Between 2003 and 2011, Jason McKeown wrote for the popular Bradford City website boyfrombrazil.co.uk. Here some of my articles and match reports from this era which I was most proud of.
To praise or to criticise, as part of their team role or to illustrate a wider point about the club – here are a selection of articles that were devoted or centred upon a particular player.
Win, lose or draw – debates about the merits of the current manager are rarely far away. Here’s a selection of articles about City gaffers of recent years.
April 2009 – the final curtain
Having vowed to quit if the play offs weren’t reached, a meaningless final home game looked set to be McCall’s final game before a ‘Save our Stuart’ supporter campaign helped to change his mind
With Alan Shearer in caretaker charge of Newcastle United, at look at two legends giving everything for their club
January 2010 – Stuart McCall and the never ending cycle
A month before McCall eventually quit, poor results saw the pressure building on him
October 2010 – Which way up is the map supposed to be?
Eight months after driving away McCall, previous claims from his detractors that he had been holding back the club begin to look misguided
March 2011 – re-shifting of the goal posts
Another City legend takes the hotseat as passion comes back into vogue
February 2010 – Taylor’s arrival sparks more questions than answers
Taylor is confirmed as manager until the end of the season
August 2010 – How much should we analyse City’s uninspiring win over Stevenage?
A less than thrilling early season victory see the team booed off
September 2010 – Taking the next steps
Poor early season form sees Taylor’s relationship with City fans begin to feel the strain
A 1-0 home defeat to Morecambe leaves Taylor looking the wrong man for City – even if it’s not all his fault
October 2010 – Bury 0 Bradford City 1
Four wins from five games means Taylor’s pragmatic style can find favour…
…but in the end it proves too much to bear when results nosedive
February 2011 – Peter Taylor: outstanding appointment, outstanding failure
Taylor eventually resigns
March 2011 – the bus ride to Kent
Before his first game in charge, Jackson enjoys the initial popularity to make sweeping decisions
May 2011 – the managerial question that will probably come back to bite
A less than impressive interim period for Jackson leaves the Board with a tough decision over who to appoint as permanent manager
August 2011 – new season, new manager
Celebrating the fact Jackson was no supporter’s superhero, meaning more realistic expectations
September 2011 – Parkinson looks to address the mentality but the problems run deep
Following a 2-1 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon, Parkinson believes the club has a losing culture
October 2011 – the walking stage
Parkinson’s functionalistic approach begins to take shape
Managers in general
February 2011 – the managerial failure cycle
A look at the managerial choices that followed the last successful boss, Paul Jewell
May 2009 – Todd, Robson and some unresolved history
A look back at how Bryan Robson and Colin Todd managed City and the result of their departures
February 2011 – why we should all feel very sad and also a little ashamed as Wayne Jacobs tends to the garden
Assistant to McCall and Taylor, Jacobs is booted out the club.
A selection of match reports over the years that I either enjoyed writing or where I was pleased with how it turned out.
The 2006/07 season (23rd in League One)
The 2007/08 season (10th in League Two)
The 2008/09 season (9th in League Two)
The 2009/10 season (14th in League Two)
The 2010/11 season (18th in League Two)
The 2011/12 season (League Two)
January 2011 – Mark Lawn, Bradford City Joint Chairman
October 2011 – Archie Christie, former Bradford City Chief Scout and Head of Football Development
August 2011 – Dominic Newton-Collinge, Bantams Banter presenter
August 2010 – Matthew Kett, Stevenage supporter and editor of former website fcboro.co.uk
Articles which looked at what the club’s owners were doing – or not doing – well. This includes the Valley Parade rent negotiations in 2011 which for a time might have seen City leave their home.
“I think it’s wonderful that, as ticket prices continue to rise nationally and the Premiership becomes more and more removed from reality, my club has taken this fantastic lead in making the game more affordable for ordinary folk.”
“Reports are circulating today that City are considering moving to play at Odsal when it is redeveloped. When should really be if because for years we’ve heard fanciful talk of a super stadium springing up on Odsal top and it seems no closer than ever. Maybe this time it’s different, maybe one day pigs really will learn to fly.”
“Like any sensible business in these credit crunch times, a cautious but reasoned picture of the health of the club was presented from Lawn, Operations Director Dave Baldwin and manager Stuart McCall.”
“It may go down as one of most unsuccessful periods in the club’s history, but the noughties have been unforgettable.”
“There are genuine long-term concerns about what this new deal will do to the competitive nature of the Football League. In the Championship, clubs relegated from the Premier League will have such a huge advantage in terms of the money they have, compared to their rivals, that bouncing back within a couple of seasons should be much more of a regular occurrence than it currently is. And for clubs climbing into the Championship from Leagues One and Two, the inequality of solidarity payments will make it more difficult to catch up as time goes by.”
“BfB understands that Bradford City are attempting to negotiate with Valley Parade landlord Gordon Gibb over the terms of the current rental agreement.”
“The club has a net deficit on its assets. This means it has more liabilities (ie financial obligations, such as repaying loans) than assets (money owed to the club by other parties, etc). This is a terrible position for any company to be in, and some people – probably outside of the football industry – might even argue it should be wound up unless proof of future profit potential can be provided.”
“As the inks dries on the Prupim deal, it should not be quickly forgotten that – yet again – the Bantams have had to rely on their owners digging deep to preserve the club’s future.”
“If this strategy and this team can take City upwards, there would be a less likelihood of a nosebleed halfway on route to the top and fear that vast money must be found to sustain improvement. The speed of progress may be slower, but perhaps along the journey we’ll skip past a few clubs who had apparently spent their way to success, but are finding it a struggle to maintain momentum.”
It’s not just about the football; attending matches and following the club is all about being part of a community of fans. It can be a joyful experience at times, but frustrating at others.
The 2007/08 season wasn’t sparkling on the field, but a hell of a lot of fun being in the away end on City’s travels
The wait to sign new players ahead of the 2008/09 season had many fans in a fit of anger
September 2008 – good supporter, bad supporter debate part three
A couple of indifferent early season results put the club’s official message board under the spotlight
February 2009 – counting to ten
A poor afternoon in North London sparks anger amongst City fans
City defeat Port Vale on penalties in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, sparking memorable celebrations
December 2009 – end of the ride
The Bantams bow out of the JPT against Carlisle in the quarter finals, but it was a great adventure for those of us who went to every round
February 2010 – back from the brink
The fear, despair, torture and ultimately the delirium of following City’s vital win at Torquay from back in Yorkshire
February 2010 – we gotta fight, fight, fight, fight, fight for this love
A call to arms preview of a daunting away trip to leaders Rochdale; a game we would win 3-1 on an evening of incredible backing from us travelling fans
April 2010 – saying our goodbyes
City’s final home game of the season means a long summer absent of seeing each other
October 2010 – everything but the popcorn
A 3-1 win over Cheltenham is played out in front of a positive Valley Parade crowd
Every so often on BfB, we would cast our sights beyond the four corners of Valley Parade and to what else was happening in the football world.
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