Category Archives: Bradford City

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

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League One: 11 Teams & an 8 point battle

As we near the business end of the season in the English Football League One, there are 11 teams, seperated by just 8 points.

8 points might not sound a lot given the previous relegation history of this league, but this has been no ordinary season in this league.

It has given us everything including drama, unexpected results, upturns in form, managerial changes, some good some bad and some just inspired.

From Bristol Rovers in 13th Position on 44 points, down to Bradford City, who this week took over from AFC Wimbledon as the strong men of the division, on 36 points, it could be said that none of the teams from 13th, down to 20th are considered safe, by any stretch.

Bristol Rovers, Scunthorpe , AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale and Bradford, among these teams have changed managers this term, with Bradford and Rochdale , being the latest to change, though it could be said, that in Bradford’s case, the appointment of Gary Bowyer, is their 4th Managerial change this season, with history not favoring relegated teams who change manager more than once.

Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon, appointed managers who have fresh innovative ideas and this has been reflected in these two clubs upturn in form, both previous occupants of the bottom slot, Rovers now occupy 13th, with AFC Wimbledon sitting in 22nd position and just 3 points away from the teams directly above them.

In fact a win at home to Gillingham on Saturday, would potentially see the ‘Dons climb out of the bottom 4, which would represent a total turn around in fortunes.

Previous seasons have seen 50 points being the safety mark to avoid relegation, but given the unpredictable nature of results this season, and with just 8 games to go, it is quite conceivable that less than 50 points will be enough this season?

Either way, it promises to be a very exciting and potentially nerve-wracking end to an incredible season.

Who do you think will survive this season ?

Off Hops David, who’ll be next of ‘kin’? : 3 most likely Bradford Managers

Following David Hopkin’s resignation from his managerial position Bradford City, The Bantams must search for their third head coach of the season – and they must do so quickly.  

With only 12 games remaining Bradford find themselves second from bottom in Sky Bet League One, three points off Shrewsbury and Oxford who sit in 19th and 20th respectively. City’s goal difference of -17 would arguably make them four points from escaping the relegation zone as the teams above them have a significantly better goal difference. It won’t be easy, whoever they sign, for it is unlikely that those above them will fail to pick up an extra few points before the end of the season too.

Hopkins is the second Bradford boss this season, following the sacking of Michael Collins in September, however Hopkins left at his own accord believing he could not do more than he has to keep the side up. The 48-year-old impressively won four out of five league games in December, earning him the Manager of the Month Award however this was not enough to prevent the recent events, with Saturdays 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Walsall, seemed to be the final straw for the Scotsman after only 175 days in the job.

So who are the potential candidates to take Bradford through the remainder of the season?

  1. Simon Grayson

For as long as he is out of a job, Simon Grayson will always be on the Bradford City shortlist. The Yorkshire man has had an illustrious managerial career where he has earned promotion with all but one of the clubs he has bossed. The club he failed to have success with were Sunderland, but sympathy has been given to any manager who worked at The Stadium of Light due to the crisis the club was going through during the last three years where they experienced consecutive relegations. Grayson has openly said that due to the situation behind the scenes ‘no one could have done better’ and he claims he would have saved them if given more time. This provides two reasons why Grayson could accept an offer; firstly that he is brave enough to join a club on the fall and try to steady the ship, but it also gives him the opportunity to follow through on his word that he could hack a relegation battle. Grayson does already have a history at Valley Parade, having played very briefly in 2002. More recently though, Bradford were the last team he managed, taking over from Stuart McCall at a similar time to now in 2018 but left at the end of his short term contract three months later, despite being offered an extended deal. This proves that the owners liked his impact on the club and see a potential in his assets. The only question is would Simon Grayson want be up for the challenge?

2. Hannes Wolf

The former Stuttgart manager is another name that has been hot on the lips of those related to the football club over the past year or so. At one point before Grayson was put in temporary charge in February 2018, Wolf was odds on favourite to succeed Stuart McCall, with the club then in sixth place. At 36, the German has much to offer and already has success under his belt in his homeland. Wolf brought smiles quickly back to the faces of humiliated fans as his Stuttgart side immediately returned to the Germany’s top flight in 2017 by winning the 2.Bundesliga after relegated for the first time in 41 years the season before under a number of his predecessors. Hannes was out of work having parted company with the club after a rocky start in the first division, but was appointed as head coach of Hamburg in October where they sit top of the 2.Bundesliga. Wolf has a great opportunity to win a second promotion in his career and the fact that he is only three months into his job makes it harder to see him at Bradford this season at least. However, he has been highly linked with the job on several occasions due to City’s owner’s connection with Stuttgart and so he will no doubt be on their speed dial! 

This could be seen as a risk for a young manager though, given the position Bradford find themselves in the league and so staying at Hamburg would be the easier option. However, even if Wolf does not come into question with the owners right now, don’t rule him out once the season is up. 

3.Martin Drury

With only 12 games left, a new manager coming into a squad he is not used to and has had no time to gel with could be fatal for Bradford City’s survival hopes. Therefore if there is a chance someone with some insight could take the reigns, even just for the time being, it could be what saves a Bradford side that are expected to do so much more. Martin Drury would be ideal in this scenario because he has been assistant manager at the club since the start of the season. Furthermore, Drury had a very brief stint managing Bradford Park Avenue meaning in recent years he has never been too far from the team. This previous managerial role doesn’t count for nothing either. Drury will have his own methods from his own albeit brief experience, alongside what he will have learnt as Michael Collin’s and David Hopkin’s second man. Drury will also already have a relationship with the players and will be the first man that will see what the previous managers were doing wrong behind the scenes. Therefore, a caretaker role seems a given for the 32-year-old and even if it is a big step in his early career in management, any kind of resurgence from the squad could land him a more long term job. The appointment of Drury also gives the owners a nice and simple way out of jail if they want to find themselves a more experienced manager, as they will then have until the summer to appoint someone full time if they believe Drury is not the man to take them further. This also links with another contender as their previous main target  Hannes Wolf may be more likely to consider his options in the summer when his first season with Hamburg has concluded. Remember, the German seems quite good at getting an underperforming side promoted to where they belong.

Other candidates include the likes of Gary Bowyer, Paul Hurst and Ian Holloway however betting company’s have put the odds pretty high for the likes of these appointments suggesting that at this stage it is anyone’s guess as to who will become Bradford’s boss in order to get them out of the bottom four.

3 Managers to replace Stuart McCall at Bradford

It has been deemed a controversial decision for Bradford City to sack manager, Stuart McCall this morning. He has been named somewhat a club legend by the vast majority of fans who thought very highly of him. Nonetheless after a six game winless run Bradford City decided time was up for their former player. 

So who could be in the firing line to replace him? Here are three managers I believe suitable replacements.

Simon Grayson 

There’s no doubting Grayson’s ability when it comes to getting out of League One.

He achieved promotion from League One in his first full season in charge as Leeds, Huddersfield and Preston boss.

Being a former Leeds and Huddersfield man I’m not sure how thrilled Bradford fans would be there is hardly doubting Grayson’s record and I believe him to be an ideal appointment.

Hannes Wolf

The former Dortmund and Stuttgart man is currently the bookies favourite for the reign at Valley Parade and brings good coaching experience to the table.

He guided the 2007 Bundesliga champions to promotion from the 2. Bundesliga last season but was dismissed last week with just 6 wins from 20.

Wolf is a good name to bring to the table and as much as it could be a risk with no experience in this level of football I think he’d do a good job.

Richie Wellens 

The Oldham manager is reportedly in the running for the job and ironically his side’s 2-1 win over Bradford proved to be the end of the road for McCall.

Wellens in on his first spell as a manager and has made a good impression amongst Oldham fans.

Wellens is doing a great job but it would probably be a big step up for him with Oldham fighting near the bottom and Bradford in the promotion mix.

There is enormous pressure on whoever comes in with Bradford fans desperate to return to the Championship.

Checkatrade Trophy: Is The Format Working?

Last season the EFL brought in a new format for the old Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and really it hasn’t helped teams in lower leagues. The new format encourages teams in the Premier League and the Championship to submit an Under 21’s squad into the competition. So is this format still a good idea?

The final of last season’s Checkatrade trophy was between Coventry and Oxford and broke the attendance record for the competition with 74,434, but all of last season the attendance figures at games across the competition was still low, Peterborough United as an example had an attendance of 1696 at their game against Norwich Academy which is a 4,000 less then their average attendance last season.

Last season as well clubs got fined for not fielding full strength squads,  on the 16th November Luton Town and Portsmouth were fined £15,000 for breaching this rule for all three of their group games, whereas Bradford, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, MK Dons, Millwall, Charlton, Peterborough, Sheffield United and Southend all got fined £3,000 and Fleetwood were fined £5,000. That doesn’t sound like a lot to big clubs but in lower levels it is a lot to those clubs.

The group format is a nice new addition to the competition but for me I think if you took out participation from the Under 21’s it would be a good competition for lower league clubs and will hopefully increase ticket sales for the clubs as that can help boost finances. They also need to remove the full strength squad rule as fining teams for putting different squads out isn’t fair on teams that need to make sure people in their team stay fit and get a chance to show what they’re worth.

*Feature image courtesy of EFL.com*