Chopra on his 4 goal haul - click link below:
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
More tomorrow as I have limited time tonight.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Confirmation, a couple of weeks later, finally arrived today as Cardiff City announced a replacement sponsor in the form of another Far East Phillipine based betting website, SBOBET.com. However unlike the 777BallsUp, SBOBET are licenced and are also the club sponsors of Premiership outfit West Ham United. Naturally, the Bluebirds are both releived and delighted revealing that the deal is worth £250,000 a year for 2 seasons although much of that is believed to be bonus related.
The new sponsors will be unveiled at tomorrow's Championship home game against Derby County with the SBOBET.com logo on City shirts. The deal however means their name will also appear on replica shirts, players' training wear and all club media platforms.
Cardiff City chairman and chief executive Peter Ridsdale said: "In these challenging times, it is very pleasing that the Club has secured a sponsorship contract with such a significant partner as SBOBET. We look forward to working with SBOBET, who are making a most meaningful contribution to enabling Cardiff City to realise our considerable potential. Our new relationship with SBOBET also underlines the fact that Cardiff City, which has grown massively as a club in recent years, is in a position to attract major sponsors."
So there you have it.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Yesterday at Sheffield Wednesday was unusual as we conceded early goals in the opening minutes of both halves but City starting slowly is getting to be a bad habit and one of far too many bad signs at the moment as frustrations take hold.
This season, we've gone behind in the opening phases to Doncaster, Newcastle, Aston Villa and yesterday of course. Even in games we've got results, we've started poorly. Scunthorpe could have scored inside 15 seconds against us, Bristol City had opening in the first 10 minutes before we got into the game and battered them.
To me, they are going out on the pitch with the wrong attitude. They tend to start one-paced and stand off sides and surrender early momentum. The fact it keeps happening must go back to the dressing room and how they are set up.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
CCFC - Hudson and Gerrard haven't convinced as a defensive unit and many thought Gyepes would get a start after a good show at Aston Villa in midweek but Dave Jones preferred to give the under-fire pair another go. Post-game, that fire has only increased with scorn poured on DJ too.
However Jones opted for a tactical change rather his ingrained 4-4-2 but trying a fluid 4-3-3 come 4-5-1 unit with Marshall; Matthews-Gerrard-Hudson-Kennedy; Whittingham-Ledley-Rae; Burke-Bothroyd-Chopra. The subs bench underlined how limited City are at present - no attacking midfield option and a rookie kid forward.
SWFC - The Owls came into the game with 3 losses and a solitary point from their last 4 outings and not much love for their skipper and last season's Bluebirds skipper Darren Purse - he's also scored an own goal already this season, no change there then! However Purse out-performed Mark Hudson on the day which is quite damning.
++++ THE MATCH ++++
City can be accused of starting games too slowly and after going behind to Aston Villa inside 2 minutes on Wednesday night, Sheff Weds had to wait all of 4 minutes to score this time and, once again, defending was at fault as Hudson was turned far too easily by Varney and the skipper pulled him down just outside the box for a yellow card. The resulting ESAJAS free-kick went in low off a post with keeper Marshall not even attempting to move. Shocking stuff.
And it could have got much worse as The Owls hit the woodwork twice and City had two other let off but totally against the run of play, they levelled on 16 minutes as Bothroyd's flick on saw Chopra race clear and a charging Owls keeper Grant tug him. PETER WHITTINGHAM smartly converted the penalty. It was the first time all season that Cardiff had responded after going behind in a game.
Bluebird nerves settled and City started to have the better of it coming close twice and having Bothroyd and Chopra goal disallowed - the latter proving to be a completely wrong offside decision and causing further angst after City suffered the exact same fate at Villa Park in the week.
Half-time: SWFC 1 Cardiff City 1
Hopes were high that City would record 3 points but the second half was a complete disaster and started yet again with then loss of an early goal. Questions about our defending yet again as Esajas centred unchallenged and striker VARNEY was allowed to head home with no marker on him.
City got battered 2nd half and just didn't muster a shot on or off target. Any lingering hopes of a result were forgotten when Joe Ledley was dismissed for a second yellow card, City feeling his first card in the opening half was harsh while Wednesday secured victory as Esajas got his second assist, this time setting up CLARKE.
It could have been worse as the hosts peppered City's goal as the final on goal count was 12-1 in Wednesday's favour. Cardiff, Dave Jones and his men certainly look a sorry state right now.
Friday, September 25, 2009
DAVE JONES on video
OWLS boss Brain Laws on audio
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Here's a 4 minute cameo of last night's Carling Cup Round 3 defeat for The Bluebirds at Villa Park.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I am sure that all bar foolhardy ones amongst 3,500+ travelling Bluebirds at
City and Dave Jones will be pacified by a big improvement as battered pride was restored but, to me anyway, we seemed happy enough to take the 1-0 defeat. Every time City have gone behind this season, they have failed to hit back and have lost.
However they showed that they are more than capable of getting a result at
### Team News ###
CCFC - Enckleman; Matthews-Gerrard-Gyepes-Capaldi; Scimeca; Burke-Rae-Ledley-Whittingham; Bothroyd. Enks, Scimeca and Peter Whittingham were former Villa players.
ASTON VILLA are the first ever winners of this trophy now in its fiftieth year and have won it another 4 times since. Being 5th in the Premiership, attempting to get a Champions League spot, no matter how unlikely, would be their biggest aim but boss Martin O’Neil has to see the Carling Cup as his best (only?) chance of a trophy for the season. So it was no surprise to see a strong unit but even with prices pegged to £5/£15/£20, it didn’t pull in the punters as 22,517 had all the home sections looking sparse.
The background for home fans was whether one-time City target Nigel Reo-Coker would be involved after being removed from their squad for the weekend 2-0 win over Pompey after an argument (or scuffle) with O’Neill. The answer was that he still didn’t make the squad – can we have him on loan please Mr O’Neill???
### THE MATCH ###
Plenty of City fans had the day off or half day and made a full event of it – and showed all the signs of being out all day too! – but I was picked up from work in
This was the first competitive clash between the sides for almost 35 years but thanks to Euro’96 and a postponed City F.A. Cup game at
City fans were in two stands. The key one was behind the goal and looked overcrowded as some seats at the front were blocked off with netting leaving fans to block all the aisles and staircases it seemed. We were at the summit of the Doug Ellis stand to the side of the pitch which was some climb up 6 flights of stairs but had plenty of room.
City were, naturally, making all the noise and the side opened well but Villa’s first attack inside 2 minutes produce the goal that decided it and way too soft and simple it was. Scimeca’s poor pass was cut out, Carew was fed wide, Capaldi stood off and then stood off even more allowing the player to advance and send in a low ball unchallenged – his pass finding AGBONLAHOR in front of Gerrard and his crafty back flick left Enks stranded.
It could have been a trigger for collapse but City came striding back making Villa’s defence look troubled for a good half hour but City were too ponderous – always wanting an extra touch or failing with final passes – and when the chances came, they weren’t taken. The worst culprits being Ledley and Gyepes both putting free headers over when the target has to be hit.
Scimeca nearly atoned as 3,500 fans screamed at him to shoot, his deflected effort was clawed off the line and Bothroyd’s follow up caught the keeper’s legs but rolled across goal before being scrambled away, a terrific Bothroyd drive clipped the outside of a post. Chris Burke meanwhile went on a scintillating run beating three defenders but when the opening was there, he wanted to do even more and the chance had gone. Arrgh! Villa had two dangerous moments but Gyepes got in big hits to deny Agbonlahor.
However once this period subsided, the game became a bit of a non-entity. The home side in reasonable control but not doing much,
Half-time: VILLA 1 CITY 0
The key however is that our midfield just cannot impose themselves with the personnel we have. They all did decent jobs but Burke’s early dynamics had subsided, Ledley didn’t get forward, or attempt to do that, and we seemed to lack devil, pace and energy. Dave Jones’ public persona is calm, laid back and it seemed like City were trying to mimic his style! The game, to me, resembled a training work out rather and was anything but a full blooded cup tie.
Just before the hour, Villa broke clear and Gyepes gave away the most obvious penalty but James Milner – who was able to conduct proceedings in central midfield – struck a post with Enckleman going the right way.
City responded to that let off by throwing on Chopra for Scimeca but it wasn’t matched by more ambition otherwise with nobody showing the tempo, urgency and drive to worry the home side. City were doing well but that’s not to say it wasn’t comfortable for Villa.
Set pieces were wasted again. Two hit the wall (Chops trying one effort from over 30 yards away was ridiculous), one flew wide but Whittingham finally got one on target and made Guzman save – the first time that’s happened in a while!
City’s only other chance of note was Ledley sending a ball over the top, Chops reacted first but failed to connect at pace and an angle as Guzman charged out. Had he done so, I’m sure he would have scored.
Disappointingly, even in the final minutes, Dave Jones never gambled. No more subs until Wildig appeared in added time and no change in formation. However there was added time drama as a free-kick saw a scramble, the ball headed back in and Bothroyd turn home but the lino had his flag up before he shot … tv now shows that was a wrong call. Not that I’m surprised, the same lino had a few other calls wrong on the night – giving throw ins the wrong way and missing Chopra win a corner being prime examples.
A gallant effort and the side were warmly applauded at final whistle. Somehow I suspect they’ll be happy with that. A bit more belief and sharpness however and I’m convinced it could, and perhaps would, have been so much more.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Ahead of the game, AVFC have produced a podcast preview of the encounter.
On the other hand, you may not want to bother and I'm with you on that one!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday’s loss to QPR was bad … very bad very. Everything about it was less than we’ve seen this season … clue-less, rudder-less, spine-less. The list could be never ending.
During the inevitable angst and inquest – in which not too much wasn’t rubbished – there were two aspects that surprised me.
One was Dave Jones downing his front six, albeit mildly excusing Chris Burke, but opting to say little about his defence or midfield in public anyway. BUT WHY?
As crap as our forward line was, why should the defence be treated less harshly when neither full back showed desire to get forward, the defence as a whole lacked any pace or energy and the goals conceded, while problems started further up the field, saw our static back line trying to play offside while stood all over the field and then back off not knowing what to do allowing Routledge and Simpson to run amok for the other. Maybe three of those players being Dave Jones summer signings with a hefty £1.7 Million spent on them tempered his thoughts?
Of course, Jones also decided not to spend any money on our central midfield – the weakest unit of the side in the eyes of most fans – until the recent splash on Soloman Taiwo. Even when playing well this season, that unit has rarely convinced, often started slowly and, in truth, badly lack the personnel to turn it around. While I find the Jones Out calls by some a little laughable and an extreme over-reaction, his failure to act damns him … and, more to the point, City too.
The other aspect was Terry Phillips in the South Wales Echo calling it City’s worst home display since Frank Burrows last match as City were on their way to basement relegation a decade ago? Has his memory glossed over several appalling home displays under Dave Jones throughout his reign or has dementia set in? I know we’d all rather forget sh*te home displays but c’mon, let’s be real here. How can anyone, for example, overlook a whole year’s worth or relegation style results of football and results under Jones as recently as 2007 that took him to within 2 or 3 games of dismissal?
Here’s just a handful of unacceptable home shockers under Dave Jones – each on a par with last weekend or, undoubtedly with a few of these, even worse than the QPR debacle … and, believe me, this list isn’t complete either.
City put on two shocking displays to lose 2-0 at home to Charlton and 1-0 to Leicester with nothing to commend in either display save a spectacular 35 yarder own goal by Darren Purse.
A 1-0 home defeat to Southend was abject in the extreme in a season City started off as runaway leaders but were soon cut down to size.
Cardiff 1 Watford 3 – we started the season with 2 wins and then got mullered by The Hornets.
Cardiff 2 Reading 5 - it could have been 8
There were many more dire displays between 1999 and Dave Jones - a dire 3-0 Ninian Park stuffing by Colchester weeks before the play-off win being a stand out.
However even after Frank Burrows was sacked in 2000, even worse came when Cambridge pasted us 4-0 at Ninian and Bury winning here 2-0 was just as shocking.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Jones on video here
And click here to hear the reaction of QPR boss Jim Magilton
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A Jay Simpson first half brace put the Bluebirds away. Rangers won at a canter and didn't have to play well for their three points as City were far too easily dismantled lacking visible heart or fight. At times, they looked shockingly disinterested. Only tricky wideman Chris Burke should escape criticism on an afternoon when the new stadium lacked any atmosphere and was a completely sterile experience. 20,121 was the attendance - apparently minus 3,000 season ticket holders (they were the lucky ones) - but even so, you would never have known it.
QPR owner Fabio Briartore was forced to resign from the Renault F1 team in midweek after uncontested allegation of forcing a driver to crash in a Grand Prix, today he oversaw an even bigger crash.
***** TEAM NEWS *****
Steve McPhail started a 3 match ban for his Reading red card after an unsuccessful appeal but Dave Jones sprang a surprise by giving Solomon Taiwo his debut alongside Joe Ledley in midfield, Leds passing a fit fitness test to play while Paul Quinn started at right back after replacing the injured Adam Matthews in that role at Madejski on Wednesday night to have the dubious honour of marking Wayne Routledge. Miguel Comminges and Riccy Scimeca were added to the bench.
CARDIFF > Marshall; Quinn-Gerrard-Hudson-Kennedy; Whittingham-Ledley-McPhail-Burke; Bothroyd-Chopra. Subs:Enckleman, Gyepes, Comminges, Scimeca, Rae, Capaldi, Magennis.
QPR have had an unconvincing start to the season under Jim Magilton and blow hot and cold. However they have lost only once but drawn 4 of their 6 Championship games. All City eyes were on Wayne Routledge whom, it appears, would have been back at Cardiff had they sold Ledley or McCormack last month and raised the funds to complete a deal. All City eyes failed to notice last season's keeper Tom Heaton on the bench for them. Their midfield included Ben Watson on loan from Wigan whom City apparently tried to get last month - how badly we need someone of his ilk.
QPR > Cerny; Stewart-Gorkss-Borrowdale-Leighterwood; Routledge-Buzsaky-Rowlands-Watson; Vine-Simpson.
+++++ THE MATCH +++++
It wasn't so much a match as mismatch, such was City (non) effort, (non) work-rate (non) passing and (non) movement, and best glossed over so, thankfully, I will keep this brief.
The opening few minutes were uneventful but even with little hint of what was to come but it was clear that the livewires Routledge and Simpson were causing our all too static and one paced defence difficulties, a warning sign came as Simpson, on loan from Arsenal, broke clear but fired over. A promising edge of area free-kick was in a prime position for Whittingham but his tame effort went straight into the wall - just like 4 set pieces against Newcastle last week. Good to see the new state of the art training facilities are helping!
The opening goal was controversial and possibly/probably offside (I've yet to see tv footage) but showed up how limited the back four are. City appealed for offside but the uncontested lobbed ball towards goal and a deflected Vine shot come pass saw SIMPSON have the simple task of firing home under no pressure at all.
It was a lovely sunny and warm late summer day but there was rubbish on the pitch ... most of it wearing blue and white. City were clueless and lifeless in their attempts to get back into the contest. Taiwo was looking neat and tidy if uncreative but had had little to no help from City's wide men or forwards. When moved wide, the crossing and choices were poor but there was little spark in Chopra while Bothroyd looked like he would rather be somewhere, anywhere, else. However pumped balls in his general direction with no runners near or around him would be enough to bore anyone. It took half hour for City to have their first effort of note on goal, Ledley's effort had power but it was straight at Cerny.
Just after that, Rangers should have doubled their lead as Simpson once again found it way too simple to get behind City's defence but he fired wide when Vine was better placed and, of course, unmarked. That let off was temporary respite though as five minutes before the interval Taiwo and Ledley got in each other's way in comical fashion, the ball was moved to Routledge. He ran at City's defence, they decided simply to run backwards and Routs played in SIMPSON, again unmarked who blasted home hard and low. Maybe I'm being harsh having not seen it on tv but his shot didn't look central and I thought Marshall was slow getting down but he must have been bewildered and how unprotected he was.
The only good news for the club was that it was enough to send punters flooding early to the bars in need of a drink and the opportunity to get away from watching anymore with Rangers fans rejoicing at our disappearance.
Half-time: CARDIFF CITY 0 QPR 2
The fact it got no worse for City had more to do with The R's happy to consolidate and settle for what they had rather than any battling or fight back qualities by Cardiff. If the first half was desperate, this was a half that could have been sponsored by The Samaritans. Joe Calzaghe's hopeless dancing efforts on television were still more competent and convincing than this. Even saw normally placid and mild mannered fans shouting out their despair - and other assorted comments -- in the general direction of the pitch, players and even the manager.
City were dire, Quinn having to clear a corner off the line, then Vine hitting the post running in unopposed (of course) after Taiwo gave the ball away and was left looking like a rabbit in headlights. Dave Jones had to react removing the now shot Taiwo who had started well but whose game had fallen completely apart for Rae while Magennis was thrown on as the again invisible Whittingham was withdrawn.
Magennis showed enthusiasm and, finally some presence up front. It earned Jones' post-match praise along with Burke but, not wishing to be hard, it wasn't much to get too excited about. Magennis, like Chops and Bothroyd - didn't fire a single effort at goal. He could have though but when he found himself free with Cerny to beat, he panicked and his shot was horrid. At least he put himself about for the cause but if that's the positive Jones had to take from the game, it underlined just how pathetic an outing it was.
Riccy Scimeca played the final 25 for Bothroyd, the fact City removed a striker for a midfielder tells you everything you need to know about what a stinker Jay was having. He showed no appetite for the game at all and will get the scorn he deserves for that but the players in the dock are many.
Quinn looks limited, Gyepes will surely replace Gerrard or Hudson next game. If he finds his best from last season, he can replace both of them as far as I'm concerned! Kennedy offered little. Joe Ledley was unbelievably poor and Chops may have been on fire recently but he looks as if he has drowned now.
Dave Jones and his team need a heart-to-heart. Maybe there's not but that's the sort of performance that makes you wonder if there are problems behind the scenes. Certainly, if measured by attitude, commitment, movement and heart, we're a millio0n miles away from how we started this campaign yet results mean we are in 6th place and holding a play-off spot. Unless Jones sorts it out, McCormack and McNaughton return soon and he can move in the loan market, you have to speculate whether they can hold that position for long though.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The midfielder and former captain was sent off for the fifth time in Cardiff City colours - this time for serious foul play but Dave Jones is disputing that.
"It looks harsh, his foot is up but so is the other guy's but there's no contact." said DJ.
Ref Paul Taylor has agreed to reconsider the decision and the club are preparing a DVD of the McPhail incident for the Welsh FA disciplinary panel to review.
Jones added, "It's one of those challenges, the ball's up in the air, he knows the player's going to hook it on. It was a yellow card at best. I've asked Paul Taylor to have a look at it again, but we have to appeal before he can do that. He said to me that all of the people he didn't want to send off, it was Stephen McPhail. So I asked him not to send him off them but he has done it."
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Reading FC 0 Cardiff City 1
large periods of the game. ...
Wednesday, September 16, 2009