Friday, February 29, 2008

LEAP YEAR DAY UPDATE

No proposals for me ... the joys of being married and middle aged I guess!

City vs Jack on cards for Welsh Youth Cup Final

Not allowed to complete in the Welsh Cup, it does seem an irony that our youth side can compete for the Welsh Youth Cup.

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.

IT'S LEAP YEAR DAY

It's Leap Year Day, that day every 4 years when I work for nothing (same annual salary with an extra day in 2008!) and girls will be forming orderly queues and preparing their proposals to me - I do hope some are obscene!

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.
http://www.ok50.com/relationships/top50tipsLeapYearFacts.asp

Thursday, February 28, 2008

TWIN TOWERS FOR CARDIFF BAY

Tonight's South Wales Echo
Bay skyscraper will be Wales’ tallest building

PSYCHO BELIEVES CITY CAN WIN AT BORO

A view I share but we're bound to say that now, aren't we?

From BBC website:
Cardiff can win at Boro - Perry
BBC News - UK

HASSLEBAINK and SOUTHGATE TALK UP BORO v CITY

Three stories from tonight's South Wales Echo with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (a former Boro player fondly remembered on Teeside) and Garath Southgate, Middlesbrough's manager, giving out standard soundbites ahead of next weekend's game.

NEIL ARDLEY - NO KIDDING

A good article in today's Western Mail with Neil Ardley talking about his role and aims with Cardiff City's Academy and his views on our system.

Bluebirds in good hands as Ardley nurtures the flower of youth
ic Wales - United Kingdom

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CITY FAIL IN ANOTHER LOAN BID FOR EARNIE?!?

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.

Cardiff City's bid for Earnie fails again

ic Wales - United Kingdom

FANS MEET PETER RIDSDALE BUT ARE WE ANY THE WISER?


The upshot of last night's meeting is reproduced below. You can make your own mind whether it pacifies you or continues/worsens your concerns but there's certainly no sign that better times are just around the corner or that the club can move ahead.


Our guys can only ask the questions and report their answers. I appreciate their efforts.


Do I feel any better, more optmistic and buoyed up about the current custodians at our club, City's short-term prospects or beyond? Sadly not.


Peter Ridsdale's talk has often not been matched by subsequent events and has regularly proved to be contradictory. For now - it's just a case of tighten seatbelts and see what the fallout is from CCFC v Langston which hasn't gone away (and that after Peter Ridsdale made us debt-free eh!). I can't see it's going to be great news for the club either way although, without question, sorting it with Langston is the lesser of the two evils and is surely the only conclusion for all this time and pain.


But at least we do now know Ridsdale's thoughts and exucses ... sorry, explanations.




This is Keith Morgan's ("Since 62" from www.cardiffcity.com) report on his meeting along with Vince and Corky with Peter Ridsdale and other City officials last night.


This morning , I started writing up a very long report (even I was getting bored it was that long )on last night`s meeting attended by Corky , Vince and myself.I then went out for some business meetings , then when I got back I had lost the draft somewhere on my computer system I`m not going to write the whole fecking thing out again , so here`s the report in summary (to deal with the Echo article today and responses to Corky`s initial report).


PR dealt with about 90% of the questions raised , with virtually all the rest fielded by Steve Borley.Suzanne only made a few comments when asked to by PR and Barry only responded when criticised about the poor standard of the official web site.I don`t recall Wayne making any comments relevant to the main questions asked, but he did make comment about the recently reported behaviour problems of a group of CCFC fans and its likely impact on the removal of bubble restrictions.


Where has the money gone?

i.e the money from the sale of Chopra , McLean and Gunter and the extra cup run TV and gate money. PR explained that the club`s cash resources were about £5m short of what they had budgeted for , caused by £3m shortfall in Premier seating income (the initial joining fees)they cannot yet access and £2m in pledged new share investment , both being held back by the Langston court case.


Personally , I cannot see how it is sensible to budget for income in respect of seats not even ready for occupation until August next year , but PR says he is completely happy that the club can draw down these monies now if it were not for the court case - that`s my firm`s purchase halted then - I`m not paying for something expensive that is not actually guaranteed to be available to use if the club goes bust!


I can understand the share subscriber`s position , but have to take PR`s word for it that they are out there waiting.PR also stressed that all of this money will come into the club as soon as the legal case is settled i.e the money hasn`t gone forever , its just a matter of timing.


If so , this would give a major boost to the club`s coffers as soon as Langston sign the agreement or the court case is settled. There was no question of claiming a misquote on this - PR clearly said that this money will be released to the club within a few days of the Langston settlement.


So if this doesn`t hapen he will have blatantly lied.So the sale of players (post Chopra) has gone to fill the above (temporary) cash hole.The Chopra money was used to fund an increased wage bill with the recruitment of Fowler , Hasselbank, Sinclair , McLean , Capaldi etc.which PR said was Dave Jones` preference rather than spend the cash on transfer fees as he felt he could get a better quality of squad that way.


I personally don`t agree that was the right approach but can understand that that was the decision process involved.



The fans perception that the club doesn`t give a toss about them


This has eminated from some rather disparaging comments made about opinions other than his own by the manager,his views about Ninian Park and the Chairman`s comments about a "miracle" needed to reach the play-offs , together with a general lack of up to date information on the official website and an apparent lack of marketing initiatives to get more supporters into the ground to raise revenues.All this at a time when the club is about to ask supporters to start paying next week for a season that is still 5 months away!


After the standard "we have been misquoted" line , PR did accept that the club had a great tendency to shoot itself in the foot over such matters and pledged to make sure that far better communication channels between the club and its supporter base are kept open in future.In addition to the press launch of the new season ticket deals at the end of this week , PR referred to the future plan to get players (Fowler was mentioned specifically)visiting local schools etc. to drum up new supporters for the club (us old ones are stupid enough to turn up regardless of what the club does) - watch this space for when/if this happens.



The Langston case and its costs


I queried why the costs were £225k and not expected to rise in November last year (according to PR himself , so no "misquote" there) but have now risen to £500k. The explanation given (a reasonable one , even though I am still troubled by the level of fees being paid to law firms , including one who has a partner as a shareholder in the club)was that PR believed then that the case would be heared in December , just a few weeks after he made that statement.


The case has now dragged on for a further 3 months at further great legal cost caused , according to PR , by the stance being taken by Langston.As for the merits of the case , PR remains adamant that the club is right and Langston wrong.I want to know , but not to actually find out ( I will explain).I want to know because , if anyone at the club has been negligent or incompetent in allowing the case to happen at huge cost to the club , they should be held to account publicly.


Similarly , if Langston/Sam have launched a vindictive claim without foundation , they need to be similarly exposed.


However , I don`t want to actually find out as I believe the only way of doing so is for a public court hearing to take place at evn greater legal expense to the club and with considerable further delay before it can access the claimed additional funds.Of future income , how much will go to CCFC and how much to Langstone and other creditors?


PR gave me an explanation as to whether PMG Estates are a creditor of CCFC or not (in November he said they had invested £11m into the club a few weeks ago he said they were owed nothing at present).The explanation was that they had actually deposited £9m in cash in a seperate bank account pledged towards the stadium build costs , but that money had not yet been drawn down as it wasn`t yet needed at this stage of the build - so they are not owed any money as of today , but have actually irrevocably committed cash to the scheme.In addition they have provided a guarantee of £2.3m to support other cash provided by a bank into the club.


He also stated that the £3m PMG had loaned the club when it ran out of money in December 2005 had been secured on player transfer money , but the debt had been written off and the charge over the players withdrawn once the stadium build went unconditional.He said he didn`t know why the charge was still registered at Companies House , but would look into it.


The club has agreed to pay back PMG their debt (I presume PR meant only the £9m cash bit)plus interest (rate undisclosed) from the income from the Premier seating over a period of up to 5 years.This income should be over £3m a year so , if the interest rate is rasonable , PMG should be paid off well within the 5 years.The club will retain all initial Premier Club joining fees (a one-off of up to £3m), plus all income from the stadium on matchdays , for conferences , catering and any pubs , hotels built on the site.


PR said he hoped to be able to budget for 18,000 crowds in the new stadium.The club will also retain all income from its 20 year tenancy agreement with Cardiff Blues.Exact details of the rent were not given , but the Blues will pay a 25% contribution towards all the stadium running costs and will have a strict sub-tenant status (they will NOT be part owners in any ashape or form).Without them being given tenancy rights , the Council would not have approved the scheme whether the football club wanted the Blues there or not.Langston will receive up to £9m from stadium naming rights (no sponsor yet found , but a broker working on it he said), any additional retail built later on site , and then any Premier seating income in the years after PMG are fully paid off.



Future player sales


PR stated categorically that no offers from Everton have been received for Joe Ledley , that offers for him and 4 other players had been turned down in January , that the McLean transfer was accepted as it was regarded as a good price and that the Gunter sale happened because CG wanted to further his career at a higher level(I know others on this board claim to have heared diffently , but I can only report back on the answer given to the repeated question).


PR was frank enough to admit that the budget for clubs like Cardiff will always fall short of required income to make a profit and that player sales are envisaged each year unless a windfall is earned (big cup run , crowds up on budget etc.)so there is no guarantee that players won`t continue to be sold in the short to medium term future.So its even more important that the club sells the message to get more supporters in to minimise the risk of such sales.Most of the wage cost on a handful of people?



Corky raised the rumour of 1/5th of the total wage bill going on just 5 employees (PR , DJ , JFH , RF adn TS).PR said this was not correct (but didn`t give an alternative figure) but did say that his own salary (he went on the payroll rather than be a consultant sometime last year) was about 60% of what Sam Hammam used to take out of the club (by most estimates that would make PR`s salary cost about £300k).



Stadium build progress


As most will now be aware , the first of the steel frame for the new stadium is now up (Steve Borley says the build programme is about 2 weeks ahead of schedule).Corky and I were certainly presently surprised to see the start of this appearing above the site perimeter boards as we arrived for the meeting.SB also said that he hoped to ensure that detailed pictures of the actual finalised stadium plans and pictures will be on the website and in the press as early as next week.He showed us the seats that are going in there and they are a great improvement on Ninian Park`s current one`s.For those prawn sandwich eaters who frequent this site , you will be delighted to hear that your (wider) seats will be the same quality as those in Arsenal`s Emirates Stadium!



So , overall , was the meeting of any use?


You must all make your own minds up on this (many already have I see).But at least supporters` views were put across (I mainly refer to those expressed through Vince and Corky as they represent far far more views than me), were listened to and actions promised.The real proof of the pudding will be if the promises and action plans discussed actually come about , and how soon.

IT'S MIDDLEBROUGH vs CITY in the FA CUP QUARTER FINAL NEXT WEEK

It took 3 and a half hours of football to separate and 2 games of low quality and thrills before Championship Sheffield United succumbed to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium in an F.A. Cup 5th Round replay.

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!!

JOE JACKSON SELLS OUT

I was disappointed that Joe Jackson, a musician I've always admired and who still produces great music today, played Cardiff tonight at The Point. His first ever gig in Cardiff, a gig I wanted to see but circumstances meant I couldn't commit in advance.

Sadly, but no surpise, the venue was a sell out. What a shame.

WIN TICKETS TO SEE HARD-FI IN CARDIFF'S TINY BARFLY on MARCH 13th

http://www.hard-fi.com/news.php?newsID=66

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CARDIFF CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST MEETING THIS SATURDAY

Current events at our beloved club underline just how vital it is that supporters have more of an interest and say in it.

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.

FREE DOWNLOAD OF NEW CHARLATANS SINGLE WITH XFM SOUTH WALES

Hit the Link:

http://www.xfmsouthwales.co.uk/news-free-download-the-charaltans-oh-vanity.html

Monday, February 25, 2008

CARDIFF = EUROPE'S 7th BEST CITY IN EUROPE?!?!?

Cardiff is in Europe's top tenNews Wales, UK - Feb 25, 2008

I love the place but that one surprised me!

ANOTHER CCFC DOWNTURN, FANS TO MEET PETER RIDSDALE

It's not without irony that Cardiff City players have wrongly got their heads up their arses to boycott all news media (an argument they won't win, they should have made their point a different way) when the only crap I've read in newspapers recently have been words of (non) wisdom uttered by Dave Jones and Peter Ridsdale. With rare exception, they have been negative, whingeing and wanting to blame anyone, everyone and everything ... except themselves of course.
To raise the white flag for the second successive season with barely a fight having worked to get into play-off contention is a choker. That, however, seems to be the least of Cardiff City's problems right now.
Fans are unhappy and turning, supporters leaders expressing discontent and even Terry Phillips, bless him, has come as close as I've ever seen him come to a pop at any Cardiff City manager by expressing his disbelief about only 4 subs being used last weekend in tonight's South Wales Echo. Unable to name a 16, in my opinion, is embarrassing and makes us a laughing stock. I'm still cringeing over it.
The club, publicly, don't even seem that bothered. Cardiff City, once again, appear to be a club in turmoil but nobody's explaining why.
The club have netted close to £9M in transfer fees and cup runs alone this season yet seem to be on its arse.
Peter Ridsdale has apparently been alerted to the despondency and postings on internet sites so has offered to meet Vince Alm of Cardiff City Supporters Club, Paul Corkery who has been working hard to set up Cardiff City Supporters Trust and Keith Morgan and accountant who has previously grilled Peter Ridsdale without our Chairman following up promises to share accounts with him over a period now lasting 3 months.
It's a sad indictment that it's got to this stage. I wish the boys all the best tomorrow and hope they hit Ridsdale hard with our concerns and questions. I do fear Mr "open, honest and transparent" (if only he was!!!) Ridsdale, someone who was used to brag how he had made us debt-free not so long ago (if only he did!!!) will be as oily, cryptic and contradictory blame passing convenient targets such as Langston with a lack of detail and clarity.
It's what he excels at, isn't it?

TONIGHT'S CARDIFF CITY PHONE-IN EXPRESSES THE UNHAPPY MOOD

Well worth a listen, the words of Vince (Alm) and Corky summarise well current feelings amongst the Bluebird masses.

http://www.mediafire.com/?ynmzltylyty

SO BAD THAT SOME ARE THINKING ABOUT HAMMAM???

One crazed soul on the http://www.cardiffcity.com/ messageboard, after a weekend of grief at the current standing of our club, decided to add a poll for fans to choose between Peter Ridsdale or Sam Hammam. It got a high vote and a 50/50 split.

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

BARRY ISLAND


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:

Cardiff won't be allowed in Europe WHEN we win the F.A. Cup

Another Wales on Sunday exlcusive that we've always known anyway
ic Wales - United Kingdom

Saturday, February 23, 2008

CONGRATS STEVE & NICOLA WYVILL

Good firends of mine whom I've known for 20 years and worked with most of that time too got married today.

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.

30 ARRESTS AFTER SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY vs CARDIFF CITY

Statement from South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police (press release)

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.

REVIEW: SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1 CARDIFF CITY 0


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.
I'm just grateful to have had the good fortune of a mate's wedding that kept me away!

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.
AS ALWAYS, THE MORE THINGS CHANGE AT CARDIFF CITY, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME

Sheff Weds 1 Cardiff City 0 - the meeja reports

CardiffCity.com
BBC online
ic Wales, United Kingdom
Times Online, UK

FOOTBALL LIVE REPORTS
Sportinglife.com, UK
Teamtalk.com, UK
Sportbox, UK
FansOnLine.net, UK

Your Sunday Religious Messages

These are genuine content that appeared

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.'

DAVE MOANS at it again, everyone else to blame

For the third successive Saturdy, Cardiff City fans' build up to the game has been reading incredibly negative comments for within the club.

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

Theatre Review: THE 39 STEPS at New Theatre, Cardiff

I'm not one for theatre but found myself going for the second time in a month.

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.

Matt Smith on ,loan to Newport?

Having played against them in midweek, it would appear that Cardiff teenage left back Matt Smith, identified by Dave Jones as a future first=teamer, is heading to County as a loan player for the rest of the season.

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.

FREE BEER on CARDIFF CITY

Oh the Joys of Ambassadoring!

See link:
http://www.cardiffcityfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10335~1247799,00.html

WANT TO SEE WHAT YOUR £5 per GALLON BUYS?

DUBAI in 1990


SAME STREET IN 2003


SAME STREET IN 2007


QUESTION IS ...
If the bulk of UK petrol goes on tax and fuel duty, how come Splott doesn't look like this?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

FOOTBALLERS ARE THICK

Step forward Colin Kazam-Richards ex-Bury, Brighton and Sheffield United. I remember Brighton got him after winning £250,000 on a Coca Cola promotion and, when there, he scored a cracked at Ninian Park against City.

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.

DANNY KELLY:
Is it really true that animals get sacrificed for the cause of the football team?

KAZIM-RICHARDS
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!!!

WTF! :>)

Hull Home Game Put Back 24 Hours to March 12th

The Bluebirds' Championship home game with Hull City next month has been put back a day to Wednesday March 12th (7:45pm kick-off).

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.

Rambo's Development

An interesting article in today's Western Mail on Cardiff City prodigy, Aaron 'Rambo' Ramsey.

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/footballnation/cardiff-city-fc/2008/02/21/style-of-aaron-91466-20502338/

US ELECTION COMMENT


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Peter Enckleman download from Cardiff City phone-in on GTFM tonight

Enckleman was the guest and gave a really good account of himself.

If you're interested in listening or downloading for your MP3, the link to do that is here. Enjoy!

http://www.mediafire.com/?d0py02d1j2g

West Brom's journo moans about Cardiff City and the FAW Tinpot Trophy

http://blogs.birminghammail.net/westbromwichalbion/2008/02/c%20ardiff-should-be-thrown-out-o.html

Yep he's OTT but he has a point.

DING DONG, THE FAW TINPOT TROPHY IS DEAD! (newpaper City v County reports)

Here's The Echo report on Cardiff v Newport from tonight's game.

The one good thing to come of it is the Echo stating that this is the final ever season for this useless competition.
Halle-feckin-juah!!!

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
10:17am today
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
9:43am today
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
9:26am today
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

Aftre beating City, it's business as usual in Newport







Tuesday, February 19, 2008

City v County pics - crap pics of a crap match

If above link doesn't work, copy/paste this into your web browser:

MATCH REPORT: CARDIFF CITY 1 NEWPORT CONTY 1 *(Newport win on pen) FAW PREMIER CUP SEMI-FINAL

An empty Ninian Park, oh the glamour of the FAW Premier Trophy





TUESDAY February 19th, 2008

FAW MICKEY MOUSE WASTE OF SPACE BOWLING BALL TROPHY SEMI-FINAL - at NINIAN PARK



CARDIFF CITY (0) 1
Thompson 118


NEWPORT COUNTY (0) 1
Bowen 117

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!


Almost as many cops as fans

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.

COUNTY FANS

There must have been 10 or more occasions that City broke into the box but either nobody took responsibility for shooting or passes went awry when it mattered. With Newport packing their box, it was stalemate but, again, when chances did arrive, they went to waste.

Newport created only sparse moments of danger. Forde had his first save as Gurney smacked a 25 yarder at him but as Jason Bowen (still looking silky at times but still falling about and even wearing gloves - wuss) sent the most feeble of headers to trickle to Forde, it produced a massive roar from County fans at the other end thinking it was going in! Jon Brown, for City, cracked one angle effort off the outside of the post and crossbar angle. Trevor Sinclair really should have shown his class and experience after another lung bursting Blake run set him up inside the area but he opted to take a touch and was blocked when he finally got round to shooting.

In the final moments of normal time, some interesting football as County caused a major panic and scramble in our box then City responded Webbe's volley cannoned off Thompson the Newport goalie while Darcy headed over when Thommo was better placed behind him. Believe me, everyone inside Ninian Park was gutted we now had another 30 minutes of extra time so couldn't go home (although quite a few did). I think I lost count of those saying, let's go straight to penalties and be done with it. It was too cold and too awful.

Darren Purse sprinted off at full-time, Anthony Acheampong replaced him and on we went into extra-time where, I admit, retreated to the warmth of the bar to join others and watch it on tv. Only Eskimos could have appreciated how cold it now was and still the football offered little to warm anyone up.

There were only two incidents of note in the first period of extra-time as Thommo headed over (tv showed him do it with his eyes closed off the top of his head) from point blank range in front of goal while City used their third sub, Sam Wade replacing Jon Brown. Wade looked as if he came to City straight after a day's work with Snow White. Is he City;s smallest ever player? He barely looked 5 foot. It's an appropriate surname, he must have to Wade through a street puddle! He had pace and looked a battler, good on him.

Newport brought on ex-Jack Julian Alsop which, at last, produced some heat as a collective "you Jack b*stard" chant rang out swiftly followed by "you fat b*stard" realising he's carrying a few excess pounds.

Just as we readied for penalties, the game dramatically came to life. City old boys combined as Damon Searle looped a cross t the far post where JASON BOWEN, of all people, was able to direct a header bottom corner. With 3 minutes remaining, it looked over for City until Glen Loovens went through the Newport midfield, fed THOMMO and his shot on the turn was perfect. 1-1.

City went for it and nearly grabbed a winner in the 120th and final minute when Sam Wade came in from the left, his shot across goal looked goalbound but was deflected a fraction wide.
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?

Lee Jarman's winning penalty


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?


SAM WADE pen

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!

My F.A. Cup Draw reaction in The Echo

It should have said we beat Middlesborough away during our last big F.A. Cup run in '94 so maybe history will repeat.




It's The Silly Season - EastEnders to be relocated to Cardiff?


Local media seem to be creating a story out of nothing by suggesting EastEnders are seeking a new home for filming and Cardiff is a contender. They have to be joking!



Can't imagine them eating Clarks Pies in the Queen Vic or drinking Brains Dark!


More practically, no way would those London luvvies base themselves here and, it's reciprocal, keep those miserable b*stards and those depressing soap away from us please.



ic Wales - United Kingdom






Guess Who Got The Sak?

Cardiff City have signed Erwin Sak, an 18 year old Polish goalkeeper. Sak is in the squad for tonight's FAW Bowling Ball semi-final trash ... sorry clash ... versus Newport County but is expecting to be a substiture.

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 ... ... ...

CARDIFF HAS ITS FIRST LOGO

Everyone wants a logo these days and with towns and cities joining the craze to brand and publicise itself, Cardiff today laucnhed its own ... i London of course.

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.

Apparently it will show Cardiff is a progressive place and moves away fromthe stereotypical daffodils and dragons image. Those p.r./marketings bods eh?
Of course, the pseudos and arty-farties will now debate it. Some love it and think it a forward step, others will decry losing the old image and some say it's just a load of coloured smarties, a painter's board or an old telephone keypad coloured in.
I think most of us couldn't bloody care.






Monday, February 18, 2008

BRIAN HARRIS R.I.P.

Brian Harris the 3rd from the right in the front row.


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

F.A. CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW: CITY AWAY at MIDDLESBROGH or SHEFIELD UNITED

Cardiff are one game from Wembley but it;s certainly going to be tough after today's draw presented them with a tough and deflating tie at either Premiership Middlesbrough or Championship Sheffield United with Boro at home in the replay and expected to triumph.

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 ...
ic Wales

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Outing - Porthkerry Park, Barry



Another beautful February Sunday all over the U.K. so headed to Porthkerry Country Park and seafront in Barry. Altough much chilier than last weekend, it is just great to get out and about.


Here's some pics of a lovely place to visit.


If you can't access pictures in this above link, copy/paste this into your web browser:
http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/I.jsp?c=z44xjkd.1vdkvssw9&x=0&h=1&y=4erh6i

I'VE NOT BEEN THIS EXCITED ABOUT WEMBLEY SINCE THE MERCANTILE CREDIT CENTENARY TROPHY

That Mickey Mose of all Mickey Mouse competitions is the closest we've ever been in my lifetime until today (well not really, I forgot we lost to Northampton in a play-off semi in '97 but that's ruin the story).

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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Holiday on Ice, ROMANZA at Cardiff CIA



Valentine's Night and the missus wanted to see Kyran Bracken Dancing On Ice. Now I didn't mind that too much but she also wanted to drag me along to watch her do this!!

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:

Ledley Bodyshock - Out for 4 Weeks

Our worst fears were today confirmed, Joe is out for a while with a hamstring tear.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

MATCH REPORT: COVENTRY CITY 0 CARDIFF CITY 0

TUESDAY February 12th, 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

March 20 - MEN'S DAY

Every 14th of February we get the chance to show how much we appreciate our wives, girlfriends, mistresses or secretaries by showering them with gifts, flowers,
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....