Well Done Omar Daley

Reading something on the official City website warmed my heart. The weeks top news has to be Wayne Rooney and his disgraceful attitude towards his current employers, and so my thoughts turned to players who really did put their employers before their own personal greed.

Take a bow Omar Daley.

Not everyone’s favourite player at City granted, but there are very few players at VP who can play with the pace of Omar. Peter Taylor has made no bones about it; a fully fit Omar contributing the way we know he can is a cert on the team sheet and rightly so. But whilst many City fans have given him stick in the past, no-one can doubt his loyalty to the clubs cause this time.

In the article Omar states how he has pulled out of international duty to play for the Bantams. This comes from his gratitude at the club sticking by him through last seasons injury nightmare, for not consoling him to the scrap heap, for committing to him like we hope he commits to us. And this refreshing attitude coming from a player we would probably least expect it from based on some of the body language he sometimes portrays.

This says a couple of things about City’s current situation; when your winning everyone wants to play, everyone wants the ball and everyone enjoys training. Is it the winning feeling that has ironed out the early season dross from our memories? Or is Mr Taylor finally getting through to his players as to what he expects and them all getting used to each other.

I haven’t been at any of the last 3 games due to family commitments, but from what I hear we look more attacking. Is this because Taylor has had attack minded players fit enough to play, or is it because he has decided that offence is the best form of defence?

Whichever of the 2 this is, Omar deserves a good reception at the next home game for his commitment to the cause. I for one applaud you sir.

The Bantams looking for the knack

The Bantams go into this game looking for a first win in five, and with only one goal in the same amount of games. City are only one point out of the play off places and need to get back to winning ways to cement a chance to go to Wembley. Chesterfield are steaming up the league after a string of impressive results which only the likes of Brentford have managed of late.

The away game at Griffin Park earlier in the season was another of City’s losses on the road against the top teams in the league. It has to be said though, based on reports an account of managers and players alike, but for a free kick that shouldn’t have been, City would have taken a point from that game. Ironic that it is that point that keeps us out of the play off places at this stage.

So Brentford visit Valley Parade on Saturday looking to strengthen their grip on the League Two title. Andy Scott has done a terrific job with the resources at his disposal and it is teams like Brentford that City look at can only wonder what could have been. Nevertheless, Brentford have lost to Chesterfield, and drawn with Gillingham not forgetting the floodlight debacle away at Dagenham when live on Sky. One wonders if the re-scheduled game will be re-broadcast, something which is far too familiar…

A positive to take from the Chester result was the clean sheet. Although City have only scored one in five, Stuart McCall should be able to call on the services of Peter Thorne, who its hoped has recovered from a neck injury that has kept him out of the last couple of games. Who Thorne will partner up front is yet to be seen, though I get the feeling the ex Norwich man will work well with Paul Mullin, who whilst working hard in the last couple of games, has done nothing suggest he will be the remedy to Bradford’s scoring worries. If Thorne is not fit, expect Michael Boulding to be up top along side Mullin, and if Thorne is fit I would not be surprised if McCall reverts back to the centre forward pairing that had most League Two managers quaking in their boots in early season.

Rhys Evans keeps his place in goal after an eccentric performance at Chester, and a back four of Zesh Rehman, Graeme Lee, Matt Clarke and Luke O’Brien will be tasked with keeping the away team from scoring. There are calls for Paul Arnison to be recalled at right back, which I personally agree with. Not for his defending ability over Rehman, but his ability to get forward and not ignore the right winger in front of him. If City are to prosper on Saturday, the full backs could well be important assets to the attacking mentality.

Midfield is certainly the problem area for Stuart at present. It seems Dean Furman is the only definite name on the team sheet at present. The little South African is sure to be playing first team football for Rangers next season, with rumour of Barry Ferguson departing to Russia in the summer. Stuart then gets to pick from three of the following: Paul McLaren, Lee Bullock, Nicky Law jnr, Keith Gillespie, Steve Jones, Chris Brandon and Joe Colbeck.

Personally I would go for McLaren alongside Furman in the middle (he was the only player to consistently find another City player with the ball on Saturday) and Jones and Colbeck on the wings. Nicky Law has looked tired of late, and I for one would like to see him rested for a few games, with the potential to have a big impact on the play offs. Jones although sometimes flatters to decieve, has looked like a player who can make something happen, and with Thorne back in the mix, this bodes well for City. Colbeck gets my shout because in times like this, you need your home grown players who wont shirk a tackle, will die for the cause and more importantly will run and turn the opposition defence, something which City have not done enough lately.

This is an important game for the Bantams, and could be more so pending Chesterfield’s result on Tuesday night. Lets get behind the boys and push for that play off spot. Yes its Brentford, and yes they are on a decent run but in this League, anyone can beat anyone and City have this knack of beating teams at the top when they are up against it.

Billy Painter at Bristol City anyone?

More backing than barracking

This is my first article for BfB for a few years but I’m incensed after reading Omar Daley defending himself against criticism from fans.

The Telegraph and Argus website reports Omar Daley is not affected by recent criticism. The BBC reports the same with the City winger saying The fans pay their money to come and see me. The criticism hasn’t got to me, I’m just working hard.

I am baffled that Omar has to defend himself at all. What do we actually expect of Omar? As a player is what he is.

How much did we miss him earlier in the season when he was injured and when under the cosh we had no out ball at all? Are his performances not consistently better than those of last season? How many goals have City scored this season that have been down to him, his running and his pace?

I’m not suggesting he is our most prolific player of the season, but he has played a part? Yes. Why the hell is he getting criticised?

I’m so impressed with his character this year. He tracks back and tackles, he has helped his new mate Luke O’Brien out a few times when he breaks forward, he is always dangerous when running with the ball. Of course he loses the ball, makes the wrong pass or takes the wrong option from time to time, but he isn’t perfect but who is? You can not tell me that Manchester United’s Ronaldo takes the right option all the time, or that Fank Lampard should not always shoot for goal from long range when so many of Chelsea’s goals from from that.

Daley isn’t in the same class – no offence Omar – but thats why he is at the level he is at. Yes, he is an international player but for Jamaica, not Brazil – again no offence meant!

The bottom line is that some City fans are really starting to annoy me.

This season has been the best for at least six or seven yet some still find something to complain about, someone to pick fault with, someone to shoulder the blame and I think its completely out of order. We have had a mini blip, which all teams have, but the last 2 performances show that Stuart McCall has got tactics, performances, motivation levels right where they need to be coming up to some big games with Wycombe and Darlington and as we run in to the end of the season.

So I’ll ask something – as I prepare to be shot down – can we give the boys more backing than barracking please? We are five points of the top with two big teams coming to us in the next ten days, so lets get behind the boys and aim for six points which will put us firmly back in the automatic promotion hunt.

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