Time to raid fellow surprise team Brann 29/11/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Brann, Coventry City, Kim Ojo, Nottingham Forest, Rudolph Austin
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Coventry City 1 Cardiff City 1
Cardiff City 1 Nottingham Forest 0
As Cardiff keep the impressive unbeaten run going, the Norwegian season ended on Sunday with SK Brann in a surprisingly good fourth place and as losing cup finalists.
Tags: Aalesunds FK, Brann, Crystal Palace, David Marshall, Elliot Parish, Erik Huseklepp, Joe Ralls, Jonathan Parr, Kenny Miller, Paul Rachubka, Peter Whittingham, Steffen Iversen, Tom Heaton
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Cardiff City 2 Crystal Palace 0
SK Brann 1 Aalesunds FK 2, Norwegian Cup Final
Norwegian Jonathan Parr was an unused sub for Crystal Palace in our excellent win over the Eagles on Saturday. On Sunday Parr went to Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo for the Norwegian cup final, and although he of course didn’t play there either, he at least left the ground happy and with a cup winners medal, as his former club Aalesunds FK, for whom he played in a few cup rounds before his transfer to Palace, beat my Norwegian favourites, SK Brann, 2-1.
Exciting times as Malky Mackay gets to work 16/07/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Alan Shearer, Andrew Taylor, Aron Gunnarsson, Brann, Chris Burke, Craig Conway, Dave Jones, Don Cowie, Francis Laurent, Jason Koumas, Jay Bothroyd, Joe Mason, Malky Mackay, Robert Earnshaw, Rudy Gestade
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It’s been over a month since my last post, and so much has happened! Most importantly Malky Mackay has been appointed new manager, and with the new boss already having come far in his rebuilding of Cardiff City with new staff in place and five new players signed, these are very exciting times!
“We’re the best in the world!”, Rhys Weston and a memorable tour of the UK in under 24 hours 11/02/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City.
Tags: Aleksander Schau, Bjørge Lillelien, Brann, Rhys Weston, Thomas Aune, Viking
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I recently read the Norwegian book by Thomas Aune and Aleksander Schau which translated has the title “We’re the best in world!”, subtitle “The history of Norwegian Football – without all the boring”.
This 248 page gem is well worth a read for all Norwegian football lovers, and all British football lovers as well for that matter, but I doubt that it’ll ever be translated into English dealing with the pretty narrow subject that Norwegian football is.
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!
Vaughan vs. Huseklepp 18/01/2011Posted by NB in Uncategorized.
Tags: Brann, Celtic, 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!
Looking to Norway? 02/12/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Brann, Dave Jones, Erik Huseklepp, Gabor Gyepes, Paul Parry, Petter Vaagan Moen, Q.P.R., Rudolph Austin, Seyi Olofinjana, Zsolt Korcsmár
Petter Vaagan Moen from my Norwegian favourite team SK Brann has recently signed a two and a half year deal with Cardiff rivals Q.P.R. Is Dave Jones also looking to Norway in his pursuit for five new players?
Jones has gone shopping in Norway previously when he bought Seyi Olofinjana from Brann to Wolves where he was then manager. Incedently Olofinjana was on top of the player ratings table in Bergens Tidende, which is Bergen’s main newspaper, back in 2003, while Vaagan Moen was the top rated player this year.
I’ve read that it was a Norwegian Wolves fan who tipped Jones off about the Nigerian midfielder, so hopefully Jones will be willing to listen to my advice as well!
I’ve already written about how I think Steffen Iversen should be brought in from Rosenborg. I still think “Ivers” could do a job for us.
Petter Vaagan Moen has been Brann’s best player this season. That in itself isn’t maybe that impressive, but his return to the Norwegian national team shows that he’s a player of high quality by Norwegian standards. Despite that I don’t think Cardiff have missed out by not going after him. Vaagan Moen has always reminded me of Paul Parry, and we all know how his Cardiff career went.
Let me quickly run through some other players from Brann who could be of interest to Cardiff City.
First up on Cardiff’s radar should be Brann’s Hungarian central defender Zsolt Korcsmár. Or to be more precise: Zsolt Korcsmár is an Ujpest FC player who’s on loan to Brann. The U-21 Hungary captain has impressed while he’s been in Bergen, and Brann now the option to buy him for about £160.000. Part of me wants that to happen, but there are reportedly other European teams preparing to bid for Korcsmár. If he’s going to move elsewhere, then I would love to see him sign for Cardiff. At 21 years of age he’s not the finished article, but he is very comfortable on the ball, is good in the air and distributes the ball well. He seems very mature for his age, and I’m convinced that he could star for City in the years to come if the club buys him and start molding him. I’m sure his fellow countryman Gabor Gyepes is aware of him, but since they play in the same position he might have decided not to mention him to Dave Jones!
Another one to have figured in Brann’s central defense this season is Rudolph Austin. The Jamaican international was about to become a Stoke player back in 2008, but as he didn’t receive a work permit Brann snapped him up. Starting as a midfielder he’s now become a hard tackling defender, but he has shown he can handle playing in many different positions. His no-nonsense style of play is mostly good for the team, but he’s also earned the nickname “Red-Rudolph” for his many sending offs. I’m not sure Austin is someone Cardiff should sign, but City should keep tabs on him, as I understand Stoke are still doing.
Playing up front for Brann, Erik Huseklepp has for a long time been regarded the hottest selling property. Huseklepp is a technically skilled player with speed and an eye for goal, and he’s had his breakthrough for the national team this season. He recently scored the winning goal against Ireland in a friendly match. I’m not sure how Huseklepp would fit in in the Championship, but I wouldn’t mind him becoming the first ever Norwegian Cardiff City player.
Double joy 02/10/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Barnsley, Brann, Craig Bellamy, Peter Whittingham, Seyi Olofinjana
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Barnsley 1 Cardiff City 2
(Brann 3 Hønefoss 2)
I had my doubts ahead of today’s away game against Barnsley. With our recent play being far from impressive I was silently hoping we’d be lucky to manage a draw, but shame on me for being so pessimistic: we won!
It’s no coincident that our goalscorers were Bellamy and Olofinjana. Those two players are proving to be pivotal for us this season.
I don’t care too much whether or not Bellamy plays for Wales, to be honest, but Cardiff is his current club (albeit on loan), and playing for Cardiff should take precedence over playing for Wales. I’m so glad he was fit enough to play today, and hopefully the international break coming up will see him enter the pitch even fitter and sharper against Bristol City in two weeks.
I followed the match versus Barnsley via text messages on my mobile as I was at Brann Stadion watching Brann versus Hønefoss in a vital relegation battle match here in Bergen this afternoon. As former Brann player Olofinjana’s goal and the end result came in it looked destined to be a good night, and when Brann managed to win 2-3 and take all three points it was perfect!
I almost forgot to mention Peter Whittingham. Should he keep on taking the penalties after his two recent misses? I’m glad I’m not the one making that decision as I think there are good arguments both for and against it. The one thing that’s certain is that we need to put away any penalties we’re awarded.
“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.