Issue Which Way Now For David Wetherall?

As told by Michael Wood

David Wetherall looked a forlorn figure after the Chesterfield game as he prepared to all but rounded on those in claret and amber around him in his post match comments.

I feel a degree of anger. We just weren’t good enough, it’s as simple as that. We got exactly what we deserved and that was nothing at all. I’m hurting. It’s sad for myself and for the club and it’s an understatement to say I’m very, very disappointed.

If it was it was never supposed to be like this for City – one recalls the booming that we would be back in the Premiership some six years ago – then David Wetherall’s start in management was also supposed to be wildly different.

Always cutting a studious figure there was a common assumption that the player with a degree – albeit one in Biology – would take to the coaching and management side of the game naturally yet at present Wetherall’s record reads 13 games played, 2 won, 3 drawn, 8 defeats. It is not how it was supposed to be.

Which is not to say that Wetherall has hamfistedly failed in the Bantams job – up to half time last weekend it looked like he had taken a dozen games to get the side playing his way and would then take them on to some spirited escape. Certainly up to that point performances had been improved and the football was good but – as with most situations in the game – results are what mattered.

Going forward it is hard to see the next move for Wetherall. It seems unlikely he will stay as a player having been the boss although his contract suggests he will be doing and the majority of his charges will be nowhere near Valley Parade next season. It is also hard to see anyone offering him the role of manager on the strength of his two wins in thirteen but that is a possibility. Wetherall puts over the air of an Arsene Wenger off the field – a thinker rather than a thunderer – and that is a rarefied commodity in the game and often an attractive one.

However that cerebral air is easily turned into a stick to beat the City skipper turned manager. The lifelessness of the Bantam performance yesterday begs for comments on the need to add some passion to the club. Hard to imagine Wetherall banging his fist on the table, hard to imagine him hairdrying.

City are a team flattened. The majority of the squad will drift away in the summer and that shows in the display on the pitch. Too many players setting too much of a mood that City is only until Summer and when that mood takes hold the likes of Steven Schumacher sink down with it. Nine determined professionals and two loanees or kids or guys soon out of contract works. Reversing the ratio does not and regardless of Wetherall’s abilities as a manager it was never going to.

Of those abilities it is hard to make a judgment and given a steady club the man who kept City in the Premiership may be able to make a fist of things but – it would seem – it will not be at this club.