Down in a Hull 16/03/2012Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Anthony Gerrard, Hull City, Joshua King, Kevin McNaughton, Robert Earnshaw, Seyi Olofinjana
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Cardiff City 0 Hull City 3
Norwegians will get the headline pun. After the good away win at Bristol City on Saturday, I thought we had turned the corner and envisioned three home wins to come. After our poor performance and grim season worst home scoreline of 0-3 against Hull, we fell out of the Play Off places and figuratively into a hole (which is hull in Norwegian) that we need to climb out of pretty fast if promotion is still to be a possibility this season.
Should win, must win. Won. 13/09/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Doncaster Rovers, Kevin McNaughton, Robert Earnshaw
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Cardiff City 2 Doncaster Rovers 0
Although everybody seemed to stress before the match against the bottom team that there are no easy games in the Championship, Doncaster was still a team Cardiff should beat. That’s why I’m so glad that we did, both to keep us in the reckoning and to keep the motivation up.
Youngsters and reserves get us through 14/08/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Alex Evans, Aron Gunnarsson, Darcy Blake, Dekel Keinan, Don Cowie, Gordon Conway, Ibby Farah, Joe Mason, Kenny Miller, Kevin McNaughton, Malky Mackay, Nat Jarvis, Peter Whittingham, Robert Earnshaw, Rudy Gestede, Solomon Taiwo
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Oxford United 1 Cardiff City 3 A.E.T.
An unhappy return to the Palace 12/03/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Craig Bellamy, Crystal Palace, Dave Jones, Dekel Keinan, James Vaughan, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Kevin McNaughton, Mark Hudson, Paul Quinn, Peter Whittingham, Steffen Iversen, Stephen Bywater, Stephen McPhail
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Back in Britain to see Cardiff play almost a year after my last trip, it started out bad footballing wise. Shortly after having arrived in London I watched on the telly as the Bluebirds lost the match against Ipswich. On Tuesday night I returned to Selhurst Park to watch City play Crystal Palace, a match Cardiff won 2-1 last season. It proved to be an unhappy return to the Palace with Cardiff disappointingly loosing 0-1.
Priceless Craig Bellamy 07/02/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Craig Bellamy, Darcy Blake, Dave Jones, Dekel Keinan, Jay Bothroyd, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Kevin McNaughton, Mark Hudson, Michael Chopra, Swansea
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I’m still on cloud nine after our victory over Swansea yesterday, and let me heap some praise on or captain Craig Bellamy, whose tremendous goal five minutes before the end won us the game.
To say that Craig Bellamy is worth his weight in gold is a grave understatement. Weighing in at around 70 kg, that’s only about £1 884 843,10 worth of gold measured by today’s spot price for gold, and Bellamy is certainly worth a lot more than that! When Manchester City brought Bellamy to the club from West Ham they paid £18 million for him, and even though his market value is probably not quite as high today, I don’t think any Cardiff supporter will disagree when I say that to us he is, well, priceless!
Yesterday our captain didn’t have one of his best games overall, which he was the first to admit in his post-match interviews, but every time he got the ball he was booed by the home fans, so in a sense you can tell they rate him highly as well! And then to score a goal like that. In a derby match like that. The goal was Premier League class, if not world class, and that’s no less than what we can expect from a player of Bellamy’s caliber. Is he really playing for us, or are we dreaming?!
Praise also goes to Mark Hudson, who has been under a lot of criticism this season. Goals win matches, and Bellamy will therefore no doubt and not undeservedly be named man of the match by many. I think Mark Hudson equally deserves that title! He was superb, and alongside him Dekel Keinan made a fine debut that might indicate that Hudson – Keinan will be our central defenders in the games to come.
A quick mention of Darcy Blake, who replaced Kevin McNaughton in the second half at left back. Blake played well, especially going forward, and his magnificent raid resulting in a shot hitting the post deserved a better destiny. What a way that would have been for the home grown player to have scored his first senior goal for the club!
It wasn’t to be though, and I suppose Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will also be disappointed not having found the back of the net although being presented with some glorious chances. Bothroyd with less than a minute gone.
I have to comment on Aaron Ramsey as well. What a superb display it was by him!
Only a few players didn’t play up to their usual standards yesterday, but I won’t spoil my revel in positives by naming them!
All in all it was a great team effort, and Dave Jones got his tactics right as well. Brilliant!
Today has been all about making the most of the bragging rights, and I was quick to download the fine PC wallpaper provided by the club (pictured above).
A special t-shirt (pictured right) being made also underlines the fact that we’re squeezing every drop out of this magnificent victory over Swansea, and who can blame us!
To a Cardiff fan having beaten Swansea is as good as it gets. That’s just the way it is, and I’m loving it!
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Andy Keogh, Andy Lonergan, Chris Riggott, Craig Bellamy, Daniel Drinkwater, Dave Jones, David Marshall, Dekel Keinan, Jay Bothroyd, Jimmy Kébé, Jordan Santiago, Kevin McNaughton, Lee Naylor, Michael Chopra, Reading, Shay Given, Tom Heaton
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Cardiff City 2 Reading 2
Yesterday’s match was the first of seven games in 25 days in what’s been dubbed “frantic February”. It ended in a disappointing draw.
With the teams around us winning, we slumped down to fifth in the table, but it could have been even worse hadn’t Craig Bellamy blasted home the 96th minute free kick.
Aaron Ramsey was as expected in the starting line up, with Michael Chopra a bit surprisingly making way, but Dekal Keinan was only on the bench as Dave Jones for some reason decided to keep faith in the same defence as against Watford. How does everybody else but Jones see that Lee Naylor needs to be dropped? Time and time again Naylor is singled out by opponents as our weak point, and against Reading I understand Jimmy Kébé gave the left back a tough time and that Naylor (not for the first time this season) was at fault when the visitors went ahead in the first half. I suspect one of those players Dave Jones said slipped just as the transfer window came to a close on Monday was a left back, but surely Kevin McNaughton cold do the job just as well as Naylor so that Keinan can play alongside Hudson in central defence?
Transfer deadline day was mostly quiet for Cardiff, and keeping an eye on skysports.com’s transfer clockwatch throughout the day, it was mainly news of Fernando Torres getting in a helicopter heading for Chelsea and Andy Carroll’s transfer to Liverpool. A bit funny that both Peter Whittingham and Michael Chopra scored more goals than £35 million Carroll in the Championship last season! As only a few hours of the transfer window remained there was surprise rumours that we were about to sign Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given, but it never happened. I guess it could still do though in the so called “emergency loan window”. Cardiff reportedly also tried to capture Preston’s goalie Andy Lonergan earlier this month, so it seems that Dave Jones although having two quality keepers in Tom Heaton and David Marshall is intent not to let any potential injuries or suspensions in that department become a problem in the battle for promotion. I hadn’t thought that much about it and with youngster Jordan Santiago also available should there be a crisis I thought we were well covered.
Andy Keogh joined Danny Drinkwater in being recalled by his club so that they could loan him out to another Championship side, Bristol City, where he’s probably going to get more playing time than at Cardiff. He scored a couple of late, important goals for Cardiff in his months here, but he never looked to make a real impact for us. Sadly he didn’t score in his debut for Bristol City against Swansea yesterday, as the Swans won 2-0!
I feel sorry for Chris Riggott whose short Cardiff career has come to an end bacuse of the injury he picked up in the New Year’s Day defeat at Bristol City. He made a promising debut against Coventry on Boxing Day having just having returned from a serious knee injury he’s been struggling with for two years. Good luck to him, as he now probably has to find something else than professional football to do for a living!
Back to the Reading match, and there were some positives yesterday: Jay Bothroyd getting yet another goal, Chopra looking lively when he came on as sub, an excellent Cardiff comeback for Aaron Ramsey and last but not least the superb free kick by Craig Bellamy in the 95th minute.
Going down 1-2 already into time added on and having been the dominant team in the second half could easily have seen the us fold, but the players showed guts and determination as they kept on going right to the death, and the equalizer and a point was the reward. That’s the sort of attitude that has brought Q.P.R. to the top and a team like Leeds into the promotion mix and is a key to success in the remaining games.
We’ve got to get the defense right when we play Swansea on Sunday.
I can’t bear the thought of another derby day defeat.
Come on you Bluebirds!
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!
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.
Bothroyd’s back 10/11/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Andy Keogh, Chris Burke, Craig Bellamy, Daniel Drinkwater, Darcy Blake, Dave Jones, Gabor Gyepes, Jay Bothroyd, Kelvin Etuhu, Kevin McNaughton, Reading, Seyi Olofinjana, Stephen McPhail
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Reading 1 Cardiff City 1
I’m going to be positive about this result in what I understand was a scrappy game.
Q.P.R. managed to snatch a draw on Tuesday by equalizing with a last minute penalty although down to ten men away at Portsmouth. That resilience is exactly one of the main reasons why I feel Q.P.R. will get promotion this season, and hopefully Cardiff’s point against Reading on an evening where we didn’t have all our best players available, didn’t play all that well from what I heard on Cardiff City Player and still managed a draw after being 0-1 down shows why we’ll get promoted as well come May!
We’re still in second place only one point behind leaders Q.P.R. and although we could have gone top had we won tonight, it’s a great consolation to see that Swansea lost 0-1 at home to Bristol City to fall a point further behind us in third place. Having the Jacks breathing down our neck and with the humiliation from Sunday fresh in memory, with Bristol City far down the table I prefer Bristol winning that game although I obviously don’t like to see any of those two teams win.
In Cardiff’s starting line up there was no Bellamy or McNaughton, but Olofinjana started contrary to reports earlier today that he might be injured. McPhail was a new face in midfield anyway, with Drinkwater dropping to the bench. Dave Jones also opted to replace Gabor Gyepes, who the manager has made scapegoat for Swansea’s goal on Sunday, with Darcy Blake at center back. Andy Keogh (or Kelvin Etuhu, as he was named in the line ups both at Cardiff City Player and Sky Sports Score Center confusing him with last seasons number 17) as expected made way for Jay Bothroyd returning from suspension, and Chris Burke got his deserved place on the wing as Bellamy was rested.
I thought we had a decent line up even without the mentioned players who were out, and Bothroyd returning from suspension was of course a major boost. It’s no coincidence that it was Bothroyd who got our equalizer, although there’s some debate whether or not the ball did cross the line. Hopefully the television pictures will show that the referee was correct in awarding the goal.
We’re not a one man team (a phrase widely used this seasons, but usually with Craig Bellamy in mind), but Bothroyd’s impact and goalscoring yet again proved so vital for us. I’m not sure he’s quite good enough to be called up for England, as Dave Jones has asked for, but when (or I should perhaps be more humble and say if…) we’re promoted he’ll have a huge part of the honor for that!
In the end a good point on a bad day, and especially important since we lost at home to Swansea on Sunday.
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.