The first public response...

http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Sorry-worst-performance-remember-says-Bath-City/story-23606566-detail/story.html

I've defended the club over the past 2 years for this management structure, but I think it has now run its course. As I've posted before, those demanding Adie's departure probably don't grasp his importance to the club, but things need to change quickly on the team front. Like you, Relegated, I would expect a public announcement from the board before Saturday.
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Post by City 'til we're relegated on Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:25 am

Thank you for the link, the words of the management team just sound like an admission of management failure. 'We thought we were well prepared" they clearly thought wrong.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:35 am

At least, he has produced some comments and apologised. However, I am getting a bit tired of this "We don't know what happened" narrative. If, as manager, you don't know why your team is losing games, you aren't fit for your position. Indeed, I would say that this is the major issue - we are two and a bit months into the season and the management still don't know what the team should be or should be doing.

His underhand blaming of the younger players is also appalling man-management as well. I expect their confidence is knocked enough without their manager implying it was their fault.

Also, it's always bloody Britton. Are we seriously expected to believe that Howells has any input at all? Even Yuffie's pic hasn't got any sign of Howells.
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Post by Jon_BOA on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:28 am

Marc Monitor wrote:Also, it's always bloody Britton. Are we seriously expected to believe that Howells has any input at all? Even Yuffie's pic hasn't got any sign of Howells.

I'm not having that at all, when we were flying and in the Conference National, everyone was saying "Adie doesn't do anything, it's Howells who picks the team" as confirmed by a few players as well, however, since Howells got the job everyone has been saying Adie's making the decisions. So which way is it?

Also, as someone who went on Saturday, I frankly couldn't give a (fill in word of choice here) if they issued an apology, or were quiet after the game, I don't want an apology, I want a reaction, starting Saturday.

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Post by yuffie on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:39 am

Marc Monitor wrote:Even Yuffie's pic hasn't got any sign of Howells.

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Here he is walking off just before Britton and Rollo. Couldn't get them all in the same shot.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:58 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:
Marc Monitor wrote:Also, it's always bloody Britton. Are we seriously expected to believe that Howells has any input at all? Even Yuffie's pic hasn't got any sign of Howells.

I'm not having that at all, when we were flying and in the Conference National, everyone was saying "Adie doesn't do anything, it's Howells who picks the team" as confirmed by a few players as well, however, since Howells got the job everyone has been saying Adie's making the decisions. So which way is it?

Well, you can have that as I wasn't one of the people saying the former. However, it does highlight that there is no clarity amongst the supporters about who is doing what especially with Rollo now being so much more visible than the other two on match days. The thing is that, even if the supporters had no idea who was in charge, it wouldn't matter if the players did but I am not sure that they do.
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Post by BenE on Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:58 pm

I personally do not think it is good management /coaching to bring in a player on loan and drop one of your most consistently good performers to shoehorn him into the team. The next week is all back again as said loanee is cup excused. Presumably the consistently good performer will make way again this week.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:59 pm

yuffie wrote:
Marc Monitor wrote:Even Yuffie's pic hasn't got any sign of Howells.

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Here he is walking off just before Britton and Rollo. Couldn't get them all in the same shot.

Yeah, I wasn't counting you as part of any conspiracy Wink but it is just adds to the impression - along with a lack of his comment - that Howells is sidelined.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:00 pm

BenE wrote:I personally do not think it is good management /coaching to bring in a player on loan and drop one of your most consistently good performers to shoehorn him into the team. The next week is all back again as said loanee is cup excused. Presumably the consistently good performer will make way again this week.

Not having been able to see that last few games, the whole loan signing position is completely baffling to me.
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Post by yuffie on Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:15 pm

BenE wrote:I personally do not think it is good management /coaching to bring in a player on loan and drop one of your most consistently good performers to shoehorn him into the team. The next week is all back again as said loanee is cup excused. Presumably the consistently good performer will make way again this week.

Sekani? Rested as he had a minor injury.

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Post by comrade powell on Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:28 pm

Marc Monitor wrote:
BenE wrote:I personally do not think it is good management /coaching to bring in a player on loan and drop one of your most consistently good performers to shoehorn him into the team. The next week is all back again as said loanee is cup excused. Presumably the consistently good performer will make way again this week.

Not having been able to see that last few games, the whole loan signing position is completely baffling to me.

While I hate it, it seems clear that the club uses it to bolster a small squad - by November each year we are sufffering with injuries and rather than promoting, and encouraging, young players from the development squad we bring in these probably-never-will-bes from local league clubs. On the surface, it seems a logical move but we rarely seem to benefit from it and the impression I get is that the parent club calls all the shots. Fair enough, it's their player - but our role seems increasingly to be of giving their doubtfuls some game time.

I wouldn't mind so much if it worked both ways and we were doing the same with these youngsters of ours who are on dual registrations at other clubs. People have questioned why the team didn't stay overnight - I would suggest a far more important detail would have been to have back up for mellor on the bench for such an important game. He could have been sent off after 5 mins. Personally, I think he should have been subbed after the 2nd of his mistakes as his confidence had clearly gone. Why could we not recall Barrington? Does the arrangement with Bishop Sutton (?) not allow this? Was he already cuptied with them?

I found the whole policy crazy...
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Post by Twerton Parker on Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:25 pm

For me this club of ours is at a real crossroads in its season (and possibly for a good many years after, too). We seem to have been reached this point so many times in recent seasons with so many similar topics being posted time after time about what is the best way forward.  In the long term, I wonder how the club is going to survive as by continuing the way it does nothing will change and we'll just continue go round in ever decreasing circles. Perhaps now is the time for a change in management?  Whilst St Albans might suffer the backlash from the East Thurrock game when we play them on Saturday and we get a win, will it be anything other than brief bit of fizz before we revert to our normal performances? I'd like to think it will but after so many false dawns over the years I'm not building my hopes up  

Whilst prior to Bromley (and after a sluggish start to the season) we had gone 8 games undefeated nothing suggests to me that this season is going to produce anything to get exited about.  So what to do?  It has to be a change of management with someone being brought in and given free reign to manage and coach as they see fit.  Sure, the club has next to no budget for this but regardless of that is it currently making the best of what it has got?  

We may not be able to afford a change of management but, in all reality, we probably can't afford not to change either.

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Post by SteveS on Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:31 pm

The way I feel about things is that Adie is basically a good guy and does not deserve any 'stick'. He has always done what he has felt is the best for the club and this has included putting in his own money, although that has backfired to an extent as it puts the club in a very difficult situation at the moment. I have always found Adie willing to talk things over and put his point of view, you may not agree with him but you can discuss things in an amicable way.
The same cannot be said of Howells who in my view seems to think he is right about everything and no body, in particular supporters, should question anything he says or does.
Recently Adie just seems to have run out of ideas and is tired. This does not bode well when it comes to trying to motivate the team. I look at him over the past year and it is like an injured anmimal, you just wish you could put him out of his misery. In some ways I think he would not be unhappy to be sacked but because of the somewhat unique situation at Bath City that cannot really happen, nor would I like to see his time at the club come to an end in such a way.
I do not want to see Adie leave Bath City but I would like to see him move completely away from the playing side and concentrate on helping to sort out the future of the club off the pitch where his business skills would be a great asset. As for Mr Howells I would see no future for him at the club and would bring in someone completely new as I think things have gone so stale that it needs a fresh outlook on the playing front with new ideas and in particular new motivation skills.
As for the chances of this happening? Very low and I fear for the future of the club.

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Post by comrade powell on Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:50 pm

I think you're spot on there, Steve, regarding Adie. The club needs to be very careful if he is burning himself out - something which I think happened previously over the Summer in which he ran the club. I'm convinced this was a major factor in our poor start to that 2nd season in BSP. I'm also sure that the club can't afford to lose his football experience and business expertise.
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Post by Dusty Lynfield on Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:27 pm

I agree with Steve on this too. I think Adie needs to stay, but more on the business side. I am not a fan of Howells and I don't think he does himself any favours hunkering down in the dugout leaving Jim to show the passion. Having said this, I wouldn't want Jim to take over at this time.
I will just have to keep doing the lottery and hope my numbers come up, so I can put a new manager on the pay roll....
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Post by comrade powell on Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:39 pm

Billy Clark?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:05 pm

I have said this before but, for many reasons, Adie Britton needs, at the very least, to get out of the dug-out and in the stands. That way, that would clear up any confusion, not least amongst the players.

If results improve, we know that either Britton's management was wrong or his presence was confusing matters. If results don't improve, then, at least, we know it is Britton's responsibility solely. Decisions could then be made accordingly.

I don't want to see Britton out of a job. I don't want to see anyone sacked really. All I am saying is that, if Britton (and Howells?) being free is what is keeping them in a job, it could be a false economy.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:12 am

To be honest this is one of those situations where it’s almost impossible to say anything which most supporters will deem acceptable. We’ve just lost 7-1 away from home against a side in the league below – Adie or anyone else isn’t going to come up with some sort of Martin Luther King speech that will make us all think everything is hunky-dory.

In amongst the occasional laughable, unconstructive comments, I must admit I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a lot of rational posts on here. There have been other times where we’ve only lost by one or two at home and this place has been a total warzone, whereas what happened on Saturday was an unmitigated disaster and a lot are taking a level-headed look at things. And there have been some good points.

Re this being a freak result – of course it is. We won’t lose 7-1 against a team in the lower league for a while*. People have drawn comparisons between this and Sutton in the trophy – well Sutton was just over 20 years ago. And it was soon after we held Stoke! This was soon after we looked like we had really kick-started our season, particularly defensively. I claimed Basingstoke was ‘one of those things’, being 4-0 down at home so early. Our defensive display, second half especially, was somehow worse, and if memory serves right we had a different formation Saturday to that awful evening back in August.

Does this mean the defeat is acceptable? Absolutely not. The last hour of that game was appalling and too many players had poor games. I remember chatting to Adie a few weeks back in an article comparing football to cricket, he made the point that in cricket you could probably get away with 6/7 players not playing that well as one batsman can smash loads of runs or a bowler can take a load of wickets, giving you a strong chance of winning. In football if the vast majority of your team aren’t playing well, you’re doomed. And the vast majority of our team all produced terrible performances at the same time, I would say eight or nine of them were 5/10 at best. Right through the centre we had little spine – Keary and Gallinagh had ‘mares, Adelsbury has improved a lot in recent weeks but was dismal on Saturday and Kington disappointed. They were easy to carve apart by two lively forwards and an otherwise extremely hard-working side. Are they better than us man-for-man? Well, they’re 10th or so in the league below, so we should be a lot stronger, injuries or not. We certainly weren’t torn apart by Poole, who are walking away with it in the Southern Prem.

As Blain pointed out, the most important thing is a positive reaction to this result. Well, after the Concord and Basingstoke debacles, we kept a clean sheet in our next game, albeit against what I thought was a poor Chelmsford side. We have a home game next against a side that’s made a reasonable start, but surely we can give them a decent game? If we capitulate again I dread to think what the reaction will be on the terraces. Unlike Saturday, the first time I’d left a City game early on my own accord, I’ll have to stand and bear it as well.

We proved in this unbeaten run recently that there is quality in this side. We wouldn’t have lasted eight games without defeat otherwise, particularly with all the injuries we were carrying, and we didn’t just play teams at the bottom. Three of our next four games are at home, we really need to show the supporters that Saturday is behind us. It demands a lot of mental strength. I’m sure some people will moan on the terraces but we have enough vocal supporters to drown it out.

Unfortunately, if we carry on playing like we did on Saturday, then of course something would have to change.

* unless we play the under 16s against Shepton maybe
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Post by Twerton Parker on Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:13 am

As SMJ says, this on-going discussion following Saturday's debacle has been filled with nothing but sensible and rational debate and shows just how much those posting care about the club.

Perhaps the Board have it all in hand but from the outside it appears that nothing is being done to turn things around. I have no doubt whatsoever that Adie's contribution to the club has been massive, particularly from a business point of view.  However, after both his time as manager (which, let us not forget at one point got us up to 10th in the Conference) and Lee Howells' too I can't but help feeling that if they were ever going to achieve something with this arrangement it would be happening by now. The club is many hundreds of thousand pounds in debt and, if I am not mistaken, a previous chairman is also due back next year the £250k he lent the club so, from a finance point of view, something has to be done to start getting on top of things.  

I've no doubt that the Board is busting a gut to keep ensure the club's survival but carrying on with the current coaching regime seems pointless to me.  If we have the players to take the club forward (as most people seem to think we have) we also need someone who can get the best out of them.  As a business operating in a very ruthless entertainment industry the club needs something to make it into an attractive proposition for people to spend their money on and bring the crowds back.  Getting a few hundred more folk to the home games won't prove an instant panacea for the club but surely it will be a step in the right direction?  

A manager (or coach) who can bring out the best in the players so that team starts winning on a consistent basis seems an absolute necessity to me and that is why I, for one, feel that a change of manager/coach to bring about these changes is essential for the club to survive and not plunge it further into the dark hole of ever increasing debt.

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Post by Eddie Hitler on Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:35 am

I’ve given some thought to this – hoping that at some point I would have got beyond the various phases of embarrassment, rage, extreme disappointment etc. Unfortunately I don’t think I will be past it for a while yet, but need to vent my spleen.

Given the performances I have seen to date, I have very little hope for the rest of this season. The fault for Saturday’s result has been debated long and hard and I don’t intend dwelling on that. However while East Thurrock seems undoubtedly the worse performance for years, it has come of the back of some damn poor performances just this season, and I can’t see any signs that anyone is doing/can do anything about it. And because of that, I don’t actually see it as a freak result as there have been several almost equally bad performances.

I am currently absolutely dissatisfied by the performance of the manager and his assistant (whichever one is which) - they have not been able to address the issues to date, and I see no indication that they have the competence to deal with them in the coming weeks. If they are unable to influence the course of a single game, how can they come to terms with a season?
The board and Chairman (as much as I like and respect the ones I know) are conspicuous in their silence. As was mentioned on another thread last week, we have heard almost nothing about all the important issues surrounding our club, on or off the pitch.

Overall I’m very disheartened by things at my club – and don’t forget that board, management and players – this is my club! I am a Bath City supporter forever and I don’t need apologies from the current trustee of my team because I know he will never care as much as I do about my club.
All football supporters have good and bad times, most seasons start with raised expectations which for the majority will normally not be fulfilled, however supporting football is all about belief and hope. With the current management I have neither.
Without a satisfactory off-pitch response to this current debacle, which must include real change, not just a “we’ll do better next time” response, I cannot attend another game. That grieves me because I want to support the players as I know players will respond to that support, but I can’t see another way of demonstrating my frustration and anger to the club.


Last edited by Eddie Hitler on Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:35 am

To be honest this is one of those situations where it’s almost impossible to say anything which most supporters will deem acceptable. We’ve just lost 7-1 away from home against a side in the league below – Adie or anyone else isn’t going to come up with some sort of Martin Luther King speech that will make us all think everything is hunky-dory.

I agree but an apology, an admittance of responsibility and an analysis of what went wrong would go a long way. The former are really sops to the supporters but the latter, to me, is a big omission.
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Post by yuffie on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:06 pm

Well, we've had the first and I would hope the third is happening but there is no reason for that to be made public.

The second is more of a matter of opinion, as given the line-up and formation had worked perfectly well in previous games, I think the blame lies much more with the players than the management.

Yes, you can argue they should have changed things quicker but even at 2-1 down did anyone really expect it to get so bad so quickly. The soft penalty was a real setback and clearly a change was imminent as the 4th went in, with Stearn getting ready to come on. And even after he did, I don't think he'd touched the ball before it was 5-1.

It is very easy to say with hindsight they should have done this or that but if a team gifts the opposition three goals in about 12 minutes even the best manager in the world is going to struggle to do anything about it.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:19 pm


yuffie wrote:Well, we've had the first and I would hope the third is happening but there is no reason for that to be made public.

Him saying "we cannot understand why it happened as it did" and "It was absolutely shocking but equally as hard to explain why it occurred." suggests it isn't happening.
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Post by Eddie Hitler on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:53 pm

You can attempt to put a logical, rational, fair and reasonable explanation for these things and the way the season is going (and I am one of the worse people for doing that normally), but when it's your team it's about what the heart feels, and I feel totally pessimistic about the rest of the season like I've never felt it before, in 45 years.
All I'm asking is for the hope of the odd outstanding performance, good home result, or bit of magic which might salvage things, but I can't see it happening.
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