Wednesday, 13 February 2019

One Step Forward 10 Steps Back : Bradford City


Ah Bradford City the team that at the moment is driving me insane. It wasn't that long ago I was travelling to Wembley to watch them lose the playoff final against Millwall, since then I don't know what has gone on. Last season we just missed out on the playoffs and since January 2018 and now we are on our 4th manager & one of our joint chairmen have finally left after been a huge factor in the fans turning on the club. This season after buying the players we did in the summer you would think we would be fighting for promotion once again but nope, we have bought players who really don't show the dedication they should for the club which is ridiculous and we are fighting for survival in league 1. It shouldn't be happening but some of the players bought don't deserve the job they have and should have been sent packing by now. The joint chairman Edin finally left the club and honestly things started to get better, we had a brilliant December, but now I really don't know what is going on we seem to take one step forward and 10 steps back.

Take this weekend for example it was our first home game since the 4-3 win against Shrewsbury where we kept fighting to the very last minute and finished with the 3 points to looking lazy and sloppy against Fleetwood where we ended up loosing 1-0. The fans weren't happy and rightly so, after a good few performances once again we had gone backwards and that fighting spirit looked like it had already disappeared, it was like the players were happy to only concede one when we should have gone in fighting and actually got something out of the game. Granted Fleetwood came to slow the game down and spoilt it and you could tell within the first 5 minutes in the game that this was going to be the case, but we should have been one step ahead and actually countered this and made them play a totally different game with us on the front foot. Fleetwood looked in the first 10 minutes they would be happy to leave with a point so why didn't we try attack that, instead there was no threat from us and terrible defending once again meant they got an even better deal and left with all 3 points.

The referee could definitely have done more to punish their time wasting and there were quite a few decisions that once again went against City and weren't given but we are used to this by now, we should know that not all decisions are going to go our way so why not keep playing to the whistle and try calm our tempers, it is that exact reason why so many yellow cards when there is really no need.

I thought the days of hoof ball were over but clearly not as we seem to have reverted back to that too. When we actually play the ball on the floor we can string together some great passes and actually look a strong threat so why don't we do it more often, especially in a game like Saturday when one of Fleetwood's centre backs was 6ft 7, what makes you think that your lone striker who definitely isn't a target man is going to get anywhere near that? In fact the fans actually started shouting who it was going to before the ball even got near him we were just that predictable. It actually started to feel like I was watching tennis at certain points as it was just back and forth.

One other thing I noticed in the weekends game was a total lack of shots from City, again I thought we were over this. Especially with December showing us how many goals we could get if we actually took a chance and gave it a try. We seem to freeze whenever we get near goal again or just don't want to get the ball into the box. With players on the team like Payne, O'Brien, Doyle and Ball we have plenty of players more than capable of getting goals, they have done it on more than one occasion in the season already so why can't they get some form of consistency they should be scoring goals for the fun of it with the quality they actually have.

We really need Scannell back in my opinion as he is a threat down the wing when he is back to full fitness I really do believe that he can really add to the squad. Hopkin doesn't exactly play with wingers but he hasn't really had chance due to injury, at least if Scannell was on the pitch he will run forward and actually put a ball into the box. With us not necessarily playing with wingers we seem scared to put the ball in the box nobody seems to want that responsibility and we end up missing opportunities. But to be honest at times this benefits us because what is the point in putting a cross in when there is no one in the box. This one really frustrates me because why are those players never in the correct positions and why do they not want to take the opportunities. There is no point poor Caddis charging forward to attempt a cross into the box when our striker is just jogging slowly nowhere near where he should be. It is just pure lazy and there are players sat on the bench who would love to get some minutes under their belt and I am sure they could do no worse than the players out there week after week. I can't do with lazy players, there is just no need especially when they let a great shooting opportunity go by.

We have some great players in defence too some good names who really are better than how they are playing this season. The players at the back just look totally lost, I don't know why but they can't seem to communicate between themselves or the keeper either. They are out of place at crucial parts of the game and given away stupid goals to the opportunity. The left side in particular to me looks pretty weak and the lack of communication really shows on this side. Instead of playing out wide the centre back plays it to a crowd of players or back to the keeper when the left back is wide open. The left back charges forward and nobody pulls across to cover so there is a big gap left open. They won't go in for the challenge 90% of the time either they just back off and back off until the opposition is in the box or through on goal. For players of their quality they are caught out and out of position far too many times.

Not only that but they are putting unnecessary pressure on the poor keeper O'Donnell, why play it back when the striker is charging him down when there are players in front of them completely unmarked it is just ridiculous. Then to have a go at O'Donnell for putting the ball out for a throwing is just down right stupid, don't complain when you have essentially caused it. In fact I think that this could be the first ever season where my favourite player is actually the goal keeper, he is the one who has pulled off some great saves and actually kept us in so many games, without him I think we would definitely be at the bottom of the league almost certain to go down he has also definitely been the most consistent in his performances and shows the passion every time he plays in fact it is great seeing him so animated with what goes on at the other end of the pitch and you can see what every City goal means to him.

We did our usual on Saturday too, waited until it was far too late to wake up and look the slightest bit threatening. I don't know why it takes us too long to get into the game but it happens the majority of the time and it is getting ridiculous they should be playing the full 90 mins not just from the 80th minute on. We normally spark up once changes are made (when they eventually are), I though we were out of the stage of leaving it too late for a substitute to make an impact but clearly not. Why only give them 10 minutes to prove themselves when they come on they clearly make a difference so why don't we make it earlier like 90% of other teams do, it will be far more effective.

We have this brilliant skill this year too of making teams look way better than they are. It has happened at quite a lot of games now, teams we should be putting up a fight against and have a chance of getting points from just walk all over us and it is actually embarrassing because we all know we are better than that. Yet against the teams we shouldn't have a chance against we fight and fight and keep it a nice close game, its like we sit back and think we are better than those teams who walk all over us, when in fact we aren't.

I aren't keen on Hopkin's tactics and honestly I know a lot of fans aren't either, it is like the players don't even know what they are doing and I think something needs to be done about this soon or fans really will turn and want Hopkin out, no one wants to play League 2 football again and if something doesn't change soon that is where we are going to end up because if we play like we did on Saturday we will keep dropping points and drop out of the survival race. It is now time for Hopkin and team to try win back the fans and show us what they are really made of. If we do end up losing the next few games it may be the shock the players need but will it all be too little too late.

Valley Parade used to be a fortress, teams would worry about coming here and taking away any points at all and now we are gifting them all 3. It wasn't too long ago we had one of the longest unbeaten streaks at home now look at us we are lucky to even score a goal most home games. Goals in front of the Kop happen a lot less frequently now too and you can tell how happy we all are to see them at that end because when we do score down here it is like we have won a cup final, same when we actually win a game, it means a lot to the fans after the recent troubles and I am now hoping that the only way is up from here and we finish off the season fighting and retain our spot in League 1.

I have always been excited for my Saturdays and occasional Tuesday nights to be spent watching City but that is slowly dying down, why go sit in the cold and watch us give up straight away when I could be doing other things like playing Fifa as City and actually getting a win or even doing housework, which I would gladly take doing over freezing at the stadium watching us look lost for 90 minutes. I know either way I will be getting a season ticket for next season because I love the game and I still do love City but lets hope things change for the better and I am excited to go watch us again, who knows we may also get an atmosphere back if they spark up. So come on City please do something about this and get playing like you should.

See you soon
Lucy

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