It’s really hard watching your own team struggle from defeat to defeat, lurching and stumbling like a punch-drunk boxer.
It’s just as bad watching your local team, a team that you cut your football-viewing teeth on, do the same. Defeat follows defeat, bad performance tripping up over bad performance. That’s what is happening to Bradford City.
Whilst I am a dirty Leeds fan, it was with the Ces Podd era Bantams that I started watching football. Standing in the Kop, where I am pretty sure that they used to open the back gates in the second-half to let people watch for free; although my still-City friends insist the Bovril went to my head.
At the moment the Bantams are a side in ever-spiralling freefall, a run of positive results as rare as hen’s teeth at Valley Parade. It was Unlucky 13 for City today as they crashed to a 3-1 away defeat to Accrington at the Wham Stadium. It was less careless whispers and guilty feet that have got no rhythm, but more a case of poor play that let the Bantams down at Accrington today.
It’s a familiar tale though, one that’s been cried out across this season so far. 13 games in, less than one-third of the season gone and the Bantams find themselves three points from the bottom and a point plus healthy goal difference from safety. 13 games, three wins, one draw and NINE defeats sums up their sorry season so far.
Sorry, yes, but is it a season lost and beyond repair? Is the 2018/19 League One campaign that City are running 1/3 damage done and 2/3 damage limitation and repair to come? In a short statement – no.
Bradford, under the hand of Edin Rahic, are going through the sense of tumult that Leeds United went through under Massimo Cellino. At times, just like happened at Elland Road, the backroom wrangling and interference has taken over the on-pitch action – or so it seems.
Stuart McCall was replaced by the hand-picked Michael Collins who was so far out of his depth that you couldn’t help but feel pity for him. He lasted six-or-so games, being replaced by David Hopkin. Hopkin’s start hasn’t provided that lift that might have been expected, City sliding ungraciously into relegation reckoning.
Listening to match commentary on BBC Radio Leeds told its own sorry tale this afternoon. One voice on the commentary team said that the players needed to play more for each other, that they needed to be tighter as a side. That has been obvious over the last two games where Oldham (4-1) in the Checkatrade Trophy and Accrington Stanley (3-1) in the Sky Bet League One have rent City asunder.
Unfortunately, it’s been a sorry start for the Bantams and a start that doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. Forget about buying players in January, City might want to just look into the chances of buying themselves some luck because at the moment they don’t look to have any. Will they go down? No, they are too good for that. But it is still going to be a season of struggle for the West Yorkshire side and their fans.