Tags: Bjørn Helge Riise, Dean Saunders, Erik Huseklepp, Jon Parkin, Malky Mackay, Robert Earnshaw, Rudy Gestede, Sean O'Driscoll
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Fulham’s Norwegian Bjørn Helge Riise, who spent time on loan at Sheffield United towards the end of last season, is back in the Championship having been loaned by Erik Huseklepp’s club Portsmouth. With Cardiff’s already thin squad hit by further injuries in Sunday’s battle against Leicester, Malky Mackay and his recruitment department have been busy trying to bring someone in before tomorrow’s match against Southampton, but with no luck. City have missed out on six loan targets according to Mackay.
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.
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!
On-field joy and off-field woe 12/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, FA Cup, Jay Bothroyd, Jon Parkin, Leeds United, Michael Chopra, Peter Whittingham, Robert Snodgrass, Sam Hammam, Seyi Olofinjana, Simon Grayson, Stoke City
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Cardiff City 2 Leeds United 1
Stoke City 1 Cardiff City 1
What a convincing win against in-form Leeds, unbeaten since our last meeting back in October when we outplayed them winning 4-0 at Elland Road! Cardiff’s form in the mean time has been quite the opposite, and as the pressure mounted both on the players and manager Dave Jones and teams have started to overtake us in the table, this win meant a very welcome return to second place.
A great eight minute Craig Bellamy goal after a perfect one-two with Peter Whittingham set City off to the perfect start, and in the first half it was all Cardiff. I wonder what those in the crowd not having seen the Bluebirds play since the last home game, the victory against Coventry, made of it all! It’s pretty hard to fathom how the two catastrophic defeats away at Watford and Bristol City could happen.
In the second half against Leeds Cardiff let the visitors back into the match, and after a clever tactical substitution by Leeds manager Simon Grayson, Leeds’s equalized through a well placed shot by Robert Snodgrass.
Michael Chopra had however had a cup of coffee on the pitch (!) earlier in the game, and the caffein seemed to kick in just at the right time as the striker converted a perfect Peter Whittingham pass from deep in his own half into another City goal from a difficult angel. Great skill by both players, and with only ten minutes remaining we incredibly managed to hang on to what must be one of the most vital wins this season.
Next up was the third round FA Cup tie away versus Premier League side Stoke City, and I honestly felt beforehand that I wouldn’t bee too sad should we lose. The FA Cup final back in 2008 was nice, but nothing else than promotion matters this season. One could just take a look at Cardiff’s bench against Stoke to see that our current squad is thin and doesn’t need more games than the already tough Championship fixture list provides.
It was good to see Dave Jones rest Bellamy and Olofinjana, and the fact that our starting eleven (with Jay Bothroyd still out injured) was far from our best makes the 1-1 draw pretty impressive. I’d hoped for a Jon Parkin debut, but he still hasn’t recovered from a minor knee injury. Yet again Chops was our goalscorer, and hopefully he’ll shake of his ankle injury to keep on scoring as we go into the decisive second half of the season.
I wouldn’t be too surprised if we beat Stoke in the replay at the Cardiff City Stadium, and then we (probably) face Wolves away – as we did on our way to Wembley back in 2008!
Off the field Sam Hammam is threatening to force his way back into the club. I used to be a fan and admirer of Hammam, but I’m sorry to say that reading about his possible return to Cardiff City, I get nothing but bad feelings. How he through the company Langston was in a legal battle with Cardiff City was not a very pleasant experience, and I think Mr. Hammam should realize that his time at the club is history. Hammam himself says that a return to City would be controversial and that fans would be divided in their view of the matter. At present I’ll admit to being in the anti-Sam camp.
It was sad to see Craig Bellamy hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons again tonight. Although it’s not yet publicly known exactly what happened, it seems I was a bit to hasty in declaring Bellamy’s time as a villain over…
Welcome to Parkin as Iversen makes his mark 04/01/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Andy O'Brien, Crystal Palace, Dave Jones, Jon Parkin, Leeds United, Preston North End, Ross McCormack, Steffen Iversen
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A warm welcome to Jon Parkin! I think the signing of this experienced striker was a god one, as we desperately need a golascorer at present. However I hoped for a long time that Dave Jones would bring in Steffen Iversen. The 34 year old Norwegian international played well and scored the winning goal on his debut for Crystal Palace tonight against Parkins’ old club, Preston, and I think Iversen will prove a great signing for Crystal Palace. For all I know Dave Jones might have been after Iversen, but it was predictable that he ended up in a club from London, as that’s where his family lives.
A bit surprising to see Cardiff miss out on another transfer target, Andy O’Brien, as the Bolton defender opted to sign for Leeds where he’s been on loan this season. What bad things has Ross McCormack been saying to O’Brien about Cardiff I wonder?
It was nice to see all the teams above Cardiff lose points Monday evening, but not so good to hear of all the uncertainty with injuries and illness ahead of the Tuesday showdown with Leeds… It’ll not be a walk in the park like the away fixture, that’s for sure!