What matters more?


By Jonathon Ellerton

I have sat and thought about this for a while, as I have watched our season seemingly come to an end since we played Arsenal at home.

I was sat in the Kop that night, and I will never forget it. Garry Thompson’s goal, Gervinho’s miss from less than two yards, and the moment their captain Thomas Varmaelen hit the post in the shoot out – and we went through to the semi finals. Teams from our league aren’t meant to beat teams like Arsenal, who were at full strength. Teams from our league aren’t meant to go to Wigan with a makeshift centre half pairing and keep a clean sheet. Teams from our league are not meant to beat Aston Villa over 180 minutes.

We are not meant to appear at Wembley for a major cup final. I don’t care what anyone says, on Sunday 24 February, 2013, as I walked out of Wembley at full time, looked back and saw the Arch, I was so proud of my team and what we had achieved over the cup run. It will live with me forever.

Sure, we all sit in the pubs at the start of a season, saying this year we will get to Wembley. But do we ever really believe it will actually happen? Certainly not for an occasion grander than a League Two play off final or JPT final. If we are honest we did not expect to do it, which is what makes it even more special that we did.

The main point of this article isn’t to remind everyone how great it felt, but to ask this question – at the start of the season, having barely stayed up last season, would you have taken a major cup final and vastly improved league form?

I think 99% of us would have. So as our season slowly appears to wind down without a place in the play offs, should we ultimately be disappointed in our team? No, we should not.

This team should be heroes for what they achieved. We nearly went down last year, and the year before that, threatening the existence of the club. How awful did it feel when we thought we might lose the one thing we all love? It was not nice, was it?

This season has been outstanding. Yes, even I have had a go at Phil Parkinson and his rotating – why is Connell not starting? – but as I turned the radio off having listened to us draw 0-0 with Plymouth, I thought “well season’s over, but I’m proud of the boys”. Then I went on Facebook and Twitter, and the abuse for the manager and players was everywhere. I feel it’s unjust and unfair.

Is it right to slag off Parkinson and the team given what they have achieved this season? Probably not. Could they have coped better with an injury list that has included long lay offs for last season’s player of the year, our best centre back, our left winger, our left back and then replacement on loan defenders? No chance.

So let’s remember the positives, and praise the team, the Board and all the staff. Because compared to the last two seasons, this year has been simply fantastic.

Categories: Opinion, Wembley 2013

Tags: , , , ,

9 replies

  1. This is a more than welcome piece of perspective, in the last few years there have been more than one occasion where it was a very real posibility that Bradford City could have ceased to exist. Sadly it appears that a lot of fans have very short memories combined with unrealistic expectations.
    Getting to the cup final was one of the most remarkable achievements that a League 2 club could make. Going to Wembley was a memory that I will always cherish as one of the best and strangest days I could ever have as a football fan.
    It’s not that I’ve lowered my standards, but at the moment I’m more than happy to take getting to a major cup final and a mid table finish, with a team who appear to actually give a shit about playing for City as a pretty good conclusion to a season.

  2. Splendid Article–I hope all the moaners read it and take it to heart!
    We are where we are,but what an adventure this season has been!!
    Retention of PP and more progress next season now the priorities..
    Proud of our club–and Bradford is back on the map worldwide.

  3. Firstly I don’t agree that the season is over. One of the teams from the clutch of teams around us will go on a run and one of the teams in the playoff positions currently will slide. If you take 4 games, 3 wins and a draw – 10pts, 1 win, 2 draws and a loss – 5pts. That’s a 5pt turnaround in 4 games and I haven’t even gone to extremes. Why can’t it be City to go on that run? True we are not scoring goals, but we can and will. I still believe!

    As for which would you choose? Sorry it has to be the cup final. Absolutely, never dreamed we would be in a major cup final. We can go up and down the leagues for the next 38 years (my stint as a supporter), but history suggests we won’t make another Cup Final. Those people who say cups don’t matter are from the Premier League era and they’re still wrong.

    The amount of venom towards Parky on the other website I read is back to last year’s levels. So much so that I have stopped even looking now. The classic was when the other night someone wrote ‘take the cup run out of the season and we’ve had a very poor season’. How can you take the cup run out? That’s like saying apart from winning £12million on the lottery a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had an unlucky year” (I haven’t by the way).

  4. Agree with the article, again.

    Walking to work in Leeds this morning, proudly wearing my city scarf again and continually seeing them around Leeds, I once again thought – its been less than 3 weeks since I was at Wembley watching my football club, Bradford City, a league 2 side, play in a national cup final.

    Repeat again. Bradford City play in a national cup final.

    No-one can ever take that away from us and we should be proud as punch.

    Yes, the league forms not great. But I don’t think I’d be as proud of the club, even if we were top of the division, as I am now.

  5. Balanced, mature, intelligent views and article. Surely this can’t be a football website!!

    I agree with Rob though. I still think there’s a twist in this journey we’re on – but even if there isn’t no one can deny the improvement we have made this season. Cup or no cup….

    • Thank you guys for the feedback i hope you are all right and there is a twist or run coming but just can not see it at the moment i hope im wrong

  6. Completely agree.
    We almost didn’t exist!!
    We have just played in a league cup final!!
    We are in league 2!!
    If anyone thinks the cup run didn’t effect our league form then you don’t understand football. Absolutely outstanding season but you can’t have both a cup run and a league title. They don’t go together!!
    Next season we will do it.
    Parkinson will stay, wells will leave, I believe it’s a done deal already.
    But we will get $$, and strengthen.

  7. I refuse to be down and out about this season, I still believe we have the armoury to launch a significant run over the last few games to sneak into the playoffs!

    If we beat Exeter tomorrow all of a sudden we are 6 points off the playoffs with two winnable games in hand, one of which is part of a 3 game home run over 10 days leading up to Easter!

    I believe, do you?

  8. I’ve found the abuse levelled at Parkinson and the team absolutely unbelievable. I can’t fathom people who would swap Wembely for the “glory land” of League 1. Sure the standard there is slightly better but Yeovil and Oldham, Hartlepool and Stevenage are hardly setting my pulse racing.
    I can’t believe anyone would swap that for those nights against Wigan, Arsenal and Villa or that fantastic day out at Wembley.

    History says League One will come along at some point – Wembley will never happen again. And for that I will be eternally grateful to Parky and his team.

    This is the best trip I’ve ever been on

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