The last hurrah?

Mansfield Town 3

Rose 7, Maynard 43, Cook 77

Bradford City 0

By Adam Raj

Just when you think it can’t get much worse, Bradford City manage to deliver yet again. Mansfield Town, 20th in League One at the start of play, with the worst home form in the division, absolutely battered the Bantams this afternoon. From start to finish it was as poor as it can possibly be, men against boys would be an understatement.

Gary Bowyer is under immense pressure, he has lost the fans and, in my opinion, he has lost the players.

The draw at Colchester in midweek was a nothing affair which Bowyer managed to grab tonnes of positives from. He seemed delighted with both the performance and the result, which in all honesty, was pedestrian at best. But, ordinarily, it would’ve been a decent point away from home, so long as we followed it up with a victory today. But we didn’t. Gary Bowyer got it wrong yet again.

City lined up in a 4-4-1-1 shape, with Eoin Doyle, yet again, playing the thankless role of a striker under Bowyer. He chased and he harried but with only long balls directed at his head, that’s all he could manage. I feel sorry for the Irishman. Having the best season of his career and top of the league, he now has to play in a side who has no attacking identity whatsoever.

The first in what were three terrible goals to concede came after just seven minutes. Alex MacDonald swung a cross in at the back post for Danny Rose to leap above Anthony O’Connor and head in back across goal. The City centre half didn’t even get off the floor.

What followed was entirely predictable. A flurry of corners and crosses came into the box and City struggled with every single one. And of course, that’s how the hosts doubled their lead. Mal Benning’s in-swinging corner was headed home at the back post by an unmarked Nicky Maynard in the 43rd minute. Totally what City deserved and we were probably lucky it was only two at the break.

Cue the inevitable anti-Bowyer chants from the 1,400+ travelling support. The City manager remained motionless and looked bereft of any ideas.

What happened during the half time break is anyone’s guess. No substitutions, no change in formation or tactics, just the same dire football served up for another 45 minutes. And in case you’re wondering, no, City had done nothing in the final third. Surprise.

It took 13 minutes of the second half for Bowyer to finally realise that it wasn’t working. But, as is becoming a regular occurrence, the substitutions were questionable, bordering on baffling. Kelvin Mellor, who is certainly not flavour of the month amongst supporters after his dreadful performance last week, replaced Harry Pritchard. An out of form defender for a goal scoring midfielder whilst 2-0 down. Cue the boos from the travelling Bantams.

Jamie Devitt also came on for Reeves, making his first appearance since his hamstring injury suffered in September. Mellor went in at centre half, making it a back five and Devitt came on in midfield somewhere. I say somewhere, because what shape was in front of the back five was anyone’s guess.

It seemed as though Bowyer took the ‘throw all the attackers onto the pitch and hope something happens’ approach. Either way, it had no effect. We were still toothless as ever in the final third, and the keeper had nothing to do.

Clayton Donaldson came on for his own comeback from injury, but only a minute later the hosts’ had a deserved third goal. Substitute Andy Cook rolled his man and fired into the far corner on the half volley from the edge of the box. 76 minutes on the clock and the travelling faithful began to head home. Given nothing to cheer about, they had had enough. I never leave games early, but I think if I wasn’t writing this report, I would’ve joined them out the exit door.

The remaining minutes made for painful viewing. Watching aimless long ball after long ball was embarrassing. The players have it as their default mentality now to simply boot it as far as possible. So long as it is away from our goal, all is well. And that is Bowyer’s mentality. His safety first approach has become tiresome.

Zero entertainment, a lack of any attacking intent in the majority of games, means the pressure is always on before the first whistle. Fans can take losing when their side has had a really good go and created chances, but when you play a side with the form of Mansfield and fail to have a shot on target, it is unacceptable. And this approach is the same one we’ve seen at Leyton Orient, Macclesfield, Crawley Town and Carlisle. As Albert Einstein said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.”

Back on the pitch and in midfield, Jake Reeves and Chris Taylor were about as ineffective as you could imagine. Poor passes, no energy and a lack of any tackling ability were just a few of the ways in which we lost that battle in the middle of the pitch.

Central midfield is the most important area on the pitch – you lose that battle, you probably lose the game. How many times can we say that this City side have controlled the game in midfield? Because I cannot think of even one occasion. Even under Phil Parkinson, a side who wasn’t interested in possession stats, the Bantams still controlled games in the middle of the pitch. The likes of Gary Jones, Nathan Doyle, Lee Evans and Josh Cullen knew their roles and responsibilities and most importantly, were of the right blend to play together.

Reeves cannot play in a two man midfield, his best position is as the deepest of three midfielders where he can dictate play, but how many times has he been allowed to play in that system? Taylor? Well I’m not overly sure what type of midfielder he is. He certainly lacks the athleticism to play in a two man midfield. This sort of midfield combination is a recipe for disaster.

Meanwhile, Callum Cooke is probably sat scratching his head wondering how he can’t get a game. Playing out of position, he is still statistically the best midfield tackler at the club and has the third best passing accuracy in the division. Not to mention he is the most athletic of the lot. Perfect for a two man midfield, yet Gary Bowyer sees fit to leave him on the bench for the second straight game after his bizarre substitution last week at home to Scunthorpe.

It is like I said before, Bowyer neglects the attacking phase of the game. That much is evident. No patterns, no identifiable style, players playing out of position and in roles which they’re unsuited for results in what we see now. A team devoid of any ideas and creativity, despite having attacking players available and on the pitch. You only need to look at Eoin Doyle to see how Bowyer lacks the ability to coach a side to score goals. Six games under Bowyer, zero goals. 22 games away from Bowyer, 23 goals.

The toxic atmosphere, which I had hoped we had left behind last season, is creeping back. It’s never nice to hear a fan base so against a manager, but performances and results are now indefensible. Today wasn’t even a one off either. This level of performance, certainly attacking wise, has been existent for most of the season. We have gained a large amount of points through own goals and penalties. We have been extremely fortunate and if not for those moments of fortune, we would be in a more accurate position in the league table.

The luck has seemingly now run out, teams have sussed us out and we are now receiving results more akin to the performances we are seeing.

Julian Rhodes set an ambitious target of 20,000 season tickets. With every passing week, this looks a more and more unrealistic target. The casual fan, who will be the target market for this campaign, will not want to sit through the level of ‘entertainment’ we have all done for a full season, irrespective of promotion. Could this be in the forefront of Rhodes’ mind?

One thing which is for certain is that we are dropping hard. When teams above us play their games in hand, we will likely find ourselves outside the play offs, with what in my mind, is a top three squad. Something needs to change.

Categories: Match Reviews, Opinion

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42 replies

  1. Sad to say, spot on. Never a campaigner for someone to lose his/her livelihood, it pains me to endorse the departure of Mr. Bowyer. Question is who is next?

  2. Spot on article you was seeing the same game as me. All Bowyer can do is find false positives as an excuse trying to cover his own shortfalls. What we need is a new manager and a number 2 man also before it’s too late.

  3. I totally agree with every word.and I would add to this the responsibility the Rhodes family have in this mess which as put the club back years when allowing people to buy our great club with no idea how to run a professional club and if the rumours are true Mark Lawn did not want to sell !! and now to employ a manager who his clearly not up it ,if a business is in trouble action must be taken and in my experience in running a business ,when there a downturn ,the question Is are you going to do about it ,and how long will it take to turn things round ,Black and White no messing take action and do something about it before it’s to late.

  4. Spot on. The playing side of the club is at rock bottom. I believe Drury and Bowyer should go. Some will argue that we have acquired 40+ points and we should not rush into sacking the manager. Give him time to turn things around. He has lost the dressing room and the supporters. Rhodes and Rupp have set an ambitious target for 20K season tickets. They will be lucky to get half that. More and more are not turning up to watch Bowyer’s style of football. It is exposing his tactical weaknesses. He can no longer rely on his past successes at Blackburn or Blackpool. It no longer cuts the ice. We want effort, desire and purpose. The Bowyer and Drury combination has failed and it is time for change.

  5. It’s not even a question that needs much consideration.

    The players are in at Apperley Bridge tomorrow. Rhodes needs to be there as well and send Bowyer packing. Unfortunately, that means Drury may have to take temporary charge of Tuesday’s game, but I’ve written that one off anyway.

    The writing has been on the wall for weeks so, if Rhodes is doing his job, a replacement has already been lined for next Saturday, which means Drury can swiftly follow Bowyer out the door.

  6. Time for Gary to leave..and for Neil Warnock and Stuart to team up once up the squad..and get out of League 2..we have absolutely nothing to lose. I wish Gary and Martin well…but they must now go !

    • Living in Leicestershire I decided at the last minute to attend today’s game. Probably more out of a perceived duty on my part and not with a great deal of enthusiasm. I should explain that I have followed City for over 60 years. However having read all the recent criticism, I wanted to see if it was justified or not, particularly given our league position.
      After a few minutes my heart sank as I realised that the keyboard warriors have indeed been reporting objectively and the above report of today’s one sided affair is totally accurate. I also question the fitness levels of some players, which is a really sad indictment on the coaching staff at this stage of the season. In this league fitness and endeavour will take you a long way, but sadly these attributes and any passion were completely lacking.
      In summary these players under this management team will not win promotion and clearly the league table does lie because I predict we will end up nearer the bottom than the top.
      I am so passionate to see City do well and would happily purchase a season ticket for next year if something resembling professional football could be offered. It is sad for me to post my first epistle in such a negative frame of mind. I feel so sorry for our tremendous supporters who deserve much better Mr. Bowyer.

      Finally, thank you to the City fan who gave me his spare ticket today. Perhaps his mate had a premonition !

      • Negativity breeds negativity. With fans now giving their tickets away whilst other “followers” are admittedly attending games “last minute” without enthusiasm, how do you expect players to respond?
        We certainly won’t be witnessing anything better anytime soon, regardless of our manager, with this attitude.
        Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, so let’s banish this negativity and get behind our boys and show this league what we’re all about.
        Take me home,
        Midland road,
        To the place that I belong,
        To the valley,
        To see the city,
        Take me home,
        Midland road…
        Come on city!

    • Personally, I don’t want a horrible character like Neil Warnock anywhere near our club. He may have gained promotions with a number of teams, but it is no guarantee of success with City and for me, he is too reminiscent of Messrs. Taylor and Grayson.

  7. I was not at today’s game so cannot comment on it. But after watching the past three home games and hearing my son’s comments about Crawley and Swindon I know what you went through today.
    I had faith in Bowyer but that faith has gone. He has just about the best squad in the league, the best strikers yet his tactics and formations are so obviously wrong. We are no longer worth the effort if watching and I won’t bother to come to the next home game . He has lost the plot and the players and fans seem to have lost faith in him .
    When a business fails it is just about always the fault of the management.
    Please Julian and Stefan act now. Surely the faithful fans do not deserve this
    Act now .

  8. This transfer window has been crap as well.

    Am I correct in thinking the only reason we recalled Doyle was because we could pay his wages from a McBurnie clause – assuming Sheff Utd are staying up?

    The way Bowyer has ruined him and that money is another argument against him.

    And 2-0 down, 2 strikers on the bench and he brings Mellor on – they have to be wondering what they’re doing here.

  9. I’ve been one of Bowyer’s biggest critics because of his negative tactics. However, we are still/barely in a playoff spot and he deserves at least another couple of games. Maybe, the return of Donaldson will some how save his job and City’s season. I’m also hesitant about a change because City’s last four managers have all had major deficiencies.

    On paper, this Club is good enough to at least achieve a playoff spot and I would be disappointed if City didn’t achieve this minimum requirement. I’ve always felt that automatic promotion was a bit too ambitious.

    • I’m sorry Phil but another 2 games under Bowyer is surely 6 points lost and being on the fringes of the play offs is only good if you are on they way up and we are not so immediate action is needed to try and stop the free fall into mid table.

      • Hi Steve, let me explain my reasoning for two more games. First, it’s out of respect for what he’s accomplished off the pitch in stabilizing the Club. Secondly, I don’t like seeing a manager fired while the club is still in a playoff spot.

    • And yet, on second thoughts, Phil does make a very good point. Maybe people like me are being a bit too premature.
      Gary Bowyer did rescue City from real disaster a la Chesterfield, which really was on the cards 10 months ago.
      Even so, the sterility of our play, bad tactics and total failure with Doyle are damning evidence .

  10. good report…I disagree about Reeves though….he isn’t a deep lying midfielder imo….he gives the ball away in dangerous areas, doesn’t tackle, plays it safe and its no coincidence we have got worse since he has been playing there…

    I do agree that this should be Cookes position and we saw our better performances when he was the deep midfielder…to leave him out totally is a nonsense from Bowyer…

    Bowyer has caused this himself. Even with a near full squad he played system and not players/team strengths….the alarm bells were ringing for me as early as playing Doyle in the midfield???? suggested a manager who was soft and didn’t want to upset the ‘named players…

    it’s gradually got worse and there is absolutely no sign of him looking able to address it…indeed his constant changes and comments sound desperate

  11. I am so sorry to say I agree without all,disillusion is setting back in I feel

  12. If you could guarantee a Warnock or a Stuart appointment I would bite your hand off but surely Warnock will be looking for a MUCH bigger gig and would Stuart want to come back again? Thereafter what is the alternative? Tisdale? Would he fancy a move north? Easy to sack Bowyer much harder to fill the vacancy quickly and suitably. The wheels seem to be falling off with an apparently guileless but hardworking and spirited team losing its way. Interesting to hear the Radio Leeds team including Abbo noticing Reeves form decline. I would look at again on Wednesday morning with an expectation of a massive improvement

  13. In all my time of supporting the club, we have never been able to operate effectively without a target man, and performances have generally been poor since Donaldson got injured.

    I’m therefore cautiously optimistic that performances will improve once Donaldson comes back into the team.

    On the other side of the coin, you have been around long enough to spot the tell tale signs of a manager losing the confidence of the players, as they don’t simply seem to be responding to him.

    Once they also lose the support of the fans, with the increased pressure these days from social media etc, then it is very difficult to turn around.

    You just feel something has got to give very soon.

  14. Let’s just say it as it is and stop pussyfooting around the issue.
    BOWYER is a crap manager who after the end of last season doesn’t know….
    Who is best players are or if he does what formation to play them in.
    We are a shambles. The squad doesn’t know what to do.
    The manager clearly doesn’t have a clue..
    MR. RHODES and MR RUPP need to act NOW to not only save this season but the future of our club.
    You only have to look at chesterfield to see where are going.
    Please don’t let our club slip out of the league like a sloppy turd.
    It’s so sad but at the end of the day it’s what you expect 😪

  15. Whatever we think the stats from recent games show we are hopeless. Less possession, fewer shots on target or otherwise etc and cannot play in a way that helps Doyle.

    We are a god awful team and need inspiration soon. That means change and if Rupp and Rhodes dont see it then shame on them.

    Watching back the Chelsea game makes all this so much starker when a city identity and passion were present.

    Go Bowyer, please.

  16. Julian and atffan if you want more than 10000 ticket sales, get rid of this man NOW, he is totally negative. I struggled to come this season having been a supporter for 50+ years but I sure as hell wont put up with another season of this utter crap.
    We have all the tools in the box but Bowyer has no idea how to use them.

  17. We have the best set of forwards in this league by a stellar mile…yet they labour under Bowyers leadership…I absolutely believe this team under Stuart would be points clear at the top.

  18. I watch every game on ifollow from abroad & it’s getting very frustrating. All week getting hyped up in the media & then not been able to beat some very poor teams, who we should be beating.

    Mansfield looked like a top of the table team against us. I think this squad has been hyped up & really isn’t that great.

    Neil Warnock said he would manage to end of season to reach so many games even in league 2. He isn’t long term appointment & if he doesn’t want it who can we realistically get. He is perfect for us short term to get us into the summer.

    Rahic mess needs to be cleaned up first & will be in the summer to give anyone some hope. Players like Hope Apkan who is on big money is dreadful & there is others, we need them off the wage bill ASAP. Why did he sign players like Jackson Longridge & Jermaine Anderson who never got near the first team cause they aren’t good enough.

    I feel for Bowyer cause he been hamstrung by a budget from a previous regime. At the same time watching Eion Doyle starved off service up front is equally frustrating knowing what he produced at Swindon. We’ve made some very poor teams look ok against us. What kills Bowyer is his negativity going to Carlisle & not winning 3-0 is an example of games there for the taking but not been taken.

    Recent performances & results have been poor. Will Rhodes really pull the trigger on a manager who has us near the playoffs?

    If not where is the season headed for? Automatic promotion seems like a dream now.

  19. I said it a few weeks ago, Bowyer was comfortable, we’d been doing well with the don, we lost him and bowyer went for a packed midfield, win possession, hopefully score but def don’t concede.

    It was dull, it was a step back, but it wasn’t ineffective. I thought we’d continue like that, pick up points, while boring everyone, then don would come back (plus a backup for him in January) and we would continue as a top 7 L2 team.

    But something happened, he listened to all the forums, the 442, play wingers, use Doyle, impossible to lose, idiots. The second he stopped doing what he thought he should and started doing what the loudest on the forums wanted, we were doomed, players can tell he’s winging it, we don’t have the people to play that way and they all know it.

    Time is up, stronger man needed. For me, it has to be a younger guy, some fresher ideas, one comfortable using data, one that can build a team around what we have not what he wants.

    Side notes
    A’OC was shocking today, all 3 goals are on him
    Wood, worked hard, battled well but the directions he was under once half way were baffling. Potentially a great player for us
    Donaldson, 1 min after introduced, Doyle manages a 1 2 with him in the opposite third, first link up play in 5 games.
    Reeves, wtf , how did he look so good for his first 2 games back, doesn’t tackle, passes backwards at every opportunity, if he tries to pass forward he just gives it away

    • Reeves just turned on his heels and walked away after this first goal. Zero reaction…no attempt to motivate…not even a throwing up of hands in disgust. Really odd

  20. Well Adam you don’t need too long a memory to recall when it was “much worse”, for when Phil Parkinson arrived we languished almost at the foot of this horrible league. Indeed there are similarities between Bowyers fortunes and the early tenure of PP, when we just made the play offs. I was not at Mansfield but can appreciate that it must have been an awful performance, but barely a month ago against Salford our first half display in particular was the best seen for some time – but its a funny old game and we only drew. I cannot understand those whose agenda seems to be to slag off individual players or the manager, and given our current position I feel Bowyer deserves the chance (and our support) to finish the season.

  21. We are all livid as Fans watching this awful football and for me the doubt set in from being 2-0 up against Scunthorpe, we all came away thinking we had lost, but all teams have got the measure of us even when we are 2-0 up, any opposition manager just says continue to press them, this team don’t like that and cannot cope with it and gaps will come as they panic and pass sideways and back to keeper, then the whole shape of the game changes to suit the opposition and any other manager would make a change to cut that out, but not us let’s just carry on and see if we get a lucky break by lumping over the top, oh that is not working as well, why because the opposition have got the measure of that alternative plan b. I was watching the Mansfield game and I thought if this was boxing, the white towel would have been thrown in at half time.

    Even Doyle was getting pushed to the left hand wing, to only cross it to a empty box, because He cannot be in 2 places at once, I just feel for the lad, proven scorer and He is in a negative disorganized team, He has gone from highest scorer in Europe to missing in action at Bradford City.

    I would give it the next 2 games with players coming back in, but the must has to be 4 points from 6.

    Anything lower then a change in management is Required to give us any hope before it is too late.

    If you want to sell 20,000 season tickets, even at a low price, you want to watch entertaining football.

    • “… continue to press them, this team don’t like that and cannot cope with it and gaps will come as they panic and pass sideways and back to keeper…”

      Totally agree Ant, and I Bowyer needs to find the solution and quickly to rescue our season and his job. But what I like about your comment on this is that there’s a balance too with the player’s shirking their responsibilities. Going sideways and backwards might be Bowyer’s plan, but I doubt it; it’s more likely player’s not wanting to take responsibility for taking risks in the game, which may or may not be the result of Bowyer’s tactics / management style.

      But I can’t shake the thought that we’re back to a squad of players who are refusing to step up and take responsibility:

      McGee – don’t look at me, I just got here
      Henley – don’t look at me, I’ve not been playing and need to get my match fitness up
      Wood – don’t look at me, I’m trying my best
      AOC – don’t look at me, I’m just keeping my head down after last year
      BRE – don’t look at me, I’ve got major supply chain issues with my clothing business
      Connolly – don’t look at me, I’m trying my best and need to get my match fitness up, plus I’m on loan
      Reeves – don’t look at me, I’ve been out for ages, you’re lucky I’m even here
      Taylor – don’t look at me, I’m not match fit yet and have clear limitations anyway
      Pritchard – don’t look at me, I’m trying my best and need to get my match fitness up, plus I’m on loan (although to be fair, I was furious online afterwards)
      McCartan – don’t look at me, I’m not match fit yet and haven’t had a run in the team, plus I don’t think the manager or the crowd like me
      Doyle – don’t look at me, I was having a blinding season and now look…

      Right through the team, there are ready made excuses and justifications for shunning responsibility and for all the talk of character being back in the squad, we lack leadership.

      We need a crunching midfield general, not just to add some steel to our featherweight side, but to set standards and change the culture. This takes time, which Bowyer might not have.

      But I do feel any analysis of what’s gone wrong cannot shield the players from criticism. They started well but have proven themselves to be physically and mentally weak as soon as things got tough. The same bucket-passing culture of last season lingers on I fear…

  22. I have said it before on this forum Rhodes/Rupp have got to take some responsibility for the situation over the last few years after all it was Rhodes who introduced Rupp/Rahic to the club for some of his faults Lawn was an honest and financial co-director putting the lions share into the club when he was Rhodes partner.
    Rhodes return to the club seems to have now pittered out and working with a missing co director seems to be void of leadership he set a steady the ship manager on but unfortunately all seem to be taking the club in the wrong direction once again and for getting the fans onside seems to be losing that game also.
    I really hope we can turn it round I have written on here before about Tranmere Rovers who are looking forward to a fantastic cup tie today it’s a long while since we had one of those it’s them sort of games that provide heroes and memories for fans and younger supporters pick up on this.
    While I agree we cannot live on past glories and should the club be displaying the Chelsea game on the big screen at the last home in front of the current team and us supporters who can only watch and think what an earth as happened.

    • 5 years and one day since that Chelsea cup tie. Poles apart in terms of emotions from the fans, quality of the players and commitment of the team.

  23. 5 years and one day since that Chelsea cup tie. Poles apart in terms of emotion of fans, quality of players and commitment of team.

  24. I can’t think of a genuine footballing reason for Bowyer to stay now. Over recent months, the defence of Bowyer has tended to boil down to three reasons. 1) We’re still in the top 7. 2) We’re doing better than we thought we would be, given last season. 3) We need stability and shouldn’t chop and change a manager every time we have a bad run.

    1) is taking care of itself, as we drop down the league. Even if by some miracle we made the playoffs, I don’t see this team winning the playoff games to get promoted.

    2) I have some some sympathy with. However this depends on where you start drawing comparisons. If you said to me last March “We’ll be 7th in League Two next January” then I’d have been delighted. But if you said it to me in August, after Rupp kept the budget high and we were able to attract Vaughan, Donaldson and others, then I’d say we were underachieving. And dollop on the context of the terrible football and the awful quality of the division.

    3) I can’t counter this with anything other than “Well we can have stability, but it will be in League Two.” Bowyer won’t get us up this year, and if we don’t come close then I don’t see how he’s earned another go at it next year. So change now while there’s a still a chance of turning this year around. I see the view that if we bring someone in and our decline continues then what do we do with that person, but the alternative is accepting next season in League 2 without putting up a fight.

    I wasn’t keen on Bowyer’s tactics when he first came in. But he had a positive character that seemed to lift the club and had a good eye for a player. When he got the players to sing the Stephen Derby song before the Liverpool friendly I thought “Yes, he gets it”. But his coaching, tactics and philosophy are all wrong and are holding the players back. We can all produce a horrific stat to back this up; my favourite has to be that we didn’t have a shot on goal in a game against a team 20th in League 2. Bowyer’s post match comments are now so delusional that I’d be staggered if the players had any faith in his judgement.

    The best thing David Hopkin did as manager was to resign with dignity when it was clear he wouldn’t be able to keep us up. The best thing Bowyer can do now, if he wants to save some of his, and prevent undoing his good galvanising work from earlier in the season, is resign now it’s clear he’s not going to be taking us up.

  25. City, likely have the two best strikers in the League, but the quality in the rest of the squad is a mystery. In particular, do we have the players to service these two quality strikers? I’m not convinced that is the case based on performances so far this year. On paper, this team looks good enough to at least be competing for a playoff spot. All of a sudden, fans are demanding a manager change and they are right to be dissatisfied. However, I hope we are not jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Let’s be honest, the last four managers have failed miserably.

    It looks likely there will be a manager change in the near future. Stuart would be my choice on a short term contract (balance of the season) with significant bonus for promotion this season. I’m probably wishful thinking that is a realistic with Rupp still being the owner.

    • A manager with the best win percentage in over 30 years despite an egomaniacal chairman interfering would be a good choice in any sane individuals head…if he would touch it with a shitty stick….

  26. I witnessed the home games against Mansfield and Morecambe over the festive period and I thought on both occasions City were lucky to get the wins. All I witnessed was the back 5 bypassing the midfield in the hope that Vaughan would get a touch and try bring someone else into play.
    It is clear to those who read these forums, watch the games and listen to the opinions of former players that something has to give – the stats don’t lie – fewer shots each game and the lack of a creative spark mean that all we are going to do is try and defend for 90 minutes in the hope that we might sneak draw or get a penalty on the rare occasion we manage to get into the opposition box.
    The question now though is if he goes, who comes in next ?
    I hear people calling for Stuart time and again – for me it’s a NO. He has had his times here, can we just leave it at that ?
    Is experience more important such as Warnock etc or what about someone relatively fresh – such as Darren Moore, Michael Flynn etc ?
    One thing is for certain is that we need leaders on and off the pitch, people to get others by their shirt and give them the rocket that is so desperately needed. Greg Abbott was spot on when on Radio Leeds yesterday – he said City fans will always back you 100% as long as you put a shift in and show that you care.

    • Stuart is a club legend and great motivator, but both times he’s been here, he’s shown that when you need some tactical nuance or a plan b, he doesn’t have it. If we could bring him together with a more analytical number 2, or set up a proper back room staff providing that analysis, it could be an option but hooking up with an ex is always short term…

      If I am Rupp, I’m making a big offer for Wellens.

  27. At the recent media forum the question was posed re: “Communication continues to be issue – we hardly hear anything from Stefan Rupp or Julian Rhodes. How can the club communicate better with supporters?”

    Once again no comment from the top or the club on the current and badly deteriorating relationship with fans after Mansfield. Not even a dreaded vote of confidence? Says it all?

  28. According to a BBC Sport survey regarding transparency and communication with fans, City ranked 87 out of 92 clubs. That says it all!!

    By the way, I wonder if City’s goal is still promotion to the Championship within 5 years??

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