City to move on with an outstanding managerial appointment

Peter Taylor is an outstanding appointment as the next Bradford City manager and over the next four months of the interim contract he is to sign at the club on Wednesday the former England manager will be trying out the Bantams just as much as the Bantams are trying out him.

Taylor’s appointment represents the pinnacle of what could be expected from the joint chairman who have brought in perhaps the only replacement for Stuart McCall who could be said to near guarantee an improvement on the field.

The former Spurs player turned manager’s track record is one of often repeated success showing an appreciation from Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes of the quality that Taylor offers. Taylor has taken Dartford, Gillingham, Brighton & Hove Albion, Hull City and Wycombe Wanderers to promotions in varied situations. He has failures in his career for sure but his ability to create and replicate success puts him head and shoulders above all other managers who the club could have appointed.

All of which is not to say that this is an appointment without danger – it is possible that Taylor will record the kind of performance in the next ten games as he did in his last for the Chairboys that saw him fired – but in terms of minimising the risk Lawn and Rhodes could not have made a better choice.

Not only that but a usefulness is given to the four month interim period as Essex boy Taylor tries out life in West Yorkshire.

The Southend born Taylor will spend four months at Valley Parade in which we will audition him for the job of permanent manager – with the exception of the perhaps available Paul Jewell one would struggle to think of a better candidate who might be available in the summer – and he will get to know us.

While manager of Hull City – a job that saw him take the Tigers to two promotions – he spent three days a week at his home in the South of England and perhaps he will do the same at Valley Parade. Certainly in the next four months Taylor will be given a chance to decide if he wants the Bantams job on a full time basis.

One can only imagine what will add to that decision to be taken in four months time. Geography is certainly a factor for the 57 year old but one wonders what the effect of the notorious Bradford City support will have on the man who represents by far the best man available? Four months of the sort of treatment that Colin Todd and Stuart McCall suffered at the hands of some “supporters” and Mark Lawn need not even bother offering a contract in four months.

Nevertheless credit the joint chairman with offering one now. Some would say that this deal could have been struck in the hours following the Bury game – certainly this website said that Taylor or Jewell were the only two acceptable appointments – and thus the new manager would have had a start at home to Grimsby Town but let us celebrate the offer at all and reflect that something approaching due process has been carried out.

Despite the delay that saw the Grimsby game frittered away Lawn is in the rare position of having appointed the consolidation candidate who commands more instant respect that perhaps any other option. One can only hope that this top quality manager – the man who picked out David Beckham as England captain – will be given the chance to build something at the club and not be judged on short term results and win percentages. Now Lawn has got the manager – and hoping the manager enjoys dating us enough to marry us – then the joint chairman needs to ensure the whole club is dedicated to creating a position where the manager can succeed.

Since McCall’s departure one game of nineteen is gone, are two points in fifty-seven and Taylor starts away at Accrington Stanley on Saturday. His style of football is practical, his manner is intelligent and considered and he always, always signs Junior Lewis.

Welcome to Bradford City Peter Taylor. You are the best choice, you have some good tools to work with and I hope you stay for a long, long time.

Peter Taylor named new City manager

Peter Taylor has been named as the new Bradford City manager starting an interim contract that will take him until the end of the season.

Taylor – who the club interviewed on Thursday last week – is to be unveiled as the Bantams new boss on Wedneday afternoon and joins the club after four months out of the game following his dismissal from Wycombe Wanderers on 9th October 2009. He has previously managed Dartford, Southend United, Dover Athletic, Gillingham, Leicester City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Stevenage Borough and England at both u21 and full level.

Taylor replaces Stuart McCall as the City manager.

The night before Christmas (Unfinished)

A few months ago Mark Lawn dressed as Father Christmas to launch Bradford City’s season ticket appeal, not long later the joint chairman of the club is playing the role of Santa to an excited fanbase.

For all the criticisms of the way that Staurt McCall left the club, the way that the club abandoned its laudable policy of stability, the way that Wayne Jacobs the assistant manager was treated, the way that the club decided to only appoint an Interim Manager, the way that the interview list leaked out so easily, the way that a woeful Grimsby Town side got a draw as almost a direct result of the paralytic inaction that followed McCall’s departure. Despite all those things and many, many more there is an excitement that comes with a new manager.

Managers at Bradford City are football’s equivalent of the teenage girlfriend: They are fun and exciting at first but in a while you go off them and despite all the promises you made you move onto someone else because – well – they are fun and exciting.

It looks like tomorrow’s darling will be Peter Taylor although some say that he has already ruled himself out of the race after wanting to spend more days that the club would like a week in Essex. That is just speculation but it might be that Peter wants a more open relationship and that would only break our hearts.

So if it is not Peter Taylor can we hope it will be the bright eyed young thing that is Steve Cotterill? Perhaps. He was not on the original interview list but space emerged on Tuesday – should the BfB source be good – for two exra interview slots one of whom would seem to be Martin Allen – he flirted with us like crazy on Saturday – and the other is rumoured to be already in a relationship but on the look out.

John Coleman has changed his relationship status with Accrington Stanley FC to it’s complicated.

So perhaps it is not Cotterill. Allen’s touchline antics are unfashionable but hopefully

Peter Taylor was appointed Bradford City manager as I typed. Not much point in carrying on with the article but I thought I’d include it anyway. Michael Wood

The excuse

Michael Flynn has spoken about how he believes that the new Bradford City manager needs to put some rockets up backsides at the club. Flynn said

We need somebody with a big character who won’t take any messing. Some of the lads might feel a bit too comfortable and a few need a rocket up their backside.

Comfortable is a curious thing at a football club. One the one hand one wants the players to feel relaxed and at ease to allow themselves the freedom to express, to make mistakes without being pilloried, to be able to minimise defeats and move on from them however when the players slide too far along this scale of comfortability then they become complacent and defeats are not felt as keenly as they should be. If the blame for a loss can be put elsewhere – Referees, pitches, the quality of the opposition, injures – then it allows the players who retain self-belief but should that blame be constantly deflected then the players will no longer behave as if they are responsible for the performances.

Certainly Stuart McCall favoured the pattern of giving his players he room to breathe and could oft be heard criticising officials for the plight of his players. For what it is worth I agree with McCall that it was – in no small way – the fault of Referees making a string of atrocious decisions the apologies for which must have rung in Stuart’s ears when he heard them from men in the middle the Monday he left the club but I doubt that were I Bradford City manager I would have allowed the players to be left off the hook so easily.

Paul Buckle – the manager of Torquay United – would have the same thought. After his side had out-played City but lost two two late and unlucky goals from the Bantams he offered his players no place to hide saying that they should have done more to win the game. Since then results have not improved – one draw and three defeats from four – and Buckle’s position at the club is questioned. The response he was looking for from his players in not engaging in what could be called “excuse culture” he has not had.

A trip up to Cardiff sees Dave Jones and his team sitting in fifth place in the Championship despite a trip to Newcastle’s St James Park which saw the Bluebird beat 5-1. After the game Jones would hear not a word against his players talking about long trips, injuries and suspensions having taken a chunk out of his side who lost to a great Magpie’s performance. Jones would not allow his players to take any responsibility and a few days later they were back to winning ways 2-0 over Peterborough United.

Two managers, two approaches and the converse which one might expect with Jones’s side doggedly in the promotion hunt and Buckle under pressure. If City were in the position Jones’s has Cardiff in would excuses be a problem? We are in the position Buckle’s side is in, would we accept his strident denials of any external responsibilities? Would Michael Flynn’s kick up the arse aimed at Torquay not be seen just as kicking the players when they are down? Perhaps.

Famously after Wigan Athletic’s opening day defeat to one squeaked goal to nil against Chelsea Jose Mourinho shook Paul Jewell’s hand and said to him “I hope you stay up.” Jewell firmly returned the shake and replied “Yeah, I hope you do too.”

Jewell would not allow his Wigan players to consider themselves on a different level to any of the other teams in the top flight but when Arsenal stole a win from the Latics Jewell was quick to blame the officials. Jewell understood that “excuse culture” is nothing of the sort. Excusing the players – or not doing – is a tool to keep the pressure off the squad when one wants it to be and not in other times.

Sven Goran Erikkson revitalised Ruud Gullit’s career by accusing the midfielder of having “glass knees” during their time together at Sampdoria. Gullit’s parting shot at Sven as he left to return to AC Milan went along the lines of “I showed you” to which the Swede explained his admiration of the Dutchman and his desires to be showed up by eight superb months of football. Excuses are a way of balancing the responsibilities a player takes and good manager’s know when to use them and when not to.

Who knows what approach the next manager of Bradford City will take towards the linguist tools of his role. Perhaps he will be like Buckle in reaction to Stuart’s excessive excuses and perhaps he will get the same results as the Torquay boss or perhaps he will strike a perfect balance letting his players feel they can control their football destinies but shielding them from outrageous misfortune.

Either way it is worth remembering that these “excuses” are tools of the manager and when employed by a Jewell giving his players the belief that they can compete with anyone or a Jones telling his players to move onto the next game without worry are at least as much about the mentality inside the club as outside it.

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