Issue The X-Factor

As told by Andy Traher

My concern this season is as to Stuart McCall’s men and if they have the X-Factor.

I’m no Simon Cowell, but I’m sure that the majority of the long suffering City fans will back me up when I say that no manager or a complete team, since Jewell and his men, have had the X-Factor.

Many men have tried: Chris Hutchings, Jim Jeffries, Nicky Law, Bryan Robson and Colin Todd but all have failed to come close to the bar that Jewell raised at Valley Parade.

Now that finances have improved and there’s even talk of paying a transfer fee – a novelty for BCFC fans – this is surely the best chance to the good times back to Valley Parade.

When Colin Todd was sacked – I wanted McCall appointed. When I heard that the Ginger Messiah was to return I was ecstatic.

Following his return everything coming out of the club was positive and when McCall said “non Promotion season is failure” I was filled with optimism. However, I think that Stuart should have kept his ambitions to himself until he had his squad together. Stuart didn’t think about anything other than winning as a player and he takes the same ideas into management.

However good a manager he may become the most important part of his masterplan is his squad. Some of the signings over the summer have been good captures and excited many fans. The return of Paul Heckingbottom and Paul Evans have, in my opinion, been vital in adding quality to a side that McCall hopes will climb to league one this season. Signings that have added much needed youth and desire to the squad, are that of Kyle Nix, Alex Rhodes and Scott Phelan who McCall will want to mirror the desire of our savior.

The most talked about signing was obviously the addition of Peter Thorne on a free transfer. Everyone realised that if Thorne could capture the goal scoring form he once showed, then this could be a vital part of the “Bradford City Promotion team” jigsaw which McCall and sidekick Wayne Jacobs are trying to put together. While concerns were cast over the fitness of a player who has only played two games in as many years, judgment is yet be made over Thorne as he has only made a couple of starts. Let’s hope he can impress the judges. The one player that has had no trouble winning over the fans is Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, also known as Dave or “G”.

A much traveled player that is causing the opposite reaction is the Irishman Barry Conlon. Now, I can see why Stuart has made this signing but I don’t see this as the best of the lot. Yes, he is experienced, yes he can hold the ball up and yes he can occasionally bring players into a move but he is being paid to score goals and as of yet he hasn’t earn’t his pay cheque.

It is still early days but when the aim is to build a promotion winning side, I’m not sure Conlon is a striker that is going to have a big impact on results. Time will tell but I don’t think the auditions have gone well.

Generally the start to the season has been OK – could be better – could be worse but the problem is a lack of consistency. One week we are traveling back from Barnet after a poor result but the next few we have two wins on the bounce against a consistent play off finishing team and one of the most fancied in the league. Things start looking good and we hope the team has fully jelled but then we head to Hereford and all is out of tune. Individual errors and a poor performance- from apparently our strongest unit- the defense, bring down the confidence and optimism once again as City crash to defeat at Edgar Street.

In my opinion the X-Factor includes: Desire, Passion, ability, strong heads, quality and consistency.

Desire and passion are there and expected under McCall. Ability is at a good standard. Strong heads were evident against Peterborough, quality is there or there abouts but the consistency is the key and as of yet the team are not showing this.

It’s only early days and let’s hope Stuart and his team can show League Two what the X-Factor is.