Wednesday, April 30, 2008
One betting company have even reduced the odds of the single going straight to Number 1 when it is officially released shortly to 5/2.
These are crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, times.
Every radio station and every English club believe Cardiff City get favouritism from the FAW when reality is the exact opposite.
If they're gobsmacked that Purse's red card was rescinded, we're doubly so ... at least!
DARREN PURSE himself is so delighted that he chose to issue a statement via Cardiff City's official website, also expressing his score for Andy Cole's antics and outburst which were out of order. See this > http://www.cardiffcityfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10335~1301621,00.html
Meanwhile, and understandably so to a large extent, the reaction elsewhere is football is suspicious about a cosy relationship between City and the FAW (if only!) and quite outraged by what has happened. Websites, newspapers and radio stations all passing comments. The reaction in Burnley is predictably scathing and QPR's website is another example of the general mood.
It has opened a can of worms including whether Cardiff City should report to the English F.A. or F.A.W. (Football Association of Wales). There's an increasing view around here that Cardiff should join the F.A., especially given their recent decision to allow us into Europe if we pull off a shock in the Cup Final, and I've certainly warmed up to this also.
Contrary to the belief now going around England after Purse's red card being rescinded, City really do get a raw deal off the Football Association of Wales (FAW) who treat those clubs not playing in the Welsh system - that's Cardiff, Swansea, Wrexham, Newport, Merthyr and Colwyn Bay - with scant regard.
They're a geriatric, shambolic organisation in many ways (geriatric literally as I think almost half the members are over 70!) seemingly incapable of dealing with the professional game. We've been banished from the opportunity to represent Wales in Europe, despite promises virtually every year for more than a decade, that they will sort it out.
It's only history and legislation that means we have to deal with the FAW even though we'll never play in their system. The relationship has become increasingly fractured and there have been a few spats between City and the FAW, so many over poor red card decisions they refused to overturn when it is widely believed they would be rescinded by the FA. Cardiff even had a player sent off earlier in the season where an appeal couldn't be heard until almost a week later and they couldn't get a committee together to consider it! This is only the second time in more than a decade they've overturned a Cardiff red card so whatever went on this time, there's no way we get a better deal overall.
What is interesting is that Peter Ridsdale and the FAW had their latest public fall out just last Friday with Peter Ridsdale issuing a statement on the club's official website and a veiled threat to leave the FAW - see link. http://www.cardiffcityfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10335~1298127,00.html
There's been a barrage of anti-FAW sentiment from the club over the past year or two, much of it over their poor treatment of the club, especially with just appeals. There is a feeling with many of us that this was some sort of political decision to try and heal a rift.
I don't feel there is any benefit any longer with FAW and we usually get a raw deal and, of course, the English League is where we've always been and where we always want to be.
The funniest thing is, all being well, there is no way Darren Purse will be anymore than a non-playing sub in the Cup Final and many Cardiff fans will be praying it's no more than that.
He has been an increasingly liability and had a terrible season. A nice bloke but in decline. He's Captain but not good enough to get a game - he only played at Burnley last weekend because we rested other players - and when he does play, it's often a story of error-prone games with cock ups costing goals, missed penalties, own goals, red cards and very few highs. There's a few of us now fretting this will bite us on the bum - Purse is 33/1 locally to score an own goal in the Cup Final ... some think those odds are generous! :>)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This one is an update of Helen Love's Cardiff City Superstars to the Banana Splits theme tune but has been updated for City Wembley F.A. Cup appearance. The track features members of Helen Love and Super Furry Animals, the recording is the brainchild of a Bluebirds fan associated with the artists. At the time of this posting, I'm unsure which SFA members took part.
If clicking the link doesn't work then right click and save.
You can currently hear both tracks on their my space site. Well worth a listen.
It’s hard to imagine a more disagreeable, disliked character in football than Alun Evans (and we have enough competition) but his latest outburst has left him a limb. Peter Ridsdale expressed his anger at Evans’ comments on the City official website, with talk of Cardiff joining the F.A. and now the FAW have officially distanced themselves from the buffon.
Media reports are strong today that Middlesbrough, conquered in the 6th Round of the F.A. Cup by Cardiff, are keen on Johnson with some hints that their boss Gareth Southgate has already made an official approach for the player who had a starring role in the cup game defensively and scoring the vital second goal.
However surely the figures being quoted for his offer - £1.2M to £1.5M – are unrealistically low and City would not entertain business at that price. I’m hoping Roger remains at the club, he’s next season’s Captain in my opinion.
Keep him City!!
What surprises me more however is the extent to which Dave Jones has stood by the player who, apart from odd flashes and one short spell of form, offered very little to The Bluebirds this season. “A fully fit Robbie Fowler next season will give us 20 goals” claims the City boss this week.
Is it me or does anyone else wonder how he has such belief that will happen?
Fowler turned 33 years old this month, has only scored 46 league goals in almost 7 years (so many of them being penalties), is severely lacking in pace and physicality and has been injury prone for a long while. City have an option to extend Fowler’s contract by a year, the same option exists with Hasselbaink. It is likely only one will stay but despite Jimmy being the bigger success this season, he is older and slowing fast. All indications from NP Towers are that Fowler will remain at the club, Jones’ latest comments appearing to be confirmation.
That is a genuine shock, I really didn't see that one coming.
Just told the boy that Darren Purse's red card is rescinded and that he can now be involved in the F.A. Cup Final. His reaction: "That's not fair". :>) He's not a big Purse fan.
Really pleased for Purse but, without doubt in my mind, he's very lucky. Dare I suggest it's almost political given the current rift and feeling between City and FAW?
When I think of all the far more unjust red cards they upheld, including Hasselbaink's at Colchester recently, it's amazing this one got overturned.
Still onwards and upwards.
After Chelsea beat Man United to open up the Premiership title race, Man United players got involved in a kerfuffle (I like that word) with Chelsea stewards. Check this video which the F.A. will take a dim view about when it is just funny.
Build her up in blue and white, blue and white, blue and white ...
Jenkins to sing at FA Cup finalThe Press Association
The song, Violet Hill, is the band's first single from their new album Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends and will be as a free download for 7 days only via http://www.coldplay.com/ from 12.15pm today. The album will be released on June 12 with 10 tracks produced by Brian Eno and Markus Dravs
Not everyone's cup of tea I know - and hated as much as they are loved, if not more so - but I'm a little partial to them remembering them starting out with Welsh connections hanging about with guys from Neath, their guitarist is Welsh and I even recall one of their early gigs at The Queens Vaults in Westgate Street, Cardiff. They've come a long way.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Game on as both sides now face the dilemma of which players to select, rest and treat ahead of May 17. Cardiff have only this Sunday’s meaningless encounter with Barnsley to go while Pompey have two games including their last match 6 days before the final.
City remain concerned over Paul Parry who is back in full training and hasn’t played since before the semi-final. He is likely to be available for Sunday but will he be risked? Playing skipper Steve McPhail went off injured at Burnley last weekend but is set to be ok for the Final although likely to be rested against Barnsley. With Darren Purse almost certain to be suspended, Cardiff now only have two centre-halves in Loovens and Johnson so will either or both be risked this weekend, it’s not an easy decision. The other query is Robbie Fowler who could be thrown into the fray. It would be a crazy gamble, even as a sub, but City are hardly blessed for striking power so it could happen.
Pompey currently have only one worry but it’s a major headache for them as their star man, goalkeeper David James, has a torn calf so missed Pompey’s 1-0 home defeat to Blackburn yesterdaym, his first game missed in over 3 years and 166 games. Suggestions are that he’ll be ok for May 17 but is set to miss more games first.
I’d say there were strong arguments to include players like Joe Ledley, Roger Johnson and Glenn Loovens but it wasn’t to be.
If the Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music in Austria, the cellars seem to be crawling with the Sound of Incest.
This ain’t a story about the Von Trapps but a Family Trapped. You don’t even get this sort of thing going on in Swansea!
It’s the second time someone has been discovered hidden in a cellar in Austria for years within a short time but this one is truly shocking.
They have to try this route but I fear it will prove pointless and leave Purse short-changed (excuse the pun).
City have failed with far lesser appeals to the FAW than this one and only ever been successful once. Having seen it a number of times, it may have been mistimed and unintentional but was reckless and needless too. I'd be shocked if FAW don't see it the same way.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
It was a strange time to play a game - 7pm on a Sunday evening - but about 600 turned up with City fans at the Grange End of the Grandstand, a small band from Jackland at the Canton End and the Politburo - Ridders, Borley and Jones in the Directors Box.
Even with that meagre crowd, programmes sold out before kick-off so excuse me for not knowing all the names but as both sides lined up for the Welsh national anthem - in near complete silence, a contrast to how it will be at Wembley - it was already apparent that Cardiff's boys were a year or tow younger and an average couple of inches shorter than their Swansea counter-parts.
Swansea were mainly 18 year old and included their hot prospect Joe Allen in midfield. Cardiff, on the other hand, most of their senior Academy products several weeks ago and having already upgraded the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Darcy Blake to the senior were left with a group a year below the Jacks. The most popular player with the crowd - Walshie - was a Swans sub but recently released by Cardiff so warmed up with chants for him to do the ayatollah. The other Swansea subs were warmly greeted with the proverbial "you Jack b******s" by our kids in the crowd.
Employing a strange system that looked like 3-4-2-1, the neater passing and movement generally came from Cardiff but, much like watching the first team recently, City were completely lightweight up front and lack invention or punch in the final third. Swansea, on the other hand, were able to assert themselves going forward with a Big Number 9 who looked half-decent being the focal point of their attacks and Allen able to spray passes.
The closest City came was, perhaps, in the first 15 seconds as a dodgy looking Jack keeper - who almost dropped one mediocre shot into his own net 2nd half - kicked into an onrushing City player with the ball rebounding narrowly wide. City's only other effort at goal that half was an easy save as our Number 8, possibly a Somali player(?) who was the pick of our bench having a fine industrious game in midfield, made space but shot weakly. The half, and game, was characterised by City knocking it about comfortably but powerless to create where it really mattered. City's keeper, the Pole Erwin Sak, showed he has a great pair of hands and a decent boot but could do with a bit more height, much like the rest of our team.
A couple of other City players looked decent. Alun (or Aaron Morris) confirmed the good impression he made on me in the FAW Premier game vs Newport with a decent display as did our left-back James Bloom (son of The Echo's Mark) who looked composed and only played wayward passes late on. One of our boys who went off as first sub also played well. None however gave the impression that were close to the quality needed to join the first-team squad but, I guess, our players have another year or more to prove themselves unlike many of the Swansea contingent.
The game was going nowhere second half, you really couldn't see a goal coming. Cardiff tried to change things with Jon Brown, who has had recent first team experience, and Josh McGinness (our goalkeeper until Sak's arrival in January but now being tried as a forward!). Brown added pace but not much else, McGinness didn't really get much chance to shine.
And so we were set for extra-time, the only decision was whether to stay or whether you'd seen enough when, as the 4 minutes added time started, Swansea sent in an innocuous cross, Sak ran out and missed out in the crowd, the ball hit a Swansea head and rolled almost apologetically into City's unguarded net. In time honoured tradition, the scorer ran towards us doing the "swim away" action while the City crowd bayed what he was back at him. Lovely.
Final whistle went. Swans players celebrated crazy. Cardiff's boys fell to the pitch. We could go home.
They talk of;
- Bidding upto £10M for the player
- With £6M upfront and the rest based on appearances/success etc
- Two Man United players coming to Cardiff for next season
Sadly, no mention, as per Messageboard claims that Ramsey would stay on loan for next season.
The only thing for sure is that, right now, Aaron Ramsey is hotter property than Mayfair in Monopoly and worth considerably more too.
FULL-TIME: Burnley 3, Cardiff 3
Burnley v Cardiff City Match Report
WEMBLEY WOE FOR SAD PURSE
ROW OVER PURSE'S RED CARD
PURSE OFF AS COLE SEES RED
Football: Purse red puts Final in doubt
It's a good listen so grab yourself a cuppa and check it out.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
They came the mayhem in the form of six goals, controversy, twice City fighting back from behind to draw 3-3 and the bitter twist as the end as Darren Purse got a straight red card which will rule him out of the F.A. Cup Final in an incident that sparked chaotic scenes.
Dave Jones claims Cardiff are playing like they have a Cup Final on their minds. Conceding 9 goals in 3 games over 8 days after only 6 conceded in the previous 10 games tells you that alone. But he is also selecting teams with the Cup Final in mind.
Among those rested today were Kevin McNaughton, Gavin Rae, Roger Johnson, Joe Ledley and Peter Whittingham who all found themselves on the subs bench, no sign of back-up keeper Michael Oakes, as City lined up with Enckleman, Blake-Purse-Loovens-Capaldi, Sinclair-Scimeca-McPhail-Ramsey, Thompson-Hasselbaink.
The only action of the opening half hour was enough to send the admirable 600 Bluebirds in the crowd of 10,694 to snooze with only an Akinbiyi shot giving Enks a simple save to note but it came to life on 34 minutes when GRAHAM ALEXANDER played a one-two with Andy Cole on a run and finished smartly. City' didn't seem concerned as a linesman flag was raised but the ref overruled him and awarded the goal sparking protests. The player offside - Akinbiyi - was judged not to be interfering but it's natural to stop if a flag is raised. All of this was a prelude to a very unexpected 2nd half.
The game looked up on 53 minutes for Cardiff as Burnley doubled their lead with City offering little resistance - other than neat ineffective football - as Blake, Akinbiyi and COLE linked up smartly with the latter turning into an unguarded net from close range.
However within three minutes, it was 2-1 as JOE LEDLEY on as a half-time sub for the injured Steve McPhail converted a penalty with Trevor Sinclair making the most of being caught in the box.
City had perked up and added more pace when Whittingham replaced a poor Hasselbaink and 60 seconds later, they levelled it with AARON RAMSEY's 1st ever Bluebirds goal and a quality strike with a blistering 15 yard finish.
Cardiff looked the only winner at this stage even though Akinbiyi missed an open goal after Cole made Enckleman save but they fell behind again and conceded three goals in three successive games for the first time in 23 years with CLARK CARLISLE heading home unmarked from a Robbie Blake corner needlessly given away by Darren Purse with only 4 minutes to go.
The Bluebirds weren't finished though and, for the second time, scored three minutes after conceding as Whittingham's cross pinged in the box, Thommo and CALDWELL clashed and the ball deflected in off the latter for an o.g.
That should have been it but there was a twist in the tale and crazy drama as Darren Purse lost control on halfway and then caught Andy Cole with an ugly challenge, mistimed many believe, as the latter was set to steal the ball away. Purse, who has had the most hapless season possible characterised by being dropped from the team with an error-strewn game, own goals, missed penalties, red cards was shown a straight red which means he misses Wembley. Andy Cole didn't help persistently badgering the ref over the challenge. A crazy thing to do at the death of a meaningless game but if any player was likely to do something silly with a Cup Final around the corner, there's always a chance Purse will be that man.
It still wasn't finished as Purse went down the tunnel and was followed by Andy Cole chasing him down, followed by Hasselbaink and Johnson from the bench and followed by some coppers. Both sides have played this down but Cole never returned to the pitch leaving both sides with 10 men to finish.
The result leaves City in 13th and means a Top 10 place in now out of reach with only Barnsley at home next Sunday afternoon to go. It's another mid-table finish, exactly as it has been every year since we returned to the Championship in 2003.
Cardiff in talks over foreign investmentic Wales
Bluebirds court new cash backersBBC News
Ridsdale would welcome fundingYahoo!
I'm starting to believe we've really made it to the F.A. Cup Final now!
On balance, I would personally like to see Kasper Schmeicel return as he's destined to leave Man City and impressed me far more.
Enckleman seems decent enough though even if he is prone to lapses but is hardly the big keeper that Dave Jones prefers and a factor in him releasing Neil Alexnader this time last season.
Enckelman set for extended City stint
ic Wales - United Kingdom
Friday, April 25, 2008
In fairness, it was started by the odious pork shuffling Alun Evans, the man repsonsible for City no longer being able to represent Wales in Europe, now saying it is wrong that The Bluebirds could represent England if they win the F.A. Cup.
The reason for that is that he says that he is trying to engineer a way to get us representing Wales again - even though he's failed to do that for a decade with the now defunct FAW Premier Trophy - and his method involves getting reserve teams in the League fo Wales, something the LoW don't want, let alone the clubs by all account.
Peter Ridsdale has reacted angrily by putting a public statement on the CCFC Official Website - something that used to be a weekly event but this has been his first in a while, maybe he was getting withdrawal symptoms.
For what little it's worth, here's the thoughts of Chairman Pete.
Ridsdale hints at a new future for Cityic Wales
Thankfully, we've not long to wait for his latest offering although he's taken the novel step of releasing it vinyl only at first. The Man who sings Everyday I Write The Book certainly does nothing by it.
Those who have heard the material describe it as blistering and it seems he is carrying that from into gigs Stateside. Here's hoping he does the same in ther UK later this year.
The King Is Dead, Long Live Elvis.
The link to his rambling but funny mesage on his Web site - elviscostello.com - sees EC explain Momofuku "is a tribute to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of the Cup Noodle. Like so many things in this world of wonders, all we had to do to make this record was add water."
The recording sessions grew out of the work Costello had been doing in the studio with Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis on her second solo effort. Lewis and her boyfriend Jonathan Rice appear on Momofuku, along with Costello's band The Imposters.
OK, it's far from a terrace anthem and it's a throwaway piece of pop (although better than many of its ilk) but it is a great momemto of an occasion unlikely to happen again in our lifetimes.
Burnley are 12th on 61 points, City 13th on 60th - yep, it's is the proverbial end of season mid-table obscurity meaningless encounter.
Thoe home side are set to try a couple of youngsters while City, with Parry still unavailable by all accounts, probably aren't flushed with too many options to shuffle the pack but will be looking for a better performance at both ends of the pitch with more bite and sharpness after those 3-2 and 3-0 defeats respectively at Scunthorpe and Wolves in the past week.
Once again, Dave Jones warns Wembley places are up for grabs but, let's be honest, with our squad and resources, nobody's place is really in doubt, is it? That's something that simply has to change next season.
City stars given Wembley warning
Burnley v Cardiff City: MacDonald's chance?
Halifax Evening Courier
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It's incredible to think this time last year, Dave Jones wouldn't play him for City and preferred David Forde. Weakening the side by getting rid of Neil and leaving us play the first half of this season with the inadequate Ross Turnbull is one of many reasons why City fell away in their half-hearted play-off challenge anyway.
It's been quite a week for Neil - last weekend, he saved 2 penalties to take Rangers to the Scottish Cup Final.
I bet he never thought he would be achieveing all of this 12 months ago and nobody thought Cardiff City would be in the F.A. Cup Final either. What a year for both.
F.A. to CITY "YES, You can represent England in Europe and YES, you can have the Welsh national anthem" - THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Cardiff offered European carrotBy India eNews
Should Cardiff be allowed to represent England in the Uefa Cup?By Times Online
Cardiff City win the right to play in Uefa CupTimes Online
Cardiff's UEFA Cup green lightFOXSPORTS.com.au
Cardiff can go to UEFA Cup if it wins FA CupSI.com - USA
FA give Cardiff Uefa Cup incentiveguardian.co.uk
Soccer-FA give Cup finalists Cardiff green light for UEFA CupReuters.uk
FA approves Cardiff for Uefa CupNews Full LottoMan.pl - http://www.full.lottoman.pl
Parry returns to training ahead of the Burnley clash
Parry returns to training ahead of the Burnley clash
Bearing in mind, Dave Jones needs new players and the millions that have flooded into the club over the season seems to have disappeared ... sorry been absorbed ... does anyone doubt that we have to sell a Ledley or Ramsey (or both) in order to buy?
Ridsdale: Cardiff City will sell stars
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Cardiff, of course, won the F.A. Cup on April 23rd 1927 (St George's Day) and the only time the Cup was taken away from England ... until Cardiff City win it again on May 17th 2008 of course!!
The main obsession with our English friends is that today was St George's Day when their patron siant - a Turk! - supposedly slayed a dragon. While the Celts have been fierecely patriotic and pround, the English have always been reticent and embarrassed but in recent years, they finally recognise it.
It's quite touching that England have finally discovered patriotism, took them long enough.
Seems there now a clamour to make it national holiday - just what we need with 2 other April bank holidays for Easter and 2 more in May. Of course, Wales would have to have one in March.
Without question, we should have an extra public holiday or two in UK, think we have the least in Europe(?) but l;et's be sensible enough to get them in summer rather than cram them all between December to May with an odd one in August?
Some players haven't worked out at the club - Warren Feeney anyone? - others were low term gambles that may come to a natural conclusion (cue the combined Century+ of Hasselbaink, Fowler and Sinclair) and then there are the crown jewels widely recognised and even more in the shop window than usual with City reaching the F.A. Cup Final and it's safe to say that list will include Kevin McNaughton, Roger Johnson, Glenn Loovens and, most wanted, the homegrown duo of Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley.
The strongest sign yet that the club may lose real stars come with the appearance at the Wolves game last night of Everton boss David Moyes belived to be taking a personal check of Leds and Rambo. Neither played well last night, don't expect it to put him off.
You know the silly season is already taking off when messageboard rumours also believe City could be bringing back the mercurial Jason Koumas.
Moyes eyeing up Cardiff City stars
ic Wales - United Kingdom
I admire all our fans who went as each are supporters of the highest order to go away midweek for a nothing match under the regime of bubble match restrictions too.
I have been unwell this week, like DJ, so couldn't make it but wouldn't have bothered had I been well. Saving it for Wembley. Everything else is just a run-up to it as far as I'm concerned as we've been little more than a mid-table to Top 10 club all season in reality although, when our main 11 are fit and available, then we're as good as anyone in this division.
I was a little surprised by some claims that City weren't trying hard enough although it is conceivable. Ask yourself if you'd go flying in for a match with little consequence when the only chance you'll have of a F.A. Cup Final appearance is around the corner. It's natural to think twice.
However I'm not sure it was strictly a case of City not trying, it sounded like they were the better passing and move side for long periods, but our inability to do something in the final third unless one of our midfielders produces a piece of magic.
Thommo and Jimmy having been taking it in turns up front with Parry injured but their collective 2008 league tally is three goals (all Jimmy's) in 32 outings. Paul Parry missing makes us look the most ordinary side in the Championship up front. As soon as he went absent, any play-off hopes were gone no matter how much they talked it up. It's the lack of resources that gives us inconsistency.
For two seasons, Dave Jones has given us good runs and terrible runs with no happy medium. Just look at the records. So why be surprised that an 11 match unbeaten run is followed by 2 successive defeats?
That unbeaten run came after 6 games without a win and just 2 points which immediately followed a great run with Dave Jones getting Manager of the Month but that only came after a terrible run when many wanted him sacked. Rollercoaster Ride? They don't have as many ups and downs as the CCFC version.
Cardiff City are frustratingly inconsistent but it is time to invest in this team to gave DJ more numbers and extra quality ... fail to do that and the only sure thing I know is that we will get more of the same.
Burton disappointed with CardiffBBC Sport - UK
Wolverhampton 3 Cardiff City 0: Kightly breathes life into Wolves ...Independent, UK
Wolves start late chargeTelegraph.co.uk
McCARTHY: WOLVES STILL AT THE DOORSportinglife.com
Wolves ease past BluebirdsThe Press Association
Keogh pounces early as Wolves keep their play-off hopes aliveGuardian, UK
Wolves boost play-off hopesSky News
WOLVES AT THE DOORMirror.co.uk,
Kightly comeback gives Wolves hope as Wembley casts a shadow over ...Mail on Sunday
Kightly sparks easy victory for Wolves over CardiffBirmingham Post
Wolves stay baying at playoffs door By The Loneliest WolfFansOnLine.net
SYLVAN ON TARGET TO TEAR STRIP OFF CARDIFFDaily Star
Kightly comeback gives Wolves hope as Wembley casts a shadow over ...Daily Mail
Wolves keep playoff hopes aliveSetanta Sports
Wolverhampton 3-0 CardiffSportbox
Wolves 3 Cardiff 0expressandstar.com
Championship: Wolves at double to give Cardiff the bluesNorthampton Chronicle & Echo
Bluebirds crash to heavy Molineux defeatic Wales
WOLVES AT THE DOORMirror.co.uk
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It had been coming for a liong time. The club had given up by releasing players and giving the kids a go but the damage was done a year ago after the club survived on the final day of the season but failed to build or do anything about it. It seems incredulous they were back there straight away and are now goners.
My sympathies go with Wrexham followers.
I've been unwell for a few days so didn't make the trip but wouldn't have bothered if ok as it was a "bubble" coach only game and City had nothing to play for. Little wonder only 300 City fans, at most, showed up. Also missing was boss Dave Jones, ill with a chest infection, he probably won't have lost too much sleep over having to stay at home. Terry Gibson was in charge.
With attacking resources in a mess, thankfully Paul Parry is back in training, City opted for a 4-4-1-1 system with Joe Ledley playing behind Hasselbaink and, later, Thommo. It never worked, it is pretty desparate.
Cardiff's side were Enckleman, McNaughton-Johnson-Loovens-Capaldi, Whittingham-Rae-McPhail-Ramsey, Ledley, Hasselbaink.
City started well but were behind on 8 minutes as ANDY KEOGH headed home a cross, simple stuff.
The rest of the half belonged to City as they had well over 60% of possession and played the football that was easy on the eye but they offered nothing in the final third and rarely threatened to bother the ageing slown centre-half duo of Craddock and Breen for the home side. It's been the story far too often this season.
To make it worse, Wolves dobled their lead on half-time as City cleared one cross but not the danger, a second cross saw EBANKS-BLAKE head home his 24th of the season. What we've give to have someone who had half that total.
Any remaining interest in listening to the game on the radio - as I was - ended on 55 minutes as Enckleman saved an Ebanks-Blake shot but KIGHTLY was first to react and sweot home the rebound.
The rest of the game, in a highly subdued atmostphere in the 20,862 crowd, was little more than a runabout, Wolves happy with their position, Cardiff happy to avoid further damage. A consolatioon was denied by Wayne Hennessey making late saves, one apparently stunning from Hasselbaink.
All the talk of the play-offs are City are likely to end in perfect mid-table obscurity yet again. In 13th place with 15 wibns, 15 draws, 14 defeats and +1 goal difference, almost perfect symmetry.
Five seasons of mid-table obscurity, the last three with Jones, have all been hampered by the club's financial position and an inability to buy/loan through the season when the club have got themselves into promising positions.
Dave Jones knows he will be a man in demand - Celtic are rumoured to have him top of their list if, as some believe, Gordon Strachan leaves the club this summer - but I'm sure he'd l;ike to see the job through at City. Having guided them to a F.A. Cup final and had no money to spend while the club have banked more than £12 Million with player sales and cup runs, it is time for Jones to call the shots and he's sent out his warning shot.
Good move by Jones, over to you Ridders.
Dave Jones wants to splash summer cash
ic Wales - United Kingdom
Monday, April 21, 2008
That's why it's so important to have your eye makeup perfectly applied.
If it weren't for the excellent application of proper eye makeup this young lady probably wouldn't get a second look from most guys.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Here, Roy Jones Jr. - someone who, like Hopkins, seems to have previously avoided Calzaghe - is now talking about it himself.
Jones targets Calzaghe in CardiffBBC Sport - UK
Calzaghe's king of Las Vegasic Wales, United Kingdom
JONES EYES CARDIFF CLASH WITH CALZAGHE Sportinglife.com
Joe Calzaghe-Bernard Hopkins round-by-round Telegraph.co.uk
Boxing: Calzaghe wins on points ic Wales
Calzaghe relieved after winning uglyGuardian, UK
Joe Calzaghe v Bernard Hopkins: round by roundTimes Online
Boxer Calzaghe remains unbeaten with split decision over Hopkins
Calzaghe Recovers From a Rocky Start To Beat Hopkins By Split DecisionEastsideBoxing.com
Split Decision Goes To Joe CalzagheSo Hood, NY
Calzaghe Vs. Hopkins: The View from the BritsBleacher Report, CA
Calzaghe wins split decisionRegina Leader-Post, Canada
Calzaghe edges Hopkins in split decisionKRIS-TV, TX
There are far too many factors and all are legitimate - finances, the wafer thin squad, the inability to add to it through the season, the lack of a suitable replacement for Neil Alexander until November, club finances, that legal wrangle verus Langston, the relative failure of the Hasslebaink-Sinclair-Fowler high waged trio although Jimmy has done well, the lack of support at times. That's all off the pitch matters which gravely affected any Premiership or play-off push.
However City will be looking at themsleves on the field too. Many recall those last minutes missed penalties at Ninian Park to give away points, three away leads at Sheffield, West Brom and Watford being gifted away at the death and other bad performances and results.
Away form is has just verged on acceptable but isa characterised by far too many draws (11 and counting) although, currently lying in 12th, every aside above City with the exception of Ipswich have collected at least 3 more points on the road and about 10 on average. Two early season away wins have been followed by just two more wins in the last 19 Championship away days.
Perhaps what really killed us at the death, despite that 10 game unbeaten run, just ended - and during it too - were poor results against the strugglers. It's been a Cardiff trait to perform against the best sides but fail against the worst and here we go again.
Playing yesterday's bottom four in recent weeks - Colchester, Sheffield Wednesday, Scunthorpe and Leicester - City collected just 1 point out of 12, just not good enough at what was the "business end of the season".
ROGER JOHNSON TALKS ABOUT SOME LOST POINTS TO THE ECHO
Will City rue missed chances?ic Wales - United Kingdom
FA Cup finalists sunk by Iron
Dismayed Jones blasts ref
All above from Scunthorpe Telegraph
Play off blow for ’Bullied’ Bluebirdsic Wales - United Kingdom
Jones: Referee ‘useless’ic Wales - United Kingdom
Scunthorpe 3-2 CardiffBBC News - UK
CARDIFF CITY boss Dave Jones lashed out at referee Phil Joslin ...ic Wales - United Kingdom
Scunthorpe 3 Cardiff 2Teletext.co.uk
Scunthorpe 3-2 CardiffSunday Mirror, UK
Scunthorpe 3-2 CardiffSportbox, UK
Scunthorpe v CardiffSportinglife.co.za, UK
Not a classic fight, far from his best performance, he never had a big round but to go into the Lion's Den, take on B Hop, recover from that 1st round knockdown and a cagey first three or four rounds which clearly affected him for some time just shows why he's unbeaten as a pro and a living legend. I can think of many who would have caved and let it get to them, Joe never did.My heart was in my mouth at the end when it went to the judges, more so that he won on a split decision but the right man won, the best man won.
Respect to B Hop though even though I hope I don't see him fight again, the man's a spolier and a negative fighter who shouldn't have been allowed to get away with some of his antics but you got to admire his fitness.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
As is now custom, Dave Jones made changes but mainly to accommodate players available after injury. No sign of Paul Parry but back were Glen Loovens, Joe Ledley and Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink. Scunnie made changes too with one eye on League One next season.
The game was poor quality and quite unremarkable, typical end of season fayre by all accounts, with all the real drama taking place either side of half-time at in the final moments.
A poor first half, Scunnie started brightly, City responded with Ledley, Ramsey and Loovens (twice) going close but in added time, Rae and Ledley linked, HASSELBAINK finished superbly for his 9th of the season but his first league goal for two and a half months since netting at Stoke.
In that Stoke game, Hasselbaink missed chances to have scored more and won the game for Cardiff and lightning struck twice as he missed two sitters at the start of the second half, one coming off the inside of a post when it was easier to score.
Cardiff were rocked and made to pay for their lax low intensity attitude as they dramtically conceded two goals in three second half minutes to be 2-1 behind on 56, both goals the result of uncharacteristically poor defending.
HAYES flicked home a corner unchallenged from close range and then, caught playing offside, Hayes turned provider to find HURST to rifle home. This was the first time Peter Enckleman conceded more than 1 goals since joining City and it came at a point when he looked set for another clean sheet.
However The Iron could only hold their lead for 3 minutes as JOE LEDLEY thundered,home a low edge of area drive to send the 600+ travelling Bluebirds into joy. With half hour left, City looked set to go on and win it but despite pressure, possession and territory, Cardiff struggled to make any in-roads with the lack of pace and likeness of Thommo and Hasselbaink particularly ineffective.
Jones made changes - Whittingham for Hasslebaink with Ramsey advanced - then Sinclair for McNaughton before they were caught by a sucker punch deep in added time as they pushed forward knowing a win was the only good result. Scunnie soaked it up, broke and full back Williams was upended in the box by Loovens, HAYES smashing home the penalty for the winner and his second of the game but only his fifth of the campaign.
Not everyone will see it this way but I felt it was a relief. I didn't want Cardiff City busting a gut with too small a squad for an outside chance of the play-offs.To have gone full tilt for another 3 games and then 2 play-off matches in the week before the Cup Final for a chance of going back to Wembley the week after would have been too much. And let's be honest, in our current shape, we'd be embarrassing in the Premiership right now.Now we can hopefully pick up results but not overly risk players who aren't 100%, ease back Parry and then go for it May 17th.We can try again for the play-offs next year, we'll never have another go in a F.A. Cup final in our lifetimes.
All the games are must win but today is one they should be expected to do that playing at already relegated Scunthorpe United. The pressure is off the home side but they're not as bad as Colchester and did take a worthy point at Ninian Park earlier in the season but that was when City were at a low.
Special mention must go to the Scunthorpe Telegraph whose front page headline reads, "F.A. Cup Finalists in Town" - fantastic!
Here's a quick round up of news snippets ahead of the game.
Cardiff cannot slip up - JohnsonBBC News - UK
Cardiff City injury boost for Scunthorpe gameic Wales - United Kingdom
CARDIFF City step up their chase for Championship glory in ...ic Wales - United Kingdom
Bluebirds boss Jones joins City sick listic Wales - United Kingdom
Penarth to Minehead is 96 mile while Swansea to Ilfracombe is greater than a journey to London at 174 miles and not the easiest drive in heavy summer traffic. So a 13-15 mile crossing alternative makes sense on a distance/time level but is it really viable?
Would enough people be willing to be foot passengers only to justify this? Who would really want to go often to Ilfracombe or Penarth? I suppose Minehead may work for Butlins visitors!!
It has been tried several times before - I remember a hovercraft doing a Barry Island to Minehead route about 15 - 20 years ago (maybe longer) but they never seem to last.
Be interesting to see if this one takes off.
Plan for Wales to get Channel ferries
Friday, April 18, 2008
How brilliant is that? :>)
Video of weigh-in (see Joe in his City shirt in 1st minute)
Newspaper report (talking about Cardiff City shirts!)