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Monday, May 17, 2010

Bantams Season Review 2009/10

I nearly forgot to post my annual review of the Bantams season performance, and with good reason. It was without a shadow of a doubt the most forgetful one in recent history. After two years of under performance, hopes were not as high as in previous campaigns. Combine this with a tightening of the purse strings, and there was a whiff of imminent disaster approaching. A 5-0 thrashing in the first game, was a harbinger of things to come, and although we never seriously flirted with relegation, we never got a sniff of the play off spots either. Stuart McCall seemed to go into melt down, and the players looked to lose all confidence, and fair play to the ginger fella, he held up his hands and walked away. My personal opinion is that he should have stood by his promise to resign at the completion of last season. He is a stand up guy, and a true City Legend, but he doesn't look manager material. Too much one of the lads I fear. This meant we got new man at the helm, and everybody was pretty excited that we landed Peter Taylor, a man with a proven record at this level, to drag us out of this woeful league. Hopes are high for next term, but money is going to be tight, and season ticket sales are already down, falling below 10,000 for the first time since 2007.

Player of the Year
The choice was only really between two players, Hanson and Ramsden, and at this point I have to admit a certain amount of bias, as I am mates with James Hansons old man. In my defence, he did finish top scorer, and swept the boards at clubs official award ceremony. For a kid playing his first season as a pro, I thought he did well. Yes, he lost his way in the early new year, but by that time, the whole team was pretty much performing the same. Taylors arrival seemed to give him a confidence boost, and apart from a season ending injury, finished strongly.

Biggest Disappointment
Take your pick. Zesh was a target for the boo boys, which I felt was unfair, but it has to be said, when the guy sucks, he sucks big time. Evans is a tough one too rate, the boy runs. And runs. And runs. but that is about it. Still he chips in with a few scores, and does give it his all. Luke O'Brien had a shocking start, but once moved into midfield, by Taylor, looked much better. But the biggest disappointment had to be McCall. He kept faith with too many players who didn't get it done the previous year (Boulding, Clarke, Thorne, Bullock) and at times seemed completely clueless as what to next. I truly wish the man well, but I fear we have thrown our best chances of getting out of the bottom tier, on a guy who seemed to be employed more as season ticket seller, than a coach/manager of any skill.

Away Day
With City being so woeful, we found it hard to get motivated by trips to games. Darlington was dismal, and bloody freezing. Accrington tried to kill my trainers. Morecambe did have it's moments, but for me, the best away day, was when me and the good Dr Shotgun travelled over the hills to Rochdale, for a mid week game in the prestigious Johnstones Paint Trophy. Good grub, cheap beer, and a surprising victory, on a very pleasant autumn night. Not bad at all.

Pie of the Year
One saving grace was the vast improvement in the pies down at Valley Parade. Somebody must have finally told the half wits who serve that the ovens do not have to kept at temperature level of magma. The Steak and Kidney was worthy of special praise. I actually managed to get through three of em. In one half. But no matter how much they came on from last year, they just fell short of Rochdales, who win my pie of the year award for the second season in a row. Darlington was poor, and they ran out on my second run, just as I got to the head of the queue, after lining up for almost 20minutes. Accrington, amazingly did not even sell them, although the hoardings around the ground advertised them, the teasing bastards. Still, barring a cup tie, we will have a new winner come 2011, as Rochdale finally got promoted out of the bottom league for the first time since 1807. Previous winners:
  • 2010 Rochdale
  • 2009 Rochdale
  • 2008 Lincoln (for it's sausage sarnie. Lush.)

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