Stuart McCall owes every single Bantam big time
Thursday morning, and I am still absolutely livid with our manager and his inability in cup games. I was sickened at the weekend losing to Yeovil, and now the Glovers have drawn Man United at home (a local game for most Man U fans), Stuart McCall has single-handedly cost City a hell of a lot of money. He really owes us big time. I've been a City supporter since the 80s, and most seasons we are served drivel if we are honest to ourselves, that is just who things are supporting city, no matter what, we are still here. We get to look forward to playing teams like Accrington Stanley or if we're lucky a team like Blackpool if they go through a bad patch on and off the field. Our best hope in cup draws is we might get an uninspiring club from the Championship or we get a very small club in the basement division and be beaten by them, well, under McCall, that is a cert. We never get the good draws as Leeds do, and to an extent Huddersfield. We get the poop end of the stick when comes to the random luck, and if you call it random, there is a pattern to our opposition, either who they are like Accrington twice last season, or it's always a team that we are playing the week before or after. I remember going to watch us against Chester twice in the space of a couple of days about 10 years ago.
Is it a consolation that Leeds were knocked out to Newport County and now the exiles have been draw at home to Spurs? Well, no, not really. With City out of the cup, I could have jumped on the 229 into Leeds, get a couple of bevvies and that would have been a good day out and get to see a quality team against a team with a lot of history. Spurs would have more than likely have won. I love my football no matter who is playing, especially if it is a cracking game, and for me, Elland Road is a great, good old fashioned stadium with character. This may upset a few people, but I've been to Elland Road a few times and watch Beeston United and I've done the same at the McAlpine and watched the Terriers over the years. Well, on the spur of the moment if it costs the same or less to watch a match in a higher division, only an ignoramus would spurn the chance. I'm just starting to learn to become less rigid in the matches I watch and the grounds I visit. Huddersfield and Leeds I no longer see as Rivals, how can we when we never damn play them. We've only shared the same division as Leeds only twice in the last 28 years. In total we've shared the same division 10 times in the past Century. Even Town we have only been in the same division in 22 seasons overall, the last over a decade ago.
So please don't blame me now that with Huddersfield Town, who are now a Premiership club are drawn to Birmingham City in the 4th round of the FA Cup, I really am very tempted to go and attend the match. I was seriously thinking of driving down to Yeovil and catch City down on the South coast, but 1 thing put me off. McCall. I really am serious. That was the only reason, as was the only reason I didn't attend the play off final last year.
I hope McCall reads this article; I really do and takes a good look at himself as City manager. Yes, we went unbeaten at home in the league last season, currently we have the best away record in the 3rd tier of English football, and yes, we are in the play off spots under McCall for a 2nd season running. If I wasn't as passionate about my club, I could write a good few articles about Stuart McCall and his achievements and how wonderful he is, it really wouldn't take much work to find something positive about the ex city battler, but at this minute, I feel betrayed. I feel let down by one who says the amber and claret runs through his blood. I really am sick of what we are constantly served up season in and season out, so when we are presented with an opportunity such as Yeovil, we need to kick the dog in the balls and don't stop until the terrier is meowing like a little pussy.
Instead, as has become a very common pattern, McCall has his side beaten before kick off, at what point we are defeated I don't know. Is it the week before? Is it on the coach down? Or is it when McCall opens his mouth before kick off in the changing rooms? Just like how we throw games away just after the half time team talk.
Let's take a look at McCall's cup record in both league and FA, and hopefully there will be a little bit of realisation within Valley Parade if they care to read some facts about the one that leads our teams, and we are always dished up the same old spiel at the end of every single game against much 'inferior' opposition. For the good things McCall can do, his weaknesses are all too evident and in my eyes, doesn't make him good enough to lead City. City legend or not. I don't care who the manager is, be it an ex City legend, or someone who has Beeston tattooed on his forehead with Billy on his knuckles. If he's good enough, he's good enough, if not, let's not kid ourselves and live on hope. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see City win silverware with someone like Stuart McCall, Jamie Lawrence or Dean Windass in charge. In fact, I would love Windass in charge, no matter how good or bad we did such as is the love and respect I have of the guy. So here is McCall in a nutshell as a City cup manager.
3rd round FA Cup
1st round League Cup
FA Cup we lose to a poor man's Yeovil 2-0, not a standard Yeovil side, but the poor man's version who only 24 hours earlier couldn't name a starting 11 due to injuries and suspensions and have about as much money as Charlie Chaplin's tramp. 3rd round might sound pretty impressive for McCall, but look at who we had, a struggling poor 4th division Chesterfield In the first round who more or less matched us and made us earn the win AT HOME, who at the time were on a streak of 2 wins in 17 games, then we Had Plymouth Argyle, one of the worst teams in the 3rd division looking at relegation who had beaten us not long before as they propped up the table like a toilet brush on the floor. League cup we lost at home to Doncaster who were a team who had just been promoted from the 4th division, a team who had only won once in their first 8 league games, that once was at Valley Parade.
1st round FA Cup
1st round League Cup
Accrington Stanley beat City in both cups last season, both home and away. This was a team that had won 1 league game in their opening 6 in the 4th division and with the cup win over City, that made 2 wins in their first 9 games of the season. Their FA Cup win was their only win in a run of 8 games. Honestly, McCall, what am I supposed to say to that? Am I seriously expected to pay my hard earned cash to see you turn my beloved club into this every single season you manage us?
1st round FA Cup
1st round League Cup
Knocked out by 2 Nottingham teams may not sound too bad, but just adds to McCall's form. Forest beat us 3-0 which was their only win in their opening 5 games, so a team on poor form. We provided 4th division County their 2nd win in a run of 10 games.
2nd round FA Cup
1st round League cup.
Ok, 4th division City beat 3rd division MK Dons at their ground in the first round of the FA Cup, then we lose at home to Leyton Orient, a team who then went on to get 3 draws and 7 losses in their next 10 games. Neither of these ties were glamour ties and shows the usual luck City has in draws. The league cup we lost 4-0 to Huddersfield Town. Thanks for that Stuart, another thing you can brag about in your cup exploits. It wasn't long after kick off; I wish I stayed home that day.
2nd round FA Cup
1st round League Cup
We beat the mighty 4th division Chester City by a massive margin of 1-0, a team on a mini run who had only won once in 6 attempts at the time. We then went on to lose to Tranmere Rovers 3-0 at home. To this day, the 1st round of the League Cup still hurts, and it probably was an omen of McCall and what to expect from him in cup games. McCall's first cup game as City manager we were pitted against Wolves away, a tough, but exciting tie. There was something in the air that we might make Wolves earn the win and a gut feeling we could actually cause a bit of an upset before kick off. They went 2-0 up with goals either side of half time only for Kyle Nix to pull 1 back with 15 minutes to go and we really were coming into our own. Then one of the biggest things to disgust me from any City manager, McCall then decided City were better off not getting the equaliser and pushing the game into extra time. We had a chance to win that game, but McCall threw in the towel and he turned yellow. He chickened out basically. Maybe you could forgive his naivety, but from a player that was a known battler and fighter, that wasn't a trait you would link with Stuart. McCall was for City what Roy Keane was for Man U.
So if you want to read the main tabloids, written by yes men, scared of saying things because they might upset a couple of die hard McCall fans, or upsetting a couple of individuals at the club and losing out on interview, they never get angry when City lose or are never on cloud 9 when we win. Then forget everything you have read right now, erase and re-write history and pretend McCall beat Yeovil and all those other teams and that he is the perfect person to take us up. If you have as much passion as I do for City, then sit back, and think about who we have leading us. Look at what he has achieved, and look at what he simply can't do. What outweigh what? His abilities or his inabilities?
Stuart McCall owes every single Bantam a massive apology, in fact; he owes us more than that. He single-handedly has cost Bradford City a good several hundred thousand pounds with the prize money Yeovil has picked up, then there are the gates. City would have guaranteed to have got 25,000 bums on seats and I suspect the tickets would have been £20 minimum. Throw into that a most likely televised game just because it's Man U and a team known for cup upsets of recent seasons, that would have been a tie most likely a cert on BT Sports as we all know the BBC hate promoting anything Bradford related. How much has McCall cost City just by that 1 game? Half a mill? 3 quarters? That isn't taking into consideration previous cup matches in both FA/League ties.
McCall splits opinion, and my opinion keeps changing. Overall I really don't know if I want him as our manager, but I do know we have gone backwards and the teams he has produced this past season and half are inferior to what we have watched the previous 5 seasons and more. I look at things he has done, then I look at things that he has done (and continues to do). For me, it happens too many times we lose to the crap team. For the love of God in me I have no idea how we are 5th in the table as we have played poorly most of the season. But 1 thing I can never forgive McCall for is taking away so much from me as a supporter such as the Man U home tie. City may never be paired up again with probably the biggest club in the world in my lifetime. I wouldn't have cared if McCall had us losing 0-7 against Jose's lot, as long as we had a team that had a go and tried. But that is something we will never get to experience, possibly never will.
I personally don't think McCall is the right man to lead the Bantams and his appointment is more political and commercial than anything else, remember, at the time he was the 3rd coach, not assistant, not the 2nd assistant, but 3rd assistant to a Scotland team that couldn't even qualify in the women's or kids' game. When the money dried up at Motherwell, he almost relegated them. We may be 5th, but too often this season we are fluffing in games you would expect our youth team to win. We choke to easy under McCall, and those games against the bottom of the table will be the difference in us not going up. Just remember the season when McCall was sacked first time, we only finished 5 points above relegation to the conference and we had the 3rd worst goal difference in the 4th division. If McCall had stayed to the end, 2 games we had won under Peter Taylor, if we lost them under McCall we would have been relegated from the football league for the first time in our history. That is the truth of the matter. We have gone backwards under our current manager than our previous one, even though we have much more funds to play with from new owners. Is it time to promote Abbott into a director of football? After all, he is a better manager than our, erm, manager.
It will only be a matter of time that opinion will swing again and patience is tried thin, and not just from the fans. We might finish in the play offs and then everyone will say a great season forgetting those losses to basement teams and how we have thrown away a golden opportunity. I am not writing this article to put pressure on McCall, I will never call for a manager to be sacked, not even if we lose every single game in a season, we made our bed, we need to sleep in it. I am not having a moan on a whim, but there will be thousands of Bantams out there thinking this. Thousands just accepting for the rest of our lives we should just accept lower division football and get beaten by even lower division team. But for the first time as a fan, I am thinking a director of football is the direction to go under McCall. That is, if Abbott isn't doing part of that role unofficially.
League 1 is there for the taking this season. We lost and drew to Oldham, lost to Bury, AFC Wimbledon and Plymouth, that is 14 points ****** down the drain to teams at the bottom. That 14 points would have had us 6 points clear at the top of the table. Even if we had won 2 of those we would be joint 2nd just 2 points off top spot. We are not talking the odd slip up here. Would we have got 1 point from those 5 games if Parkinson was still in charge, or how about this, Rosler? Tell me now we are serious contenders to go up when push comes to shove under McCall? And that is before we start looking at the home games this season.
One question to Stuart McCall, that is, if you feel worthy of answering one of City's decades old supporters.....
What hurts more? You personally costing City upwards of half a million pounds in a single Saturday afternoon, OR pushing a supporter of over 30 years to go and watch Huddersfield Town because I'm just fed up of what you dish up and I want to see a Premier league team?
I won't expect an honest answer any time soon on City's official website, but I am suspecting the chairman may have asked themselves questions at some points this season, McCall is trying his hardest not to get City promoted or get us on a good cup run......
From one supporter who is getting fed up of having to settle for the lower quality in football who is now questioning, should I accept results like Yeovil (and Bury and Plymouth and Wimbledon and Oldham and Oldham and Doncaster and that's just this season, I really can go on) and just accept this as normal for the rest of my life? Take Phil Parkinson out of the equation, how often does a Bantam get to witness a Premiership club? I really don't want to change allegiance, but Leeds and Huddersfield are easier to get to, neither of which are the worst City when comes to uninsured drivers, and both places are actually nicer to visit. Bradford has always been my 2nd home because of my grandparents when they were alive, but now I am just tiring. Even tiring of berating the Terriers and Beeston United just for the fun of it. Match day prices at City are extortionate, especially when you realise you can pay the same to watch Premiership and Championship games as to lower division football, and for the record, that is the one reason I no longer go to watch Bradford Park Avenue now or nip over to grounds like the Shay because of the difference in cost to watching teams a good few divisions higher. McCall as a manager makes me realise I support a club that historically belongs in the bottom 2 divisions. I have never felt like this under any other manager even though that is a stark fact about my club, not even through those dark days before and after the Premiership.
McCall is like a wife that you marry and realise after a few years, long after the exciting honeymoon, your true love is actually elsewhere. Is it time for City to get a mistress? (Abbott).