The scenes straight after Rochdale’s second goal.

By Tim Penfold

What more can be said about this shambles of a football team?  It wasn’t a lack of effort today against Rochdale, especially in the second half, that caused the defeat.  It wasn’t a lack of support from the stands either, as the Kop tried their best to will the team on to victory.  It was a lack of ability, of leadership, of nous, and that is the most damning thing.  They tried.  They just weren’t anywhere near good enough.

The first half can only be described as pathetic.  City played like a pub team nursing hangovers, unable to pass the ball to each other or close down with any intensity.  The ball rarely got forward and when it did the end product was lacking.  The only saving grace was that Rochdale were not much better, as if they had played well we would have been several goals down by half time.  The one big moment of the half for City fell to George Miller, who managed with expert precision to pick out Rochdale’s man on the line from two yards – not the last time he’d waste a good opening.  The rest was just not worth writing about.

The second half was better, as City at least had some fight but there was precious little quality.  The ball was still lumped forward to a strike force that didn’t suit it, and the players seemed to have no idea what to do when they got the ball near the box.  Alex Jones came on for a welcome first league appearance in 11 months and found some space with his movement but there was nobody else to take advantage of it.  And defensively the team still looked wobbly and prone to errors.

Eventually this told – a poor pass from Josh Wright put Lewis O’Brien under pressure, he lost it and nobody else got near Ian Henderson until Anthony O’Connor brought him down as he was shooting.  A self-inflicted penalty and it was 1-0, and the first chants of “We want Edin out” could be heard from the Kop.

Despite this setback City nearly grabbed a point but Miller shot tamely at the keeper when clean through.  And after that City pressed the self-destruct button again.  O’Brien underhit a backpass, putting Rochdale clean through and O’Donnell brought their forward down.  Another self-inflicted penalty, another goal, and another round of anti-Rahic chants.  What spoke even louder than the chants were the empty seats as City fans left in their droves before full time.

City are now the worst team in the Football League in 2018.  We have gained 28 points in 35 league games – extrapolated over a 46 game season this would be 37 points which would guaranteed relegation and mean a fairly high chance of finishing bottom.  In those 35 games we have used 48 players and been through five head coaches, including Greg Abbott’s caretaker spell.  We have seemingly tried everything and replaced almost everyone.

But these things – a head coach struggling to get a set of players to play well, the players playing poorly and collapsing under pressure, the anger in the stands, the empty seats – these are just symptoms.  The cause of these symptoms goes right to the very top.  It is the man who has systematically removed all of the leaders and many staff from the club on and off the field.  It is the man who came into a football club that was mostly working and thought “this needs ripping up and starting again”, then did this so poorly that he took a promotion chaser and made them the worst team in the division.  It is Edin Rahic, and it is time for him to go.

Categories: Match Reviews

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46 replies

  1. I didn’t attend the match today- first time in a few years I haven’t been to a home game- I’m just one person but there’s nothing that’s making me excited about City, making me want to give up my Saturday afternoon to watch a team I have enjoyed, cheered and loved. It’s going to take something special to get that back …..

    • Im very sorry you feel this way sarah
      We are all suffering . 6 of my friends have stopped going to away games because they can’t justify spending £100 to there wives for the day out .

      I’m angry that Julian Rhodes sold the club to these two clowns….

    • Hi Sarah. That’s exactly how both my kids and I feel. Bought my ST’s in hope more than realistic expectation and have been once. Such a fall from grace for Rahic not sure he should come back from Germany. Won’t be back until he is gone I think.

  2. Finally you just come out and say it… some if the stories off the field by this man are just as scary as on it

    • There are some pretty alarming stories about our chairman’s personal conduct that have been confirmed by a number of sources. I am sure that when it comes out there will be considerable embarrassment for Edin Rahic.

  3. I’m not worried, i’m resigned to the fact it can’t get any better till January but by then the damage already done may never be undone.
    If it’s not broke then don’t fix it, it wasn’t broke and the one who knows football tore the heart out of our club.
    What’s worse than that is the one who knows football still believes we will be ok.

  4. I hear Mr I know football wasn’t at the game … on holiday in germany while we are struggling in relegation battle.

    The man’s incompetence and foolishness is beyond belief

    Now supporters groups it’s okay sat on your backsides doing nothing, now its time to get some kind of movement going and let our voices be heard.

    Do we have any leaders in these supporters groups or are they just happy to let this go on and get there faces involved just for self-esteem.

  5. Well said totally agree and with the full backing of all of all the stadium from the aggression at the final whistle, Tim now I know it’s the END.

    When you guys are spelling it out, and usually have to be a bit more diplomatic and understandable due to the nature of journalism, time to go Edin Rahic, give us a chance to get back our club to stop this fast slide to league 2.

    Edin, We know you are on annual leave, just stay there and sell to the highest bidder, it is only going to get worse from here, the kop was loud today and that chant will get louder and louder, damage limitations now, we as Fans request a re-build now to save the decline.


  6. My feeling is one of total desolation and sadness that one man has quickly destroyed what others so painstakingly and lovingly built. His only feeling should be shame for hurting so many decent and loyal people. He can never be forgiven.

    • John what do you think can be done to get shut of Rahic? .

      • Truly, I do not know. The Blackpool fans, and numerous others have tried. The only chance is for someone to buy his shares. Possibly even Rupp. But I don’t know.

  7. Last week I was told from a reliable source, the people who tried to buy city in the summer for 6 million which was rejected they wanted 8 million, have now put there offer back on the table which is been considered by the owners as anybody else heard the same rumour.

    • 6 Million? I thought they bought the club for 5 million? I know they’ve invested in the pitch and club shop but how on earth can the club be worth a million pounds more than the paid for it in the position we’re in?

    • Yes no reliable source though.
      I hear Gibbs is leading some kind of consortium to buy back control.

      • The people who are in for the club if the romours are true his headed by Baldwin and ex Burnley directors, what I should have said they have a offer on the table how much it is now God knows,I just hope it’s true.

  8. Harsh but true.

  9. Relegation and the Club will be worth approximately 2 to 2.5 million. Also it is quite likely the Bank that holds the Debenture will demand a seven figure reduction of the outstanding balance. Time for the Owners to sh*t or get off the pot!!

  10. Every comment on here is wide of the mark on people buying the club back. Gibbs has no interest. Just hates Edin so did a piece to wind him up. The great Jack Tordoff is simply too old- not a criticism as time waits for no man- and his family hate City.

    Dave Baldwin could get a consortium together as he’s intelligent and driven. But won’t. He’s doing well at Burnley.

    But you all miss the point. It’s not for sale. It was bought for less than £5 million, anyone knows that was an over inflated price. And that was with the premium bonds of many sell on clauses that have now been cashed. The clubs probably worth £2.5-3 million at best. They won’t take that hit.

    So it’s just shit upon shit from here on in I am afraid.

    • Everything I’ve heard points to the same.

      Lawn would like to buy the club (he never wanted to sell, but was outvoted by Rhodes + Dad), but he can’t commit a large chunk of his cash on his own. Baldwin isn’t going to go from running Burnley to sorting out our mess! His next job will be at a top Premier Club.

      I don’t get this consortium talk. I think it’s wishful thinking.

  11. I don’t usually reply to any articles on any web sitrs but have to agree with this one. Unfortunately no one will want to buy the club now that he has made such a mess of it. I just do not know where we go from here

  12. Perfectly put. Rahic needs to stay in Germany, he’s neither welcome nor wanted in Bradford for what he’s done. The anger I saw in people today could turn very nasty for Rahic if he shows his face.

    I don’t see any way back for him now. Even if, and I’m not suggesting there’s even an iota of a chance of this, he takes a complete back seat, employs a management team that really does know football and supports them properly in the transfer market he still won’t have much favour with us fans.

    I don’t know who takes us over, I hope there is someone but it’ll take too long to go through to save this season. We’d best get used to the idea of L2 football again.

  13. Slightly controversial but blame should be on Hopkin a little.
    His tactics border negative and why insist long ball when no one can win a header? Better playing to strengths to boost confidence.

    Also moaning about players constantly is hardly an inspiring team talk. I hate managers publicly shaming players.

    When all said and done it all stems back to the takeover. We knew a change of culture was coming but it is currently bordering on the ridiculous.

    • Hi Joanne, I agree – for all the off-the-field issues well covered here (so I won’t repeat), the players and the coaching staff have to take a look at themselves after yesterday.

      Whenever one of our players got the ball on the deck, everyone ran away from him (exemplified by the short corner to Ball where we lost possession). No one wants the ball, players went hiding. Basic things, like McGowan played a backpass to O’Donnell in the first half and put O’Donnell under pressure because he gave it to him on the wrong foot. Throw-ins were too high, passes often over hit; signs that the players were scared of making a mistake. Our set pieces were terrible (although Payne put in a couple of better corners in the second half); why are we not working on this? If you can’t create and you’re low on confidence, set-pieces are a key way to grind out results. For someone who is supposed to be a cultured midfielder, Wright joined in the kick-and-rush when we needed someone to get a grip in midfield and play some simple passes. He’s just back from injury, but he’s supposed to be captain material, he needs to show more for the team. All the pressure is on Jones for Tuesday now but he’s just returning from long term injury (and is just one player).

      Tactically, awful. It shouldn’t take Hopkin this long to realise that booting long balls to Doyle – 40 yards out with his back to goal – isn’t a great tactic. Did we even win 1 header all game? If you want to do that, play Bruenker until we get a target man in January, otherwise trying something else. The midfield had no shape which made it easy for Rochdale to run off us, our players didn’t look like they knew who they were marking. David Ball was one of the few players not hiding and looking like he could make something happen, and Hopkin subs him while leaving the woeful Miller on. That first half chance cleared off the line; oh my. We persisted with the long throw when Mellor went off (McGowan taking over) but it was pure percentages. He persisted with O’Donnell always looking to kick it clear. We rarely tried to get the ball down and make short pass-and-moves. Width was none-existent – ok we had a centre back at right back, but no one showed down the line. Wood has potential (he’s not good enough yet), but if we keep leaving him exposed like this then we’ll shatter his confidence. Hopkin obviously has doesn’t think Seedorf or Gibson are good enough, because we were crying out for some pace and directness at 0-0 (Seedorf may be injured, I don’t know).

      This is not to excuse the behind-the-scenes events, but we looked as badly managed and set up as against Barnsley and look to have taken a serious step backwards on the field.

  14. Dear Bradford City
    It with a heavy heart that I have too say that enough is enough, whilst I love you with all my heart I cannot stand to see you break my heart every saturday. We have been together through thick and thin since the days of jimmy wheeler, ive introduced my kids to the city faithfiul following and they are as fervent as me, but we just cant take anymore. For now i am saying its farewell and good luck but with these two new courtiers who have taken over our club, I will not set foot inside valley parade until we are under the influence of new and honest suiters. It takes a lot to leave you but I need to go for the sake of my sanity. Its just not fun anymore. Xxx

    • Fully appreciate your view mate but why let Rahic spoil it?. Like you City for me is wrapped up with family and friends. My late father took me as a nipper in the early seventies and i introduced my nephew and my lad.My nephews son is next in line. Fans make the club and we will be here long after Rahic has departed. To say it is a hard watch is an understatement but personally i will stick with it. Despite the frequent lows City has been a constant and positive in my life. You suspect there is more pain to come but we will be back

      • Einstein once said :
        If you continue to do the same things over and over again but expect different results ?.
        Time for action … me if I had the power to organise meetings for fans … is suggest one match walk out .
        I’m sincerely worried at what state the club will be in not just on the pitch but financial as well.
        Any potential buyer needs the club to be debt free .

  15. After watching today’s game I don’t think I will go again until January (I probably will). I cannot place blame on Hopkin because he has inherited this rubbish.

    The one biggest problem (aside from Mr Rahic) on the pitch is our defence. They are a complete and utter shambles. O’Connor and McGowan simply cannot pass the ball. They don’t drop back to receive the ball and when they do pass the ball it is frantic and too slow. There may be a reason why McGowan was a free agent when we signed him back in January. They then hoof the ball up the pitch to our strikers who are crying out for the ball to come to their feet. I know Hopkin likes to play direct but the team just isn’t big enough and strong enough to play like that. Wood tries hard however he looked out of his depth today. How is our play maker in Payne meant to get on the ball when it’s 10ft in the air half the time? As much as Wright is hounded, overall i cannot place blame on the midfield today. How are they meant to get on the ball more often if the defence cannot pass it to them?

    If we’re being realistic the only way I can see City improving this season is if Hopkin stays and gets a good transfer budget in January. As much as I want Edin to be bought out by Rupp and a chairman put in, in his place, I simply cannot see it happening. Grim, very grim.

  16. As there is understandably pessimism circling over Valley Parade at the moment, I will highlight some positives from the game yesterday.
    Connor Wood produced some good forward runs and crosses, Lewis O’Brien played with energy and showed some skill in midfield and Alex Jones performed well when he came on. If I was picking the team for the Coventry City home game, I would start with Gibson on the wing with Jones upfront with Doyle. It’s unfortunate that Jim O’Brien is injured as I believe that the two O’Briens in central midfield were developing a good partnership.

  17. I took the family yesterday to Bradford to hopefully see a the lads hopefully get a point from the game and maybe, just maybe use the game as a pivot point for the season ahead. Just as we got to the ground my young daughter said they’d get beaten as their not good enough anymore. With this myself and my disabled soon attended the match. My daughter opting to go shopping instead and my wife going with her. Alarmingly it was noted that there wasn’t as much noise to be heard from Foster Square as there has been in the past. As a family we usually manage to get around 5-10 games in during a season, but still have season tickets as they represent good value for money. If this shambles continues my local team, Scarborough AFC may just have 4 new fans. Food for thought.

  18. Well written factual piece, absolutely on the money.

  19. That was not a good team playing badly…..that was a poor team playing as well as it can…I’m not remotely worried about the rest of this season, we are going to be relegated without doubt and I resigned myself to that some weeks ago, I AM worried about the very future of the club and fear that in 18 months we really will be staring into the abyss, that is if there is no change at the top and from what I read there is little prospect of change

  20. Sad to see. Fans are voting with their feet. The kop was less than half full. I’ve not seem that for years. It will take a lot of effort to win them back. 6-7 years of hard earned progress has been thrown away on the whim of a man who doesn’t understand what he is doing. At this rate we will be down by Christmas. Will the owners put any money in when the transfer window opens?

    • The Owners have a choice of investing in the Club in January or face a two million drop in market value in the Spring due to relegation. Sad to say, but is City even going to be in touch with safety come January?
      Is there Method To Their Madness??

  21. This season Rachic (I Know Football) already has our season tkt money .
    The telling factor will be next season and how many season tkts are sold … that will tell us all if the club will survive.
    Trust me Rahic is on borrowed time … i can’t see Gordon Gibb standing by and doing nothing when he has interest and his pension fund in our ground.

  22. How can Rahic or Rupp show they face ever again. The anger against the two of them is growing stronger each week. The club is toxic internally. I am sure most are performing to their ability (which is limited). The team is clearly not good enough and I cannot see investment coming in January. If the league position/points is so far behind the rest of the league then why invest?

    I would not expect to see Rahic at future home games – it would be unsafe for him. Some are so passionate about what is happening to the club and it could spill over. Anger can make some people irrational and react accordingly.

    Hopkins has suggested that no position is safe. I suspect that the coming week will see the dismissal of the coaching staff which would be seen by many as a positive gesture. Thus giving Rahic more time. However, it is only painting over the cracks. The only way out of the mess we are in is for Rahic to go. Yes we will be relegated but out of the ashes the club can be rebuilt with new hope and optimism.

    • When the early season form dipped after opening day victory over Shrewsbury, Rahic fired Collins to deflect the growing criticism at his running of the club. Like you, Cyprus Bantam, I have the feeling that another sacrificial lamb(s) is being lined up as he must be aware the lid is about to blow with supporters who are at the end of their tether. Hopkin sounds to have run out of ideas already and must be wishing he’d carried out due diligence prior to accepting the role. The weekly beatings must be destroying the confidence of the young players and one wonders what effect George Miller’s misses and Lewis O’Brien’s errors leading to the penalties, will have on them. All in all, it’s a grim situation.

      In the previous article Jason alluded to the potential cash flow problems, given the projected losses of £700/800K for the 2017/18 season. It is clear from the increasing number of empty seats that fans are deserting the club in hundreds with each passing home game, with a consequent reduction in catering and ancilliary income. The only match day ticket income will likely be from several hundred away fans (Sunderland excepted).

      As sure as night follows day, if the owners’ projections on 2017/18 losses are correct, the financial position must be mirroring the perilous league table position. I can’t envisage any bank extending facilities given the way the club is being run. Similarly, I can’t imagine Stefan Rupp throwing in any more good money after bad. He must be ruing the day he ever met Edin Rahic. Therefore, those fans who are anxiously ticking off the days to the January transfer window, expecting a recruitment bonanza, are likely to be disappointed

      We can only hope that Rahic is in Germany facilitating the release from his obligations with Bradford City, with Stefan Rupp. it seems all we can do is live in hope!

  23. We are born and bred on BCFC but enough is enough.
    Boycott games
    Don’t buy any merchandise.
    Just leave them alone.
    After all it doesn’t make any difference if fans do turn up. Still same sh1te performance week after week after week.

  24. I think we need to get away from this culture of blaming Rahic for absolutely everything, as while he is largely responsible for our current malaise, it masks others shortcomings.

    Let’s not forget that last season the players effectively downed tools from January onwards, which is absolutely inexcusable, no matter what had gone on behind the scenes.

    Taking yesterday in isolation, while young O’Brien has done pretty well for us, he loses possession for their 1st, and his back pass is short for the 2nd.

    To me Rochdale fully deserved the 3 points, and it was clear that it was not working early in the 2nd half, but Hopkin didn’t seem to recognise this, when it was crying out for some natural width in Gibson, and to move our most creative player Payne more centrally.

    The likes of Blackburn and Coventry have had recent promotions despite having difficult owners, so it shows that success can still be achieved.

    Admittedly the squad isn’t the greatest, but it’s one that should be capable of staying out of the bottom 4. It’s time the players started performing to their ability, and the manager getting the best out of them, instead of hiding this belief that everything is Rahic’s fault.

    • Why did the players down tools Rob? Cos it wasn’t owt Stuart did, he was great at man management and I don’t reckon they fell out with him, given they all went out for a meal when he left.

      And who put this squad together? Cos we didn’t have a manager all summer, and Abbott was off sick (fat lot of difference he would have made anyway).

      Hopkins isn’t the be all and end all, but stop making excuses for Rahic.

    • Perhaps you are right in so much as not everything is Rahic’s fault….HOWEVER he is responsible for the lions share and he can’t reverse this now.

      He is poison that is killing the club and the only way it will EVER recover is for him to go!

      • Admittedly he has to take a large share of the blame, but the guy could be here for a few years yet, are we going to hear the same old anti Rahic comments after every defeat until then, whilst turning a blind eye to poor performances, players not playing to their ability, and a manager not getting the best out of them?

    • You are putting words in my mouth, nowhere am I making excuses for Rahic, only saying that others are also culpable.

      Put it this way, do you think it is acceptable for the players to have downed tools, because I certainly don’t?

  25. I am slightly concerned that Hopkin hasn’t done what I believe Parky would have done in this situation, make us difficult to be beaten. Even if the football is rubbish to watch, just stop the rot. We need to get draws, never mind wins. A draw on Saturday would have kept Rochdale within out sights. Start with the basics. You can build from draws, but not form loss week after week

    • A growing number of fans are becoming irritated with Hopkin. He is very quick to fall back on his “success” with Livingston, when there is a hint of criticism. However, that success could have been achieved due to the ability of his backroom staff there. Indeed, the club is continuing to do very well in his absence, being currently fourth in the Scottish Premiership. That would suggest it wasn’t a “one man” success story there.

      Listening to his post match interviews, he sounds like a broken record, devoid of any ideas and it’s hard to imagine him being able to motivate the players under his charge.

      Everywhere you look, it’s a mess at VP.

  26. The club is being stripped of every available penny, which is going straight into the owners pockets. Anybody who has commanded a decent salary has been moved on, both players and staff. The Bradford public have been conned by Rack & Ruin. These owners have no intention of taking the club forward, they are here for one thing only, money, which is why every level of the football club has been stripped to the bare bones. The owners will move on when the money stops, which is why I won’t be renewing my season ticket under this ownership. I am done with Rack & Ruin.

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