Anger, Management and Rotherham

Sometimes in life it’s the little things that are crucial. In this case it’s the comma.

The release of emotion has always been seen as therapeutic. Some football clubs charge exorbitant prices for their contributions to this philosophy but at City we get excellent value for money.

Saturday will be an emotional game for so many different reasons. Doubtless there will be anger.

From where I sit at VP we can watch the progress of a game through the changing of the colour of a face – pale pink turns to red, to puce through to purple as the guy near us ratchets up his scattergun anger. Anyone (everyone) is a target, nothing is constructive but it is his right and I hope he thinks it is doing him some good at least.

But that’s the thing about anger – it has more shades than a Dulux colour card.

So where do you place Joe Colbeck’s second yellow the other season for harmlessly kicking the ball at an ad board just because of a lapse in ball control? Or the two footed lunge on Gordon Watson or the much more public Zidane “header” of a World Cup Final? They are all signs of anger. They all had immediate and longer-term consequences. They are all signs of passion. We want and demand passion, we feel it ourselves but if passion is anger then anger is an inevitable part of football. If there is anger on Saturday, and there will be from some, how will it be shown? Who will it be aimed at? and what will be the immediate and long-term consequences?

Is it healthier, personally, to stay away? If you go in an angry frame of mind is there any hope of improvement once inside the ground? And if you go to make your anger felt just because you’ve paid for the ticket, is it just to make you feel better?

No one will be more hurt and angry about the way the season has panned out than Stuart. So that brings us to management. We know his passion. He doesn’t need others to add to the way it hurts just because they can. He’s full up already.

Then there’s Wayne Jacobs, an easier target? But the partnership worked well until “mad March” approached and McCall has shown loyalty in supporting him under criticism since – a sign of good management. The board then? Not with the financial commitment they have shown.

That just leaves the players and this is where the real dilemma appears. Cheers or jeers are heard by all the team. Doubtless some have worked harder than others. Examples set by junior and loan players have not been reciprocated by some with much more experience. How do you applaud – or boo, as has become fashionable with some – half a team?

They are our team. As a team they have not fulfilled the expectations of so many but they are our team and we are their supporters. We have tried to lift them. We have failed. Should we walk away too? Doubtless some will but all the signs are that, in numerical terms at least, we are still likely to be the best supported team in the division next season.

There is no system of management that guarantees success. I you haven’t succeeded is failure the only alternative. Stuart sadly thinks so and has said he will go as a consequence but is this really good management? Look at the history of managerial change at our or any club, there are no guarantees! Whatever your personal assessment, Stuart will become a better manager and I for one, would like this to happen at Bradford. Change at some time is inevitable. Managers “walk” on success as well as failure however you define those terms. Good management would make it clear if Stuart is going or staying before kick off on Saturday. The reasons for this are many and all positive.

So that brings us to Rotherham. Their definition of success this season will differ from ours. We know what they have been through. Are they to be caught up as “innocent bystanders” in Bradford City’s anger and management issues?

So, if you go on Saturday, give serious thought to why you are there. If as a supporter, support. If in protest then “the sound of one hand clapping” should be sufficient.

If you go in anger then that brings us round to “anger management” without the comma and that’s another thing altogether as any therapist will tell you – for a fee!

A bad time to change

Stuart McCall has to stay on for another season as manager, simple as that

It’s got nothing to do with whether you’re pro or anti McCall. Before some of you begin bellowing at your monitors, let me explain by outlining the alternative scenario and it’s timeline.

At 5-00pm on the 2nd of May Stuart seeks out Julian Rhodes amd Mark Lawn to confirm his resignation. the season’s just ended and we’re now managerless. Now I’ll make only one assumption that neither Wayne Jacobs nor David Wetherall is going to get the job. So we’re looking for a new man.

With any luck the chairmen already have someone in mind so an appointment is confirmed by mid May. If not, with newspaper adverts followed by sifting through replies and organising interviews, City would be lucky to have someone in place by the end of May.

Either way, we’re into the close season and the playing staff are on their (undeserved) holidays.

So the new manager is faced with a choice…bring in players “blind” or keep on most of the existing playing staff. Hardly an appealing choice.

Any experienced manager will tell you that the only time the boss begins to know what he has (or hasn’t) got at his disposal is when he sees actual competitive matches… at least
3 but preferably more. I agree. as a fan who’s watched countless pre-season friendlies over too many years, I know what they tell you which is nowt! We’ve had great friendlies followed by terrible seasons and vice versa.

Competitive matches only begin 2nd week in August. by the time three or four are played and the manager has some idea of the team’s needs we’re almost at the close of the signing window and looking
at the dreaded loan signings to make up the numbers till the turn of the year and the re-opening of the signing window. By then we’re all in “hoping” mode. hoping that what we want is available.

We could, if they’re not, be looking at another season of marking time and planning for 2010/2011.

Now football success is a young man’s pastime and I’m not getting any younger. I do not want another wasted season marking time.