Issue #151 Dylan / George

As told by Michael Wood

Napoléon Bonaparte is reported to have said that that if the French army was left without someone to fight then they would fight themselves, or within themselves more probably and given that the Corsican was a veteran of his country’s revolution one could see the origin of the thrust of his point.

In football it is given to being the same. The summer is long and there is nothing to do other than recall the Icelandic victory and look at the slow building of a team at Bradford City after the exit of Phil Parkinson. That team takes some interesting shapes but as new Head of Recruitment Greg Abbott freely admits it is behind where it needs to be.

Work must be done for signings to be made and – it would seem – is being done.

Watching George Green on Saturday was a long awaited pleasure for me who had followed his career so closely but as was observed at the time Green is a player who would be a good signing but probably not a good loan signing. To borrow Green from Burnley one suspects that a club will have to promise to play his every week and even ignoring the lack of first team experience he has had at any club – a handful of Tranmere Rovers games – promising to play someone else’s attacking midfielders every week is an act of folly in League One where a gnarled defensive can get you – well – fifth.

Which is not to say that Green will not have a forty six game season for someone and be the finest player in the division – he may – but management is managing risk and there is a risk inherent in giving a starting shirt to a player who has not been blooded in the professional game. This was as true with Billy Knott as it is with George Green. It is true of Dylan Mottley-Henry too.

Dylan Mottley-Henry joined Barnsley of The Championship having been released by City months ago. It is a good move for Mottley-Henry but one doubts Adam Hammill will be sitting out many games to make room for him. To keep Mottley-Henry Bradford City – be it Parkinson or Stuart McCall – would have had to give the player a professional contract. No one knows how tight money is with the new regime at Bradford City but Championship money allows for more spending.

Mottley-Henry has a six month deal at Oakwell and if that does not work out then his cost is absorbed into the running of a Championship club. Less than the gates for when Newcastle United visit South Yorkshire. If the promising winger impresses then Barnsley reap the rewards, if not they hardly feel the pain. That is the difference between promotion and losing in the play-offs as starkly as it can be put.

Mottley-Henry, like Green, offers a risk which McCall and Bradford City are adverse to. Which tells us something else new about this new Bradford City, at least for now.