Monday, November 30, 2009

Championship - CARDIFF CITY 1 Ipswich Town 2 match report

A shocking 2nd half display - after an interval lead thanks to a wondrous Peter Whittingham strike - saw Cardiff City collapse 2-1 at home to Ipswich Town, the team conceding a late, late goal for the 4th time in 5 games. It was Cardiff City's third successive defeat and has seen Dave Jones follow up his October manager of the month award with 1 point out of 12 in November. Unacceptable and the fans let them know it.

***Team News***

CARDIFF CITY - Kevin McNaughton is out for another week but back into the squad after injuries came Kevin Etuhu, Jay Bothroyd, Anthony Gerrard and Adam Matthews. The only changes form the side that lost last kick at Barnsley a a week ago were Bothroyd for McCormack and Matthews for McNaughton
.
CCFC line up: Marshall; Matthews-Hudson-Gyepes-Kennedy; Burke-Rae-Ledley-Whittingham; Bothroyd-Chopra: Subs were: Enckleman-Quinn-Gerrard-Taiwo-Scimeca-Etuhu-McCormack.

IPSWICH TOWN - Roy Keane's Ipswich have won just 4 of 19 league games and now 2 of them are away at Cardiff. It was doubly galling this happened after our collapse to them in Ninian Park's last ever fixture last May. They came in 23rd spot but have picked up and are now unbeaten in 7 albeit with 5 of them being draws. They have a decent squad and should be doing better, I'm quite sure they'll be nowhere near the bottom spots soon.

ITFC.Wright Wright-McCauley-Rosenior-Delaney; Leadbitter-Garvan-Edwards-Priskin; Walters-John.



***The Match***

The day was horrid, chilly, dark with swirling winds and heavy rain at times. No surprise that the pitch wasn't at its best and greasy but it was still remarkable given the recent weather. Fans however found themselves getting soaked in the stands, even if they were siting 20 or so rows back like myself. A plush multi-million stadium and fans cannot be dry? Even atNinian, we were mostly dry under the stands. You think they would have shut the roof today!

Due to the weather, I went straight to the game. The Salvation Army were playing Christmas tunes under the Family Stand ... and ignoring requests to do some Dizee Rascal or Metallica although they tried their best with some traditional songs used at times as football anthems. Ref today in traditional headgear was Mr Singh whose distant relative was a former Cardiff City manager >>> Alan Turban!

The crowd was announced as 19,463 with 600 or so East Anglians. How many of those were season ticket holders who didn't turn up is anyone's guess. The Ipswich side had apparently flown in, I never knew tractors had advanced to that stage. City lost the toss and for the first time at the new stadium, the teams turned around with City defending the Family Stand/Grangetown end of the ground in the opening half rather than attacking it.

Cardiff opened well and Gavin Rae had an excellent shooting chance in the first 30 seconds but with the crowd baying, he tried a pass, was blocked andIpswich broke fast nearly profiting at the other end. The game was open and going at pace with Ipswich showing well but a wonderful Hudson block prevented a shot on goal before a real let off as they headed over from a couple of yards. A feature of Ipswich 's play was that they were getting too many crosses into City's area too easily, Mark Kennedy and his side of the the pitch struggling to cut them out.

However, Cardiff had more quality and cutting edge going forward and were desperately unlucky as Peter Whittingham struck the crossbar twice. First came in the opening 10 as Bothroyd went on a fantastic run and hit a ball across the box which Whitts turned onto the bar. The next time saw his brilliant dipping drive just as brilliantly palmed onto the top of the woodwork by Ipswich keeper Richard Wright.

City were now applying heavy pressure with Hudson and Gyepes nodding wide before Chopra was denied turning home a Rae through ball by Wright charging out of goal but the keeper appeared to pull ahamstring doing that and after 3 or 4 minutes treatment, he was taken off and replaced by former Cardiff City trainee Aaran Lee Barrett, the player ignoring requests to do the ayatollah.

10 minutes before the interval, the visitors finally cracked but it took a moment of true class and inspiration by PETER WHITTINGHAM to do it. Chris Burke cut inside fed Jay Bothroyd whose deft header set up Whitts but his finishing was supreme as he struck the most incredible dipping volley across Lee which flew in. Undoubtedly City's goal of the season so far and it may be come next May as well. City were so crap 2nd half that it was almost forgotten by final whistle.

Stunning. "Worth the entrance money and coming here just to see that" was the popular opinion at the interval. Those saying that were also laughing at Roy Keane singing "you're getting sacked in the morning" but reaction walking away and on forums later was that they want to get Dave Jones seeking his P45 instead. The irony was lost on them. .

Ipswich almost equalised from the restart as on loan Stern John got behind our defence and was denied only by Dave Marshall bravery charging out to block him. However that injuredMarsahll as well and he never returned for the second half replaced by Enckleman so both sides had now lost their main goalkeeper.

Half-time: CCFC 1 ITFC 0

The second half must rank as the worst 45 minutes of football seen in the new stadium. Low quality would be too kind a description for the football and entertainment on offer.

Through all of that however, you could sense Ipswich were fighting for everything and far more committed. City yet again fell deep and left the front men isolated. Ipswich made positive substitutions and used all three by the hour, Dave Jones changed nothing even when the visitors were over-running us in the centre of the park. Uncertainty was running right through City with Peter Enckleman plying as if he didn't know the rules. One comical roll out saw the ball barely get out of the box, Matthews looked at him, Enks didn;t know if he was allowed to go, City just go it away. It was symptomatic of how ragged the team had become.

The manner in which City lost their lead on 72 minutes was terrible. Gavin Rae, make no bones about it, chickened out of a challenge on halfway.Ipswich advanced, spread play right and there was JON WALTERS to crack home an unstoppable shot over Enks.

Loud boos were ringing out from some sections of the stands, the players getting deserved verbal volleys for becoming so lethargic. Joe Ledley, stinking out the place, seemed to be getting more attention than most. Of course, only when Ipswich equalised by DJ make a change even though the writing had been on the wall from long before. Etuthu replaced Burke, like-for-like of course!

City tried to pick up momentum and were denied at a free-kick as Bothroyd flicked a header home but was adjudged offside. You sensed the best Cardiff could hope for was a point and that would have been enough to take them to 5th and above Swansea but courtesy of shocking defending and a cruel deflection, sub JON STEAD pinched a win for Ipswich with 5 minutes left.

Jones tried a change for the second time after conceding, McCormack for Rae but Cardiff were gone. I cannot use words to describe just how dire City were in that second half. I never boo them at games but those doing it and a significant number could hardly be criticised after what we were made to endure. This was a realsickener. To see your side lose and go down without a fight is impossible to take with just a shrug of the shoulders.

The defence were poor second half but the midfield was infinitely worse. The much maligned Mark Hudson is the only player from those areas who should avoidcriticism. Mark Kennedy looks shot to me recently, Rae and Ledley in midfield were both useless. Up front, Bothroyd and Chopra were starved but switched off. Chops is still the Championship's leading scorer but is now 2 months and 8 games without a goal. He's not even getting shots at goal lately, amassive concern.

I left the game feeling angry coming after the surrender at Swansea and the crap served up at Barnsley. It really is disgraceful, no point in trying to avoid being negative. I am truly fed up of what I am seeing. They appears to be little fight on the pitch and little motivation off it. Are they all in a comfort zone? It certainly looks like it.


Cardiff's faults are many at present but here are my pet grudges;


City sitting back on leads and falling deep with nobody on or off the pitch stopping it.

Midfield dropping back and further back, allowed to be overrun


Lack of Commitment in tackles and attitude


Losing games simply because the opponents want it more (this is never acceptable but we've seen it too often this season already)


Dave Jones watching on and doing nothing (subs today only after goals went in, the writing was on the wall long before)


Late goals conceded (it's now 4 times in 5 games, the other time Swansea won it with 25 to go so didn't need a late one)


Dave Jones unable to stop bad runs, unable to influence games, unable to change tactics and formations.



It truly was a disgraceful 2nd half showing from front to back ... and in the dugout. I'm ashamed and angry, I really do wonder if they feel the same?

You Want To See Camels in a Car?

Ok, here you are ...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

TRIP TO WURZLELAND IN THE F.A. CUP


During the half-time interval today, the Third Round F.A. Cup draw took place.

One of the final ties pulled out was Bristol City vs Cardiff City.


The reaction of the crowd around me was to cheer wildly but why? That's not an easy tie, it will be a bubble trip for supporters andTrashton Gate is a horrid place to go.

But there ytou have it. Ties on the first weekend of January.

Dave Jones starts Ipswich inquest

** Jones rues 'worst' Cardiff loss **


Cardiff
City manager Dave Jones describes the 2-1 loss to Ipswich as the Bluebirds'
worst at the new Cardiff City Stadium.

He's under a lot of pressure and criticism from fans but, to be fair, Dave Jones
calls it right in this frank assessment of Cardiff City's display and loss at home
to Ipswich Town today.

 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/8385509.stm 

Good ref or Bad ref? Only one way to find out ... FIGHT!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cardiff now 7th after their non-playing Saturday

With City preparing for the visit of Ipswich to South Wales tomorrow - the game moved back a day so it didn't clash with Wales egg chasers getting booed and outclassed at home to the Aussies, bless'em - fans were left to wonder how destructive Saturday results would be. The answer is, they weren't bad at all.

On the downside, Cardiff now find themelves outside the play-off spots as QPR and Nottingham Forest overtook Cardiff in the table while Newcastle and West Brom in the automatic spots are currently threatening to run away with those places.

However it could have been much worse. A draw tomorrow will return City to 5th (and back above Swansea albeit on goal difference, a win will bring up 30 points and see Cardiff in 4th spot).

Leaders Newcastle made mince meat of The Swans beating them 3-0 with all the goals coming in the opening 25 minutes before they declared. West Brom in 2nd went goal crazy winning 4-0 at Sheffield Wednesday (Current on loan Bluebird Warren Feeney was a non-playing sub for The Owls while skipper and former City man Darren Purse is out of their squad). Leicester who started and finished the day in third will have been disappointed to have been held 1-1 at Scunthrope, the home equaklising in added time.

Although QPR leap-frogged Cardiff, they won't have been plased to have been held 2-2 at home by Coventry but Nottingham Forest, now 4th, pummelled Doncaster 4-1 at home.

Matthews to Man U? Speculation says the Gaffer


At the press conference ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Ipswich Town, Dave Jones was naturally asked questions about newspaper stories that a deal is agreed for Bluebirds starlet Adam Matthews to go to Old Trafford in January.

Naturally, he called it speculation ... which is hardly a denial either.

Jones told the throng, "We are going to have interest in any good player. Last week it was Sunderland,coming in for Whitts. before that it was Aston Villa interested in Jay. Do you want me to answer every time there is speculation? Every week I'm hearing questions on where my players are going, but they're still here."

It's now been 3 years since Cardiff City haven't sold a star player or two in any transfer window. Is it possible they're still here because we can't sell during September to December anyway? :>)
DJ added, "If something happens ... you know straight away but I'm not going to talk about speculation because there's always speculation about players who are here and that's not a bad thing because the players being talked about are doing well."

However, more pertinently, he added, "At the moment, there's no decision to make because nobody's made any offer. There's a difference between having to sell and a big club coming in for one of your players.That's what happened with Aaron Ramsey last year. How do you tell a 17-year-old kid to stay here for the next four years and forget about Arsenal and playing in the Champions League?"




Publicity Pete's not talking to the South Wales Echo - how will he cope?


Peter Ridsdale not wanting to talk to the media is like an alcoholic saying he doesn't want a drink.


However it seems that our Pete is not a happy bunny just because local rag and the main club reporting organ in the region - The South Wales Echo - had the temerity to break news that the club were in court this week fighting a winding up order over an unpaid tax bill. Apparently, it Ridsdale's words, they are "despicable".

And why? Because they didn't ask him first!
Aww, bless.

(Pic - yes the toys are out of the pram!)

Some fans side with the club - and bring out all their long held grudges about the standard of local and investigative reporting and perceived negative reporting - others are 100% behind the media as they experess their displeasure at events at a club where Ridsdale's promised transparency is as clear as Port Talbot in the fog at night.


People get far too emotive and complex at times and overlook the basic facts. The club were in court on Wednesday and won a reprieve of sorts but are left with 70 days to pay off their tax bill or face a winding up order.

Do the Echo have a right to report what is the public domain? Absolutely. Is it a concern? Of course.

Does Peter have a right to respond to breaking news? Yes he does but it doesn't have to be carried at the same time.

That should be the end of the matter but it clearly isn't going to be.



Maybe Peter is upset as he would have preferred the story to be buried or completely manipulated. After all, while being upset he wasn't consulted as the story was published, it was always in his control to tell them before the story inevitably came out, wasn't it?

I do enjoy how he spins it as though it is a positive thing and that's there's no problem at all as if getting to this stage in the first place is just fine and one of those things.



After all, he was on the Cardiff City phone in the Wednesday before last denying there were serious problems after a Burnley website first broke rumours that the club had then just survived a winding up order. Seems that wasn't so wrong or far fetched after all.


If anyone is 100% confident in Peter Ridsdale's assurances that all is well and it's nothing to worry about, they're a better man than me.


It does appear as if the Malaysians are about to ride in to save the day. Publicly and privately, I'm getting that news and exciting times may well be ahead if this is true. Sam Hammam and the faceless Langston Corporation, who have been a barrier for far too long, will have to accept a final deal fast paving the way for change.


As I said in my blog earlier this week, it does seem like an end game is at play. Problem is, it can still all go horribly wrong, this is high stakes.


One thing supporting Cardiff City have taught me is only to believe it when you see it. Right now, with good reason, I'm struggling to see anything at all.



The Picture Says It All (Part 4)




Friday, November 27, 2009

Matthews to Manchester United?

This morning's Sun newspaper are reporting that Manchester United have agreed a deal with Cardiff City to sign starlet Adam Matthews for £5 Million, beating Arsenal to his signature.



Matthews in his first season of prfessional football but, at 17, has started just 12 Championship games for City but is already seen as a key, star player. He has also had a Wales Under 21 debut and been elevated to the senior squad. As if that's not enough, he's also scored for Cardiff from 45 yards out.

Matthews would seem to be a natural replacement for Gary Neville at Old Trafford, very similar in style.

City fans, however, will be dismayed to see another kid leave after half a season of football. All fans love local heroes but the last products of the system - players like Cameron Jerome, Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey - have all gone in no time.

Matthews, it would seem, is set to do the same.

New Hangover Rating System




1 star hangover

No pain. no real feeling of illness. You slept in your own bed and when you woke up there were no traffic cones in there with you.
You are still able to function relatively well on the energy stored up from all those vodka and Red Bulls.
However, you can drink 10 bottles of water and still feel as parched as the Sahara .
Even vegetarians are craving a Cheeseburger and a bag of fries.

2 star hangover

No pain, but something is definitely amiss. You may look okay but you have the attention span and mental capacity of a stapler.
The coffee you hug to try and remain focused is only exacerbating your rumbling gut, which is craving a full English breakfast.
Although you have a nice demeanour about the office, you are costing your employer valuable money because all you really can handle is some light filing, followed by aimlessly surfing the net and writing junk e-mails.

3 star hangover

Slight headache. Stomach feels crap. You are definitely a space cadet and not so productive.
Anytime a girl or lad walks by you gag because the perfume/aftershave reminds you of the random gin shots you did with your alcoholic friends after the bouncer kicked you out at 1:45 am .
Life would be better right now if you were in your bed with a dozen doughnuts and a litre of coke watching daytime TV.
You've had 4 cups of coffee, a gallon of water, 2 Sausage Rolls and a litre of diet coke yet you haven't peed once.

4 star hangover

You have lost the will to live. Your head is throbbing and you can't speak too quickly or else you might spew.
Your boss has already lambasted you for being late and has given you a lecture for reeking of booze.
You wore nice clothes, but you smell of socks, and you can't hide the fact that you (depending on your gender) either missed an oh-so crucial spot shaving, or, it looks like you put your make-up on while riding the dodgems.
Your teeth have their own individual cardigans. Your eyes look like one big vein and your hairstyle makes you look like a reject from a second-grade class circa 1976.
You would give a weeks pay for one of the following - home time, a doughnut and somewhere to be alone, or a Time Machine so you could go back and NOT have gone out the night before.
You scare small children in the street just by walking past them.

5 star hangover

You have a second heartbeat in your head, which is actually annoying the employee who sits next to you.
Vodka vapour is seeping out of every pore and making you dizzy.
You still have toothpaste crust in the corners of your mouth from brushing your teeth.
Your body has lost the ability to generate saliva, so your tongue is suffocating you.
You'd cry but that would take the last drop of moisture left in your body.
Death seems pretty good right now. Your boss doesn't even get mad at you and your co-workers think that your dog just died because you look so pathetic. You should have called in sick because, let's face it, all you can manage to do is breathe..... very gently.

6 star hangover

You arrive home and climb into bed.
Sleep comes instantly, as you were fighting it all the way home in the taxi.
You get about 2 hours sleep until the noises inside your head wake you up.
You notice that your bed has been cleared for take off and is flying relentlessly around the room.
No matter what you do you now, you're going to chuck.
You stumble out of bed and now find that your room is in a yacht under full sail.
After walking along the skirting boards on alternating walls knocking off all the pictures, you find the toilet.
If you are lucky you will remember to lift the lid before you spontaneously explode and wake the whole house up with your impersonation of walrus mating calls.
You sit there on the floor in your undies, cuddling the only friend in the world you have left (the toilet), randomly continuing to make the walrus noises, spitting, and farting. Help usually comes at this stage, even if it is short lived.
Tears stream down your face and your abdomen hurts. Help now turns into abuse and he/she usually goes back to bed leaving you there in the dark.
With your stomach totally empty, your spontaneous eruptions have died back to 15-minute intervals, but your body won't relent.
You are convinced that you are starting to turn yourself inside out and swear that you saw your tonsils shoot out of your mouth on the last occasion.
It is now dawn and you pass your disgusted partner getting up for the day as you try to climb into bed. She/he abuses you again for trying to get into bed with lumpy bits of dried vomit in your hair.
You reluctantly accept their advice and have a shower in exchange for them driving you to the hospital.
Work is simply not an option.
The whole day is spent trying to avoid anything that might make you sick again, like moving.
You vow never to touch a drop again and who knows for the next two or three hours at least you might even succeed.

OK, hands up if you've have never had a six star hangover!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

McPhail overwhelmed by public support


Steven McPhail took time out today to thank the public, Cardiff City and all football fans for the incredible support he has received since it was confirmed last Friday that he was fighting cancer.

The good news is that his lymphona was discovered early and he should make a full and fast receovery but it is very rare in men and even rarer in young men. So it was a complete shock.


However Macca is very positive and put this on record.

"I've been overwhelmed by all the texts, e-mails and other messages of support. Please thank everyone on behalf of me and my family.

"My treatment starts next week and I can't wait to crack on with it and get back to playing next year. The messages have been a great help. Cardiff City fans have been at the forefront, but people have been in touch from all over the world.

"People who have had a similar condition to mine have been in touch to tell me about their experiences, and that's been a great help.I've even had people come up to me on the street to wish me all the best. I can hardly believe how good people have been to me.

"I've even had a few goodwill messages from Swansea fans."


Good Luck Steve McPhail.

Two Out as Feeney and Capaldi go out on loan


CARDIFF CITY failed to bring in any player with the transfer loan window shutting firmly today but did get two players off the wage bill for a short time as Warren Feeney and Tony Capaldi both players succeeded in their wish to get away for football and headed to Yorkshire on short-term loan deals.



Tony Capaldi had been linked with a move to League One leaders Leeds United most of this week and that was confirmed late this afternoon.

He has fallen down the pecking order to third choice left back but still managed 9 appearences, his last coming in midfield during the awful 3-2 at Swansea almost 3 weeks ago.

TC is with Leeds until January 4th, there is already talk of a permanent deal, which has been underlined by the fact that Cardiff have allowed him to play for Leeds in F.A. Cup action. Leeds are away at Kettering in Round 2 this weekend.




The blog has covered several times that Warren Feeney has never figured at Cardiff. Despite doing well on the international stage, it appears that he cannot quite cut it at this level.

It was therefore a mild surprise to see fellow Championship side Sheffield Wednesday take him on loan, initially until December 28th. It was just as big a surprise to see him come off the bench for City in the Bransley defeat last Saturday


With Cardiff having no reserve side and both players not generally featuring in the meagre first team sqaud unless a couple go missing, it's in their interests to get out. Good Luck to them both.


It is disappointing that City did not bring in any replacements but the HMRC court order may prohibit that anyway. Peter Ridsdale has promised exciting times ahead with his belief that the Malaysian takeover will see the club active int eh January window ... the question is ... can our current squad, small on numbers and with injuries, keep us in contention until that stage??




Tacky Cardiff City Christmas Prezzie


OK, some of you may like this - you'd be easily pleased if you did! - but I laughed at this online present.

A battery operated Cardiff City clock with the naffest of poems, last season's kit(!) but, thanks to printing and computers, your name can be added to the picture.

I'd rateher not know the time than have this.


However if you're interested, it's a "cool" £22.95 plus charges at www.theoriginalgift.co.uk.

Hooter's Got Talent

... plenty of Talent

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Club 'surive' winding up order then announce new director and a golden future - just a standard Cardiff City day!

If Cardiff City were a rollercoaster, Health and Safety would condemn it for being too dangerous and if they were a soap opera, the scripts would be rejected for being too outrageous and the writers would be taking drug tests. Nothing, however, is ever normal or straightforward at this club and they always leave us open-mouthed.


This time last week, after internet rumours with good reasoning, Peter Ridsdale denied that the club were on the verge of a major crisis although it had the usual cashflow problems, he was hopeful that Sam Hammam would agree and sign off a legal deal by the end of the week and then investement was just around the corner, we found out most of the answers today.

Out of the blue came an announcement that the club had fought off a HMRC tax office winding up order in the courts with a 70 day stay of execution to clear its debt of an undisclosed amount ... is it coincidence that ties in with the end of the January transfer window when City can sell its assets? I truly hope so.

Sam Hammam has been stalling, as usual, on the agreement but remains in consultation with the club.

Then, barely 1 hour after this, the club announced that Malaysian businessman Dato' Chan Tien Ghee (TG), after weeks (months even) of discussion as joined the Board of Directors of both Cardiff City Football Club (Holdings) Limited and also Cardiff City Football Club Limited as a Director. At this stage, it is unclear whether he has invested any funds at all but it would appear that he will attract further investment (oh we hope!) from the Far East.

(In fact, I have heard whispers of the name of a potential further Malaysian backer who has access to major resources - time will tell).


Is it only Cardiff City where one minute we hear they're close to collapse and then are being led to believe that the golden future is finally arriving? Incredible.


On the HRMC order, the club issued a statement:
It has been inaccurately reported that Cardiff City Football Club face a winding-up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, following a court hearing today, Wednesday, November 25.

Today's court action had the affect of withdrawing the threat of a winding-up order rather than imposing it.

For the avoidance of doubt, Cardiff City Football Club have a payment schedule in place with HMRC, and there is no prospect of the club being wound up. This payment schedule was agreed with HMRC some time ahead of today's court hearing.

Cardiff City Football Club have every confidence in their future financial stability and fully expect to be in a position to make further investment in its playing squad in the January transfer window.




On the appointment of TG, the club announced:

Dato' Chan Tien Ghee is Managing Director of Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd, a major Malaysian Property Company currently managing the renowned Lido Boulevard Waterfront Development in Johor, Southern Malaysia.

Dato' Chan's appointment reflects the continuing confidence that we have in the opportunity that exists for Cardiff City Football Club within Asia which will see us extend youth development, attract further sponsorship, broaden our supporter base and through Dato' Chan, his contacts and his partners, provide investment directly within the Group.

Commenting on Dato' Chan Tien Ghee's (TG's) appointment, Cardiff City Football Club Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Ridsdale said: 'The fact that TG has accepted this appointment demonstrates the confidence that exists that Cardiff City Football Club can, with the right level of additional investment, whether directly or through the broader global commercial opportunities, become an established top-flight football club."

Commenting on his appointment, Dato' Chan Tien Ghee said: "I am very proud and privileged to be joining the Board of Cardiff City at this time. Now that the infrastructure is in place, I believe that together with the existing Board I can help to provide Cardiff City with the additional resources it requires to achieve the ambition of attaining Premier League Football and of making Cardiff City a recognised household name across the Asian continent."



Talking on the Cardiff City phone-in tonight, Peter showed why he is regarded as a master politician by being bullish about the future whilst dismissing the day in court.

As much as he would wish to disguise it, today was a highly embarrassing episode which showed a complete lack of financial and corporate management. I can only hope, as Ridsdale claims, that the club have made a payment and agreed a solution with HRMC but when I questionned him why the courts issued a 70 day extension if, as he claims, it all all resolved, he answered, "I don't know".

Do I think it's as simple as Ridsdale has tried to make out? Not for a single minute.


However let's end on a positive note, the arrival of T.G. may be a positive sign. Some City fans are already getting intoxicated believing it is the making of our club and all our problems will be over. Personally, I'll believe it when I see it. After all, if I had a pound every time I heard the likes of Hammam and Ridsdale make a comment that didn't stand up to scutiny or subsequent events and actions, I could have cleared all the club's debts myself!





0

Watch The Birdie

Advance Warning! I am the Guest on tonight's Cardiff City Phone-In

It is my annual appearence on the Cardiff City Phone-In tonight where I'll be passing my judgement on the club, the season to date and what next.

On air during 7 to 8pm and hosted by former Premiership ref Keith Cooper, it's on GTFM 107.9 FM (Pontypridd/valleys), Radio Cardiff 98.7FM or BroFM 98.1FM (Barry & The Vale).

You can also listen live online anywhere in the world via the station websites (Google them to find them).

Mail to bluebirds@mail.com – give me grief!

SuperKev's Out Again


Whether we like it or not, the label 'injury prone' is one that will be applied to Kevin McNaughton as Cardiff City's star defender has had continual problems in the past couple of seasons but nothing as bad as this term.


Having missed all the season to date after an ankle injury sustained after collision in a pre-season game with Celtic, his absence was softened by the emergence of Adam Matthews but Kev remains a vital player for City so fans were delighted to see his return at Barnsley last weekend.

However that lasted barely 20 minutes after he pulled up clutching his leg. Early reports from the club suggested he had a back spasm that was being checked out but it has now been confirmed as the more obvious hamstring pull.

City officials say it is a slight tear and that he will be absent for a fortnight. Fingers - and everything else! - crossed he then gets a sustained injury free period.

** On a sidenote, I can never believe how many Cardiff players have hamstring problems, it always seems far worse than any other club.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amazing Trick Shot

Net Busting Firestarter

What a shot!

Capaldi set for Leeds?

Speculation is rife that Cardiff City defender come makeshift midfielder Tony Capaldi will join Leeds United before the loan transfer closes this Thursday.

He is third choice left back at City behind Kevin McNaughton and Mark Kennedy and wants first team football while Bluebirds boss Dave Jones has been told he cannot bring any new players into the club until others are moved out.


Capaldi has featured in 9 City games so far this term playing his usual solid but unspectacular football although a gamble to deploy him in midfield due to an injury crisis at Swansea was a disaster but so was the whole team's display that day.

It looks like an ideal move for Capaldi and would certainly suit Cardiff too - can't imagine many fans are bothered if he departs ... but they'll all be praying it means Jones can get a loan man in.

Latest League Table - Cardiff continue to slip

It was only a couple of weeks ago thaty Cardiff City missed successive chances to go top of the league but the cost of the latest poor run is all too evident after Newcastle won at Preston in last night's game completing Championship weekend.

City now find themselves 9 and 7 points respectively behind Newcastle and West Brom and you have to wonder whether we have the ability to get back in touch, Cardiff certainly lack for resources.

Most City fans are wondering if it's also only a matter of time before we slip out of the play-offs with the club now down to 5th, sharing 27 points with teams down to 8th spot and only 3 points ahead of mid-table.

Cardiff's next game is home to Ipswich on Sunday, it's a fair bet they will start the day much further down the league as the Saturday matches are complete which will add pressure to the occasion ... as if they need it.

It's a big and telling period ahead for the club and may well shape the rest of this season.


Full Championship table

Team P GD PTS
1 Newcastle 17 16 36
2 West Brom 17 20 34
3 Leicester 17 6 30
4 Swansea 17 3 28
5 Cardiff 17 13 27
6 QPR 17 10 27
7 Blackpool 17 8 27
8 Watford 17 1 27
9 Nottm Forest 17 3 26
10 Bristol City 17 1 26
11 Middlesbrough 17 5 25
12 Preston 17 0 24
13 Crystal Palace 17 -1 23
14 Sheff Utd 17 -2 21
15 Barnsley 17 -7 21
16 Doncaster 17 -1 18
17 Sheff Wed 17 -2 18
18 Coventry 17 -7 18
19 Derby 17 -9 17
20 Reading 17 -9 17
21 Scunthorpe 17 -15 17
22 Plymouth 17 -12 15
23 Ipswich 17 -11 13
24 Peterborough 17 -10 11

Video Lowlights: Barnsley 1 Cardiff City 0

** Barnsley 1-0 Cardiff **
Carl Dickinson's injury-time strike gives Barnsley victory against Cardiff



Click Link to view:

Pimp My Ride ... Serbian-style

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cardiff City Investment Imminent???

Rumours are circulating and getting stronger that news of investment from the Far East may be expected in days, if not hours.

Cardiff City and its fans have been down this road many times before - and we will many times again - but this is a potentially exciting and significant development.

The investment is atrongly believed to be coming from Malaysia and maybe worth upto 25% of the shares and possibly with a change in directors of the club.

Announcements are believed to be on the way well before the end of this week ... we'll see.

Craziest Penalty Ever?

Cartwheel mania ... nice technique though

Tonight's CARDIFF CITY phone in show

Obviously picking the bones out of the weekend's bundle of ***** at Barnsley but worth a listen for the feedback and reaction.

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




Cardiff City star shamed with drink drive ban

Bluebirds Scottish international striker Ross McCormack was today banned from driving for 17 months and fined £2,600 after being convicted of driving at almost double the legal alcohol limit.

The incident occured at almost 4am after City's 4-3 win at Sheffield United last month with McCormack coming off the bench to set up the decisive goal.

Police were called to an incident after a luxury Range Rover crashed into fencing outside the Cardiff Bay Harvester restaurant. McCormack drove to his nearby home but was forced ijnto confession after police discovered that his distinctive personalised number plates came off with the impact of the bump ... doh, doh, doh!

Seriously, I hope Ross has learned his lesson. It could have been much worse.

McCormack critical of City's Oakwell display




When teams lose and play poorly, it's common place for manager and players to close ranks and claim they were unlucky, didn't get the rub of the green or how they win and lose as a team.


Not so Ross McCormack who told Wales Online exactly what he thought about Cardiff City's efforts in a dismal defeat at Barnsley on Saturday -is it a rare spell of refreshing honesty or is McCormack making waves again with the transfer window soon to re-open as some City fans will speculate?


Either way, I was at the game and can't argue with McCormack's thoughts which include;
“I don’t think it was too tough a game to be honest, I just think we made hard work of it, and we got a real sucker punch at the end of it with the goal. It was a bit windy, but that can’t be used as an excuse for not passing the ball. If you play the long ball to two little guys then nothing is going to happen. I was disappointed at the service, disappointed to be taken off, just disappointed all round really."

The weekend proved conclusively that McCormack and Chopra can't play up front together and with Jay Bothroyd likely to return at home to Ipswich on Sunday, McCormack may well be returning to the bench and he's can't be happy about that. Is that what he had in mind when he added, "Personally I’ve had two starts now, but I’m not taking anything for granted. I’ve obviously signed a four-year deal here and like anyone I just want to be playing football".





McCormack said the Bluebirds need to bounce back against Ipswich on Sunday.

And he insisted after a summer in which he was linked with a move away from the club he was now looking to fight for his place in the Cardiff side.

“Two games now and two defeats, so the Ipswich game of course becomes important to us now,” added McCormack.

“We’ve just got to try and put this defeat behind us and move on to the next one.

“Jay had a slight tear to his hamstring, but he should be back for the Ipswich game.

“Personally I’ve had two starts now, but I’m not taking anything for granted.

“I’ve obviously signed a four-year deal here and like anyone I just want to be playing football.”

You Lucky Lucky Rugger

Now i'M NOT INTO EGG CHASING BUT THIS RUGBY ACTION MUST BE the HIGHLIGHT OF THE SPORTING WEEK.

Rugby fan Stuart Tinner is randomly pulled out of the crowd and wins £250,000 at the Saracens vs Springboks rugby match managing to hit the corssbar with a halway line kick from the side of the pitch too ... and in his socks as he removed his shoes! Then he's mobbed by cheerleaders, what a lucky ******* he is!

Who said chat shows aren't all the same?

Check this with Hugh Laurie

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Barnsley 1 Cardiff City 0 - how the managers saw it





** Cruel loss frustrates Cardiff's Jones **
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones tells BBC Radio Wales football reporter Rob Phillips why he would have settled for a draw at Barnsley after their 1-0 defeat.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/8372497.stm 
 
 
 
 
** Robins hails Tykes hero Dickinson **
Barnsley manager Mark Robins reveals he did not want match-winner Mark Dickinson to take the last-minute free-kick which eventually beat Cardiff City 1-0 at Oakwell.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/barnsley/8372485.stm 

Video of the Week - EELS, Little Bird

Having recently had an album out, the excellent Hombre Lobo, Mark E and Eels are back in January with another one. Here's a lead track, Little Bird.

Barnsley 1 Cardiff City 0 and a long, long day - in pictures

Top 20 Gymnastic Falls

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Championship: BARNSLEY 1 CARDIFF CITY 0 match report

CARDIFF CITY fell to a cruel last kick of the match 1-0 defeat at Barnsley, the goal a Carl Dickinson free-kick that deflected off Michael Chopra to give on-loan Stoke defender his first ever goal in professional football. The game, played in heavy rain and a strong wind, was shockingly poor. Devoid of any quality, it would not looked out of place had it been a bottom division match.


Barnsley were aggressive and direct while Cardiff fought a rearguard action with relative ease but shorn of McPhail and Bothroyd and without adequate squad cover or the resources to do anything about it, they were clueless without creativity or craft going forward. City were one dimensional and too often hitting aimless ridiculous long balls for the diminutive talents of Chopra and McCormack to work with. Neither keeper was seriously threatened all afternoon until that last gasp effort. Cardiff deserved a point if only for the simple reason that neither side deserved to win. A game and result to forget ... yes, I know, after Swansea away, another game, performance and result to forget.



******TEAM NEWS******

CARDIFF CITY were hit by a quadruple blow with Steve McPhail, out anyway after a leg op, diagnosed with cancer on the eve of the game and we can only wish him and his family well, the 1,000 Bluebirds at Oakwell chanted his name on several occasions. Jay Bothroyd was out too as his ongoing knee problem finally caught up with him even with a fortnight's break and another surprise absentee was the previously ever present Anthony Gerrard while Adam Matthews was missing at the back having sustained a foot injury on Wales Under 21 duty in Bosnia. In came, McCormack, Gyepes and McNaughton - the latter two making their Championship bows for the season.

A team in City's position with ambition would surely make moves in the loan market, some rivals have indeed done that, but Dave Jones has been told nobody can come until players are moved out so, like it or not, it appears that we will have to limp to the January transfer window ... and who knows whether we'll be in any position to do anything positive at that time? The only chance of that happening appears to depend entirely on Hammam ... oops, Langston(!) ... agreeing a revised pa-off deal and then a Malaysian group - or a mystery one - investing in the club. Ridsdale is hopeful but time seems very tight for all that that to take place.

CITY: Marshall; McNaughton-Hudson-Gyepes-Kennedy; Burke-Rae-Ledley-Whittingham; Chopra-McCormack. An altogether uninspiring and weak sub's bench featured: Quinn, Feeney, Comminges, Scimeca, Magennis, Wildig, Enckleman.


BARNSLEY
Barnsley made an awful start to the season with an opening day draw followed by 5 successive defeats which ended the tenure of the Jack, Simon Davey. In came Mark Robins from Rotherham and he is transforming their fortunes as they've now taken 20 points in 11 games and moved towards mid-table.

Barnsley: Steele; Kozluk-Foster-Shotton-Dickinson; De Silva-Colace-Doyle-Hammill; Bogdanovic-Macken.



~~~~~~THE DAY & GAME~~~~~~

Our coach set off at the crazy hour of 6am - it would be 19 hours before I would get back home too. A couple on the coach were celebrating birthdays and going for the day out and a drink oop north without taking in the game which saw us South Yorkshire, Rotherham to be precise for opening time althought the partying had started long before we had got out of Cardiff.

Good company and music on the coach, it all passed quickly. The bars were very welcoming in Rotherham, although most barmaids I encountered were of dubious quality even with my beer google fixed firmly on. Somehow, trying to get my pal out of the last pub to get back on the bus to the game, we missed it. I caught a train to Barnsley jumped, Lloydey decided to stay. A costly decision as the other drinkers got to Barnsley by final whistle, he stayed in the Rotherham pubs, the police escorted down the M1 after the game so there was no going back for him. Oh the joys of City awaydays!


The palaver (I like that word) meant I missed the opening 20 minutes and having decided to exit the ground at half-time for some warmth and a drink in the nearby Metrodome sports centre, I missed the opening 15 minutes of the 2nd half too. The 55 minutes I had to endure did make me wonder why I bothered watching any of it at all.

Cardiff started brighter but it turned out to be as good as it got with McCormack flicking a Burke cross narrowly wide while Burke himself went wide with another effort but so did McCormack with a quick set piece. The rest of it was pitiful stuff as Cardiff dropped back, midfield were unable to influence the game and in unpredictably poor weather and strong winds, we were to wonder what on earth City have been doing at their plush training complex over the past fortnight as they resorted to thoughtless and aimless long balls giving Chops and McCormack a lost and hopeless cause.

At the quarter point, more calamity as Kevin McNaughton limped out of the action again, the boy seems cursed. In came Paul Quinn and he announced his arrival with a big challenge and yellow card thanks to the histrionics of the Argentinian Collace who must be taking tips of Jordi Gomez.

Barnsley tried creating more pressure but City's defence stood firm, David Marshall having the routine task all half of meeting a soft, slow paced header. With nothing to commend in either side, I left the ground with a few City fans at half-time for the neighbouring Metrodome. Most stayed there. Foolishly, I returned to the game thing it would be all change with City now attacking our end.

City, finally, showed more intent and a willingness to play the ball on the floor but let themselves down by failing to get the basics right completing routine passes. A few too many poor touches and stray passes produced audible groans with Joe Ledley, almost resembling Bluto from Popeye, with his beard, guilty of some terrible attempts to switch play or spread the ball wide.

Barnsley were persistent, one effort deflecting off Gyepes to wrong-foot Marshall before missing by a couple of feet and the keeper then spilled a wicked free-kick carried by the wind and was grateful for a Mark Kennedy overhead clearance.

A sign of how limited and desperate City were came with the appearance of Warren Feeney. A nice guy but he's just not good enough, he wants away, City want him to go yet we were forced to turn to him, for McCormack, to try and win the game because our other striking option was Josh Magennis who was dropped by Grimsby while on loan and then had that spell terminated. How can we consider ourselves as promotion candidates when that's the reality of how it is? As expected, Feeney made no difference at all.

Both sides tried to force the game for a win in the closing stages but in the final minute of added time, disaster struck City as Mark Hudson who put on a decent show otherwise unluckily handled and the ball skidded up off the surface. The yellow card seemed harsh as it was far from deliberate but that all paled into insignificance as DICKINSON took a pot shot with the set piece and his effort hit Chopra, standing alone off the five man wall, deflecting the opposite way leaving Marshall helpless.

There is nothing to add. The defence played reasonably well to nullify the hosts but continue to look fragile and unable to keep a clean sheet. The fact that City have now conceded in added time at the end of a match three times in their last four Championship outings is a sign all is not well too. Midfield were again found lacking. Dave Jones was his own worst enemy in failing to address this area over the summer and it is costing. They all tried, Chris Burke gave his all, but it's just not a strong enough unit, particularly in battles.

Up front, it's becoming a worry that Michael Chopra who was on fire a few weeks ago is now a damp squib. He's working hard and showing quality that will surely bring results but it's now 7 goalless outings for the Championship's leading scorer. McCormack wasn't as sharp as he can be but games will bring fitness and he remains an important player.

City fell to 5th, agonisingly behind Swansea and are now falling away from the top 2 automatic spots without looking as if they have it in them to get it back. The question though is how can City and Dave Jones keep effortlessly going from so good to so bad? Dave Jones at Cardiff City never seems to bring consistency, we're either on good runs or bad runs with no in between. This season is a classic case in point with 10 points and top of the league after 4 games followed by the kick in the teeth that was 4 defeats in 5 and some truly terrible football. Back they came with a 6 game free scoring run netting 14 points and looking the part and now here we are with the side looking ordinary in the extreme with successive defeats and 1 point out of 9.

Next up, City are home to bottom club Ipswich next Sunday. Anyone who can predict whether we will see the Jeckyll or Hyde side of Dave Jones' latest outfit is a better man than me. One thing I do know, thanks to the latest collapses, Ali cannot announce as City run out that we are "still the number one team in Wales".

For the record, the bus boys had a grand trip home including a long stop off in Tamworth. I'm still recovering!