Leaving the Macron yesterday in slightly busier traffic than usual, the MannyRd's sat in the car, dissecting a draw against Bradford City, a team according to social media before the match that would blow us away with their Samba Soccer and cutting edge attacks. A team that supposedly had gone on to bigger and better things in a matter of 8 games. The champions elect.
Turns out, the opposition were none of those things. Yet again, Wanderers were poor and did not lose. The back five were solid (and for the first time this season I include Buxton in that assessment), and the midfield solid enough in the first half until the referee started flashing yellow to Spearing and Vela. Going forward, an abomination. Ameobi and Proctor just didn't click. If his header after 20 seconds had gone in, we'd be talking about a very different performance from Proctor. The way the fans treated him is shameful, and probably worth an article in its own right.
The best thing about Bradford City yesterday was their fans. Nearly 5,000 of them filled the South Stand, a sight we haven't seen since the Premier League era. And why not? We're Premier League football clubs. Or at least we were, once. Even local rivals Wigan and Blackburn have failed to fill the away end in recent years. It made for a fantastic atmosphere, and the Macron felt like it was hosting a league game, rather than a 2nd round cup tie, for the first time this season.
On the pitch, I was shocked. Where was the Stuart McCall tiki-taka passing? Where was the hatful of chances the Bantams were going to put away? I was told from one Bradford fan that they'd have at least 65% possession, so imagine my surprise when it was 50-50 at full time. Bradford looked like scoring just the once, and that was ironically from a long ball punted up field, which Dean Moxey failed to deal with effectively.
Cullen, a player I was told to look out for, went very quiet after becoming acquainted with Jay Spearing in the first half. Clarke and McNulty did not seem on the same wavelength, and Marshall tainted an otherwise promising game with a pathetic attempt to win a penalty in the second half. Knight-Percival looks a decent centre half, but he's not a patch of Whea-vers.
Compared to the teams we've faced so far, Bradford could well be in the top 6 come May. However, according to Twitter, I appear to have missed Bradford's winning goal. Maybe I went to a different match altogether. The fallout on social media has been one of self congratulation and further digs at the man that got them back from the trapdoor of English football. Did Bradford win? No, but they're behaving like they have.
I guess we have to get used to being the big fish - a draw at the Macron seems enough to get anybody's claret and gold knickers in a twist.
So let me be the first to congratulate Bradford City on their promotion to the Championship on this day, Saturday 24th September. We are not worthy.