Tags: David Marshall, Elliot Parish, Joe Lewis, Michael Oakes, Neil Alexander, Ross Turnbull, Stephen Bywater, Stuart Taylor, Tom Heaton
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Welcome to Cardiff City’s first summer signing, Joe Lewis, who will be replacing Tom Heaton on the bench as David Marshall’s deputy. It’s great to have captured a keeper of Lewis’ stature, but it also makes me ponder over the strange profession of second string goalkeeping.
Tags: Crystal Palace, Doncaster Rovers, Jonathan Parr, Tom Heaton
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Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 0, League Cup semi-final first leg
Doncaster Rovers 0 Cardiff City 0
It’s literally 1-0 to Palace after last week’s tight game at Selhurst Park, but although the defeat was a cruel blow after some good play and a disallowed goal that should have been allowed, it’s still very much “game on” before the return leg at the Cardiff City Stadium next week.
In the Championship we’re now called “away draw specialists” by the press with 0-0 at Doncaster being our eight away draw in fourteen away matches, but a goalless draw at the Keepmoat Stadium is perhaps not as bad as it sounds. What’s more disappointing that not getting all three points is the fact that we didn’t play that well. That has to be put right when Portsmouth come to Cardiff this weekend.
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.
Goalie Brown on his way to Cardiff 02/03/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: David Marshall, Jason Brown, Jordan Santiago, Tom Heaton
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Knowing that Cardiff were looking to bring in a keeper on loan with Tom Heaton, David Marshall and Jordan Santiago all having injuries, my first thought when I saw that Doncaster was after Jason Brown was “Why don’t Cardiff loan him?” Well, now they have apparently.
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!
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.
Second best 27/11/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Adel Taarabt, Alejandro Faurlin, Chris Burke, Daniel Drinkwater, Dave Jones, Jason Koumas, Kaspars Gorkss, Lee Naylor, Michael Chopra, Q.P.R., Seyi Olofinjana, Tom Heaton
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Q.P.R. 2 Cardiff CIty 1
Writing this just minutes after the final whistle I’m trying to take comfort in what Dave Jones said before the game:
“It’ll have a bearing on the season, but it’s not going to be the be-all and we know how we get carried away in this part of the world.”
With Swansea losing yesterday we still have a good grip on the second promotion spot, and although we lost today having been in the lead, there were positives to be taken from the game.
I got to watch the game for free courtesy of bet365.com’s live streaming, and it was good to see us revert to the familiar 4-4-2-formation. Chopra was not surprisingly dropped to the bench after his below par display against Nottingham Forest. Chris Burke was back from injury and took Chops’ place in the starting line up, and he was lively and brilliant in the first half but faded a bit in the second half.
The game started at a frantic pace. There were two attacking sides strutting their stuff at Loftus Road, and a few defensive lapses by City gave cause from concern early on.
You could almost expect Bellamy to score in a top of the table clash like this, and when Bothroyd brilliantly utilized a slip from a Q.P.R. player and delievered the ball to Bellamy – on the brink of off-side – through on goal there was only one outcome – 1-0!
Against the table toppers and the team with the best home record in the division, you knew it wasn’t won though, and not long after a good header from Kaspars Gorkss disappointingly made it 1-1. The replay showed how Bothroyd, back defending, was more concerned pointing and shouting at the other City players who they should mark than concentrating on marking a man himself, so Gorkss got a lot of space and time to put the header in. As the first half went on, Bothroyd didn’t look as sharp as he’s done, and Olofinjana was not quite himself either, which was a bit worrying.
Bothroyd wasted a good chance, then Bellamy cluttered an opponent, and you could sense City was loosing it a bit. When Bothroyd got injured it looked even worse. Luckily he was able to continue, as we all know how miserably we fall apart without him.
As half time approached the tempo was down a few notches, with Q.P.R. having the upper hand. Faurlin tested Heaton with a low, hard shot, but the Cardiff goalkeeper was equal to it. Bellamy and Bothroyd got called over to the referee for a talking too just before the interval, and whatever that was about, it didn’t bode well.
Q.P.R. started best in the second half, but Cardiff was hanging in there and got a good chance when Bellamy set off and combined with Bothroyd. Jason Koumas came on for Danny Drinkwater, but sadly Koumas didn’t provide the creativity and spark that Cardiff needed.
With about twenty minutes of the second half gone Heaton made a terrific save that kept Cardiff in it, but not for very long, as shortly after Q.P.R.’s star player, the impressive Adel Taarabt, stole the ball of Naylor and then made Hudson look rather stupid as he wrong footed him showing some of his technical skills, before putting the ball in the back of the net. Shite…
City showed no signs of lying down, but after a good effort from Burke, Koumas followed up with a poor, poor finish when he really should have done better.
Michael Chopra – the man for the big occasions – came on with about ten minutes left on the clock, but it didn’t help, although Q.P.R. started to loose the ball needlessly more often and surprisingly looked a bit uncomfortable.
The last noteworthy happening in the match was when City was clearly robbed of a penalty as Bothroyd was fouled. Nevertheless I can nothing but congratulate Q.P.R. with the victory, and as I in an earlier post said I hoped this would be the day that we were going to show that we are the best team in the Championship, well, it turned out to be the other way around…
Let’s just hope we’ll join the R’s when they’re promoted come May!
Sickening 07/11/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Chris Burke, Daniel Drinkwater, Dave Jones, Jay Bothroyd, Marvin Emnes, Michael Chopra, Swansea, Tom Heaton
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Cardiff City 0 Swansea City 1
I got sick last night, so my plans for watching the local derby at a pub in Bergen went down the drain so to speak… Watching from my sickbed I witnessed the Bluebirds suffer a deserved but incredibly annoying defeat at the hands of the Jacks.
Maybe things would have been different had Cardiff been awarded a penalty after about fifteen minutes, when Michael Chopra, standing completely still in front of Swansea’s goalkeeper was jumped upon by the custodian, but the referee somehow manged to award a free kick to Swansea. Just another example of the ridiculous over-protection that goalkeepers tend to get from referees is.
It was interesting to see Dave Jones opting for a 4-4-3-formation in Jay Bothroyd’s abscence, and I was surprised to see Danny Drinkwater go straight into the starting lineup having been out injured for so long.
Going into half time with the score at 0-0 I had a feeling that it would also end 0-0. Both teams seemed solid defensively. If any team looked like scoring during the second half, it was the visitors. Only when an excellent long kick from Tom Heaton found Craig Bellamy and the captain was one-on-one with Swansea’s goalie did I think we should score, and Bellamy perhaps also should have done better with a header that was saved late on. By then City were already trailing 0-1 as Swansea’s Marvin Emnes did well to score behind Heaton, who didn’t do quite as well in that situation. I’d taken note of the pacey Dutchman Emnes’ loan move to Swansea from Middlesbrough, and how he scored on his debut. I expect him to return to Boro under their new manager Mowbray, but that won’t change the fact that he became match-winner today…
Chris Burke looked great coming on as sub in the second half, and it’s easy in hindsight to ask if he should maybe have started the game.
This was our first home defeat of the season, and it hurts. Swansea were six points behind us, but the gap is now only three points, and Q.P.R. are back on top of the table.
We must win again on Wednesday when we travel to Reading.
Comings and goings 27/08/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Andy Keogh, Craig Bellamy, Daniel Drinkwater, Gavin Rae, Jason Koumas, Jonathan Meades, Lee Naylor, Martin John, Moss FK, Ross McCormack, Seyi Olofinjana, Tom Heaton
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Amazing how we’ve gone from transfer embargo to having eight new Cardiff players come in (Heaton, Drinkwater, Koumas, Olofinjana, John, Naylor, Bellamy and Keogh).
Now it’s time for players to move out as well, with Ross McCormack’s transfer to Leeds probably just being the first of a few players moving on before the transfer window closes next week.
Gavin Rae is probably the next to leave, and it’s neither surprising or a great loss with the midfielders we now have in our squad.
It was nice to see Jonathan Meades get of to a flying start for Moss here in Norway (never mind the red card), and it seems he’ll be important for them in trying to avoid relegation and hopefully he’ll develop as well by playing regular first team football although the level is a lot lower in the Norwegian first division than in the Championship.
It’s a bit sad to see a great talent like Ross McCormack leave, but considering his behavior both on and off the field and him not being able to follow up the great promise of the first season and very likely not being able to break in to the starting eleven this season, I guess it’s only right that he leaves. Personally I lost the respect for McCormack when he was so desperate to leave us last summer, and it’s easy to see now that Cardiff should have cashed in on him back then as we would probably have got a lot more money for him than what Leeds are paying now (although we don’t know exactly what the fee is).
Andy Keogh is another excellent and exciting loan signing. With Michael Chopra now injured for maybe as long as ten weeks the timing of his arrival was perfect.
Heaton: from fifth to second 15/07/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: David Marshall, Tom Heaton
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I was pleased to see Tom Heaton arrive as replacement for Peter Enckelman. The Finn sadly has proved to not be good enough and in Heaton I feel Cardiff have brought in a decent cover for David Marshall.
There are however two things that puzzles me.
Firstly, seemingly fifth choice at Manchester United (behind Van Der Saar, Foster, Kuszczak and Amos), why did the club offer him a new contract?
Secondly, having turned down the contract offer, why did Heaton decide to go to Cardiff where he is destined to be number two behind Marshall in stead of going somewhere where he’d be first choice between the post?
I guess he must be confident he can seriously challenge Marshall for a place in the starting line up, but for me that sounds unlikely. For the first season at least.
I’m glad Heaton opted for Cardiff though as it’ll keep Marshall on his toes.