Date: 10th April 2017 at 12:49pm
Written by:

It is almost a year ago that we were about to set into the unknown, German owners coming in, they may not be multibillionaire Arabs that would give complimentary Lamborghinis to the man of the match each week, but promised to be able to take City further than Rhodes and Lawn, both of whom we are eternally indebted to. We knew nothing of the 2 Germans heading into Bradford, apart from they weren’t publicly backing our most successful manager of recent times. What a great first action (insert sarcasm here), create instability and let Parkinson walk and lose the success we had built up and then replace him with one of the most useless managers we have had in recent times and could only manage to be the 3rd assistant for a poor Scotland team.

Parkinson got us to Wembley twice in 2013, League Cup runners up, I still can’t believe it to this day how on earth he managed that, promotion a couple of months later. What had McCall done? Almost got us relegated from the football league that’s how I remember it, I know that is probably very harsh, but that is how little I wanted McCall back last summer. Stuart did well at Motherwell initially and then floundered like a dyeing clown fish when the funds dried up. Oh boy, I really wasn’t wanting McCall returning to West Yorkshire let alone BD8.

Method in their madness?

Now we see a totally different McCall, he no longer comes across as ‘one of the lads’, and this time seems more focused, and well, to better put it, experienced. As a manager he had good times at Motherwell, that was a fresh start and a totally new environment to learn from, this time in Scotland he was a manager of a club rather than thinking of himself AS the club. In the 2012/13 season, yes, that famous season, McCall was voted the SPL Manager of the season, and to be honest, he needed it as many feared if he failed overall at Motherwell, that could be his managerial career over.

Let’s not kid ourselves totally and look at McCall in those rose tinted glasses, Stuart has inherited a great team from Parkinson with some very strong foundations that managed to get to the play offs last season, all the hard work had already been done, but part of the success this season is McCall’s handling of Mark Marshall, a player that was fed up of life under Parkinson and wanted out. McCall asked for his faith and since then neither has looked back. What a revelation and possibly his most important sole act as manager this season. Some could argue Wyke was a better pieces of business and letting a goal shy Hanson leave, but regards signings and scouting players, is it McCall or Greg Abbott that are getting players on board, either way, a manager is only as good as the back room team he builds up helping him as even Alex Ferguson can attest to.

First spell in charge McCall was held to ransom by Michael Boulding that he would only sign if we signed his brother too, would the McCall of now make the same mistake or tell Boulding to do one? Also the signing of Rehman felt more of a political signing than signing of a player on the back of his ability don’t get me wrong, Rehman wasn’t a bad player. He brought in some decent players such as Peter Thorne and of course James Hanson, both of which proved good for City, but all too often we had some players that you would expect more from like Chris Brandon and Lee Hendrie and it felt McCall couldn’t get the best from 99% of the players at our disposal and things didn’t just seem right in the managing of the players, both senior and youngsters.

Fast forward the clock to 2016. We spent a huge £1 on Colin Doyle, after tax Blackpool could have ended up for 1 boot lace from Aldi for a youth player, what a joke of a fee, but that has to be one of the best £1 buys out there, and I love Pringles when they are on offer. Vincelot was massive for Coventry, look how they miss him now, Knight-Percival is solid, Law had a mixed reaction on his return, but again, his presence is felt. One thing that has to be Parkinson’s Achilles heel is the inability to sign a quality striker, Wells has never been replaced until possibly now with Wyke. McCall has made big decisions about some players leaving like Anderson, a big earner and to be fair a decent squad player, Morais, what a massive quality player to lose, but surprisingly we haven’t missed him, these are big decisions and decisions it appears McCall is making out of vision and not been forced upon him by the situation. Who last summer wanted Hanson, Morais and Anderson to leave this season? But 1 honest question that warrants a honest answer, have we missed any of them?

Yes, McCall will make mistakes from time to time, next season he will, or may go through a sticky patch, then again so did Parkinson and Jewell, but this time around, City are not in that negative decline on and off the field, there is and has been a positive buzz around the club for a few seasons now, McCall has learned the hard way how to manage and how not to manage, maybe the respite from Bradford City as a manager did McCall the world of wonders and I for one can only see a better manager than the Stuart McCall that walked 7 years ago. Next month is it will be 10 years since McCall took up the mantle originally, and I along with many City fans will not celebrate that anniversary, instead I will look at what he has done this season, however the next few games pan out, I for one now will look at McCall the manager in a totally different light. The moral of the story about McCall is to learn from your mistakes, this Stuart McCall is unrecognisable to the one between 2007-2010, and those early failings I am sure many will argue can give us a stronger, better and more successful manager this and coming seasons.

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