The Michael Wood Column

Tuesday 25 December, 2001

Why Stan must be considered for the City job

Since the word got out that Jim Jefferies would be leaving Valley Parade one phrase has been on everybody's lips.

"Who would want the job as Bradford City manager?"

There is a list building: All the reasons why the big chair at VP is a poisoned challis. The chairman figures on that list, the chairman and his restrictive budgets that is. Geoffrey Richmond reminds me of the old quote from Michael Hesiltine. "I will intervene morning, noon and night if it is in the good of England". Replace the last word for Bradford City and it seems applicable.

The playing staff is divided and old, that is seen as a big negative although many a team would love the experience of a Stuart McCall or Gary Walsh in the squad. The location of the ground in Bradford comes up, the location of Bradford itself. All reasons why no one would want the job as Bradford City manager.

So here comes Stan Collymore.

Stan Collymore has described the idea of managing Bradford City as "A fantastic opportunity". He has described the set up as good. He claims an affinity with the fans, says he knows the players.

In a sea of negative candidates, he is a positive.

The squad is divided, Stan can bring it together because he belongs to neither the Jim Jefferies group or the Stuart McCall group. Indeed it would seem the day Stan walked onto the training ground that it was Stan verses the players. One City man, now at Sheffield Wednesday, said of Collymore "We don't want that sort here". Stan faces that mentality. The dressing room will unite if only in curiosity about the new man.

Football clubs work best when they are under siege. Look at Manchester United, look at the current Leeds set up. People would be watching City to see if Stan failed, enough to unite the team against it's oppressors.

Stan Collymore represents something different for City. The chance to try something different the same way we did when we gave Paul Jewell a job, gave Chris Kamara a job (and gave Chris Hutchings a job). It would be fresh and bring the buzz back to Valley Parade.

At this point only a single application is in for the City job so at this stage I would not make any statement such as "Give Stan Collymore the big chair at Valley Parade", but he is a yard stick to measure candidates by.

Unless you can talk the language that Stan Collymore talks in his application for the manager's job, do not bother applying.

And to Mr. Richmond. Consider Stan carefully.

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