Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson had some strong words to say about his squad in yesterday’s pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s home clash against Blackburn Rovers.
Questions have been asked by the fans in recent times on both the ability, and more damming to the team, the commitment of the players.
In recent past, a manager outing members of his squad have not typically ended well for the aggressor, but in yesterday’s presser, that is exactly what Pearson did.
“There will be changes I can tell you that now.
I talked in the Summer about not wanting to do too much but I may have to amend that, because certain individuals aren’t… on side, and I will do everything I can do get rid of them”
The full-time scenes a fortnight ago at the Ricoh Arena after City twice let the lead slip against 10-man Coventry City to lose 3-2 were unsavoury to a few. After being second best in the second half despite a goal and man up; the manner of play was frustrating to the 3,000+ traveling members of the ‘Cider Army’.
Unsettled away fans have given their opinions more than once this season, with the away game at West Bromwich Albion rearing chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt”, as well as a catalogue full of serenades to former players and managers.
I will say now that this is all speculation, and here are the few players that’s name have popped up a few times on this matter.
So, who could be spending the festive season looking for a new club?
Signing originally on loan under Lee Johnson for the second half of the 2018/2019; Palmer has never hit the heights that was expected of him after the conclusion of his temporary switch.
Making a £4,000,000 move from Chelsea that summer, the attacking midfielder started the season well, but fell off just before the busy Christmas schedule.
Always at his best when the team are on the front foot, trying to play that killer pass to energetic, progressive runs in front of him, Palmer’s skill set has been undoubtedly limited since his permanent move due to the team’s defensive ‘style of play’.
Spending the first part of last season on loan at Swansea City; he returned in January playing in all but one match before the season ended. Looking back to his best at the start of Pearson’s reign; playing a major role in the three wins against Middlesbrough, Swansea City and Birmingham City.
Only appearing six times in the League his season; and playing less than 50 minutes since the middle of August; the previously titled ‘Luxury player’ seems that he will be on the way out of Ashton Gate,
It has never really worked at Bristol City for Nahki Wells since his move from Burnley back in February 2020. Signed to aid City’s push for the play-offs, the forward has found goals hard to come by. Netting 17 times in 80 matches for the reds; having previously scored 13 in 26 in the half season before his switch to Ashton Gate, when the Bermudan was on loan at QPR.
A finisher of chances, Wells has scored goals everywhere he has been (excluding his time at Burnley), the forwards lack of confidence in front of goal is clear to see; just look at the misses against Bournemouth and Barnsley. Two chances he would have scored at least one of in his earlier career.
He has only started five league games this season; thankfully opted as a forward rather than being used as a left midfielder multiple times last season, playing 12 games (666 minutes) but has only scored a single goal.
From some supporter’s views, he shows constant disinterest during games; but he has a case like the aforementioned Kasey Palmer; Bristol City currently do not play to his strengths on a frequency that allows him to flourish. Also, at the age of 31, does he really want to be in a struggling team tracking back into his own third than the oppositions?
The local lad who came through the academy, deputising in 2016 against MK Dons, Vyner had a breakthrough season last term, cementing his place in the first team after several loan spells away from the club.
Being utilized at right back, centre back, and in the middle of midfield; Vyner has been a dependable player since the resumption of football after the first COVID-19 lockdown.
A player who has clearly struggled to maintain consistency and from due to his adaptability to play different positions, it speaks loudly that most fans (and probably Nigel Pearson himself) does not know his best position.
Only playing seven matches in the league this season, Vyner was seemingly exiled from first team action, not making four first team matches in succession despite being fit.
There are a few more names being circled by the fanfare created by Pearson in his press conference, with the likes of Jay Dasilva and Saiku Janneh being mentioned by some.
Whoever it is, we will find out in due course; with any departure in January surly leaving the club with a sour taste.