The Roland Harris Column

Sunday 03 February, 2002

Bradford City 2002-2003

I doubt I have ever enjoyed a trip to the seaside so much as the day out in Cleethorpes yesterday but that could be something to do with the fact that my Mum used to never let me on the beech cause she said the North Sea was "A toxic toilet".

Mum Harris and her ways aside, it was still pretty enjoyable to see Benito Carbone race away to take the "applause" of the home side after he whacked his free kick onto the Grimsby goal. You never know with Beni, every kick could be his last for the club. Every goal could be the end of an era. All it takes is an Alan Boskic, a Paulo Di Canio or a Kevin Phillips to brake a leg and Beni could be away within days. Will he be hear next season? Doubtful.

We chewed this idea over on the way back, that and the idea that this result probably sees City safe in the division. Grimsby bleat about the Ref, but in truth he was ok and players should always be sent off from trying to kick each other. Stockport will be down soon, Town will join them later and you can not see Walsall, Sheffield Wednesday, Crewe et al all getting more points than City end up with.

Likewise even I cannot see City reaching the play offs. We are five wins off with fifteen left. Top half yes, top six now.

So we will be in this division next season. This team is not getting any younger and Nicky Law is looking to make changes and bring in younger players. This is the Roland Harris plan for next season. This would be my team:

In Goal

Gary Walsh is City's number one and should stay there unless we can make a find as we did with Mark Schwartzer. Alan Combe looks decent and would make a better number two than Aidan Davision, who really is not needed. Also, if Jon Worsnop is worth having at the club then he is worth playing and not leaving out for loan players when the first two are out.


The left back position should work as it does now. Wayne Jacobs and Lewis Emanuel pushing each other, one learning from the other. Jakes has much to teach Lewis. Even Jakes himself would admit he is not a fantastically gifted player, but his two seasons in the Premiership say that he has made the most of what he has. Lewis has more talent, if he learns from Jakes he could be a very good player.

Gunnar Halle is going home so we need a new right back. Gary Locke can play there but I would go out to the transfer market and try bring in a young attacking right back.

for centrebacks I would be trying to get something for Robert Molenaar. David Wetherall will be fit one day and I think that Nicky Law should make sure that Ian Breckin finds his way to Valley Parade from Chesterfield. He is exactly the type of player that makes good teams. Take a look at Ipswich's Matt Holland or Bolton's Michael Ricketts. Decent, hard working and from the lower leagues but doing it in the Premiership. Andy Myers would be needed to back up Wetherall. Mark Bower needs to put up or ship out.


Stuart McCall and Gary Locke would share my holding role as they seem to be doing now. McCall is worth another season, he is a big game player as Beni says and adds a lot to the other players. Lee Sharpe in a central midfield place next to him on a new contract, spraying passes left and right. Gareth Whalley might have to go, which would be a shame, but he is too old and too good for reserve team football. Claus Jorgensen would be my back up for Sharpe.

On the wings we need a revamp. Jamie Lawrence and Eoin Jess can both go. We need flying wingers who are young and can get to the line to cross. Neither do this. We need a couple of young Peter Beagries. Failing that, we need Peter Beagrie back.

Juanjo can either cheer up or sod off back to Scotland when Jim Jefferies gets another job.

Up front

Benito Carbone is going to go so I would not plan anything around him. Ashley Ward should go. You know that he is ok but you also know that he makes too much hard work of scoring. A natural sniffer in the box looks more comfy than Ward does, looks more like he cannot help scoring. Ward does not. Chris Greenacre of Mansfield is worth a look and is Gary Alexander at Hull.

In the Carbone berth Jamie Burt would be worth a go is he is as good as Nicky Law says he is but I would be going to Crewe to get Rodney Jack a skilful player who is in and out of the team at Crewe and looks like a player who has reached his peak at the club he is currently with. We sign him and we could uncork him and he could be the star he looked like he was going to be a few years ago.

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