Say we are (joint) top of the league 28/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Dave Jones, Jay Bothroyd, Peterborough United, Portsmouth
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Peterborough United 2 Cardiff City 1
Portsmouth 0 Cardiff City 2
What a feeling! Although they’re are a team in free fall Cardiff needed to do the job against Portsmouth and did just that. We’re now joint leaders would you believe!
Too bad Q.P.R. managed two goals late, late on to secure a draw against Derby to stay top with more goals scored, but we’re definitely on a roll – the slip up against Peterborough aside. Dave Jones showed exactly how seriously he took the League Cup by fielding the side he did on Tuesday. His pre-match comments about how “We prepare in the right manner, we make sure we’re up for it.” And: “I will pick my strongest team that I feel will get me the result on the day as I always try and do at this football club“ didn’t make too much sense after the game. I was hoping for a victory against Peterborough so that we could hopefully draw one of the big Premier League clubs in the third round, but now that we’re out it’s easy to utter the cliche about how we’re now able to concentrate on the League…
But enough about the Peterborough defeat (except to say that after having watched the highlights how was it not a penalty when Jay Bothroyd was pulled to the ground late on??).
Both Portsmouth and Cardiff are in very different situations and have a lot of different players now than when the teams met at Wembley in the F.A. Cup final on the 17th of May 2008. Portsmouth were favorites on the day and won. Two years on the tables have turned. Today Cardiff were favoutires and today Cardiff won. It’s brilliant.
Comings and goings 27/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Andy Keogh, Craig Bellamy, Daniel Drinkwater, Gavin Rae, Jason Koumas, Jonathan Meades, Lee Naylor, Martin John, Moss FK, Ross McCormack, Seyi Olofinjana, Tom Heaton
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Amazing how we’ve gone from transfer embargo to having eight new Cardiff players come in (Heaton, Drinkwater, Koumas, Olofinjana, John, Naylor, Bellamy and Keogh).
Now it’s time for players to move out as well, with Ross McCormack’s transfer to Leeds probably just being the first of a few players moving on before the transfer window closes next week.
Gavin Rae is probably the next to leave, and it’s neither surprising or a great loss with the midfielders we now have in our squad.
It was nice to see Jonathan Meades get of to a flying start for Moss here in Norway (never mind the red card), and it seems he’ll be important for them in trying to avoid relegation and hopefully he’ll develop as well by playing regular first team football although the level is a lot lower in the Norwegian first division than in the Championship.
It’s a bit sad to see a great talent like Ross McCormack leave, but considering his behavior both on and off the field and him not being able to follow up the great promise of the first season and very likely not being able to break in to the starting eleven this season, I guess it’s only right that he leaves. Personally I lost the respect for McCormack when he was so desperate to leave us last summer, and it’s easy to see now that Cardiff should have cashed in on him back then as we would probably have got a lot more money for him than what Leeds are paying now (although we don’t know exactly what the fee is).
Andy Keogh is another excellent and exciting loan signing. With Michael Chopra now injured for maybe as long as ten weeks the timing of his arrival was perfect.
Did they really play “I’ve Gotta Feeling”?! 22/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
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I just watched the extended highlights of yesterdays excellent 4-0 win against Doncaster, which of course was very enjoyable.
BUT: at the end I noticed that they played Black Eyed Peas’ hit “I’ve got a feeling” over the PA system once the final whistle had gone.
For me at least that was not a particularly good choice, as that very song was played at Wembley in May as Blackpool celebrated their Play Off final victory against Cardiff and so brought back not to fond memories.
Or maybe it was played intentionally to underline that there’s absolutely no Play Off Final hangover in Cardiff…?
Homecoming according to plan 22/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Chris Burke, Craig Bellamy, Daniel Drinkwater, Dave Jones, Doncaster Rovers, Jason Koumas, Jay Bothroyd, Lee Naylor, Seyi Olofinjana
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Cardiff City 4 Doncaster Rovers 0
The stage was set for captain Craig Bellamy in his starring role and the rest of the Cardiff cast, and with a packed Cardiff City Stadium as audience the match luckily went according to the script!
Doncaster showed that they’re not a bad team and they were potential party poopers in Bellamy’s hyped up homecoming. I understand the visitors were the best team the first twenty minutes or so. Luckily though Cardiff managed to ride of what dangers there were and in the end showed that with the current squad we’re a force to be reckoned with in the Championship this season.
From what I’ve heard Bellamy had a good game (although we can expect even more according to the man himself) and rounding it of with the superb free kick goal before being substituted to standing ovations was just perfect. The booking for dissent could not ruin the day.
Jay Bothroyd banging in two more goals was also great.
Chris Burke, who played well and scored against Derby last weekend was sacrificed to make way for Bellamy in the starting line up, which was harsh on the Scotsman, but when Chopra was injured early on and Burkey came on, he showed Dave Jones that he deserves to be one of the eleven with his goal and brilliant play.
There were so many positives yesterday it’s hard to address them all, but I’m very pleased to see that we seem to have an excellent pairing in the center of midfield in the shape of Olofinjana and Drinkwater. It was also good to see how Lee Naylor, who wasn’t even supposed to be on the bench, delivered the goods at left back when suddenly found himself out on the field after Darcy Blake withdrew at the warm up and then Kevin McNaughton was injured.
I can’t wait for Portsmouth away on Saturday, but first let’s overcome Peterborough in the League Cup. It’ll be interesting to see what team Dave Jones sends out on London Road Tuesday. I trust Jason Koumas will be given his first start.
From Welsh Bluebird to Norwegian Crow 19/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Blackpool, Jonathan Meades, Moss FK, Neil Matthews, Sogndal
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I was surprised to hear yesterday through the Cardiff City message board and Moss FK’s official page that Jonathan Meades has become a “Mossekråke” on loan from Cardiff. It was also covered in Moss’ local newspaper and on the online forum for Moss supporters.
I’m surprised both a) that Cardiff are willing to loan first year professional Meades (18) out to a team that’s struggling near the bottom of the Norwegian first division as opposed to loaning him out to another team in the Football League and b) that there’s no official mention of the loan deal from the club or in the British media. I fully understand that the Craig Bellamy transfer is the main news at the moment, but surely Meades being loaned out still deserves a mention on the official Cardiff City site?
Now that the loan deal seem to be done, I must say it’s rather nice to have a Bluebird playing in Norwegian football. I’ll be sure to check whether he plays against Alta on Sunday and what both the Moss fans and Norwegian press will make of him while he’s over here.
Speaking of Cardiff players in Norwegian football, I remember Neil Matthews playing for Sogndal on loan back in 1992. I think I even met him outside the ground for a chat after Sogndal was in Bergen playing Brann that season and I probably wrote an article about it in The Bluebird Magazine (the newsletter/fanzine of Cardiff City Supporters Club Norwegian Branch) back then. If I manage to find an old copy of The Bluebird Magazine laying around I’ll maybe write some more about Neil Matthews’ Norwegian adventure in a later blog post here at cardiffcity.no.
It’s quite hilarious to see how The south Wales Echo in their “Meet the tangerine Bluebirds”-article before the Play Off final versus Blackpool in May managed to write about the ex-Blackpool player Matthews that he “left Cardiff to join Chinese club Songdal in 1992, but returned that season to help them win the Third Division championship in 1992-93“. Sogndal is the correct name of course, and as exotic and unfamiliar this little “fruit town” in Norway with it’s 4.000 inhabitants may seem, it’s definitely a long way from China! Good one, Terry Phillips!
Back to Meades, and even more surprising than him being loaned out to Moss is perhaps is the fact that Moss claim on their homepage to have started a cooperation with Cardiff City. It’ll be interesting to see what that means.
Bellamy Bluebird 17/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, Joe Ledley
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It’s unreal that Craig Bellamy today became a Cardiff City player. At a loss of words I’ll say the transfer is down to “mancinicity”, which I’d explain as a bad mix of megalomania and lack of judgment. How Bellamy was not included in Manchester City’s 25 man squad for this season is just for Roberto Mancini to know and the rest of the footballing wolrd not to understand.
Craig Bellamy had a good last season and is probably at the peak of his career. Almost any other Premier League club love to
get the Wales captain in their team, and many tried to lay the bait out once it became clear he was not among Mancini’s chosen ones.
Wolfsburg tried to buy him and Celtic were hoping for a loan deal. Rumour had it that also Tottenham, Liverpool and many
other clubs wanted him, but Bellamy wanted to go home. Home to his family who live in Cardiff and home to the club he
supported as a boy. He wants to contribute to Cardiff City making it to the Premier League. Are you listening up there in
Glasgow, Joe Ledley?
For a player of Bellamy’s calibre to step down to the Championship is remarkable. Manchester City paid West Ham £14 million
for him in January 2009, and he reportedly earns a staggering £90K a week. Althuogh he’s just here on loan Bellamy is undoubtedly Cardiff City’s greatest signing ever.
Bellamy has somewhat of a bad reputation, but I’m confident being at his hometown living with his wife and kids and playing
for his favorite club under Dave Jones, a manager known for bringing the best out of people, there won’t be any problems.
The only “problem” now is how will we make best use of this exceptional player? Dave Jones has gone from bareley having
enough registered players until the transfer embargo was lifted to now getting a selection headache as so many excellent
players are in the squad!
Things are certainly looking good for us Cardiff supporters at the moment, so let’s just hope Motherwell can be paid the money they’re owed and that there are no more skeletons in the closet.
Bring on Doncaster!
Koumas showing glimpses 13/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, Jason Koumas, Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra, Ross McCormack, Seyi Olofinjana
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Cardiff City 4 Burton Albion 1 AET
It was a bit surprising that we needed extra time to see off Burton Albion from League Two at Cardiff City Stadium, but at least the extra time gave Jason Koumas some valuable playing time and he showed glimpses of what quality he brings to the team.
Well done to Ross McCormack on scoring two good goals, but Koumas’ perfect through balls to McCormack and then Chopra shows that once match fit Koumas will add a much needed dimension to Cardiff’s attacking play. Players like Ross McCormack and Michael Chopra need passes like Koumas can deliver and although McCormack might be on his way out Chopra, Bothroyd and whoever else plays up front will benefit from Koumas’ intelligent play. Not to mention that he’s likely to get a few goals himself as well.
I look forward to tomorrow’s match against Derby, where I’m sure newcomer Olofinjana will make his debut, and in the mean time I’ll continue hoping for Craig Bellamy being presented as our latest signing. With him now confirmed being out of Manchester City’s 25 man squad I ‘m quite optimistic that he’ll become a Bluebird after his recent statements even though there are lot’s of big clubs trying to get a hold of him. What a signing that would be…
“Olof” is a great capture 10/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Brann, Dave Jones, Seyi Olofinjana
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I was thrilled to hear that Dave Jones has secured the services of an old hero of mine, Seyi “Olof” Olofinjana, on a season long loan from Championship rivals Hull.
“Olof” was outstanding when he played for my Norwegian favorite team Brann, who had brought him to Europe from Nigeria, in 2003-04. He was both majestic and robust at the same time, and players trying to take the ball from him as he gained possession in midfield and strode forward more often than not had their work cut out as the ball was as if glued to his foot.
It was clear to see that he was far to good for Norwegian football, and Dave Jones who was then manager at Wolves was one of many representatives from clubs around Europe who came to Brann Stadion in Bergen to take a closer look at “Olof”. Once he was off, it appeared that it was Monaco and France that was to become Olofinjana’s next stop, but something came up (as it strangely did when he was about to be sold from Stoke to Monco in the summer of 2009 as well) and he ended up in Wolverhampton after Jones thought he was lost for them. Jones and “Olof” got along great from day one, as this article from 2004 describes, and apparently the pair have kept in touch over the years.
A couple of £3 million moves later (first Stoke, then Hull) Olofinjana is still a class act, and at the end of last season when it looked as if Cardiff might make it to the Premier League, I thought he should be the first player Dave Jones should bring in when our Premier League status was secured. That as we all know never happened, and even though Hull were relegated to the Championship I didn’t dear dream that they would let him go. A season long loan seems a perfect solution with the situation (or should I say mess) Cardiff are on our way out of.
An important point for me as a Norwegian Bluebird is the fact that Olofinjana will become the first player to have played both for a Norwegian team and for Cardiff! That’s probably the nearest we’ve been to seeing a Norwegian pull on the blue shirt, and “Olof” even used to have a Norwegian girlfriend.
Disappointing start 08/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Dave Jones, Gavin Rae, Jason Koumas, Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra, Peter Whittingham, Ross McCormack
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Cardiff City 1 Sheffield United 1
A 1-1 draw against Sheffield United might not seem that bad, but it was the performance more than the result that was disappointing today.
Cardiff started the match OK, but once the visitors took the lead it all looked very gloomy. Even when Sheffield United had Lowton sent off shortly after the goal City showed a lack of pace, movement and creativity going forward that doesn’t bode well for the season ahead.
Only when Jay Bothroyd excellently managed to score seventeen minutes into the second half did Cardiff spring to life and we really should have managed to get a second goal to win the game. Bothroyd’s goal came from nothing, and Michael Chopra showed class rounding the goalkeeper and producing a perfect pass to Bothroyd who did very well to place the ball in the back of the net with two opponents just in front of him and two more on the goal line.
Ross McCormack looked very lively and positive coming on for Gavin Rae, but it was not nice to see McCormack and Chopra having a quarrel after the latter had failed to pass to the former when it was obvious to all he should have done so just a few minutes prior to the equalizer.
One thing I found a bit strange was that Dave Jones named only four subs. Was it perhaps to show we’re short on players? Surely Jason Koumas could have been on the bench even though he was not going to play, and there must be some youngsters who would have gained valuable experience by being involved on the match day and sitting on the subs bench without coming on?
I hope Dave Jones and his staff will use the coming week well including the Carling Cup game versus Burton Albion so that we come out better in the difficult away game against Derby. Before then we hopefully might see a few new players arrive, and sadly maybe Peter Whittingham leave for Nottingham Forest.
It’s a new season after all 08/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Daniel Drinkwater, Dave Jones, Jason Koumas, Joe Ledley, Michael Chopra
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We could very well have been preparing for the Premier League now. In many ways we should have been. This summer has seen us pay the cost for losing that Play Off final to Blackpool in May big time.
It’s been very disappointing that the Malaysian investors bold statements about how we’re going to finish in the top two next season hasn’t led to more players being brought in. I trust though that they have done a great deal behind the scenes when it comes to the running of the club and financial soundness, but I agree with those who have criticized the new owners for not being more open about what’s been going on.
The uncertainty surrounding the unpaid tax bills and the transfer embargo made it a bad close season for Cardiff City, and it was not helped by all the speculation about manager Dave Jones leaving. I think the single most important thing this summer has been that we’ve been able to keep Dave Jones, although I understand he’s being paid more than what might be reasonable for a Championship manager. It’s also very satisfying that we’ve kept most of the players from last season, and going into today’s match I think we’ve actually got a slightly stronger squad now than at the end of last season.
Joe Ledley moving to Celtic is of course a big loss, but Danny Drinkwater seems an exciting prospect and if Jason Koumas can perform anywhere near what he did the last time he was a Bluebird he’ll be a real asset.
Selling Mark Kennedy to Ipswich was “good business”, as Dave Jones put it, and I expect Adam Matthews to have his breakthrough this season having been eased into the first team last season.
It’s good to have two quality goalkeepers, and if Dave Jones is able to bring in four more players before the transfer window closes like ha says he wants to then I can’t see why Cardiff won’t be in the top six again come May next year.
It’ll be interesting to see when our season kicks off in a few hours time how high the spirits and motivation will be among the players when they enter the pitch against Sheffield United . Michael Chopra confirmed what we all thought and feared – that there was a lot of frustration in the squad , which is fully understandable and a it’s a frustration that is shared by the supporters. Hopefully this won’t affect the players once the season has started though, and hopefully they’re as rearing to go as me!