Articles about

Billy Clarke

Issue #167 Michael Wood on Inefficient / Attitude / Passing
Bradford City 1 Oldham Athletic 1 At Valley Parade in League One, 2016/2017

As a collective slap of self-congratulation was heard around Valley Parade watching the new Stuart McCall passing Bradford City impressed in a draw against Oldham Athletic it was worth looking at the game through the eyes of a travelling supporter and asking if the visitors performance was exactly the type of display of which Phil Parkinson's City teams were lauded for.

Issue #165 Michael Wood on Changes / Institutional / Retention
Bradford City 3 Coventry City 1 At Valley Parade in League One, 2016/2017

Stuart McCall showed the change as a manager promised since his return after his Bradford City team showed some character to come back from a goal down to beat Coventry City at Valley Parade.

Issue #162 Michael Wood on Opening / Generative / Failings
Bradford City 0 Port Vale 0 At Valley Parade in League One, 2016/2017

Bradford City's 0-0 draw with Port Vale on the opening day of the 2016/2017 season represented a failure of the players tasked with generating rather than converting chances.

Issue #160 Michael Wood on Preview / Players

Bradford City have a solid platform with a lot of options in the back four, and some solid midfield players, but creating chances - more than converting them - will be the problem Stuart McCall faces in 2016/2017 unless either the squad is added to, or players improve performances drastically, or Tony McMahon goes back to the right wing.

Issue #159 Michael Wood on Unfamiliar / Preview

The 2016/2017 season at Bradford City will not be defined by new team of Stuart McCall as manager and Edin Rahic as owner but by the old regime of Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes who allowed former manager Phil Parkinson to have full control over the football side of Bradford City and create structures that - on his exit - were not retained.

Issue #155 Michael Wood on Goalscorers / Conversions

The summer signings of football clubs are increasingly a quest for the most overrated commodity in football: A twenty goal a year striker.

Issue #148 Michael Wood on Holes / Fit

The seat is comfortable for McCall and business on assembling a squad begins immediately. One by one the current City squad are looked at for their ability to fit into what the manager wants.

Issue #137 Michael Wood on Retained / Leave

Six players leave Valley Parade and six may follow as Bradford City release the retained list.

Issue #134 Michael Wood on Ultimate / Reasoning

City are down to five contracted players leaving Parkinson with a near blank piece of paper for recruitment and raising some considerations about how the club's transfer policy ran for the last twelve to six months.

Issue #128 Michael Wood on The character of Bradford City’s goalscoring problems

Earlier in the 2015/2016 season Phil Parkinson addressed Bradford City's defensive problems by setting his team up to not commit players in attacking situations and thus not be vulnerable to counter-attacks and crosses. This - more the the players involved - has created a situation where City are struggling to score.

Issue #127 Michael Wood on When to start pressing your palms together as Bradford City beat Oldham Athletic 1-0 at Valley Parade
Bradford City 1 Oldham Athletic 0 At Valley Parade in League One, 2015/2016

As Bradford City beat Oldham Athletic 1-0 at Valley Parade the urgent question was if it supporting a team was about nursing the team through poor periods or more about celebrating the successes.

Issue #125 Michael Wood on How Football is ploughing fields without planting seeds
Chesterfield 0 Bradford City 1 and Sheffield United 3 Bradford City 1 At Proact Stadium Chesterfield and Bramall Lane Sheffield in League One, 2015/2016

Bradford City beat Chesterfield 1-0 in Derbyshire with a vintage Phil Parkinson team performance that kept the game tight and capitalised on the chance to win the game when it came but lost 3-1 at Sheffield United in a display of much different character. To appreciate how a manager can have a "vintage" performance, and what the concept of a team having a character is one has to be able to watch a lot of football and with pricing such as the £27 admission to Bramall Lane and other expensive prices including those at Bradford City fewer and fewer supporters will be able to do that.