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Here's more drunken ramblings and half-baked recollections about the City. You must be bored to get this far
18.05.98 City lose to Wrexham
Not exactly unexpectedly, Cardiff lost in the finals of the Invitation Cup 2-1 to Wrexham at the Racehourse Ground today.
At least now that the season is well and truly over City might start to consolidate the interest shown in them by several developers and sponsors and finally get round to delivering a team worthy of the Welsh capital.
Surely next season things will get better...(gulp)...won't they?!
04.05.98 Another crap season...
Much as I love Cardiff is does get increasingly hard to muster up any enthusiam for next season unless there are substantial changes at the club.
No matter how you look at it, the club has to radically change if there is any hope of Cardiff having a team that reflects the city's rising world status, and that boils down to one thing; money.
The strong rumours of David Sullivan waving his hefty wad around give rise to some hope on the terraces, but until something concrete comes out of it, I'm not holding my breath.
One of the options currently being discussed is a move out of Ninian Park down to the Docks. A few years ago, I would have dreaded the thought, but now I really couldn't give a toss where we play - just so long as we're not stranded near the bottom of the Third for yet another season...
Well, things are shaping up for yet another shite end to the season with any prospect of a revival around the corner fading fast. We've lost three on the trot, the squad's falling to pieces and there seems to be no coherent team spirit to fall back on.
It's miserable. Thank God for Doncaster and Brighton being so spectacularly crap, otherwise we'd be facing a relegation battle.
16.02.98 Yet another new manager...
Frank Burrows returns to Cardiff after leaving West Ham.I know I should get excited by this, but after seeing so many managers and (ahem) 'directors of football' come and go, I'm not celebrating yet. Word is he'll be bringing Billy Ayre, formerly No 2 to Jan Molby at Swansea.
Oh well, time to dust off those old 'Burrows' chants....
28.01.98 Racism slur
Sadly, after I'd posted up the match report, news came through about some of the trouble at Reading, which the tabloids seized on with predictable gusto.
Worst of all was the ill-informed sensationalist report in the Guardian by one of their most respected writers, Martin Thorpe.
Now I'm already familiar with this guy - he's the one who wouldn't post up details of my Football Fans Against the Criminal Justice Act campaign, despite there being 100 arrests at the time and widespread coverage in several other broadsheets.
In his match report he rightly condemned the behaviour of a violent minority of Cardiff's fans, but then continued to post up some of the sloppiest, ill-informed rubbish I've ever read in a broadsheet when he accused the Cardiff fans of shouting racist abuse throughout the game.
In his match report, he claimed that "A large number of the 3,000 or so Cardiff contingent massed behind one goal also betrayed their prejudices with frequent chants of 'You black bastard' directed at the Reading striker Carl Asaba".
It seems that for all his years in the game, Thorpe hadn't worked out that Cardiff fans traditionally taunt any ex-Swansea player as a 'Jack Bastard' and had cluelessly jumped to the conclusion that they were racially abusing one of Reading's black players. Interestingly, the ex-Swansea player, Bowen, isn't even black, so even Thorpe must have thought it rather odd that the racist taunts only happened when Bowen had the ball.
This kind of inaccurate, sensationalist reporting does nothing to further the cause of football, and flagging such headlines across a newspaper will only give people the chance to trot out all the old cliches about football hooligans and racism.
urban75 rang up the Guardian and spoke to Nick Mason on the sports desk. He told me that there had been many complaints about the report and apparently Thorpe was not aware of the tradition of calling Swansea players 'Jacks'.
However, he then tried to excuse the comments by suggesting that they somehow were justified " in context of the behaviour or the supporters".
Quite how he can justify falsely accusing Cardiff fans of racism just because a minority of them caused trouble is anyone's guess.
The Guardian have stated that they will be posting a retraction tomorrow (5.02.98).
No doubt it'll be about one tenth of the headlines today, and the damage already done.
Update: the Guardian's web site was still running the original, inaccurate report as of 5.2.98
26.01.98 FA heroes!
Tonight Cardiff City were knocked out of the FA Cup (4-3 on penalties, 1-1 a.e.t.) after an inspirational performance at First Division Reading.
A big City turnout was shoe-horned into dangerously overcrowded terracing, with the Police predictably as heavy handed as ever.
On the pitch, Cardiff played with a rare passion and spirit and outplayed an uninspired Reading for most of the match with Dale putting in a strong performance, crowned by a superb goal.
Reading's equaliser quietened Cardiff for a while, but it was only due to some good goalkeeping by Reading's Nicky Hammond that City didn't finish the game.
In the end it came down to a nail biting penalty shoot out, which Reading clinched 4-3.
01.98 FA Cup survival!
The Blues did themselves proud after a stirling performance against 1st Division Reading in the FA Cup 4th round, holding out for a valiant, if predictable, 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile, off the pitch, Osman was abruptly given the elbow much to the relief of many fans, with speculation that Lou Macari may be lined up as a replacement.
20.01.98 Mid Table again...
Ho hum. After the excitement of the FA Cup we're back to our usual ways, and making mid-table mediocrity our usual speciality. What odds on us managing a play off this year?
3.01.98 FA Cup Victory!
You wouldn't have thought it possible after our recent results, but today City turned in a superb performance in an exciting FA Cup 3rd round tie against second Division Oldham.
Straight from the start, City looked sharp and hungry, and after missing several good chances Jason Fowler scored a superb 18th minute goal to set Ninian Park alight.
Oldham responded by piling on the pressure and it was only thanks to some unusually solid defending and a couple of great saves from John Hallworth that they didn't manage the (these days, almost inevitable) equaliser.
So, we're through to the 4th round again, and let's hope we get a decent draw.
Me? I'm off down the pub to celebrate! Bloooobirds!!!
28.12.97 Happy Feckin' Christmas :(
It guess says a lot about the blandness of Christmas TV, but I was actually excited at the prospect of getting away from the tedium of Noel fucking Edmonds to watch the highly uncharismatic Exeter City at Ninian Park.
The club had been hoping that their latest half-baked scheme of offering free entry for kids and the laydees would bring in a bumper attendance of 15,000 plus, but seeing as they've yet to actually offer anything new in the way of decent facilities, food or any form of worthwhile entertainment it was no surprise to see a no-bigger-than-average crowd of 6.000+.
On the field, Cardiff turned in a surprisingly sharp performance and Exeter were very fortunate not to be more than the one goal down at half time.
At the interval, the usual pathetic fare of nasty food with minimal choice was on offer (nothing for vegetarians, as expected), while the men's toilets continue to set the watermark for the Worst Toilets in the League.
The second half saw City showing some inspiration, and it was only due to Exeter's goalkeeper suddenly turning into Superman that City failed to score with several good strikes. Needless to say, despite all the chances, City soon squandered the lead and Exeter equalised in the 82nd draw. Another draw.
There was however some signs of hope. City actually looked like a team with a bit of passion in their hearts for some of the game and this was rewarded by one of the most animated crowds I've seen at Ninian for some time.
We've still got great support. By the standards of Division Three we've got a brilliant ground and everyone knows all about our enormous potential, but until we get some people in - on both the managerial and commercial side - we will continue to flounder where we should be flourishing.
Update: 28.12.97 Shrewsbury 3 Cardiff 2.
Well, that's screwed up my Christmas then. If we can't even beat desperately average teams like Shrewsbury then it's patently clear that there is something seriously wrong in the club. Me? I blame the management set up. It's clear by now that the Osman/Hibbit (ahem) 'team' haven't got what it takes to motivate Cardiff out of a very unspectacular league, and I remain thoroughly convinced that until we get some first-rate management in we're doomed to life in the slow lane..
8.12.97 The FA Cup looms!
Well, it looks like we're looking pretty good with a home tie against Oldham in the Third Round. And who knows? After finally losing the drawing habit (albeit to totally crap teams), there is a vague hope that we might be able to progress further in the Cup. After all, it's teams like Oldham who have far more to fear when they travel to lower league teams, and if the crowd gets behind City, we could sneak a result - and earn some valuable cash for some desperately needed new players.
25.11.97 SIX POINTS and the FA CUP is still ALIVE!
Well, I guess I should be feeling a little better with the fact that we we've won the last three games but frankly, there's little to get excited about. Two wholly unconvincing wins against clubs lower than us in the league and a scrambled defeat of non-league Slough is no reason to start optimistically flicking through the Division Two guidebook and dreaming of FA Cup Glory. The truth is that we're still looking like a piss-poor bunch of hoofers with precious little in the way of creative and flowing football.
We're desperately short in the goalscoring department (we've scored less goals than just about everyone else in the league) and there seems to be a lack of motivation and commitment within the squad. And the blame for this lies fair and square with the (ahem) 'Director of Football'. Hibbit.
At Brighton, more half hearted 'Hibbit/Osman out!' chants punctuated a dreary game, witnessed by a paltry Cardiff turnout. They've had long enough to prove themselves incapable of providing the kind of motivation our players need.
We deserve better than this....
16.11.97 MORE DRAWZZZZ
Oh dear. Another dreadful draw, this time against the extra-lowly might of Slough Town
Any of you who came to the game will no doubt have noticed the ridiculous over-policing at the ground.
Despite the small crowd, the police showed up in full riot gear, with dogs, horses, and those fucking annoying cameramen. I don't know about you, but I don't care to have my picture taken by some anonymous sneak clad in a boiler suit, and I find the exercise rather intimidatory (perhaps that's the intent).
Despite the heavily over-ambitious policing, the game passed without event (both on and off the field) and we trudged along to the now almost-inevitable draw.
At the end the 'Osman Out!' chants that have been building up over the weeks grew louder, with a half-hearted 'Eddie Eddie Eddie May' chant gaining some momentum.
I think I'd kinda like to have ol' Eddie May back. He's not the greatest manager in the world that's for sure, but at least he seems to have some commitment to the game.
And apart from that, his name's really easy to chant when you're off your face.