At the Palace 30/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Chris Burke, Crystal Palace, Darcy Blake, Gabor Gyepes, Jay Bothroyd, Kelvin Etuhu, Peter Whittingham, Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2
Just like when I last went to see Cardiff play (the 1-0 away win against Reading in September) Chris Burke became the match winner as the Bluebirds fought hard to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park Saturday.
It was exciting to again be there to watch Cardiff from the stands. I went with my brother-in-law who lives in London, and having driven to Selhust Park from Twickenham we arrived at the ground with plenty of time to look around and suck in the atmosphere. Well, to be honest there wasn’t much of an atmosphere before close to kick off, as it seemed most of the 13,464 crowd only found the way to their seats just as the game was about to start. From then on the Cardiff contingent started to make some noise, and it was great to be able to celebrate two goals and a win along with fellow Bluebird supporters.
We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal, and from where we stood there was an excellent view to where Gabor Gyepes scored from. The Cardiff section (including two Hungarians right behind us) went bananas and cries of “Bloooobirds” rung around Selhurst Park. From then until half time City struggled as Crystal Palace mostly hoisted the ball high and they put City under pressure having some great chances and producing some excellent saves from David Marshall. I felt we were a bit lucky to going into the break 1-0 up, and it was a bit disapointing that Cardiff weren’t able to get the ball more down on the ground.
Selhust Park reminded me of grounds I’ve been to in the past to watch Cardiff play in the lower divisions (apart from it’s 26,000 capacity perhaps), and that means it wasn’t too impressive. The playing surface didn’t look very good either. Has this really been a Premier League venue?
In the second half it continued to be an encounter between two very mediocre looking teams. The play was in tune with the weather really: a bit cloudy and changing with both sunny and rainy spells, and for the neutral spectator it most have been a dull game.
When Palace equalized in the 58th minute it wasn’t unfair, but all along I felt Cardiff could manage the win. When Burkey made it 2-1 in the 67th minute I was certain, and how great it was letting the joy burst out as Burke ran towards the Cardiff fans celebrating! City managed to hold on to the lead and in securing another three precious point even climbed up to fourth as Swansea drew and Leicester lost.
David Marshall did the job in goal. In front of him Darcy Blake was impressive and together with the tall, strong Gabor Gyepes formed a solid pair at centre back. In midfield the most notable thing for me was how Peter Whittingham had a real off-day missing even the simplest of passes and losing the ball far to easily at times. Up front it was a bit surprising to see Kelvin Etuhu in the starting line up in Jay Bothroyd’s absence, but I thought he did a good job before being replaced by (and that was a bit of a surprise too) Warren Feeney.
Now I’m back in Norway and look forward to listening to the Leicester match tonight on Cardiff City Player. It’s not quite like being there, but it’ll do. Hopefully Ill be able to visit the Cardiff City Stadium next season and perhaps then even watch Premier League football!
22nd of May 22/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Chris Burke, Darcy Blake, Dato Chan Tien Ghee, Dave Jones, Gabor Gyepes, Heidar Helguson, Paul Quinn, Peter Whittingham, Ross McCormack, Tony Capaldi, Watford
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Cardiff City 3 Watford 1
What a good weekend this was!
I know I maybe shouldn’t have, but after this victory I had to check when the Play Off final takes place. In case you shouldn’t know, it’s on Saturday the 22nd of May.
There were good news off the field with reports that the meetings held with the potential Malaysian investor Dato Chan Tien Ghee, or “TG” as he’s become known, had gone well.
Then, on Saturday, my tickets for the away game against Crystal Palace arrived, so now I can look forward to going to the match without worrying whether or not the tickets will arrive in time.
Later on Staurday the other Championship results on Saturday were very favourable for the Bluebirds. Doncaster and Sheffield United, the two teams right behind Cardiff, drew against each other. Swansea could only draw, and Leicester and Coventry drew.
It was then all just a matter of Cardiff taking advantage by beating Watford, and although it was an even game that I understand could have gone either way based on the first half play and chances, City showed strength by first going one up early on thanks to a beautifully taken McCormack goal. Then, having survived until half time having seen Watford very nearly score, a good header by our goalgetter Peter Whittingham after a perfect pass from Burke put City in control.
I read Nathan Blake’s comments about the subdued atmosphere at Cardiff City Stadium. I don’t feel in a position to have an opinion on that as I didn’t even get to listen to the match on Cardiff City Player, but watching the highlights today I thought the player’s celebration of Whitts’ goal seemed a bit subdued. Have they become too used to him scoring, or did they feel so in control of the game that they took the goal for granted? Luckily they didn’t step of the gas to much though, and it was joyfull how Chris Burke both showed skill and had luck in putting the game beyond Watford with City’s third. Former Lillestrøm player Heidar Helguson pulled a goal back for the Hornets, but it still ended in an impressive win, especially considering City’s back four in the second half consisted of Quinn, Gyepes, Blake and Capaldi. That bodes well for the remaining games!
On final note about some of Dave Jones’ post match comments. I think he’s absolutely wrong in saying other results don’t matter and that he doesn’t take notice. I seem to remember Jones publically sighing with relief when City during the recent bad spell somehow managed to stay in the Play Off zone thanks to other results going Cardiff’s way. So while he’s right to say City’s players should concentrate on themselves and their own preformances he doesn’t have to pretend results elsewhere doesn’t matter! Should City experience another bad spell before the end of the season other results might be what keeps us in the Play Offs, and I don’t think Dave Jones should ignore that.
Bluebirds back in the air 17/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Chris Burke, Coventry City, Darcy Blake, Dave Jones, Kevin McNaughton, Peter Whittingham, Stephen McPhail
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Coventry City 1 Cardiff City 2
Dave Jones said after the Leicester game that: “Our players should be pretty confident after today. We didn’t get the result but you can see the performance is starting to come back. Once it does, we’ll fly“. Although the Bluebirds are in no way soaring yet, at least yesterdays excellent win put us back up in the air after crashing to the ground time after time recently!
Yesterdays win was a vital one, and the manner in which it happened and the fact that some other results again went our away has made my growing pessimism if not disappear then at least take a break!
I guess Coventry won’t be our strongest opponent from now until the end of the season, but had City lost yesterday Coventry would have leaped above us in the table and sent us out of the play off zone. That would in my view have been a knockout blow. Another major point about yesterdays victory is the fact that Cardiff came from a goal down to win it.
City’s winning goal, a controversially given penalty put into the back of the net by our impressive top scorer Peter Whittingham, came well after the 90 minutes were up, and even deeper into injury time Coventry actually hit the cross bar. Luck finally seems to be on our side!
Can we really make the play offs after all?
It was impressing that Darcy Blake went from midfielder in the first half to a solid center back deputizing for the deputy, the brilliant Kevin McNaughton (who I hope won’t be out injured now), after the break. Chris Burke got a goal and as I understood from the Cardiff City player commentary was lively and excellent throughout the game. Hopefully Burke can maintain his momentum for the run in, and it seems the return of Stephen McPhail has had a positive effect.
I don’t dear to let my current optimism fully loose until I see if we can follow this up against Watford on Sunday. Beating Coventry was crucial, keeping it up is even more so. Ten games to go now, and with one game in hand on all the chasing teams, three points down to seventh placed Sheffield United, a solid goal difference and Swansea right in front of us and up for the taking the outcome lies mostly in our own hands.
So sad 13/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Dave Jones, Peter Whittingham, Stephen McPhail
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Leicester City 1 Cardiff City 0
“The defeat brought a fourth defeat in five for Cardiff, but the Bluebirds were again let off as other results went their way, clinging onto their sixth place and a play-off spot and maintaining their two point gap over the chasing pack.“
It’s so sad. There are eleven Championship matches to go for Cardiff. We can’t ride our luck and depend on other results for that many games. Even with Whitts and McPhail returning from injury we couldn’t cope against Leicester.
I didn’t listen to the whole of the match. Couldn’t bear to. I missed the goal and my mood as usual dropped when I saw we were a goal down. The supporter in me managed to remind me though that one goal was all that was needed to clinch a point, so I didn’t lose faith completely. Only when my internet connection went down a few minutes into the second half I took it as a sure sign Cardiff were heading for defeat.
Dave Jones took his frustration out on the match officials. I’m sure he’s right in his criticism, but aren’t there many other issues he as manager of Cardiff City could and should be addressing?
Come Tuesday the Bluebirds will most likely drop out of the Play Off zone going to Coventry for another tough away match. It’s so sad. Please prove me wrong, Bluebirds!
Self-combustion 12/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Peter Beagrie, Peter Whittingham
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Peter Beagrie in his blog at SkySports.com thinks Cardiff seem intent on self-combustion and calls Cardiff “the most vulnerable team in the top six “. After the abysmal display against Ipswich on Tuesday, with the inconsistency City have shown and the threadbare squad I can’t say I disagree…
On a more positive note this week we got more time to find the money to settle our debts, and I really hope the club is as in control of how to raise the money needed as they gave the High Court impression of.
“On their day they are the most easy-on-the-eye team in the Championship alongside West Brom” writes Beagrie. Let’s hope the return of Peter Whittingham for tomorrow’s important away game versus Leicester will also see the return of the good play we know we’re capable of. City will climb of to fifth place with a win and swap places with Leicester. That would be sweet. I’m trying hard not to be annoyed that the Jacks are still above us as at the moment concentrating on ourselves is more than enough.
Survivors 06/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Jay Bothroyd, Middlesbrough, Peter Risdale
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Cardiff City 1 Middlesbrough 0
There’s a strange dualism at Cardiff City nowadays. We’re in a position to achieve promotion to the Premier League, but not much else than our current position on the table suggests it.
The protest before today’s match was justified. Peter Risdale’s statement in an attempt to stop it was pathetic. That the same supporters who protested then went to the game and gave the team their full support as the few remaining fit players delivered a superb victory should leave no doubt for any potential buyers where the problems lie.
Listening to the match on Cardiff City Player I found myself shouting Blooooobirds and running through the living room after only a few minutes as Jay Bothroyd put Cardiff ahead. Then, as a penalty seemed certain after the linesman had waved his flag, I cheered prematurely when Burke in stead was booked and the referee awarded a free kick to Middlesbrough. After the interval there was a heart stopping moment as an equalizer was announced, but luckily it was disallowed. The minutes of stoppage time were nail-biting, as a late, late goal from the visitors could be expected. It didn’t happen though, and City incredibly won!
Warnock warning 03/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Crystal Palace, Dave Jones, Neil Warnock, Q.P.R.
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It was disturbing that Neil Warnock decided to leave the sinking Crystal Palace ship to hunt for glory with moneybag London rivals Q.P.R. Why? Because his decision might encourage Dave Jones to do the same.
Cardiff aren’t as bad of as Crystal Palace. Not yet. But Dave Jones is a manager working with at least one hand tied and it must be so frustrating to not be able to bring in the players he wants and not even being able to make the loan signings he wants. Just like every Championship player have an ambition to one day play in the Premier League and get the most out of their careers, every manager wants and needs the right foundations to be all they can be in their profession.
As a Crystal Palace supporter I would be loathing Neil Warnock right now, but being objective you can’t really blame him for making the move that he has. I just hope I never have to see the day that Dave Jones gets fed up and leaves Cardiff City, but I fear it’s a question of when rather than if… It would be both fully understandable and fully unforgivable.
Aaron Ramsey’s horrific injury 01/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey
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It was awful to see Cardiff’s former starlet Aaron Ramsey suffer the horrific injury against Stoke. I know a few Arsenal fans, and they’ve all been in awe over Ramsey’s amazing talent. Hopefully he’ll recover fully and keep progressing to become the world class player he seems destined to be.
Fourteen games of agony to go 01/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
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It took some time to get over the Barnsley defeat, and the disastrous Preston performance and result is still hard to swallow.
Now the chairman and the manager are quarreling on top of all the other problems at the club… It seems that all my pessimism and predictions sadly have been spot on. It’s well known that Cardiff have had a tendency to bottle it towards the end of the season since becoming a Championship side. Here are the sad statistics from the last six seasons (plus this season) going into the last fourteen games:
Season Standing 14 g.t.go Pts. Final standing Final pts.
2009/10 6. 49 ? ??
2008/09 6. 53 7. 74
2007/08 11. 44 12. 64
2006/07 6. 53 13. 64
2005/06 7. 45 11. 60
2004/05 19. 37 16. 54
2003/04 11. 46 13. 65
I feel we have fourteen games of agony ahead of us now before we know how far down we’ll plunge this time around. It’s just sad.