Our Thoughts On Mark Hughes Being Appointed Bradford City Manager


Photo Credit : Bradford City 

It has definitely been a rough time to be a Bradford City fan, things just haven't been going to plan the past few years but have we finally found the cure to those past few seasons with the appointment of new Manager Mark Hughes? 

The is no denying that this season so far has been absolutely terrible (but more on that another day as that is a whole post itself) with results just not going our way and terrible performances on the pitch. It is safe to say the majority of us fans went into the season with high hopes thanks to promises from the club and the then new manager Derek Adams, with his track record it was hard not to be hopefully of pushing for promotion. But this didn't go to plan and it was safe to say everyone was getting frustrated. 

With the manager & team we had there is no doubt that we should have been getting much better results but something just wasn't clicking and performances were boring and painful to watch, you just knew walking into the ground you weren't going to be seeing the best from the players and I really do believe this is due to tactics and falling outs more than anything else. The tactics just seemed all wrong how you can play with 1 man up front and play the long ball every time baffles me, you need 2 upfront in this league and if you are playing the long ball you need 1 man to flick the ball onto another striker not just 1 man doing all the work for 90 minutes. We have had our fair share of injuries too which hasn't helped but we have a bench full of players that are more than capable of stepping up and putting in a good performance if they wanted to and if they were given the opportunity to. 

I wasn't a fan of Adams as our manager if I am honest, the football her orchestrated wasn't fun to watch and he didn't seem to want to change, his ego was a bit too big for my liking too. He constantly played it off as it was fans at fault rather than himself and seemed to keep bigging himself up as a manager when performances told a different story. His comment about us not finding a better manager tipped me over the edge and I wasn't bothered if he left the club. I do find it funny though as that was one of his final comments then along comes new manager Mark Hughes... 

With all the names being thrown around on who could possibly fill Adams shoes I honestly thought we would end up with Steve Evans or Richie Wellens especially with them being the most frequently spoken about names. I really didn't see Mark Hughes becoming our next manager, in fact when it was announced I was so shocked I thought it was a parody account that had tweeted it. When it finally did start to sink in though it got me thinking about what could be to come for the remainder of the season and next season. 

Mark Hughes is one of those managers who has been around for a while now and has managed at some great clubs with some big names playing at the clubs at the time, I have actually enjoyed watching the teams he has managed so lets hope that doesn't change with him now being in charge at City. With Hughes being used to managing at higher levels it is going to be interesting to see how he does with us in League 2 with standards and tactics being totally different to top leagues, I am sure given time though he will settle in nicely and find out the strengths of the team and how we can make it work in the league. He has notably had a few years away from the game too but I can't see that being too much of an issue with him and fingers crossed it brings him in with a clear view of what he wants to achieve. 

All that I can seem to think about though is the connections he possibly has from previous appointments and just his general time in the game to date, not only that his name should also bring the club to some great players attention and should help us build a great squad for the future. Granted there is not much he can do this season unless he brings in some free agents whilst that is still an available but I am more looking forward to the summer transfer period when fingers crossed we should be able to build up a strong squad and really look to push ourselves up the leagues in the future. Let's just hope we are right and his name does help bring in some great players as it is definitely needed in most positions on the pitch at the moment.

The announcement definitely seemed to help win back some fans and give them a little bit of a sense of hope after how the season has gone so far but I think most fans are going to have the same attitude of not getting their hopes up too high for the remainder of the season thanks to how the previous appointment turned out but I do believe the general sense is that we could actually be onto something good here and if given the support from the board I really hope this turns into a long term appointment and we could end up going back to the days of Phil Parkinson being in charge where fans really looked forward to game days and the stadium was full of fans chanting unlike it has been the past few months. 

I definitely aren't going to set my hopes too high with this appointment and I think it is going to take time to see drastic changes which we need but fingers crosses Hughes settles well at the club and gets plenty of backing from not only the board but the fans too, I know we have been having a bad season so far but miracles don't happen over night. We need to give Hughes time and a good chance to build his team, if results don't go our way straight away we don't need to be giving him abuse straight away because remember he inherited this team, he needs to have a chance to find out what works and to bring in the players he can work with the best. 

Fingers crossed we start to see the results change and start to go our way and lets hope the players start playing to the best of their ability now too and give Mark Hughes a reason to pick them week in week out. Hopefully we can start picking up points rather than dropping them. 

What do you think to Mark Hughes becoming Bradford City's new manager?

The Standout FAWSL Players To Me So Far This Season...

We are well into the FAWSL season now and I will be honest I am enjoying this season much more than I have others and I think that is simply down to how competitive it has been. There are no clear winners anymore and upsets have certainly been created so far and I think there could still be plenty to come. It is nice to have a season where one team isn't running away with the league and are miles ahead of the other teams, it is definitely going to be close to call and we are seeing some teams who have previously struggled really make an impact and get into some good positions in the table, Tottenham are just one great example of this as they are sitting in the top half of the table so far and have played some good football. Granted some of the bigger teams have been missing key players but it is just so nice to see different teams thrown into the mix for the title race. Throughout the season there are some players that have really caught my eye though and I think they have had some great performances and have had a big impact on their teams results. Granted I haven't been able to watch as many of the teams as I would have liked to at this stage of the season, thanks Sky & BBC for showing the same teams over and over so there will be a few players missing from this list but here are my favourites players from the FAWSL based on the games and teams I have managed to watch... 

Millie Bright

If I remember correctly Millie Bright has made it onto quite a few of these lists but honestly I believe that just goes to show how good she really is. She is still a no nonsense player who isn't afraid to put in a challenge and she is a solid part of Chelsea's defensive line up. We all know she is more than capable of getting a goal at the other end too whether it is with her head or a fantastic shot. 

Alex Greenwood 

I have been really impressed with Greenwood in a central defensive role and I think once she has a permanent centre back alongside her, hopefully Houghton when she returns fully from injury, we are really going to see a strong central defence at Man City once more. Greenwood seems to have settled into the role really well and has put in some great challenges to stop plenty more goals going in against Man City. Granted I am missing seeing her running down the wing and pushing the opposition whilst creating some chances for the club but honestly I think she looks at home in the role and just gives Taylor options for when the squad is back to full fitness, she can either continue central or move back to being a left back. 

Ella Toone

Toone is one of those players I really enjoy watching and to say she is still so young I think it is safe to say if he manages to stay major injury free she is going to become an integral part of not only Man Utd's squad but also Englands in the future. It is also great to see how much of a fan base she has already has at such a young age, I think as she progresses in her career she is really going to end up becoming a household name. So far this season it has been great to watch Toone really find her feet at the club and put in some brilliant performances. 

Mary Earps 

For me Earps has always been a very underrated and overlooked goalkeeper. She is finally starting to get her recognition though and that is thanks to some fantastic performances she has put in for Man Utd this season but at the same time some games she has barely even had to touch the ball. I think Earps is really progressing as a player and is beginning to stand out with her performances. I just hope she continues this season like she has played so far because I would love to see her as England's number 1 for the Euros. 

Vivianne Miedema 

How can you not be impressed by Miedema? She really is one of the greatest players around at the moment and I really enjoy watching her play. She has really become an integral part of Arsenal's team and I am really hoping she sticks around the FAWSL a little longer as she can really help Arsenal get back to winning trophies I believe. Not only is she great in front of goal but she can also create plenty of attacks for others and can get the team into some really dangerous positions. 

Jess Park 

Jess Park is having an absolutely fantastic season for Man City and every time she is on that pitch for me she is showing us just what we should be looking forward to as her career progresses. I think from what we have seen from her so far this season we should definitely be excited for what is to come from her as I think at only 20 years old she is in for a great career where she could become an integral part of any club she plays for. She has got people talking about her quality and abilities so fingers crossed she can continue to build on this and stay major injury free so her game time grows along with her quality on and off the ball. 

It is safe t say I haven't been able to watch as much of the FAWSL as I would have liked so far with other commitments and the TV games seemingly only focusing on specific teams more than others however, we finally have a good internet connection at home meaning I can finally watch the games on the FA Player which I haven't been able to before. So who knows by the end of the season this list could have changed massively as I get to watch more teams than previous. For now though these players are definitely firm favourites of mine and I am enjoying watching the games they play in. 

Bradford City Women Victorious Against FC United of Manchester Women


Bradford City Women returned to Eccleshill to face FC United of Manchester Women under the lights for another all important FAWNL league game that was always bound to be a good game with both teams looking to improve their current form and get a win under their belt. The game was a big one for Bradford though with the chance to pick up 3 points to lift them away from the relegation zone and with games in hand on those around them in the table every point from games in hand is vital. The game definitely didn't disappoint those in the crowd with Bradford putting on a brilliant performance and walking away with all 3 points after an impressive 3-0 victory. 

It was United who had the first chance of the game with an early free kick which found itself going out of play for a City goal kick. From there though it took them a while to get their next chance as City picked up pace and really started to show just what they are capable of when they put some great passes together. It took just 4 minutes for City to get on the scoreboard with Jakeman playing a great ball through to Stuart who slots the ball into the far corner to give City a deserved early lead. It was nice to see the team go ahead for a change and keep up momentum and pressing the opposition rather than taking their foot off the pedal and sitting back. United did try to draw level with City struggling to clear their lines after some good pressure from United however, the eventual shot went wide without troubling City 'keeper Kirkham. 

After that small bit of pressure City picked up momentum once more and in the 12th minute Stuart got her second of the evening, a loose ball back to the United 'keeper was closed down very quickly by Stuart who deflected the ball around the 'keeper and hit the ball in the back of the net. From there on out City just looked more motivated than ever and even had a possible goal ruled out for offside. United did keep trying to apply pressure to get a goal back but after rattling the crossbar and some fantastic saves from Kirkham they just couldn't find the back of the net. 

City went into half time 2-0 up and had certainly put on an impressive display in the first half which looked a lot better than some of the performances so far this season, they just looked stronger and like they wanted those 3 points more than ever. 

The second half was just like the second with City looking the more dominant side throughout with United having a few spells of pressure which didn't amount to much due to a brilliant defence and absolutely fantastic goalkeeping. In the 52nd minute City wrapped up the game with their 3rd and final goal of the evening, Beck went on a great attacking run and ended up riffling the ball into the top corner giving the United 'keeper no chance of saving the ball.  From this point both teams were trying their best to grab a goal however, the game ended 3-0 to City and the performance gives us all hope for the rest of the season. 

City's performance against FC United was a much better team performance with a lot of positives to take from the game, they started the game strong and kept on pushing to get the most out of the game. They chased the ball down and put pressure on United, creating some fantastic chances for themselves and getting themselves into some dangerous positions. The team moved the ball around well throughout the game creating some great paces and getting into space to go on the attack and it was nice to see the passes linking up well and plenty of attacks taking place. 

In terms of our player of the match me and Liam both agreed it could have gone to a fair few players as each one had strong parts of the game however, we both settled on a joint player of the match as it was too difficult to pick between 'keeper Kirkham and Stuart. Both these players had fantastic games with Kirkham making some brilliant saves to keep a clean sheet then you have Stuart who got 2 early goals and showed no signs of slowing down throughout the time she was on the pitch even with all the knocks she was taking from the opposition. 

This game gave Bradford those all important 3 points and lets hope City can make it 6 from 6 as they face Barnsley Women at Eccleshill on Sunday. If they play like they did against FC United I think they are in with a good chance. 

Match Preview : Bradford City Women vs FC United Women


Sometimes you just can't beat night games and this time Bradford City Women are back at Eccleshill under the lights as they take on FC United Women on Thursday 10th February in a 7.45pm kick off. It is the first of two home games for Bradford City Women this week and this game is going to be an interesting to get the back to back games started as both teams are looking to get back in form and pick up those all important points. 

Earlier on in the season when these teams faced off for the first time FC United took away all 3 points after a 3-1 victory and they seemed to be a very strong looking side however, injuries seem to have taken its toll on the team and they aren't doing as well as I expected at this stage in the season. It is the teams first season in the league and with games being postponed the lack of consistency is likely to have effected them just like it has the other teams. They have played more games the Bradford so far this season though so it will be interesting to see how they play compared to that game earlier in the season as Bradford look to be making progress as the season goes on but again the lack of consistency in games seems to be having an effect on the results. 

Bradford are going into this game off the back of a 2-2 draw away to Chester-Le-Street where as FC United had their game this weekend postponed so they will be going into the game with fresher legs after the break at the weekend but surely that isn't going to effect the game too much as Bradford manager Chris Hames seems to have got the team giving it their all each game so far this season and even when they have looked tired they have still pushed on and played well in the games. The whole mindset of the team seems to have shifted and you just know they are going to give it their all whether they played on Sunday or not. 

Looking back on the form of the two sides it is City who are going into the game with 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses in their last five games whereas FC United are going in with 4 losses and 1 draw. Let's just hope the FC United don't find their form this game though and City can pick up those all important points to get them away from the danger zone they find themselves in at the moment. 

FC United are currently sat in 8th place in the table on 13 point where as Bradford are down in 11th on just 8 points, Bradford do have 3 games in hand on their opponents though so it is vital they start picking up points from the games they play as they will finally start to move up the table and away from those relegation spots. 

It is bound to be a very interesting game on Thursday night with both teams hoping to pick up the points and start to pick up pace in the league but fingers crossed Bradford start making those games in hand count and take away all 3 points from this game. 

If you are stuck for something to do this Thursday why not head down to the Mitton Group Stadium to see how the game plays out and if City can pick up their first points of the week. 

Kick off : 8pm

Stadium : Mitton Group Stadium, Eccleshill United FC, Kingsway, Bradford, BD2 1PN.

Tickets : Adults £5, Under 16's Free. 

Women's Content Is Increasing In FIFA Video Games But Can We Please Have More?

Growing up I absolutely loved playing video games and honestly I still do to this day. I used to love sitting and playing FIFA or Club Football : Manchester United 2005 and I would put hours into those games after school and football training, these days I am on FIFA most days either building my ultimate team or progressing through my career. Something that always bugged me though was that if I wanted to create a character it had to be a male one as there was no sign of any female players within the games I loved to play, this got more and more annoying as I got older and the women's game was growing as it just felt like the women weren't getting the representation they truly deserved. 

Things started to change though in FIFA 16 as after the success of the Women's World Cup in 2015 we were finally given some female players and teams and although it wasn't a lot it was still a start. We were limited to the bigger players having their faces scanned although a few of these are definitely still questionable and there were only those bigger teams included within the game. You could also only play in kick off, tournament mode or friendlies but I guess 3 modes is a start. In 2018 we were then introduced to Kim Hunter in the Journey story mode as the sister of Alex Hunter who you followed through part of his career, in 2019 though The Journey focused on Kim Hunter and her aim to play for the USWNT in the 2019 World Cup, this was great to play through but once it was done it was back to those same 3 modes for game play with the limited teams or street football mode Volta if that is what you fancied. Fast forward a few years and we might finally be seeing more progress of women coming to the FIFA games a bit more which is great to see at last but is it going to continue to grow or are we going to have to settle for just these few additions for the next few years ?

One of the new additions is the ability to play as a female player in Pro Clubs, now I don't play Pro Clubs for any female that does it is definitely a great addition. In this you can create and customise a female pro player to be used in the online 11 vs 11 game mode which also means for the first time ever you can play as part of a mixed team. It is going to be interesting to see if this is just a step forward to introducing females into more modes on the game. 

Possibly one of the biggest additions to FIFA 22 has been women's footballing legend Alex Scott coming into the game as a pitch side reporter in FIFA 22's career mode, coming into the game to replace Alan McNally is a really big step for the game and they have picked a great woman to start with and hopefully we will see a lot more over the next few years as we see more and more females commentating on the TV and radio lately. Alex Scott is one of my favourite commentators at the moment and I think she talks a lot of sense and it is nice to see her making history as the first female reporting voice in the game and this move has been one that has had a lot of positive reactions from those who play the game and those who want more female representation. It would be great if a few years down the line we could chose between either female or male commentators in the game. 

There are definitely a lot of fans of the women's game that are calling out for various leagues to be added to the game such as the NWSL, FA Women's Super League and many more from around the world. With a lot of international players now already in the game surely it is about time they introduced a few leagues to start with whilst working on getting more and more leagues at all levels added as the game grows internationally. FIFA have alienated a fan base for a long time but at least now we are finally getting to see the fan base slowly being included in the game. 

Obviously FIFA isn't the only big football video game out there as there is also Football Manager who said in 2021 they were working on adding a women's database to their game which I am looking forward to seeing and I will be doing a whole new post on that in the future as more details come out about it and I have looked into it a bit more so keep checking back for that post. It is just nice to see that slowly but surely the female games is getting a bit more recognition and the game is definitely growing off the pitch with a global game like FIFA finally adding more female representation to its games. I can't wait to see how the representation increases over the next few years as the women's game continues to grow. 

Are you glad women are finally been added to video games?