Friday, February 29, 2008
Not the strongest of compeitition, Bluebirds youth have breezed into the sem-finals where they face Cwmbran Celtic after comfortable 3-0 and 2-0 victories over Bryntirion Athletic and Cardiff Celts respectively, City's latter victory coming in midweek. In the other semi, Swansea City play Chirk with games scheduled to be played at neutral venues on March 26.
On second thoughts, just reading someone on the web say how they'll be proposing to their man by putting a note in his sandwich box - she was from classy High Wycombe! - sometimes it's best not to get any.
Here's your Leap Year Factoid.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Bluebirds in good hands as Ardley nurtures the flower of youth
ic Wales - United Kingdom
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I can't believe we went for Earnie again. Is this just a smokescreen at fan unhappiness with sqaud size and the failure to act in the January transfer window or current loan window and a story to appease us?
For what it's worth, here City's claim.
ic Wales - United Kingdom
It perhaps summed up the football on show that it took a scrappy, freakshow of a goal for Boro to triumph during extra-time in the 114th minute. A shot was blocked then ricocheted off a Blades defender, struck the top of a post and was bouncing out before keeper Paddy Kenny swung out an arm to catch the ball only to succeed in pushing it in for an own goal.
Middlesbrough, of course, re now home to Cardiff in the quarter-finals, the winners go to Wembley for a semi-final. For Boro, ex-City loan player Gary O'Neill still looks good, Stewart Downing will cause problems and they have some pace but Cardiff wouldn't have seen much to over worry them. Boro favourites but City, if they play to their best, are more than capable of springing an upset.
It's going to be some day in the North East on Sunday week - C'MON CITY!!
Sadly, but no surpise, the venue was a sell out. What a shame.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here are details of a major event taking place before the Leicester City game this weekend at Wales National Sports Centre.
Cardiff City fans to discuss plans for club trust
ic Wales - United Kingdom
THE latest meeting aimed at forming a Cardiff City Football Club Trust will be held at the Welsh Institute of Sport, Cardiff, on Saturday, March 29.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Objectively, I'd say that's like having to decide whether to be castrated by cheese grater or potato peeler! One messageboarder pointed out, quite rightly, that clubs in a similar financial mess- Coventry, Ipswich, Leicester, QPR - have all secured new investors so there has to be more out there for us - surely?
It does however sum up current disillusionment and disenchantment at our club that some have apparently gone dewy-eyed for Hammam. Those who voted for him, flawed poll or not, maybe should be spending time sectioned with Gazza at present.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Not as sunny as the previous two weekends but it was yet again dry and not so chilly for Fenruary in South Wales so went to see the relic that is Barry Island, still a decent place for a stroll as many did.
If above link doesn't work, copy/paste this into your browser:
Saturday, February 23, 2008
For such enormous egg chasing fans, it was a shock they got married on in international day just as the game was underway but they had a top time at Miskin Manor.
It felt like Friends Reunited as many of my current workmates were there (the bride works with me) but loads of old colleagues at AA (where bride and groom worked for many years with me too).
They're total opposites but go well together. Good night indeed.
There is a muddled picture of what has happened with some claiming there was no incident or fighting and this is the result of over-zealous policing from a force notorious for zero tolerance. It will be interesting to see if any/many actually get convicted.
Cardiff City's record in recent seasons has been exemplary and the club and its supporters can do without these headlines once again.
Another huge low in Cardiff City's season which ain't so much a rollercoaster as a fairground slide where City have a stable period but you just know the next fall isn't far away.
With City 7th and a couple of points from play-off contention just a couple of weeks ago, Peter Ridsdale and Dave Jones failed to act in the transfer window (other than selling Gunter and MacLean for £2.5M and getting a couple more out of course) but promised some loan action only that didn't happen either.
Some then, both of them have taken it in turns to talk down our club. Ninian is an embarrassment and there's no point in going up, said Jones. It would be a miracle to reach the play-off and we're not bringing anyone in, said Ridsdale. Come and support us added Jones after confessing by implication that they have no ambition and are not attempting to make any realistic play-off launch.
It all came home to roost today as City fell 1-0 at 23rd place Sheffield Wednesday. 1 point in 12 now finds the Bluebirds in the bottom half of the table and now 8 points behind the play-off positions.
Such is the pitiful state of affairs with the Bluebirds that City were only able to name 4 substitutes without any defensive cover - with 1 sub a player not fit after a lengthy absence (Sinclair) and another being a kid (Brown) with 1 minute of Championship experience. Peter Ridsdale should be embarrassed to be presiding over that, I certainly felt embarrassed by it.
As for the game, another thrown away by City with total first half domination with Wednesday getting booed by their own support as Hasslebaink brought off a brilliant save, the outstanding Ramsey hitting a post and other great chances missed before, as is often the way, City were hit by a sucker punch as Tudgay scored unchallenged with Capaldi stopped still and wrongly appealing for offside just before the interval.
The second period saw almost total City domination too but they were now awful and clueless, the Wednesday keeper never bother although late chances were again wasted.
It's no surprise that supporter discontent and disillusionment has returned. Many are openly talking about not bothering again this season, F.A. Cup duties aside, and boycotting a season ticket purchase too.
Dave Jones provides only good runs or bad runs and no consistency but he can't be helped doing this job at present. However neither Ridsdale or himself seem to be accountable and are far too quick to blame anything/anything/everyone else for their lot.
FOOTBALL LIVE REPORTS
in various Church bulletins.
1. The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
2. The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.'
The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
3. Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of thosethings not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
4. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile atsomeone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care muchabout you.
5. Don't let worry kill you - let the Church help.
6. Miss Mabel Mason then sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obviouspleasure to the entire congregation.
7. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nurserydownstairs.
8. Next Thursday there will be try outs for the choir. Please come. They need all the helpthey can get.
9. John Benson and Jenny Carter were married on 24th October in the Parish Church.So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
10. A baked beans on toast supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the Church Hall.
Loud Music to follow.
11. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?'Come early and listen to our choir practice.
12. Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition ofseveral new members and to the deterioration of some older ones
13. Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to berecycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
14. Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceasedperson you want remembered.
15. The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment andgracious hostility.
16. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
17. The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They maybe seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
18. This evening at 7pm there will be a hymn singing in the park acrossfrom the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
19. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10am. All ladiesare invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.
20. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation wouldlend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
21. The Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7pm.
Please use the back door.
22. The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Churchbasement Friday at 7pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
23. Weight Watchers will meet at 7pm at the Roman Catholic Church.
Please use large double door at the side entrance.
24. The Minister unveiled the Church's new campaign sloganlast Sunday: 'We upped our Pledges by 50% last year - up yours this year.'
The club's lack of public relations and self-promotion is legendary but, not content with that, they seem to be doing their best to cause more harm.
Two weeks ago, our happy-go-lucky boss (as pictured left) saw City fans walk up Sloper Road reading Dave Jones blabbing how it would be embarrassing if Ninian Park would be embarrassing in the Premiership and that he didn't want to take s up only to come straight back (if the the riches would clear the club of all debt!). Last weekend, it was Peter Ridsdale' turn by telling newspapers how it would need a miracle to get to the play-offs and admitting the squad is too thin (of course it is when he's let laods out and brought nobody in while the playing budget has gone on a handful of players).
And now in today's Western Mail (http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/footballnation/football-news/2008/02/23/city-s-jones-in-plea-to-fans-91466-20513701/ ), it's Jones turn again. Maybe there are a couple of valid points but he's so droll, downbeat and negative. Also, it must be said, ignoring a few realities such as a team who until recent weeks has not performed at Ninian Park for a year, the sale of players, the lack of ambition to go for the play-offs and these dour messages that come from the club.
Don't forget, they've also told us we're going nowhere until the new stadim is built, there's the battle of the egos with Hammam and Ridsdale, the Langston legal affair and Peter Ridsdale pre-occupied with talking about himself. To top it all, our players are refusing to speak to media. The club's lack of public relations and promotion is almost legendary.
Don't any of them take a moment to realise how negative and counter-productive this is? Why say these things? Why do these things?
If they don't talk up our club, how can we possibly expect better crowds?
Friday, February 22, 2008
Unlike the hugely tame Godspell last month (my fault for only going 'cos it was cheap!), I thoroughly enjoyed the spiffing, rattling 90 minutes that was The 39 Steps at Cardiff's New Theatre. Winner of Best New Comedy in 2007, you were left in no doubt it was that why by the end of the evening.
An adaptation of Hitchcock's masterpiece of a spy intrigue thriller, it was hammed to the max with 4 actors covering 139 different roles or, more to the point, the actor who played cad Richard Hannay stayed in that role all night, an actress played all three leading ladies which left 2 other actors to, at breathtaking and comedic pace, play the remaining 135 between them.
Some sections were hilarious but you probably had to be there to see it for yourself with a clever use of props including doors on wheels to appear you were looking from the outside one moment and inside the next, props pulled/wheeled/carried/thrown on and off and inspirational acting, none better than when all four bobbed on 2 suitcases to give the impression of a train in motion, waving their hats wildly on their heads as they looked out of the train window and flapped their long coats manically behind them to give the impression of a chase on the train roof.
Add in a cracking script with some killer punchlines and this was a thoroughly entertaining affair which I loved. My missus didn't quite get it but she appeared to be alone in that.
A few drinks in Kairdiff and a show too - not a bad way to spend a Friday night.
With Cardiff not in any reserve league, friendlies few and far between plus Smith unlike to be near the first team squad this season, it does make perfect sense.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Last night, he played as a sub for Fenerbache against Seville in the Champions League. Danny Kelly, standing in on Talksport, was keen to talk to him about it today.
Is it really true that animals get sacrificed for the cause of the football team?
Yes, they slaughtered a lamb just the other week here. It was horrible (then he uttered the immortal words), IT WAS ALIVE WHEN THEY KILLED IT!!!
With City's F.A. Cup quarter-final tie at Sheffield United or Middlesborough now confirmed for Sunday lunchtime (March 9th), the Yourkshire club agreed to Cardiff's request to put back the following midweek fixture to the following evening.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
If you're interested in listening or downloading for your MP3, the link to do that is here. Enjoy!
Yep he's OTT but he has a point.
The one good thing to come of it is the Echo stating that this is the final ever season for this useless competition.
County beat Cardiff to reach FAW Cup final
ic Wales - United Kingdom
And here's The South Wales Argus understandably ecstatic about it and chest-beating. Good Luck to Newport County.
Beadle hails cup heroes
COUNTY boss Peter Beadle hailed his side for bouncing back from their worst performance of the season to stun Cardiff City with a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory at Ninian Park.
Reader comments (11)
Ex-Bluebird duo on cloud nine
JASON Bowen and Lee Jarman enjoyed a dream return to Ninian Park with both men delighted to knock out their former club.
Reader comments (10)
Exiles upset the odds
AN inspired display from Newport County saw them overcome the odds to beat Cardiff City last night in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Reader comments (4)
Heroic County shock Cardiff
11:22pm Tuesday 19th February 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
TUESDAY February 19th, 2008
FAW MICKEY MOUSE WASTE OF SPACE BOWLING BALL TROPHY SEMI-FINAL - at NINIAN PARK
CARDIFF CITY (0) 1
NEWPORT COUNTY (0) 1
NEWPORT WON 5-4 ON PENALTIES AFTER EXTRA-TIME
Few thrills but plenty of chills with three hours at a bitterly cold Ninian Park. Just to endure enduring a mind numbing game, low on quality, lower still on entertainment. £12 wasted to watch a competition City used to let season ticket holders watch for free, made to sit down by a steward in the Grandstand with nobody near me for the heinous crime of standing up and moving to avoid rigamortis setting. What was the reward - watching Cardiff City get dumped of the that shite FAW Premier Trophy by Newport County!
A 0-0 bore draw after 90 minutes with City unable to make their general dominance count - not that too much of it excited - before very belated entertainment. County took a shock 117th minute lead when penalties looked inevitable (they looked inevitable after 60 minutes) through Jason Bowen only for Thommo to level within a minute to take the clash to penalties. City had an advantage when Damon Searle only for Thommo to rival Andy Campbell for the worst penalty seen at Parc Nin in recent years and then, in sudden death, Jack Carlisle's was saved for County to triumph 6-5 sending their fans into delirium and City's grateful they could finally leave the ground at 5 to 10 after being there for a 7pm kick-off. Three hours of my life I won't get back.
What a difference 3 days makes. Glory last Saturday with The Bluebirds winning their biggest home game of the season to reach the F.A. Cup quarter-finals and dream of Wembley in club football’s greatest Cup to the most trivial game for a meaningless Cup. The FAW Premier Trophy – there’s nothing Premier about it and that Bowling Ball certainly ain't a trophy – doesn’t even hold passing interest to the average City fan - and I must really now make it a vow that this is the last time ever I bother with it.
Opponents Newport County thought it very glamorous, it was their cup final and good luck to them. Around 1,000 travelled dewn tewn and rewnd the rewndyboots with a few pewnds to watch Cewnty. It seemed as if there were more police on duty for them than Wolves and watching a no 30 bus coming up Sloper Road flanked by 4 police horses with 30 County followers on it and 20 or so coppers was certainly a surreal sight.
They were half the crowd as only 1,960 bothered (but hey, that's 5 times the average of most FAW Premier matches!). A few City fans were on the Bob Bank terrace, even less in the Canton Stand and the majority, to look good for tv, were in the Grandstand opposite the cameras. Those who bothered to watch that is, many at the ground stayed in the warmer bars and watched it on tv.
Dave Jones decided to sit next to his chum, Peter Ridsdale, in the Directors Box and left Paul Wilkinson to look after the side which included many of his youth players and either fringe players or those returning from injury, the big surprise being a very welcome 45 minute appearance for Ricky Scimeca after almost a year's absence and having a terrible time of it.
City's side were David Forde, Aaron Morris-Darren Purse-Glen Loovens-Matt Smith, Trevor Sinclair-Darcy Blake-Riccy Scimeca-Tyrrell Webbe, Thommo-Jon Brown. Five youth players, 3 getting a run out, 2 returning from lengthy injury and Loovens playing as he's banned for the next 2 games.
Newport, meanwhile, included 6 ex-Cardiff players and, in Craig Hughes, a striker convicted for problems while supporting City. Their side were Thompson, Steve Jenkins-Nathan Davies-Lee Jarman-Damon Searle, Jason Bowen-Lee Fowler-Gurney-Evans, Hughes-Griffin.
The game started a few minutes late and was also preceded by a minute's applause for Brian Harris, former Cardiff and Newport player from the late 60's/70's, who died at the weekend. It was just about the only reason we had for applause over the next couple of hours.
The opening stages were more notablee for the singing and atmosphere - you can;'t have noise at an FAW Premier Cup game - with Newport singing "if you all hate Cardiff clap your hands" (a popular 'Port ditty, it seemed to be their only song!) with City fans responding with "you;re just a small town in Cwmbran" and "you're just a bus stop in Cardiff".It never really got much better.
The game is barely worth describing. First half, Newport had a couple of distance efforts, none to cause concern, while City either lacked composure or struggled in the final third so their possession generally went to waste but Thommo and Brown made the Newport keeper save, Thommo (impressive in the opening half) was very unlucky with a shot on the turn, Loovens got up for set pieces and caused problems, Brown did well meeting a sharp Thommo cross and diverting narrowly over but there were few moments to get excited about as the chill really set in. Riccy Scimeca eased his way back very well, looking in control as he passed well and spread play but 45 minutes was enough and Jack Carlisle replaced him for the 2nd half.
Half-time: CITY 0 NEWPORT 0
It would have been warmer to have spent three hours in my fridge and the chill was now bitter. You did feel City were increasingly the dominant side and with Darcy Blake charging through midfield, City posed more danger again but still failed to convert them into shooting opportunities. To be fair, I doubt these youth players and first teamers play much together in training so little wonder they didn't look cohesive in match conditions.
And so it was penalties. Freezing cold, we all wanted to get away and home and it took ages to organise. Why on earth so long?
Every penalty flew in and it was 4-4 with neither Forde or Newport;'s Thompson getting close to any effort. Sinclair, Blake, Loovens and Wade scored for City, I enjoyed Wade's celebration.
Up stepped Damon Searle and he smashed the bar. how we laughed. It left Thommo to win the game, take City to the final and guarantee at least £50,000 in prize money but he was too causal and com placement and completely cocked up. No preparation for his kick, no run up and he scuffed his effort wide. What the **** was he doing?
You felt the pendulum had swung and , sure enough, Lee Jarman - a City man who wasted his talents - scored with ease then Jack Carlisle's effort lacked power and placement so was easily saved. Newport were in the Final, they went nuts but I dashed for the exits.
Some of the City kids did well. Aaron Morris at right back certainly impressed, Brown and Webbe tried hard up front but were short on composure and Jack Carlisle had some good moments. Blake worked hard and his second half bursts were impressive. Of the seniors, Thommo let himself down when he should have been the hero. Sinclair was off the pace but got better as the game progressed, Purse did ok but still worries and what was his w*nkhand (bandaged up) about?
The biggest positive of the night however was that I won't have to watch another FAW Premier Trophy game this season, amen to that!
As a free agent, The Bluebirds were eligible to sign him outside the transfer window having left previous club Sokol Pniewy in Poland.
I dunno, these Poles coming over here and taking all our jobs ... ... ...
Costing £45,000, the multi-coloued circular dots around the names Cardiff/Caerdydd are supposed to represent the city colours from the green parklands to the blue waterfront ... (if only the water was blue!). Nobody's attempted to explain the relevance of pink (I think we can guess though), purple or amber.
Monday, February 18, 2008
1970-71 Squad Photograph
BACK (L-R): Steve Derrett, John Parsons, Freddie Pethard, Leslie Lea
MIDDLE: Mel Sutton, Leighton Phillips, Terry Lewis, Jim Eadie, Fred Davies, Richie Morgan, David Carver, Frank Sharp.
FRONT:Bobby Woodruff, John Toshack, Brian Clark, Peter King, Don Murray, Brian Harris, Ronnie Bird, Gary Bell.
Sad news today that Brian Harris, former Cardiff City player and assistant manager passed away aged 72.
He played for Cardiff City when I started watching them as a 6 yr old so I have vague but fond memories of him. The Cardiff City side of that era remains the best in my lifetime supporting them. I've been lucky in ym life to meet and talk with most of them since that time.
Brian Harris shared the surname as my father and some people used to ask if he (the Cardiff City player) was my dad. Was more than happy never to deny it!
His Dad and mine was also friends as Brian, like many players, bought their electrical goods from Radiocraft on Cowbridge Road which my father managed. So chuffed was he with purchases that he worte letters thanking my dad for his help and he also went to his home in Ely (can you imagine players living there today!?!?) overlooking Glamorgan Wanderers rugby ground near Culverhouse Cross cemetary.
Sad news, great player, great man and as funny as anything. RIP BH.
Cardiff and Everton mourn Harris
BBC Sport - UK
City lost the 1925 Final to Sheffield United but beat Boro away last time they had a big F.A. Cup run in 1994.
What that means now, I don't know really but Jimmy Flloyd-Hasslebaink may relish going back to a former club if indeed it proves to be Boro. The tie is expected to be played on Sunday March 8th.
Boro paired with Cardiff in FA Cup quarter-final drawThe Northern Echo - Darlington,UK
Cardiff given away tie in FA CupBBC News
See all stories on this topic
CARDIFF City will play Sheffield United or Middlesbrough in their ...
Sunday, February 17, 2008
If you can't access pictures in this above link, copy/paste this into your web browser:
Who remembers it?
It was the 1987/88 season. Cardiff City were in the dungeon but promoted as runners-up to Wolves, the team we bruished aside with ease yesterday, to get within a whisker of those tiwn towers ... sorry, new Wembley, big archway! That same season, Newport County finished bottom.
The Football League celebrated its Cenenary with a joke of a competition where 2 sides from each division played mini-games (think it was 15 mins each way) based on form of a mid-season period of, I think, 15 league games ... or was it based on goals scored?
City went to Orient in the last of those games but got stuffed 4-1 after being 0-0 half-time and missed out to Tranmere. I think it was of passing interest to most but I was as excited as feck.
Supporting Cardiff City is a lifetime of disappointment which is what makes the occasionals high so special.
It's nothing short of ironic that this could arguably be called our best season in my lifetime with a high finish, last 16 of the Carling Cup and now Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup.
Ironic because it really hasn't felt like that at all.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
She deserves a bubble trip!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Holiday On Ice "Romanza" is at Cardiff CIA all week and it packs in the punters. For £60, we got shoe-horned into temporary stand seating around a temporary rink - the seats and the rows were packed tightly - but it was towards the front end of the rink where the key action took place. Your tend to forget how poor the seating was once the show starts and, I shouldn't really admit this, but I enjoyed it too as something different to do.
There was something like 40 ice skaters and dancers, some great sets and incredible costumes and costume changes as the show covered love through history but for the serious pieces like Adam & Eve, there were also plenty of light-hearted moments to with Gluttony, Popeye and Olive Oyl, Ken and Barbie, Spiderman and more. Those who sometimes watch Dancing On Ice on tv hoping someone will have a big fall, that's me!, there were also a few stumbles which I delighted in anyway. ha
Overall though, an excellent show and I earned some brownie points that I can use another time so good deal all round then.
Some pics are here:
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
CHAMPIONSHIP - Game 32/46 - at NINIAN PARK
COVENTRY CITY (0) 0
CARDIFF CITY (0) 0
Report and photos also appear at www.nigelblues.blogspot.com
The two CCFC;s played out the archetypal 0-0 bore draw. A Coventry fan to a late night radio phone-in wryly observed that it was a score that flattered both sides, so poor was this encounter. He had a very fair point but his side were never going to win it and never going to score either, The Bluebirds, still off colour, still could and should have done both.
It's a game not worth talk about for too long so I'll cover what's necessary.
Finished work early in Newport, met my stepson, Mike Morris and his family at Cardiff West Services and set off on the 135 mile drive to Cov four hours before the game in glorious weather with the clearest of blue skies, blazing low sun, no wind and temperatures around 60 degrees in the middle of winter, close to record highs for February.
Weather this good by day does mean a chilly Tuesday evening in Warwickshire under those same skies, the game played just a couple of degrees above freezing. With the game taking place at school half-term in Wales, I anticipated a clear run but it's not half-term in England. A couple of accidents along the M50/M5/M42/M6 journey meant one detour and arrival with just over an hour to spare. Ricoh Arena is adjacent to Junction 3 of the M6 and we arranged car parking at an away fans only pub, The Black Horse, about 15 minutes on foot from the ground. It felt like another county. We found another pub, and chippy, en route but then took football's strangest walk to an away ground as home fans recommended a short cut along alongside a canal in pitch black conditions but which came out next to the ground. Not the sort of walk you'd want to take at some away grounds, that's for sure.
Coventry don't have a ground or a stadium, they have an arena. It is big, both outside and inside and includes a Jaguar museum and a casino. Outside, what looked like the Blue Peter garden was an area to scatter the ashes of your beloved Cov supporter.
It is impressive looking but when it's less than half full with a dreadful game unfolding, a depressing soulless place in those circumstances. Apart from one rendition of the Sky Blue song and moaning at their man, Leon Best, continually standing offside, the home support watched in complete silence and most City fans were numbed by it all too even though chants lasted all game from a number in our end. I was surprised when the crowd was announced as 15,260 which included 900 City as it looked and felt about 10,000 with masses of empty seats all around the place.
There is a habit of clubs sacking managers or installing new managers immediately before playing City and Coventry became the latest of several over the last couple of seasons sacking Iain Dowie – a man who makes me good looking by comparison! – just 24 hours beforehand. The Sky Blues have had a turbulent 12 months under Dowie losing more than they won, 19th in the Championship and facing Cardiff only 4 points above the drop and being clear leaders after the first month of the season. Their only highs through the misery came in cup games with incredible 2-0 wins at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup and, in the FA Cup, 4-1 at Blackburn just over a fortnight ago to take them, like City, into the 5th round this weekend. Truth is, however, Dowie has had no money at all, administration looked very close recently but losing 5 of the last 6 with a new owner in ex-Man City owner and football moneyman Ray Ranson in place, the parting was an obvious one.
With a caretaker team in charge, Coventry lined up with Marshall, Osbourne-Dann-Ward-Fox, Tabb-Doyle, Michael Hughes-Gray, Mifsud-Best.
As for City, Dave Jones certainly isn't blessed with options with only 18 available players including 3 goalkeepers and a couple of kids but reluctantly accepted he had to freshen and change things after two damaging successive 2-1 defeats with flat performances in both games, reminiscent of earlier in the season when we were going nowhere. He's been stubborn far too often but credit to him for dropping his skipper Steve McPhail, who was awful last weekend, for Aaron Ramsey. He finally also gave Enckleman a go between the sticks. The one change everyone expected, Thommo for Jimmy, didn't happen though and a small surprise on the bench as Jon Brown got a call up from nowhere at the expense of Darcy Blake and even got a debut as he was brought on deep into added time.. Congratulations son.
City fielded Enckleman, McNaughton-Johnson-Loovens-Capaldi, Whittingham-Rae-Ramsey-Ledley, Hasselbaink-Parry. Subs were Oakes-Brown-Purse-Ramsey-Thompson
The first half was dreadful, so bad that I lost count of the number of people who told me not to bother writing anything. Although there were those who also told me to write expletives about how crap it was too.
Coventry didn't just look a poor side, they looked awful. They ran around a lot, not more than their midgets (Jay Tabb and Michael Mifsud) and showed spirit but were devoid of any quality, it was more a case of hitting th ball anywhere and hoping they got to it first. Somehow Cardiff got dragged down by Coventry's 'headless chicken' tactics and were little better.
The first half incidents of note were few and mostly insignificant. Glenn Loovens successfully collected his 10th yellow card of the season for blatant blocking earning him a 2 match which cleverly means he is available for FA Cup duty this weekend and the quarter-finals if we get through. I'm sure he wasn't thinking that, was he?
Mifsud's shot at Enckleman was his only save of the night although a later free-kick was scuffed narrowly wide. . For City, attacking towards us, there were also no meaningful efforts on goal but there really should have been plenty yet nobody was showing responsibility for shooting. I counted 7 occasions where we stretched Coventry or had players able to shoot but they elected to pass or go wide and lose out instead. Aaron Ramsey was bright and it was a breath of fresh air watching him always running at players or moving the ball forwards, I hope Mr McPhail was taking note. Ramsey also threatened as he burst past three challenges but his shot was high and wide.
That, pretty much, was it, ex-City loan man Julian Gray, a quality operator, was reduced to knocking balls out of play time after time. I even thought I was in America for a moment when oventr announced that "the multi-ball system is in use tonight, if a ball comes out of play to you, please return it to the nearest ball boy" and the big screen displayed messages that the corner-kicks were sponsored by a local scrappy. Reality was however, surroundings apart, old dungeon games at Halifax, Rochdale or Macclesfield were more entertaining and sometimes better quality too.
Half-time: Coventry 0 City 0
The second half was one way traffic. Coventry looking an unbelievably poor side who, if they continue like that, are every inch relegation contenders. Their only effort came when Leon Best, a footballer with less concept of the offside rule than a school dinner lady, got away with pushing Glenn Loovens but his shot was blocked by superb Roger Johnson covering leaving Peter Enckleman with the easiest full debut possible and enjoying himself with ayatollahs, staying on the pitch by himself at final whistle after the other to come to us and smiling to himself. I liked his yell after one goal kick and it was refreshing to see a City goalkeeper coming for, and taking, crosses even if he was never under pressure but his kicking radar was way off beam overall.
It was therefore worrying in a half that Coventry were clearly there to be beaten and in which we dominated throughout that we never won it and you somehow didn't feel that we would either. The January Cardiff City side would have taken full advantage, the February team seem unable..
They nearly did twice within 90 seconds of the restart as Cov keeper .Marshall made a great block when Rae got behind them and Paul Parry was blocked when he looked certain to follow home the rebound. Just after that, Whittingham was a fraction wide in his only telling moment of the whole match as he put in another poor 90 minutes, he's now having far too many of those.
Chances came throughout the half but although stats show we had a number of on target efforts, the reality was that everything was hit directly at Marshall. We had more than enough good chances or half chances to have put Cov away but failed to. Parry a couple of times, Whittingham again and Thompson (coming on with 15 to go instead of the last 10) should have done better with a header in front of goal.
Aaron Ramsey produced some sublime moments and more than justified his place ahead of McPhail but man of the match yet gain was Kevin McNaughton, the only player who has been consistent recently and producing top form. A hammer blow came just after the hour when Joe Ledley went down then limped off clutching the back of his right leg, it instinctively looked like a hamstring. We can only pray it's not.
It ended City's losing streak but I felt it was a must win game. 1 point out of 9 sees us almost in mid-table, 11th, and now 4 points behind the play-offs where we seem to be one of 8 sides chasing 6th place but with no league game this weekend due to cup action and three of the next four also away with two of them against higher placed rivals, we will do well to stay in contention over the next 3 weeks or so.
The drive back was clear apart from some bad spells of freezing fog but the walk back to the car took ages so it was a long night and late night. I'll have to catch up on the zzzz's Wednesday night, the things you do for City..
Monday, February 11, 2008
dinners, shows and anything else we think might win us a few brownie points or get us in to their knickers.
Secretly, we feel left out. That's right...left out.
There's no special day for the ladies to show their appreciation for us, the men in their lives. In fact, men as a whole are either too proud or too embarrassed to admit it.
That is why a new Special Day has been specifically created so that ladies can have a day to show us just how much they love and appreciate us.No cards, no flowers, no special gifts, no special nights on the town. The date is 20th March and the name of the holiday explains it all........
TV Dinner, Blow Job & Shut the F#ck Up Day.
Simple, effective and self-explanatory..
The twin pairing of Valentine's Day and TV Dinner, Blow Job & Shut the F#ck Up Day will usher in a new age of love and understanding, as men everywhere will try much harder on 14th February to ensure appreciative reciprocation from their women-folk on 20th March.
The word about TV Dinner, Blow Job & Shut the F#ck Up Day is spreading quickly, but as with all new Special Days, it needs a little push to start the ball rolling.
So spread the word, chaps, and help bring love and understanding in to our lives....