Friday, 27 November 2009

Tits to beat Tits

Bristol City: get on and get on fast.

I got to work today and saw that the Titties are 23/20 with William Hill to beat Sheffield United tomorrow, which surprised me. I’d have had them even money at best, so I was even more surprised to see in the RP that most high street bookies are going odds against, the biggest of which was Coral’s 11/8 and that our price was basically the worst on the high street! The 11/8 has now been clipped, but you can still get a best price of 13/10 from Coral and you should do so.

Here’s why. United are playing like tits, that’s there for all to see. Last season we had the best away record in the league and the second best defence, but this year Blackwell’s lost the plot with a string of poor signings, coupled with terrible tactics and genuine bad luck in suspensions and injuries. Our form this year is shocking; we were bottom of the form table until we scraped a 1-0 win on Saturday to bottom of the league Peterborough. We weren’t great and if it weren’t for a crap penalty which Bunn saved, they’d have got a point. We are awful and you ought to be looking to lay us every single week until Blackwell (left) goes (more on this later).

Bristol City were also a bit ropey at the weekend, in losing 4-1 away at WBA. Overlooking that defeat to a decent side playing well, we have to go back to September 26th to get a defeat. They’ve held Newcastle to a goalless draw at St James’ Park in that time and in Nicky Maynard, they have a genuine goal threat. They’ve notched in eight of their last nine games (the one game being the 0-0 with Toon) and as we’re utterly awful, one goal is all they will need to score to see us off.

Historically we do okay against them, but only at home. We thumped them 3-0 not long back (but we had Beattie back then) but again, that was at the Lane. We haven’t beaten them at Ashton gate in the last eight attempts and you have to go back to 1971 to get a Blades win there and that was the year we won promotion to the old top flight (when we were actually pretty good).

We’ll likely be handing a debut to a new Goalkeeper (not good for an already shaky defence) and we’ve got some massive centre half in on loan from Fulham. If he plays, read as above. Our other central defensive options are the embarrassingly slow Jonathon Fortune and the embarrassingly awful Andrew Davies on loan from Stoke. I’m not sure if either of those will even be fit. Naysmith is still a couple of weeks away, Geary’s coming back from two years out injured and Kilgallon hasn’t been the same since the transfer rumours (and to be fair, he’s also carrying a knock).

If you pushed me for a correct score bet, I’d go 2-0 (9/1 widely available on the high street, better online) but that’s a little bit guessy and is more a gut feeling than anything else. The 13/10 about the win though, that’s just ridiculous. I can’t see how anyone can offer odds against, I really can’t. It just screams value. GET ON.

The other thing I’d like to draw your attention to is Victor Chandler’s “Next Manager To Leave Their Post” market. The atmosphere at the Lane is frosty and it’s getting to how it was under Robson, before the protests began. There have been a few minor protests already, though nothing serious. Blackwell is under huge pressure and rightly so, as he’s turned a side around from just missing out on automatic (and just missing out in a play-off final) to a side that look like they’ve never met each other but who now want to play hoofball. It is not sufficient to blame injuries, as he is the one who has sold all our fringe players (and some of our first team too) leaving us with a squad unable to cope with one or two absentees. It’s also him to blame for the ache in my neck, caused by watching horrendous hoofball. He has an excuse every week, which is not going down well with the fans, we'd rather see him man up and admit we're shit, before trying to set it right.

Still, there are other under-pressure managers out there, what’s so attractive about 7/4? Sturrock at 4/1 could be a better option? What swings it for me, is the takeover talk. There have been rumours now for months, that Red Bull were looking at taking us over. That could be dismissed easily enough, but Kevin McCabe has openly admitted that he is looking for outside investment and if you think about it, the goings on at the club over the last year really do point to a takeover. Why would a club with serious promotion aspirations, sell their best player to Spurs for four to six million pounds AND his ready made replacement for another two million? Why have we continued to sell the likes of Cotterill, bringing in loan players to replace them? The word “reprofiling” has been used from the day we lost in the play-off final. Why are spending money expanding the ground, when we won’t invest in the playing staff? We’re trying to make the club an attractive prospect for a buyer, by reducing the wage bill, getting the bank balance into the black, improving the ground and showing what a generally wonderful investment we are, with things like our World Cup 2018 stadium bid.

The clincher for this, is the appointment earlier this week of Trevor Birch (right). In case you don’t know who this chap is, he’s our new Chief Executive. What has he done in football? After a modest playing career, he got involved in accountancy and oversaw the Chelsea takeover (Abramovich), helped Leeds wipe their debt and prevented administration, before overseeing their takeover and was also lined up to appear on Southampton’s board, had their takeover gone through, which it didn’t. Can anyone see a theme here?

I guarantee our new Chairman, whoever it may be, will not want to watch ugly, losing football. That means the end of our favourite Keith Chegwin look-a-like. 7/4? Get on.


TheHat said...

Someone else has tipped up Bristol City on the blonde forum, and I was reading this at the same time. I'm now convinced, I'll have a few pennies.

moDtheGod said...

Well would you believe it? Henderson picks today to score the first hat trick of his career and despite our best efforts to chuck it away, we secure three points with a last ditch winner.

Think I'll tip our opponents every week, from now on.