Bradford City 0 - 1 Everton
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 2000-01 Game 13
3pm Saturday 11 November 2000
Valley Parade, Bradford
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|[ Matchday Calendar ]||League Position: 14th||[ Results & Table ]|
Both sides started brightly with modest attacks at either end, but neither
team really dominating. Paul Gascoigne was rested to help his thigh injury
Alex Nyarko taking his place.
Smith waited till half-time to switch to a more potent attacking formation, with Joe-Max Moore coming on for Idan Tal. The somewhat uneventful pattern of play continued until about the 71st minute when a brilliant Gerrard save kept the scores level.
Then, as the drab game was drifting to a dull finish, a shot from Joe-Max Moore rebounded off the Bradford keeper and Gary Naysmith was on hand to prod home his first goal for Everton – a goal he has been promising to score for the last few matches!
So, just the third clean sheet of the season for Paul Gerrard, and just the fourth win for Everton fully one third of the way into the season – that's just one win per month! At least no-one talks about Everton playing in Europe any more...
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
|Bradford City:||Clarke, Nolan, McCall, Wetherall, Whalley, Lawrence, Ward (82' Saunders), Carbone (90' Beagrie), Atherton, Petrescu (75' Windass), Collymore.||Sharpe, Davison.|
Xavier, Weir, Unsworth, Naysmith;
Nyarko, Hughes (86' Cadamarteri), Pembridge (65' Gemmill), Gravesen, Tal (46' Moore);
Unavailable: Alexandersson, Cleland, Ferguson, Gascoigne, Gough, Jeffers, Pistone, Watson (injured).
|Bradford City:||Brown and orange shirts; brown shorts; orange socks.||4-4-2|
|EVERTON:||Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.||4-5-1|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Bradford City:||Clarke (35')|||
|EVERTON:||Pembridge (38'), Hughes (72')|||
|Sports.Com||Detailed Match Stats|
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Graeme Searle||Stealing the Game|
|Mickey Blue Eyes||Radio Gaga Gave Me Sun Spots|
|David Shepherd||Poor fare is better than Gravy|
McCall noisy as Bradford choke
by Roy Collins
|THE SUNDAY TIMES||
Everton late goal denies hapless Bradford
by Ron Clarke
Bradford's concerns deepeny
by David McVay
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|Stealing the Game|
Its funny how biased fans can be. As we caught the train home, I heard
two older blokes saying that Bradford dominated all of game. It really
must have been a different game from the one I saw.
This was an opportunity to make up for last week – missed chances and goalkeeping errors were put right this week. A draw would have been a fair result. Bradford created a few chances and struck the woodwork but I never thought they would score. It was if we had their measure when we were defending. Collymore was anonymous and thankfully Carbone's lucky streak against us ran out of steam.
One good feature of the game was our close controlled passing in midfield. Everton individually – if not collectively – were the more skilful. They moved forward nicely and recovered the ball on numerous occasions. Gravesen had acres of space on the right in the first half and generally made good use of that space.
All around him, the team played well but it was the final build-up that let us down. I have never been a fan of Pembridge but today he was better... However, he reverted to type by passing to nobody on more than one occasion. Unsworth didn’t just hoof the ball nowhere; he hoofed it at least near to a player in blue. Keep on hoofing, David!
If the loss to Aston Villa was Gerrard’s fault, at least two of the three points we won today were entirely down to him with a absolutely brilliant save early in he second half. As a headed ball went goalwards – jus as he was recovering from being out of position – he tipped it athletically over the bar. It was comparable to David Weir's chance last week – only against us – and Gerrard’s save was better than James’– as far as I was concerned it was going in.
Nyarko needs to consider his passing more but he was part of the general dominance in midfield. Campbell was not sharp and failed to capitalise on a couple of through balls that he or Franny Jeffers would have converted last season.
Naysmith and Gravesen are class players.
We were right behind the dugout as my Bradford mate is away at Disneyland Paris. Neville Southall was there effing and blinding. It was odd to hear the away fans chant his name. He looked a little uncomfortable. It was nice to see Gravesen gee up our supporters. I think he likes playing in blue.
The goal was a mess but hey who’s complaining after last week? It came against the run of play as Bradford were pressing forward – albeit toothlessly. We nearly made it two with Danny doing a similar pass but from the right this time as Naysmith did against Newcastle. Campbell did not connect on this occasion.
Final word – I got the train home with another Bradford supporter who said he was not impressed with Everton. Biased again? He asked me why Michael Ball wasn’t playing if he had been picked for the England squad. I tripped over my words...
|[ Up to Reports Index ]|
|Radio Gaga Gave Me Sun Spots|
|Mickey Blue Eyes|
If there’s a more subtle means of torture than getting match information
via radio then I have yet to find it. It’s awful. Nor does it decrease
with distance. I speak as a veteran listener to BBC World Service broadcasts
to the Middle East and as a victim of the worst torture of all…
fading reception. Sun spots are the mortal enemy of all footy ex-pats.
It is no easier when you’re listening to Radio Merseyside and the studio is only a few miles away. You still die a thousand deaths when the opposition cross the half way line. Your imagination works overtime and you almost always assume the worst even when it sounds like we’re doing well.
The commentator was accompanied by the pungent sound of Ronnie Goodlass’s completely justified bias leavened with unsparing judgements. Ronnie says it and you can bet it’s accurate. You can tell that by the number of times he says “we,” meaning “us”…..that is, us Blue Bellies. Warms the cockles of your heart, a strong antidote to your absentee guilt.
Ronnie The One told us in the first half that we had to batten down the hatches in the first ten minutes and then start building our own attacks. According to Ron, Neville and Stuart had wound the Junior Sheepshaggers up for this one and, if we weren’t careful, Carbone, and maybe the wayward depressive Collymore, could do some damage . Sounded like common sense to this Belly.
But you can’t trust commentators of any stripe can you? All their comments become self-justifying. Like, “As I was just saying” or “They’ve got to watch THAT!” as somebody has a good or bad game depending on the gods of the green sward. All the time it’s interspersed with scores or comments on other matches, all of it calculated to hype the whole atmosphere. No wonder media hacks are held in contempt. Give me the real thing and the fans’ instant, fractious judgement any time.
In the first half, Ronnie The One, deeply Scouse, was concerned at the number of fifty-fifties we were losing. Erk. Where have I heard THAT before? Nevertheless we appeared to be carving the odd chances out. Gravesen blasted high and wide a couple of times and SuperKev’s part-fitness was still telling on him. Gradually we came forward with more confidence. By the time the half finished, Ron was convinced we merely had to apply ourselves in the second half, watch the back, and the three points were ours. That’s all. Simple innit?
To my great pleasure, The Little Yank came on just after half time. Maybe SuperKev would get the kind of help he has been short of for too long. According to Ron, we were mostly in control but not clearing too well when we were occasionally put to the test. Pembo went off for Scott Gemmill but there was no explanation [probably to stop him getting a red card – Ed] . Then Collymore brought a great save out of Paul. All the time you could hear the Bellies fans and you felt even more guilt at not being there.
Every time Carbone got the ball you breathed to yourself, “Get it off him, snuff the little bastard.” There was no point shouting it like you do at the match. Not that anyone takes your advice anyway. Oddly, shouting at a radio has a much more immediate cathartic effect. Probably because you realise quicker how idiotic you sound.
Bradford got slightly stronger toward the end. Christ, you thought, are we gonna let another shit late goal in? You begin to get even more tense as the crowd sounds presage the commentator’s words. For a microsecond you go, “Shit! Have we let one in?!” before you get the actual words. You’d rather be on a fucking rack. I mean, what relief is there when the commentator says things like, “Bradford are just throwing bodies into the box”? It sounds like an irresistible kamikaze attack. Briefly, you recall those incredible American news movies from the Second World War in the Pacific and burning Nip airplanes crashing into Yank aircraft carriers and causing mayhem. You want to wear a helmet.
I was ruminating this when the Bellies went down the other end and scored through Joe Max’s persistence. As usual, it sounded like he went in where it hurt, bodies everywhere, and Gary Naysmith put it in after a rebound from the ‘keeper. Then SuperKev narrowly missed another because Danny didn’t deliver a cross properly. Ronnie said it was Danny’s fault so it must be true.
Weir-Xavier were required in the closing minutes. Sounds like they had another great game. Then the commentator says, “Everton are in full control now” and you feel like strangling the bastard because we know what that means… the Bellies fans are singing away in the background… the final whistle. And Ronnie says, “It was a good solid performance.”
Must be true. Ronnie said it.
|[ Up to Reports Index ]|
|Poor fare is better than Gravy|
Bradford City FC is growing. History has recently labelled them
underachievers – they're one of the smallest clubs to live in a big
city. The city itself was not short of sports fans – it has the
highest concentration of cricket clubs of anywhere else in the world, and
the transformation of Bradford Northern (typical crowd 3,000) into Bradford
Bulls (15,000) demonstrated that miracles are possible.
Very similar crowd increases have been seen at BCFC but due to their steady rise from the 4th Division to the Premier, not to the restructuring and marketing revolution that is the SuperLeague. Interestingly, Northern/Bulls's facilities have changed very little. It is not a modern stadium which has tempted the crowds to return.
Valley Parade's capacity was miserable, so some building was needed. The East Stand on Midland Road was a long low shed. For years it was claimed that nothing more could be built there because it backs onto a road and rail line, but some way around that had been found. A roof was put over the main North Terrace, but the Taylor report has meant that conversion was required, so they've gone for an added upper deck. The main stand had to be rebuilt after the fire of '85 but apparently needs doing again – it's roof is currently missing. Car parks, club houses and a HUGE club shop have also sprung up. The miniature (away end) south stand remains a development headache being backed up to terraced streets, but overall, the 'Before' and 'After' comparison of the stadium is almost as dramatic as Bolton's, but has been achieved on-site.
Sadly though, for all it's new look and glamour from the outside, the vista inside has almost no character... the stands are built in the same minimum-budget fashion as all 90s stands... stark and cold and with about as much attention to charm over functionality as a tin cup.
Since some development somewhere seems inevitable for Everton, I hope those with the mandate to select proposed designs visit Bradford (along with Huddersfield, Bolton, Arsenal, and many other examples of development both on and off site) and learn the lesson before it's too late that having a larger stadium is no use if it's so unpleasing to sit in that the customers are not in a hurry to return. It's not our current 35,000 regulars (who will show up anyway) who we need to impress – it's the 20,000 extra who need to be sold on the joy of going to games regularly.
Sorry to go on about the stadium, but talking about the game would be even more boring than City's stadium. It was awful.
The football from both sides was not really incompetent, but didn't seem to have any plan or purpose about it. Plenty of people ran about looking good on the ball and giving flashes of skill, but if either side had any team strategy for developing possession into attacks and badly needed goals, it wasn't evident.
Last week, Tal just got 20 minutes but managed quite a nice little Pat Nevin impression. This week he started the game and proved it was not a fluke – he is genuinely tricky and creative. He copes really well with the inevitable attempts to muscle him out of the game, escapes from pressure, shows good awareness where his players are and when to exchange passes with them. He can even cross a ball. Interesting player. Like most flair players, Nevin was tricky but rarely broke the game open. For this reason I'm not about to get excited about Tal's signing, but look forward to watching him work. Although a first half knock didn't seem to prevent him playing on, he didn't reappear for the second half.
Until the middle of the second half, the only other entertainment was playing 'spot the ex-merseyside player'. Apart from McCall and Colly on the pitch (the ginger wiz is still a useful player), there was Peter Beagrie and Dean Saunders, with Neville Southall on the touchline. Indeed, Bradford 2000 are relying too much on experienced vets and Carbone, because the no-frills Division 1 style that brought them up and kept them up seems to have been lost under Hutchings. They create very few chances and Collymore isn't a dangerous enough striker to convert regularly.
This was good news for Everton, because they had a huge unexploited weakness. Xavier was playing right back and has no idea how to mark there. He also tries to play the ball there when he gets it instead of adhering to the defenders' golden rule – never do anything fancy, just play safe. If you mess up in midfield it's forgivable – in defence it's fatal. Got to be honest – I overhead two blues fans after the game raving about how well he'd done, so mine is just an opinion, but in my opinion Bradford's left wing was wide open and we can thank a lucky star that they hardly played wide at all and Beagrie didn't come on until the last few minutes..
For some reason in the very depths of the second-half boredom, Tommy Gravesen decided to wave his fists and shout at the Everton fans the way Gazza does to pump up the noise. It works so well. Torpid fans now sang and made a lot of noise in the middle of a strong candidate for the dullest period of play of the season. How much this actually does help players on the field is anyone's guess (maybe Becky Tallentire should ask a few ex-players?) but it surely can't hurt, and makes us poor mugs who paid 24 quid feel like we have more function than we would screaming at a TV. It has certainly bumped Gravesen's popularity up a hell of a lot.
Bradford turned up the pressure in the last 15 minutes. It took a few scrambles and a couple of good Gerrard saves to keep them out. The play up until them had already determined that it would be obscene justice if either side got any more than a press-slammed 0-0, but it's a lot easier to forget to feel guilty about snatching a winner with 7 minutes (plus 4 mins injury time) to go when you were robbed in similar circumstances just last week.
Bradford's keeper (Clarke) has been tipped for England. On this performance (he spilled two early on and another for the goal) it looks like he's another over-hyped journeyman just like Schwartzer, or Chris Woods before him.
Crazy isn't it... we deserved a point last week and this week, but instead of two points we've got three, plus the morale of team and fans is probably higher.
Where is our season going? We've outplayed Leicester (then 2nd), Villa (5th), Newcastle (then 3rd), and Liverpool (3rd) for a half, but have been lucky to get results v Charlton and Bradford and failed to impress against Ipswich and Southampton. I give up. Your guess.
(Perhaps we're turning into West Ham... true family tradition, always okay but never contenders, all three results possible anytime, home or away, regardless of 'form'...)
|[ Up to Reports Index ]|
|McCall noisy as Bradford choke|
|Roy Collins, Electronic Telegraph|
BRADFORD CHAIRMAN Geoffrey Richmond complained that Valley Parade has become
as quiet as the grave or, worse still, Old Trafford, though he would have
been ridiculed if he had gone the full Roy Keane and accused fans of
munching on prawn sandwiches like Manchester United's executive box holders.
Bradford fans, more corpulent than corporate, are more partial to a pre-match meal of mushy peas and chips. And they have learned to accept much less rich fare on the park as well as off it, feeding off scraps in their fight for survival.
You could understand Richmond's point, though. So quiet was it for much of the time that even high up in the stands, you could clearly hear Bradford's caretaker player-manager Stuart McCall barking instructions.
McCall has already made it clear that he does not want the job permanently, however that is defined at Bradford, previous boss Chris Hutchings lasting only 12 games. He said after the game: "We need an experienced manager and quickly. I would like to work alongside someone like that but if he brings in his own people I'll be happy just to keep playing."
But, he made his presence felt, as well as his voice, in a game that occasionally bordered on the entertaining.
Bradford's strike pair Benito Carbone and Stan Collymore are the oddest couple since Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Yet they showed signs of a maturing partnership, if one can so describe a pairing of players who have regularly thrown the toys out of the pram, and Collymore produced three impressive first-half efforts.
Both have one spectacular effort to their credit this season, making them joint top-scorers with three other players, goal of the month being a strike-rate at Bradford rather than a competition.
Without the injured Paul Gascoigne, Everton looked to lack anyone who could create a chance, let alone convert one. Yet they stole an unlikely and undeserved victory with a strike from Scottish international Gary Naysmith in the 86th minute.
Thomas Gravesen, a Gazza lookalike from the back of the stands, managed a couple of hopeful efforts, though Idan Tal attempted one from 45 yards that was not so much optimistic as plain stupid. No wonder he gave way to Joe-Max Moore at half-time.
Moore was unable to do much to lift an Everton side who would have liked to have considered themselves a cut above these opponents but are in fact, looking more and more like fellow relegation candidates.
Everton manager Walter Smith, who might have been more apologetic about victory if the points had not been so important, summed up the attacking efforts of both sides by saying: "There was a lot of huffing and puffing but not a lot for the goalkeepers to do."
Bradford, without a win in 10 games, are suffering their worst run of form for eight years. And at a time when much of Yorkshire is under water, they are suffering the worst goal drought in the country.
Collymore's spectacular overhead kick against Leeds a fortnight ago is the only goal they have to show from their last five games, and it has now been nine games since they kept a clean sheet.
It summed up Bradford's day that Derby took a point at Arsenal. Their fixture at Pride Park next week is now not so much a six-pointer as a matter of life and death.
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph|
|[ Up to Reports Index ]|
|Everton late goal denies hapless Bradford|
|by Ron Clarke, The Sunday Times|
IT NEVER rains but it pours as Bradford, without a manager, are now without
a win since August. This time they went down to a desperately late Everton
goal in a game that really neither side deserved to win, such was the poor
standard of football. This will not bother Everton though, as they continue
to collect maximum points on their travels.
Bradford's caretaker manager Stuart McCall said before yesterday's game: "We're all in the same boat now, we have to row in the same direction." In his first game in charge, following the sacking of Chris Hutchings last week, he threatened to swamp Everton with his selection of three strikers – Stan Collymore, Ashley Ward and Benito Carbone together up front in an all-out attack. The bold formation almost paid dividends several times in the opening exchanges.
Almost from the kick-off Collymore tested Everton's goalkeeper Paul Gerrard with an ambitious shot from long range. He was nearly the man again moments later as this time he combined well with Ward to set up Jamie Lawrence to strike an attempt against the woodwork from the edge of the penalty area. Carbone got into the action on 20 minutes but, taking too much time in the penalty area, he allowed Gerrard to collect the ball off his feet.
With the next move Dan Petrescu narrowly failed to find Carbone with a wonderful long ball that had split the Everton defence.
It was far from one-directional though as Everton, choosing to pack their midfield with five players with only Kevin Campbell up front, were also aided by Idan Tal on their occasional breakaway moments.
Matt Clarke was having an uncomfortable afternoon in the Bradford goal, as first he fumbled a corner and then dropped a cross from Thomas Gravesen intended for the head of Campbell. He made amends as the interval approached by diving to his right to turn Stephen Hughes's 20-yard attempt round the post.
Right on the interval it was Collymore again who broke away and after two attempts finally managed only to shoot straight at Gerrard.
Everton, whose creativity was even more limited without the injured Paul Gascoigne, brought on Joe-Max Moore for the second period in place of Tal. The slow stream of chances attained in the first period became a positive drought in the second with little to entertain the crowd of just over 17,000. Gravesen nearly caught Bradford out on two occasions with simple balls over the top which seemed to surprise Clarke. The first one he clawed away at the last moment and the second he hesitated before finally clasping the ball to his chest in front of the lurking Gravesen.
At last Bradford had a real chance midway through the half as Collymore headed across the six-yard area, the surging Ward connected, but his powerful header tipped was over the bar by Gerrard.
Everton manager Walter Smith, once in charge of McCall at Rangers, was certainly making it a frustrating afternoon for his former player. The five-man blockade across the middle was proving difficult to get past and Bradford chose to bypass it by the use of the high ball.
This only created rare intervals of anxiety in the Everton defence, well marshalled by the two Davids, Unsworth and Weir, both proving as solid as their midfield colleagues.
But just as the game was destined for the stalemate it deserved, Everton broke away and grabbed a desperately late winner with only three minutes of normal time left.
Alex Nyarko whipped in a cross for Moore which he hit first time straight at Clarke but with the rebound, left Gary Naysmith the easy task of blasting it high into the empty net.
If this was not a relegation encounter then it surely must be next week when Bradford travel to Derby, where they will have to start "rowing their canoe" in the right direction.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
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|McCall ready to confide as Bradford's concerns deepen|
|by David McVay, The Times|
A MAN from Mars alighted in Miami last week, so the story goes, and demanded
belligerently of a local resident: “Take me to your leader!”
Justifiably confused given the delicate state of play in the race to the
White House, the hapless chap was zapped to cinders by ray gun. Should
the little green man then have set course for Valley Parade, he surely would
have been busy turning large sections of the indigenous population into
rather crisp Yorkshire puddings. At least a recount in terms of goals
was not an option. It seldom is with Bradford City, though. Just
five scored in the FA Carling Premiership while another one conceded on
Saturday was sufficient to decide a game so dire that an evening in the
village hall counting the crosses on ballot papers would have offered
greater avenues for fun.
It is grim indeed for Bradford, bottom of the table and trawling the managerial unemployed to revive their fortunes and inspire the likes of Benito Carbone and Stan Collymore to take their combined salaries of £60,000 per week a little more seriously.
The terms “bargepole” and “don’t touch” evidently have crossed the mind of Stuart McCall, the Bradford midfield player who was installed as caretaker player-manager when Chris Hutchings was dismissed a week ago. He can be relied upon to set a supreme example on the pitch as was evident against Everton, and that is where his immediate future lies.
“From a selfish point of view, I would like to work under somebody experienced and learn the ropes,” McCall said. “But if someone comes along and brings his own backroom staff, then so be it. People say opportunity doesn’t knock twice, but I have no regrets.”
Arriving late for his first post-match press conference in charge, McCall joked that he had been putting ice on imaginary injuries to delay the ordeal. In fact the reason for his tardiness was a lingering conversation with Walter Smith, the Everton manager, who has become a confidant.
Smith lavished praise on his former pupil — he signed him for Rangers — pointing to qualities of leadership and enthusiasm that should serve the player well when the legs and limbs tire. An old hand himself, Smith was relieved with a victory but again there is speculation that his own tenure at Goodison Park is in jeopardy.
Whatever the truth, Gary Naysmith’s winner in the 87th minute, sweeping home the rebound from Joe-Max Moore’s strike, was more than the visitors deserved. Derby County at Pride Park await Bradford next and McCall is suspended. Those seeking entertainment or, who are of a nervous disposition, should steer clear.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
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