Opposing views: Bristol City (A)

Opposing views: Bristol City (A)

Bristol City fans think Colin Daniel is a “hero” but they don’t share the same opinion of Ryan McGivern. Find out why…


About the fans

FORDY 62 – It would have been round about 1987, I walked into my brother’s bedroom and he was watching the vidiprinter. I asked who I should support and he told me Bristol City, because they’re our local club (how messy that could have turned out!). Over the years he wasn’t particularly bothered about football, as were none of my family, but he’d created a monster. Nowadays, I don’t get to go as much as I’d like. Work dictates I only get two in nine weekends off and being based in the West Midlands, I’m more of an away supporter than a home.

WOODSY – I was a Tottenham fan as a kid, as my Dad was. I pestered him for ages to take me to City instead. He did (York at home in 1987) and the rest is history. I was hooked from that first moment.

NUMERO UNO – I started supporting in 1977 when we were in the old First Division.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – It was 1998 and we’d lost away at Wigan, my dad took me that day and I was hooked ever since… It may not have been the most exciting thing ever but, hey what was I to know? City were the start of the long old road which has made friends, ended relationships, given me sorrow and given me joy! It says all you need to know that my first game was an away game…


How is your team faring this season?

On current form we’re as good as anyone and as much as I don’t want to sound arrogant, it’s almost as if I expect us to win every week.

FORDY 62 – We’re exceeding all expectations. On current form we’re as good as anyone and as much as I don’t want to sound arrogant, it’s almost as if I expect us to win every week.

WOODSY – How we doing? Check out the table, my friend… I think a lot of us thought play-offs would be where we’d finish this season. It was a good end to last season, an absolute flyer to this season and the lads have just kept it going. We recruited fantastically in the summer, great team spirit. Beyond my wildest dreams.

NUMERO UNO – Given our strong finish last season I thought a play-off push was realistic. So we are ahead of schedule.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Top of the league and having a laugh! Same spot as last time we met! We’re really enjoying ourselves and we expected to be here or here abouts, I just didn’t think it would materialise as quickly as it did! The cups were fun and a bit of a bonus! It’s not over yet!

Where do you think you’ll finish?

FORDY 62 – I think we’ll finish top unless injuries take their toll on a small squad.

WOODSY – As Fordy said, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win the league now. Definitely top two.

NUMERO UNO – Top two but as we don’t do Championships I think we’ll finish second.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Top! We seem to have the endeavour in our teams mentality that begs for a title!

Who should we watch out for?

Right now, any of them. If that comes across as big-headed, then so be it. The lads are flying, there are potential match winners all over the place

FORDY 62 – Our success is built upon selling Sam Baldock for £1.5m and replacing him with pretty much any player from League One that we wanted – without really breaking the bank. If I had to name a couple I’d probably go with; Jay Emmanuel Thomas – a man with undoubted Premier League class. Corey Smith – he wins everything, he is quick and comfortable on the ball. Joe Bryan – crossing ability like I’ve never seen at The Gate before. It’s made even more sweet by the fact that he’s home grown. It’s probably harsh to miss the others out, but I really could talk about any other member of the squad in such a fashion. Flint, Freeman and Little can consider themselves incredibly hard done by not to have had a mention.

WOODSY – Right now, any of them. If that comes across as big-headed, then so be it. The lads are flying, there are potential match winners all over the place. Special mentions to Freeman, Smith and Ayling, who have been outstanding since signing in the summer. Flint has been a beast all season (no last minute dodgy backpasses for you this year).

NUMERO UNO – Joe Bryan – local lad with a superb delivery from left wing back. Jay Emmanuel Thomas- so much talent. Freeman – makes us tick. Corey Smith – best defensive midfielder in the league. Matt Smith – goal machine. Flint – beast. However our biggest strength is our team ethic.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Freeman, Emmanuel-Thomas and Smith all can cause damage at any given moment!

What are your thoughts on your manager?

I was one of the many that doubted his appointment but now, week after week, I’m living on a staple diet of humble pie.

FORDY 62 – I was one of the many that doubted his appointment but now, week after week, I’m living on a staple diet of humble pie.

WOODSY – I always knew he’d be a top choice for us! I didn’t want him anywhere near my club but I was wrong, badly wrong. Right man, right club, right time. His relationship with Keith Burt (Director of Football) has been instrumental. And, God, did we ever need it to be.

NUMERO UNO – People were underwhelmed when he was appointed. He has a long ball reputation but don’t you believe it. Yes we have height in the side and we are effective at set pieces but we go 3-5-2 and move the ball on the deck very quickly and if you allow us to play, it will be a long trip home. What Cotterill did was sell Sam Baldock for £2m and spend about 75% of it on the best players we faced last year such as Freeman, Little and Corey Smith. So, he hasn’t thrown wads of money about like people think.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Footballing hero Cotts is! Nicest guy you could meet and knows the club inside out being from the area!

What are your thoughts on your board?

Doing so much work in the community to give the less fortunate an opportunity makes me proud to be a Red

FORDY 62 – Our owner – Billionaire Steve Lansdown – has bought Bristol Rugby and the Bristol basketball team. They, along with the football club, all sit under the umbrella of ‘Bristol Sport’. BS have upset a few recently by banning a flag bearing the word ‘Ultras’ for the televised FA Cup game against West Ham, when there had not been a problem with said flag for the past x amount of years. There was also talk of allowing West Ham to bring their bubble machine, which looked set for the go ahead until a pretty unanimous fan backlash. Who ever thought that would have been a good idea? On the plus side, if the manager wants a player, the money is there.

WOODSY – I love Steve Lansdown for bankrolling it, his son, Jon, is in day to day charge – he’s a young lad with lots to learn. Don’t get me started on Bristol Sport.

NUMERO UNO – A billionaire owner who has pumped in £50m to see us get promoted to the Champ, nearly reach the Prem but then take us back where we started! However, he has backed Cotterill and the stadium is taking shape as you will see for yourself. We are run by an Umbrella organisation called Bristol Sport and they seem to have a better knowledge of rugby support than football but that is a work in progress.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – The boardroom always do a splendid job, when we were in a rut we seemed to question them but they always have and always will have the best interests in the club at heart… The vibe off the field that the club give off is exciting! Doing so much work in the community to give the less fortunate an opportunity makes me proud to be a Red, the work alongside those with disabilities and the work with the poorer of us is good too… the stadium development is going great for the Gate!

Any views on Port Vale?

I’ve got a soft spot for Vale, mainly because I hate Stoke…

FORDY 62 – Colin Daniel. Hero. If you’re wondering that the furore will be when his name is mentioned [we covered that cult hero story on OVF here – OVF editor] then please see the Mansfield versus Bristol Rovers game last season! It was made all the more sweeter by the fact he was wearing their kit.

WOODSY – I’ve got three daughters, when they are old enough Colin Daniel can have his pick. I love him. I’ve got a soft spot for Vale, mainly because I hate Stoke. Adams leaving was probably the best thing for you guys, it all seemed a little stale. Rob Page seems like he’s doing a good job so far, good luck to the bloke. Looking at your squad, you’ve got some talented attacking players, maybe not so great defensively. I think City fans can take a good guess as to why (see my answer to the players who appeared for both sides)

NUMERO UNO – I think flirting with the play offs and/or looking over your shoulders in mid-table is about right given your budget, crowds etc. Pope and Birchall have always impressed. McGivern never impressed. Chris Lines simply cannot impress with his Gas background and Colin Daniel doesn’t have to impress anyone here – Bristol City Legend since 1653!

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Colin Daniel!! Absolute hero in my eyes for what he did to the Rovers! Chris Lines is a good footballer, I went to college with him. He has an eye for the goal.

Did you attend the reverse fixture earlier this season? If so what were your thoughts on the game?

FORDY 62 – I didn’t. I was working. It was pretty comfortable though I seem to remember.

WOODSY – Nope. Although sometime in the late 80s/early 90s during a trip to Vale Park I had onions in my Bovril and not in my hot dog. Shoddy customer service.

NUMERO UNO – Couldn’t make Costa Del Burslem on a Tuesday night I’m afraid. But it sounded like you were low on confidence and we won fairly comfortably.

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Yes I did… And what a weird day that was. Your fans are a relatively nice bunch.. So much better bunch than STOKE and as for the game? I thought you were quite narrow and flat but I believe you’d have changed that by now.. It was a comfortable three goal victory for us

Any views on players involved with both sides?

FORDY 62 – Ryan McGivern – we had him on loan from Manchester City and because of that, I thought he’d be good. He wasn’t. He was utter ****. I hope he’s as *** now as he was when he was here. Steve Brooker – we had him off you in 2004. Good striker. Shame about the injuries.

WOODSY – Loved Brooker, if he could have stayed fit for more than five games at a time he’d have been unplayable. McGivern… he’s robbing a living. Struggling to think of anyone else who’s played for both…

NUMERO UNO – Brooker – very good player ruined by injury. McGivern – just played like he was permanently injured!

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – Brooker.. Always gave 100 percent and knew where the net was, Jennison Myrie-Williams… Class on his day always had potential for us and proved it at your club

A score prediction?

FORDY 62 – Let me first point out that I have nothing against Port Vale. I wish you well. But I really think we’ll have too much for you. It’s about time we conceded a goal, it would be fitting if that goal came from the boot of Colin Daniel, in the 85th minute, when we’re 3-0 up. City 3-1 Vale (JET, Smith, Freeman / Daniel).

WOODSY – City 2 Port Vale 0 – Flint, Smith.

NUMERO UNO – 3-1 (Freeman, JET, Smith and Pope).

PETERSTYVARSRIGHTFOOT – 4-1 City.. JET, Smith, freeman, Flint and Daniel for you (even we’d cheer if it was a consolation).