How Soon is Now?

Had Peter Taylor looked to the heavens during the Morecambe debacle, and he had ample reason to do so, he would have seen a flock of pigeons flying in perfect formation over the Bradford End. These birds of little brain easily outperformed their human counterparts a hundred feet below on the Valley Parade pitch.

Those who look for real grit and determination were rewarded when the ball flew into the Kop. Two kids were on the ball in an instant. Suddenly, fists were flying, as well as a cloud of popcorn, as the youngsters fought over the ball. It would be unkind to suggest that it turned physical when one of the boys realised that his protagonist was about to give the ball back to the players…

Just when you thought things could not get worse at Valley Parade? On the Kop we had a light hearted rendition of Yazz’s ‘The Only Way is Up’. By ten to five Bradford City were sitting one place off the bottom of the entire Football League. Suddenly, the dawning realisation is that the only way is not up… baby.

Peter Taylor received some fearful abuse. This was not the usual derision following a defeat. This was raw anger. We are staring into the abyss. Did I really hear Morrissey sing ‘all my hope is gone’ at halftime? The line is from the song is ‘How Soon is Now?’ That sentiment must be hanging over Valley Parade, hanging over the Lawn, Rhodes and Taylor households and hanging over many thousands of City supporters.

Where now? What now?

Changing a defence that had gained a valuable point at Rotherham was criminal. Dropping Luke O’Brien, City’s most heartening performer in the early part of the season, was illogical. Bringing two debutant, on loan, teenagers (yes Man United, blah blah blah) into the defence verged on the suicidal.

As the second half trundled along to its inevitable conclusion some fans sang sarcastically ‘Taylor for England’. A reference to reports that Taylor is (was?) being lined up for a coaching job under Fabio Capello. Quick as a flash another chant began ‘Taylor for Scotland’. People laughed, it was the most dangerous sound of the afternoon. You can lose football matches and recover, but lose credibility and you are finished.

What we lost on Saturday wasn’t just a football match. We lost our hope. A repeat of the infamous ‘We Want Football’ chant that defined John Docherty’s reign at Valley Parade is surely only a matter of time. Under Docherty City were once, even more infamously, booed onto the pitch. We haven’t hit that low point … yet.

When you say it’s gonna happen “now”/well, when exactly do you mean?/see I’ve already waited too long/and all my hope is gone.

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