I saw Magic score

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hull Hath No Fury

Let's face it….this game didn't really live up to it's billing. The visitors, ex Premier League and managed by one of the division's best managers, were quite frankly….crap. An expectant crowd waiting for the Bellamy and Bothroyd show instead got a solo performance by new boy Andy Keogh. No big deal everyone said, we've got strength in depth now with plenty of options. No Plan B, this is Plan D

So after I'd scanned the pitch to see who wasn't playing, the next thing to catch my eye was the holiday weight Anthony Gerrard seemed to be carrying. Looked like he was wearing a shirt two sizes too big also. Maybe his soft spot for too many Clarks pies way why he was loaned out. But his presence on the field meant that our big midfield enforcer 'Elephants Jamas' could play. And he soon made his presence felt. 

Hull, by this stage were showing all the hallmarks of back to back relegations, while City we strangely passing the ball around beautifully whilst never really wanting to score. The five man midfield looked a bit lopsided at times. Koumas on the left?? The onus seemed to be on Burke, who again was lively with his mazy runs and quick feet.  

As Seyi left the pitch I did have a mini panic attack. Which then got even more acute as I saw Gavin Rae trot on. Who'd have thought a week ago that Rae would still be featuring in a Cardiff shirt. It wasn't long before he was up to his old tricks again. A loose back pass meant Hudson had to be on his toes to deal with it. 

Hull suddenly started to play, passing the ball around neatly and they looked threatening. Jay Simpson's introduction was looking to be a good one. 

Koumas was doing his bit to get that two girl cushion we so desperately needed, but then the cavalry turned up in the form of Wildig and Rae. A neat little reverse pass from the energetic Wildig fed Rae whose finish between Duke's legs was to die for. 

Praise must go to Keogh also. He's not cut out to be the lone man up front (certainly when up against big centre halves) but he ran his Irish socks off out there and his efforts didn't go unnoticed. I think he's a great signing, and could prove to be very useful this season if played alongside Bothroyd or Chopra. 

Where's Riggott by the way? What's taken them so long to sign him?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Pompey Down

So by all accounts Saturday's performance on the south coast was a stroll in the Fratton Park. The pre match build up talked of two clubs with financial difficulties and the fact that this was a repeat of the 2008 FA Cup Final. Personally, I thought what better time to play Portsmouth. They may still be a big club with a threadbare squad, but they're there for the taking. And take we did.

I listened to the second half with a small radio pressed firmly against my ear, and it was all City. It sounded like Portsmouth could barely muster a collective fart, as opposed to a serious attempt at getting back in the game. So when QPR went 2 nil down at Derby, things we looking rosy. We were on course for taking top spot in the league and it was very much 'Catch Us If You Can'. But QPR struck twice in injury time to claim a point. Judging by the jubilant scenes from the QPR players at Pride Park, anyone would've thought they'd just won the Champions League Final. 

It still very early doors with only 4 games played. Two clean sheets, a new formation, Danny and Ol marshalling midfield and even Hudson puts in a commanding performance. Nathan Blake has boldly put his money where his mouth is. His prediction over the weekend is that "Cardiff City will go up to the Premier League this season as champions." What more of a ringing endorsement do you need at a time like this.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Bellamy Effect

After a hiatus, what better time to resurrect a Cardiff City blog than now. The arrival of Craig Bellamy has no doubt created a buzz around the club, on and off the pitch, so without getting too carried away, Cardiff City are going places.

His arrival at the CCS is undoubtedly one of the transfer coups of the year, even topping Calamity James's move to Bristol City. If I'm honest I never ever thought the club would get their man, but as the weeks went by and Man City announced their Premier League squad, the rumour mill whirred back into action and the 'Bellamy rumour' had gained a few more legs. The talk of the town last Tuesday was that 'he's signed on a season long loan', so the message boards stepped up a gear, text messages flew back and forth, and if I'm honest, I never got much work done that day.

So to the much anticipated debut against Doncaster Rovers. I generally look forward to all Cardiff City home games, but with this one, I couldn't wait. A bumper crowd, and unforgettable atmosphere, the local boy coming home and a potent attacking line up. These were the ingredients of Bellamy's Cardiff City fairytale being told in front of us. The fitting tribute to Brian Clark justifiably added to the poignancy of the occasion too.

Doncaster started brightly with Brian Stock pulling the strings for them. He was linking up well with Simon Gillett and both were soon carving out some nice chances. The threat of Doncaster gatecrashing the party looked palpable. But Bellamy was showing his class on the left wing. Linking up nicely on a few occasions with Drinkwater and Olofinjana, it was inevitable that goals were on their way. And they were. Bothroyd's goal sealed an even first half. Even Lee Naylor's reluctance to do the Ayatollah added some humour to the proceedings. After someone showed him what to do, Naylor obliged with a brief rendition to the cheers of the crowd.

It's safe to say that we ran away with the second half. Apart from a Doncaster effort skirting our cross bar, I can't really remember a threatening shot on goal. When they brought on ex Bristol City man Steve Brooker with ten minutes to go, they'd basically thrown in the towel.

Just after the hour mark it was all the B's. Burke, Bothroyd and Bellamy. Bothroyd's comfortable header for the 2nd, Burke slotting away a 60 yard Bellamy assist for 3, and then the icing on the cake. Bellamy's own contribution to his party - a 30 yard Premier League class free kick that had Neil Sullivan scrambling - was pure Roy Of The Rovers.

Not even the walk home in the pouring rain dampened any spirits. A dream debut, a clean sheet, a party unspoiled, and some passing neat.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Championship is just three weeks old, so it's time to stay grounded. But I don't blame anybody who wants to tip us for promotion. Good times are ahead.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Another Horror Show

I am now convinced that City have to be the most inconsistent Championship team of the season. Fellow fans of other Championship clubs who avidly follow this league, must be pondering our mercurial results along with the poor bedraggled and bemused Cardiff fans who now have to put up with this detritus every week. You simply do not know what to expect when the team steps foot on the pitch anymore. 2009/2010 is already turning into a season of extremes : Spanking Bristol City at home in spectacular fashion, walloping Watford away, winning out at Bramhall Lane, the double horror of Ipswich and Plymouth, and now the capitulation at London Road.

I seriously believe that Dave Jones needs to take his players to see a top sports psychologist, because some, if not all the players have issues with their mental game. How can a team of 11 professionals simply fold like a pack of cards. The team already lacks a physical leader of such, someone who can lead by example, pick his troops up and drive them on, and now it seems there's no mental strength either. Are players still haunted by the demons of last season? If so, perhaps they need an exorcist.

I'm giving Soccer Special a miss from now on when City are away !!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

You've gotta laugh

When the final whistle went, I didn't have my head my hands like those around me, I wasn't looking on in abject despair. I was quietly laughing, chuckling away to the boys, thinking 'they've only gone and done it again'. Forget McIntyre or Brydon. This was the biggest belly laugh this Christmas.

Mind you the signs were there and slowly building up during the game. Misses in the first half, Chopra and Bothroyd wasting good chances, these now are tell tale signs that 'it's not gonna be our day'. That early nerve settling goal didn't come today, so it was inevitable that the panic was going to build until a mistake was made. Quinn's pitiful clearance let in Sawyer with a deflected shot. I don't know who it was (possibly Hudson or Gerrard), but one of them was flat out face down in the 6 yard box in utter disbelief that Plymouth who posed absolutely no attacking threat whatsoever managed to put the ball in the back of Marshall's net.

Then the real, bonafide, material panic sets in, as the players realise they've got 6+ minutes to try and save their blushes once again. But it didn't happen, and the bumper Boxing Day crowd left shaking their heads. What a time to serve up a Christmas turd.

The Jekyl & Hide character once again reared it's ugly head. After away wins against the Baggies and the Boro (which quite frankly stunned every supporter) something had to give. I thought that something would be home to Leicester, but the pitchgate debacle put pay to that. Losing at home to Leicester wouldn't have been so bad as they are a good side. No, what the players were really waiting for was to serve up their Christmas turkey against lowly Plymouth.

Speaking of turkey, it looked like referee Phil Gibbs had tucked into one too many Christmas dinners over the festive period.

Roll on Monday against the Posh. A win there, and we'll all forget that Boxing Day 2009 ever happened. Lose, and we've lost to all four of the bottom clubs. Just how big can that weight of expectation get.

Chin up

Merry Christmas Plymouth