By Mahesh Johal
“The Forgotten Waiting man”
In the early part of the season it was stated that Kyel Reid was the “forgotten man” after Wembley. I understand why he was called this, but I disagree with the statement. Indeed, he was the only player from the play off final team to find himself on the bench during the opening month of the season, but he was never forgotten. Someone with his potential and ability, I would like to think Reid found himself as the “waiting man”.
In previous Midweek Player Focus editions, Jason and Alex have both brilliantly summed up the polarising views on Reid. They talk about his strengths and weaknesses, with Alex in particular raising several points which will be referenced throughout this edition. Written early last season, he stated that, “Whilst the summer has seen many arrivals, none of them have taken the spotlight away from Kyel Reid, who remains the team’s focal point”. Fast forward twelve months and this is not the case anymore.
Enter the building, Mark Yeates. The capture of the former Hornet was another example of the pulling power of our club and manager. Dropping down a division, he talked about our potential and the vision of playing with Bradford City in the Championship. Say what you like about him, but there is no doubting Yeates’ skill; his goal against Carlisle a point of confirmation.
With Yeates pre and early season form at a high, it was understandable why Phil Parkinson favoured the Irishman over Reid. But as last season proved, football seasons are long. Everyone will get an opportunity, and it’s a matter taking it when it arrives. I will reiterate: someone like Reid is never forgotten, but instead he had to wait for his opportunity again. Luckily for him and us fans, it came early in the season, and since that day in Stevenage, Kyel Reid has not looked back.
I have been a long-time advocate of Reid; however, I understand the frustrations some fans have with our number seven. One big qualm for me is set pieces. When Reid gets them right, he gets them very right. But all too often he doesn’t. Upon watching his corners and free kicks at Huddersfield in the League Cup, I felt his delivery was off; and a reason we were not take full advantage of our best scoring opportunities. One free kick just outside the edge of the box sums up my thoughts. A great chance, Reid ballooned the ball into the City faithful.
I never really understand why he takes set pieces, but then again I’m not the manager of this club. Phil Parkinson on the other hand knows this team and these individuals better than anybody else. With this in mind, there must be a reason why continues to allow Reid to take set pieces, right? It was probably no surprise to Parkinson then that Reid scored against Stevenage from a free kick. A beautiful curling effort, with whip, bend and pace, Reid put his name back in the fray as a City starter and key weapon for this team.
It’s also probably no surprise to Parkinson that Reid has been in scintillating form of late. Upon his selection for player of the month in September and as so well put by the Football League website, “Reid regained his place in the Bradford team with a string of match-winning displays on the left. He terrorised defenders and added pace to the Bantams’ attack. The 25-year-old’s crosses and dead ball deliveries provided chances for others, while he scored the equaliser against Shrewsbury Town.”
After a dominant display against Gillingham, I look at that Shrewsbury game in particular to demonstrate how much of match winner he can be. With Valley Parade still in shock after losing Nahki Wells to injury, Reid took on the role as the “go to man”. At times he single handily carried City’s attack against their well drilled opponents. Doing the match report that day, I felt a need to really concentrate on each individual’s performance. Reid – with Hanson – stood out the most. Not only was his individual performance stellar, but his influence on the team that day should not be overlooked.
There’s that electric gasp in the air when a player like Reid or Wells get the ball. It’s that expectancy that something’s going to happen. Against the Shrews, the gasp got louder and expectations grew every time Reid touched the ball. We could sense he was the one going to make the break through, and his equaliser that day was just rewards for his tireless display. He has carried on his goal scoring form – his goal against Walsall (some whom will think has been under discussed) speaks for itself; whilst his display against Preston was the best individual performance I have seen this season.
The arguments for and against Reid have been discussed on countless occasions. I refer back to those articles from Jason and Alex, as they sum up fantastically fans’ perspective of our left winger. Kyel Reid was a factor in getting us into League One. As of late, he has been the X factor in keeping City in the play off places. We have witnessed him in full flow this season; that menacing winger we have craved for. Reid is a ‘confidence player’ who thrives off support; we saw this against Preston.
The fans need to back him and help him perpetuate his form. When it regresses, he is someone who will go into his shell. City fans need to help him, and not lose perspective of Kyel Reid the player, or Bradford City the club.
Bradford City are 6th in League One. Our Play Off Final opposition, Northampton, sit bottom of League Two. Like Bradford City, Kyel Reid, will have great days and some off days. Thankfully for us fans though, the Kyel Reid and Bradford City we have seen this season are living up to the hype and our expectations.
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