Smashing win despite late scare 25/10/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City.
Tags: Aron Gunnarsson, Barnsley, Joe Mason, Kenny Miller, Stephen McPhail
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Cardiff City 5 Barnsley 3
Good to see us scoring a lots of goals and get back to winning ways. Not so good to see us concede so many goals, especially not towards the end of games. That cost us three points at Peterborough. All in all there were far more positives than negatives to take from the Barnsley game though.
Tags: Stephen McPhail, Paul Quinn, Leicester City, Lee Naylor, Malky Mackay, Don Cowie, Rudy Gestede, Yann Kermorgant, Gelson Fernandes
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Cardiff City 2 Leicester City 2 a.e.t., 7-6 on penalties, League Cup
It’s good to be through to the fourth round of the League Cup, although Burnley at home wasn’t exactly a dream draw. Like in the two first round of the League Cup, extra time were needed for us when Leicester City came to the Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday, and like in the second leg of the Play Off semi final versus Leicester in 2010 Cardiff won on penalties – even without Yann Kermorgant among the Leicester penalty takers!
Cardiff City 9 Leicester City 8 28/07/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Anthony Gerrard, Clive Goodwillie, Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, Filip Kiss, Gavin Rae, Jay Bothroyd, Jlloyd Samuel, Joe Fagan, Joe Mason, John Carew, Kanny Miller, Leeds United, Leicester City, Malky Mackay, Matthew Green, Michael Chopra, Miguel Comminges, Neil Danns, Remco Van Der Schaaf, Robert Earnshaw, Rudy Gestede, Shefki Kuqi, Stephen McPhail, Sven Göran Eriksson
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While Norway slowly recover from last Friday’s shocking atrocities where at least 76 people were killed, Cardiff City continue the preparations for the upcoming season. Most notably three more players have come in since my last post, Sloavakian U21 international Filip Kiss on a season long loan, Scotish international and prolific goalscorer Kenny Miller and last but not least the talented Frenchman Rudy Gestede, bringing the total number of newcomers this summer to nine. That’s one more than big spending and ambitious Leicester City, who, at least in the eyes of many bookmakers, are emerging as one of the favourites for promotion.
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.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Cameron Jerome, Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, Hull, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Michael Chopra, Roger Johnson, Seyi Olofinjana, Stephen McPhail
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Hull City 0 Cardiff City 2
This was a massive win, as will all wins from now until the end of the season be, and it marked the end to the seven game “frantic February” resulting in 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat. That’s 14 points from 21. Not too bad, but is it enough as Cardiff chase automatic promotion?
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.
No fears 05/04/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Anthony Gerrard, Chris Burke, Chris Gunter, Dave Jones, David Marshall, Joe Ledley, Kelvin Etuhu, Nottingham Forest, Peter Whittingham, Robert Earnshaw, Ross McCormack, Stephen McPhail
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Nottingham Forest 0 Cardiff City 0
An away draw against Nottingham Forest is definitely a point gained, and it’s great that having beaten both Leicester and Swansea recently Cardiff have shown there’s no need to have any fears in meeting these teams again should that happen in the play offs.
I got to watch the game thanks to the live streaming at bet365.com, and despite the game ending all square it was an eventful and fun match to watch.
Cardiff had to play without the injured Peter Whittingham which made way for Joe Ledley in the starting eleven. Chris Burke is still injured, so Kelvin Etuhu took place on one wing and Ross McCormack on the other. Etuhu deserves a mention, as he had a very good first 45 minutes making some brilliant runs showing his Premier League class.
There were two former Bluebirds in Forest’s line up: Robert Earnshaw and Chris Gunter. It was a nice gesture from the former when he just after missing a chance in the first half did the Ayatholla at the request of the Cardiff following.
There were chances both ways before the break. Cardiff looked particularly dangerous on corners and set pieces, but sadly couldn’t convert any of them into goals.
The first half also saw two “suicide attempts” from City. The first let Earnshaw through one on one with Marshall after a ball strangely being played high back into Cardiff’s own half by a City player. You would expect Earnie to score given a chance like that, but Marshall saved brilliantly. The second one came as Stephen McPhail wanted to take a free kick quickly in Forest’s half ignoring the two Nottingham players standing in his way only a meter or so in front of him. The ref let play continue probably thinking he’d punish McPhail for being stupid enough to take the free kick too fast, and Forest immediately attacked and nearly scored.
In the second half there was another “suicide attempt” as City gave the ball away near the goal, but again David Marshall pulled of a world class save.
Towards the end there was an unbelievable situation when Gerrard and Marshall – yes, that’s two Cardiff players – literally got in the throat of each other. What stupidity! They should have been booked the pair of them, and judging from Dave Jones’ reaction he’ll probably give them a deserved talking to. It was Gerrard who started it when he in a not very friendly way told Marshall he should have shouted for the ball. Marshall reacted and it was embarrassing to see them not being able to calm down and leave the discussion for after the match. Going off the field after the final whistle you could see them shaking hands and smiling, but a bust up like that doesn’t happen unless there’s some underlying reason.
Four league games to go now and Cardiff are still fourth with a six point gap down to in form Blackpool in seventh place. Sadly Swansea, Leicester and Blackpool all won today, so we’re not there quite yet. Apart from the incident involving Gerrard and Marshall though City can at least go into the final games feeling confident.
Fantastic! 04/04/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Dave Jones, David Marshall, Jay Bothroyd, Leicester, Michael Chopra, Paulo Sousa, Stephen McPhail, Swansea
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Cardiff City 2 Swansea City 1
Usually Cardiff don’t play too well and go behind against Swansea. This time around they were the better team until the goal against came on 28 minutes. It probably shouldn’t have been a corner when Swansea scored, but on the other hand Cardiff shouldn’t have let the ball go straight in either. On Tuesday Leicester should have had a goal given just before half time, so I guess wrong decisions like this even out over the season.
But why on earth didn’t Cardiff put any players at the posts for Swansea’s corners? Do they never, or was it just in this game? A defender at the near post would probably have hindered the goal, and the repetitions show that David Marshall desperately tries to get Stephen McPhail to back a few metres nearer to the goal before the corner is taken.
The Jacks looked nervous at the beginning. As the game wore on they got their renowned passing game going, and it frustrated Cardiff who for long periods didn’t touch the ball. Still the overall position was 50-50, and Swansea’s passing game isn’t much good when they can’t use it to get forward and score goals.
Cardiff’s equalizer was a great finish by Chopra after a superb flicking header by Jay Bothroyd. Chopra’s goal was not as easy as it looked as the ball bounced off the ground just before he shot. Great control and technique by a natural born goalscorer.
In the second half I couldn’t believe my eyes as Joe Ledley came on. I thought he was a lot further of recovering from his hip operations, but what a perfect match for him to return!
As the clock ticked on towards full time it seemed very much like a draw was on the cards. I got a bit worried as the Jacks sent Shefki Kuqi on, as I think he’s a terrific player and a notorious goal scorer where ever he’s played. Luckily his header near the end wasn’t quite good enough when given time and space in front of Marshall and it was also a brilliant save from Cardiff’s custodian. What followed was amazing. Chopra’s movement just before the goal and his clinical finish was unbelievable to watch and the expression on his face when celebrating said all about how much it meant to both him personally, the team and the fans. It was just as great to see Dave Jones holding his arms aloft at the final whistle shortly after. We had won against Swansea for the first time in thirteen years and that even after being a goal down! Fantastic!
I must say Paulo Sousa’s post match comments were just pathetic. Credit to him for believing in his team, but to say things like “we deserved to win”, “we always play better than our opponents” and “we always create more chances than the others” is so arrogant. The statistics for the game yesterday show Cardiff had four shots on goal and four off target. Swansea had four on target and three off target. Swansea had truth be told eight corners compared to Cardiff’s three, but still there’s no reason for Sousa to be cocky having suffered defeat!
There’s a lot of talk in the media about how terrific it would be if both the Welsh sides can make the play-offs. Ha! I’d love it if Swansea miss out.
The question ahead of tomorrow’s tough away game against Nottingham Forest is if the job is now done? Is the play off place secured already? Don’t think for a second it is! All Cardiff fans know very well how quickly things can turn around, with both last seasons disastrous finish and Cardiff’s instability this season in mind. I for one won’t feel certain until it’s mathematically impossible for anyone outside the top six to catch us.
Just look at Leicester. Three games ago they were in fourth place, seven point ahead of Blackpool in seventh place and even having a game in hand. They were two points ahead of Cardiff in sixth. Three defeats later the Foxes find themselves in sixth place, just one point more than Blackpool in seventh and seven points adrift of Cardiff in fourth! So with five games to go and fifteen points still to be played for I don’t take anything for granted. I trust Dave Jones and the players don’t either.
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.
So sad 13/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Dave Jones, Peter Whittingham, Stephen McPhail
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Leicester City 1 Cardiff City 0
“The defeat brought a fourth defeat in five for Cardiff, but the Bluebirds were again let off as other results went their way, clinging onto their sixth place and a play-off spot and maintaining their two point gap over the chasing pack.“
It’s so sad. There are eleven Championship matches to go for Cardiff. We can’t ride our luck and depend on other results for that many games. Even with Whitts and McPhail returning from injury we couldn’t cope against Leicester.
I didn’t listen to the whole of the match. Couldn’t bear to. I missed the goal and my mood as usual dropped when I saw we were a goal down. The supporter in me managed to remind me though that one goal was all that was needed to clinch a point, so I didn’t lose faith completely. Only when my internet connection went down a few minutes into the second half I took it as a sure sign Cardiff were heading for defeat.
Dave Jones took his frustration out on the match officials. I’m sure he’s right in his criticism, but aren’t there many other issues he as manager of Cardiff City could and should be addressing?
Come Tuesday the Bluebirds will most likely drop out of the Play Off zone going to Coventry for another tough away match. It’s so sad. Please prove me wrong, Bluebirds!