Vital Football

Latest Bristol City News

Millen needs time but has to get back to basics

Millen needs time but has to get back to basics

City boss Keith Millen finds himself under a lot of pressure following a dismal start to the season.

With the club in turmoil following Steve Coppell's decision to bottle out of another challenge, Millen was swiftly promoted from his role as assistant.

Nobody had any problems with his appointment at the time, as he was seen as the right man to stabalise a club in turmoil.

After all, he won five games out of nine in a caretaker role following Gary Johnson's departure at the back end of last season, so he's shown that he's got something about him that suggests he is up to the job.

Back then, Millen immediately decided to change the system and settled on a bold version of 3-5-2. The leadership of Louis Carey orchastrated the back three with the pace of Christian Ribeiro and Liam Fontaine either side of him.

The tactical change reaped the rewards as Millen claimed 18 points from the nine Championship games left, losing only once. He was largely responsible for lifting the gloom around the Gate.

Fast forward to the present day and I see a good City man who's struggling to emerge out of the shadow of Gary Johnson and Steve Coppell.

Not once this season has he adopted that 3-5-2 system that brought him success as caretaker six months ago, instead he's chosen to go with a ridiculously open 4-4-2 and with square pegs in square holes!

The 4-4-2 was clearly Coppell's influence but the choices such as playing Cole Skuse on the left-wing for the Watford game reminded me of Johnson's baffling tactical decisions that had everyone banging their heads against the wall.

Now, with another must-win home game against Coventry on the horizon - a home banker in previous seasons - Millen needs to get back to basics, and fast.

Get back to the 3-5-2 formation that served him so well last year, dropping the absymal Nicky Hunt, the sluggish Damion Stewart and one of the three holding midfielders (one from Cisse, Skuse or Elliott) would be an ideal place to start the recovery.

Carey needs to come back in to lead the side in central defence, as he's the only natural leader on the pitch after Paul Hartley left for Aberdeen in the summer.

Christian Ribeiro also needs to play. His pace and composure in defence were a real plus point last season, for both player and manager.

We've finally signed a left-winger - a bloody good one at that - in Danny Rose, so unleash him from the left-side with the impressive Albert Adomah on the right. Let them get forward and do what they do best.

Finally, Lee Johnson needs to come back into the midfield.

I never thought I would say this, as I'm not his biggest fan, but he is the only central midfielder currently at the club that can create something and he simply HAS to play.

Millen can't keep throwing money at the team, he needs to work with what he's got. My personal opinion is that he's got a stronger squad at his disposal than in previous seasons but, if he fails to stand up, be his own man and learn quickly then I reckon the fans may turn on him pretty sharply and I dread to think where we might be headed for come May.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Tell us what you think is going wrong at the moment and what you would do to sort it out in the comment box below.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday September 16 2010
Time: 1:11PM


A very nice read Mr Tin, cant argue with you in the slightest way
sam bulge
24/09/2010 17:16:00
Get rid of David James, what a tossa.
24/09/2010 17:23:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Bristol City Articles

No More ******* Bad Language - EFL

The Football League, or EFL for those with a rebrand nature, have called on fans across the country to say no to 'starry' language or no more...

A Festive 10 In 10 From Sky Sports

Sky Sports have announced that they will be screening 19 Football League matches across the month of December in a 'festive football feast' for the fans.

September PotM Nomination - Abraham (Bristol City)

The September nominations for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month Award are in.

EFL Want Homegrown Boost Unless You're Luton?

The Football League yesterday announced plans to inject a £2.25million financial incentive into the Football League pyramid to encourage the 72 member clubs...

Archived Vital Bristol City Articles

Vital Bristol City articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Happy with the arrival of Tomlin?
Suggested By:
Need more8%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Bristol City Results (view all)

Bristol City Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Barnsley (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 5 2016 5:30PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Reading (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 3 2016 3:00PM : Ipswich Town (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Huddersfield Town (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.luigi BCFC3
Vital Football Comment