Date: 20th January 2018 at 8:15pm
Written by:

If I am honest, I’m getting a bit fed up of the noise coming out of Valley Parade regards the quality of the football being played. The Chairmen, McCall and more recently Poleon are banging the drum we are playing well and they can’t understand why some fans are upset. Well let’s put it this way. We work all week, we spend our wages on bills, petrol, food and after a long week there is little to look forward to. Football is a very expensive hobby, we PAY to watch you, we PAY to go and support McCall, so we have a right to be upset after we spend money, be it a small amount, a few hundred quid or a few thousand. Poleon, McCall et all owe the fans. I wouldn’t go and pay to watch a crap film, I wouldn’t go and buy a stale loaf of bread and I wouldn’t accept a cloudy pint of ale at the pub, so why do you think it is ok for you to delude the ones that pay your wages. That is why McCall owes us, that is why the players owe us, and to a lesser extent, the chairmen. At the end of the day supporters are customers, if you lie to customers too many times, well, it is never good medium to long term. Without the support, you will see City’s attendances drop to about 8000 before the cheap season ticket scheme came in, Huddersfield Town have great value season tickets, Beeston United are traditionally the big club to attract roving fans in West Yorkshire. It really is time they woke up to the realisation that we’re not playing well, the players and manager AREN’T delivering and let’s hope someone with a big set try and tackle the quality that is being dished up this season.

So as the game progressed away to Bristol Rovers, it was ending up as usual City of late against a team towards the bottom end of the table, to be honest, this is what I expect under a McCall lead Bantams. Rovers had a few shots on goal and had over half the possession against a team. Even the bookies didn’t fancy city getting odds at better than double for a Bantam win. It was looking throughout the first half that is a case of ‘here we go again’. Without a single shot on goal or even into the heavens way above the crowd with 7 minutes to go till the half time whistle it wasn’t looking too promising at all.

Fortune favours the brave
But I will take that, a nice little gift coming in the form of a handball in the area by one club man Ollie Clarke on 38 minutes. Up steps Charlie Wyke for a much needed penalty and will he register City’s first shot on target in the game? 0-1 the bantams and Wyke’s 13th of the season from a spot kick which resulted from a handball which was questionable if intended or not. It got a little bit better for City in the remaining short period of the first half, just edging over half the possession and registering a 2nd shot (off target) by Tyrell Robinson from close range but the shot was too high. I’ll take that leading into half time. But I really do dread the start of the 2nd half under McCall. Can we manage another undeserved win? Hopefully.

What is it with McCall and the start of the 2nd half?
Yep. Yet again, we relinquish the lead quite early in the 2nd half, not for the first time under the current manager. I really don’t know what McCall says in the half time interval, but he really needs to look at how the team react straight after his team talks. It does beg the question if he has had the 100% backing of the dressing room this season. Just 8 minutes this time for City to concede in the 2nd half. Ex Eastleigh defender, Welshman Joe Partington has got onto the score sheet for the first time since October 2016 in the Conference and his first in the league since 2008, this time the goal coming after a set piece. Partington has now hit double figures in league games. Can McCall get the Bantams to respond? I just wish we had a Stuart McCall on the pitch this season. This early 2nd half period is something McCall needs to acknowledge before he can tackle it.

Come on Stuart, where is the McCall of old?
Another game we are getting outplayed by a team much lower than us in the league standings. We haven’t exactly put the reserves out, we have put out a relatively decent team. Surely we just need a bit of a spark and nick another win just like we did at Portsmouth. Maybe, just maybe we will scrape a draw against a lowly placed team? Nah, that would be too good for us at the moment. Nat Knight-Percival fouls in the penalty area conceding a penalty. With the first controversial penalty, the Pirates may feel a bit vindicated. Lines puts it in the back of the net for his first goal of the season on 84 minutes. 3 minutes later Sercombe puts the game to bed making it 3-1 with his 10th of the season.

If you haven’t seen Bradford City before the past month, you would expect the Bantams to be in the relegation mix. Have we been hitting above our weight under McCall in the first half of the season and what we are seeing now is our true standard? We are not talking about the odd one or 2 performances, or even the odd one or 2 performances against the ‘lesser’ teams. In the first half of the season we were winning games we shouldn’t have been, still getting outplayed, but somehow managing to get those 3 points. Is a play off spot a true reflection of McCall and his team? With how we have been playing for the last month, well more, I would be surprised if we finish in the top 7. McCall will come out with the usual excuses, the players will come out saying we haven’t been playing badly and not a single person will take responsibility on the dismal form under the current set up. I really was hoping I could write something positive, something good about McCall this weekend, but after giving him the benefit of doubt on his appointment, and a year ago I said he will be judged on this season not last, it isn’t looking good. McCall took City backwards several years ago. He is taking us backwards again this time around. Please McCall, do the right thing. I would love you as a coach at Valley Parade, even an assistant, but you are not of management material. Let’s hear the excuses about injuries, we are 3 weeks after the opening of the transfer window, it is great having a ‘manager’ unable to accept his failings and blame everything else. Fans and supporters are split over McCall, but after another abysmal weekend, it would be interesting to see if the majority are for or against. Great players don’t always make for good managers, or even mediocre ones. Please let this sunken ship sale on and let’s move on or at minimum, bring in a director of football to manage team affairs.

Absolutely McCawfull.
McCall last kicked a ball in anger for City 15 years ago. That means we have supporters approaching/approached adulthood whose only experience of seeing McCall is as a poor manager. Stuart is in a predicament of destroying his Bradford City legacy. Some older supporters and fans will be forgetting what one player contributed 20-30 years ago as we see what McCall has turned Parkinson’s hard work into. This was one appointment that had fans split on his appointment in 2, 1 half of supporters in hope and the other half in disappointment. It is very very hard to stick your neck our and write positive reviews about the players or manager at the moment. The disillusioned will ignore the majority of the season and just look at league standing, those that have a bit of knowledge of football will look at other things. In the top 8, only Charlton have a lesser goal difference and only 1 other team in the top 12 have conceded more than City in the league. In the top 6, we are the only team to lose at least 10 games in the league, the next is 6th placed Charlton with 8. If McCall fails in the play offs for a 2nd season running or if he fails to make the play offs, would we see a change. For me that would be too late as looking at the bottom of the Championship, there will be some big clubs coming down next season with the likes of Birmingham, Hull, Sunderland looking likely candidates and Bolton and Reading are looking over their shoulders. I really am starting to think McCall is David Moyes in disguise

Result
Half time Rovers 0-1 City
Wyke (38 pen)
Full Time Rovers 3-1 City
Partington (53), Lines (84 pen), Sercombe (87)

Card watch
No city players booked.

Ref watch
Lee Swabey had a bit of controversy in the match. Ollie Clarke handballed in the area which resulted in a penalty, but it is questionable if he slipped or was tripped and it is questionable if the handball was deliberate. If that was the case, the penalty shouldn’t have been given and city didn’t deserve to have their 1 goal lead as Rovers were the better team overall. At that point, City hadn’t had a single shot, not even off target. Swabey only handed out 1 yellow card, just before half time to Rovers’ Tom Broadbent, his 3rd of the season. To date, Swabey has handed out 35 yellows and 1 red in 10 games this season.

Attendance
9064

Line ups
Bristol Rovers 4-1-2-1-2
Adam Smith, Tom Lockyer, Tom Broadbent, Marc Bola, Joe Partington, Liam Sercombe, Ollie Clarke (Bernard Mensah 81), Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair, Ellis Harrison (Ryan Sweeney 90), Rory Gaffney (Tom Nicholls 69)
Unused subs – Sam Slocombe, Lee Brown, Dominic Telford, Byron Moore

Bradford City 3-5-2
Rouven Sattelmaier, Matt Kilgallon, Romain Vincelot, Nat Knight-Percival, Jake Reeves (Callum Guy 72), Nicky Law, Timothee Dieng, Alex Gilliead, Tyrell Robinson, Charlie Wyke, Paul Taylor (Dominic Poleon 72)
Unused subs – Lukas Raeder, Shay McCartan, Daniel Pybus, Daniel Devine, Jordan Gibson

2017/18 City Scorers
13 – Charlie Wyke
6 – Dominic Poleon, Paul Taylor
5 – Alex Jones, Romain Vincelot
3 – Patrick Omari, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Matt Kilgallon, Shay McCartan
2 – Tyrell Robinson, Alex Gilliead
1 – Jacob Hanson, Tony McMahon, Adam Thompson, Timothee Dieng
1 – Own goals, Aristote Nsiala (Shrewsbury Town)

Upcoming fixtures
Rotherham United (A) Tues 23rd Jan
AFC Wimbledon (H) Sat 27th Jan
Oldham Athletic (H) Sat 3rd Feb
Bury (H) Sat 10th Feb
Charlton Athletic (A) Tues 13th Feb

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