Issue The Colbeck Factor

As told by Michael Wood

Ask any Bradford City fan what they want in a player and they will say the word “Passion” pretty soon.

Our hero is Stuart McCall – a man for whom every kick was done with passion – and our greatest teams are known for the hard working ethic they portrayed. Peter Beagrie is known as an idol at Valley Parade and a malingerer at Manchester City because he discovered this passion late on in his career – and cause for all his World Cup Winners medal Alan Ball was a tenth of the manager Paul Jewell is.

Passion is what got Bobby Campbell out of the pub and got us into the pubs of Bradford to raise the money to keep the club going twice the last five years. We love passion.

Joe Colbeck on the other hand is unloved by man.

Colbeck – who has joined Darlington on loan – has split opinion at Valley Parade for some time and for sure much of the debate centres on his abilities rather than his attitude. For what it is worth I believe that Colbeck can cross a ball better than most and with the right motivation and coaching he could be a valuable asset and a very good player. The fact that he is joining a rival League Two club having already been sniffed at by Derby County at one point suggestions that I’m not alone in rating the home grown winger.

Debate over ability aside what is uncontested is that Colbeck shows passion. The ginger winger will and does run up and down the right wing for every minute of every game he wears claret and amber and provides a stark contrast to his competitor on the right wing Omar Daley.

Daley is an impressive player running with the ball but we have all seen his head sink down when backs are to the wall and for all the excitement of him running at a full back one could never describe him as showing the desire to win for Bradford City which we would suggest he rate so highly.

It would seem that City can have one or the other – attempts to field right wingers on the left almost always fail – but not both in the starting eleven and Colbeck’s exit shows which one Stuart McCall has selected but one worries about the signifier which allowing a player who’s passion puts many to shame to leave on loan has. Play hard for this club, the move suggests, and it will mean nothing compared to the odd flash off skill

Colbeck – and for that matter the likes of Craig Bentham now and Danny Forrest before him – have a purpose in a squad of keeping the rest of the players honest. Having Joe Colbeck at the club should have showed Omar Daley that the minimum required for the right wing slot was to match the effort of the other player in his position.

One hopes that Colbeck’s exit does not tell all that putting in all the effort – all the passion – that one can muster is not the minimum required to be in Stuart McCall’s team.