Despite their recent wobble, Dean Holden will likely be happy with how his first season as the permanent Bristol City head coach has started – particularly given the dismay that his appointment was met with by some parts of the Ashton Gate faithful.
The Robins are sixth through eight games and have begun to develop a clear identity and style of play under Holden – something that was often lacking during Lee Johnson’s tenure.
The City boss appears to have won many fans around, both with his side’s performances on the pitch and his behaviour off it, but it’s important to remember that it’s only October and greater tests are to come.
In today’s FLW Rewind, we’ve rolled the clocks back to the 10th of August to examine the reaction to Holden’s appointment and whether it was justified.
Here’s how City’s new manager announcement was met…
Absolute bunch on muppets!
— Matt Oldfield (@MattOldfield6) August 10, 2020
Mark Ashton. Get out of our club.
— Reece (@bcfcreece_) August 10, 2020
give me a refund on my season ticket
— johnny (@bcfcjohnny) August 10, 2020
Shambles from the board 👎🏻
— Jack Phillips (@jackp_bcfc) August 10, 2020
Mark Ashton Out
— Han-Noah 🇫🇷🇫🇷 (@MassengoSZN) August 10, 2020
Lack of ambition
— Tom_Ferris (@Tom_ferris23) August 10, 2020
While there have been early signs that the appointment of Holden may have been a good call and the City boss has not just proven many of the doubters but in some cases won them round, there is still a strong argument to be made that the reaction was justified.
Context is hugely important here. Much of the frustration among the Ashton Gate faithful was directed at the board and the club hierarchy, as it seems the supporters felt betrayed by the decision and that is understandable.
Are these 12 facts about the Robins’ history genuine or not?
After all, owner Steve Lansdown had claimed after Johnson’s sacking that he wanted the new boss to be a breath of fresh air for the club, so after more than a month of waiting for fans to find out that Holden, who had served as an assistant coach at Ashton Gate for the past four years, had been hired seemed a strange move.
Add to that some of the big names that were linked, including the likes of Chris Hughton and Steven Gerrard, and it becomes clear just why it left many Robins fans feeling bitter.
Holden may continue to impress throughout the season and to win over yet more of the fanbase but, even so, the original frustrations of supporters will remain justified.