OUR rivalry with Bradford City resumes at the Galpharm tomorrow night, and I’m really looking forward to the game.
The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second-round tie provides our first meeting in three years – I was still playing, but missed out on a Carling Cup first-round home clash which we won 4-0 back in August 2008 – and there have been big changes at both clubs in the intervening years.
The last couple of seasons have been a struggle for City, which is a shame, because while the two of us are big rivals, I think it’s good for Yorkshire football as a whole if all the county’s clubs are doing well.
It hasn’t worked out for either Peter Taylor or our old boss Peter Jackson over at Valley Parade, and now Phil Parkinson is the man trying to guide the Bantams away from the wrong end of League II.
It’s amazing to think that Bradford were playing in the Premier League as recently as 2001, and I can well remember some stirring games against them when I was at Sheffield Wednesday.
I’ve also played against them for Town, of course, and I know just what it means to the fans to have the bragging rights.
Hopefully we’ll extend what is a good record in our most recent meetings and give our fans something to cheer.
But Bradford will bring a lot of support – and Phil Parkinson will see the match as an opportunity to earn a pick-up ahead of some crucial league games.
There are some big names down in the Blue Square Premier.
We’ve had great play-off tussles with Lincoln and Mansfield not that long ago, and you look at the likes of Cambridge, Luton, Stockport, Wrexham and York and remember games against them.
It shows no club is immune from going down, but I genuinely hope Bradford head the other direction and that in the not too distant future, we are playing each other in the Championship or even Premier League!
DAVID PLEAT, below, made the news when he parted company with Nottingham Forest, where he has worked as a consultant for the last five years.
He’s doing media work – he was out in Slovenia when Birmingham beat Maribor in the Europa League last Thursday – but it would be a big shame if he didn’t get another role within the game.
He was the man who took me to Sheffield Wednesday from Town back in 1996, and later played a key role when I went to Tottenham on loan (he was director of football with George Graham the manager).
He’s a top football man with loads of experience in a variety of roles and an encyclopaedic knowledge of players, right down to non-
MANCHESTER City must part company with Carlos Tevez – but it has to be on their terms.
His apparent refusal to come off the bench and play against Bayern Munich in the Champions League has been one of the most talked-about football incidents in recent times.
As a former player, it sits very uneasily, because Tevez has shown a total lack of respect to the club, who pay him very good wages, his manager Roberto Mancini, his teammates and the supporters who pay hard-earned money to go and watch him.
If I’d have been alongside him on that bench, I’d probably have grabbed hold of him and shoved him on the pitch myself!
The unsavoury incident has left City with a real problem.
They have fined him the maximum two weeks’ wages – but to a man who earns as much as Tevez, that’s hardly hurtful.
If they simply tear up his contract, then Tevez has got what he wants, because he’d be able to go and join a club in his native South America without City gaining anything.
It’s been said that City have brought on this kind of situation by signing big players with allegedly big egos.
But that doesn’t excuse Tevez, and it was interesting to see that Sir Alex Ferguson, left, came out in support of his cross-city rival Mancini.
Tevez, of course, was once under the management of Sir Alex, who has shown that no player, be they Van Nistelrooy, Beckham or whoever, is bigger than the club.