Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Adel Taarabt, Avram Grant, Brann, Daniel Drinkwater, Danny Gabbidon, Dekel Keinan, Gavin Rae, Jay Bothroyd, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Neil Warnock, Petter Vaagan Moen, Q.P.R., Rudolph Austin, Sir Alex Ferguson
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With Cardiff not playing until Tuesday it was good to see both Q.P.R. and Norwich dropping points Saturday.
Both the Hoops and the Canaries were favourites to take all three points away to Hull and Crystal Palace respectively, but luckily neither managed that as both games ended in 0-0 draws.
Never mind Norwich overtaking Cardiff on the table. It’s only temporary.
Another good thing is that Q.P.R. in particular has a tough schedule with yesterday’s match being followed by a home match against Portsmouth already on Tuesday and then they play away against Reading Friday. I know the players are top trained professional footballers, but three games in under a week is still tough, so let’s hope that fatigue might play a part!
Speaking of Q.P.R., there was a two page article about their Norwegian newcomer Petter Vaagan Moen in Bergens Tidende yesterday. I won’t be surprised if Vaagan Moen’s transfer to Q.P.R. will result in a number of new Norwegian Q.P.R. fans, as the midfielder is very popular in Norway and especially in Bergen. The increased attention given to Q.P.R. and the Championship because of him playing there is already notable. Should Q.P.R. get promoted this season I think the likelihood of a sudden increase in Norwegian youngsters supporting the Rs is even bigger.
According to Bergens Tidende Q.P.R. are also after Brann’s versatile tough guy Rudolph Austin, who I’ve mentioned in one of my previous posts, and Neil Warnock actually tried to get him on loan recently for the rest of the season. Brann wouldn’t allow that, but Bergens Tidende writes that the Londoners will continue to watch Austin and probably try to buy him in the summer. This according to Austin’s agent. Perhaps Dave Jones and Cardiff should be alerted by this and take a closer look at the Jamaican international? The newspaper story also says that Q.P.R. didn’t want to buy Austin now, as they could not afford it. If someone could explain to me how that can be the case for a money bags team like Q.P.R., then please do!
Danny Drinkwater’s sudden recall to Manchester United last week surprised me, but I guess there’s more to the story than what is publicly known. I’ve seen it suggested that perhaps the limited appearances for Drinkwater lately combined with the loan signings of Aaron Ramsey and Emmanuel Jay-Thomas is what made Sir Alex Ferguson end Drinkwater’s loan at City prematurely, but it could just as well be that Dave Jones and Cardiff was aware that Manchester United considered recalling their young talent and for that very reason went after Ramsey.
After a fine start at Cardiff Drinkwater got injured and after he returned from injury he’s found his chances in the starting eleven limited. In that sense it’s not too surprising that he’s been recalled but I for one wasn’t aware that this so called season long loan even had a clause that enabled Manchester United to cut it short. Although I would have liked to see Drinkwater a part of our squad until May I don’t think him being recalled will have too much on an effect on our promotion hopes.The biggest negative effect for Cardiff might actually be indirect should Drinkwater do well for our promotion rivals Watford who have now secured themselves the midfielder’s services for their remaining 20 Championship games.
I’ve already in an earlier post mentioned how I think the label “star” is misused in the press, and I had to smile when I saw Sky Sport’s headline about Drinkwater: “United recall star from Cardiff” (sic)! Since when did Drinkwater, who hasn’t played a single game for the Red Devils, become a star? No disrespect to the talented youngster, but I don’t think he would disagree with me that his name doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it that Rooney, Berbatov and Giggs have! Not yet anyway.
Tomorrow is the last day of the January transfer window, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s going to be any activity involving Cardiff City.
Former Bluebirds hero Danny Gabbidon has been mentioned, but I don’t expect it to happen. Gabbidon played the whole of West Ham’s FA Cup fourth round match today, and as long as he’s under contract at Upton Park and manager Avram Grant says he wants the player to stay on, I don’t see the player’s apparent wish for a transfer to Cardiff materializing this time around.
Another question is whether or not we need another center back after Dekel Keinan was signed, and if so if Gabbidon is of the quality we want or if he’s too injury prone and a bit over the top of his career.
I’m still going to keep an eye on the all the dealings and wheelings going on during tomorrow though, and the best news I guess would be Q.P.R.’s Adel Taarabt signing for Manchester United!
Sweet revenge after just 24 days 27/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Adel Taarabt, Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, Dekel Keinan, Jay Bothroyd, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Kevin McNaughton, Lee Naylor, Mark Hudson, Paul Quinn, Peter Whittingham, Seyi Olofinjana, Watford
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Cardiff City 4 Watford 2
Just 24 days after City’s embarrasing 1-4 at Watford, it was time for sweet revenge as the Hornets came flying in to Cardiff.
If the December defeat wasn’t enough to make the Cardiff players aware of what threat Watford were posing, then the visitor’s run of seven victories in a row should be.
Dave Jones handed a debut to Jay Emanuel-Thomas in a line up that as expected looked a lot different than versus Stoke in the FA Cup replay, but perhaps even more pleasing than the introduction of JET was the comeback of Jay Bothroyd after eight games out injured. The England international had a fairly quiet game against Watford, but he scored his 16th goal of the season in impressive fashion, and his his scoring record of 14 League goals in just 18 games is excellent. Bothroyd got injured in the second half, but hopefully he’ll be fit to start against Reading on Tuesday.
Eager to see City’s attacking onslaught as we went three goals up after only half an hour, and curious to see how we then let in-form Watford get back in with a shout, I decided to for the first time try Cardiff City Player’s offer to watch a recording of the whole match. It’s a bit strange to watch a game where you know the outcome and when the goals are coming, but it gives you a different perspective and without the emotions and tension that comes with watching matches live it’s easier to take a more analytical approach to the viewing.
Although a good and entertaining match, I wasn’t too impressed by the tempo in the game. There were periods where the ball was knocked about with pace and good runs were made, but there were just as many periods where the players seemed to slow the tempo down by taking their time on set pieces and throw ins.
JET had a decent debut and I look forward to see more of him in a Cardiff shirt. Seyi Olofinjana had a good game, which was nice to see as I’ve heard from those who’ve seen most games this season that the Nigerian has started to fade after impressing when he first came to Cardiff. Craig Bellamy was always a threat going forward, and I thought Mark Hudson had a good game in the center of defence. I don’t think there can be much question about Lee Naylor having to make way for Dekel Keinan when he probably enters the starting eleven on Tuesday with Kevin McNaughton likely to play on either left back or right back should Dave Jones choose to drop Paul Quinn to make way for Keinan. Quinn, by the way, has a bit surprisingly got himself into the side lately, and I thought he did OK against Watford. Another player I would like to mention is Peter Whittingham. He’s top class, and I’m really glad he didn’t go to Nottingham Forest in the summer.
It’s still a very close race in the Championship. I feel Q.P.R are very much favourites for top spot, although I have not given up hope that we might end up as champions. I watched parts of the game as Q.P.R. come from behind to beat Coventry on Sunday, and I must say Adel Taarabt is one player I would rather have seen playing for us. Next to Craig Bellamy he is the most exciting player in the Championship, and I don’t understand how Tottenham could let him go.
Nottingham Forest have started to sneak up from behind, and can actually overtake us should they win their game in hand.
Luckily Swansea only drew Saturday.
Only one more game to go before the Welsh derby now!
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Blackpool, Dave Jones, Dekel Keinan, Nottingham Forest
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These are exciting times as new players keep arriving at Cardiff City!
What a contrast to the January transfer window last year, and this might be exactly what’s needed in our hunt for promotion to the Premier League.
After weeks of spuculation linking us with the player, Israeli international Dekel Keinan was today confirmed to have joined Cardiff on a two and a half year deal.
When I first heard about City’s interest in Keinan I was a bit skeptical as this is a player who have failed to break into the Blackpool first team since arriving from Maccabi Haifa in the summer. Having learned more about the 26 year old though and heard that Dave Jones actually tried to sign him before he joined Blackpool I’m more optimistic that this is a good signing. I think we’ll see Keinan partner Mark Hudson in Cardiff’s central defence very soon, although probably not against Watford tomorrow as the work permit still isn’t sorted out.
This Sky Sports’ portrait of Keinan is brilliant:
More surprising today was the news that Aaron “Rambo” Ramsey is returning to Cardiff on a one month loan from Arsenal.
Dave Jones tried to get Ramsey on loan last November, but Arsenal and Ramsey for some reason opted for Nottingham Forest back then, and it was reported that it was Ramsey’s own wish to go there and not back to Cardiff. Having played five games for Nottingham Forest before the new year, Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies made no secret of his wish to bring Ramsey back for a further period, so if Ramsey were to go back out on loan it seemed obvious he would be going back to Nottingham. Luckily for us that didn’t happen, and today the surprising but excellent news that Ramsey is back in Cardiff broke. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to get Ramsey fully match fit after his lengthy injury layoff.
How Dave Jones will juggle all Cardiff’s loanees about, as only three of them can be on the field at the same time, I’m not sure, but to have Ramsey in our already strong squad is a great boost!
Cameron, fathers and sons, Non-League 20/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City.
Tags: Alex Armstrong, Ben Osman, Bryan Griffiths, Cameron Jerome, Cameron Toshack, Chasetown, Danny Philliskirk, Dave Jones, David Cameron, Jens Stoltenberg, John Toshack, Leigh Platnauer, Nick Platnauer, Russell Osman, Sean Connelly, Terry Burton, Tony Philliskirk
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The Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is in London, and yesterday he met with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, at 10 Downing Street.
I’ve just about started to get used to David Cameron and not Gordon Brown being the British Prime Minister, but hearing his name reminds me of two former Bluebirds with the same given name as the Prime Minister’s surname: Cameron Jerome and Cameron Toshack.
Cameron Jerome, as many of you might remember, had a short but successful career at Cardiff having arrived from Middlesbrough’s youth setup. He broke into the first team in the seson 2004/05 scoring seven goals in 32 apperances. He had just turned eighteen at the time, and the following season he became City’s top scorer with twenty goals. Jerome is still only 24 years old, which means he could still have a long career ahead of him. He’s had some reasonably good seasons at Birmingham since his move to St. Andrews in May 2006 for a fee thought to be in the region of £3-4 million, and he now features regularly for the Blues playing alongside another ex-City player, Roger Johnson. It was a great piece of business for Cardiff who brought him to South Wales for nothing thanks to the awareness of reserve team manager Paul Wilkinson. So far this season Cameron Jerome has played 24 games netting 4 times, and don’t be surprised if this former England U-21 international turns out for the England first team at some point in the future.
Cameron Toshack had a far less successful football career than his namesake. He came to Cardiff in February 1991 having previously been at both Swansea and Bristol City without playing any games. It’s easy to assume that him getting the chance at Cardiff at all was a lot due to the fact that his father is the Welsh football hero, and until recently, Wales manager, John Toshack. Cameron Toshack only played five games in the City shirt and didn’t get much of a professional career after that either.
While on the subject of fathers and sons in football, reading about DannyPhilliskirk’s recent loan move to Sheffield United from Chelsea instantly brought former Cardiff City player Tony Philliskirk (63 games 1995-98) to my mind and, yes, surprise, surprise: Danny is Tony’s son. I guess the fact that players whose fathers have featured for Cardiff in my time as a Cardiff supporter now are becoming football pros themselves means I’m no longer that young!
Another time seeing current footballers names made me think about Cardiff players of the past was last spring, when I on one of my trips to Britain picked up a copy of the excellent Non-League magazine NonLeague24. Non-League football has always fascinated me. There’s a mix of older players stepping down from playing in the League, young talents coming through and all those thousands of players finding themselves somewhere in between. Together they – along with all the fans supporting their local team – in many ways represent the heart and soul of British football. In this particular issue of the magazine, Leigh Platnauer, son of former Cardiff player Nick Platnauer and Ben Osman, son of former Cardiff player and manager Russell Osman, were both mentioned. Nick Platnauer was at Cardiff when I started to follow the Bluebirds back in 1989 and I remember him well.
Another reason for me to buy NonLeague24 back then was that there was an interesting piece about Dave Jones in that issue titled “Grassroots changed my life”. Jones has his managerial roots in non-league football as he started out as a coach at Southport and then followed manager Bryan Griffiths to Mosley before becoming a coach at Stockport in the League. I also learnt from the article that Jones’ assistant Terry Burton, coach Alex Armstrong and physio Sean Connelly all have their background from Non-League. Cardiff have a well known special bond with Non-Leaguers Chasetown after the FA Cup third round encounter between the two teams on Cardiff’s way to the final in 2008, and that also got a mention in the article.
Scrappy. Not too unhappy. 19/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Aaron Wildig, Andy Keogh, Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, Gavin Rae, Jason Koumas, Jay Bothroyd, Jon Parkin, Kevin McNaughton, Lee Naylor, Michael Chopra, Peter Whittingham, Seyi Olofinjana, Stoke City, Tony Pulis
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Cardiff City 0 Stoke City 2 AET, FA Cup 3rd round replay
This was a very scrappy game with a disappointing result at the end of it.
There are a couple of reasons why I’m not too sad though.
Firstly, I got to watch the game online on FA TV, and win, lose or draw, I always enjoy watching the Bluebirds play! My warm thanks goes to Stephen Fowler and his UK Proxy for placing me virtually in the UK and thereby enabling me to enjoy the stream at thefa.com!
Secondly, yesterday’s replay was more draining than anything for the players. That’s not what we need at the moment with the heat on in the Championship, although Dave Jones did rest players like Bellamy, McNaughton, Whittingham, Olofinjana and Bothroyd (assuming he was fit that is) plus he put Chopra on the bench.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis also let a lot of second string players start, and while on the one hand you would expect there to be a bit less quality on the night considering the team selections, I was on the other hand surprised that there wasn’t more spark and enthusiasm from a lot of those who got their chance. One should think they were eager to prove to their managers that they belong in the starting eleven.
The first half performance from the Bluebirds was about as weak as I’ve ever seen, and I was a bit surprised that neither the players nor City’s manager and coaches failed to see how Cardiff time and time again got stuck on the right hand side when it was obvious that they had to shift play to the left where Stoke seemed more exposed and Lee Naylor had a decent game. I also question why there weren’t any tactical changes when we were trailing by the one goal. Surely we could have put more bodies forward and thereby perhaps have created something? And why did Parkin and not Keogh get substituted when Chopra came on? Why didn’t Jason Koumas even figure on the bench? But I’m not a manager am I, and I expect Dave Jones to have had an answer to all my critical questions!
It was sad that Stephen McPhail got injured (hamstring), but at least that meant a rare outing for Aaron Wildig and gave us the unusual midfield pairing of Wildig and Gavin Rae. The latter did not do much to stake his claim for a place in the team by the way.
I think we should have had a penalty when Michael Chopra went down in the penalty box at the end of normal time and had we gotten a penalty and a goal we surely would have won.
Stoke now go on to play a not too glamorous fourth round tie against Wolves. Cardiff go on to concentrate on the League. I for one am happy with that.
Another Jay 19/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Craig Bellamy, Jason Koumas, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
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Great news ahead of the Stoke game that Arsenal’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, or just JET as he’s known, has signed on loan for Cardiff for the rest of the season.
He’s described as a versatile player, and that can come in handy when injuries and fatigue starts to take it’s toll towards the end of the season.
I think there’s a rule saying we can only play three loan players at a time, and Cardiff currently have five loanees, but with Craig Bellamy playing only every other match and Jason Koumas seemingly way of a place in the team I guess JET still will get plenty of playing time.
SkySports refer to JET as “a starlet”, which I would say is a lot more accurate than Wales Online who dub him “Arsenal star”. I’ll argue that there are a lot of other players at Arsenal more worthy of being called stars than JET, but then again I remember the South Wales Echo splashing headlines about Cardiff City’s players being “stars” even when we were in the old fourth division!
Vaughan vs. Huseklepp 18/01/2011Posted by NB in Uncategorized.
Tags: Celtic, Brann, Erik Huseklepp, James Vaughan, Neil Lennon
Celtic recently ended their interest in Norwegian international Erik Huseklepp as the negotiations with Huseklepp’s club Brann fell through.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon was keen to sign the player, and Huseklepp badly wanted a move to Glasgow, but the clubs were far apart in their valuation of Huseklepp. Besides making a very low initial bid, Celtic wanted a deal were payments depended a lot on their future success in Europe. Understandably neither the money offered or the payment structure was acceptable to Brann.
Meanwhile Everton’s James Vaughan agreed personal terms with the Bluebirds, but just like Celtic and Brann, Cardiff and Everton couldn’t agree about the payment meaning there never was a deal.
Now Celtic are roumored to have switched their attention from Huseklepp to Vaughan, so I guess that means Cardiff should try and sign Huseklepp!
Parkin and “the Flo pass” 17/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Jay Bothroyd, Jon Parkin, Jostein Flo, Michael Chopra, Tom Heaton
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Since watching the highlights yesterday from the Norwich game, Jon Parkin’s debut goal has been replaying in my mind. It was a tremendous goal.
First “the Beast”, although closely marked by an opponent, managed to head the ball coming from Tom Heaton’s goal kick perfectly down to Michael Chopra. Then he broke lose from his marker, who even tried to hold Parkin back by putting his arms around the big man’s waist, before delivering a clinical finish past Norwich’s keeper as Chopra did the only sensible thing and stepped aside leaving the ball as Parkin came storming in.
The attack was like a carbon copy of Norway’s success recipe from the 1990s, loathed by anyone else but Norwegians, where the ball would be hoisted forward to the towering Jostein Flo, and the former Sheffield United player would then either distribute the ball to one of his team mates or finish it off himself.
“The Flo pass” became Norway’s notorious trademark, and although I do not in any way think Cadiff should adapt that style of play, Parkin’s physical prescence up front will give us another dimension in attack. I doubt even Jay Bothroyd is as robust as “the beast”, although the England international of course makes up for it in other departments.
It’s too early to pass judgment on Jon Parkin, whose shaving ratio by the way seems similar to my own, but I expect the new target man will play a big part in Cardiff’s promotion push this season.
A snowy experience 16/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Abdisalam Ibrahim, Jon Parkin, Michael Chopra, Norwich City, Petter Vaagan Moen, Russell Martin, Steffen Iversen
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Norwich City 1 Cardiff City 1
I’d looked forward to watching this televised game, but unfortunately I had to shovel snow in stead… As you can tell from the above pictures it was needed to get some snow off our cabin’s roof, and it lead to me following the Norwich match via text messages from the pretty unusual location of a snow covered roof!
The first text message came early on in the game and brought good news to the winter wonderland: 1-0, Jon Parkin! Superb opening from City and great for Parkin to get off to a goalscoring start in his Cardiff City career.
The text message announcing Norwich’s goal came just as we’d finished our snow shoveling and was on our way into the cabin. I was sure it was the text message saying the game was over, so when I heard another message coming in even before I had checked the first one I got a bit worried. It was not the best news to get after five hours of hard work in snowy conditions on a roof, but I guess this was one of those results which you would have gladly taken before the match, can’t complain about from what chances and play there was, but still end up disappointed about because of the late time of the equalizer!
From the highlights at Cardiff City Player and the match reports, 1-1 seems a fair enough result, although both Parkin and Michael Chopra had good chances to increase Cardiff’s goal tally during the game. How the home team’s Russell Martin managed – and I must add was allowed – to score in the last minute of the game from what seemed an impossible angel I don’t know.
Elsewhere Steffen Iversen could not reproduce his magic from his first Crystal Palace appearance, as the Eagles sadly crashed to a 0-3 defeat at our arch rivals and fellow promotion hunters Swansea. Another Norwegian, Abdisalam Ibrahim, who has just joined Scunthorpe on loan from Manchester City, could not stop Leeds from easily winning 4-0 at Elland Road. Petter Vaagan Moen made his full debut for Q.P.R. yesterday against Burnley, but just like Cardiff, the R’s only managed a draw away from home. Table wise this all means that City slipped to third place overtaken by the Jacks and equal on points with both Norwich and Leeds. Further down the table lots of teams are starting to catch up with us as well.
It’s going to be some incredibly exciting last four month’s of the season!
The other Bellamy 14/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City.
Tags: Andy Mutch, Chelmsford City, Craig Bellamy, Eddie Newton, Gary Bellamy, Leyton Orient, Mark Venus, Steve Bull, Wolves
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It’s all about Craig Bellamy these days. There was a lot less commotion when another Bellamy, namely Gary, came on loan to Cardiff from Wolves in 1992.
Cardiff ended up in 9th place that season (1991/92), just three points off the Play Offs, in the old fourth division.
I was aware of the defender Bellamy, first name Gary, while playing for Wolves. His surname had for some reason caught my eye. As had names like Mark Venus and Andy Mutch, the latter forming a fantastic striking partnership with the legendary goal machine Steve Bull.
Gary Bellamy played nine games for Cardiff in the spring of 1992 before returning to Wolves. He went on to play for Leyton Orient and Chelmsford before retiring. Another loan player starred for Cardiff at the same time Bellamy was at the club, namely Eddie Newton, but that’s another story!