McCall took the Bantams on a pilgrimage
And the pilgrimage was definitely far away from Valley Parade last Saturday. I have followed City now for 3 decades and the patterns are always there no matter what we do, we beat the best and we gift a win to lowly opposition, how we do it? To be fair to this 1 result, City have been playing very poorly for a couple of months, we have grinded out wins we should have either have drawn or lost, for me we are just not at the races this season, irrespective how anyone outside of Valley Parade reads the 3rd division table. Stuart McCall is typical Bradford City, he is a battler, he's been through everything with City, the good and the bad, and now as a manager in his second spell, I see the Bantams are a more typical City than we were under Parkinson. Having waited a couple of days for the result to sink in, I didn't really want to berate the squad or coaches in a knee jerk reaction, but I genuinely feel we have gone backwards in this past season and half.
I would be a fool to say we have gone backwards across the board, under McCall and Abbott, I think they have signed some exciting forwards and I see more goals in the recent additions than any of Parkinson's signings, but they still pale in comparison to the pairing of Hanson and Wells, both of whom were signed by McCall and Jackson. Stuart and Greg have signed some strong players across the pitch with Vincelot and the return of Law to point out but 2, but the defence really is questionable. Darby I thought was a wonderful player to have in the squad, but his position has been filled by McMahon so not much of a loss there, but I feel McArdle is a massive loss we haven't replaced and it has been showing all season, and the midfield I just feel is lacking, quite can't put my finger on it, but just feels lacking. The squad we have under McCall in the 3rd division which money has been spent on, is it any better than freebies assembled under Parkinson in the 4th division? Individually we have made some great progress. I feel our midfield needs to be a priority that can protect the back four and supply the strikers, and a defence that can concentrate for 90 minutes, so was surprised when McCall has come out recently saying his priority is another forward because I really don't think we are getting the best out of our strikers and are used to their best.
Briefly the game
The less said the better. At home to bottom of the table Plymouth Argyle, we had 60% of the possession, 19 shots compared to the Pilgrims 6 and we had 9 corners to their 1, we also had a Tony McMahon penalty saved in the 2nd half, so when Jake Jervis put his lowly away side in the lead at Valley Parade, I was just thinking, here we go again. Jervis scored his 3rd of the season and his first for 3 months. Let's just give Plymouth a bit of credit here too, unbeaten now in their last 3 away games in the league and on an unbeaten run of 6 games in all competitions. We have 3 very tough games coming up, and a typical City I have more confidence in getting a result over than home to bottom of the table teams.
Half Time City 0-1 Pilgrims
Jake Jervis (35)
Full Time City 0-1 Pilgrims
No City players booked again. We have not received a yellow card in our last 3 games and just 1 in our last 5 matches in all competitions, is this a reflection of our fight and desire?
Carl Boyeson handed 4 yellow cards to Plymouth players, 3 of which were in the space of 8 minutes just after the half hour mark. Boyeson has now handed out 40 yellows and 6 reds this season in 15 games.
Bradford City 4-4-2
Colin Doyle, Matt Kilgallon, Tom Field (46 Tyrell Robinson), Nat Knight-Percival, Tony McMahon, Jake Reeves (65 Alex Gillead), Romain Vincelot, Nicky Law, Paul Taylor, Charlie Wyke, Alex Jones (71 Dominic Poleon)
Plymouth Argyle 4-1-4-1
Remi Matthews, Gary Sawyer, Ryan Edwards, Sonny Bradley, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Yann Songo'o, Lionel Ainsworth (64 Antoni Sarcevic), Joel Grant, David Fox (83 Nathan Blissett), Toumani Diagouraga, Jake Jervis.
2017/18 City Scorers
7 - Charlie Wyke
5 - Alex Jones
4 - Dominic Poleon, Romain Vincelot
3 - Patrick Omari
2 - Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Paul Taylor, Matt Kilgallon
1 - Shay McCartan, Jacob Hanson, Tony McMahon, Adam Thompson, Alex Gillead
Wigan Athletic (A) Sat 18th Nov
Scunthorpe United (H) Tues 21st Nov
Shrewsbury Town (A) Sat 25th Nov
Plymouth Argyle (H) Sat 2nd Dec
Rochdale (H) Sat 9th Dec