Is the tide turning? 28/12/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2011/12.
Tags: Malky Mackay, Watford
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Watford 1 Cardiff City 1
Over the last few matches we’ve gone from an impressive eleven games unbeaten run having kept four clean sheets in a row to now being without a win in the last three matches and having conceded four goals in the last two matches. Is the tide turning, or are we simply experiencing an understandable, temporary slump?
Six in for Drinkwater 06/04/2011Posted by NB in Cardiff City.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Daniel Drinkwater, Manchester United Supporters Club Scandinavian Branch, MUSCSB, Seyi Olofinjana, Watford
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What “United-Supporteren”, the publication of Manchester United Supporters Club Scandinavian Branch (MUSCSB), writes doesn’t usually interest me that much. The magazine does however dump into our mailbox eight times a season as my eldest son, the United supporter, is a member of MUSCSB.
One recent article in “United-Supporteren” did however catch my attention, as it was an exclusive interview with former Cardiff loanee Danny Drinkwater after his loan move to Watford.
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!
Halfway to where? 31/12/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2010/11.
Tags: Chris Burke, Chris Riggott, Coventry City, Craig Bellamy, Dave Jones, James Vaughan, Jay Bothroyd, Lee Naylor, Peter Whittingham, Watford
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Cardiff City 2 Coventry City 0
Watford 4 Cardiff City 1
Had I written this after the Boxing Day victory over Coventry, I would have been in a far more buoyant mood than I am writing this now, three days after the thumping by Watford.
The win against Coventry was excellent with Craig Bellamy playing his best match since becoming a Bluebird. Chris Riggott made a good debut at center back, and promises to be a welcome addition to City’s weak defence if he can stay fit enough to play for the rest of the season.
Riggott missing from the starting line up against Watford (maybe because two games in 48 hours was to much for him?) was one of many reasons why things went awfully wrong at Vicarage Road. Bellamy needed a rest and didn’t play, illness had taken it’s toll on the squad with Chris Burke playing despite not feeling well and Watford did not play on Boxing day and had fresher legs than Cardiff. With Jay Bothroyd still out injured it was always going to be tough against the play off hunting Hornets, but it’s a shame that we couldn’t capitalize on Watford’s early penalty miss and the fact that we were 1-0 up thanks to a Peter Whittingham goal. It must have been embarrassing for Lee Naylor, who the South Wales Echo has been described as a disaster waiting to happen, when he was substituted ten minutes before the interval being replaced by Adam Matthews. It was sweet revenge for Watford having been beaten 4-0 by us at home last season.
Cardiff have now played 23 games. That means we’re halfway through the season, but it’s anyone’s guess where we’ll end up. It could be either mid table or promotion, and judging from our recent form (apart from the Coventry win) we’ll probably be lucky to get into the Play Offs. It’s amazing that we’re still second. I think we’ll definitely need to pick up more than 40 points from our remaining 23 games to get promoted.
There are a lot of transfer rumors at the moment with the January transfer window soon opening, and Everton’s James Vaughan looks set to become our first signing. Vaughan seems an exciting striker that has proven himself at Championship level on loan at Derby and Leicester last season and Crystal Palace this season. I’d welcome the signing of a young prospect like Vaughan but I’m not convinced he’s quite capable of filling Jay Bothroyd’s shoes should City’s England international move on. Keeping hold of Bothryod is just as important for Cardiff’s continued promotion push as bringing in new players.
It’s New Year’s Eve today, and it’s time for both reflecting on the year gone by and to look ahead to 2011.
In 2010 the highlight for me was the Play Off final against Blackpool. Yes, we lost, but it was still a great achievement to get to the final, and it was amazing to be at Wembley although it ended in tears.
I still believe we can go up this season, and if so 2011 will be a historical year with Cardiff in the Premier League for the first time ever. Should Cardiff not make it to the promise land this time around either I predict Dave Jones will no longer be our manager come season 2011/12.
The Norwegian television channel Viasat Fotball has unbelievably decided to start the new year by showing the Cardiff vs Blackpool Play Off Final at twelve o’clock tonight, so for any masochists out there wanting to add to current misery it’s just to tune in!
22nd of May 22/03/2010Posted by NB in Cardiff City, season 2009/10.
Tags: Chris Burke, Darcy Blake, Dato Chan Tien Ghee, Dave Jones, Gabor Gyepes, Heidar Helguson, Paul Quinn, Peter Whittingham, Ross McCormack, Tony Capaldi, Watford
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Cardiff City 3 Watford 1
What a good weekend this was!
I know I maybe shouldn’t have, but after this victory I had to check when the Play Off final takes place. In case you shouldn’t know, it’s on Saturday the 22nd of May.
There were good news off the field with reports that the meetings held with the potential Malaysian investor Dato Chan Tien Ghee, or “TG” as he’s become known, had gone well.
Then, on Saturday, my tickets for the away game against Crystal Palace arrived, so now I can look forward to going to the match without worrying whether or not the tickets will arrive in time.
Later on Staurday the other Championship results on Saturday were very favourable for the Bluebirds. Doncaster and Sheffield United, the two teams right behind Cardiff, drew against each other. Swansea could only draw, and Leicester and Coventry drew.
It was then all just a matter of Cardiff taking advantage by beating Watford, and although it was an even game that I understand could have gone either way based on the first half play and chances, City showed strength by first going one up early on thanks to a beautifully taken McCormack goal. Then, having survived until half time having seen Watford very nearly score, a good header by our goalgetter Peter Whittingham after a perfect pass from Burke put City in control.
I read Nathan Blake’s comments about the subdued atmosphere at Cardiff City Stadium. I don’t feel in a position to have an opinion on that as I didn’t even get to listen to the match on Cardiff City Player, but watching the highlights today I thought the player’s celebration of Whitts’ goal seemed a bit subdued. Have they become too used to him scoring, or did they feel so in control of the game that they took the goal for granted? Luckily they didn’t step of the gas to much though, and it was joyfull how Chris Burke both showed skill and had luck in putting the game beyond Watford with City’s third. Former Lillestrøm player Heidar Helguson pulled a goal back for the Hornets, but it still ended in an impressive win, especially considering City’s back four in the second half consisted of Quinn, Gyepes, Blake and Capaldi. That bodes well for the remaining games!
On final note about some of Dave Jones’ post match comments. I think he’s absolutely wrong in saying other results don’t matter and that he doesn’t take notice. I seem to remember Jones publically sighing with relief when City during the recent bad spell somehow managed to stay in the Play Off zone thanks to other results going Cardiff’s way. So while he’s right to say City’s players should concentrate on themselves and their own preformances he doesn’t have to pretend results elsewhere doesn’t matter! Should City experience another bad spell before the end of the season other results might be what keeps us in the Play Offs, and I don’t think Dave Jones should ignore that.